PANTONE Color of the Year 2015- Marsala

Some thoughts, and maybe some venting today….

PANTONE just announced Marsala as it’s new Color of the Year for 2015. Now hear me out, I LOVE COLOR. I am completely color obsessed to a fault. I could literally eat color with a spoon! But the Marsala take over in my inbox and social media feeds left my head spinning this morning, and let’s just say, it was not what I’d call a “good buzz”.


Marsala- Pantone Color of the Year 2015

I’m sure there will be rave reviews in the beauty and fashion world which sets the major color trends, and that’s fine and dandy. Coated skinny jeans? Yep. Anything in suede? Great. Lip gloss? Sure, why not? But for interiors? Well, I have to keep it real and to me, this color is just…. well… heinous. It’s a bit dull and falls short of sophisticated in comparison to the vibrant color selections from Pantone seen in previous years. Actually, to me, Marsala fell somewhere between the burgundy brown lipsticks from Revlon’s yesteryears circa 1990 and vintage mauve hued Victoria’s Secret catalogs. Mauve, muted, brown, blah… aka, dated, done and uninspired.  I truly don’t feel that this color adds any value that a rich brown or garnet couldn’t do in its place.

Anyone remember Revlon’s “Toast of New York?” When she was all the rage, I was just getting into my awkward teenage years, and therefore discovering how (or how not) to apply make up, so I was all about this color, complete with even darker lined lips thanks to Drew Barrymore and her display of this shade, daisies and black ribboned chokers. This era was grunge, goth and apparently… marsala.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Toast of New York


Anyone remember these vintage VS babes? Ha! And yes, that wall color looked just like Victoria’s Secret retail stores in the 80’s and 90’s too. Remember it? Marsala was the old “Love Pink”, they just didn’t know it. Don’t even ask me who they’re calling or if I think that phone works…. but yes, they just might be on the other end of that 1-900 number… ya never know.


So now that I’m older and wiser I’m not afraid to go against this color trend. I really wouldn’t mind if this color blew away as quickly as it came in with all the 90’s resurfaced fads that go along with it. It seriously boggles my mind and makes me start thinking about how and why Pantone selected this color because it certainly wasn’t because it was favorable for interior design! Ok, rant over.

Here are the color palettes Pantone recommends with their new hue. Maybe it’s me, but I’m just not feeling it.








So then, how can you make Marsala work in a color scheme? Since I have to work with design challenges all the time, here is my version on a color palette including this hue. I think grounding Marsala with primaries like bold orange and deep blue round it out in a way that is not as dull and flat.

elds-pantone-2015-marsala-color-paletteWhat are your thoughts? Would you decorate your home in Marsala? Or is it best left on your lips and hips? Let me know!




Half Baked: Quirky Fab or Quirky F’ed?

Keeping in line with all things Design Dish,  I’m launching a new series called Half Baked. This series is dedicated to that gray area where sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it’s fixable (like a design flub) or sometimes it just needs to be burned donated!  Either way, it’s always fun to peer at products that either make their mark or miss it.

Today I’m discussing all things quirky. There is however a fine line between quirky fab or quirky WTF. Tastemakers of the jury, I present to you:

Exhibit A7d7cba74d97f4c12965b2ce3a4815a60

Verdict: FAB- This thing-a-ma-bird is one rockin’ cock!


Exhibit B

 Here is a very beautiful decorative lamp designed by Whatshisname representing a very elegant dog in action. To turn the lamps on or off, one must step on a fake dog turd.


Verdict: WTF. I gag just looking at the dog’s stance, never mind the turd on/off switch. I’ll bet that it’s a floor lamp just so you’re forced to step on it and surely your guests will get a kick out of stepping in dog poo. And why does it have to be coiled like a garlic knot? Just gross.

If you’re going to do quirky, the goal is to catch your house guests by surprise, make them laugh, ask questions or want to know more about how something this spectacularly bizarre made it’s way into your home in the first place. This is usually the part where I get blamed… “it was my looney tunes designer’s idea…. but it’s kinda fab right?” The answer is yes. It’s always fab if it evokes a conversation (and not the dry heaves).

So in honor of beloved and quirky things, I’ve rounded up a selection of finds that push the boundaries of design and are inspiringly outrageous, in a way that is Quirky Fab.

Jonathan Adler’s convo inducing ceramics make him the King of Quirky. Look closely, what are we really seeing here??? Yep, it’s T&A turned into abstract awesomeness.



Kiki's Derriere

Then there’s this goofy gorilla, looking half fierce in hot pants and half bronzed…

gorilla golden// the strange planet


….and this silly sweatered kitty….



… and this vintage pink poodle with a spaghetti style coat and rhinestone necklace!



And finally, if you’re willing to take it from subtle shock value to a full on funny (funny haha and maybe also funny weird), I leave you with a duck table, a creative addition to any children’s room.

The Portuguese design duo at Galula Studio created a line of furniture that is meant to elevate your mood. How can a table with duck feet not cheer you up? The Tio is a two drawer end table with quirky little webbed feet that make you do a double take after first glance.


NOW, please note there is a MAJOR difference between something that is quirky and something that is well…. a WTF. Fine line people, fine line. But since that line is often blurred, here are some WTF pieces I found while putting together this post. You’ll know the difference immediately! I can’t believe some of it is actually out there being sold.

First up: #1 Body Parts Gone Wrong

They are nearly always out there. Case in point, what on earth do you do with this spread eagled mess on top of a lucite table?



Dorothy, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore. Party is over, let’s turn those ruby slippers right side up, mmm’k?

No-no #2:  ceramic, plastic or wax baby or severed baby appendage

Beeswax Candle: Rose O'Neill Kewpie Doll Candle

Baby Legs Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shakers - Still Kickin' - i think this says it all!

NEVER! Babies are best served up swaddled, not with a candle wick! Why would you ever want to burn a baby? This is on par with displaying a voodoo doll as home art. It’s not cool, it’s not hipster and it’s certainly not funny…. it’s straight up funny farm.

Moving onto #3: Creepster Chic

This octopus chair. I can’t help but picture Davy Jones, or possibly the Adams Family reclining in this eight legged number.
octopus chair by Maximus Rieraoctopus chair by Maximus Riera



I could just see version 2.0 of this knob shaking your hand back. Not happening.

Ahhh!!! I would have have have to get this on one of my doors just to freak people out!!
And finally, crazy chairs. This one is just inappropriate as all get out and the one below is straight out of the movie Beetlejuice. Weird, weird, weird.
Crazy chair














Ok so now that the rules are clear on good use of quirk and not so good, I hope you will go out and find something unusually inspiring! If you have something already, tell me about it!

Things that make you go hmmm...Me too ladies, me too.