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!




Working with Radiant Orchid, 2014 Pantone Color of the Year

If you weren’t already in the know, the new Pantone color of the year is Radiant OrchidI see it being used in a lot of home accessories, women’s beauty and fashion and even bridal palette inspiration. Purple happens to be one of my favorite hues, I mean, hello, it’s widely associated with royalty! If that’s not a good choice indicator, I don’t know what is. 

Radiant Orchid - Tempo da Delicadeza

But how do you invite this new hue into your living space without sending the man in your life fleeing from the palace? Back in our own neck of the serfdom, incorporating this color at home can be a tricky balancing act, particularly if you live with a manly man who shakes in his work boots at the mere mention of “Radiant Orchid”. So please don’t go waging a color war in your own home- there are bigger better hills to die on like a spa weekend with the girls. For reals. You have to find a happy medium, and here’s how you do it…

I just finished this project for a couple who wanted to incorporate purple tones within their space and here is how to achieve the right balance. 

Grounding the space in rich browns and neutrals makes the space feel sophisticated and masculine while the purple tones work to add the right pop of color adding the just enough softness and femininity. The combination makes the space feel both glamorous and luxe.

For those of you out there bold enough to use Radiant Orchid for the walls and background of your space, by all means DO IT! This powder room I recently finished is a perfect place to go bold with these gorgeous tones. 

And for those who are more faint at heart, try a light warm neutral gray background palette to let your orchid accents shine. Pair it with a warm pale grays, crisp bold whites, and metallic silver and gold. Balance the delicate and the fem with heavy aged brass, chunky or rough textures, and structural geometrics. Add a touch of the unexpected and you’ve got a room fit for a king!

Here’s to a New Year of love and color!

Emily (aka)
“The Design Duchess” 😉