enLIGHTenment – The Lighting Industry Trade Publication

Pantone Color Of The Year: Marsala

Ever since Pantone announced its 2015 Color of the Year – Marsala – last week, consumers are interested in applying it to their décor. EnLIGHTenment Magazines Editorial Director Linda Longo sat down with color expert Donna Frasca of Decorating by Donna in Charlotte, N.C. to find out which lighting finishes and tones in home decor work best.

Pantone Color Of The Year - Marsala

EnLIGHTenment Magazine: Why do you think Pantone chose this color? 

Donna Frasca: Since Pantone’s Color of the Year (Radiant Orchid) last year was so feminine for both fashion and retail, I believe they opted for a color that is more appealing to both sexes, which will reflect well in sales.

EM: If consumers want to use Marsala in their décor, which finishes would set it off the best and which should they avoid?
DF: Copper all the way! I’ve started posting about color trends for 2015 on my blog (www.decoratingby donna.com) and it’s the Back-to-Basics feel right down to the finish. The earthiness of Marsala is a perfect match for copper. Gold and brass would be great runners up as complementary finishes, while Oil-Rubbed Bronze could be used to create visual drama. My advice would be to stay away from silver and brushed nickel tones.

EM: Is there a demographic or application that would especially be good for this color?
DF: It’s safe to say Marsala is not the best choice if consumers plan on selling their home and want to use it as an overall paint color. Similarly, you won’t find many home stagers suggesting it to their clients; the staged color palette is very specific and this hard-bodied hue would not be a good choice. However, you can incorporate its general tone by using mahogany or cherry woods in the furniture choices. Picking up the color scheme in an area rug, floral arrangement, or in drapery would be just fine and would even be very striking. What you pair Marsala with modify its look. Go too dark with the pairing and it’ll throw you back to the Tuscan look that a lot of designers did not too long ago. Add different hues such as Green Tea Leaves 5004-1C by Valspar or brighten it with creamy Westhighland White from Sherwin Williams and you’ll now have a notable color palette.

EM: Which type of room would Marsala be good for? I’m thinking it might not be the best choice for bedrooms or kitchens.
DF: Well think again! I’ve used a very similar color for a client’s master bedroom, which was Bourbon Street 1257 by Benjamin Moore. It was very sexy and very cozy -and what more do you need from a bedroom color? As far as the kitchen, Marsala would be the perfect complement to achieve a monochromatic feel for kitchens that have dark cherry or mahogany cabinets. Of course lighting and countertop choices are key here to brighten and lighten the space. I think Marsala could be very stunning in the kitchen! If you hang some copper pendants over the island, you might as well call a magazine to come see because it will be that beautiful.

EM: Do you ever have clients who specifically ask you to do a room using Pantone’s Color of the Year?
DF: All the time – and I’ll only follow through with it if I know it’s right for the client and the home. Just because a client wants a certain Pantone color doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. My name is attached to the projects I’m hired for, so understandably I want the color scheme to look right. I will, however, compromise and offer them the same feel or look, but in the proper shade or tone of that hue.





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