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When Pantone announced Marsala as its 2015 Color of the Year, the reaction was mixed. While some agreed with Pantone’s assessment of the hue as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red that would enrich the mind, body and soul,” others called it drab, dated and depressing. WPL Interior Design’s Marcello Luzi sees both sides of the argument. “My initial impression was that it’s a bit retro,” he says. “It reminds me of color schemes of the mid-’70s.” 

Even so, he admits it’s an easier color to work with than 2014’s radiant orchid, or even the previous year’s emerald green. “Marsala is already in interiors in a lot of ways,” he says. “You see a lot of leather that’s already that Marsala color, as well as different woods that are in the warmer red and brown colors.”

For Luzi, it’s a gorgeous shade for silk-taffeta draperies in a wood library. It also pairs well with colors like navy and beige. “It’s easy to play up,” he says. “It’s a good, neutral base to build a scheme around.” 

But, as with many things, less is more. “You wouldn’t want a whole room in this color,” says Luzi. 

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