Color Trends for 2015


color trends blocks bar graph

Inspiration for the 2015 colors come from nature – earth, plants and flowers. What are the colors in question? Read on!


I am not trendy. I don’t follow the latest incarnation of anything. My one-of-a-kind mother taught me that by her example. She was very creative, and her tastes were timeless, not trendy.

I am a color freak, though. I have been interested in color since I was a child. The big box of 65 crayons was my favorite, and I spent hours experimenting with them. Purple was predominant in my world.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was to read that the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year is … Marsala. This, to me, is a non-descript, old-fashioned, dull and dreary red-brown. Last year, it was Radiant Orchid, which was uplifting, bright and fun, making Marsala quite a let down for me.

Marsala’s broad uses

The Pantone color is not just about housing and interior design. It covers a broader spectrum that includes fashion and multimedia, and I think that’s where it is better suited.

When I shared the news on social media, my friends had varying responses. According to them, Marsala is the color of cosmetics, shoes, the Depression era, exterior paint, the inside of a bordello, and the walls of a bar where people chain smoke so the stains will not be seen. It didn’t sound very popular with them, either!

I thought it was so ugly, I challenged myself to mentally and visually put it to use.

Yes, exterior paint or stucco! However, in a hot sunny climate like ours where stucco is the most common siding, you want a light color to deflect the desert sun. On a forest home, Marsala would better blend in with the surroundings, and the sun would not be an issue.

marsala red couch

Marsala indoors

Inside, some of my friends said they wouldn’t mind an entire room painted in Marsala. I cringed at that idea, but the homes here are frequently stucco-ed inside, too, so an earth tone like this does not seem outrageous. It’s too dark for me, but I will say, my mother painted a spare-bedroom-turned-den a glossy chocolate brown, and it worked! It was a cozy space to relax in. I spent many winter weekends in there hiding from the cold and snow!

I see Marsala as an accent wall with vibrant color accessories and textiles to brighten up the space. The Marsala would be the background color, the backdrop of the canvas to show off bright yellows, reds and purples. Colors can be toned down for a bedroom, though, to give it a relaxing feel for sleeping.

Trim and other architectural features would also be pleasing with a coat of Marsala. Again, it would be a background color, nothing to base the room on, but it would be a very grounding color to give weight to something bright.

Paint colors

As I stated, the Pantone colors are not just for interior design. Paint company choices are, though!

The Benjamin Moore 2015 Color of the Year is Guilford Green, a silvery, neutral and natural green, according to their website. To me, it is a gentle, non-descript background color that is almost the essence of green. It is as versatile as off-white blending with most other colors.

Green bedroom

Create a sophisticated space with Guilford Green walls and white or cool off-white trim, or let this green be one of several in a monochromatic color scheme. To me, Guildford Green is definitely a color to put on all walls in a room. It is not overwhelming, and it will visually enlarge a small space.

Sherwin Williams has chosen Coral Reef as their 2015 Color of the Year. I love this color! It is bold yet muted. It can be used as a wall color in an entire room for fun, or as an accent wall to create a focal point. I love a bright contrasting trim with neutral walls, and this salmon-y color is an excellent choice for accents and textiles with pinks, oranges, yellows and turquoise.

Nature rules!

The overall color trends for the year are muted pastels based in nature. Inspiration comes from plants, flowers and the earth. The dustiness of them lets them easily blend with bold, bright and vibrant splashes.

I prefer the bold and vibrant myself, and if colorful is done right, it’s a lot of fun!

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