The Color Of The Year (And 7 Ways To Decorate With It)

The Color Of The Year (And 7 Ways To Decorate With It)

Pantone's surveyed the design, entertainment and tech fields to predict this year's "it" shade -- and it instantly warms up any room. Here's proof.

By Candace Braun Davison

And the Winner Is...
Courtesy of Oriental Weavers
Every year, the Pantone Institute looks at all realms of pop culture -- from movie sets to the latest tech trends -- to determine the color they believe you'll be seeing everywhere in the year to come. (Remember Meryl Streep's infamous speech about how the color cerulean became popular in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada? It was Pantone's pick six years earlier.)

This year's choice? Marsala, an earthy reddish shade that's somewhere between wine and Terracotta. The rich color makes textured surfaces look especially lush, which is why the institute recommends using it for rugs and other plush accessories.
Give Your Bedroom That Curl-Up-and-Retreat Feeling
Courtesy of Behr Paints
Finally, a color both of you can agree on: Marsala walls are a one-step way to make your bedroom feel more romantic, without skewing ultra-frilly or dark and brooding.

To get the look at home, try Behr's Rich Brocade (pictured), Sherwin-Williams' Red Barn or Benjamin Moore's Cinnabar.
Test Out the Contrast Principle
Björn Wallander
If you prefer marsala's brown undertones, look for a color that's closer to rust or burnt red. Houzz editor Sheila Schmitz recommends cooling it down with white-matted artwork and deep blue accessories, like designer Nate Berkus did in this home office for Iyanla Vanzant.
Add Depth to Your Shelves
Copyright Fusion Television
Painting the inside of your bookshelves a dark color can make them look like they extend much farther back than they do, especially when the rest of the walls are painted a light cream or white, like this room HGTV star Candice Olson designed. The burgundy shade is a refreshing break from the typical choice: navy, gray or greige.
Serve It for Dinner Every Night
Courtesy of Behr Paints
Pantone predicts that marsala will appear most often in kitchens and dining rooms–and not just for its food-inspired name. Red has long been popular in traditional dining rooms. To keep the room from coming off as cave-like, keep the ceiling and trim bright white.
Piggyback on a Larger Trend
Björn Wallander
Brass accents are everywhere these days, and marsala's warm tones complement it perfectly. Nate Berkus pairs a headboard the shade of a Tuscan sunset with bronze-colored lights and curtain rods, emboldening an otherwise neutral room.
Create Intimate Spaces in an Open Floor Plan
Fuse/Getty Images
Dark cinnamon-colored walls give this living room a sense of coziness, and the shade is just similar enough to the dark wood cabinets in the kitchen that one room transitions to the next seamlessly.
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Before You Go

A Newer Way To Do Gray
Courtesy of HGTV
"Gray is not going away," says Jackie Jordan, director of Color Marketing for Sherwin-Williams. Yes, it's been trending as a bedroom color for years, but she notes that people have recently been gravitating to those with opal and violet undertones.

Why You'll Love It: It obviously goes well with metallics, but it also pairs nicely with natural elements like driftwood or wool.

What to Watch Out For: Gray isn't as neutral as you might think, says Jordan. Warmer tints can be much easier to work with and won't give off that cold, industrial feel.

Shades to Try:Sherwin-Williams Mink (pictured) or Special Gray
A Vintage-Inspired Room You'll Adore
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
With a new batch of more-sophisticated pastels hitting the market, people are opting for softer colors in the bedroom, says Jordan. A pale pink or coral can be fresh and feminine, with a little Audrey Hepburn style.

Why You'll Love It: Pink is a great option for someone who wants just a hint of color. It's beautiful in warm light.

What to Watch Out For: Too much pink can give a room that "Barbie's Dreamhouse" vibe. If you're going with this choice, add gray or white accents, such as the white chest under the TV, above.

Shades to Try:Sherwin-Williams Abalone Shell or Blushing
A Relaxing Retreat
Courtesy of BEHR Paints
Looking for a soothing place to escape at the end of the day? BEHR Paint's Director of Color Erika Woelfel suggests a deep, tropical green.

Why You'll Love It: This green works with light wood furniture or floors and bright bedding, says Woelfel. Greens are also ideal for enhancing a room without natural daylight.

What to Watch Out For: Cool colors work best in north-facing rooms that get mostly filtered light. If your space has full sun, you may find the color is washed out.

Shades to Try:BEHR Verdant Forest (pictured)
The Romantic Shade That Makes You Look Great
Courtesy of BEHR Paints
Reds are known to be very stimulating, Woelfel says, and many people don't like that in a bedroom. Still, if you want a strong pop of color, Woelfel recommends a burnt brick red, which is less intense and won't keep you up at night.

Why You'll Love It: Warmer colors—like this deep red—are more flattering to skin tones, says Woelfel.

What to Watch Out For: Avoid heavily saturated or neon reds, and, as with all new colors, test the biggest swatch you can before committing.

Shades to Try:BEHR Rich Brocade (pictured) or Carpe Diem
An Unexpected Look
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
"People are afraid black will make the bedroom look like a cave," says Jordan, "but it can actually have the opposite effect." Jordan suggests using black on the ceiling or an accent wall to evoke the spacious, infinite feel of the night sky.

Why You'll Love It: This couple-friendly shade can be both masculine and feminine and balances beautifully with grays or whites.

What to Watch Out For: Avoid pairing black with bright colors, as the effect can easily go over-the-top, says Jordan.

Shades to Try:Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black, Peppercorn or Black Fox (pictured)
The Seaside Hideaway
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
This dusty aqua has become a Pinterest favorite, says Jordan. It works in just about any room, but its spa-like feel can be particularly soothing in the bedroom.

Why You'll Love It: Coastal shades bring the essence of nature indoors and can really brighten up an otherwise dreary space.

What to Watch Out For: Bright colors can overwhelm this subtle neutral, so stick with pastels, whites and grays.

Shades to Try:Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt
A Serene Spot to Rest Your Head
Julie Richard, Ace Hardware's Design Expert, suggests a light cocoa. A down-to-earth brown with a gray tint can make for an intimate, enveloping space.

Why You'll Love It: This shade of brown is exceptionally versatile, and can work in just about any style of bedroom, from a contemporary loft to the most traditional colonial. One of Richard's favorite combinations is to add a few cream accents such as a large rug or an upholstered headboard similar to this one.

What to Watch Out For: Too much brown in a room can look drab, says Richard.

Shades to Try:Clark + Kensington Pebblestone
A Space That Always Feels Like Home
Courtesy of BEHR Paints
According to a Travelodge survey, yellow ranks second in sleep-inducing colors; Woelfel recommends a nice balanced gold between lemon yellow and brown.

Why You'll Love It: A toned-down gold transitions well: Its sunnier daylight shade becomes more subdued in evening light.

What to Watch Out For: The wrong gold can be very energetic and too bright for a bedroom. Woelfel suggests starting a couple of shades lighter than you think you want.

Shades to Try:BEHR Harvest Home (pictured)

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