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After two years' worth of choosing bright jewel colors, The Pantone Institute of Color has surprised the fashion world with its 2015 color of the year. The recently-announced winner is a dark, rusty brown identified as "Marsala" 18-1438 TCX. Not everyone is thrilled. Although the name connotes the color of the rich, earthy wine from western Sicily, less complimentary adjectives link Marsala to rusty warships, deteriorating ruins, liver, dried blood, mystery meat, and so on.
In fairness, the color choice for 2015 is a versatile and adaptable hue that provides plenty of interest without taking over the entire show. This may be its greatest selling point, and as the fashion and design industries rush to include it in new offerings, expect Marsala to show up in everything from lipstick to wall paper. For example, Dolce and Gabbana offer a Classic Cream Lipstick in this shade known simply as "Wine." "Let's Misbehave" is a matching nail enamel available through Deborah Lippman.
Similar to its burgundy cousin, Marsala is flattering to most skin types. Both men and women will be attracted to it for this very reason. Whether for formal or casual wear, a balanced blend of brown and red will be popping up in jackets, sweaters, pants and dresses. Zara is currently showcasing just such a faux leather jacket that is stylish and appealing.
Of course, accessories have caught the Marsala fever too. Shoppers can choose from dressy boucle knit bags by Shopbop.com and faux leather backpacks such as "Scale Up" by Nine West. Footwear in both dressy heels and trend-setting boots are already available as well. Wedding designers are not to be left behind. When Marsala is combined with blush and ivory shades, it becomes multi-seasonal, or pair it with bright oranges and coral for a strictly summer event. Bring in the other warm colors of fall for a sophisticated autumn wedding. Throw in some naturally colored peonies and dahlias and the wedding flowers will be lovely.
Interior decorators and designers have also found many ways to incorporate Pantone's newest color of the year into rugs, wall paper, textile prints, accent pieces, linens and furniture. Unlike a powerful, bold red, Marsala is able to stir the senses without overwhelming. As such, it can function as a dramatic, but restful bedroom color. It can also do duty in dining rooms and other traditional or modern spaces without demanding too much attention. For shoppers who have not yet decided they love this shade, a few accent pieces such as a pillow, lamp shade, urn, painting or side chair will introduce new interest to a room without representing a large financial commitment.
Color psychologists maintain that certain colors affect our moods, and those moods, in turn, affect our ability to be productive. Regardless of the location or size of your office or work space, any adjustment that can contribute to a higher level of productivity is worth considering. Perhaps it's time to improve a color scheme that has become outdated and boring. Adding the right colors can bring new life into your work space and increase the creativity, communication, collaboration and energy flow.
Until recently, blue has been the all-time color of choice for offices and cubicles. Sky blue, royal blue and navy blue are popular variations. While the stronger, darker versions may be too overpowering for walls, adding a piece of Blue Jay office furniture allows you to introduce a pop of color without redoing the entire room. A blue area rug, lamp shade, file folders or desk accessories can accomplish the same purpose. Pale blue helps maintain focus and task completion. However, blues may not be the best choice for personalities that are already relaxed and have low-energy levels.
Although green is typically a cool color, some of the soft, warmer shades have become popular choices for today's modern offices. Green hints at outdoors and fresh air and nature at its finest. Bring in some living Bamboo, Money Plants, Snake Plants, or Mother-in-Law's Tongue for an even greener atmosphere. These varieties flourish in dark offices and naturally filter air pollutants. If you entertain clients at your desk or in your office, consider the positive feelings that chocolate brown walls can evoke. This color presents a reassuring atmosphere of security and credibility.
If you've been shopping recently, you may have already noticed merchandise areas that are now dedicated to orange and black color schemes. Decorations, racks of fanciful costumes and bins of sugary candy are displayed for all to see. Not only do Americans love to welcome fall, but we also love to celebrate Halloween. In fact, each year we spend more and more on this fun holiday. In 2011, 70 percent of the shoppers in the United States spent more than $7 billion preparing for the festivities, and a significant portion of that amount went to purchasing traditional orange and black decorations.
Orange is the color of pumpkins, bonfires, candles and changing leaves, and it dominates this holiday. When Irish immigrants first introduced Halloween, they used potatoes and turnips. Americans, however, quickly switched to bigger fruit to carve and decorate. A plump pumpkin makes the perfect jack-o-lantern. Orange is recognized as a color of strength and endurance. It reflects both the hard work of the fall harvest and the beauty of nature's fall decor.
Orange is also a great year-round decorating color. Like red, it is an instant, energizing attention-grabber, but it is friendlier and less aggressive than red. A peachy orange actually has a calming effect, and brownish orange presents a warm, earthy glow. Red-orange feels modern and sleek. It is a perfect offset for graphics and geometric patterns, chrome and leather furniture, and clean white walls. Add some yellow to orange, and it instantly becomes more rustic. Traditional or dark country furnishings are an excellent accompaniment.
For those who love to scrapbook, just about any season or any occasion is enough reason to do another photo book, and autumn is no exception. In fact, fall scrapbook shades offer some of the most interesting, vibrant colors to use as backgrounds and accessories for each memorable page. Think of lush red apples and the paper colors "Red Devil" and "Kisses" can bring your photo shoot to life. How about giant orange pumpkins nestled against bales of golden yellow straw? Even the rich taupe of "Carob" paper reminds one of overturned earth and country lanes.
There are several color methods for creating a unified fall scrapbook that will unfold its charming story from beginning to the very last page:
1. Consider the event. Autumn includes both Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. While orange and black own the former, the ruby reds, yellows, earthy browns, and deep greens of nature's bountiful harvest are easy to capture in the latter. If a special birthday or anniversary is cause for commemoration, try matching your colors to the color scheme at the party, which should show up in many of the photos.
This year, the months of September, October and November will play host to almost one third of all the weddings held in 2014. Why the increase? It's true that these months are generally freer from extreme temperatures and in many places, off-season rates are available, but one of the main attractions is the wonderful variety of fall wedding colors. As nature puts on her own annual fashion show, brides are realizing how easy it is to incorporate those same shades into a stunning wedding event.
For 2014, the top favorite fall wedding color is "Merlot," a deep, romantic cranberry that works well with a variety of color combinations. For example, pair Merlot with Indigo Blue and a neutral white, gray or ivory for a powerful, sophisticated color experience. Team this same rich shade with an equally luxurious gold and complements of other warm, fall colors for a truly autumnal event. Turn up the romance with a delicate palette of Merlot, Blush (grayed-pink) and Ivory. Add some Victorian lace and soft lighting, and your fall wedding colors will be the perfect backdrop for this special occasion.
That same Merlot becomes elegant and sophisticated when contrasted with traditional wedding white or heirloom ivory. Delicate ribbons of Merlot can decorate the cake, tie napkins and place holders, or weave their way through green archways. Choose white calla lilies for the bridal bouquet and deep red flowers for the bridesmaids. Red votive candles will add a romantic touch, especially as they cast their rosy glow at evening receptions.
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