Pantone has announced "Marsala," a burnt, earthy hue similar to the color of brick, as the 2015 Color of the Year.

Typically lauded for daring, bright color choices (best suited for accent walls), the New Jersey-based design consultancy's selection this year has been received critically by many design experts as well as the general population. The Atlantic took a strong stance on the color, stating that "the reddish-brown color reminds one of rust, the grimy, gag-inducing type that lines corners or frat boy dormitory-style bathrooms," and that "immediate reactions to the hue have evoked bodily functions and decrepit buildings." 

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman describes Marsala as a hearty, stylish tone with universal appeal that "translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings, and interiors."

If we're being honest with ourselves, Eiseman's statement is actually on point. The hue has been present in clothing, nail polish, and upholstery products consistently over the past decade--so what's the big stink about? 

Pantone is known for their paint, so it seems possible that many critics are imagining the extreme--an entire room painted in the rusty color, suffocating and drab...a definite case of too-much-Marsala. But Pantone's selections have broad applications across multiple industries, and have never been restricted to paint on a wall--something that is clear when reading through their introduction to 2015's color.

"Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture."

Multiple examples of how to use 2015's color in the home on Houzz prove that the most obvious, paint application of the color still shouldn't be ruled out. Most rooms feature Marsala-like colors as accent walls, complemented by dark wood furniture or marigold hues. Unsurprisingly, rooms that make the rusty hue the main event are a bit too much. 

Using Marsala as the common denominator in a room's decor does foster a warm and welcoming tone, as seen in Pantone's photo above. It's a mix of both large and small items in the color that allow it to flow through the room without being too overpowering. The color doesn't stand well on its own, but it complements many other colors that cause the "decrepit building" element of the color to vanish, replaced with a holistic environment instead. All we're sayin' is...give Marsala a chance.