Pantone is a system for matching colors, used in specifying printing inks.  For 15 years, Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company, has declared a particular “Color of the Year” as a prediction for what will be a popular hue for designs and products in the coming year. A global color company known for its standardized color matching system and subsequent numeric codes, Pantone invests significant time and energy in making its yearly selection.

A select group of Pantone executives from a variety of industries meet each year and spend hours discussing the latest trends and designs taking storm from fashion runways to home décor.

Typically, the fashion industry starts to display new, cutting-edge colors for the following year. Often a color will then show up in other places, grabbing attention from viewers in film, cars, cosmetics, and paint.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute® shares the rumination behind this year’s selection, “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily into fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Our Inspiration: Looking Beyond the Trend

By Head Merchandiser, John Salisbury

I love the history and genesis of the yearly Pantone color – how it gets selected, who selects it, and how it’s used in various industries. I find myself wondering every year, ‘how does this translate into the real world? Into my world?’

If you live on either U.S. coast, incorporating Pantone, no matter the color, is more easy to execute. For example, if you live on the East coast, design aesthetics are heavily influenced by the latest trends in fashion design, coastal and nautical themes, and bold, edgy looks. On the West coast, one would find coastal themes of a different nature, and perhaps more natural, earthy looks.

In the Midwest, design is much more utilitarian. Because these communities began in agricultural roots and often consist of large families living on a single property, design influences are directly impacted by necessity: is it durable? Will it last for generations? Does it clean easily?

But what about here in Colorado? My belief is that Colorado clings to its own pioneer spirit. This is the spirit that brought families out West with hopes of expansion, growth and having limitless space.  We are surrounded by our breathtaking scenery every day: the mountains and trees, the rugged outdoors, and overall natural elements thatliterally send us to the hills in search of the next thrill – climbing 14,000 feet peaks, shredding snow at one of our many ski resorts, throwing a cast hoping to catch that one, elusive fish…you get the picture.

In 2013 and 2014, the Pantone colors of the year were less practical for Colorado (Emerald and Radiant Orchid, respectively). And while it might be more challenging to incorporate Marsala into a nautical-themed home on Cape Cod, in Colorado, this color makes total sense (be sure to check out this Marsala Pinterest board we linked for inspiration for every area of life). We look to our surroundings to help determine our style. Where would we find this in nature? In new blooms on a flower? Does it remind you of the red, earthy clay that forms many of our beloved peaks? All of the sudden this Pantone thing isn’t so hard to understand.

Here in Colorado, Pantone is not as rigorous of a dictator of style. Here, we create our own style that makes sense for our homes, our families, and our lifestyles. In the design world, we see Colorado homes that encapsulate the essence of the old West – reflective of our beautiful nature while also incorporating practicality and our own style. It’s easy to introduce a throw pillow or soft blanket with Marsala accents on our distressed brown leather sectional, or add a deep red vase on our rustic dining table.

I’m enjoying the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year and have started incorporating it throughout the store at Larrabee’s. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look!

Cited: Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated. © Pantone LLC, 2015.