I remember those Sunday nights when we’d gather in front of the TV and watch Tinkerbell paint the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle, heralding the start of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. And Dorothy’s entrance into the magical Munchkinland was so much more than her crash landing onto the Wicked Witch of the East. It was opening the door to the splendors of colors she’d never seen in Kansas.

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” ― Oscar Wilde

But when it comes to the color of homes, sometimes we want a meaning and definite form. Color can be practical, like a calming green or blue for a study. Or a crisp white that screams “neat and clean.” How many of you have painted your front door red? There’s lots of folklore attached to that: a welcome to travelers, a sign of safety, a vibrant household – a foretelling of abundance. Or perhaps you want to make a statement, as my wife, Carla, did after we returned from Jamaica two years ago, when we painted our house orange (Carla says it’s yellow but when the sun sets on the western face of the house, believe me, it’s orange.) We decided to step out and be bold so that we didn’t have to tell people we were the second white house on the right anymore. After all, I am a painter. Now we say, “When you turn the corner, you’ll know which house is ours.” (Even at night.)

We’ve come a long way since our color choices were limited to white washes and earth pigments, and every year since 1999, the folks at the Pantone Color Institute® (the printing people) have been selecting a color for the new year beginning with 2000’s Cerulean Blue up to the just announced (drum roll, please)

…Marsala (18-1438).

(Interior designers were on the edge of their settees….)

Why Marsala? Well, have a look-see at Pantone’s website, where there’s lots of creative wine-allusion copy about the “full body” and “hearty” richness, and read what their Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman has to say about this year’s winner.

But not everyone was on the Pantone Bandwagon: Sherwin-Williams announced its 2015 Color as Coral Reef (6606)

…while Benjamin Moore chose Guilford Green  (HC-116).

And for the second year in a row, the Paint Quality Institute predicts that many of you will choose a shade of gray for your interior.

But if you like Marsala and are looking for its commercial match, consider Sherwin-Williams’ Bolero (7600) or Benjamin Moore’s Maple Leaf Red (2084-20).

Depending on your computer, you might not be able to tell the difference. Well, the Bolero on the left is a little warmer than the Maple Leaf. Then check out the experts’ suggestions for “Marsala Color Pairings.” And contact me to help you make, as Tevya from “Fiddler on the Roof” might say, “a good match.”

Have a happy – and colorful – 2015!
Ken and Carla