Three themes, or shades, for 2015

Pantone announced Marsala, a robust and earthy wine red hue, as its 2015 Color of the Year. Sherwin-Williams selected Coral Reef, a mix of pink, orange and red that channels floral components for an airy, springtime feel.

However, in addition to the paint company's choices, design experts say there are three hot color themes for 2015: Renaissance, pastel and bright retro.

Not just a single color, these color palettes are worth considering, too, whether it's for paint, fabric or furnishings.

Warmer and muddier colors, like you would see in an old Renaissance painting, include olive green, rust, plum and beiges. These complement Marsala as good accent colors, says Texas-based designer Leslie Hendrix Wood, owner of Leslie Hendrix Wood Interiors and her blog

For a Renaissance color, she suggests Behr's Your Majesty, which pairs well with Behr's Essential Teal.

Designers and style spotters also have been watching blues, ranging from coastal blue to navy and even blue-black tones, says Kerrie Kelly, author, interior designer and owner of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in northern California.

Navy doesn't just work on the walls. It's being used in countertops and cabinetry, she says. It can stand alone to create an air of sophistication or drama or blend with brighter hues, metals and fabrics.

“Navy blue is a hot one for us, especially when it's paired with Marsala or Coral Reef,” she says. “Navy blue is such a classic, it really feathers into any interior.”

Designers also are seeing a lot of gray and more black. But Kelly likes navy so well she predicts it will be the color of the decade.

“There's kind of an evolving — moving toward black,” she says. “Navy blue can transition us there.”

Kelly also predicts tones of blue azure and coastal blue will be hot. Think saturated, beach-y colors — the deep blue sky on a clear day or the jewel-toned waters of the Caribbean. She also recommends olive green, pink peony or coral.

“We're looking for a little light and a little playfulness in our palettes,” she says.

Besides renewed consumer confidence, architect and designer Rose Dostal of RMD Designs LLC attributes the brighter colors to an aging population and believes they will stay around.

Dostal also saw a lot of blues at the Las Vegas Market and says orange is another color that keeps coming back.

“Our eyes have to deal with all these issues; we need cognitive stimulation,” she says. “I'm one of the baby boomers and I tend to gravitate toward brighter colors or high contrast like black and white.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there are cooler tones, very soft pastels that are barely there. Pale and luminous, these are calming and quiet colors that take inspiration from spring and natural-healing botanicals.

Wood likes Benjamin Moore's Pink Blush, which goes well with cool colors like Sherwin-Williams Moody Blue and White Hyacinth.

Finally, bright, bold colors reflective of retro 1960s shades and saturated pastels will come on the scene.

For a fun and funky look, Wood likes Sherwin-Williams' bold Nifty Turquoise with Behr's Graphic Grape and Super Hero.

“You can bring in pops of color in pillows for your patio, or in a game room. You could put one bold accent color on a wall,” she says. “In each the three categories, use one of those colors as your starting point. It's easier to select your fabrics and furnishings and then pick your paint last.”

For those with more conservative tastes, Kelly recommends adding color with simple accessories or painting a side table first.

“See how you truly feel about it and add on layers as you get more comfortable with the look and with the tones,” she says. “Don't be afraid of testing it out and switching up your decorating; it provides a fresh start for the New Year and some infusion into your interior.”

Olive green, rust and plum complement both Marsala and Coral Reef, which recently were names 2015 colors of the year.
Nearly every shade of blue is in style this year, from the darker Essential Teal to the lighter Crystal Clear..
Sherwin-Williams chose Coral Reef, a mix of pink and orange, as its Color of the Year. Here this color is used next to a yellow kitchen with olive cabinetry.
Marsala, a maroonish red color, blends well with other bold colors common in paintings of the Renaissance, like Navy Blue.
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