Now is the time of year when many of us start to think about redecorating, but the thought of having to get the colour swatches out and come up with a brand new design scheme can be daunting.
However, if you're a follower of interior design and fashion news, then you might be aware that a US-based company called Pantone releases a 'colour of the year' every 12 months - and you can use this as a starting point for your planning.
For 2015, the robust and earthy wine red shade Marsala took the reins from last year's Radiant Orchid - and it's fair to say that it's much more versatile and universally appealing that its predecessor. Indeed, Marsala can look great in any room of the house as either an accent colour or a focal point.
A little colour psychology
Red is renowned for its energising, exciting effect on our minds, so this is the ideal colour to go for if you want to feel motivated and positive. But the fact that Marsala is on the more orangey side of the spectrum prevents it from feeling overwhelming; thanks to its reflections of natural hues it's a more grounded shade that will allow you to relax and feel warmth too.
The reduced boldness should also mean that you find it easier to decorate with than a true scarlet, which many people are often put off by.
Marsala in the living or dining room
This colour truly comes into its own in spaces where you spend time relaxing. If you want a really striking, classic look, don't be afraid to use it on all four walls alongside glossy white skirting boards. Alternatively, Marsala makes a sumptuous feature wall alongside taupes, greys and umbers, or even opposites such as turquoise, blue and teal.
Mahogany or cherry wood is also very Marsala-like, so furniture in these materials will complement your new colour scheme perfectly. You should also find that textiles in Marsala shades will appear really luxurious, so a leather or fabric sofa in this hue is ideal - and won't date.
Applying Marsala in the bathroom
Rich reds often have a Victorian feel and this is something you can capitalise on in the bathroom by going for classic fixtures and fittings including free-standing baths and even small-scale chandeliers.
Pure white porcelain and shiny chrome fittings are the best finishing touches, as they will make the Marsala look even more striking and elegant. To pick out the colour even further, why not place one of our Oatmeal and Spice soap bars at the side of the sink?
Rich Marsala in the bedroom
Since Marsala is such a sensual hue, it's also ideal for a master bedroom. However, you might want to team it with a neutral colour in here to prevent it from over-stimulating you. Three neutral walls and the one at the head of the bed in Marsala might be good to try, as it draws the eye in without becoming overpowering.
To 'glam up' the look, try accent pieces like bedside tables and chairs in black, white and metallic, which you can then place more Marsala on in the form of linens and throws to bring the whole thing together.
As a finishing touch, you could add one of our Sandalwood & Oud Reed Diffusers - with their rich and exotic fragrance, we think this is what Marsala would smell like if it were a colour!
We hope that this brief set of suggestions has helped to spark off some ideas for how you can incorporate Marsala into any part of your home - good luck with the redecorating project!