Fashionistas will this year favour an eco-friendly perspective and the use of natural colours, writes Zenoyise Madikwa

Yesterday was the first day of the new year. And that means there will be new decor trends. This year "green" seems to be the way to go.

Yesterday was the first day of the new year. And that means there will be new decor trends. This year "green" seems to be the way to go.

One of South Africa's top fashionistas Felepe Mazibuko, says fashion runways have long been the inspirational source for home furnishing and decorating colour choices.

"Runway and ramp hues and trends influence home and office decors. A lot of interior designers get their ideas from fashion runways," he says.

Mazibuko says eco- friendly design, products and implementation will focus on organic, natural, recycled and re-used products.

"This year looking stylish means looking natural and eco-friendly. Textile technologists and fashion buyers will focus more on designs inspired by environmentalism because of the increased global pressure for environment-friendly products."

He says metallics will continue to show up in many ramps this year though they will be warmer.

"This means we will see more metallics in our home decor. We will see more shades like copper and bronzy tones."

Textile technologist Andile Snam agrees with Mazibuko.

"As pressure groups are increasingly putting more emphases on eco-friendly products, trend-setters are increasingly buying into the idea.

"In the past eco-friendly or green design was seen as ugly and boring. That isn't the case anymore. Fashionistas have interpreted eco-friendliness in a new way proving that earth- friendly decor can also be elegant, beautiful and exciting."

Snam says the growth in greener living has also inspired colours and patterns in wallpaper and fabrics. Designers and trend-setters are now focused on "green" no matter what colours they favour.

"Materials will look hand-made, undyed and unbleached. The trend will be to bring nature indoors with botanical and neutral colors, along with Asian-inspired looks. Products will exhibit their natural imperfections proudly.

"Nature colours like off-whites, sandy colours, rock and soil colours and brownish-greens are seriously fashionable now," he says.

Snam says that dark blue will remain a prominent decor colour from bathroom to bedroom to the kitchen.

Reds and glowing oranges, rosy pinks, sunny golden yellows and lots of turquoise, often paired with rich browns as neutrals will continue showing up in fashion and decor.

"We shouldn't leave out black and white embellished with animal print textures to add a more contemporary look," Snam says.

"Animal prints are still a great way to spruce up an old look while black and white prints can add a modern twist to any room."

Lighting specialist Ken Naidoo says crystal and silver lighting fixtures are a top trend this year.

"A lot of of lamps and chandeliers will be decked out in crystals. Crystal lighting can create a feeling of opulence," he says.

Naidoo says lamps and decorative accessories will be oversized.

Handcrafted designs from Morocco, Japan and Asia will dominate this year while a few ornate accent pieces can be added for a distinguished look.

Leather with a feminine touch is in according to trend website

"This year expect to see the softer side of leather, furniture on a smaller scale, earthy golden warm tones such as caramel, cappuccino, cocoa and cinnamon as well as what are considered traditional feminine colours ranging from pastel pinks to robin egg- blue with contrasting accent colours of dark chocolate," the website reads.