The Smurfs,|which will have a sequel, has prolonged the use of the colour blue in childrens products, and has been used in many a nursery.

International colour expert Leatrice Eiseman was in South Africa recently to share her in-depth forecast of 2013’s colour trends.

Durban - Fortune Magazine featured her as one of their top decision-makers for her work in colour and forecasting, she’s written more than eight books on the subject and travels the world gathering information on the matter.

Listening to Leatrice Eiseman speak about the world, the many influences politics, fashion and the economy, among other things, have on the way we feel and, resultantly, how we live is enthralling.

She has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in design, and also across industries, and the foresight to see where it will take us.

Eiseman begins her talk, dubbed Fantasies And Realities, with a picture of Lady Gaga on the cover of Vanity Fair. She goes on to talk about the “whackadoodle”, or whacky, chair made in the shape of a face at the Maison & Objet, the annual winter design show in Paris. “There is a sense of humour, of irreverence.”

She explains how the traditional must remain, to suit people’s comfort levels, but also how it is adapted – a tufted leather chair, for example, in a modern pairing with a tufted leather door.

“Retro is not going anywhere either. To many people it represents the good old days, even if they weren’t so good. Retro remains big in home furnishing and appliances, but with all the perks of modern technology.”

Eiseman says you can also keep an eye out for new old-school looks, the return of the cowboy, and motifs such as wolves and horses.

“It is not just about fine art, but pop art animation,” she says. “Here, there are no rules when it comes to colour combinations.”

Film is another strong influence, with offers like The Artist playing a role in bringing back trends such as art deco. Coming films such as The Great Gatsby will also have an influence, she says, adding that The Smurfs, which will have a sequel, has prolonged the use of the colour blue in children’s products, and has been used in many a nursery.

The beauty industry has caught on to the appeal of these amazing colours by mimicking the high gloss finishes in nail polish, which is outselling lipstick for the first time. Cars too are being coveted in these finishes and colours, which Eiseman says could well find its way into the home – imagine your kitchen in Ferrari red!

For more information visit her website at .

Here is her edited forecast: all the colours referenced are included in the Pantone Fashion and Home Colour System. While you may not be able to locate the actual colour locally, the names are so descriptive that you will get the idea of the shade she has in mind. We suggest you use the forecast as a guide rather than a prescriptive offering:


This palette takes a fresh approach to celebrating the finer things in life, displaying a sense of history and elegance in a choice of colours that is both sophisticated and refined, yet not without a touch of understated drama.

Colours are a combination of monochromatic violets and orchids, liquid pink nectar, deep mahogany, white alyssum and beechnut green, all reflected against champagne beige and silver.


Sleek and sensuous, this palette is very much reminiscent of the art-deco era interpreted with contemporary influences. There is something very personalised and unique in the beguiling styling that involves both confidence and flair.

Colours reflect the mood of a bygone era: Rio red and Monaco blue, deep tap shoe black, chinchilla, ethereal grey moon mist and jasper teal.

New Old School

This palette emphatically connects heritage and history with a twist of somewhat preppy collegiate. It celebrates the hues found typically in iconic flags and banners. There is ribbon red, bright white and sodalite blue, while nautical blue salutes breen and ultramarine green. Gargoyle and microchip greys draw a visible link to the contrast between the old world and new.

Rugged Individuals

Ranging from the outback to the ole of the gaucho, cowboy and cowgirl styles ride firmly into interiors. These are the rugged individuals who inspire the natural shadings of the prairie and polished leather, weathered wood and animal hide while the earthiness of raw sienna tones blend with the inevitable classics of both vintage indigo and stonewash blue jeans.


Taking orangey and spice tones to a new level, “extracts” employs flavourful notes of colour along with suggestions of appealing scents to create combinations that are zestful, pleasing, piquant and often unexpected. There is a subtle taste implied in the palette that evokes a somewhat exotic top note in spiced coral, brandied melon and apple cinnamon. The quiet presence of dusty pink and baked clay are refreshingly balanced by a tart green banana.


This leads us down a path to vibrant tribal colours. These are steps that are not taken lightly, but instead are bold, forthright and very directional. Following the seductive rhythms of tangerine tango are peacock blue, a fiery pink flambé and a solar powered yellow. A verdant yellow-green called oasis provides respite from the heat of Sudan brown.


Magical and intricate, reflecting in a compelling mixture of a heady syrah wine hue, the purpled intensities of a blackish plum, the rosy glow of foxglove and baton rouge fuchsia against pampas and the green winter moss.

Surface treatments

This is a highly textural palette that adeptly utilises smooth and nubby; polar opposites in a tactile world. It likewise embraces the liquid colours of the ocean, sea and air such as Maui blue, vapour blue and a more tempestuous tornado grey along with the land-locked colours of rock, birch and vegetal agave green. Medal bronze adds yet another dimension.

Out of the Ordinary

Quirky, odd, whimsical and even a bit obtuse, out of the ordinary products or displays immediately capture the imagination of the beholder. Most frequently, it is the colour or the colour combinations that capture instant attention and awareness. Colours like bonnie blue, pureed pumpkin and chocolate truffle are deliberately enticing, while amber green and linden green, golden rod, bright violet and rosebud round out the creative array. - The Mercury