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Colors that soothe a savage world

With a possible war with Iraq, an unsteady economy, continuing layoffs and other concerns in their lives, people will be searching for simpler, comfortable colors to soothe their interiors come spring 2004. In HTT's annual look at the colors for the season, forecasters said consumers will want colors that are harmonic and easy to live with next year, making their homes a retreat from the world.

The resulting hues have their roots in several themes, some several years old. Inspired by sand and surf elements, or flowers and leaves, nature is a primary influence. The rustic images of a roaring fireplace and fresh air will also evoke more traditional colors. Historical references to more elegant eras will satisfy a yearning for simpler times long ago. More opulent materials create a glamorous lifestyle. Bright colors remain in the picture, though they are toned down. Loud, over-saturated colors will be uninvited.

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