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Design Options bets on brights

Fran Sude, president, Design Options, began forecasting colors for the home several years ago, though she's found that the palettes for apparel and the home come closer and closer. "If someone likes purple, they want to live with it as well as wear it."

For spring/summer 2003, Sude sees several color trends emerging, with corresponding textures or fabrics. First, soft neutrals serve as the basis for her L'Amour palette, which include such colors as trellis white, soft petal, dew drop ivory, bouquet cream and straw basket. Romantic touches will include filmy gauze, georgette, lace and embroidery. "Neutrals will continue in a big way," she said. "They can serve as a base for any trend."

On the opposite side is Exotica, a collection of brights, which she felt is important when the economy is as uncertain as it is now. "People need to feel better, and they may buy a bright pillow or something to cheer them up." These shades seem to come from distant lands, including such colors as escapade orange, adventure yellow, explorer blue, caravan green and Shangri-La pink. Textures will include Indian silks, and adornments will include bold plumes, sequins, beads and tassels.

Tropical Punch is Sude's palette of blues and greens, which include marina, sea foam green, reef turquoise, palm frond and surf aqua. Materials for this group include raffia, straw and mosquito netting. "I've never heard anyone say they hate the color blue," she said.

The Soft Touch collection of soft pastels has emerged as a strong story, not always the case for soft colors, she said. The colors are reminiscent of homemade cooking and Grandma's house, like buttercream, sugar cookie silver, blue taffy, pink icing and fresh lemonade. Matching fabrics include seersucker, mattress-ticking stripes and patchwork prints.

Colors that will continue to remain strong are blues and pinks.

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