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Colors will be kaleidoscopic in the near future.

Here are some guidelines and tips from two leading authorities:

June 21, 1997

Melanie Wood, president of the Color Marketing Group:

Green has peaked in all its shades. It's still a great environment color. It won't go out, but it will settle down and become a neutral. Blue is back. Red will come on stronger. White's rising and no more plain black. Look for black purple, black red, black iris.

* Fashion: Stay in midtone palette, nothing too strong. If you have to buy neon, buy it in something expendable like a scarf. And relax. You can't buy the wrong color because it won't be in the stores.

* Cars: You'll be very safe with blue, especially soft blues. Red is always good in a sports car. Deep green has seen its day.

* Interiors: We'll see tinted neutrals. Walls bathed in shades of butter, soft sage, peach, rather than white. Save strong colors for the pillows.

Margaret Walch, associate director for the Color Assn. of the United States:

* White is coming on strong. The popularity of black in the '80s is a good argument for the increasing presence of white in our future. We'll see lots of tonal blues: sky, aqua, lavender, periwinkle. Indoors, look for red undertones in all but primary red: apricot, corral, pale pink, fuchsia.

* Fashion: Don't buy any more black or any too obvious colors. Shift toward a cooler palette. Buy midtone to light colors. If you want to stand out, wear white. Substitute charcoal gray or navy for black. By 2000 we'll see a move from tonalism to more multicolored combinations.

* Cars: The shift is toward light exteriors and interiors, especially white, dove, ecru, silver. The other extreme is also good, black and its variants, like black cherry. I personally would go for a changing color that looks different in different lights.

* Interior: Go for what's relevant in your lifestyle. In my case I'm on to minimal cement that I can hose down.

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