The fusion of opposites has been predicted to be a key consumer lifestyle trend in 2002 and 2003, according to Perclers Paris, one of the world's leading styling agencies.
This year's forecast was commissioned by DuPont of France, which manufactures the solid-surface material called Corian.
''Perclers predicts that we will see the blending of seemingly opposing forces in interior design,'' says a DuPont spokesman.
He continues: ''Contrasts such as technology and nature, night and light and contemporary and retro are all represented in the four trends for 2002 to 2003.
''The first trend - neo nature, is represented in the following Corian colours: Tarragon, Caribbean, Grey Fieldstone, Tumbled Glass, Linen, Emerald, Bronze Patina, Moss, Prairie and Olive, reflecting the way we are combining technology with nature.
''As advanced materials now allow us to create irregular, polymorphic shapes, we have a desire for futuristic, fantastic forms that, paradoxically, echo the natural world of flora and fauna.
''Design is celebrating the quirks and contrasts of nature, giving us interiors that are spirited yet serene, minimalist yet comforting. In colour, we are returning to a love of greens and earthy tones.
''In a book, play or film, nothing is more evocative than a night scene, ripe with intriguing contradictions. Our love of these contradictions sums up the night light trend. Nocturnal tones are dramatised with theatrical flashes of light that reshape reality. Crimsons, plums and matte solid blacks are illuminated with sensual flashes of bronze, gold and platinum patinas. Like a touch of make-up, the effect is understated, yet undeniably alluring.
''Colours of Corian reflecting this trend are: Ruby, Pompeii Red, Shale, Primrose, Tea Rose, Blackberry Ice, Anthracite, Shadow, Blizzard, and Natural Pearl.
''Fluid motion, the third trend expected by Perclers, reflects the fusing of contemporary and retro styles. Angles become soft curves. Geometric becomes biomorphic. Static becomes mobile.
''The nouveau-retro colours are Atlantis, Nocturne, Glacier White, Turkish Blue, Dune, Adobe, Macadam, Gravel, Vanilla, Beach Glass, and Tumbled Glass. Ochre Blacks and whites are softened with new basic tones that echo the past: caramel-baked red, beige and light blue
''Joy, the last colour theme, is all about refreshing the spirit: grabbing as much fun and pleasure as we can, in every way we can. Colours are emotional, expressive and playfully energetic. Colour-enriched whites are illuminated with luscious flashes of mauve, orange and yellow. These simple pleasures are just what we need - a breath of fresh air. The Corian colours reflecting this trend are: Glacier White, Vanilla, Festival, Tea Rose, Tarragon, Lilac, Beach Glass, Aqua, Winter Frost, Antarctica, Sun and Mandarin.''
The commissioning and development of these colour trends is part of an on-going commitment by DuPont Corian to offer a wide range of creative, relevant colours in tune with the needs and lifestyles of its customers.
Last year, the company worked closely with design authority Sottsass Associati to present a reorganised 'Colours of Corian' palette, answering the exact needs of consumers, designers and architects.
Building on this work, DuPont Corian has recently introduced 11 new colours, bringing the total palette offering to over 90 hues.
Established in the 1970s, Perclers provides companies with marketing support, designing strategies and advice on product launches.
The company has grown to include 65 artists working on design and style.
Perclers' presence in over 20 countries has been enhanced through a strategic alliance with Fitch Worldwide, a leading US-based style agency.
Corian, invented by DuPont in the mid-1960s, is used in residential, commercial, furniture and speciality applications.
The non-porous solid surface material is stain-resistant, easy to clean, durable and renewable, according to the manufacturer. Scratches are easily removed without marring the beauty and uniformity of colour, it adds.