Thursday, April 30, 2009

Color By Design - Checklist of Color Steps and Common Problems

Welcome to the seventh of a series of short articles about color: Learning about color, choosing colors, living with color, and color around the world. This month: A Checklist of Basic color steps and Dealing with Common Color Problems. This is a great reminder of pulling a scheme together, and a real quick summarization of previous articles.

A Check List of Basic Color Steps

* Physical
* Orientation and extent of windows or other daylight source
* Type and location of artificial light used
* Hours that the space will be used and for what purposes
* Atmospheric
* Mood - calm, restful, stimulating, dignified, playful, other…
* Your personal color preferences.
* Geographical
* Climate
* Regional preferences in color usage


* Choose among warm, cool, or neutral
* Select the color scheme (based on the color wheel - analogous, complementary, etc.)
* Decide on the dominant hue or hues to be used.
* Gather color samples, photos of existing interiors, or other color materials (textiles, tile, wood, etc.)


* Floors
* Ceilings
* Walls


* Existing furniture that will remain in the space
* Material of a known color: brick, stone, natural wood, etc.


* Large items of furniture
* Window treatments, such as curtains, draperies, shades or blinds.
* Floor treatments, such as area rugs


* Strong values of an already selected color or of a contrasting color – art and accessories
* Materials of a special nature that will impact the total scheme: metallics, tinted glass, mirrors, etc.

Dealing with Common Color Problems

Problem - Color choices appear random.
Solution - Relate color to a carefully thought out plan – develop an overall scheme and stick to it!

Problem - Colors are too many or too varied.
Solution - Use restraint in the number of colors, particularly the number of strong colors.

Problem - Color in the large areas (floors / ceiling / walls) is too intense.
Solution – Select a softer hue and confine the intense colors to small areas and to areas used only briefly.

Problem - Color in a large room / space has too much contrast.
Solution - Let one color only dominate, not both; restrict one of the two contrasting colors to a smaller area.

Problem - Color is drab and monotonous.
Solution - Use strong color accents to liven up the restrained scheme – in your art and accessories.


Cynthia Peacock is a professional Interior Designer (member of the American Society of Interior designers, ASID) and Principal of her own design firm, PEACOCK-Interior Design, LLC. Cynthia has worked on a wide variety of outstanding projects (residences, offices, hotels, ships) in her 16 year career as an Interior Designer, and finds that color is the constant challenge, joy, and reward. If you are color-challenged, and need gentle guidance, Cynthia may be contacted

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Women Build House Starts May 7th

Help Build the 2009 Women Build House

Construction on the 2009 Women Build starts on Thursday, May 7th and will continue through the middle of September. Volunteers are needed to help on weekdays during May and June volunteer opportunities will be posted in the upcoming weeks. To sign up for volunteer opportunities please visit Habitat's Online Registration System.

Meet the 2009 Women Build Family

Rodolfo Reyes and his daughter currently live in his mother’s house in Denver with his siblings. Rodolfo works at Metco Landscape Inc. and is a Colorado native. He has always aspired to purchase his own home in Denver and today his dream has come true. Rodolfo’s Habitat home will be only two doors down from his sister’s home. Rodolfo is extremely grateful to Habitat for helping him achieve the dream of home ownership and adds, “I am proud to be able to work on my home and I thank God for this blessing.”

Evaporative (Swamp) Cooler Rebates from Xcel

This post was copied directly from the Xcel Energy Website

Evaporative Cooling

With up to $500 cash back, Evaporative Cooling Rebates from Xcel Energy help make purchasing a high-efficiency evaporative cooler (a.k.a. swamp cooler) more affordable! You’ll increase your home’s energy efficiency and stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

Rebates available

Option 1
ISR Air FlowRating = 2,500 CFM
Rebate Up to $200*
* Purchase and install a qualified Evaporative Cooling unit from our $200 rebate list with a minimum airflow of 2,500 CFM to receive a rebate of $200 or the purchase price of the evaporative cooling unit, whichever is less.

Option 2
Media Saturation Effectiveness > 85%
Rebate $500**
**Purchase and install a qualified Evaporative Cooling unit from our $500 rebate list with a media saturation effectiveness of 85% or higher, with remote thermostat control and periodic purge water control to receive a rebate of $500.
List of qualifying Evaporative Cooling units.

Program Requirements
Purchase a qualifying unit from a participating evaporative cooling retailer between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009***. We will only rebate according to the current approved list. Please be sure to check our qualifying unit lists prior to submitting your rebate to ensure your Evaporative Cooling rebate eligibility.

You may download an application or call 1-800-895-4999 to request rebate form #1524. Either way, please be sure to keep a copy for your records. Limit one rebate per household. You must purchase and install your evaporative cooling unit prior to submitting the rebate application. Look for your rebate check approximately six to eight weeks after we receive your completed application.

*** Customers are not required to purchase a qualifying unit from a participating evaporative cooling retailer or dealer to be eligible for a rebate. However, participating dealers are familiar with program requirements and typically have rebate applications available.
Please note: Rebates are not offered for ancillary equipment such as hoses, drain pans, etc. Xcel Energy reserves the right to end this program or withdraw this rebate offer at any time.
Call our Customer Contact Center at 1-800-895-4999

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Simple Curbside Staging Tips

  1. Make sure the front door is inviting. Paint if needed.
  2. Replace outdated light fixtures.
  3. Buy a new welcome mat.
  4. Add a colorful planter(s) with seasonal blooms and add a seating area with colorful accents that coordinate with the home.
  5. Buy new house numbers that buyers can see from the curb.
  6. Define front flower beds with mulch and or plantings to freshen and define areas.
  7. Power wash roof, siding, windows & walkways.
  8. Remove lawn ornaments & toys.
  9. Wash, stain or paint porch/patio. Fix cracks.
  10. Seed bare grass spots, fertilize and aerate to enhance the health of your lawn.

Jenny Kipp is the founder of CHARM . She brings a prolific background to the table with a BFA concentration in textiles, paper and glass blowing which later funneled into a career as a professional artist. We can't forget to mention she also owned a studio conserving historical works of fine art for nearly a decade. Kipp keeps in stride with her passions, currently undergoing an Interior Design program to add to CHARM's level of services and fulfill her goals of renovating homes with modern touches. Call Jenny today at 303.485.9323

Mention Workshop for Women and receive 10% off any one service!

Your toilet is NOT a trash can

When it comes to home maintenance often it's a bad habit that causes problems as opposed to parts, products or systems that just stop working. In both my plumbing class and my home maintenance class I stress the point that you should never use your toilet as a trash can. Just because the packaging says it's 'flushable' doesn't mean it won't clog your drains.

Do NOT put hair, q-tips, dental floss, cleaning wipes, feminine products or anything other than toilet paper into your toilet.

Here is an article about the problems that dental floss being flushed down toilets caused for the city of Toronto. I can't make this stuff up.

Toronto Star Article

Monday, April 20, 2009

Women Build - Honor A Woman

Are you looking for a thoughtful, unique Mother's Day gift?

How about honoring the important women in your life by donating to the Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Women Build program.

Each year dedicated women from around the Metro Denver area join to build a home for a hard-working family in need.

This years Women Build house starts on May 7 th.

Click here to donate and have your Honor a Woman card arrive in time for Mother's day. Which is May 10 th :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Colorado Spring Storms - a bonus for home maintenance!

It might seem counter-intuitive that bad weather is good for home maintenance but it provides a wonderful opportunity to check out the most important parts of a home to be sure they are in tip top shape. I’m referring to roof, gutters and downspouts.

Weather like Colorado has had in the past couple of days, wet, heavy snow is ideal for doing an inspection of roof, gutters and downspouts. Once the snow starts to melt follow these simple steps to gain peace of mind or the information needed stop a small problem from turning into a big one.

Inspect the roof from the inside
What’s needed: Step ladder, Flashlight, Digital Camera

1. Look into the attic. Closely inspect around vents, pipes and chimneys – anything that protrudes through the roof. If there are any signs of moisture it means there is a leak. Signs of moisture are: material (wood, insulation, etc.) which is damp to the touch; rust marks on metal vent pipes; staining on wood or insulation.

2. Take pictures of everything, whether there is an indication of moisture or not. This will provide a photographic record to track and monitor any future changes.
If evidence of moisture exists plan to either get up on the roof or to contact a qualified roofing contractor to make the necessary repairs.

Inspect your gutters and downspouts.
What’s needed: Digital Camera, Binoculars

1. When the snow starts to melt take the time to walk around the house and look for any signs of problems.

2. Inspect the gutters – gutters are intended to gather the water running off of the roof and direct it to the downspouts.

Look for any leaks, focusing on seams, corners and transitions.

Look for any water running over the front edge, which may indicate a couple things: If the gutters are clogged with debris it will prevent the water from reaching the downspouts and it’s time to clean them: If the gutters were improperly installed or are damaged the water can pool in low spots and spill over the edge. All gutters should be installed to slope towards the downspouts.

Look for any water dripping behind the gutters, which can mean several things; a problem with the flashing (the transition between a roof and the gutters): A problem with the brackets that attach the gutters to the house. Damaged brackets allow the gutters to pull away from the roof and the flashing; other damage to the gutters such as holes or cracks that may not be visible from the ground.

3. Inspect the downspouts - downspouts are intended to direct the water, running through the gutters, off of the roof and away from the foundation.

Look for any damage such as holes, cracks or sections that have become disengaged. These should be repaired.

Look for damaged extensions. Crushed, broken or disengaged.

It is recommended that the downspouts extend 4 to 6 feet away from the house but if the landscaping is negative (sloped towards the house) they may need to be extended even further.

Check underground drainage pipes. Check that the downspouts are directing the water into the pipes and that the water is not backing up because of clogs.

4. Take pictures of any perceived problems to provide visual reminders for yourself or your contractor to make the necessary repairs.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Toxic Chinese Drywall Update

An article on the topic of the 'toxic' chinese drywall was in the Denver Post today so I thought I'd put in an update. Link to article

See the statement below regarding letters written by the Governor of Florida.

April 3, 2009
Governor Charlie Crist today sent the attached letters to Congressman Robert Wexler and to the United States Environmental Protection Agency concerning testing strategies in homes experiencing severe copper corrosion. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call Governor Crist’s press office at (850) 488-5394.
Letter to Congressman Robert Wexler
Letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Here are some quick links for additional reasearch
Florida Department of Health
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commision

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Color Applications

Color by Design

Tips and Tidbits – Color Applications

Welcome to the sixth of a series of short articles about color: Learning about color, choosing colors, living with color, and color around the world. This month: Tips and Tidbits of color application in interiors.

GENERALITIES The most important success for color depends on a plan…! (and know some basic good “rules”)

Develop a color scheme & then stick to it – throughout the house to create unity within and between spaces)
One place to start…your likes / dislikes
Another place to start…Your existing colors (have you looked in your closet lately?)
OR…schemes are often based on colors in fabric / wallpaper / rugs / art work – use them as inspirations
Avoid neutrals to be “safe”
Do not think everything has to match
Too many colors in a small space can cause confusion – have ONE dominant hue & 2-3 subordinate hues or neutrals
Choose backgrounds first (walls / ceiling / floors…) then furnishings…then accessories
One or at most two hues should be used in the largest areas (walls / ceiling / floors) – should be least noticeable
Using unusual colors in “permanent” materials (ceramics / laminates / etc) = costly to replace / have less flexibility.
Neutrals enhance & strengthen the other colors around them
Large areas look best when covered with low intensity hues
Large areas of space tend to enhance the intensity of a color
To make your whole house seem larger / spacious…use only 2-3 light hues with varying shades throughout
Stick to your chosen color plan – shop for and assemble all colors / materials before you do anything…
Paint problem architectural features the same color as the walls –they will “blend in” and not stand out…
Same with furniture – choose upholstery fabric the same or a closely related color as the walls
To change the apparent shape of a room – paint one or two walls a different color
Never use contrasting colors or patterns on different walls in a room – unless you want to change its “shape”
Light colors will seem to push out a wall or add height – light colors recede away from you
Dark colors will pull in a wall or appear to lower a ceiling – dark colors advance towards you
Always study your scheme in the artificial light (and daylight) that will be used in the actual space
Artificial light softens colors – the color may be too harsh in full daylight
Incandescent lighting normally adds a warm glow to colors
Fluorescent lighting changes the hue of colors in a variety of ways – depending on the color type of lamp used
Exposure of sunlight in a room affects the color
Rooms that face North or East or little sun could feel warmer with shades / tints of reds & oranges
Rooms that face South or West and receive a lot of sun could appear cooler with shades / tints of blues / greens
As a generality, humans feel the most comfortable around firelight (warm tones of yellows / oranges)
When pale yellows / yellow-oranges and shades of orange (peach) are grayed = unified backgrounds
Textural patterns are good to use to conceal imperfections but tend to minimize the space – don’t use bright or dark
Surfaces with rough textures make colors appear darker than surfaces with flat or smooth textures
If ceilings are high….paint them the same color as the walls
Keep in mind that ceilings always reflect light darker than the walls or floors
EXTROVERTS like colorful surroundings – brighter and warmer hues. They will be bored in “quiet” colors
INTROVERTS manage best in surroundings with a lower degree of stimulation – cooler and more subdued colors

Dark colors may be used in some situations:
To absorb glare and hot light
To create mood
To make a huge space seem smaller and more intimate
To fill an empty space
Dark colors absorb light and make a room appear smaller.
Dark colors show irregularities on a surface and minimize space

The cheapest way to do the most good is with…a can of paint:
Old furniture can be rejuvenated
Lower electric bills by using…
Lighter colors for greater light reflection
Warmer colors will make you feel more comfortable at lower temperatures
Neutrals allow for more flexibility & change

Color Applications by areas

Consider the relationships between rooms - Open plans require unification of color palettes or well-planned contrasts.
Warm Schemes - generally associated with comfort & “home” / Cool Schemes - use carefully by adding warm accents

Public Spaces (Entry or Foyer / Living Rooms / Dining Rooms / Kitchens / Family Rooms / Entertainment Areas)
Successful use of slightly warm to neutral with stronger accent tones limited to small areas
Limit use of intense color schemes (these areas are used by many people at a time, for longer periods) Subtlety is recommended.
Pale tones: yellows (beige, cream, tan) w/ some contrast but not extensively bright accents
Consider activities taking place: games or exercising may indicate a need for cooler tones

Sleeping Spaces - If treated as an extension of a public space, use color as indicated above in Public Spaces.
Option: Treat space with slightly more intense color
Color is usually seen during waking hours – when intense color less likely to be a source of irritation.
However – avoid intense color on large areas (walls, ceiling) to avoid possible adverse effects.
Flexibility of change: color used in bedding can be changed with the seasons etc. This is a lot easier than changing major elements of color.

Children’s Rooms
Infants respond favorably to bright colors: consider toys and small areas for intense color
Children have color preferences just like adults. Consider including them in the color decisions of their environments.

Kitchens - May be occupied for less time so color may be used more generously
Counters: Consider ease of seeing food and/or equipment (lighter tones)
Cabinets and Flooring: Warm wood tones are generally liked. Consider adding more color to these areas.

White is commonly used (associated with cleanliness and sanitation)
Add color for user comfort:
Strong Colors: Consider the impact colors may have on skin tones.
Neutral environment with accent colors introduced for interest are effective.

Work / Office Areas
Cooler colors: promote calm meditative thought
Warmer colors: typically associated with “Library” and are often more “masculine.”
Consider both: warm scheme with accents of cooler tones


Future topics of interest …
Making color choices
Color and Art
Color around the world

Cynthia Peacock is a professional Interior Designer (member of the American Society of Interior designers, ASID) and Principal of her own design firm, PEACOCK Interior Design, LLC. Cynthia has worked on a wide variety of outstanding projects (residences, offices, hotels, ships) in her 16 year career as an Interior Designer, and finds that color is the constant challenge, joy, and reward. If you are color-challenged, and need gentle guidance, Cynthia may be contacted

Color Symbolism, Associations, Therapy

Color by Design

COLOR Symbolism / Associations / Therapy

Welcome to the fifth of a series of short articles about color: Learning about color, choosing colors, living with color, and color around the world. This month: The meanings of individual hues.

Color Symbolism - These are some of the historical meanings of colors around the world:

Sacred to the ancient Chinese / Egyptians / Greeks – only certain people could wear yellow – a sign of power
Traditionally – stands for fun & wisdom
Associated with cheerfulness / even spirit / happiness / brightness
Less tense than reds / oranges
Yellow tints (creams / beiges) are “safe” / easy colors to use – no negative implications
A very easy color to use & incorporate into many color schemes
Too much can be boring…

Historically symbolic because of its boldness & attention-getting nature
Symbolically associated with countries / political movements – China / Russia / Nazi Germany…
The MOST vital / bold color – the pure chroma should be used sparingly & for emphasis
Arouses your senses / stimulates the appetite / attracts attention / increases the heart rate & respiration
Considered hot / dramatic / stimulating – also associated with tension / danger
Red has a large range of tints / shades = pinks to burgundies
Orange is considered more of an earth tone color – sharing many of the same attributes of red but in a much milder form
Orange also has a large range of tints / shades = copper / peach / salmon / terra cotta…

Traditionally has stood for hope / truth / honor
Considered a restful color – soothing / repose / dignity
Overuse can cause gloom / depression “to have the blues…”

Very ancient color – symbol of royalty (very costly to produce as a pigment)
Considered dramatic / regal
Associated with spiritualism / mystery / pride / wisdom
It intimates tension & depression
Projects dignity (royal purple)

Associated with life / nature / spring / hope / envy
Overused in the 1930’s = institutional green
Thought of as restful / calming / peaceful / serenity / constructive
A color that can be worked into almost any scheme (plants)…

To the ancient Greeks, symbolized life – “out of night day was born”
Many cultures consider black to be a color of mourning
Very powerful accent color - can be depressing or overwhelming if used too much
Considered strong / sophisticated
Suggests weight / dignity / formality / solemnity

Also considered a sign of mourning in some Eastern cultures
Sign of purity / innocence / faith / peace & surrender / cleanliness / openness / clarity

Black & White technically not colors (no pigment in either one) – they act like a neutral but technically not neutrals…
Black & White can make other colors crisp

Color Associations (Western Societies) – Reflects some of our deepest feelings about colors:

Red: battle, blood, passion, love, excitement, danger, warning, power, courage, sin, vitality (Historically: royalty & triumph)
Red-Orange: spirit, energy, gaiety, impetuousness, strength, boldness, action
Orange: friendliness, pride, ambition, warmth, relaxation, stimulated appetite

Yellow-Orange: happiness, prosperity, hospitality, optimism, openness
Yellow: sunlight, springtime, optimism, cheerfulness, safety, mild stimulation, mental alertness
Yellow-Green: friendship, sparkle, youth, warmth, restlessness, newness

Green: nature, calmness, freshness, friendliness, stability, proceed, health & well-being
Blue-Green: quietness, reserve, smoothness, faithfulness
Blue: truth, honesty, loyalty, integrity, authority, coolness, relaxation, formality, simplicity, encouraged thought and contemplation, openness, spaciousness

Blue-Violet: tranquility, spiritualism, modesty, reflection, somberness, maturity, aloofness, dignity, fatigue
Violet (Purple): contradiction of warm & cool - tension & ambiguity, disturbing, OR subtlety, sensitivity.
Red-Violet: drama, perplexity, enigma, intrigue, remoteness, tension

Brown: related to pure hue they’re associated with but with lower intensity of response – casual, warm & comforting,
natural, earthy (dirt & soil), friendly, humility, tranquil

Black: strength, seriousness, dignity, formality, emptiness, fear, depression, death, mourning, sophistication, gloom, uncertainty, sorrow, mystery
Grey: Variation of white to black & warm to cool: relationship to stronger element
White: purity, simplicity, cleanliness, joy, hope, innocent, spiritual, enlightenment, delicate, forgiveness, love,
emptiness, boredom, symbolic of modernism

IN GENERAL: Cool / Darks / Grey’s = quiet, meditative, introspective - Warm / Light / Bright = outgoing

Chromo therapy (Color Therapy) – How colors can affect and help us when we need a little health assistance:
Color stimulates the pituitary & pineal glands affecting hormone production.
Mental Hospitals - Depression treated by exposure to red & yellow environment.
Hyperactivity treated by exposure to blue & green environment (lower blood pressure)

Blue: relieves pain of ulcers, back problems, rheumatism, inflammatory disorders, high blood pressure
Green: helps nervous disorders, exhaustion, heart problems, cancer, dieting
Violet: suppresses appetite, helps kidney problems & migraines
Red: aids sexual dysfunction, anemia, bladder infections, skin problems, low blood pressure
Pink: soothes anxiety, withdrawal symptoms. Helpful in institutional interiors (hospitals, prisons, rehab centers).
Orange: stimulates appetite, reduces fatigue, improves general weakness, allergies
Yellow: improves memory, increases blood pressure/pulse rate (less than red), helps depression, muscle cramps, hypoglycemia, gallstones
Black: power color, improves self-confidence, and suppresses appetite
White: Visually creates a glare condition. It constricts the pupil of the eye and gives a foggy quality to vision.
In white rooms, brightness contrast with darker colors will fatigue the eye rapidly (too much contrast too quickly) and the eye cannot adjust fast enough – will be disorienting – one can fall, can get headaches

Future topics of interest …
Color Tips of the Trade
Color and Art
Color around the world

Cynthia Peacock is a professional Interior Designer (member of the American Society of Interior designers, ASID) and Principal of her own design firm, PEACOCK Interior Design, LLC. Cynthia has worked on a wide variety of outstanding projects (residences, offices, hotels, ships) in her 16 year career as an Interior Designer, and finds that color is the constant challenge, joy, and reward. If you are color-challenged, and need gentle guidance, Cynthia may be contacted

Color Forecast - Interior Design


Welcome to the fourth of a series of short articles about color: Learning about color, choosing colors, living with color, and color around the world. This month: A new year, new color trends ahead…

Reinventing Color and Style – The major trends:

2008 saw a major emphasis on “Green” (color and design), and this year it continues as we are more thoughtful than ever about what we are buying and the impact our choices will make on the world around us. Eco-awareness is a resounding theme, and the key words are the “re” words: re-cycle / re-use / re-purpose. Simultaneously there is the need to re-lax, re-wind, re-new, and re-furbish! The following palette concepts address the major color and style trends for the home. Of course, no one will re-do everything every year, but if you need a little lift, a change, or a bit of new “life,” these are the directions color will be taking in 2009, as expressed in themes or concepts.

Wine Country
“Wine Country” connotes an easy, casual way of life… think California’s Napa Valley or the magical vineyards of Europe– charming and inviting; a place to enjoy the connections to the earth and the goodness it yields. Rustic in feel, yet refined, the colors are re-imagined pastoral tones of taupe, olive and grapevine greens, lavender grays and sky blues combined with lusty wine reds.

Another subtitle for this group could be “designer boutique meets flea market find” as it revisits shabby chic – but more chic than shabby! Honesty speaks of a very real attempt at recycling by creating treasure out of someone else’s “trash.” Discarded ceramics and glass become artful mosaics and re-used or natural fibers are colored with eco-friendly vegetal and /or plant dyes. Included in the mixes are unbleached whites, tender greens, clouded corals, toasty warm tans and cool gray unexpectedly punctuated by a velvet-red rose.

Discerning Tastes
Here we continue the popular theme of “modernity marries tradition.” While it does take a discerning eye to appreciate and coordinate what at one time was considered contradictory style, there is now more confidence and interest in the eclectic mixes. There is also a greater importance given to the preservation of traditional styles as they can be resurrected with new finishes, colors and textures. Classic crystal white, antique white, caviar black, red mahogany, champagne beige, metallic silver and gold are the base of this elegant group, while a warm sensuous orchid adds an exotic effect.

Reverberating with the theme, “Back in the day….” Reveries is a nostalgic look at dreamy deco as pictured in old films: A bit indulgent, glamorous and suggestively smooth applications. On the other hand, it is not so serious that there is no space for whimsy! While many of the colors are historically accurate (dusty mauves and misty roses), this palette is revamped with exciting new combinations that are inspired by fashion forward colors. These shades are flowering lilac and fragrant lavender, iris blue, rosy mauve and vibrant purples… unexpectedly and dramatically juxtaposed against rich russet brown.

Trek through Nepal, cruise the Aegean, scale the heights of Machu Pichu – traveling to exotic destinations continue to fascinate. The acquisition of artifacts, crafts, imagery and artworks spur the imagination and re-tells the tale of a wonderful journey. Dusky tones of rose, Dijon yellows and deepened taupe mix with mineral and Mediterranean blues and misty grays. All shades are dramatically embellished by rich gold and scarlet red.

Solar Energy
Capturing the dynamic power inherent in the sun, and depicting the rays of color that have come to symbolize an alternative to fossil fuels, the variations pf mandarin and flame oranges of 2008 remain strong for the future – along with radiating gold and green-based yellows reinforcing this vitality and energy. A mulled purplish wine, fuchsia-red and electric blue add an interesting dimension t o the mix, while an ashy gray provides a calming neutral influence to this volatile mix.

Breathe Easy
Everyday concerns… not the least of which is environmental, plead for the need to find a place of respite and relaxation – to unwind and rewind! Cool tones invoke thoughts of breathing easily and tranquility, a constant reminder of the clean, clear blues found in a cloudless sky sparkling over a blue-green body of water. While pure bright white and variations of the blue theme, including a deep ocean and Provence blues permeate this palette, a deep and thoughtful garden green and a somewhat muted vegetal yellow-green and the introduction of blue-violet adds a more meditative mood.

Literally defined as “a state of bringing somebody or something to life and activity,” this palette is also inspired by the Japanese art of anime. Far from reality, it is rooted in cartooning and is immensely popular worldwide for young people and artists alike. This cleverly art form combines so-called clashing colors that bring a new appreciation to the vitality and creativity of truly unique color combinations. Although there are many more possibilities for unlikely mixes, this group includes ebullient reds, vibrant blues, mint or chartreuse positioned next to light apricot, quiet green and deepened berries.

Overall, GREEN is still all around us and not just a trend, but the new shades of green include the blues = water, emerald, turquoise, and the yellows = khaki and the various olive “oils.” The blues with violet undertones will be gaining strength in the next few years, and the reds will be getting deeper and darker within the wine variations.

Future topics of interest:
Color symbolism - White / Black / Yellow / Orange /Red /Violet /Blue /Green
Color Associations
Psychology / Therapy of color
Color and Art
Color around the world

Cynthia Peacock is a professional Interior Designer (member of the American Society of Interior designers, ASID) and Principal of her own design firm, PEACOCK Interior Design, LLC. Cynthia has worked on a wide variety of outstanding projects (residences, offices, hotels, ships) in her 16 year career as an Interior Designer, and finds that color is the constant challenge, joy, and reward. If you are color-challenged, and need gentle guidance, Cynthia may be contacted

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spend $100 and Save $1000

5 Simple Money Saving Tips

Here are 5 simple things you can do yourself that can save you $1000 a year. That’s the best return on investment any of us will see this year, don’t you think?

1. Fix those leaky faucets. Spend $15----Save $600

A faucet that is leaking just 5 drops every 30 seconds wastes 300 gallons of water a year. Currently a gallon of water in Denver costs $1.91 that’s $573 a year or $47.75 a month! A complete faucet repair kit at Ace Hardware is under $15.00.

2. Install a programmable thermostat – Spend $50---- Save $180

According to Energy Star the average household can save $180 each year in energy costs by installing a programmable thermostat and setting it to 70 degrees for 6 hours a day and 62 degrees for the remainder. Programmable thermostat prices range from $25 -$100 dollars

3. Install motion sensor switches. Spend $10---- Save $26

Do you keep your porch light on for safety reasons? What if the kids leave the basement light on for days at a time? In Denver a light bulb costs about 7 cents a day to stay lit, it may not seem like much but it can add up quickly. Buy a simple conversion switch that will fit in any light socket for as little as $10

4. Turn down the temperature on your water heater Spend $0---- Save $40

According to the US Department of Energy you can save from 3 – 5% on your energy bill by simply turning the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees and it costs you NOTHING!

5. Replace the caulk around your tubs and showers Spend $20---- Save $200 or more!

The caulk around your tub and shower prevents water from leaking and damaging the walls and floors. Often you won’t become aware of a problem until the damage is extensive. A decent caulk gun and tube of caulk will cost you less the $20 but a call to a plumber to figure out the problem and a handywoman to repair the damage can easily add up to $200 or more.

What are you waiting for?