Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.


Happy New Year and a New York Ball (but not the one in Times Square!)

To all my readers, I wish you a very happy New Year!

I am just back from New York. What a fabulous trip!

My family was invited to attend the International Débutante Ball, held at the venerable Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Want to take a peek?

The grand ballroom, shot the afternoon of the ball:

A close-up of the very tall and beautiful flower arrangements:
A shot of the dance floor,  and then the stage. You can see some of the chairs aren’t placed yet.
The gold leaf ceiling:
ceilingreceiving room
Prior to the Ball itself, here is where the receiving line was held, above.

Each deb stands in front of her state or country flag during the receiving line. wsjreporter

Guests starting to arrive in the main ballroom:
Dinner is served before the presentation of the débutantes:
The young men who serve as military escorts presenting the colors:
A flag bearer carrying the flag of the girl’s state or country follows behind the deb and her escort.

A crowd favorite was the lovely Scottish deb who had a piper (bagpipe player) follow her and her escort to the stage.

The American debs have a famous song about their state playing as they walk to the stage.

It is dramatic and beautiful pageantry to watch and hear.

The Texas debs also received thunderous applause, partly due to the extremely difficult “Texas Dip” (a form of the English Court low-bow), which they are expected to perform instead of the normal curtsy.  It is breathtaking to watch these girls maneuver their Texas Dip!

Then, after the presentation, the fun begins. 


What a night to remember, a real-life fairy tale!

(all photographs by Color Calling)

Love Came Down at Christmas


The really hectic days preceding Christmas can make us lose sight

of the reason for the season.

If you have just three minutes, watch and listen to this beautiful video set to

“Love Came Down at Christmas.”

 I promise you that you will feel so uplifted.

The music is soaring and the art is gorgeous.

Click here to watch and listen.

Safe and happy holidays to all my readers!

I will be posting very sporadically this very busy week while I spend time with family and friends.

See you in the New Year!

Christmas Cocktails


Nothing says “Party” like a martini, and a pretty martini is a favorite drink during the holidays.

Place a (dry) crystal martini glass in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.

Here is a good shaker which works better than any we have tried.

With its high-style shape, it also looks great on your bar.


My original recipe for Peachy Pink Martini, here.




Christmas Mailbox

Do you live in a community where residents decorate their mailboxes? 

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Just one more way to add a festive look to your house for the holidays!

Mantel progress!

A few weeks ago, I posted about the state of my family room mantel, here.

Today, I want to show you the finished mantel installation.

My wonderful carpenter and his crew did a beautiful job installing the hand-carved panels.


Image Color Calling

Mantel Greenery with a few leftover roses tucked in!  Image Color Calling

Remember the Before?

Image Color Calling

Mantel BEFORE, Image Color CallingImage Color CallingHand-carved fruit pilasters, each from a single piece of wood. 

There is a little touch up work to be done on the mantel’s wood finish,
which will happen after the holidays.
I am very pleased. It really gives some needed ornamentation to the fireplace.

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Did you notice Mrs. Claus and Santa flanking the centerpiece?

Handmade Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Handmade Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

They are handmade, and have such dear little faces and details.

They stand over two feet high!

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

I have a few more finishing decorating touches, so I’ll update on those later.

Readers, is anything hanging you up with your decorations, or are you finished? 

I would love to see and share your mantel masterpieces!

Please email to me:

Latest find

If you  follow this blog, you know how much I like chargers.

No, I don’t mean teenage daughters who want to go to Forever 21 with my credit card.

I am talking about the service plate kind of charger, as in dinnerware.


I just had to share my latest find, above, pictured with my Spode Christmas china.

Here it is:

I found this on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond (online).

Green-rimmed bone china chargers.

About 12 1/4″ in diameter.

$6.99 plus free shipping. Yes, $6.99. Whoo-hoo.

The best part of this, is, it looks good with my other china as well.

My Wedgwood Trentham (my grandmother’s china)

My Lenox Autumn 


My everyday Basket by Villeroy and Boch

And it even looks nice with my set of Hunt Scene china (not sure of the pattern name) by Royal Doulton:


I just had to share my good luck in finding this great deal!

I think the quality is amazing for the price (there was a $24.99 sticker underneath the label).

Clearly, this is a very versatile piece of dinnerware.

You can check it out here.  I received my charger plates within a week of ordering them!

Sneak Peek: Independent Church Holiday Home Tour

If you are in the Birmingham, AL area, don’t miss this weekend’s home tour benefitting

the Fresh Air Fund of Independent Presbyterian Church, a very worthy cause.

This home belongs to one of my dearest friends.

She has the most gorgeous collection of antique English bone china

you have ever seen.

(The dining table looks straight out of Downton Abbey, with six gold-and-crystal Art Nouveau goblets per place setting!)

I had to dodge some photographers from “Southern Lady” magazine,

who were there photographing for their 2013 Christmas issue, but you’ll get the idea.

The decorations are the work of the fabulous Leah Hazzard,

another friend, and flower arranger extraordinaire .

Image Color Calling

All Images  Color Calling

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Charger Plates

Here is a simple tip for making your holiday table look better.

Use a charger plate under your dinner plate. It gives a nice layered effect.


Sometimes called “service plates,” they are used to cradle the first course plates,

and are usually (though not always) removed for the entrée plate.

However, etiquette dictates that they are always removed from the table before the dessert course.

Here are some good looks for both casual and formal Christmas settings using chargers.

Decorating for Christmas

Image ©Color Calling

I have a new go-to resource for my Christmas greenery.

The Curb Market, located in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

Above is one of the large centerpieces, (there are two) which will go on my mantels,

after I gussy them up a bit with pine cones and holly sprigs.

And maybe some pomegranates and lady apples as well.

Here are my box garlands and wreaths.

The velvet bows came with the wreaths, and maybe need a little work before everything is hung.

Image ©Color Calling

For some reason, I have always wanted a gold spray-painted magnolia wreath.

This one is a very muted gold. I like it because it doesn’t look too shiny.

I have no idea where it will go (somewhere inside, maybe on the breakfast room table?), but here it is:

Image ©Color Calling

Readers, what are your decorating plans this year?

Corn Husk Angel

I  love interesting crafts.

This one is my most favorite.

It was given to me by my mother.

A handmade corn husk angel.

It will be our tree topper again this (and every) year.

Isn’t she simply beautiful?

Image ©Color Calling

Image ©Color Calling

Available by pre-order only from Troy (Alabama) Marketplace: