Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

outdoor spaces

At Home on a Squirrel’s Tail


This little guy has chosen his home right outside my kitchen window. Always tippy top of the squirrel’s tail, that is his favorite perch. He is there almost every day, many times a day. It is fun to have something to look at outside, a nice focal point. This is my own secret focal point, because you can’t even see this from the street. You would have to walk up the drive and look behind the hemlock tree.  Mister has been enjoying the dozen or so shelled, raw peanuts I set out for him every few days. What should I name him?

Gorgeous statuary gives personality to a garden

beautifulstatuebeautifulstatue2Have you ever seen a more gorgeous focal point? This is in my friend’s fabulous garden.

A beautiful young woman inhaling deeply into a bouquet of spring flowers.

Doors and gates of Charleston

A few days in Charleston is all you need to get hooked (for the fourth time or the fortieth).
Here are a few peeks from a random stroll down Church St.  All images by Color Calling.

Charleston courtyard

Typical Charleston courtyard

Charleston courtyard statu

Charleston courtyard, same as above, with close up of bronze child. She is on tippy-toes and still  just can’t quite reach the tree branch! How cute is she?

red door

red door in Charleston

living room

Now, this is what I call an outdoor room! 

close up of outdoor room

close up of outdoor room

black door

black door with freshly polished brass gleaming in the sun

Wooden door

Varnished Wooden door

side porch

side porch

black gate

black gate

silver gate

silver gate

How do you determine exterior light size?

We all know curb appeal is important. When I do exterior color consultations, I always look at the big picture.

Many times, I will recommend that my homeowner consider upgrading the main doorway light fixture(s).  

Think about it, your home is being most often viewed from street distance.  Make sure your light fixture is proper size.

A good rule of thumb is that your exterior light should be 1/4 the measurement of the height of your door.  
So, if your front door measures 8 feet in height,  you need to look at light fixtures around 2 feet high (8 divided by 4), or around 24″.  
Don’t try to judge the correct size on your own.  You will invariably undersize the light!

Now that your eye has been shown a good proportion, take a look at the following lighting scheme:

Don’t you prefer the 4:1 ratio of door to light? Doesn’t the above lighting scheme look dinky now that I am pointing this out?

The house below is a tad busy, but the main front door lighting has nice proportions. By the way, better to be a bit big than too little:

What about this one?

If you said too small, I agree. (I am not loving the huge sidelight to the right of the door, which would be the correct place to  have a light).

What about this?

Did this visual exercise help you determine the correct size for your lighting? Does your own exterior lighting have enough presence?

Do you agree with my proper proportions guideline?

Nothing says summer like blue and white

This is Benjamin Moore Maritime White

My Top Rules for Perfect Porches


Don’t be too matchy-matchy.

Break up sets with vintage finds and flea market items.
See how one little vintage footstool and a couple of quirky lights break up the matched set of furniture, below? And a couple of roughed-up vintage tables, next image down?

Too matchy-matchy, below:

Propped up Vintage shutters can add interest and depth to a plain long wall:

Image ©Color Calling

Keep CLEAN colors together

and MUTED colors together

See what happens when you mix clean [the pillows] with muted [the fireplace stone]? The effect is not as visually pleasing or harmonious.

So, don’t mix “Clean” (the red pillows) with “Muted”(everything else)

If you wish to use humorous or cliché phrases, do so with a little subtlety, like this:


Use plants to help carry out your color scheme

(you do have a color scheme, right?)

Use pretty colors as a vignette if space allows, even if no one ever sits there. It can just “BE” pretty.

Respect the architecture of the home when furnishing and styling the porch:

Don’t forget to use plants on your porch! (Look at this no-plant porch. Did you realize what was wrong?)

USE UNDERSTATED OR SOLID UPHOLSTERY FABRIC which can be more easily jazzed up with toss pillows:

Image ©Color Calling

Too much graphic upholstery doesn’t work. It looks dated:

Do give a nod to the topographical area of your porch, but don’t go overboard.

These two porches, below, hit the right note of “beach”, without giving in to too many clichés:

AND, IN THE HILL COUNTRY, how is this for rustic perfection? 



IF YOU WANT YOUR PORCH TO BE USED, you must have comfortable (deep seating) furniture.
Which lovely porch  would you rather sit in for a while?






DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE NOT-OUTDOOR-ONLY THINGS IN A COVERED AREA. But, use only outdoor-approved electrical items on your covered porch.



Eden Gardens State Park

We spent a lovely late afternoon at Eden Gardens State Park, located about 10 minutes from WaterColor Resort, in
Point Washington, Florida. Dogs on a leash are welcome.  The azaleas were sadly past their peak, but a few camellias were blooming. The other real enjoyment for me was taking photos of the fabulous bronze sculptures of children at play placed beautifully along the walking trail. What a treat!

March blooming camellia
Image ©Color Calling

Beautiful bronze fountain
Image ©Color Calling

Close up of one of the several wonderful sculptures
Image ©Color Calling

close up of little boy sculpture
Image ©Color Calling

Under the gorgeous 600 year old oak tree, a favorite wedding venue for local brides
Image ©Color Calling

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Below: the Wesley House  is open for tours on the grounds of the Eden State Park

Creativity in the garden

Don’t you love it when someone’s creativity and imagination just make you go WOW!

Here are some garden accents which I find inspiring and beautiful right now

From Goff Creek Pottery

A lovely birdbath, in an almost-impossible-to-find all copper. It is the correct depth as well. Don’t buy a birdbath with a pool depth of more than about 3 inches, according to bird experts.

P.Allen Smith’s Allium beds:

Source: t

Pretty patios

Since I have been reworking the furniture, and the look of my terrace, I am loving researching patio décor. I have my old patio sets sent out to be stripped and freshly powder coated. Some of the odd pieces are going to stay rustic to add patina. It won’t look too matchy-matchy when I have finished. I will bring out a couple of blue and white Chinese garden stools to add color, and I found some killer outdoor toss pillows in a navy-blue and white Schumacher ‘Imperial Trellis’ knock-off for a song.

Here are some of the looks that I like and found inspiring:

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest