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Tuesday
Nov112014

Segreto Style Launch Party!

This week has been such a whirlwind as Segreto Style made its grand debut at a Launch party hosted by Joyce Horn Antiques!!

French antique connoisseur and dear friend, Joyce Horn, along with her awesome staff, worked so hard to create the perfect evening! Arriving early because I knew she had also received a new shipment that day (and ya'll know how love to shop!) I took a moment to browse alone. I loved seeing all of the beautiful antiques and the personal touches that had been included to make the night so special!!! Look at how cute these Segreto Style sugar cookie favors are by Dessert Gallery!!

I don’t know how Joyce does it time after time, both finding treasures and displaying them with such an artful eye!!! I noticed she is now making and selling pillows as well— and ranging between $80 to $110, these are quite the bargain!

There are so many wonderful pieces to see throughout the store. I spied the little lanterns in the top left corner. They would be so pretty going down an entry hall, hanging over a kitchen island or in a powder bath!!!

I think these framed butterflies would look so great hung as a grouping; creating a statement wall in both a traditional or contemporary setting!!

A couple of weeks ago Joyce and the Segreto team got together for a wine tasting at my shop for the big event!!!! I was excited to see what she chose for the party!

Well she definitely tops my wine tasting ambiance and gets a gold start for display. Look how exquisite these antique side boards & bureaus works as a bar! The wines, mostly French of course, were a white La Noble Chardonnay, a red Triennes & CA'Momi and a Lamarca Prosseco. All so, so delish!  

The arrangements were spectacular! She used cork trays from France for the desert table, filling them with the yummiest bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I also adored how she altered each display height with books covered in burlap!! Note to self for my next party!!

Well it definitely was a full house when the doors opened! I can’t tell you how special it was to have such great support from so many!!!

Colleagues, homeowners, friends and family came to celebrate the debut of Segreto Style with me! I felt a bit teary eyed to see the encouragement from all who came out for the event!

Not to mention the amazing assortment of nibbles including a Mediterranean spread of cheese, dips, fruits and sweets, complete with personalized cocktail napkins almost too cute to use!!

After hours of signing, I couldn’t have been happier!! Thank you so much to all of you who have been so supportive, during the writing of the book and now with the books release!! I am forever grateful!!!

The launch, coordinating with their most recent shipment, provided such a beautiful setting!!  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect pairing! Thank you so much to the wonderful gang at Joyce Horn Antiques!!! Joyce, her husband Will, her daughter Reid, store manager Chris and their newest staff member Kaitlyn orchestrated the most amazing evening; an event I will always cherish and remember!! 

Next weeks events in Houston and Austin!!!

Come visit with me Thursday, November 20th in Houston at Weidner Hasou & Co.'s annual Artisan Event! This is a wonderful store and design studio fairly new to Houston and so beautiful!!

I am also so excited to go back to Austin, my college town!! I will be at The Junior League's, A Christmas Affair! The books will be there the entire time in Suzanne Duin's booth from Maison Maison.  I will be there on Friday with her to sign books!!  (See below)

And a BIG thank you! ...

To my fellow designers and bloggers at Design Chic, South Shore Decorating Blog, The Enchanted Home, and Lucas Eilers Design Associates, L/E Journal, who were so sweet to review my new book, Segreto Style upon its release!! Such amazing bloggers in their own right, I was honored they gave the book such rave reviews!!  Please visit their sites, you will love each of them!!

 

Available now to own, purchase Segreto Style here or through Amazon here!!

To purchase  "Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

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Monday
Nov102014

Wedding Dreams

Imagined by most young girls their whole lives, one's wedding day is full of love, joy and excitement not only for the bride and groom, but also for everyone who cares for them. This year, sweet, smart, cute Leslie Carrigan (known as little Leslie by me) not only found her perfect man but also experienced the wedding of her dreams! From conceptualization to the moment of “I do”, I could not be happier to share this very memorable event!

When Leslie began working with us eight years ago (amazing how time flies!) she was fresh out of school and eager to begin her career!  Today, she is Segreto's senior designer and is an invaluable member of our team!

Leslie and Charles were introduced through friends on a blind date. It wasn’t long after they learned their mutual connections extended back generations with their grandparents having been the closest of friends!

Both Houston natives, Leslie and Charles decided to have semi-destination wedding at The Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas.  2.5 hours from Houston, this casual but elegant, Hill Country Resort is made up of 4,000 acres of rolling greens complete with two golf courses, state of the art spa and breathtaking scenic views.  Memorial Day weekend was the perfect date for these two, who are both family oriented and close to their many friends, allowing them to share in the event over a three day weekend!

During their 10 month engagement, Leslie and Charles decided upon a neutral color palette of creams, whites, greys and blues. Inspired by her years at Segreto, Leslie grew to love the trademark soft shades that resonate throughout some of the loveliest homes in Houston. 

Although Leslie and her Mom were at the helm of all the planning, they assembeld the dream team of event coordinator Christine Hoffer of Belle of the Ball, florist and designer Rob Smith of Events in Bloom, and invitation & signage extraordinaire Amy Boyter of Papellerie to work their creative magic and bring to fruition charming vignettes brimming with personal detail that exceeded even the couples expectations!

Surrounded by love – the couple outfitted their 30+ bridesmaids and groomsmen in French blue gowns and crisp black & white tuxedos. The bride’s three sisters wore soft white versions of the Grecian-styled dresses with applique details.

For the ceremony, florist Rob Smith constructed five towering, square arches dense with blooms.  The flowers included white roses, hydrangeas, lilies with soft pink centers and sumptuous bougainvillea. With the addition of glass enclosed pillar candles and unobtrusive lucite chairs lining the aisle, the final effect was lush, classic, and incredibly romantic!

Within the reception space, Leslie took a page from her design book and requested a variety of vignettes be created that were stylish and comfortable. Sconces, mirrors, plush fabrics, furniture and topiaries replaced traditional, round table seating allowing guests to visit with each other and transition between spaces; experiencing a different theme within each!

How cute is this!!! Each of the seven buffet stations menus were hand-etched onto framed mirrors designed by Papellerie!

The white iced wedding cake, cascading with roses in varying shades of pink and cream, was displayed on a sequined adorned table cloth adding a touch of sparkle to the classic arrangement.

An extra special feature, Leslie and Charles wanted to create ‘his and her’ spaces inspired by the man caves and ladies’ lounges being popularized in homes today.

Visitors to ‘Leslie’s Lounge’ snipped champagne flutes hung with ribbon from boxwoods

While those posted at ‘Charles’ Tap’ enjoyed flights of specialty beers and salty snacks! How fun!!!

As the party shifted into full swing, Leslie changed into a short, sparkly reception dress perfect for celebrating on the dance floor! Neon sunglasses, photo booth props, and even flip flops were provided for guests to let loose and enjoy the band!

Anticipating their guests every need, bite sized grilled cheese sandwiches, snacks, and iced Brandy Freezes (a favorite of the bride’s Father!) were passed about.

Before retiring in the early morning hours, a breakfast burrito bar was arranged for party-goers to take back to their rooms! Goodness, I was long asleep, and missed this yummy spread!!!

The bride and groom, however, left the party in style with their spectacular band, Professor D, leading a trumpet exit through the halls.

With no shortage of spectacular moments, the wedding weekend of Leslie and Charles Simmons was memorable for so many reasons. What a joy it was to witness such a special young woman on her most special day!

A special thank you to their fabulous photographer and family friend, Chris Bailey of C Bailey Photography for providing us with so many beautiful images!!!

Newly married, Leslie and Charles are selling her townhouse and moving into a home of their own. This three story town home located in Rice military features custom plaster and glazed cabinetry!

Read more about the house from our blog Updating Without Renovating .  If your interested in purchasing the home contact Leslie.

And for a closer look at the beautiful event, check out the wedding trailer produced by Thirtyone Films!

Please join me for some wonderful and fun shopping and booksigning opportunities!  Tis the holiday season!!

Join us this Wednesday, November 12th at Back Row Antiques for their annual Fall Market Day!! With so many special vendors, the gift ideas are sure to be endless and I will be there signing my new book, Segreto Style, between 4-6pm!

If fine jewelry tops your list this season, I will aslo be joining Elizabeth Leigh for Baubles and a Book Signing!! Books will be sold throughout the day and I will be present for signing from 10am to 2pm. It's going to be such a fun day, I can't wait to see you all there!!!

 

A perfect gift for any bride to be, purchaseSegreto Style  here or through Amazon here!!

To purchase  "Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

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Sunday
Nov022014

Furnishing the Outdoors

All good things come to those who wait and, although it is closer to Christmas than the 4th of July, my pool is nearly finished! Having a housefull for Thanksgiving I really would like to have patio furniture so the crew can enjoy the pool!

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There are so many beautiful kinds of furniture from teak to wrought iron, aluminum to resin, that there arise as many decisions regarding the the type of materials as style of chair!  

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It must be my Southern roots showing through; growing up with big porches and wicker furniture, I love the light, airy and welcoming feel of it! But how well does wicker hold up outside? Especially in various, extreme weather elements? And how will it mix with my clean French influneced landscaping?

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Fortunately outdoor or all-weather wicker, designed for exterior use, has been developed. Woven with polyethylene resin fibers atop sturdy frames, this new generation of wicker will stand up to the elements. When exposed to large amounts of moisture, synthetic wicker will not mold or mildew – a necessity in humid Houston! Having little time to shop, much of my looking has been on the web!!

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When considering wicker, look closely at the frame. The material used within, be it metal or wood, will greatly affect the longevity of the piece. A rattan frame would not hold up nearly as well as its aluminum, steel, or teak counterparts. This is mostly due to the frames ability to withstand moisture and, thus, warping.   

Who doesn’t love the Provence Collection from Restoration Hardware? The wicker weave is in the same ashen tone their indoor furniture is so famous for. Available in 4 finishes and 123 different fabric choices, these are currently on sale priced for @ $1500 each. Although lovely, they have a long lead time, require a non-refundable 50% deposit when the order is placed, and are expensive.  Needing 5 plus, I decided to not make a quick decision.  

When in California, I visited a friend and loved her pool furniture. I actually thought it was from Restoration hardware but, to my surprise, the collection was created by Brown Jordan (a high end patio furniture maker) exclusively for Home Depot!  The Vineyard Patio collection has a Southern French design with thick comfy cushions.      

The above is from the Brown Jordan Northshore Collection and the chaises with the cushions retail for $799 each. Having a mix of resin weave and powdered aluminum construction, the reviews were very positive!!   

Unfortunately, I had a difficult time finding a color cushion mixed with the furniture style that I liked in stock. It’s so hard to pick colors online!!! Thankfully, you can request samples by emailing HomeDepot@BrownJordan.com . Yayyy - so I did!!!  

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I also have some clients that have been very happy with their Balencia Collection from Frontgate! Designed by Claude Robins, this set features an aluminum frame and synthetic wicker that won’t stick to skin!! These come with and without arms, are lighter weight so easy to move and sell for about $1050 per set with the cushions!!! Although priced well, my hubby preferred thick cushions, so the search continues.

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Stumbling across the Kingsley Bate website, I came across this gorgeous collection by Sag Harbor! Sag Harbor is known for their high quality materials, including extra-large fibers and aluminum frames, which result in more substantial, durable pieces. I liked the color of their wicker and that they had wheels so that the pieces could be easily moved!!!               

         

Heading over to Ballard Design, I really fell in love with their Sutton collection!!  Loving the clean lines, the color of the rattan, and the thick neutral cushions.


Made from a strong, rustproof aluminum, the frame is wrapped in all-weather rattan that resists fading, mildew and moisture. Each strand has multiple shades of warm tan, gray and mocha to create the warm Weathered Driftwood finish that I really like. The chaise with pad sells for $999, was in stock, and has a return policy. But wait…………. 

  

By clicking here, you will see a coupon for 15% off of your first order if you sign up to receive their emails!!! This made a huge difference and more than paid for all the shipping costs!!!

So I was able to add two of these chairs!!!

 

And here is the progress on the pool so far!! I really like the way that the Keegan quartzite tile is turning out!! Go to my blog on Pool Decking and Coping to see more about my selections.  I can’t wait to share photos from my new outdoor retreat with you!

It's here and you all are invited!!!....................

I hope you will all be with me on the special  event of launching the new book!!  They arrived on Friday--yayy!!-- just in the nick of time!!! Sweet friend Joyce Horn, the hostess with the mostess, is hosting the big event with a fun bash!! I would love to celebrate with each of you!!  RSVP here!

Also this week is The Trunk Show at MAI on November 6th!  Located at 8719 Katy Freeway, I will be there from 11:30am to 2:00pm to sign books and expect it will be so much fun!!! For more Segreto Style events, click here to check out our events page! I can't wait to visit and shop with you all!!!

 

A perfect gift this Holiday Season, purchase Segreto Style  here or through Amazon here!!

To purchase  "Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

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Monday
Oct272014

Decorating for Fall!

It’s officially Fall! And although the sun is still shining in Houston, the slight drop in temperature sure is welcome! Like many of you, I have been busy collecting inspiration from across the web on unique and inventive ways to decorate and entertain this year and found so many great ideas to share! 

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The Fall season, full of color changes, cooler weather and celebrations, inspires us to cuddle at home; surrounding ourselves with comfort foods and cozy accessories and watch football!  In my case, with a football maniac for a husband, whether I want to or not.  

Hurricane Décor!!!!..................

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Easy, Breezy hurricane glasses are a great way to bring nature in and can be changed for each holiday. This embellishment of orange ribbon, paper leaves and pinecone flowers adds a simple and lovely touch.  

These glass pillar holders, currently on sale at Pottery Barn, provide such an easy and fun way to change your home décor each season! Fill with candy corn for Halloween, pinecones for thanksgiving and cranberries with sprigs of holly for Christmas! How can you resist?           

 

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Fruit décor makes any home festive! Apples, pears, clementines, lemons, limes and cranberries ad such wonderful fall colors to any table top. 

Pumpkin and gourd DIY!!............

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Nothing says fall like a display of pumpkins and gourds! From the front porch to the tabletop, there is no limit to where these harbingers of autumn can go! How fun is this idea of emblazoning a pumpkin or gourd with a house number to be displayed at the entry! Numbers can be printed in any size and font to reflect your homes style. 

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For the ultimate fall DIY, this gourd was transformed into a lamp by using a simple kit typically found in most craft and hardware stores! When sawing or drilling a gourd, it’s important to always wear a paper mask for safety and work in a well-ventilated area. Choosing a gourd with a flat bottom and a shape that goes well with your lampshade will make this project a cinch! 

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For more traditional pumpkin décor, consider encircling a white pumpkin with paper leaves to make a graphic statement. Trace lawn-gathered leaves onto tissue paper, cut tracings out and stick them to the pumpkin using decoupage glue. With a flat-head bristle brush, push from the leave’s outer edges toward the centers to pucker paper slightly and create "veins"; let dry. Brush a thin layer of glue over pumpkin to set and voila, your unique pumpkin is ready for display! Be brave in your color choices, this could turn into a French pumpkin using our trademark Blay-green tones!!! 

It’s Monday night football!!!...... 

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This would be a perfect for football entertaining!  How amazing are the mini meatloaf footballs? Residing on a turf of romaine, complete with cheese laces, these are almost too cute to eat! Almost …   

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What a fun idea courtesy of Kelli at the Good Weekly Blog!  Walking Tacos, perfect for tailgating!!!!

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And while you’re at it, you can include your nails in the game by painting them to support your favorite team’s colors! 

Get ready for Halloween!!!!!!......

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This pumpkin centerpiece placed in the Food Network’s pumpkin carving contest.  A perfect centerpiece for a Halloween grill!!!

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Surround them with jack o’ lantern burgers and your tabletop becomes instantly festive! Use a pumpkin cookie cutter found at most grocery stores this time of year!

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A perfect way to include the kids in the kitchen prep, these mummies made from sliced hotdogs and crescent rolls would be sure to please even the pickiest little eaters. Simply cut the crescent roll dough into thin strips and wrap around the hot dogs and bake according to the directions on the crescent package. Ketchup or mustard eyes make the final, tasty touch!

Deserts!!!!!!

 

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And I can’t wait to make these chocolate chip spider cookies! While still warm, simply use a toothpick to drag out the edges of the chocolate chips to create ‘legs’. I’m sure these would be both creepy and delicious!!!

And don’t forget the pups! With the enormous selection of dog costumes making their way into stores, even your furry friends can celebrate Halloween in style. Hope you have a great week and a Happy Happy Halloween!! 

And a special big thank you to an inspiring fellow blogger and friend, Joni Webb of Cote de Texas! She was kind enough to give us the first review of our new book, Segreto Style, and are so pleased that she loved the book as much as we do! You can read the review here and be sure to check out her beautiful blog while you're at it!!

 

 

To purchase "Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

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Sunday
Oct192014

A Lovely New Start!

There are a number of defining moments in life. Some are unexpected while others you can see coming from a mile away. Some will tear you down or strengthen you or both. Following the sad and untimely passing of her husband in 2005, Anita, designer and dear friend, was faced with such a moment. We are so happy to be able to share her story of love, family, and coming home. 

Following their engagement in 1985, Anita and Jim began their life together with the purchase of a home. Situated on a corner lot surrounded by 80 year old oaks, what the house lacked in terms of ceiling height was made up for in charm and fresh air. As Anita describes,” … I fell in love with it immediately … Jim swore that I left him no room to negotiate because I was jumping up and down saying, “This is it!””.

In 2000, Tropical Storm Allison caused significant damage to the older home. Anita recalls, “I sat at the window disheartened at the 1930’s wallpaper flapping in the wind and assessing the damage.  All I could think was “We need to start over””. With the decision to rebuild made, Anita and Jim set out to create their dream home! 

 

While still maintaining the same footprint as the original, their new family home featured high ceilings and loads of windows for natural light. The neutral palette and stark white casework served to highlight the beautiful hard woods and wrought iron details throughout.

With two growing children and a penchant for entertaining, Anita and Jim’s kitchen and breakfast areas were designed to be both cozy and light-filled. I just love the French country look of the skirted chair slip covers and mirrored chandelier – so charming    

From the masculine, built in, black bed combo storage piece in their son’s room to the serene and feminine feeling of their daughter’s, each bedroom maintained its own personality through furnishings and palette. How unique and gorgeous is the ivory, upholstered encasement bed?!

Newly widowed with her children away at school, Anita found herself at a crossroads. The decision to sell the family home and embark on yet another fresh start emerged, this time with a decidedly Parisian air…

Modeled after Winfield House, the Georgian styled mansion built by American heiress Barbara Hutton in London’s illustrious Regent Park, the townhomes of Winfield Gate stand at a soaring 4 ½ stories  and emit all of the English charm and European refinement of its namesake. 

Anita’s new home, reminiscent of a Paris apartment, creatively features a paneled accent wall and plaster inset into the decorative molding of the ceiling; which will pair beautifully with her eclectic assortment of antique fixtures and decorative pieces collected throughout the years.  

In the custom designed kitchen, three pairs of stunning, antique doors sourced from Chateau Domingue front the refrigerator and two pantries.

Here, Segreto’s own artisans worked hard to create a sample on the new casework to match the reclaimed doors – The first step of many, it now looks like found pieces built in!

The pièce de résistance of Anita's master suite has to be her dream dressing area! The closet boasts floor to ceiling, built-in clothing cabinets with a coordinating, marble topped center island perfect for displaying treasures and laying out accessory options!

When not inclined to utilize the elevator, residents and guests can ascend the sweeping, spiral staircase to the rooftop terrace complete with outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and potting station.

Connecting the homes is a Parisian style courtyard featuring a cross shaped fountain and pool surrounded by greenery. A feast for the eyes, the exterior details are evocative of a place and time far from Houston’s River Oaks.

We are so happy to be taking part in the creation of this beautiful new chapter in Anita and her family’s life and cannot wait to see her newly finished home this fall!!        

“Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. 

To pre-order our new design guide, Segreto Style, click here or contact books@segretofinishes.com !!! 

To purchase "Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

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