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« Giving History a Fresh Twist! | Main | It's all in the Details »

The Book Is Finally Here!!!

It’s been an exciting week around here at Segreto! The new Segreto Finishes website,, is up and running, AND I just received the first few advanced copies of my book, Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors…I definitely feel like a big girl now!!!  I really wanted to share many of the beautiful homes that I've been so privileged to work in and honor all the wonderful homeowners, designers, builders, architects and tradespeople that I've enjoyed working with over the years. It was, without a doubt, a new experience for me to put a book together, but I truly enjoyed the journey! To give you a sneak peak inside the new book, I've included a few of the main images!

Here is the cover!!! I wanted to open with an image that didn't lean too much to any one style, but rather compelled you to peak inside, so we used this snippet of a mirror resting before a plastered wall. My hope with the book was to showcase our work in a clean, simple and elegant fashion - in a manner that would look good on any interior coffee table. And it's certainly turned into a true coffee table book, consisting of 300 oversized pages filled with photography and tricks of the trade.  It even has a gray ribbon page marker that I just love!

I decided to self-publish in order to have more decisions in the final content and creative direction (I now think because I'm crazy).  It was definitely a challenge, but I put together a wonderful team of people who helped me through the process. While multiple talented photographers have their work featured, Wade Blissard was the primary one.  I was so lucky to have met him, all because a member of my staff gave me a special Christmas gift - for him to photograph a home! And we started working on this project almost immediately! 

The book is divided into several sections to help the reader navigate through different finishes. In the first section, I focus on homes that we've plastered, giving a bit of background on what the homeowners were hoping to achieve. Since I work in all design styles, the book combines a multitude of them, with tips on how to choose finishes for those styles - from French to contemporary (like the one above), traditional to eclectic. 

Choosing the colors, typeface, basic flow and layouts of the book were so important but a big first for me. I brought a client and friend of mine,  Muffy Buvens (, on board, and she worked magic! She's a wonderful graphic designer who managed to get exactly the look I wanted on all the book layouts. Muffy and I, both having busy families and full time jobs, spent many nights, mornings and weekends together!  The whole process took about a year-- and bless my family and amazing clients for being so supportive during that time. I am forever grateful!!


The book's second section highlights homes that use a variety of finishes to create that special personal touch. Every finish in these homes works together in order to flow from room to room while still imbuing each space with a sense of character.  I have to extend a big thanks to Karen who runs me and my office, Isai who runs my plaster crew and all of my talented artisan staff who pulled extra duty during this process to make sure that all my current and future homes are as beautiful as the ones showcased.


I absolutely love seeing the evolution of a kitchen when the cabinets have a series of glazes applied! Cabinet finishes are just such a wonderful way to turn built-in, spray-painted cabinetry into quality furniture. They soften the space while creating character, charm and drama.  I dedicated an entire section of the book to these transformations and then followed it with a section on beautiful baths to give some hints on how to finish these tricky spaces.

While beautiful photographs of amazing interiors showcase different ideas on how to use finishes, I also included a reference at the end of each section that offer readers some finish options. The spread above is just a small range of all the possible cabinet colors and techniques Segreto's team creates.

I hired Nicole Jacobson (, a young English graduate from Vanderbilt, to help me edit - that was a lifesaver!! She was like an angel...she came into my life during the editing process and then flew away the day of completion to North Carolina as a newlywed.  Someone from above was definitely looking out for me!  I was so impressed with this young talent, and I know teaching me grammar 101 couldn't have been easy for her!! She's definitely been missed at Segreto!!

The last section of the book focuses on our special finishing techniques - from faux finishes to ceilings to murals to decorative painting, we cover it all. Along with images of different techniques, I also tried to give a brief history of these finishes and an explanation of why they work well in certain spaces.

The resource directory in the back of the book records sources of the great builders, designers, artists, architects, building designers, antiques and trade that have their work featured throughout. I really enjoyed researching this section - it was so interesting to learn more about all the people, companies, stores and products that made these homes as gorgeous as they are. As I am in the midst of redoing my own home right now, it's a great help to see where to purchase the lighting, flooring, rugs, etc. that were used in the interiors I've fallen in love with. 

Thanks again to my family, staff and clients who have helped me along, not only through this journey, but also through distribution by hosting book signing events, throwing wonderful parties or carrying the book in their stores. Boxwood is hosting the launch party on Sept. 22nd beginning at 6:00. Everyone is invited!!   Visit the events page on the website to see what's coming up and RSVP to the all the various functions. I hope you enjoyed the preview of the book - it is now available for purchase and will ship mid-September through under 'book'!!!  The website will accept credit cards (so cool - like magic) or you can contact the office at 713-461-5210 to order by check. I hope you all have a great week and let's pray for some rain!!

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Reader Comments (3)

Hi there!
I am so excited for you, and I can't wait to receive my book!
I just placed my order with a special autograph request.
I will be posting on my blog about it, too, after I receive it. So, when I do, I will send along a link.

Congratulations. You are something else; you amaze me!!

my best,

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLove Where You Live

Congratulations Leslie! Love all the photos you featured from your book. Still planning on posting my interview with you and hopefully some great photos too.
Your book is front and center on my coffee table! Love looking through it for inspiration! xo Delores

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDelores

Congratulations, Leslie! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. You do such beautiful work with passion and sincerity!


September 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinsey @ LLH Designs

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