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A Week With Segreto and Book Give-A-Way!!

 I am giving a-way a signed copy of my book this week to say thank you to all my sweet blog followers! Just "like" Segreto Finishes on Facebook to enter!! 

I get asked so often "What projects are you working on? What are you doing right now that you just love!?", so I wanted to share a bit of what we've been doing lately. I've tried to take some before and afters so you can follow me along throughout the process. I have learned my strength is not photography!!  Hope you enjoy!

We were recently asked how best to tone down this existing fireplace so that it blends in with the room. While the home was absolutely beautiful as is, the homeowners were hoping for a more updated look that mixes their antiques with some contemporary elements.  After painting this two-story room full of carved moldings BM White Dove, the fireplace looked a bit out of place and needed some adjusting.  Tammy Michaelis, who headed up the interior changes, called us in.

This is a side view of the two story fireplace before - it has lots of wonderful carvings, but it looks a bit too new to be consistent with the new décor.

Here is the sample that we did! You can see how it compares to before by looking at the back tile. The front mantle piece has a chalky finish that's been mixed with grays for that dusty, older look that Tammy wanted. The stone behind next to the wall is still in its original state.  Notice that the added white helps mesh the stone with the white walls! 

The final fireplace truly looked like it has been aged over time!!

The second fireplace we did for sweet Tammy was in the den.  The mantle was a very new looking shiny orangey color and we distressed it and added gray glazes over it to give it character and patina. Love that paint can alter so many pieces, making them work in a new design scheme!

In the process of building her dream New Orleans-inspired house, this homeowner fell in love with the black and white tile in her oh-so-handsome, new master bath!

She wanted to use the same tile for this entrance way, but it wouldn't work as it would result in a different flooring height than that of the surrounding rooms.  The homeowner enlisted our help to paint over the installed wood and give her the black and white checkered floors she wanted.

We also decided to paint a star design in this little vestibule to create a transition! Here are my boys at work!!!

I like the tiny detail of the thin, pinstriped line that follows the molding.   It looks so much more finished than running the squares all the way to the trim.

I adore the finished product here!  It opened up the space, making it feel both larger and more interesting!! Thanks, Ingrid, for letting us paint your floors!

Of course we plastered many rooms as this one shown in the book by architectural consultant Sarah West.  During the week I got an exciting call from a European distributer Paulsen-Buchimport who is going to carry the book.  Now my friends from across the seas don't have to pay such high shipping rates!!! I am so honored to have been contacted by them!!  Please visit their website for more information.

We had finished this home a time ago for one of our sweet clients, Melinda.  After living there awhile, she decided to make this cabinet look more like a custom French furniture piece by adding some decorative elements and tying in the different colors in the room. 

We created a hand-drawn pattern for her and then began painting the design, incorporating the colors of her drapes.


Here is the finished product! So pretty!

In the breakfast nook, Melinda always felt like it was missing something.  Pulling the colors from the cabinet, we painted a stenciled panel to pull the room together and add definition to the space.

Then, on to her bedroom... Melinda loved the size and scale of this piece that she had moved from her previous home, but she didn't think the dark stained finish complemented the beautiful, new room.  I thought lightening it up and using a bit of the blues from the fabrics would totally change the feel of the room not just the piece.

 What a difference this textured finish in soft greige and blue tones has made!! But we didn't stop there...

Notice the beginnings of a hand-painted design! Many antique French painted pieces have the hardware painted as well. This is a great, inexpensive way to update the hardware without replacing it.

 We started a sketch of what I was thinking and got the green light to paint!

I loved how it pulled together the blues and florals in the room!

Here is the finished piece - it's almost unreconizable from the original mahogany finish.

"Oops, before you leave could you...."  Another project - we took the oh-so-new looking mirror and gave it century-old character.

The little details and multiple layers really make a big difference!

 Melinda changed the red from the back of the cabinets to grasscloth--looks great! (sorry about the pic) Later we are going to work on the wall finish!

The last space was the daughter's room, starting with the four poster bed which was formerly stained!  To soften the look, we painted and antiqued it in a subtle blue.

It looks so beautiful with her shabby chic bedding!

This chair, pulled from another part of the home, was left over and placed in the corner of this room.  Stained a shiny mahogany, we transformed the piece by priming, painting, and glazing it to match its new surroundings and fabrics.

I love the way this finish looks on carvings - it really brings them out!!!

My last stop of the week was for a client I have been working with for the last 14 years!. I went to pick and exterior shutter color for them and talk about a piece of furniture we were going to paint. Look at the sweet gift I left with!  The packaging was as special as the yummy chocolate chip cookies inside.  I love how she used a coffee bag for the treats decorated with a label and fun ribbon!! These would made great gifts!!!  I hope you liked seeing just a few of the jobs we worked on last week!  Don't forget to scroll up and like Segreto Finishes on Facebook on the right side of the blog for a chance to win a free copy of the book, then leave a comment of a project you would like to do in your own home.   If you have already liked Segreto Finishes then share the blog with a friend and leave a comment!!  Good luck to the winner!!   I'm off to California for a project this week and a little vaca.... Till next Monday! xo  Leslie




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Reader Comments (19)

This is why I love your always share your gorgeous projects with us! Congratulations on the European distributor picking up your book! They will LOVE it over there. ;-)

Have a great trip to CA!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Oh Leslie, gorgeous work ! I love seeing your work and how your art can totally transform anything !! When I read your post on Facebook this morning for a moment I thought it meant "win a week with me". Now wouldn't that be a fun time - seeing how you do all this! Beth (and I luv, luv your book)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Congratulations on the European distributor!


July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Hines

Leslie, I just love everything you do!! I also refer to your book often for inspiration. I wish to thank you as well for talking to me in such great length about the colors for my kitchen cabinets and will send pictures as soon as they are done. Wished you lived in California :)

Elizabeth Stephens

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Stephens


I am so inspired by everything you do. Each project is so beautiful and tasteful. I have been studying your book since I purchased it a few months ago. If I could transition my home to your look today I would do it in a heartbeat. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

You asked for projects we were working on at our own homes. One of mine is our family room bookshelves. Our home was built in the 1980's and we purchased it 14 years ago. We have been updating it very slowly over those years. I feel that our bookshelves are really dating our family room and are in need of a facelift. I am going to post photos on my blog Sparkling Like A Diamond in case you have a minute to take a look. I have a million other projects!


Gina Diamond

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina Diamond

Leslie...I cannot begin to even tell you how much I enjoyed seeing this gorgeous home and all the wonderful treatments you did....Amazing talent is shown in every inch of that home....I just kept going back and looking at the magnificent pictures....a true showplace and the magnificent finishes just sends it over the top.....

I have "liked/loved" you on I am going to send the link to my friend of whom I know will appreciate your gorgeous work!!!.....
I purchased an old wood and iron gate...they said it came from Italy...there are two pieces..each piece weighs over 100 pounds....the project is getting it mounted in our will take 4 guys and some creative scaffolding!...All we need to do was do some minor cleaning to it...I love the layers of chippy paint...and the metal work is beautiful...

I recently placed grasscloth in the backs of my bookcases too...I just love the texture.

I love to see your beautiful work and the way you helped make this house a home. So excited to hear of the book distribution!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDesign Chic

OOOOOH! I so hope to win a copy of your book. I love your work and liked you on facebook a long time ago. How wonderful for you that your book has an European distributor.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracyB

I so want a copy of this beautiful book! All your projects are stunning. It's hard to choose just one, but I guess it would have to be the black-and-white checkered floor in the entry. Great post!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren T.

Love seeing the work in progress...what great projects...xv

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervicki archer

Another beautiful post!!! As for being able to enter the contest, I am sorry to say, I don't have a face book...So I guess I cannot enter...But that won't stop me from 'liking' you on the blog:)...I get such inspiration looking at and reading your blog. And, how exciting that someone over the pond is going to carry your book...A true blessing!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterliz

I'm so proud of you! Congratulations on your European distributor! Love seeing your work and this house is just beautiful. Love those checkered floors and that fabulous kitchen! Wish you were coming to Norcal! ~Delores

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDelores

I would love to win a copy of your fabulous book! Your work is so inspiring. Hope you have a fabulous vacation!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTamra/The Gilded Barn

I would love to win your beautiful book

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Loved seeing the transformations. Each one is a work of art. I would love to own a copy of your book.. Of course I like you on FB!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarlis

Your work is beautiful, and very informative to see the progression. If only I were in Texas, I have a number of pieces I would bring you. My sister lives in Houston, however, would love to look you up on my next trip!

All best,

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis Higgerson


Amazing work! Just recently started following and I'm looking forward to seeing your book!


July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie


Love seeing projects that you work on it really does help people decide what they like and want to have in their homes. For most clients "vision of their taste" is hard to describe and seeing creative go from one extreme color revision to another is amazing and really rewarding. Beautiful projects as always! Would love to win a copy of your book. Projects are never ending in my home...looking at colors for walls in my master suite.

Hope you have a great time with clirnts for your project and wonderful vacation in California.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBette

Leslie, it all looks gorgeous. Cant wait to see everything when it is done.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertaylor greenwalt

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