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Elegant Country French

Hope your summer is going well!  This week we have a real treat - an update on a gorgeous home I did with designer extraordinaire Rita Kissner.  Based in Houston, this talented lady has been designing interiors for the last 40 years! Rita first helped this cute couple on their home 25 years ago, right after their marriage.  Rita's son was best friends with the groom. Throughout their marriage, the current home has made many evolutions, and this most recent one is simply stunning!!!

The basic bones of the entryway were left untouched.  But to update the look of this English Tudor home, we plastered the walls and ceiling and painted the trim to match (BM OC-7). The beautiful wrought iron balustrade was added along with the antique mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques - the only newly added accessory. Rita LOVES plaster as much as I do: "the depth of the plaster throughout the house authenticates an old world feel and brings life to a house that once seemed more stoic."

The living room and dining room, still lovely with their layered fabrics and patterns, remain the same as when Rita worked her magic 10 years ago.

I've always believed that if you still love it, there's no reason to change it. It's best to focus your attention on spaces that seem dated or don't suit your current style.

In the den, adding some plaster to the ceiling gave the room a lift without having to change the furnishings or the previous finishes. The way the plaster reflects the light really helps these 8 foot ceilings gain height!

The kitchen and den area previously had a heavier, fauxed look on the walls and white paint on the ceilings.  By plastering these surfaces in the same color as in the entrance, hallways, wine room, and den ceiling brought a more contiguous feel to the home.  Rita did a fabulous job not only editing the accessories that Bill and Suzanne had collected over time but also adding a few more antique porcelains to their collection.  She created an art wall above the beams to lend that country French charm and provide additional space to display their beautiful pieces.

 A true testament to classic design, the majority of this room's furnishings were done 13 years ago.

With the subtle plaster finish on the walls and ceilings and the pared down accessories, a whole new level of sophistication is achieved.

 So fun to see my book being enjoyed on this coffee table/ottoman!!

Although he left most of the design decisions up to Rita and Suzanne, Bill was heavily involved in the creation of this charming wine room. Martha Bute drew the plans to change a large powder bath and small hallway into this phenomenal wine cellar, powder combo. Contractor Mike Russell implemented the entire new renovation brilliantly. Chateau Domingue was their first stop to find inspiration for the room - the reclaimed stone counters!  The wood was all antique, but we stained and finished it to fit the character of the space. The walls, of course, are plaster.

This wrought iron door from Peck and Company was formerly an antique grate - what a perfect entrance!  And the gorgeous, wooden door, purchased at the fair in Round Top, Texas, leads to a powder bath. Love the fireback hung on the wall!!!

What a great transformation!!  All the elements mingle together to create that old-world feel - the chest and mirror was from Tara Shaw in New Orleans, the sink from Chateau Domingue, and the sconces from Palmer, a lighting company out of California!! 

The hallway from the wine room now leads to a study off the bedroom. For that warm, furniture look on the new bookcases, we started with a paint base of SW 7066 and then did a series of glazes.  I love how Rita incorporated Bill's favorite chair and accessorized with this fab trunk and wonderful rug!

The bedroom - still in progress - is turning out positively dreamy!  The crown molding was removed so the plaster envelopes the room and lifts the ceilings.  The existing beautiful bed was paired with this new cozy chair and the wonderful antique mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques.

The master bath is truly exquisite!!!! Starting with this solid marble tub that Suzanne had fallen in love with and the full slab Calcutta Marble floors from Olympus Marble, Rita quickly made this space full of glamour. The Louis Felipe Mirrors from Joyce Horne Antiques and an Atlanta showroom create the illusion of a larger room. The mirrored front cabinets, from a showroom in Tennessee, are a perfect way to mix the old with the new.

The detail in the stonework is exceptional - kudos to Olympus Marble!!!  We finished the room off with the same old-style plaster but then polished it for a sleeker look. Love the antique chair Rita added to the space - it makes the bathroom feel like a retreat!

From the linen chair to the counters, floors and cabinetry, this is really an extraordinary bathroom. Amazing job, Rita and Suzanne!!

But the renovation doesn't stop there!  The homeowners' youngest daughter also got a new room! Bill loves the storybook feel of the architecture of homes in Carmel, so he had Mike build this wonderful entrance for their 12 year-old's suite.  We finished the wood and overhang to fit the look - so unique and just full of charm!

These closets in the hallway are great - I love the design, chicken wire and paint finish!

A room fit for a princess - it will last through college and after!  I would love this room for me!!! We plastered the walls and ceiling to add warmth and suit the shabby chic, French country style Rita created with the furnishings.

The same plaster is carried into the bathroom.  I adore the Calcutta tile, as well as the wonderful mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques and the reclaimed sink from Chateau Domingue. Just beautiful!!!

Before you go, one more look at this beautiful bedroom.  Rita did an outstanding job creating a lovely space for Audrey to enjoy now and grow into for years to come!

Just had to show this corness from Joyce Horn Antiques that Rita installed in the guest room.  She built the mattress and storage underneath into this niche-like area. Love the drapes with the button detail! Rita, you did such an amazing job on this house!  How fun it was to be a part of this project with you, Suzanne and Bill.  It's a great showcase of how classic design can hold up through the trends. Updating and adding doesn't mean you have to start from scratch in all areas!!!

Thank you so much to Julie and Danni of the blog T&G.  these two Interior designers do such a great job on their blog and I am so thankful they did such a great write up on Segreto Finishes and the book!!  Take a peak at their site you'll love it!!!!!  Have a great week everyone! xo  Leslie

To purchase “Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors” on our website, click here or to purchase through Amazon, click here. To Subscribe to Segreto Blog, click here.To follow Segreto Finishes on Facebook, click here.


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Reader Comments (18)

Leslie, this is such a beautifully executed update. Kudos to all of you. I am especially in love with the master bath. What an exquisite room!
Have a lovely day.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Athens

I loved the master bath as well!! Just dreamy--This was really a fun one to do and see evolve!! Have a great day!! Leslie

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterSegreto

Leslie, simply stunning. The details really stand out. I would love the daughter's room for myself!

Art by Karena

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarena

It's beautiful. And i LOVE how you made the images look like watercolors...perfect for showing this space!!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConspicuous Style

Would you share the name of the showroom where the mirrored cabinets were found? They are just stunning!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimerly Hight

Leslie - wow! I ran in to you Saturday at MAI, you told me the post would be a great house and it certainly is. Thanks for sharing. Is there anyway they would share the fabric used on the built in mattress in guest bedroom? I LOVE it and have been looking for that type fabric, color and all.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Beautiful home stood the test of time........... I'll bet those chippendale chair would look fab with some Evento Slipcovers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maryanne xo

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeeadboard UpCountry

Hi Leslie,
This is such a beautiful house, and with your beautiful finishes, even better. Absolutely timeless and so lovely. You really do amaze me!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDelores

So lovely! I love the youngest daughter's room and that nook in the last image is calling my name! I love how it's elegant and cozy at the same time.

Bello muy bello todo,PAZ Y AMOR

July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlaslaboresdelmiercoles

Oh my word! This is the prettiest blog I've seen in a long time! I know for sure I will be pinning all of these beautiful pictures! It looks like a dream house! So glad I got to see this post! Thanks for sharing it and have a wonderful Thursday!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Bradford

Stunning! I am dying over that bathroom! I hope you have a great weekend!

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany @ Savor Home

Hi, Leslie -
Thank you for sharing this gorgeous project with us. It is gracious, beautiful and very Continental! I love all the French, English and European antiques. Your work adds so much depth and patina to the architecture and decor. Your portfolio is stunning.......please continue sharing.
Cheers from DC,

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoi Thai

Hello Leslie~
Rita's design work is so beautiful. The walls are stunning! Oh the beauty of plaster! It truly adds so much to the interior of this house. Such a perfect Sunday afternoon treat to see this post.

I just found your beautiful site via Pinterest! What lovely inspiration! I have had my dining room free of it's ugly wallpaper for quite sometime but am in a standstill as to what to do. After taking the paper down I love the old crackle and chipped look the little bits of paper and glue give it and would like to do something that looks similar to this but have no idea how!
Would love to have my name in the hat for this gorgeous book and I am going back to follow your lovely blog now too!

bee blessed

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Very classic and exquisite type of arranging your home. The interior was perfectly fascinating.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing

Sand and grit carried from outside by shoes can easily scratch and abrade the marble surface like a sandpaper. Unprotected furniture legs may leave scratches too. Dragging heavy objects or sharp items on the floor can cause very deep scratches or gouges that may be permanent.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDouble Glazing Birmingham

I love the brick flooring in the wine room. Do you know the name or color?
Beautiful home...

August 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTara

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