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« What Segreto Did This Week - Part II | Main | Wedding Spotlight - Rachel »

Our New Office!!

Segreto and I are taking on a whole new venture.  Working out of my home office for the last 17 years, we've been renting one space for the art gallery and furniture refinishing and another for book storage. I decided it was time to own rather than rent, and I wanted to put the entire team under one roof. Looking at warehouses and commercially rated houses, I purchased this home in December with the plan to renovate and add a warehouse to the back in which to refinish furniture.

Not far from my own home, this 1950s ranch is located in an up-and-coming neighborhood across from a private Catholic boys school.  I currently live across from its sister girls school so I thought it was fate! Since we work mostly on residential projects, I loved the idea of having Segreto’ s office and design studio in a house to show what paint can do for a home environment.

At 2000 square feet, this house had low ceilings, lots of choppy rooms, and had been untouched since it was built. Hope you enjoy this walk-through with me!  I couldn't even show my husband the inside of the home until we were well into the renovation process - he has no imagination and would have said "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!"

Here was the existing kitchen right off the entrance.

As you walk through the kitchen to the back of the house, you reach this den.  Accustomed to selling multi-million dollar homes, sweet realtor Pama Abercrombie with Greenwood King helped me with the purchase. Her husband, Andie Abercrombie, is an incredible builder whom I have been privileged to work with throughout the years. You can tell we bought in December - Pama has her coat on. Neither the heat nor the air were working in this house.  Ha-ha... nor the electrical, gas or plumbing!!

Looking back to the front of the house, a doorway leads to a converted garage...

which has been lined with shelves and used for storage.

This hallway leads to the 3 bedrooms, or offices as they've been using them. Look at how narrow it is!!

The formal powder is the first stop to the right. Love the tile!!

This room, after the renovation, will serve as a reception and storage for approved samples as well as a display space for some wonderful new home accessories that we will carry when the space opens.

Here is my office that I will share with Little Leslie, one of my design assistants! There is one more room across the hall that Karen and Isai will use.

Love our second bathroom!!

You can see I needed some help - there's lots of work to do!!!  We brought on Steve Goodchild and Juan of Goodchild Builders, well-known for building and remodeling some amazing homes.  As my neighbors at the old space (our furniture refinishing studio and art gallery), they agreed to help. And to create the plans, I hired building designer Rudy Colby with whom I had just finished a wonderful project. Team intact, we got started!!!

Well, when we began the renovation and took down the yellow siding, which was in bad shape, look what was underneath! I made the decision to completely gut the home and start from scratch. The front part of the house was originally the garage where you saw the storage racks.

Here, it's on its way to a big transformation as we are lifting the ceilings!  This will be my new conference room and design center, filled with samples of our work.

Here is a sneak peak!!!  We plastered the walls and ceilings in a textured finish.  The trim is painted in BM OC-19 to blend with the slightly darker walls as you can see.  The window, painted in SW 7018, was a find!  Knowing that I'm on a budget, sweet builder Steve suggested that I look at Home for Habitat, a nonprofit that builders donate their leftover or reclaimed materials to, and The Door Clearance Center. I purchased the front door and this one at the Door Clearance Center which had gorgeous doors at great prices!  We wrapped the ceiling's support beams in inexpensive plywood and then distressed and glazed them. This was a big cost saver, and they look great!

Here is the beam before!!

I had Del of Gunnells Concrete Designs stain and wax the floors. I have been impressed with Del's work and his fair prices for a long time, and he's such a nice guy to work with!!! He did amazing work on the garage floor slab from the 1950s! He also builds counters and sinks!!

This is the room behind the old garage.  Previously the kitchen and a separate living room with 8 foot ceilings, you can see on the floor where the walls used to be. We incorporated a small 4 foot porch that was part of the slab into the space, and then opened it up, raised the ceilings, and closed-in the two side windows.

After a visit to Olympus Marble and Granite, I picked a quartzite, which is harder than granite, for the counters.  I loved the colors so we designed the entire color scheme around that!!!

Wanting a small kitchen that blends old world and contemporary, I did open shelving. Rather than laying tile, we are using one of my favorite stencils behind the kitchen area.

To balance the fur down which was necessary to get air-conditioning into the previous garage, I built a niche into the room. It's the perfect place to show off some of our mural work!!!

Karen, my go-to gal at Segreto, was looking a little doubtful about her new office. Accustomed to working out of my home, she's hoping her new space will be just as nice.

Well, this is a start!  I built custom cabinets for her and used the same chicken wire doors from her office at my home.  She likes a little color, so we plastered the walls and ceiling with a sleek finish in the palest of aqua. Just wait though!  She's going to have silver leafing on the cabinets and a design painted on her floor!!  I love the little light I bought from Circa Lighting!

For the front office where the reception will be, I used my dining room shutters to create a cabinet that will house approved samples for clients.  We are going to finish them to look like age-old shutters.  It is amazing how many elements that you already own can be used instead of buying new!!

I love them and the design that we painted on the floors as well!!!

I was the most excited about my wood plank ceiling! We painted the ceiling black first, and then Goodchild builders put up inexpensive pine wood. Using a plaster technique, we gave the pine a worn finish. It has the look of reclaimed wood at a fraction of the price! Notice that I replaced all the windows. Henry, Steve’s foreman on my job, bought all the windows in a bronze finish at Home Depot. Because we used standard sizes, they were very reasonable, and we could pick them up the same day!!  Thanks, Henry, you have saved me on so many occasions!!!

The inspiration for my little bathroom came from a mirror that I had gotten at Joyce Horn Antiques and some 200 year-old columns that a good friend had given me. Goodchild Builders did a great job building columns into the vanity. I emulated the mirror's finish on the piece and then added a hand-painted mural as the final touch!!! I loved both the colors and the price point of this tile from Home Depot too. Next, we'll be plastering the shower and walls in a waterproof plaster. TOO cool!!

I hope you are enjoying my journey in creating a new office space!  A big thanks to the Goodchild Builders' team who did a fantastic job every step of the way!!!  Stay tuned for more updates on the progress and final reveall!!!  Hip hip horray--we are moving in this week!!  Have a great week!! xo  Leslie

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Reader Comments (17)

How exciting Leslie! You are so going to enjoy this new space. I hope you will show it again when it's all finished. Have a great week x Sharon

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon @ Roses and Rust

Congratulations, Leslie. The space is looking wonderful and it will be the perfect laboratory to showcase all the fine finishes and techniques your company offers. Often clients cannot visualize what their spaces will look like. Being able to show them different ideas in a home setting will, I believe, make it so much easier for clients to see the potential in their own homes.
All the best,

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Athens

Leslie you did the right thing, gut the place it was the only way to go. From the way you've done things if ever need be you can easily turn it back into a home. Looks fabulous and I can't wait to see the finished product!


August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAcquired Objects

Love the new offices. The quartzite is beautiful. It looks similar to marble but with out all the problems. Working for you would be a dream.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLana Waller

Leslie your transformation is amazing!! Love the new vanity and the Morocan painted Floors!

Art by Karena
2012 Artists Series featuring Harrison Howard

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarena

Oh Leslie I am so excited for you! It is already looking amazing! can't wait to see more!

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Fern Creek Cottage

I always love a fabulous renovation and your is well on it's way Leslie! We renovate homes also and are currently in process on a European farmhouse style that I chronicle through my blog, European Farmhouse Charm. It's lovely to see these rather basic residential homes turned into something fabulous! I can't wait to see it after it's done.
My husband and I love your plaster work and your book has been a constant source of inspiration!
Take care,

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Malone

This is my favorite post so far. I think everyone will enjoy how you have taken an ordinary rancher and used your magic to transform it into something wonderful. What a great tribute to your business. Love that vaniity in that powder die for! Great post!

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercindy hattersley design


August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChampagne Maker

i want to move here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i can not believe how gorgeous this is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoni webb

How exciting and fun for you all to have a great office space. I love what you have done so far!

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

This is such a wonderful project and so exciting. I love older homes and it is so nice to see one come back to life. Thanks so much for sharing this with us and I look forward to seeing every inch of this redo. Congrats on your new offices!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina Diamond

Wonderful--you always do the most amazing things!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelley

Wow! This turned into quite the project!!!!!!!!! Love the progression of the before and afters........Can't wait to see the finished product! Isn't it amazing how these thinhgs evolve???? Lookin great!!!Maryannexo

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeeadboard UpCountry

Congratulations on your new office....What you have done so far is so magnificent!...Looking forward to the progress...and that vanity is so beautiful...Your office will certainly be a showplace in itself!!

I am so impressed Leslie. You really are a visionary. Enjoy the new space!
All best,

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis Higgerson

I’m a little curious how your office turned out. But based from the plan and the photos, I’m sure it is looks incredible. A great-looking space will surely inspire you to do more work! Update us!

Angela @ New Wave Offices

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Dela Cruz

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