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« What does going green (low VOC) mean? | Main | Art that Inspires »

Defining Spaces

The latest issue of Antique Shops & Designers-a must read magazine- is out and I thought I would share parts of my article, using projects we have just completed. Thanks to my blog friends for the topic!!!

In today's open floor plans, creating interest and definition can be challenging. Do you paint selected areas a different color or elect for one color throughout? By using paint colors effectively, you can open up spaces while allowing the home's architecture, furnishings, accessories and art to shine.  In this entry, we wanted to give a bit a of personalty without having to go down the hallway with the pattern, so we opted for a handpainted panel design.

The colors used complement the cabinetry and accessories in the home so everything flows together.

In the same house this lovely homeowner wanted to define her master bath area while leaving the walls the same as her bedroom.  We decided to apply a treatment that is used in Europe. We painted the ceiling and continued the color 3 inches down onto the wall and then handpainted a pinstripe to add definition to the space, while leaving wall colors consistent. A panel done in colors that coordinate with the tiles adds an extra element to the inset tub area. 


Accent walls typically refer to one wall in a space that's painted a different color. While this technique works well in offices or ultra-contemporary settings, accent walls can feel a bit severe. Your eye falls on the shape they create, where the walls and ceiling end, making the space appear more confined. A successful twist on this trend is to use the same background color throughout the room and then apply design in a complementary color on the wall you wish to highlight. This enhances the space's flow by keeping a common thread in your surroundings.


Painting a beautiful medallion around a chandelier can do the same, like this ceiling medallion design we implemented over plaster. 

Crown moldings can also receive a special treatment to define spaces. In a home with open living and dining areas flanking the entranceway, Segreto crafted a finish on the moldings to replicate old, worn picture frames, bringing a bit of the past to these newly remodeled rooms and setting them apart from other spaces.

Distressed beams, wood planked ceilings and plaster ceiling designs lend wonderful texture to a room. The right finisher can affordably transform boxed beams or pine two by fours into sensational, reclaimed lookalikes.


 Painted floors can take the place of inlayed stone or tile to delineate an area. They bring interest and distinction to a kitchen, dining room or foyer and allow for easy cleanup of spills or dust.

Giving cabinetry its own unique finish is another way to differentiate one space from another while leaving the walls and ceilings in the same color. Since den and kitchen cabinetry tends to cover the majority of the wall, custom finishes on large pieces remove the need for different wall colors. 


 Paint is one of the most budget-friendly ways to break up the spaces in an open floor plan. In this hallway, which leads from the back of the house to the kitchen, cherry blossoms painted throughout over the same painted base color gives personality to this walkthough space. 

 By using these paint techniques, you can create accent floors, walls, ceilings and cabinets that both customize rooms and provide a sense of spaciousness and continuity throughout your home.  To see all the issues of Antigue Shops & Designers go here

New shop items!!!


The Well Dressed Man is always welcome! These individual pages from a vintage men's catalogue from 1930 would be perfect framed in a grouping! We have a whole catalogue of originals available by the page! $99 each.

Family friendly paper table runners and placemats  from Kitchen Papers are perfect for all of your summer parties or just for everyday! You can even place an order with us for custom monogrammed placemats! Under $30's!

These gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, lamps are made out of antique printing cyclinders for wallpaper and set on acrylic bases! It will be hard to let these go, but they deserve an amazing home!!  $950 each, shades not included. 

Handmade in Italy, these eco-friendly and chic cork pieces make the perfect accessories for the Summer! They are lightweight, stain resistant and come in so many different designs-starting at 48$. For more information on these items email Thank you so mych to my friend Karena who writes the fab blog Art By Karena for publishing a wonderful post about Segreto. Please give her a visit and have a chance to win a free copy of my book!!  Hope everyone has a happy Memorial Day and a great week!!!! 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 (6)

Leslie your business does some amazing work I'm drooling over the painted finish in the first entryway. I;m also drooling over your "reclaimed" wood ceiling and might have to steal your idea. I'm off to see what else is in your shop!

Happy Memorial Day!

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAcquired Objects

Hi Leslie,

I have to say your work is always so beautiful and restrained- it always is in the best of taste- a fine line with decorative finishes very few master- but you have, indeed!

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Hi Leslie, this post really shows the wide range of your teams expertise! Love the Entryway at the top, gorgeous design!

Art by Karena

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarena

Hi Leslie, this post really shows the wide range of your teams expertise! Love the Entryway at the top, gorgeous design!

Art by Karena

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarena

Hi Leslie, this post really shows the wide range of your teams expertise! Love the Entryway at the top, gorgeous design!

Art by Karena

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarena

All lovely. The master bath is a particularly elegant design.

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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