Subscribe to Segreto Secrets!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Search Blog
Blog Archive
This area does not yet contain any content.


A Stunning Transformation with Kemble Interiors

Last week’s post introduced you to Lindsey Herod, a designer from New York firm, Kemble Interiors. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with this talented young designer, and this summer marked our second project together.

The master bedroom and bath of this home built in the 70’s had virtually remained untouched!!  After living with the banana yellow walls and bright green carpet for so many years, the owner of the home, oh so cute Jill, was ready for a full redesign of the room hiring the talented Lindsey for the interiors and  builder extraordinaire Steve Goodchild of Goodchild Builders for the renovation work.


Notice the shutter doors here—look for their Segreto transformation in the completed room!!!

Looking at these “before” pictures, Jill points out that the built-ins were a problem area: “Instead of using those shelves for antique pottery and wood candlesticks, it was a place to store folded towels, baseball hats, and pictures of the kids.” Jill and hubby had been renovating the rest of the home and had decided to completely wait on the master area until they could do exactly what they wanted.


Lindsey’s focus in the redesign was to open up the space and make the rooms relaxing and enjoyable spaces. As you can see from the “after” pictures, she definitely accomplished her mission!! The inspiration and color scheme for the bedroom came from the fabric used for the headboard – “Tribute to John Fowler” by Hazelton House – which combined Jill’s favorite colors of pale aqua and soft lavenders. “Beautiful fabrics are my favorite way to start a room scheme,” Lindsey explains.

Lindsey utilized Jill’s existing glass urn lamps and then accented the room with antique Swedish bedside chests and a sanded wood French console found in Round Top.  Lindsey also incorporated a lush purple fabric that they had found at Glicks (a discount fabric store in Houston having a going out of business sale).  We plastered the walls and ceilings in a smooth finish in a palest hue of  lavender.

You can see the tips of the shutters here.  These are the same ones painted gold previously, refurbished and repurposed!!! Now to Jills favorite element in the room—the floors!!! “The painted floor is my most favorite element – I have never seen anything like it!” says Jill. It was certainly fun to create!

The inspiration for the floor design came from a pic Lindsey and Jill saw on my Pinterest board when we were meeting at my studio to go over the concepts for the room. The Segreto team hand-drew a pattern onto the floor, creating a stencil, then painted and hand embellished it.

Now for the bath!!!

In the bathroom, Lindsey made the call to start completely from scratch: “We started with a blank slate and ripped out everything existing and the closets to make one big wide open space.”  Steve and Lindsey actually drew out them plans themselves on the walls.

The bathroom was a complete transformation!! Walls were remodeled in the bedroom and existing closet to expand the square footage of the bathroom.  The gorgeous tiles you see are handmade concrete tiles by Aguayo in the Dominican Republic. Lindsey loves how the colors and patterns can be customized. Lindsey loves the softness they lend to an otherwise hard surfaced bathroom.  Aguayo’s line can be found at Architectural Design Resources in Houston.

The smooth plastered walls in the bathroom create the perfect backdrop for the artwork – a Christina Graci original – found in the Segreto Boutique.

I had to look back at the before pictures to remember what and amazing transformation this space was. Lindsey so perfectly captured Jills style and Goodchild Builders did an amazing job making it happen.  Thank you so much to Sweet Jill, for trusting me to be a part of such a fun wonderful project.

What's New at Segreto Boutique! 

Getting ready for Holiday shopping--I’m loving all the new jewelry we have gotten in. From bracelets to earrings to necklaces the price points range from $25 to $1000. I had to purchase a few myself!!!

Loving these driftwood reindeer and Christmas tree creations. Quantities are limited on these unique creations – the reindeer are $55 each, the small tree is $169 and the larger tree is $195.   

I am so proud to say that the two new paintings above were created by my daughter, Kirby! We have been doing some mother-daughter painting lately and these are the finished products. I think she did a great job!

We also have a few brand new paintings available from Debbie Mosley – “Chillin in the Air” is shown above.

Finally, I have brought a few more of my own  created during that Mother daughter time!!

Stop by the boutique to see all of our new inventory!!  1414 Antoine, M-F 9-5.   Till next Monday!!  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. 



Kemble Interiors opens an office in Houston!!!

I was thrilled to learn that Kemble Interiors, with offices in both New York and Palm Beach, will be expanding into Houston! I had, of course, heard and known about the wonderful work of Kemble Interiors for some time, but about two years ago, I got to experience the design firm's trend-setting work first-hand while helping Celerie Kemble and her associate Lindsey Herod with the finishes in a Houston home. It was so much fun watching this design legend's philosophies at play!!! 


Here's busy Celerie, sitting on her Serpentine sofa (photo by Don Freeman)!  In addition to running the New York firm, Celerie is constantly designing various pieces for her collections.  This sofa is part of her gorgeous collection of case goods and upholstery with Henredon Furniture. This line is perfectly complemented by her accessories collection from MAITLAND-SMITH.   

Celerie also has a rug collection with Merida Meridian!  She has a talent for mixing colors and patterns in bold, unexpected ways, as evident here in her Catalyst rug shown in Pink Grapefruit.  Check out more of her designs below!!!


Whether you prefer wool or jute, Celerie has some fantastic options! I've included the specs on these rugs below, in case you're interested in learning more about her collection with Merida Meridian:


There is truly nothing that this little lady doesn’t do well!!! She even has a wallcovering and fabric line with F. Schumacher! All of the items in Celerie Kemble for Schumacher espouse her well-known design aesthetic, combining classic lines with modern detailing and an eclectic flair. Celerie is a pro at blending a variety of styles and trends in a beautiful, harmonious way.  I just love how her F. Schumacher collection has everything from geometric patterns to ikats to metallic finishes to velvet!

So how could this busy mother of three have time to expand? Her right-hand gal, Lindsey Herod, a native Texan, was happy to take on the challenge! Here's Lindsey inside the incredible home I helped them with a couple years ago!  Go here to see the house when we first started and to meet Christopher Garrett, the renovator!!!

This two-story entrance has corridors upstairs and down as well as a room that leads to the upstairs halls.  After falling in love with a discontinued wallpaper, Celerie and Lindsey enlisted Segreto's help to replicate the look.  Using the wallpaper as inspiration, we came up with this elegant, two-color stencil design.

You can see the detail of the pattern above! It was such a pleasure getting to know Lindsey better throughout this process. She's been interested in art and design since she was a little girl. Although she graduated with a degree in architecture from Texas A&M, she quickly became head over heels for the interior design department at Pratt and completed her Masters of Interior Design there.

It was so fun for me to see how Kemble interiors maintained the home's cohesive feel while layering myriad colors throughout! I asked Lindsey how they managed to achieve this so spectacularly: ”I typically start with one pattern or multi-colored item in every room.  It might be a wallpaper or a rug or a fabric or a painting.  Then I draw everything from that.  And I always layer in texture.  A little grasscloth or sisal, some brass, something shiny, and something dull and always something old.  An easy way to do that, don’t buy everything in your home from one place or in one style.” Love that advice!

As you can see from this home, Lindsey adores color! While some people are afraid of using color because they're worried about flow, Lindsey's not one of them!!! "Flow can be overrated!  I’ve put a bright coral entry, next to a pale yellow living room, next to a natural grass cloth family room, next to a high-gloss mint lacquered dining room, next to a lime green kitchen!  It doesn’t feel odd or confusing; it feels like a surprise is up ahead."

This color philosophy is at play here, going from a room saturated with jewel tones to this more neutral dining room with plastered walls keeps the home interesting.  Kemble Interiors always finds so many unique pieces, like the iron doors, chandelier and velvet chairs on display here! With experience in cities across the country, Lindsey has developed a repertoire of shops she loves! Some of her favorites include Dixie Highway, Shi Ernhart, D&G Antiques, and Circa Who in Palm Beach, and in New York, she loves Todd Romano, John Rosselli, 145 Antiques and John Sallibello. 

While she's still discovering all the great places in Houston, Lindsey frequents Brown, FOUND, The Gray Door, Joyce Horn, MAI, Carl Moore, Longoria Collection, and Segreto Gallery when shopping for her Houston clients.

What a fun, unexpected back staircase!!!  I love the layers of interest from the paper, the washed wood floors, the wonderful pops of color in the fabrics, and the staircase balustrades that we embellished with a hint of gold. You can certainly tell that the Kemble gals love what they do!  

This wide open kitchen/breakfast area is spectacular! It has an eclectic feel, yet all the elements marry together perfectly!!!


The Carrera marble back wall reads like art! I think the combo of the industrial feel of the bar stools and the European touch of the brass and metal hood is so stunning! This is an absolute dream kitchen!!!

Our part in the kitchen?  The floors!  Taking inspiration from the window treatments, we hand-painted the floor with a design of delicately scattered leaves.  Throughout our conception of these floors, I imagined it as though we had thrown leaves up into the air and then painted them wherever they landed.

In the cozy breakfast area, comfy chairs and a loveseat invite you to sit down for a family meal.  To personalize this space, we also added the kids' names around a few of the designs... they had so much fun looking for their names!!! 

Another clever idea - hiding the tv behind curtains! In a kitchen/breakfast space like this, I think this concept works particularly well since it draws on the cottage style of using curtains to enclose cabinetry.

It’s all in the details with this home! We not only finished all the vents and lights to blend with the papers, tiles, or paint finishes on the walls and ceilings, but we also added striping details to lights and finishing touches to furniture.  This guest room is still a work in progress, but we have just completed the walls and moved the furnishings back in.

What an amazing project to be a part of!  The best part was getting to know Celerie and Lindsey!!!  They are as creative as they are nice, beautiful and charming! Thank you so much to both of you for letting me share your work and a little of yourselves.

Next week: a bed and bath makeover from Lindsey and the Kemble Interiors team!  Have a great week everyone!  Till next Monday, 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.



Big Dreams and Little Closets

Closets are becoming as important in home interiors as the kitchen or the master bath.  Adorning them with custom cabinetry, specialty finishes, elaborate draperies, chandeliers or wallpapered ceilings, they are spaces that big or small bring out the inner princess in us all!!


With carefully considered storage for accessories and shoes, islands with built in refrigerators and ironing boards, the new breed of big closets challenge even the most famous of celebrities. 

Architectural Digest

The infamous closet of diva, Mariah Carey, as featured in Architectural Digest and MTV cribs. A completely color coded personal boutique!

Joan Crawford (left), Christina Aguilera (right) Source

Architectural Digest

Sir Elton John's Sunglasses closet


A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

One of the main tips from professional closet organizers is to make sure that you take a mental inventory of your entire collection of belongings and make sure you have a designated spot for each item. If something has a home, it's easy to find when you need it! 


Source Unknown

Storage solutions made simple!!


Decorative moldings painted to the color scheme of your room make prefect ledges for shoe storage!

Source Unknown

Love this idea of having a lazy susan built right into the closet.

Better Homes and Gardens

Edging it's way out of the retail stores and into home closet organizing, slat wall is an extremely versatile organizational tool. You can use it to hold up shelves, baskets, hooks and change the configuration whenever you need to reorganize!


Letter dividers for flip flops or flats!!!


Built in jewelry storage with a mirrored front!!! I would love this!!!


Special Touches

Closets are the perfect room to express your personality and indulge in special finishes and wall treatments that can be much more dramatic or completely different than the rest of your home! 

A closet we painted modeled after the Dior boutique in Paris!!!


Source Unknown

Elle Decor


Source Unknown

Source Unknown

Conceal in Style

Whether your closet is big or small you can make a statement with interesting doors or curtains that cover the clutter. 

Elle Decor


Traditional Home


So Many Clothes, So Little Space

I loved when talking to my fashion forward design assistant Andrea hearing about how she made her oh-so-little closet special so I wanted her to share what she did with all of you!!! Take it away Andrea!!!!!

I never thought I had a problematic amount of clothes and accessories until I tried to squeeze them all into a 3 ft wide "reach-in" closet. Needless to say, I had to find a more efficient solution to my fashion problem!

J. Crew's creative director, Jenna Lyon's, closet as featured in Elle Decor 

My roommate, Anne Marie, and I both wished for a surprise third room to appear so we could turn it into our own dressing room heaven, like J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyon's closet above, but unfortunately it has yet to appear!


Anne Marie's solution was to get a good quality rolling hanging rack from the Container Store and it works perfectly for her! Her strategy for keeping it beautiful is to keep things consistent. Stick to one type of clothing or one color scheme. I tried a rack from a different company that wasn’t very sturdy, so I always had a precariously leaning tower of clothes. So buy good quality!


My next attempt was to use an armoire. I added a dowel rod in the top and it was the perfect height to hang shorter items like shirts and jackets, and then I stored shoes in the bottom drawers. This is a great solution for anyone on a budget! Now that flat screen tvs are the norm, people are getting rid of armoires they previously used as tv cabinets for great prices.   

But I still wasn't quite there...

My designer Mom came to my rescue with a simple and functional soulution that only took an afternoon to install! My hanging space went from 3 ft to 6.5 ft using just a few stock materials from our local Home Depot and a shutter we found at an antique store! She added a cubby shelf and some cute storage boxes underneath to create even more organizational space for shoes and accessories. We finished off my new closet with some curtains from Tuesday Morning that blend with my existing draperies. I absolutely love my new custom closet and it adds so much charm to my room!

Thanks, dynamic duo sweet Andrea and her cute mom Sally, for sharing such an innovative, functional and beautiful way to create a closet!!!!

There are so many incredible closets for inspiration! You can find more pic ideas on my pinterest board here. The winner of the Christina Graci art give-a-way is Janet Sheperd Preble!! Congratulations Janet!! Have a wonderful Labor Day and a great week!!  Till next Monday!!! 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.


What we have been painting at Segreto!!

 Summer is over and school is back in at least here in Houston!  I hope everyone has had a great summer.  Here are a few projects we have been working on!

 Paneled Rooms!!

I love how glazes enhance natural lines of the wood adding character to a paneled room. It is really easy when your paneling is freshly painted  but what are your options if you have stained paneling in which you would like to alter the color?

This study previously an orange stained color that was popular in 80's and 90's that has been transformed with a gray wash.  When glazing over an existing stain you are limited a bit by what is underneath and can only go a certain amount lighter.  Darker finishes are easier to achieve.

Although still up to date this walnut toned glazed paneling was too dark for the homeowner.  If you can see the new fabric in the chair and the soft colors of the rug, we wanted to attempt to lighten the space and bring in the soft teal color that was now being introduced into the room.

The new finish was about two shades lighter, still neutral but definitely a softer look with the new decor. Why try to glaze over the existing finish rather than paint and start fresh?  A huge money savings!!  For a painted finish the walls would need to be sanded, primed and then painted with two coats of paint before any of the glazing begins!! In a room this large, the expense could add thousands to your project. When working with a finisher have them apply a sample for you on the back of a door or shelf to see if the sought after look can be achieved over the existing stain.

Its all in the details!

This built-in cabinet (there are two that flank the fireplace) is slated for an old distressed finish. this is how it looked when we started the project.

Pulling a door off the piece, we did the sample right on the job. I can't wait to see the piece in its entirety complete--what a transformation!!

If you have a light fixture with a patina that is not quite right for your decor, it's easy to alter the finish with paint for a fraction of the cost instead of buying new!!!!

Solid marble or fauxed to look that way? Can you tell the difference?

Only the tip top slab is marble.  The rest was built from wood and fauxed to look like the top!! Hats off to Segreto's finisher, Alex!  I couldn't tell the difference when I checked on the finished product!!

When the homeowner first moved into this house, she couldn't get past the rangehood finish to see she had a lovely kitchen. Calling me in, we came up with an idea that totally changed the feel of the room.

First, the hood was plastered in a smooth finish to blend with the walls and the heavy stained wooden strip at its base was painted to match the cabinetry.  Secondly her island was painted and glazed in a French blue to lighten the space and blend with her drapes! Lastly a design was painted onto the plastered hood.


This embellishment to the hood was the homeowner’s husband's family crest, which was used on her wedding invites and stationary. Hand-painted in a tone on tone fashion, it added such a personal touch to the space.


Its all about the stencil!

This painted stencil design really complements the mirror and stone in this oh-so-elegant powder.  There are no seams with paint and it’s easy to get the perfect color this way!!! Now we just need to hang the mirror and the room is done!!!

Although many of the stencils we do are tone on tone, you can add different colors to stencils, giving it a totally different look to the design. The base in this room was painted Sherwin Williams 7016. The light color of the stencil is Sherwin Williams 7028 and the leaves were Modern Masters Warm Silver. I love the bit of shimmer added to the walls.

Wanting a totally different look from this powder that the homeowner inherited from the previous owner, we decided to stencil the walls in a large pattern since, the room was spacious and the ceilings very tall. What a transformation this powder undertook!!!

She did replace the counter of the existing piece, the faucets, the mirror and the sconces, but the rest we achieved with paint!! We used a stencil from Royal Designs and painted the walls with a combination of Farrow&Ball Pavilion Gray and Wimborne White. In Houston, I purchase Farrow&Ball products from Boxwood Interiors.

I love how the homeowner added the skirted table on the opposite side of the vanity in this oh-so-spacious powder adding a softness to the room!!

Our funiture refinishing studio!!! We have been really busy in our workshop transforming and refurbishing some wonderful pieces for our clients!!! If you love the lines of a piece but not the finish giving them a facelift can make them work perfectly in your space!! I hope you enjoy the before and afters!!!



What's New at the Segreto Boutique!


 Love these pieces we had framed that were the pages of a 1930's men's suit catalogue.  I used a few in my son's new apartment in Dallas!!!

These Rosy Ring candles and diffusers smell wonderful, last forever and are beautiful!!!  Perfect for the Holidays!!!

Part of the new jewelry shipment that arrived I may have to purchase one of these for myself!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!! I do appreciate the patience of all of my clients, who have waited for us to arrive at their homes, and the support from all my blog and Facebook friends.  We will announce the winner of the art-give-away next week.  If you haven't entered read last week’s instructions on how here !!  Till next Monday!  Xo Leslie




Christina Graci: Art Give-A-Way!!!


Meet Christina Graci: Designer by Trade, Artist at Heart

Christina, one of the wonderful artists featured in Segreto Gallery, runs an interior design firm based in New Orleans with her brother, Chad Graci. Together, they are able to offer a wide variety of services to their clients from color consultation and space planning to complete home design. In her art, Miss Graci truly brings the color and enchantment of her hometown to life on canvas.

"My design style is transitional but leans more towards a traditional, comfortable side. Chad’s style is a bit more transitional but with a more modern, eclectic feel. We both love the combination of beautiful antiques with modern and new furniture."

I was lucky enough to find Christina while visiting my daughter, Sammy, who was attending LSU at the time. After getting a bit lost in town, I wandered into an antique mall where Christina was showing her art. Moved by the wonderful color combinations and composition of her work, I purchased one piece and ended up contacting her later for more. Her work has been so successful in our gallery.  Read on to find out how you can enter to win a Christina Graci original...

"My work is constantly changing and is a reflection of my mood and the place I am in during my life. I have many different styles and have an urge to try new things all the time."

Christina, who began painting in high school, uses her art both to inspire and adorn the walls of the interiors she designs.


"My paintings, although sometimes have a lot of movement, are also very precise and thought out. I would never paint something that I wouldn’t put into one of my clients’ homes."

Hailing from a creative family, Christina’s career path and passions are not unusual. Her father and Chad both graduated from LSU with an architecture degree, and even her cousin has an incredible talent for art.

"My design style is actually a lot like my paintings, believe it or not! A cool, pale color palette with pops of color, proportion and scale, thought out placement of color, and a very simple and precise aesthetic would be the main focuses of my design."

As far as being an artist goes, Christina is the total package. Not only does she have the intrinsic eye for art and design (perhaps a talent passed through her family}, but she is also well-educated in the subject. She received her degree in interior design with a focus on art history from LSU and was able to spend a semester abroad studying design in Copenhagen, Denmark. She later went on to work with two prominent New York design firms: Victoria Hagan and David Easton.

"The only time my mind is completely clear is when I am painting. It has been the most calming, fulfilling aspect of my life thus far."

When she isn’t painting or running her interior design business with her brother, Christina can be found near the by-water area outside the French Quarter. She loves to browse the antique and vintage shops, including Sterling Provision, a personal favorite of both her and Chad. For all you Houstonians out there – Christina recommends Carl Moore and Joyce Horn as great shops to visit.

Christina’s creativity extends to the kitchen where she absolutely loves to cook for her friends and family. "I guess that’s just the New Orleans Italian in me!" she explains. On the nights she doesn’t want to stay in, you may find her at Mr. B’s or even Galatoire’s for Friday lunch. "Galatoire’s is the epitome of New Orleans dining in my opinion -- it's classic and fabulous."

"I truly get gratification when a piece of my work is purchased. I love knowing it’s hanging in someone’s home."

As for the future? Christina’s goal is to continue to build upon the success and happiness in her life she has already experienced, and then some. "I would love to be able to continue Graci Interiors and my painting well into the future, someday have a family of my own, and maybe live in a foreign country for an extended period of time to be truly inspired."

Thank you so much to Christina, you are a true talent!  Many of these wonderful works of art are available at Segreto’s gallery and can be viewed online at Or...... stop by Segreto at 1414 Antoine (Open M-F 9:00-5:00) to see her paintings in person and browse our little shop.


Don't forget! You can win your very own Christina Graci original. Here's how: 

1. Go here to "like" Segreto on Facebook.

2. Go to our Facebook album of Christina's paintings here and choose your favorite Christina Graci original. Then post a comment describing why you love it.

3. We will have a drawing and the lucky winner will receive the 12" x 12" Christina Graci original painting below:


Best of luck!! Till Next Monday!!  xo, Leslie