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Sunday
May122013

A Week with Segreto and Me!!

My weeks are so fun working with clients to make their homes their own - I love finding new ways to bring in the homeowner's personality. I wanted to share a few of these projects with you and give you a glimpse of what I did last week!

 

Homes 1 & 2: Floors!!!

For this floor design, I worked with homeowner Alicia and designer Lisa Rowe to create a statement in her new entry hall. They wanted something with a contemporary edge to set the tone of the rest of the home.  Since there are wood floors throughout, we decided to do something bold and paint the floors in the foyer in a rich gray and cream graphic combo! The beautiful landscape painting by artist Darlene Wall, purchased from Segreto Gallery for Alicia's previous home, looks great in its new setting. 

 
The newly laid wood floors were painted BM OC-53 first with an acrylic floor paint. A sticky paper was applied to the floors so we could hand draw the pattern.  Segreto artist, Debbie Moseley, who also has artwork in our Gallery, is calculating the math to layout the design.  I never thought I would have to remember those high school geometry classes in my line of work!!!

After the pattern was drawn on the floors, we used an exacto knife to cut out the design, leaving areas of the basecoat exposed.  A coat of BM-HC-166 floor paint was rolled over the entire surface. 

Here is Alex, my main decorative artist, pulling the remaining sticky paper from the floor to reveal the white undercoat of the graphic pattern. This home is simply wonderful - I hope to take you on a tour of the house in its entirety once the gals have finished!

In the second house, which has a more traditional style, we worked with sweet Melinda to create a border in her entrance that would set it apart from the open floor plan of her home. Taking inspiration from a beautiful tile mosaic, we added a shadow line to the custom painted design for a beveled effect.

 

Homes 3 & 4 - Shutter Doors!!!

I just can't get enough of antique shutters! Ever since I first took the shutters from my dining room and figured out how to give them a beautiful aged look, we have been mastering the subtle art of antiquing new or existing shutters for many of our clients.

These newly built and aged shutters designed by Steve (who is both the homeowner and builder on this one) and designer Darla Bankston May, add so much character to this butlers pantry! The architect of this home is none other than the famed Kevin Harris - can't wait to show you more of it at a later date!

These 200 year-old distressed shutters from France that I found for display at our shop served as our inspiration to transform the shutters in our client Jill's master bedroom suite. 

Jill's 35 year-old shutters, previously sprayed a 70s gold color, were stripped and then layered with paints and glazes to emulate the antique ones we have. Designer Lindsey Herod, who just opened a Houston branch for the New York firm, Celerie Kemble, is spearheading the master suite makeover.

 

Homes 5, 6 & 7 - Wine Rooms, Stone and Brick!!!

What a cool feature for a wine room - old barrels embedded in the brick! I had a lot of fun creating a mural for designer Janita Lo that would complement this unique element of the home! 


For the Tuscan countryside mural (still in progress), we framed the beautiful scene with painted bricks to emulate the real brick in the room.  I would love to share a glass of my favorite Chardonnay in this interesting and inviting wine cellar! 

 

This is a close up of another brick feature wall that we had applied in a boys room for designer Sheila Lyon. Seeing the whole wall painted with the trompe l'oeil brick really tricks the eye!

For this kitchen, homeowner Nita wanted to pull in some of the Austin stone that they had used in the adjoining den. The painted version we did really ties the two rooms together!

Painting the label of a favorite wine onto a cabinet or wall is always a great personal touch for a wine cellar or bar area.  The curved cream element of this wine cabinet seemed a bit out of place.  But by aging the cabinets and painting a soft design, we were able to pull everything together in a charming fashion.

While we were busy painting in the cellar, talented homeowner Gwen was getting ready for a dinner party! Look at that table, just masterful!!!

 

Birthday Wishes and a Graduation Extravaganza!!

I also turned 51 this week, and it wasn't so bad!! I started the day with a company meeting that evolved into a birthday surprise and ended the evening with a wonderful dinner with my family. This huge bouquet is just one of the thoughtful gifts my Segreto team showered on me!

Then we were off to College Station to celebrate my daughter's graduation from Texas A&M University. So proud of her!!!!!!!! Congratulations, Kirby!  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!  'Til next Monday - xo  Leslie

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Sunday
May052013

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!!  Mom.....

I love you for all the times you picked me up when I was down.

 For all the times you traded your warm smile for my frown.

For all the times you brushed my hair and tucked me into bed... Or needed something for yourself and put me first instead.

For all the dreams that we have shares, the tears and laughter too. I love you mom with all my heart.. there is no one quite like you!!

I had so much fun going down memory lane remembering all the special things that my kids did for me or my favorite gifts to my sweet Mom!! Here are a few......

 

Create a Card or Coupon gift book!!

I made a twist on this for my Mom and was thankful my kids did it as well for me.  Make each flower or page a coupon of chores you would do for Mom or time you would spend with her or special surprises you would give her.

Send an invite  to the big day in advance!!!

 

 

Make an "I love you " jar!

An “I love you jar” is a perfect gift that the whole family can do. Filled with reasons why their family loves them this is a perfect place card for Mother’s Day brunch or a special addition to a breakfast in bed tray.  You can combine it with photos, memories’ of the past and pampering gifts.

 

Craft a handmade gift!!!

 

Make your Mom some adorable cork coasters as they have done here in Marthat Stewart Living. Create stripes with masking tape and initials with vinyl letters or stickers. With a stencil brush, apply craft paint. Let it dry, then remove the tape or letter. Tie together with ribbon and give with a bottle of her favorite drink! 

Cork coasters, 4" round, $15 for 24 by Hygloss, 800-444-9456

Formulate your own Aromatherapy. Find step by step instructions Here. 

Fashion some creative decorations for your celebration. These recycled containers are super easy to make and would be great placecard holders, votive holders or vases. Just save your tuna and chicken cans and clip the clothespins around the whole side. A perfect, simple craft for kids of all ages! 

 

 Find her that perfect gift!!!

If you are looking for a special present for Mom, The Segreto Boutique along with fab jewelry and art has wonderful gifts as well! 

 

 

 

 

 

  I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day and lovely week!  We are headed down to Collage Station on Mother's Day weekend as my middle Daughter Kirby is graduating from Texas A&M University. All the siblings and my Mom will be there. The perfect Mother's Day for me!!!  Till next week!!!  xo Leslie

To purchase “Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors” on our website click here or to purchase through Amazon click here.

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Sunday
Apr282013

Slip Into Something Stylish

 Slipcover Love

From the functional to the purely decorative, slipcovers have a long history in interior design. People have been using them since medieval times as furniture coverings for protection and style. The slipcover trend began with simple sheet like coverings, whose main purpose was to protect from the elements when it wasn't being used.

Slipcovers have evolved into a wide variety of different styles and materials moving from functionality to creating furniture with style! 

 Busnelli

By the 18th century, the slipcover had become a design tool for wealthy homeowners. They began to have slipcovers made with materials that coordinated with their drapery fabrics and could be changed out seasonally. Elaborate detailing such as French pleating, cording, ruffles and special buttons add interest and a highly customized look to any piece of furniture. 

 It's so Very Cheri

Even ghost chairs are given a whole new twist when introduced to the slipcover!!

 

The slipcover fashion trends of the Victorian era were loosely fitted –the beginnings of today’s shabby chic. Not limited to seating, the headboard in this room has its own slipcover as well!!

 Traditional Home, Photo by Emily Followill

A beautiful dining room - these slipcovers have slipcovered tops!

Source - Tara Shaw

People found that by making the covers a bit larger, they still looked good when their linen or union cloth fabric stretched with summer’s heat and humidity and shrunk with the dry interior air of winter

I love the look of slipcovers on dining chairs - this additional cushion really creates sophistication and comfort.

The simple design of these tab slipcovers are brilliant. We plastered this home for designer Pam Pierce was featured in Antique Shops and Designers' magazine!

Simple Everyday Glamour

And of course, we can't forget about the slipcovered bench!!!

 

Miss Mustard Seed blog gives a wonderful tutorial on how to make slipcovers from painters drop clothes, which can range in price from $5-$30 depending on the size. Durable, great looking and a real bargain!!! To find out how, go HERE!

Here is another dropcloth used for an office chair slipcover. Made by Teresa Cozy Cottage Slipcovers, it was washed 10 times before being made.

 

Living in the Great Outdoors

One of the best things about slipcovers is that they are easy to remove and clean. This makes them the perfect covering solution for outdoor furniture. Weather resistant, but stylish, materials like Sunbrella have opened up the doors for beautiful and comfortable outdoor living rooms and seating areas. 

Mohon-Imber

 

Current slipcovers come in a wide range of prices and wonderful styles. You can have custom tailored slipcovers or.....

 ......choose from many different ready-made options, such as these Arte Pura sold by Beadboard Upcountry. From medieval times to 2013-this trend started centuries ago is here to stay!!!

Don't Forget about Mother's Day and Graduation! The new Segreto boutique and gallery has a full range of unique gifts for everyone on your list!! Jewelry, dishes, beach and pool wear hats and bags, candles, books, aprons, art, home accessories and more!! Visit us at 1414 Antoine Dr. 77055, 8-5 M-F. We will also be at MAI building 2 On Wed May 1st 10-6 with our Jewelry.  8731 Katy Freeway next to MAI Consigned.   Till next week!  xo  Leslie

 

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Temptations Trunk Show

Wednesday, May 1

10 - 6

8719 & 8731 Katy Freeway (77024)

 

Designer jewelry by Mallory Nicholson, Victoria Taylor Jewelry,

Cheryl Brady, Leslie Carrigan, 

TC Designs' Tracy Cowan, and Pe Gregory of Wire Hill Ds

Hand-crafted chocolates by Richard Kaplan's Brown Paper Chocolates

Designer belt buckles by Gorilla Design's Kim Morse

Monday
Apr222013

A Great Shopping Day in LA

When I was in California visiting my husband’s family, I got the chance to check out two amazing stores – Gianetti Home and Kier Design - with my sister-in-law, Heather! We broke away one day and had so much fun seeing some of LA’s leading interior design shops. First stop, a visit to Brooke Gianetti's store, Gianetti Home, in hopes of meeting her! Brooke writes one of my favorite blogs, Velvet & Linen.  

 

I was expecting the store front to look like her home - full of character and brilliant landscaping, as you can see on her site. Not sure what I was thinking though... this is a store front in LA (11980 San Vicente)! But you'll notice all of Brooke's signature warm touches and creative architectural accessories can be found inside. 

 

Here I am - so excited to go in!!! Unfortunately, I never made it that far. The door was locked, and THEY WERE CLOSED ON SATURDAY!  Just my luck…  Oh well, we still got some great inspiration peeking into the windows. 

   The shop is so pretty and has a definite liveliness to it as it's also a working design and architecture studio for Brooke and her husband, Steve, who work side by side. Brooke offers interior design, and Steve does architecture and building design. I learned on my visit that the two also do landscapes and have a great little selection of pots on display. How wonderful!

Even though I wasn’t able to go inside, I was amazed with how much I was able to take in through the windows. The store’s full of French chairs, linen slipcovers, candles, big baskets and other great furnishings and accessories. There's a lovely soft color palette throughout, and I adore the way Brooke and her team have grouped pieces together so that it feels more like someone's home than a store.

What a wonderful collection of antique mirrors mixed in with some industrial pieces! Brooke has a great eye, pairing primarily French and Belgian antiques with outdoor and industrial elements. I had a great time getting a glimpse into their store and hopefully I’ll be able to go back soon.

Fortunately Heather and I had better luck at our next stop – Kier Design in Pacific Palisades. It is so charming and has some amazing, unique pieces. If you’re ever in LA, it is absolutely worth the trip!!! 

Interior designer and owner, Heidi Kier certainly has her plate full, running not just this wonderful shop but also a very successful design business! But she does both so graciously and displays an incredible array of accessories, lighting and furniture.

Kier Design has such a unique mix of items that Heidi has purchased from around the States and across the globe—it’s like a big treasure chest!  I love how her presentation and display really provides some great ideas for accessorizing tables and filling in little nooks and crannies.  The nice neutral color palette accented with aqua and turquoise is so pretty!

She has a huge collection of vintage, old Hollywood-type pieces. This beautiful 1950s martini set is absolutely delightful! You just can’t help but love the color.

I always enjoy seeing lamps made from repurposed objects. These were made from old balustrades and have a beautiful aged, original finish!  I actually have a bunch of antique balustrades from old historic buildings in Houston and Galveston just sitting at my workshop… I need to do the same with them.  Believe it or not, they’re 200 years old - It’s hard to find things that old in Texas!

Heidi collects an amazing variety of fossils and shells! And I was pleasantly surprised that they had such reasonable prices in her upscale location. I love these sand dollar fossils – amazing! Sand dollars were my favorite thing to collect and search for when walking the beach as a child.

I wish I had bought these to accessorize the shelves in my new den – I’ve never been able to find any as big. Their color tones are so wonderful and have a great bit of sheen.

This is such a great combination – a framed piece of antique seaweed and the varying heights of these French and Italian candlesticks!  I love how both Kier Design and Gianetti Home bring the outside in by incorporating some natural elements into their designs. I would take this whole collection!

Heidi has a few of these amazing statues, made for her by the artist. They are truly a stunning way to bring a hint of the beach into European design!

She is very proud of her vintage assortment of Murano lamps… as she should be.  I have never seen quite a collection!  They are a wonderful way to tie in a contemporary style with a bit of the past, and they’re definitely one of a kind with different shapes and colors to choose from.

These heart-shaped, stone vases were so cool and unusual that I had to buy several for gifts. At thirty dollars each, I couldn't go wrong! Notice also the beautiful white coral placed all around – so beautiful!

Heather was excited about her steal of the day - Aidan Gray candlesticks at half off!!!  Kier Design is a great place to go to find unique pieces in a wide range of price points! And there were so many pieces too – I think it would take days to really see everything in the store!

Heidi loves doing her own custom designs and refurbishes many of the items she finds.  She was so sweet to show us her secret stash in the back workroom!!!  I can’t thank you enough, Heidi, for being so kind and giving us a tour around your beautiful store! Kier Design sells many of its pieces online and ships them to you…I should know, I bought several things there.  Perfect for those of us who don’t live in California!

Be sure to check out the Brooke’s blog, Velvet & Linen, and swing by Kier Design and Gianetti Home next time you’re in LA.  Hope you all have a great week!

 

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Sunday
Apr142013

The Love of the Banquette

 

Booth? Table? or Banquette?...

From everyday seating in cozy breakfast nooks, to elegant dining rooms and seating areas, banquettes have been popping up on the interior design radar with gorgeous new designs and unique placements. 

The term Banquette is derived from the French word for bench. It is traditionally a built in piece of furniture that fits into a corner or against a wall, that takes up less space than an assortment of chairs around a table. Contemporary renditions of this seating trend include use of a wider variety of furniture including using antique couches or the back of a kitchen island as the base for the banquette. Some new versions even include extra storage space or cubbies for pets, perfect for a smaller home or those living in apartments or highrises!

 

Breakfast Nooks

Curl up with your coffee and the paper or brunch with mimosas. Either way, who wouldn't love to start the morning in these sophisticated banquettes!

Designer Julia Blailock-  art by Segreto Finishes.

Better Homes and Gardens

Classic Casual Home

Better Homes and Gardens

Source Unknown 

At Home Arkansas

House and Home

Source Unknown

 

Southern Living

 

Behind the Island

It's inevitable, the party always ends up in the kitchen! The Banquette setup encourages diners to get cozy and enjoy a lingering meal so it's the perfect solution to add one to the back of the kitchen island. These banquettes will keep the gathering together from dinner prep all the way through cleanup.

Damask and Design

Traditional Home

Tobi Fairley 

 

Dining Rooms

Anything but stuffy, these elegant banquettes are a breath of fresh air for the traditional dining setting. The term "banquette" is closely related to "banquet" The sources of these words may vary in history but collectively we associate these terms with friends and family gathering to celebrate and enjoy meals together. 

MJ Interior Design Inc. Traditional Home.

Great tufted Banquette (Designer: Sarah Richardson)

Source

 

Seating Vignettes

Space saving and incredibly chic built-in banquettes transform corners and walls into friendly gathering spots. 

Cote de Texas

Desde My Ventana 

Source Unknown

La Dolce Vita, designer Colleen McGill

 

 

Custom Make One of Your Very Own, or...Can't wait or want something more mobile? Try one of the many new ready made options like one of these.

This banquette settee by Ralph Lauren Home would take the morning cup of Joe to a whole new level.

 Hickory White (left), Windsor Smith Home Collection (right)

 

Bonus Features!

left: source unknown, right Design Dump

Extra storage is always a good thing. If only they could fit another walk in closet underneath a banquette! These creative, camouflaged hiding spots could stow all kinds of goodies. 

And finally some furry friends to send you off! Chris Madden has the right idea with his custom banquette. Human seating on the top, cozy dog beds underneath. 

Dont forget to mark your calenders and tell your friends about our fun trunk show. We would love to shop and visit with you at our boutique located at 1414 Antoine Dr. We have special guests Golden Threads and Arte Pura. To learn more about these lines and more, visit last week's blog here. Have 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.