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Matthew Moves To Dallas!!

I always love sharing current projects that excite me. Although this one doesn't include paint, it certainly hits close to home!  My 24 year-old son, Matthew, is relocating to Dallas for a new job and asked for my help to decorate his pad. Jumping at the opportunity to spend more time with him, I said, "Yes, of course, when can we start!!!!"

I initially offered him some of our furniture that we weren't using, but he quickly responded, "Sorry, Mom, I don't think you own anything that I would like - I want my place to be modern!" Though a bit out of my comfort zone, I was excited to help him put together his mid-century modern apartment on a budget. We set out for a day of shopping so he could see a wide range of things and gain some understanding about costs.  Our first stop was Ikea.  It's probably the best bang for your buck so I felt it was good place to start.


He loved the bar, entertainment center and rug as well as some of their desks, but he decided to hold on all of his furniture purchases until he found a well-built sofa and chair to invest in.  We did outfit his kitchen though, complete with pots and pans, dish towels, dishes, glasses and barware.  As he pulled out his credit card, he said, "Boy, isn't $270 a lot to outfit a kitchen?"  Ha!!  Since Matthew loves leather and modern pieces, our next stop was Cantoni.

Sleek, mid-century modern, he had to have this one!  He loved the chrome and the way it transforms into a rocker when you take it off the base stand.

Matthew was instantly drawn to this espresso brown leather couch that had a cool feature: the back can lay low as shown here to be used as a seating ledge or it can pop-up for a higher back.  Although the piece was 30% off, we went off to comparison shop. 4 hours later, Matthew called Cantoni and gave them his credit card. That’s a change - your child footing the bill!!!  For the rest of the apartment, he wanted to furnish with pieces that had a nice look but were not so expensive.  


George, a friend of mine who owns Randall Edward, was having a huge up to 80% off sale so I scouted it out and took some pics to show Matthew.  Here are some of my finds that he liked: vintage seltzer bottles, a pair of lamps made from 200 year-old Greek tiles, a circle sculpture composed of ship masts from the 1700s, and wooden balls. He was very interested in the history of all these pieces and loved the idea of mixing the old with the new. The entire purchase was around $750 (Mom pitched in here)!


One of my favorite Houston shops, Denny Register, buys up large estate sales and puts their finds in a massive, un-air-conditioned warehouse filled to the brim!!!  We bought this unique side table a a bargin price. Love the bamboo and retro 60s style. 1001-A W 34th St. (713-817-5760).

Of course a home is never complete without something on the walls! I had so much fun painting this work for Matthew using his pop colors of orange and teal, and I've given him several other pieces over the years that can now come in handy. To add a little of the mid-century element, I also framed some pages from a 1930s suit catalog that I have in the store. He picked out the two that were my favorite for him plus one more!

The rest of the shopping was done online.  CB2 is a wonderful place to get cool contemporary pieces at very good prices!

The coffee table, stacking side tables, and bar were all purchased for about $500, a fraction of what we had found similar pieces for!


West Elm also has some great buys. He got the headboard and fun martini table there. Unfortunately, they didn't come in time for the final reveal!!! For the bedding, Matthew purchased hotel-type linens that were crisp white with gray stitching details from Rue la la for 75% off. It's one of my favorite online discount shopping sites.

The last purchase was a cow hide rug. CowHides International seemed to have the largest sizes and prettiest hides for great prices.  On sale for $199, Matthew was thrilled! He decided to go with this rather than the shag rug from Ikea he originally wanted.

For the big move, Matthew used Point 2 Point, a firm that I use to deliver furniture for us.  They were excellent, taking such good care of him and doing a fab job - on time, on schedule, and no breakage!!!!

And now for the Final Reveal!!!! (wish my iphone pics had turned out a little better)

Here's the view as you enter the door.

I love how all the pieces came together!

Of course, a 24 year-old boy's pad isn't complete without the TV!

The vintage suit catalog artwork is so fun!

Matthew, of course, loves the bar!

The kitchen has beautiful finishes. We'll see how much he actually uses it - hehe!

All his UT memorabilia is prominently displayed over his desk. Love how he mixed the clean lines of the chair and desk with the antique lamp which he stole from my shop.

There's a beautiful view of Dallas from the balcony.

We all had a wonderful time getting Matthew settled into his new pad!

He seemed so happy when we left!  Furniture set up, clothes put away, and ready to start his new adventure!!!!


We were all exhausted when we got back home and a bit sad that Matthew had moved away!  Chrissy's already missing him!!!  I wanted to thank my sweet friend Mimi from the blog A House Romance for writing a two part blog series, the first an interview with me and the second on after seeing her lovely home what finish recommendations I would give. To see the first go here, then for the second part hit newer post. She writes a great blog and I was honored she asked me to help with her home.  I hope everyone has 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.



Why do we love gray?

I love all the gray rooms and accessories that are in home design today.  But, at first glance when looking at the meaning of gray, it's a little perplexing why the color is so popular and how it manages to work with so many different design styles.
As a true neutral, gray communicates a void of movement, emotions, warmth or any identifying characteristics.  Yikes!!  But, somehow, I find this bath painted in BM European Gray to be calm, soothing and elegant.  Why is this?
It's this very lack of emotions that makes gray so calming!  Because gray isn't expressing much of anything, the color remains simply restful, quiet, and tranquil. It allows vibrant colors to pop while also cooling their intensity. Oh I get it!!

Every color seems to perfectly complement some shade of gray - just take a look below at how these accent colors look with a gray backdrop!

Yellows and Golds!!!

Source: The Architecturalist

Reds and rusts!!!

Source: Belgian Pearls Blog


Source: South Shore Decorating Blog


And even teals!!!!!

Some Native American tribes relate gray to friendship, and many other cultures use the color to symbolize security, maturity and dependability!

The Four Seasons in Florence uses the sophisticated color for this lounge that caters to the business sect. It's a smart choice considering how gray suits have become part of the uniform of the corporate world. Dark, charcoal gray imparts the strength and mystery of black without its negative connotations.

While gray goes wonderfully with most colors, picking the right gray to complement your accents can be tricky.  The 10 Rooms blog has some great tips and color suggestions!

I love the above grays from SW!!! They are some of my absolute favorites.

Benjamin Moore also has a lovely one called Silver Fox.  Designer Michael McKinnon calls it "a warm, taupeish gray, what artists call a French gray. Very relaxed and chic. It immediately puts me on the Île Saint-Louis overlooking the Seine. It’s equal parts earth and air, to use feng shui terms, which means it’s perfect for a small, narrow entrance hall, because it adds warmth and air at the same time.”

So… put some gray in your home if you want:
    •    to create an environment where compromise is encouraged
    •    a neutral, non-invasive feeling
    •    to reduce the intensity of another color, while still including it
    •    to create an isolated getaway

Do you have a favorite gray room? Send me pictures to - I'd love to see! We have just gotten a new shipment of art and jelrey at the store--come by and take a peak!!!  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.


Blessed to Be an American!

America is filled with beautiful lands, wonderful people, diverse cultures, and so many opportunities. I so hope that as Americans we can keep the strength and moral compass that our fore fathers had when starting this nation.  I hadn’t read the Declaration of independence in quite some time and thought I would quote from it with some pretty home inspired pictures of course!

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Never Ending Memories Photography

To read the rest of The Declaration Of Independence go here. I do hope that our politicians, the court systems, and the people can hold on to good common scene, the basic logic of right and wrong, and put others ahead of their own personal gain to keep America as I for fathers had fought for it to be.


Let's Celebrate!!! --- Start the day off with a fun breakfast for the kids!!!

Money Saving Mom

Pack a Picnic Lunch!!!

Stone Gable Blog

Stone Gable Blog

left: Nights In ; Right: Good Housekeeping

Add some Red, White & Blue to your home!!!

left: via Country Living, Center:Junk Yard Market, stairs: That's My Letter 

Dress for Dinner!!!

Fabulous Mag

My World

Free People

Go Watch Fireworks!!!

And .....give thanks for all our soldiers past and present who have fought so hard protect our great country.


Happy Fourth of July!!!I hope everyone has such a wonderful day with family and friends.  Off to Dallas to move my son into his new place!!!To keep updated on Segreto's projects like us on Facebook--we post about three new projects a week.  Click here to like the page. 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. To subscribe to Segreto Blog, click here.












For the Love of Pink!!!!

First recorded in the 17th century to describe the dianthus flower, the color pink has expanded to include countless shades and has become known for its associations with love, romance and beauty.

Until the mid 1900s, pink was mainly considered a masculine color. A June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, 'The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl. '(Smithsonian)”. 



During the 1940s and 50s in the US, retailers and pop culture began marketing pink for girls and blue for boys.  Ultra feminine movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn wore iconic pink dresses in films like How to Marry a Millionaire and Breakfast at Tiffany’s , strengthening pink’s association with femininity.


Girly products such as Barbie and Mary Kay cosmetics adopted pink as their color and it became the signature color for breast cancer awareness.



Italian born French fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, coined the color "Shocking Pink" in 1947. She called the color "life-giving" and used it in many of her visionary designs.


The phrase was so popular Schiaparelli even developed a signature perfume "Shocking" branded in pink!

Clockwise from top: Source, Source, Source, Source.


Pink in the Home!!!


Pink was extremely popular during the exuberant design phase that took place post World War II. Everyone looks good in a pink light, so it was an especially good color for kitchens and bathrooms. It is estimated that a 5 million pink bathrooms were installed in 20 million+ homes built in the United States between 1946 - 1966.


Jayne Mansfield, one of the early Playboy Playmates, really went overboard with this trend!!!!


Even designer extraordinaire, Pam Pierce, designs with Pink as she does in this promo photo for her new magazine MILIEU, which will premiere soon!!! Can't wait!!!


In the past few decades, shades of pink have been getting a lot more attention in the interior design world. Expanding from the dusky mauve popular in the 80s, today you can find homes with every tone of pink from soft blush tones to hot pinks. The shades are endless!

Farrow & Ball Pink Ground was used by designer Richard Coleman in this pretty living room where we finished the cabinetry. 


Sorry about the pic, but just had to show this darling nursery where we painted French panels behind the bed in tone on tone PINK!! Pinks often grow pinker when painted so pick a shade less pink and lighter than you think you want!! 


Whether it is used as in small doses or as the backdrop for a dramatic scene, pink adds a sophisticated touch to any room!  Hope you enjoy my pink favs below!!!









I am tickled pink to talk about pink today-hehe!! I was so excited to see Joni Webb's posting on the Aidan Gray contest winners.  I was honored to be asked to help with one of the homes!

This was the after shot of the dining room where we plastered the walls and Randal furnished the room. Thank you so much Joni for hosting the contest and Randal with your stunning furnishings and amazing design work!!  To see before and after’s of all of the houses go to Cote de Texas here.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  I am headed to Austin for a little vaca with my family for a few days!!  Will be fun!  Our last hoorah before my son moves to Dallas!  Till next week!  xo  Leslie 

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Showcase Splendor!!!

I love working on any project with this dynamic trio: The Owen Group, Richard Price Custom Homes and Travis Mattingly of Architectural Solutions, Inc. This 2013 showcase home to benefit the Evelyn’s Park Conservancy, a new park to be constructed in Bellaire, was no exception. 

Photographer: Blake Mistich

As you enter this home, you are greeted by the warm and inviting entryway painted in SW Accessible beige which complements its beautiful hardwoods from Custom Floors Unlimited and the delicate railings. This home was custom built for a family with 4 kids, so although beauty was important, it also had to be functional and livable.

The plaster in the dining room sets it off from the rest of the house. The comfy bench seating and upholstered host and hostess chairs create lots of seating for all ages. Those slipcovers can be removed and washed so no need to worry about the kids spilling!!!

The entrance leads back to the kitchen den breakfast area.  The openness of this space gives lots of room for family and friends to hang out and also works for more formal entertaining. Beautiful accessories, like the pair of Italian candlesticks on the coffee table, complete the room. I love how the doors just open up to the backyard!!

All the cabinets were built on site, giving them the wonderful furniture lines that Richard Price is noted for.  Segreto did their magic on them to complete the look and I love the chicken wire and linen fabric that Tami added!!! The clean lined upholstered pieces are from Custom Creations Furniture.

This charming Country French kitchen gives a pop to its neutral surroundings! With two counter surfaces, Leuders limestone on the surrounding counters and walnut top on the island we combined two cabinet finishes giving each its own personality. They found the perfect tile for the floor at Alkusari Stone. The plaster hood combined with the lovely tile details, such as the back splash from the Medina Collection, really makes this kitchen a showcase.

The powder bath is both simple and elegant with plastered walls and glazed cabinetry.  Love the floors in here from Custom Floors Unlimited - so fun!!!

This hallway has so many subtle architectural details. Notice the arch over door to the master creating a special entrance to the suite and the paneling going up the stairs. I like the way Tami chose the paints to be tone on tone where these details don’t jump out at you but just create texture and warmth.

This is a WOW master suite! Painted in SW Tavern Taupe, which really offsets that lush cream bedding and upholstery by Custom Creations Furniture and the Swedish demilune tables from Joyce Horn Antiques. This is a room to relax and feel pampered in!!


My favorite master baths are ones that feel like a room. Spacious enough to relax and watch TV in—there is a built in armoire on the other side--it feels like a spa resort!!! 

Featuring Furniture from Custom Creations Furniture

The upstairs game room is as pretty as the downstairs den!! Love the ottoman in the center and those hide rugs are both beautiful and indestructible!!!


The Kid Zones!!!!

Staged for the show, Tami did a wonderful job making them feel fun warm and inviting and fit for kids from 5-32!!

Walls painted SW 7651 Front Porch, Custom French Chevet night stands from Joyce Horn Antiques.

Walls painted SW 6267.


Pink Bunkroom

Walls Painted Sherwin Williams 6581 Verbena Pink

Girl's Bathroom

This loft drawn by Travis really makes use of tucked away spaces and gives a “cool” feature for the kids!! Sorry I forgot to put the rug back!!

Hats off to Tami for picking such wonderful surface combinations like these in the  shower. The floors in the  bathroom came from Walker Zanger and are "Nature Color" 1NATWHI-648. The shower from Marazzi is Studio Series Pearl White.

She did such a great job picking the colors and outfitting the furnishings for the kids zone!!!!

The window in the laundry gives the room such personality. Love the floors - Palm Frame Hex (cream) from Walker Zanger. The Counters are Leuders Limestone and the backsplash is Kresh cream.

The outdoor kitchen, which is just as thought out as the inside spaces, feels like a cozy bar with two tvs neon light and a fireplace. What a treat to work in, and then tour, this house after it was furnished.  Tami Owen from The Owen Group, Richard Price of Richard Price Custom Homes and Travis Mattingly of Architectural Solutions, Inc. worked so well together and under the stresses of a showcase deadline to create a fantastic home that this family of 6 will enjoy and build memories in for years to come!!! It was my pleasure to be a part of the project. I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day and a great week!  See Below for another fun sale! I bought some prettys for 60% off!! 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.

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