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Sunday
Jun302013

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.

Indulgy

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Jun232013

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)”. 

 

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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.

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

 

Vogue

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.

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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!!!

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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.

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

Milieu

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!!!

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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!! 

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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!!!

 

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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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Sunday
Jun162013

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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Thursday
Jun062013

Spotlight on Brooke McGuyer Interiors

It is so fun to work with up and coming designers—this project with the talented Brooke McGuyer was no exception!!!

Talented as she is beautiful and sweet here Brooke is in her office. Her talent of mixing unique elements together to create an inviting and functional space is represented well in her own home office. From the custom window treatments (fabric Chenonceau by Shumacher) to the island that has been retrofitted to accommodate old French crates used as sliding drawers, to the fab lighting from 3 Doors she has created room for storage, a large workspace and a warm vibe.

 

 One of the first projects Brooke and I have worked together on this dining room has become one of my all-time favorites!! This was a Coventry Homes Build on Your Lot project. They, as well, were delightful to work with and I think you’ll see the home turned out stunning. Choosing a beautiful plaster for the walls and ceiling which blends with the BM China White trim, we hand painted a delightful design inspired by an antique Scandinavian wallpaper on her walls pulling from the colors of her oh so fab fabrics.

 

But our work isn’t the only wonderful part of this room!!  The antique French chairs, backed with Michael Devine fabric mesh perfectly with the host and hostess chairs by Quatrine!! The Rogers & Goffigon silk, Panache Dolce draperies look like a ball gown and the 18th century Italian Crystal Chandelier from Antica Collection are the perfect balance to the reclaimed beams in the room.

 The entry foyer flanked by the dining room living room is also enveloped in smooth plaster.  Love the contemporary art by Segreto Gallery's artist Stacy McNair mixed with antiques.  The 19th century French painted demilune is from Liz Spradling Antiques and the antique Louis Philippe Mirror from Back Row Antiques. Look at the nail heads on the runner going up the stairs—just love that detail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 The living room is quite charming with the Pecky Cypress Ceiling and plastered walls!!  Feels like a parlor and lead into a sunroom. She has the most beautiful drapes coming, which will certainly complete this room.

Carrying the plaster back to the den the cost stayed in check by not plastering the ceiling.  When you have molding and box beams around the room you can pick a color to match or complement fabrics and still maintain a sophisticated look. In this case the trim is BM China White semi-gloss and the ceiling is Vapor Trails 50% formula. Love the pair of slipcovered sofas from Lam Bespoke, the antique zinc dormer mirror hung over cast stone fireplace and the beautiful rug from Turkish Carpets, Inc.

Such a pretty clean look in this kitchen. The BM China white walls and cabinets mixed with the island in BM Vapor trails and the plastered hood carry elements from the adjacent open den to create continuity.  This gave a stopping point for the plaster, creating the look while staying within her clients budget!!  Love the honed Calacata Borgia marble from Walker Zanger, the pair of custom lanterns over island from Lighting, Inc., and the antique Swedish Mora clock from Eloquence.  

The powder room is dreamy.  I would love to say that our plaster in a pale Blaygeen color is the star of the room, but that vintage French chandelier is to die for!!! Wish I had a better pic of it!! No, what I really wish is that it were in my house!

The upstairs is just as charming!!! The daybed, the vintage Lucite table from MAI, the 1940’s chandelier—all ideal together!! But look at the marvelous design on the top of the drapes-the perfect finishing detail!!! It’s these details that make Brooke's work so brilliant!!

Such a pretty master with its walls painted in Farrow & Ball Pale Powder.  The spot on choice to complement the beautiful window and bedding fabrics by Elizabeth Benefield and the Chelsea Textiles bench. I really loved the antique alabaster lamps—what a pretty shape!

What’s not to love in this spacious spa feeling master bath! With Statuary marble, polished countertops and backsplash from Walker Zanger, the mirrors from Horchow, sconces from Visual Comfort and the empire freestanding soaker tub by Waterworks, this master bath would really take me away!!

Our tour ends with this fun playroom with the Antelope Carpet from Glen Eden. I can’t get enough of these sliding barn doors and I really love how Brooke has done them here!!  Thank you so much Brooke for sharing your own office and your latest client project with us. I so admire how you mix so many elements seamlessly and appreciate how you can make decisions, within budgets, that craft each room to look like a million bucks.  You are not just up and coming—in my book you have arrived!!! To contact Brooke about design projects contact her at bmcguyerinteriors@gmail.com. Thanks to Wade Blissard for the beautiful photography! See below for a fantastic sale showcasing designer inventories. Should be lots of great deals there! 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.

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Sunday
Jun022013

What does going green (low VOC) mean?

Trying to go green sounds good, but diving into the technical jargon and milling through companies marketing claims can be overwhelming! I am reminded of when the low fat craze began and the constant struggle to lose a pound or two. I pored over the marketing claims of low fat foods in the grocery store, spending way more than the hour I had allotted to do my weekly shopping. I went for foods with the lowest possible fat content trying to stick to the rule of thumb - nothing over 30% fat calorie ratio. 

From the Wild Mountain

Loaded with my arsenal of foods and complete with my favorite healthy choice cookies—I was ready to lose weight!! Of course, later many of these products were exposed as having twice the amount of sugars and carbs in them and more preservatives and chemicals in each bite that the military has in their arsenal.

 

  Oikos

I have felt the same way going through the volatile organic compound (VOC) ratios in paint products that claim to be green with one exception—this time I had to pull out my readers to read the fine print. The VOC’s are the harmful emissions that paint, glues, stains, fabrics, furniture, cleaners and other things in your home emit. VOC levels are typically expressed in grams per liter or g/l.   Up until 1999, the content in paints was pushing 1000 g/l but federal regulations have since set the VOC content limit in paint at 250 grams per liter.

Green Seal, the developer of environmental standards, certifies interior paints as low-VOC if the content is below 50 g/l for flat coat or 150 g/l for non-flat coat. Zero-VOC paints are paints that have a VOC content of 5 g/l or less. Most major paint companies now produce low VOC paint. If you are really interested in the guidelines make sure the pigments put in the paint are low VOC as well.

Watch out!!  Many companies will use low odor in their marketing to portray that their products are meeting the green standards when they are not. Basic rule of thumb—products that smell more have higher VOC’s.

 


Slow Fashioned

The new green movement is highlighting the fact that the older, more natural, ways of doing things are not only healthier for us physically but also healthier for a longer living planet. Green isn’t only considering producing new products with low VOC’s, but also reusing materials that we have to save the environment and reduce the amount of material we send to landfills.

Some ways are easy and can even help save on your decorating budget. Recycle! Recycle! Recycle! Look around your home at what you have. Do you have furniture, light fixtures, hardware, mirrors, kitchen cabinets or built-ins with great lines that just may need a face lift? With specialty paint treatments as shown above, these can be transformed at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new items.

During a past visit to Tuscany I noticed many restaurants served only fresh, preservative free foods and wines.  The food was so beautifully presented and delicious that I found myself indulging in 3 course breakfasts and 5 course lunches and dinners complete with wine and dessert.  I was amazed that I didn’t gain a single pound! I became a believer that chemicals and preservatives which so much of the food we consume in the states contain, can’t be broken down which not only prevents our bodies from metabolizing the food as efficiently, but also puts a strain on our organs when doing so. 

Food analogies help me relate to so many things-haha. Chemicals that surround us in any fashion, if they can't break down naturally, are unhealthy to our bodies and to our earth. Well, after all of my research, I find myself definitely on the road to a greener way of life! Recycle, reuse and refurbish what I have when possible, pay close attention to labels and buy lower VOC paint when it makes sense financially and aesthetically.

 

Just In at the Segreto Boutique!

Druzy and beaded earrings.


 Unique necklaces.

Get ready for parties at the ranch or a Father's day celebration with these Deer emblazoned styrofoam cups and cocktail napkins and the gorgeous antler chargers.

New work by Darlene Wall written up as one of Texas best landscape artists. If you would like more info about any of these items come visit us at 1414 Antoine or email karen@segretofinishes.com.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.

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