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Pretty Offices for Two

Whether you work from home or need a place to organize your family’s various meetings and activities, a functional yet pretty office space is a must.  I’ve always loved having workspaces that can accommodate more than just one person…originally so when I was working at home the kids could be with me while doing their homework, and now to create a more collaborative environment with my staff. When I was redoing my new offices, I found so many fun design ideas for multi-person offices. Here are some of my favs!!

First I was searching for the right layout!! I like working in an office that has an extra table that you can turn around and use as an adittional work space.   I drew my drapery inspiration from this pic!

Should I have an oval table that is angled? Took up too much room in my space but I can’t help but love  the monogram on these chairs! I wanted to monogram something but I couldn't work it into the design.


I adore how this space works behind closed doors! Another desk could be on the opposite wall, plus you can close off the room whenever it’s too messy– big secret – I’m not that neat!

The desk space between the two workstations is a brilliant way to create the feel of separate offices but still have a two table feel. The acrylic stacking bins and file sorters really help cut down on clutter... I got some similar ones from the Container Store for our office.

Drawers can also serve as a functional divider. These were built specifically for this room, but Ikea has wonderful, reasonably priced desks that you can customize to fit your space!  I purchased chairs just like these from the discount website Haute Look. Even though the site mainly focuses on clothes, they have some furnishings, and I got these for 50% off what I’ve seen in stores.

This beautiful home office for two is inside one of the house’s we plastered. I thought they did a wonderful job adding interest with the unique chairs and floor!



This office marries rustic with contemporary in a beautiful way… I love the acrylic chairs paired with the floating reclaimed wood counter. I did a similar look in our conference room, placing antique metal barrels under an old top. We added a few Ikea cubicles in between the barrels for storage. I always need more storage!! Although I couldn't afford these chairs for my office I did find some I liked from Ikea for 79$ each.  

Message boards are a must in any office.  The corkboard behind the computers is awsome to pin reminders and pictures on. It can be painted to give it a more decorative look. In my old home office, I painted and stenciled the corkboard backsplash. It holds up well and is a great alternative to a fabric pin board!!

Painted with chalkboard paint, this old door I found on DigsDigs makes a wonderful weekly calendar and place to post messages. 

Instead of using normal black paint, you could use chalkboard or whiteboard paint on the wall behind your desk and write messages directly on the wall – so great! They also make a wipe board paint which I purchased but didn't use that is a great alternative.


This pin board can be hidden by closing the shutters - such a creative idea!!!


Here’s a beautiful fabric board example! The antique frame became a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind message space – I love how it feels more like an art piece than an office necessity!

Ballard Designs is a great place to find framed bulletin boards! I bought one of the large ones for my conference room and painted it – I love how it looks in the room! I also have one at home in my daughter’s room. She used it for all of her pictures and school things – so functional.

While I love the ones from Ballard, the sizes and cost wouldn’t work for the other 5 desk setups I have in the new office. Again, Ikea saved the day – I bought several bulletin boards for $5 each and painted them. They turned out great and really fit the space.


Finding the rignt desk was my next mission. I loved this look and almost bought a similar one for my office, I needed a little more storage and a place to hide the CPU so I decided against this desk. Criss cross or chrome legs are so popular right now! This one from Vielle + Frances is $1250, but I know West Elm and Williams-Sonoma have some like this around the $500-$600 mark.

Partners desks have always been a favorite style of mine. Sometimes old tables can make the perfect desk creating a workspace on each side! I adore this old, red trestle table that serves as a great workspace in this Peter Dunham designed room.



I love vintage or antique finds mixed with contemporary elements. This old 1950s partners desk sold me on doing an old desk in the middle of the room. Looks like it’s been revamped with some leopard print on the side!

Love the shelving wall behind the desks! It might make up for not having any drawer space.  All from Ikea, which also sells great baskets that you could put in each cubby making it a bit more decorative. I decided against the desk but bought lots of these shelving units.



In the end, I chose this desk from Ikea for my new office. It’s both versatile and functional… and it was only $145 – the perfect solution! I think the design of this area would be great for a kids room. The painted heart is so fun, and the chair looks like one I’ve seen in Pottery Barn Teen – they come in lots of colors!

Doing something special and unique like this with the fifth wall is always really important to me. I featured this office by Annsley Interiors on my post on ceilings, but I love the room so much I can’t get enough of it! Although I didn’t choose to emulate this graphic treatment, I definitely wanted a very cool ceiling in my office!

And here’s my office - the finished look with the Ikea acrylic chairs and desks, antique drawing table from Joyce Horn Antiques, painted corkboard and beautiful ceiling! It has all the elements I was looking for!  Next week we will look at wonderful home offices for one!!

What do you think makes a great office space? ‘Til next week! xo Leslie

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Ohara Davies-Gaetano on Sophisticated Neutrals

Monochromatic, tone-on-tone designs seem to be all the rage right now. When this trend uses whites, creams, and neutrals, I think it's especially alluring - a beautiful way to bring a sense of tranquility, sophistication and classic style to a home. I love the way my sweet friend California designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano played with this concept in two homes that she recently shared with me. Ohara created incredibly soft and inviting spaces using various layers, textures and subtle differences in materials and elements.
This Newport Beach home has a casual, comfortable feel with multiple seating areas and the warmth of the sun flooding in from windows and doors. Soft layers make this gorgeous living room feel so spacious, great for these homeowners who downsized when moving to California from their previous Virginia residence. Ohara said, "I wanted all areas of the home to feel like a continuation of the next, ensuring a very open feeling overall."
I adore the way that Ohara has accessorized these shelves, drawing out the palette of the pillow fabric in a curated way. Most of the objects are the client's own collection of finds, mixed with some antiques and collectibles that Ohara integrated. The antique mercury bottles are so pretty, each one with its own special shape and patina. The Baker floor lamp and Oly end table have a great simplicity that balances rather than competes with the built-ins.
The mix of antique pieces and modern lines adds so much interest to this area! The custom-made pillows with a graphic, diamond design are a beautiful foil to the 18th century Italian altar stick and the antique French frame that Ohara used to showcase art from the homeowners' collection.
Ohara custom-designed these fab end tables based on an antique Gustavian cabinet she saw on a recent trip to Europe. She's incorporated so much character into this assortment of old-world pieces like the drawer pull and modern elements like this stunning lamp made from Selenite mounted on a lucite base. "I love the juxtaposition created by combining, the old, the new, the polished and the more organic."
Notice the subtle differences in the chairs surrounding this dining table… Ohara matched a Saladino-inspired, slip-covered chair with an exposed leg chair based on a South of France antique she'd found.   This Italian chandelier that was recreated from an 18th century altar stick - beautiful!
One last glimpse of the chairs! Ohara offered some great advice if you want to accomplish a similar look: "Since I used two completely different styles of chairs around the round table, I wanted to unite them by using the same upholstery and the same trim. The eye discovers the variance in shape and scale, but it isn't jarred by a contrast of various tones of fabric."
This next home in Southern California also has a tone-on-tone design, but here Ohara plays off the French Provencal architecture throughout the outdoor and indoor spaces. By creating a very classic and neutral backdrop, Ohara could incorporate the English antiques that the homeowners collected when they lived in London without the pieces seeming too abrupt or out of place.
As you enter the home, this antique statue that Ohara found on a recent buying trip adorns the hallway and offers blessings.
The great room is the epitome of elegant sophistication. Creamy plaster on the walls, the room has a warm and embracing quality of light that Ohara used as an inspiration for the color palette. The furnishings here - everything from the pair of chairs from Baker and the mirror over the fireplace to the custom-made Tibetan rug and Amy Howard cabinets - are just gorgeous!
The outdoor areas of this home are truly spectacular! I can just imagine spending my mornings here surrounded by fountains and antique and reproduction planters that were imported from the South of France and Italy - heaven!
The vines and archways invite you into the wonderful loggia.

What an enchanting patio! All of the outdoor furniture is from the Andalusia collection of Century and then customized with these beautiful embroidered outdoor pillows from Bliss Studio!
I love the irregular stepping stones- they give the outdoor areas a more European and older feel.
This modern meets old-world sitting area outside of the master bedroom is so cozy! The little window with shutters is my favorite! Ohara chose these great Giati metal chairs and matching end table to play off the beautiful black and white tile design. The custom-made pillows are also fab!

Thanks again, Ohara for sharing some more of your incredible design projects and sources with us! You are truley talented!! 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. To follow Segreto Finishes on Facebook, click here.



Can You Live in White?

Happy New year Everyone!! Full of new beginnings and new resolutions! I thought white which represents new beginnings and purity would be a great start to the new year!!

White is such a staple seen in nature and used in everything from fashion to decor.  It's capable of complimenting every interior style from the most modern to minimalist to a more old-world.  But how much white is the right amount for your home and what meaning does it lend to your spaces??

Technically, white can be understood as either the absence of all color or the presence of all color. It has come to represent wholeness and completion, openness and truth.  

With its connotations of purity and innocence in western counties, white is traditionally worn by brides. Illustrating how different the world's cultures are, in eastern countries the color white represents mourning and funerals.

 Because of its tranquil and peaceful qualities, it's an ideal color for places where you'd like to meditate or bring about mental clarity.

Here are some instances where I love the choice of white in home interiors. These white plastered walls are the perfect complement of this homeowner's wonderful colorful art collection. According to Leonardo da Vinci, "the first of all single colors is white ... We shall set down white for the representative of light, without which no color can be seen."    The white really makes the art pop while the texture of the plaster adds so much depth!

Associated with low-fat foods and dairy products, white's a great choice for kitchens. Who knew?!  My personal taste leans towards mixing colors and textures with white for heightened contrast like in the photo above from Décor Pad, but maybe an all-white kitchen would subliminally encourage me to change my grocery store purchases!

Though white can have a cold and sterile quality, when mixed with worn textures it comes to life creating instant charm and character as in this vintage style kitchen.

My new love is accessorizing with white dinnerware from the old to the new!!  The interplay of different versions of white in the dishes, cabinetry, marble counters is wonderful here! 

Mixing white with clear colors gives this kitchen such a fresh feel, pairing white with the warmer tones of the floor and the soft, sea foam of the light fixtures and accessories. 

White’s association with cleanliness also makes it a popular choice for baths. This one featured in Veranda feels so elegant with the pretty bench, and mosaic marble floors.

Here is our version of an almost white bath. We plastered the walls and ceilings of this luxurious bath in subtle shades of beige to pull the warmer color in the veining of  the solid marble slab floors and wainscoting. The gilded silver tones in the mirrors and vanities add glamour and depth. It's a beautiful example of how a mixture of off-whites and creams can create a rich and sophisticated look, give you that white feel but in an inviting fashion.

Adding beige to this all white child's room adds interest and a bit of fun!!  This monochromatic girl's room is so cute! I love the flower lights and the various fabric textures work together nicely.

These two spaces both use the same color white - BM White Dove! The difference? The bar to the left is painted, and the entrance to the right is plastered. Plastering gives whites a bit more warmth through subtle variations in tone. Which do you prefer?

The best thing about white is that it has the potential to blend well with every other imaginable color, making it a beautiful choice for home interiors. More shades of white are commercially available than any other color so how to choose the right one?  Some of my personal favorites from Benjamin Moore are Sea Pearl, White Dove, Feather Down, and Creamy White.  From Sherwin Williams Creamy, Alabaster,  Egert White and Natural Choice. From Farrow and Ball Strong White, and Pointing.

Are you more comfortable in white white rooms or spaces that mix white with other colors? Where do you use white in your home? (The pictures that are not of Segreto's work came from Pinterest - take a peek at all of my pins or visit my White White White!! board to view more white interiors!) Best wishes of happiness, health, family and prosperity as we welcome 2013!! 'Til 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. To follow Segreto Finishes on Facebook, click here.



Happy Holidays!

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Cheers to all!!  Enjoy the Holidays with Family and friends!!

Much Love--Xo Leslie


Natural Christmas

 Christimas is almost here and I love all the decorations. This year I am doing all natural for the holidays. There's just a beautiful simplicity to using fresh materials, and of course, there's the additional perk of making your home instantly smell like Christmas!  Here are a few wonderful ideas for integrating berries, pine cones, fir, and other natural elements into your holiday tablescapes and other decor.

This sliding door to a back staircase is really set off with a lush garland up the staircase.  Featured in Veranda, we plastered this home for designer Pam Pierce--one of my all time favorites!!

The combination of snow-dusted cedar and crystal icicles gives this fireplace mantel a frosty, winter look.

Love this mantelpiece's trimmings, Better Homes and Gardens featured: just bring in some greenery from the yard and dress it up with apples, pine cones, or any other long-lasting accent.

Another pretty look with apples from My Home Ideas - this would be wonderful inside as well! 

You can never go wrong with burlap made in Idaho! -Potato boutique features this live tree in a rustic basket.  

You can also use burlap in your wrapping or other decor! These little potted plants would be great as place cards… guests could even take them home as a favor after the party.


Sometimes it's hard to beat a classic! Candy canes, red lights and silver beads--charming!!!

Smaller trees or topiaries are perfect if you'd just like a bit of Christmas in every room! The metal pail and simple paper trees make the statement.

Outdoor, potted plants like this boxwood can get a holiday makeover as well with just a few silver balls and some fresh fir. I tryed this at my holiday open house and it was a big hit!!

This simple wreath of greenery looks absolutely beautiful in my client's stone entryway. So European!!

Another one of my clients adorns her fresh tree with ribbon and hand crafted ornaments collected over the years. Love just the simple craft bags underneath--my style of wrapping!!

Williams-Sonoma featured this stunning tablescape. The antler candelabras and little wreath chair backs are so fun! 

Mini-wreaths are also wonderful as place cards. So festive!

I love how this table setting from Desde My Ventana pairs the topiaries and greenery with the bare wood. The gingerbread cookies and homemade napkin rings add a fun touch to the rustic feel.

This formal dining room incorporated an abundance of paper whites and fresh greens throughout the space - even in the chandelier!

This is an easy and inexpensive addition to the holiday table! Simply tie some fir to a bottle with twine and add a candle. For many more natural holiday decorating ideas, go to the Vibeke Design blog, based in Norway. 

Or if you'd rather use large candles, these moss and twine covered ones are beautiful!

I think this little woodpecker is on the right track - berries are one of my favorite ways to add a pop of red into holiday decor! 

This platter of frozen vodkas from Martha Stewart is easy to make! You layer cranberries and holly in a rectangular container with a vodka bottle in the center, add some water, freeze and repeat until the container is full. Just be sure to place a tray underneath to catch the water as the ice melts.

Another beautiful idea for Christmas candles! In a jar, arrange some greenery, throw in a handful or two of cranberries and fill with water - the cranberries will float to the top. Insert a floating candle and voila!

Pine cones bring such a warm, wintry look to holiday decor. Just cut a pine cone in half (while wearing gloves), and hot glue a votive in the center of each. Hope I can find some this big!!

This is one of those really easy touches that's perfect for a party!

By using pine cones and moss instead of potted flowers, you'll have an arrangement that will last through the entire winter and beyond.

These pine cone cakes from Martha Stewart are adorable! And each guest can have their own.

To make your holiday cheese ball a little more festive, add almonds or other nuts for a pine cone effect.

Happy Holidays to all my sweet blog friends!!! Thought I'd leave you with this stylish pic from All Things Finnish! This is a pic that I will just have to dream of as we may be wearing shorts this year in Houston!! Enjoy your time off with your families and friends!!

I'd love to see some photos of your home decorated for the holidays for next years Christmas blog! Send them here.  Thank you everyone for all the wonderful suggestions for articles. Loved them all but most I have written about before.  Phyllis suggested to write about how to define spaces wth paint where there is no existing architectural demarcation--I will give it a try!! thanks Phyllis!!
Enjoy the Holidays!! Til next week! xo Leslie