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The Enchanted Home!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!  I had to move my LSU gal out of the dorm. Oh well, I'll get pampered next year!!  In celebration of Mothers and all they do I wanted to share my friend Tina fabulous blog, The Enchanted Home, with you! It's been a great source of inspiration for me, and I've so enjoyed following Tina's path to her dream home and hear about her wonderful family along the way!

The Enchanted Home chronicles of Tina's experience and decisions as she builds her dream home! Originally planning to add on to an existing house, her family realized - after several months at the drawing board - that it wasn't going to work. So they started from scratch instead!

To showcase her love of French interiors, Tina modeled this home after an old French chateau. Looking at the exterior, I have a hard time believing it's brand new!  The building process took about 4 years, and Tina takes you through every step of the way. Along the journey, you meet well-known designers, visit fabulous showrooms and factories, and peak through the huge collection of inspirational photos that Tina has collected over the years!

I love the beautiful brick choice and the exceptional stone detailing!!! By following the blog, I got to see the wide variety of options she had to choose from, and Tina always explained how she came to her final decisions. I think Tina's openness and integrity throughout the process makes the blog a great resource not only if you're building or remodeling, but also just if you love learning about design.

This stone detail is just one of the thousands of special touches that Tina incorporated - making the home uniquely hers.  I can just picture Tina, at the door, smiling and inviting me in for a tour!

As Tina was deciding on which floors to use, I loved seeing all these beautiful, grand entrances that she had collected for inspiration!  Hope you enjoy this small sampling that I pulled from her blog!




To see more wonderful foyers and the sources for these, go to Tina's blog here.


And here's what she selected and installed in her home - French limestone with black marble!  Stunning!!!!

You might feel that someone building a home of this magnitude would be a bit intimidating. But Tina, warm, funny, and down-to-earth, is nothing of the sort! Married for 27 years with three wonderful sons, she talks about her life along the way.

These gorgeous floors are premium white oak.  I adore the way she combined different patterns throughout the home, mixing Versailles parquet, herringbone and basket weave to give each space an individual look while maintaining continuity!

When working on her bathrooms, she guided you through many different styles that used marble in the space - all beautiful options.  Here are just a few!  To see a few more beauties, go to her blog here.

Solid slabs!


New Ravenna tiles!  Love!!!

Wainscoting with tile rug designs!

And here are a few shots of how she incorporated marble in her own stunning home!!! It's so fun to see how she brought in some of the aspects from her inspiration photos!

All the bathroom tiles are from New Ravenna, her bathroom features the Djinn pattern and her husband's is Chatham. She LOVES their things, and I would have to agree they're fabulous!!!

The Enchanted Home really walks you through the entire construction and design process. When working on her kitchen, Tina shared hundreds of beautiful kitchen designs and takes you with her as she visits slab yards, flooring, hardware, plumbing and lighting places!  So fun! Go to her blog here to check out more wonderful kitchens and their sources! I've also included a few from the blog...

She shows contemporary styles!

Clean lines!

Warm and rustic!

Over the top!  No matter what the style, every option is explored - I love seeing all the wonderful photography.

Just moved-in - this is her beautiful kitchen!!! Her cute pup, Teddy, is enjoying his new pad too!  One of Tina's favorite parts of the house are these reclaimed French limestone floors - so lovely!!

The Calcutta gold marble slabs on the counter look fantastic with the mosaic backsplash in the same material.  I love to see that even up North, the cabinets got an antique finish - it's just essential to the look!

I adore hand-screened wallpapers and always get so much inspiration from them, often creating similar looks in the hand-painted rooms that we do for clients. Tina gave countless photos of Gracie and de Gournay papers when making her choice!  What eye candy for me!! To see some of her inspiration photos, go here.

The soft blues of the wonderful paper she chose - delightful!

The floor to ceiling windows and serene view are just breathtaking!

What fantastically designed and finished woodworking in this room!!!  The beams were handmade, distressed, and given an antique finish.   Notice how the staining has two colors - the corners and edges are a bit darker. This is a multi-step process that lends age to paneling and creates an antique furniture feel.

So beautiful!!!  When I asked Tina what it was like building in the snow, she said, "Oh, this was such a mild winter, it didn't slow things down much." Houston would be totally shut down with a fraction of this much snow!!! Tina, thank you for inspiring so many people and being so generous with your sources and your love of life.  I have never seen such an amazing collection of beautiful rooms as in your blog... You have truly touched so many!  And Tina now has opened an online store!!!  Please be sure to visit her blog and her wonderful, new venture --an on-line store!!  Congratulations with that Tina, I know you will do well!!! xo to all!!  Leslie

May 19th and 20th:Urban Market Houston Antique Show

Join me at the oh so wonderful Urban Market. I will be there signing books and answering finishing questions. It has great finds good food and is lots of fun.  Sat 3-6 & Sun 9-4. 9401 Knight Road, Houston, Tx  77045

May 26: Brazos Valley Antique Show, Bryan, Texas

Join me at a first time new antique fair. I will be signing my book Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors 1-5 on Sat.  Show times- Sat. May 26, 10-5: Sun 10- 4. Brazos County Expo- 5827 Leonard Road, Bryan, TX 77807. For more information (281-536-2147 or


Vieux Interiors

This has already been a busy month for me with the Pink Ribbon House and me turning 50!  Yikes!!  I thought it would be fun to share with you the evening I had at Vieux Interiors during their designer showcase and book signing! They have lots of great things that would be fab for Mother's Day ideas.

In 2010, Vieux Interiors moved to a 9,000 square foot retail showroom near the Upper Kirby district of Houston (3701 West Alabama Street, Suite 160, Houston, Texas 77027). Filled with wonderful home furnishings and accessories, the store began to have designer showcases in which they invite a designer to put together a room and create a space using anything in the store.  They have had some major talents there, and I feel so lucky that they invited me to be a part of it all!

They have a fun wine and hors d'oeuvres event at night, and then the space remains on display for a month.  As a lover of white wine - one of my faults - I really enjoyed their selections of Kali Hart Chardonnay and Shannon Ridge Sauvignon Blanc!

This showcase was all about designer Julie Dodson!  She always blends such an amazing assortment of old world and contemporary pieces, so Vieux is a perfect place for her style with its eclectic mix of furnishings accessories and art!! I also got the chance to meet the artist, Matt Manalo, who did the fabulous piece hanging on the shutters.

Seeing how Julie accessorized was fun for me especially since she was mixing the contemporary with the old world!

Julie has a signature of always bringing in pops of pink or lavender! To see more of her work, go to Cote de Texas which just did a wonderful feature on Julie. She is very talented! (P.S. The hand-painted walls in the Pink Ribbon House spread were all Segreto!!)

The store not only has a great selection but the story of the people behind the store is just as interesting! Owner, Marty Bratton, developed his passion and taste for beautiful furnishings and high-end design from his travels through the cobblestone streets of Paris.

He spent several years visiting European flea markets with established designers before creating his vision for Vieux Interiors. These acrylic stools with the rope handles and upholstered tops were one of my favorite finds! How fun are these!!!

I always have so much fun meeting new friends and visiting with old at these events!!  Thank you to all who come out for them!

Marty’s background in construction engineering gives him the technical skills and the unique, creative approach to make custom furnishings.  You can see he has quite a mix!!  I think this painted table would be wonderful in a game room!!

Fuzzy pillows and throws seem all the rage!!  They're an easy way to bring an eclectic edge to more traditional decor!

Vieux Interiors carries so many unique items from a shell mirror to metallic embossed cow hides to one of a kind silk embroidered pillows... they even have a gorgeous collection of silver and turquoise jewelry!

Finishing mid-century pieces by spraying them with one-color gloss enamel or lacquer seems to to making its way into contemporary design!!! Mix in some cool lamps, bold-patterned pillows, modern art and voila!

Today's design rules are much less rigid, allowing you to be more creative and flexible - perfect for people like me who love all styles!  One thing special about the shop is that their displays offer ideas for how to combine objects like this ultra contemporary lamp with the rustic side table.

The metal finishes on the tables were quite unique!  I was really interested in figuring out how the process works so I can translate the finish to a wall.

These pots are so cool!

 What a fab bookcase that would be wondergul to built a wall behind for a curved starcase or niche area!


The store is also filled with orgional abstract art!!  I loved this peice flanked by the sconces-simple and interesting!!


What an eclectic mix of decor--It all works!


I can just visualize this lovely dining room at night, lit by the soft romantic glow of the chandelier and beautiful glass candlesticks!!! You can tell my 25th wedding anniversary is coming up soon!!!

Here is the Vieux crew, so happy with the big turnout and all the well-deserved praise they got on their beautiful showroom. They are just as nice as they are cute! I am so excited that they are carrying my book and so grateful that they did such a fun book signing event for me. This store is definitely worth the trip!   Come by MAI2(see below) and say high to me during their Mother's Day shopping event. Have a great week and a very special Mother's Day!!  Xoxo  Leslie

May 12: Memorial Antiques & Interiors Mom & Me Shopping Event Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm  

I will be there celebrate Mother's Day with store wide discounts, a book signing event (MAI2) and ten trunk shows. Segreto Galleries has joined in the celebration by  discounting all art for this one day event. Located at 8719 Katy Freeway Houston, Tx 77024. For more information call 713-465-6405 or visit

 May 12 :"Champagne Stroll On Magazine Street"-New Orleans, LA Time: 5:00- 9:00 pm  

 Let your LA friends know the book is in New Orleans at Gallery 3954. Come sip and shop on Magazine Street for Mother's Day. There will be trunk shows, live music and much more! Visit our friends at Gallery 3954 to shop their fabulous collection of fine art, lighting, and furniture and pick up a copy a copy of Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors/ Located at 3954 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA.     


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

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Roses & Rust


I wanted to introduce Sharon, the author of Roses and Rust Blog.  Coming from halfway across the globe, she has inspired me with her wonderful images showcasing a wide variety of design styles from around the world.

As you can see by her header, she loves incorporating antiques, plastered walls and anything old and vintage into her posts and personal design. You can tell that interior decorating and design have been her passions for as long as she can remember.

Sharon, pretty as can be, lives in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa with her husband and four sons!!!

By following her blog, I've gotten to see just what gorgeous surroundings she lives near!!! Every Thursday, she drives to her oil painting class in the Constantia Valley.  The house above is a beautiful wine farm named “Buitenverwatchting” which means "beyond expectations".  In this post, Sharon researches this type of architecture, prevalent in the area during the 17th and 18th centuries!  To see the post, go here

Reminiscent of a house one would find in Provence, this home is actually in Paarl, a quaint historic town near Cape Town. To see its incredible interiors, go here.


Sharon generously introduces us to South African artisans who are impacting design in her part of the world. This company, African Sketchbook, has a very innovative approach to fabric. Sharon thinks they are very unique, because "each fabric design job starts with two things: a story and a colour palette, two building blocks of great design. Imagine that instead of choosing fabrics to fit your design, you were able to use fabrics born from the design itself".


The manuscripts and motifs on the fabrics and design elements are meaningful and unique to the owners.  To read more of this interesting story, go here.

Sharon also shares great do-it-yourself tips on things she has created in her own home like this niche that was originally just a brick wall. Because she couldn't find any pieces that would fit, she built this herself and explains how here.

This was the before - she crafted such a pretty, functional space from this formerly unused area!!

I just love this South African home that she shared on Roses & Rust! The white floors are fantastic!

And the eclectic yet sophisticated dining room of the same home! To see the whole house, go here.


Her posts on kitchens are always informative and feature breathtaking photos. They give a new slant to the traditional kitchens we so often see in the United States!

Always finding innovative ways to make the holidays special, she shares her tips on wrapping!

I don’t garden, but after reading her posts on gardening sheds, I want to start—so beautiful!!!  Go here to visit this post.

Occasionally, Sharon explores some fabulous places to stay in Europe... this one's definitely on my bucket list! I love the stone! To see the whole villa, go here.

This French home has an interesting mix of French and Scandinavian furnishings! To find out more about how these were incorporated, go here.

Thank you so much, Sharon, for giving us a glimpse into your part of the world and sharing your wonderful design ideas, inspiration, and just happy living!! It's such a wonderful blog - if you havent visited Sharons blog, it's a must see so click  Roses and Rust!

To see a sneak peak of this years 2012 Pink Ribbon House go to the post below!

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

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Great Headboards!!


A big thank you to the blogs Greige and Willow Decor for their wonderful write ups on the book Segreto:Secrets To Finishing Beautiful Interiors.  These are well done blogs with huge followings both of which I LOVE!  I am so honored that they wrote such complimentary reviews.  If you haven't looked at these two lovely blogs they are both a must read!!!! Please go visit! They are both on my blogroll as well!

Headboards seem all the rage, and I can see why! Designers are really showcasing their creativity through these bedroom focal points, using interesting materials and selecting unique shapes! Thanks to Wade Blissard for all the photos that are watermarked with Segreto Finishes. These photos are rooms of whole homes featured in Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors.

The first headboards were thought to come from the Greeks and Romans!  This lovely velvet one with a nail-head trim by designer Cindy Witmer fits perfectly with the soft tones of this dreamy bedroom!!


The Greeks discovered that adding a raised board to the head of the bed made it more comfortable for eating, drinking and reading!
Designed by John Loecke, Inc., this quilted headboard suits the eclectic, contemporary feel of the bedroom.


In Rome, headboards were considered luxuries among the wealthy.  This beautifully carved headboard is softened by the fabric treatment - it would certainly make you feel like a princess!


The cornice and fabric treatment, along with a headboard of the same material, frame this statement piece of art, incorporating it into the design. Pretty incredible!!

These two charming twins are perfect for a grandchild/guest room. Designer Anne Lydick pulled from her drapery fabric to create matching headboards and dust ruffles!

 Using fabric to create a headboard definitely transforms the look of these antique poster beds.  Sweet Anne Lydick is so talented!


These uniquely shaped, tufted headboards are so fun!

Using natural linen is perfect for a casual yet elegant headboard. We plastered this high-rise for designer Kara Childress. To all of this gorgeous unit, go here.


This bed certainly becomes a focal point in the room with both a headboard and a fabric treatment covering the wall!

I love the shape of this headboard designed for Julie Dodson.  The art to the left is one I painted for the homeowner in memory of her very special sister.


When settlers started migrating to America, the mattresses were made here, while the linens and headboards were shipped from Europe– reflecting not only the wealth, but the heritage, history, and culture of the owner.


Unable to find the perfect cornice to complete her headboard, designer Ellie Bale had this one made, and then we applied a custom finish to complement her fabrics. To see the rest of Ellie's fab home, go here.


I have always loved this bed, designed by James Michael Howard - my idea of what a 5-star spa's room should be like!

Designer Talbot Cooley was so clever in the way she made the upholstered headboards with sides for the two corner beds.  This allows all three granddaughters to stay comfortably in the same room when visiting their grandparents!!!


This is definitely a custom headboard that takes full consideration of the two oval windows in its design.


What a statement this makes! I just love the antique mirror!


Upholstering the inside of a mirror frame certainly adds a bit of Hollywood glamour!

Sheila Lyon

The scale of this upholstered piece, designed by Sheila Lyon, is perfect for this oh-so-pretty bedroom that we fauxed for her!


I love this bookcase - great idea for a small bedroom!

Caldwell Flake Interiors used a picture frame to offset their upholstery in this bright, fun space.


Perfect for a boys room or a mountain home, these tree headboards are full of personality!

Jun/Jul 2010 Interior Design by Lee Kleinhelter. 


Slipcovered headboards are a brilliant idea - you can wash them and change out the look for each season!!


This old mirror makes a wonderful headboard.  So pretty the way it is - I can just imagine how spectacular it'd be with the inside arch upholstered!




Love the itty bitty photos hanging over this princess headboard!


Taking an old bed frame and upholstering a part of it can entirely change the look, as you can see with this one by Laura Day.


And this one! It's shape and scale adds so much interest to the room!


During medieval times, headboards built for the aristocracy became even more extravagant incorporating the 4 poster bed and elaborate fabrics.  This bedroom, designed by Phoebe Howard, is certainly fit for royalty!


A fireplace mantel makes the perfect headboard for this shabby chic bedroom!



Caldwell Flake Interiors has made the entire wall into an upholstered headboard.  I love the sconces flanking the bed!!

I hope you enjoyed this assortment of headboards!  Which one is your favorite?

I had so much fun in the fine city of Baton Rouge for my book signing at the store Rogers & McDaniel Home! The surroundings were fab and I loved al the wonderful people I met. For those of you in Houston don't forget that the Pink Ribbon House is opeing this week and you will love the home!! Have a great week--xo  Leslie

April 27-29, May 4-6: The Pink Ribbon House

 Located in Memorial's Hunters Creek Village at 10619 Fairlane Drive, the home will be open to the public for tours. Tour hours are Friday 10 am to 3 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door.

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

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Classic Design - Joni Webb

Thanks so much to sweet Laura Gunn author of the Blog Decor to Adore who wrote such a wonderful review of the book!  I truly enjoy her blog and was honored that she wrote a post.  If you don’t follow her give her a visit!!

I am so excited to show you the first project I ever did with Joni Webb, designer extraordinaire and queen of the bloggers!  Author of one of my favorite blogs, Cote de Texas, and co-host of The Skirted Roundtable, Joni has brought so many beautiful homes and inspirational individuals into our lives. She always features a wide variety of work by extremely talented designers, so I am delighted to share a bit of her own work with you. Thank you to my photographer Wade Blissard for taking these beautiful photos.

As soon as I walked into this home over 5 years ago to discuss a study makeover, I turned to Joni and the homeowner and exclaimed, "This home should be published - it’s beautiful!"  I loved the soft color tones and elegant French furnishings. Moving from a larger, more contemporary home to this new one, Joni's client wanted a soft palette.  Though this house was originally a dark gray, she envisioned a lighter, warmer feel with hints of a French influence unlike her ultra-contemporary former abode. When Joni started on the project, the whole cream and light sea grass look that she was known for was just taking off. So the walls were painted a light butter neutral with gray trim to make everything very soft and feminine.

The homeowner had some gorgeous existing pieces that Joni recovered and incorporated whenever possible, but she added a new sofa for comfort and several wonderful French antiques like the coffee table and settee from Kay O'Toole and the chairs and fabulous 18th century antique mirror from Watkins Culver.  The main seating area was previously a dark gray velvet sectional sofa with a marble coffee table and a strong piece of abstract art.  Two beautiful looks, but imagine the change!

The fireplace which is so perfect for this style was formerly painted black - yikes!!!  Joni softened it by applying a creamy, stone finish. The walls were fauxed with a soft ragging technique.  Much of the home was completed before I knew Joni, so hats off to the finisher!  When finishes are kept soft and subtle, they certainly do stand the test of time!

Joni did a fantastic job of arranging all the wonderful collections and accessories. From the creamware and majolica to the beautiful boxes, wonderful seashells, and fabulous assortment of Chinese men, Joni's arrangements create such interest. What a lovely barometer and small console table!

A soft tonal striped wallpaper and the layering of a beautiful rug over seagrass frames this wonderful dining room which opens into the rest of the home.  Joni simply recovered the homeowner's beautiful existing furnishings and accessorized with creamware. 

The kitchen had never been redone, so several years after the rest of the home's completion, I was called in to give it a facelift without changing appliances or surfaces.  To lighten the look, we plastered the walls and ceiling in a light cream color and painted all the trim in a similar tone, creating an airy feel. Glazing the cabinets in the same color really imparted that Country French style as well.

The previously dark-stained chest and shelves were refinished in a creamy antique. These light finishes do a much better job of showcasing the wonderful zinc table from Joyce Horn Antiques and the homeowner's incredible majolica collection that Joni so beautifully displayed.

And this is the project that began my two wonderful friendships with both the very talented Joni and the oh so fun homeowner! Loving the French feel that Joni had created in the rest of the home, the homeowner was now ready to tackle the study which was very dark before with contemporary furnishings. A light cream on the paneling and an antique finish gave a subtle, warm backdrop to offset the wonderful fabrics and furnishings. To complement the fabrics and bring a finished look to the space, we also painted the ceiling in the palest of greens - so pretty!

I really like how the custom-cut seagrass on the staircase and landing leading into the master creates the effect of runners!

What a beautiful, soft and fabulous bedroom!!!  From the ball gown-like drapes to the delightful fabrics, this large master is such a charming, sophisticated retreat!  I love the combination of details Joni incorporates into her designs like the upholstery on the existing headboard, the wonderful trim on all the upholstered pieces, the Farrow and Ball striped wallpaper and the soft texture of the carpet. 


What a cozy, private place to watch TV, have a glass of wine, read a book or just unwind after a long day!

The bathroom, unchanged from the original home, features a beautiful window with mirrors all around.  To soften the space, the tub is accessorized with elegant crystal, candles, and shells.  The lovely painting by Kiah Denson of Segreto Studios adds gentleness and style to the bath - I love how it's hung over the mirror!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of this beautiful home designed by Joni Webb. For those of you who don't know Joni, she is as fun and down to earth as she is talented!  Thanks so much for letting me share some of your beautiful work, Joni.  If you haven't read her blog Cote de Texas or listened to The Skirted Roundtable, they are both well worth the time - informative, fun and beautiful!!! This week is my first out of state book signing in Baton Rouge which will be so fun beacuse my daughter goes to LSU! I would love to meet you if you live near Baton Rouge, or if you know anyone there that you feel might enjoy the event, feel free to pass it on! I appreciate it!  Have a wonderful week!  xo  Leslie

April 19: Book Signing at Home, Rogers & McDaniel in Baton Rouge from 4:00-8:00 pm

Come celebrate Home, Rogers & McDaniel’s second anniversary with us! Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres, shop for some fabulous French and European antiques, and visit with me as I sign my new book, Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors. Located at 4237 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

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

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