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Sunday
Aug172014

A Spotlight on The Urban Electric Co.

Looking for lighting for my new home remodel, the timing couldn't be more perfect when Lauren, the daughter of a sweet client of mine called to ask to come in and give a presentation to my staff about The Urban Electric Co - a premier lighting firm based in Charleston, SC. which she works for.  I was so impressed I wanted to share!! 

Each light fixture is bench-made and then hand-finished by local craftsman and artisans in their 65,000 square foot warehouse right here in the USA. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship is amazing - all of their products carry a lifetime warranty and I must say personal pride. I love the industrial twist to this classic lantern.

Add a different color to the inside and chrome to the outside and the fixture totally changes.  So fun!!!!!

Notice the bulb on this one-half is frosted. Customizing large pieces and giving little tweaks to other fixtures is one of their specialties. While many finishes are available, you can also provide a color from a paint deck or even give them a fabric swatch and they'll match it to perfection.  How great is that!! 

Purchasing an existing lighting firm which made much of Charleston's exterior lighting, they've expanded to have more than 300 different fixture designs for both indoors and outdoors!

I think their pieces go with pretty much any decor. This pair adds a whimsical, French feel.  Love the color!!

Adding so much to this oh-so-chic kitchen, this fixture can be a single, or constructed as a double as shown here.  This glass finish, just one of the many to choose from, gives a lovely illumination when lit.


Many of their pieces are new twists of historical styles. The "Malplaquet" style above reminds me of an industrial factory or warehouse, but the pop of green certainly brings it into the modern age.  This one was made originally very very large for a well know hot-spot restaurant and then scaled back for residential use.  Any one been there and recognize the place?


Another great fixture--so original! For this eclectic dining room,  the basic "Belmont" style lantern was redesigned and made into a much larger three light fixture.

Here are a few more of their hanging fixtures. Single or double-stunning!!

They also make beautiful sconces. Look at that patina-well done Urban Electric!

Another thing that really impressed me was their customer service! They work one-on-one with you to make sure you get an heirloom quality piece. "We believe that our designs are not simply fixtures, but a vision specific to the project - a vision that will create value for the owner for decades to come."

So versatile, this sconce design works just as well in this staircase area as it did in the bathroom above.

A few more wall fixtures from their collections. I'm kind of in love with the brass and acrylic one on the right.  The mirrored one top left also caught my eye!

They also make table and floor lamps. Look how perfectly they matched the color to the fabric!

This video tells you all about their Made in America approach and takes you behind the scenes. I loved the pride their craftsman and designers take in what they are creating.  To see their entire collection, go to The Urban Electric Co. website  or contact Lauren who is very well versed on her product line!! Let her know Leslie sent you!! We also have a catalog and finish choices at our shop is you want to browse.

I was so excited to see that the up an coming blog to watch Portobello Design picked up the story about Segreto's new books being released!!!  Please check out the blog--a great source of information and presented so beautifully!!!!!! Thank you so much Portobello Design! 

Hope you all have a great week! coming back from California tomorrow! xo Leslie

Sunday
Aug102014

So Proud of Kirby!!!

One of the home renovations we've been working on is redoing the kids' bedrooms upstairs. My middle child Kirby, almost 24, works for TC Interiors and was up to the challenge of redesigning her own room.

Her bedroom has a little nook for a sleeping area and a larger space for a sitting area! This a before shot of her room which we had done when she started high school. Nine years later, she was ready for a change.

We plastered her walls and painted the trim in BM 0C-19 to match. This is a great gray white! Wanting a very dressy bedroom, she custom made this beautiful headboard. On a budget (ha-ha sorta), the fabric was from High Fashion Home. I love the tufting!!!

This chaise lounge, originally purchased for her "jungle" room when she was in elementary school, came with a leopard print on it. I bought it for $350 from Costco, and it didn't have a skirt. I guess it's handy that I have a hard time purging! Kirby recovered the piece in a linen from High Fashion Home and added a gentle ruffle! What a change!

She was so excited when all the bedding came in that she, believe it or not, immediately made her bed!!! The bedding from Longoria Collection pulled in the warm pearl and champagne tones she wanted. Searching high and low at the Decorative Center, she designed and had all the pillows custom-made! The B. Viz pillow from my boutique was a graduation gift from her godmother!!! But wait........

The final touch to her bed wall was a cornice she found at 2Lucy's in Back Row Antiques. Kirby worked with my finisher to change the original gold finish to silver. Look at the detail on those drapes! The silk in front from Interior Fabrics looks wonderful with the sheers in the back that she found at a fabric store on Harwin Drive for $10 per yard! The blue trim really was the perfect detail. 

Wow!!! It's certainly fit for a princess! Borrowed from my dining room, the starburst mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques added the finishing touch!!! I had found the (VERY INEXPENSIVE) chair at Denny Register Antiques, a fab store from a guy who buys up all sorts of things from estate sales. Originally covered in orange velvet and stained in mahogany, the piece was painted and recovered using a reasonably priced velvet from High Fashion. Notice the lamps and side tables of my grandmother's, which we had painted years ago, were also part of her old room's decor. 

Another view! The drapery treatments were repurposed from her previous room. 

Here's a shot of her sitting area! (Sorry for the very bad pic!!!) The rug from Pottery Barn was used in both her last room and her college apartment! I just love the Aidan Gray coffee table, purchased at Segreto Boutique! And the chair to the left - what a transformation!!!

Formerly used in my bedroom, this chair was bought probably 20 years ago!!! Kirby's vision totally transformed the piece! Like mother, like daughter, she loves what finishes can do!!!

 

We had repainted these two pieces of my grandmother's for Kirby’s room about 10 years ago.(another bad pic-forgive!) She took them both to college, and now they are back home!  Still loving the finish, she wanted them just a bit softer, so we washed over them with a whitish glaze to blend with her new room! Oops, looks like the vanity needs a new drawer pull!


Having very little closet space, we use curtains instead of doors. We hired Programme Martin years ago to get the best use of the closet! They are sheer genius when it comes to closet design!!! And, since her brother is no longer at home, Kirby has taken over his closet as well!

 

We found this jewelry box which hangs on the wall and looks like a mirror when closed. It's been a great way for both my gals to keep their pieces organized. 

 

 

Here's Kirby working at her first trunk show for TC Interiors! Talbot not only beautifully designs interiors, but she also has her own jewelry line. Kirby really was blessed to find a job in which she gets to work with two of her favorite passions!!! There I am in the mirror - the proud momma taking a pic! 

artist

Kendall Boggs Artist

A big thanks to the blog Design Chic (one of the best design blogs out there!!!) who featured me on their blog about artist bloggers!  With such a wide range of talent I was truely honored to be mentioned!!! Please check out thier blog if you don't follow it! The mother and daughter team that puts it togehter are as sweet and nice as they are TALENTED!!!!  You will become hooked!!!   I hope everyone has a wonderful week! We're headed to California for a little vacay with my husband's sweet family!!! 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 the Segreto Blog click here.

Sunday
Aug032014

Segreto Style is Done!!!

 Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!! My next book Segreto Style, due to be released in November has finally shipped off to print!!!  With 524 pages I found I had too much to share for just one book,  so I separated the material into a series of two publications and Segreto Style 2, slated to be published in Spring of 2015 was born.  I am blessed to have so many amazing projects to write about and share with each of you.

 

With so many beautiful rooms, it was nearly impossible to pick the cover shot of each book.  This dressing room from a historical Houston home, designed in the early 1900’s by architect John F. Staub was chosen for Segreto Style.  Photographed by Terry Vine, with interiors by famed designer Kara Childress, the illustration showcases a new finish on the rooms original paneling.


 Segreto Style is a tour of 39 homes in which we have had the honor of providing the finishes for. Similar to the format of  Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, Segreto Style (304 pages) gives more tips from the talented designers, architects and builders whose wonderful creations are featured, as well as more information as to color and technique styles from me. The book includes some incrediable before and after transformations which are so fun to see!!

 

 The cover of Segreto Style 2, photographed by Blake Mistich, features a plastered entrance hall complimenting the wonderful interiors of Talbot Cooley, principle of TC Interiors. Focusing on the  boutique vignettes of decorative finishes, this 220 page design resource, highlights a wide range of finishes with chapters on painted walls, painted floors, plastered rooms and furniture finishes as well as extensive sections dedicated to kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

 

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for each of you, who have truly supported me during this project.  Big hugs to the The wonderful homeowners, designers, architects and builders who entrusted me with their finishes and allowed me to share their homes and projects with you. Lots of love to my amazing staff who have really worked double time to compensated for my time away working on the books, and my family who I have learned really miss me when I work such long hours. 

 Segreto Style will be here for the Holidays!!!  With two books to print we are only printing a limited quantities of each. If you would like to pre-order, 85$ for Segreto Stlye and 65$ for Segreto Stlye 2, or give your email to be notified when the books arrive please contact books@segretofinishes.com.

If you know of any stores in your area that may be a good fit to carry the book, I would love the recomendations. We self-published these next two books as well, so your help and tips are so appreciated.  Feel free to email me at leslie@segretofinishes.com.  Thanks again for all of your support!!!  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 the Segreto Blog click here.

Monday
Jul282014

Unexpected Cleaners!!!

I have been reading so much on Pinterest on natural ways to better clean your home. I searched the blogosphere and pulled some of my favorite to share!

 

 Source 

Rub it on dulled copper, rinse with water, and polish clean with a soft rag.

 

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Douse the spot with white wine and blot with a clean rag to absorb the spill.

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Just slice open a lemon, rub the lemon on the faucet and rinse!

 

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Hydrogen Peroxide, a magical cleaner!!

Wonderful for cleaning windows, mirrors, toilets and bathtubs, replace the cap with a spray bottle head but keep the liquid in its dark container or it will lose its powers!! Just spray on and wait 30 seconds for the streaking to go away and for your windows or mirrors to sparkle!

It also is the best fountain cleaner of all time. Green, murky fountain water will transform to crystal clear in 24 hours. Because hydrogen peroxide turns into oxygen within 24 hours its safe for the wildlife!

 

Source:

Before you begin, double check that the bottle of hydrogen peroxide is a 3% solution. Anything higher and you've accidentally stumbled into purchasing industrial strength and it is NOT safe for your mouth. As with most things teeth related, check with your dentist (because I'm not one) before letting children under the age of 12 use this solution and discontinure if you experience any discomfort or redness in your gums. There are all the same warnings you'll find on any theeth whitening product.

  1. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste
  2. Rinse with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide for 30-60 seconds. There are dilution directions on the bottle, but is is usually half water and half hydrogen peroxide. When the hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with your mouth, a chemical reaction will take place and it will begin to foam. Start by swishing with a small amount so you don't end up foaming at the mouth and scare your roommates into thinking you have a plague.
  3. Spit out the rinse, do not swallow hydrgoren peroxide
  4. Don't eat or drink for 30 minutes
  5. Again, I am not a dentist, but according to my dentist (who is, in fact, a dentist), if you follow the previous directions this can be done every day.
  • For whiter whites, add one cup of hydrgoen peroxide to a load of white laundry
  • To prevent wilting, spray a mixture of 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup water on lettuce, drain, cover and refrigerate
  • Kill weeds by spraying with hydrogen peroxide

Source

Clean the grout on your floors!!

Here are two cleaner recipes for cleaning very dirty floors!

  1.  1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 gallons tap water, very warm
  2. 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar for-the-home

 

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 Its smells heavenly, and avoids exposure to toxic chemicals

 

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Clean your silver!!

Line your sink with aluminum foil, add 1/2 cup table salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, fill with hot water. Put in all your silver and let sit for 30 minutes, while the tarnish transfers to the foil!

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Protect your marble!!

Clapham's Salad Bowl Finish- typically used as a food-safe coating on unfinished wood- adds luster to honed marble and granite, and boosts their resistance to water spots. Its butter-like beeswax formula is easy to apply. About $20 for 8 ounces.

 I am busy trying these tips at my house!!  Let me know how they work for you!!!Till next Monday!! xo  Leslie

Come see us at the Segreto Boutique!!! 1414 Antoine m-f 9-5. Unmarked house across from St Regis School!!!

 

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

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.

 

Sunday
Jul202014

A House Update!

Well my house is really moving along! With my dream team of Newberry Campa Architects , Goodchild Builders  and architectural consultant Sarah West, my master suite area is really taking shape!!!

I found this picture of the master bath when we purchased the house in 1987! 

 Here is how we changed it way back then! What you can't see is the shower across from the tub.  We tore down a linen closet and made it into a shower so the shower was very very small.

At a later date we built on a Master closet addition behind the doors and made the old small master closet into this sitting area in the bathroom!

Our house was built in the late 60's and our old pipes started bursting so we had to replace them all leading to a master bath redo!!! Tired of a very small tub and shower, we hired Ken Newberry and his team of Will and Gina from  Newberry Campa Architects to help us out! The bathroom was gutted and the three small areas it previously held was made into one larger space.

 

Here is the new Jason tub from Acero Bella, which is where the sitting area used to be. Ken wanted a window there looking out to gardens lending the illusion that the space was larger and allowing more natural light to flow in.  This would have been beautiful, but my husband who is so concerned about break-ins didn't want exterior access to this part of the house.  Soooooo... I found this wonderful piece at Joyce Horn Antiques. I posted on Facebook should I put a mirror there, hand a painting, leave it as is or paint something decorative on it.  What do ya'll think?  I hope I can keep those open shelves (not yet painted) neat!! 

Here is my inspiration picture which is a piece from Tara Shaw for my sink cabinets.  Remember the beautiful mirrors which I found from Mitra Kilburn at Marburger Farms Antique Show, I thought they would look amazing over pieces like this. 

With the mirrors hung, faucets installed, walls plastered and counters on, I was getting excited!!! Now for the paint!

Here is Jerry, my head cabinet guy putting up the samples, and the finished sample. 

With the paper pulled off the floors and the counters, I could really start envisioning the space.  I did change my faucets which I had posted in the original blog on my house. These mirrors were so large that I had to drop my counters to 34 inches and there was no space for wall mount faucets!  I love these French Gold, New Port Brass Victoria faucets I purchased from Acero Bella, the marble from Walker Zanger fabricated by Olympus Marble and Granite, and floors from Materials Marketing. The old faucets are for sale at a great price!!!!!!!!!!!


Opposite of the sink vanities is a dressing table for me! I loved this piece of furniture from Niermann Weeks and used it as my inspiration. 

Goodchild Builders  did an amazing job building the pieces-now for the paint!!

Here is Ricki, one of my furniture refinishing guys working on the piece. It’s not done yet, but I'm loving the gold accents. Any ideas on sconces?

Because the space has a lot of elements in it I didn't want to visually break it up with marble tiles in the shower.  Instead we plastered it with a water proof plaster.  All the walls and ceilings are coated with the same material!!  All I need now is the glass!  Note to all. The finish on the hardware that I purchased is not available on handles and brackets needed to install the shower doors.  I am having to re-plate them which is an additional cost.  Same with the drain.

Stay tuned for more updates, there is lots going on around my home!!  Til next week!!  xo  Leslie

What's new at the shop!!!!

 

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

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.