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Shopping for Lighting on Ferndale!

If the room is a lady and the furniture her clothes, then the lighting is most certainly her accessories.     

While shopping for my own home, I knew that my choices in lighting would set the tone for each newly renovated space and I could not wait to visit my favorite shops on Ferndale Street to see what gorgeous items they had to inspire!! 

My first stop was at BROWN. I always look forward to seeing sweet owner, Jill Brown, and all of the hand curated items she offers! Having spent four years in Belgium with her husband, Jill was able to combine her love of “thing-finding” with the exploration of a new country which resulted in an enduring passion and a keen eye for collecting unique and beautiful lighting and decorative accessories from around the world!

Upon entering her beautiful store, I was immediately greeted by an eclectic mix of chandeliers, sconces, and furnishings! From the exposed rafters to the floors, every nook and cranny is filled with something interesting, and beautiful. Talented Jill designs many of the pieces herself, resulting in truly unique fixtures exclusive to BROWN!! 

From industrial to ornate, primitive metal to cut crystal, the options were endless! How stunning is this Murano glass chandelier? Circa 1950, it features folding textured leaves and a ridged bowl to house the bulbs. It would make such a statement in the right space!! 

Mixed in with their beautiful fixtures is an assortment of paintings and vintage diagrams, mirrors, accessories and gift items. I just loved the framed jewel toned butterflies.

These beautiful sconces really caught my eye! Each features two curving arms constructed of vintage Murano glass.  Definitely a contender for my home! 

Continuing my shopping trip down Ferndale, my next stop was through the lovely antique convent entryway of The Gray Door

Having set up her new shop on the first floor of her spacious town home, owner Donna Brown displays her gorgeous variety of lighting fixtures, home accents, and antique furniture vignettes throughout the industrial space. 

I loved this basket line perfect for home office organization! With such a large variety of shapes and sizes, I could organize all my stacks beautifully!!!

Having come for sconces I was not disappointed by the selection! Each set of fixtures was unique, dripping in beading and crystal swags, ready to shimmer and glow with light.  

Success! I found a second great option for my bathroom sconces at The Gray Door. It is a three prong, antique, burnished gold fixture. I would consider refinishing them to better match the style of my master bath and removing the pointed protrusion at the top.

With antique items sourced from France, Sweden, Italy, and beyond, The Gray Door provided so much to inspire!

How adorable is this little dog bed?!  Even Donna’s dog couldn’t resist its Parisian charm and made himself quite at home.  

Unsurprisingly, Donna’s impeccable taste extends to her own home. An image from her former kitchen, and gratefully borrowed from Cote De Texas’ wonderful blog on Donna this year, I simply love her mix of old and new, industrial and antique. The result is welcoming, unpretentious, and always interesting.

Yet another amazing find on Ferndale! These antique paneled doors have such a stunning finish. The inset panels were left unpainted to display their natural beauty a lovely French blue on the surrounding frames. Well-worn and distressed, these would make a gorgeous addition to someone’s home! 

Right across the street is Kirby Antiques. A bit more formal in flair they have a beautiful assortment of carefully curated items to admire. 

Their collection of stunning accessories makes it difficult to choose but these gorgeous candlesticks sure would look beautiful atop my dining room table. … 

My daughter Kirby, not happy about being woken up in the wee hours, assisted me by holding the fixtures to the wall so that I could get an idea of how they would actually look in the space. 

Which led me to choosing this gold and glass fixture from BROWN to install!! Piece by piece, this renovation project is finally nearing completion!!

Although the sconces I found at the The Gray Door didn't work at my house they found a home in this lovely powder we stenciled for Sarah Eilers of Lucas Eilers Design Associates. The faucets and wonderful old sink are not installed yet. Will be a beauty when all done! 



What's Aglow at The Shop! no returns on sale items

(2) Aidan Gray Corinthian Fragment Lamp in Antiqued White on Lucite Base (shade not included) - $495.00  Sale $295 each.

Aidan Gray Antique Silver Candlesticks  - $195.00ea  Sale $125 each

Drio Lace Ceramic Lamp in Turquoise and Brown on Silver Base (shade included) - $350.00  Sale $165 each.

Wall Sconces from Top to Bottom: Silver Scallop -$750, Silver Mirror Scallop - $750, Silver East Sconce - $795, & Clear Pagoda - $725  We can order sets at same price a piece.  To buy one, they would be half off. Call for information, they are really cool made from acrylic and some silver leafed and painted on back!!!

 To pre-order our new design guide, Segreto Style, please contact !!!

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.



A Week With Segreto!!

With fall just around the corner we have started our holiday crunch; trying to get all of our sweet Segreto clients finished in time for holiday entertaining! Here are a few projects we have been working on this week!   


With the orange stained ceiling beams trend falling in line with avocado green shag carpets, we are constantly busy transforming these architectural elements to a weathered gray antique look! Here is Jerry applying the first step to kill the orange undertones. Who says blow dryers are only meant for hair?!     

Adding cracks and distressing, these beams now read like age old, built in elements.  No stripping required, our trademark technique transforms newly constructed features into worn wood remnants of centuries past!

Beginning our work in this kitchen for Gabirel Custom Home Builders, our task is to age the cabinetry so that it marries well with the plastered walls, reclaimed beams and counter top, and stone range hood, all of which are statement pieces. But wait.....




Like a piece of fine jewelry for the kitchen, the first item the homeowner’s purchased was the Chateau 120 from La Cornue in pebble blue!! To die for!!!   

Wanting to extend the colors to the refrigerator doors, we applied an age old finish onto the newly constructed ones!!! 

Here are the doors as they sat previously in our shop awaiting the final dry brushing and edging. Taking place on site, this step will lend further aging. Believe it or not, this paint is made from cottage cheese and beer!  Fitting for refrigerator panels don't you think? 


This homeowner wanted to change the existing dark mahogany paneling to a color that would showcase her French canvas which was built into the wall. This 17th century beauty is really 14 feet tall but they ingeniously incorporated a scroll device which allowed them to keep the top portion rolled, protected and uncut in the event they decide to move. Choosing one of the teal colors from the painting made the piece come to life! Our sample can be seen to the left of the canvas. 

I cannot wait to see the room cleaned up and featuring her newly upholstered chairs!!! What a change!! 

While at the same residence, the homeowner showed me her collection of framed artifacts from the 15th century! Still wishing to have them displayed, she wanted to change the gold trim on their frame to silver.

An easy DIY task for all to try, I told her about a product we love, Rub and Buff!!! Shown above in pewter, their silver leaf would be a better color for what she is hoping to achieve!

 Although the directions say to apply directly with you finger, I suggest using a rag with a bit of paint thinner on it which will allow for more control of the coverage desired!  

Elsewhere, the plaster crew is busy coating this entire home! I just love the curved ceilings and the sublet depth the plaster lends to the space! This home will be a draw dropper when furnished!!

 Have you been wanting a metal hood but are stuck with a wood one?  No worries!  We transformed this one to reflect a sheet metal look with metal banding and grommets for designer Sarah Eilers!

Even I had to do a double take when I saw the banding complete!  


This little mahogany side table got a complete make over at our furniture refinishing workshop! Although this client decided to leave the original hardware intact, often times we will paint right over them like you see in French or Italian painted pieces.   


Fit for a princess, we have glazed this door and are painting tufting on the ceiling to make a grand entrance to this little ones closet!!!  

­­And the most exciting thing to happen this week – we received the prototype of our second book, Segreto Style, in the mail! So many stunning homes, I cannot wait to share them all with you! We are taking pre-orders for advance purchase at and via Amazon beginning October 1st. Hope you all mark your calendars for the opening party at Joyce Horn Antiques November 6th. It will be so fun!!


Accessorize for Fall at the Shop with our Fall Sale!(no returns with sale merchandise)

 The Royal Standard Chevron Scarves-perfect for monogramming: Shown in Gray & White and Orange & White (Infinity) and Burgundy & White: $29.50 Sale $20

 Gold Plated Gem Stone Earrings.  Large: $205.00, Sale $165   Small : $149.00 Sale $110

 Italian made natural cork Handbags: $359.00, Sale $295 

 Cork and Gold Lace Cuff w/ magnetic clasp: $89.00-Sale $50

  Leather Multi-Strap Bracelet with Gold Beaded Accents and Citrine Gem: $150.00  Deal of the Day $50 

 Yellow, Genuine Leather High Fashion Handbag with Gold Clasp Detail: $259.00  sale $199

I hope everyone has a great week! 

To pre-order our new design guide, Segreto Style, please contact !!!



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.









Renovation Update - Flooring! 

An integral feature of any home, flooring choices are limitless and crucial to the overall look of your home. From packed dirt to tumbled marble, its history is as extensive as the materials it can be made from. As you may know, my summer has been made all the more exciting (and exhausting!) by my home renovation.



The use of more refined wood flooring didn't become standard until the early 19th century. Historically, many homes featured unfinished, rough-hewn planks with the intent of covering them with decorative rugs. Following the industrial revolution, new machinery resulted in the ability to cost effectively produce elaborate wood flooring options thus establishing their use throughout the home! 

Ari with AR Floor Designs had done such a great job helping me with my offices three years ago that I made a trip to his warehouse to check out their enormous collection of finished and unfinished wood! This is a sample that he had made for sweet architectural consultant, Sarah West to show the many reclaimed woods he had in stock for use in flooring. Wouldn’t it make such a cool inset in an entrance way?

Established in 2005, Ari and his team have become an invaluable resource for all things flooring! With so many beautiful options to consider, how could I ever choose?

I really loved their reclaimed wood with a European oil finish on them as well as the beautiful walnut samples! Although I am getting new floors in the front three rooms, the rooms adjacent have existing oak flooring throughout. I so loved all of your comments and suggestions about using stone in the entry and, though I was torn, decide to stick with all oak to keep the house feeling open and cohesive.


From the lumber yard to the showroom floor, a variety of wood species and stains are hand chosen, carefully milled, and expertly arranged to create the flooring custom to your home. It was so fun learning about the process! He also had a large selection of engineered floors, some made from reclaimed wood. Something I didn’t know was possible!

Ari also had a large selection of reclaimed beams to admire and just look at that fab antique red barn siding! What a statement piece it would be in the right setting. So it got us to talking…….

Remember this California home designed by my friend Ohara Davies- Gaetano featured in the summer issue of Veranda? I adore the concept of this ceiling. Seeing his wonderful supply of reclaimed planking, Ari agreed to select some for me and install it on my own dining room ceiling! Fingers crossed my little Segreto elves are up to the challenge of creating a design just as spectacular!!!

I had told the guys that I was quick and easy when creating the samples for my living room. I guess I underestimated how many options I’d have! Sweet Ari never seemed frustrated and custom mixed my vision of the perfect brown.

Now his guys were left to mix the same color for the wood floors in my living room. These floors connect to both the foyer and the kitchen as well as the den. I had been told prior that they were mesquite inlaid in oak. Yet, in their stripped form, it was easy to see that they were red and white oak, cut like bricks and framed within a red oak grid. These floors, probably installed in the home in the 1970’s, have always been my favorite!

With the den and kitchen finally complete, I was able to move all of the furniture back in just in time for John to come home from his California Dreaming vacation! Although waxed finishes are the rage now, I decided on a oil polyurethane finish in the main parts of the house for the sake of durability! My dogs really give the floors a beating! With this sealant all you need to do is clean as needed with Bonax wood floor cleaner!

In my master bedroom, the floors are pine and had been previously stained dark. I have to admit, I kind of loved the way they looked natural. Yet, when the sealant was applied they turned a bit too yellow for me.

To counter the gold tones a series of European oils were used which added a grey hue. This is the first of four washes that he applied. According to Ari, “We are using a lot (of European oils) to achieve gray colors, light creamy, or Earth tones yielding a natural look with low sheen”.  In terms of maintenance, the floors need only be mopped with the same brand of soap and, bonus, it is a green product!

 I just love the transition between the old stone floors in the hallway from Chateau Domingue to the white Carrera marble in the bathroom from Materials Marketing! The cleaners came yesterday to do the final clean on the bathroom! Yayyy!! We are getting close to moving back in!  Thank you, Ari, and all of your great guys that worked on my project! I love my floors!!!

I can not tell you how thrilled I am to share such exciting news!! My dear friend and fellow design blogger, Kristy Woodson Harvey of Design Chic, has just released her much anticipated novel, Dear Carolina!!! Such a talented story teller, Kristy writes of the defining moments and difficult decsisions that make a family.

One baby girl.

Two strong Southern women.

And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.


Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…


Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…


“Kristy Woodson Harvey weaves a story around characters with rich, complicated lives we all identify with…beautifully shows how a family comes to be.  Not only by blood, but also by choice.” --New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas


And because we know you'd like to get your hands on it too, we're doing a giveaway! Not just any old giveaway, either - simply by sharing the cover of this book you will be entered to win a collection of 10 amazing, new novels from a bevy of talented authors! Participants simply need to share the Dear Carolina cover by clicking the contest link below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck and I hope you enjoy Kristy Woodson Harvey's new novel,  Dear Carolina - I know I will!!! Please check out her blog Design Chic too for a real design treat!!! Until next week!


To pre-order our new design guide, Segreto Style, please contact !!!

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.




California Dreaming!

As we wrap up another hot summer, I am happy to say that, despite so much going on recently - our home renovation and two new books on the way - I was able to sneak away and take a vacation!! 


Each year we head to California to visit my husband’s family. This year was a special celebration wishing John’s Mom, Angie, a happy 86th Birthday! 

Here she is with her three boys and 5 of her 7 grandchildren. Sweet as she can be and such a tiny, little thing as seen by the picture of her and John’s brother, Bob!


Our first stop was in beautiful Orange County to visit Bobby and his wife Heather’s new home! Fun fact – they live two streets away from Tamera of The Real Housewives of Orange County! After spending an afternoon watching a taped season of the show we decided that, unless she likes cat fights, maybe Heather shouldn’t besties with her new neighbor…

Here’s Sammy, ready to take the long, 144 step hike down to Laguna Beach!

You can’t be in Orange County without going to Fashion Island to shop! An outdoor mall in Newport Beach brimming with boutiques set right on the beach! We did a little damage at Halston Heritage with its 60% off sale. And thank goodness we didn’t get kicked out of Kate Spade when Kirby decided to try on the mannequin’s wig!!!

While at the Festival of Art in Laguna Beach, I really wanted to take my girls to Pageant of the Masters. I had seen it in my 20’s and thought it was simply amazing! 

It is world-renowned in the artistry and theatrical illusion of living pictures. Believe it or not, this is a real person sitting on a stage which, as the show progresses, becomes a life-size painting to the audience.

Even with binoculars the only way we could tell it wasn’t an actual painting is when one of the performers blinked! 

This ninety-minute stage show of “living pictures” re-creates well known classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. How is it done?

Exceptionally talented artists paint the backdrops for each piece while the actor has impeccable makeup, complete with the look of brush strokes, applied to make them blend into the canvas! 

Seamlessly, they morph into works of living art. It is a remarkable experience that I highly recommend seeing! 

Heather, my sweet sister-in-law, is an amazing cook and entertainer!  I wanted to share the recipe of one of my dishes she made during our visit!

Grilled Sweet-and-Spicy Shrimp with Mint Dipping Sauce courtesy of Epicurious


Yields: 12 first-course or 6 main-course servings

¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar

3/12 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons plus ½ cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

½ salt

2 lbs uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined. 

2 cups (packed) fresh mint leaves

Metal or wooden skewers. 

Mix brown sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil, lemon peel, cayenne pepper, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Let marinate 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, place mint, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 cup oil in processor. Blend until mint is finely chopped and mixture is smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. Season mint dipping sauce with salt. 

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill shrimp until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with mint dipping sauce. Yum!

Here are my two girls, Kirby and Sammy, with their cousins. The family resemblance is strong thanks to those Italian genes!!! Wish Matthew was there.


After our wonderful visit in Orange County we made our way to Hermosa Beach which is very close to where John grew up. Less than two miles long and nestled between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach truly is, as their motto claims, “the best little beach city”!

We stay at the Beach House every year, which is great! It's a smaller Boutique Hotel with larger rooms which accommodates the four of us comfortably and is the only one right on the beach.

While in Hermosa we were sure to visit one of our favorite restaurants – The Bottle Inn. Always such a treat! 

Taking advantage of the perfect weather, we spent a day at the ball park cheering on the Dodgers! John and Bob are ‘true blue’ LA fans!  John is staying longer to visit his friends and relatives. I am going to try to at least get the kitchen, breakfast, and TV room moved in before he returns!  Hope I make it! 


We wanted to share a glimpse of Gala Interiors and Antiques in Jackson, Mississippi! We are thrilled that she is now carrying my first book, Segreto:Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors. Specializing in beautiful antiques and unique gifts, Gala Interiors is chock full of lovely finds!  

If you live in the Jackson area you should take a moment to drop by to see their beautiful showroom located within Antique Shops of Jackson and explore the special treasures hand curated by owner Darnell Dye!

And we are so excited to share that after October 1st she will be carrying our second book, Segreto Style in her beautiful shop!!!

Until next week!

Vacay sale at the boutique!


Cobalt Blue Coral on Lucite Base - $175.00  Sale $125

The Royal Standard Teal & Gold Juco Tote - $39.50  Sale $25

Brics White Nylon Duffle with a cross body included - $169  Sale $80

Orange and Pink Canvas & Terry Cloth Beach Tote - $149.00 These are awesome!  Have waterproof insides!! Sale $75

Fouta reversible super soft towels in Fuschia, Light Blue, & Orange - $79.00  Sale $48

Aqua marine and Amber  20" Necklace - $359.00  Sale $250 each

Turquoise, Hand-Blown Glass Bowls - Small $34.50   Sale $22  / Large $49.50  Sale $30

Be You Fashion; Fair Trade Totes Made in Madagascar - $95 Sale $40.00ea

(Left: Hot pink & natural, Center: Black & natural giraffe print, Right: Toffee & natural)

Have a wonderful week!  Till next Monday!

To inquire about these items email
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.










The color lavender has long been lauded for its graceful connotations and decidedly feminine undertones. Unlike its bubbly cousin, pink, lavender carries with it an air of quiet confidence and subtle playfulness. Perhaps due to its noble roots within the purple family, the color has a well-established history of nobility and piety.

(Chanel Evening Coat)

Dating as far back as 27 BC and the start of the Roman Empire, shades of purple have long been reserved for magistrates, members of the royal family, and Roman Catholic Bishops throughout Europe. Perhaps it’s for this reason that lavender, the result of mixing white and violet paint, carries with it such a distinct sense of refinement…


Originally, the use of the term lavender only applied to its fragrant namesake. Not until 1705 was lavender used to describe the color; broken into three major shades as seen on the various parts of the flower itself.


From left to right: Lavender grey, lavender, and lavender blue


As a result of its red and blue heritage, lavender can transcend from warm to cool depending upon its surroundings. As seen above, the surprising pop of color on this old wooden door reads cool thanks to the grey masonry walls in which it is set.                                  


Even when paired with strong golden tones, the red hues inherent to lavender help ease the tension between other warm and cool elements in the room. A neutral observer, lavender stands apart and serves to bridge the gap between color families; a very valuable member of any color scheme!


This dreamy vanity and dressing room draws heavily upon lavender’s strong sense of femininity and grace. Reflective surfaces, from the high sheen on the tile floor to the mirrored dressing wall, compound the effect of this airy color and results in a boudoir sumptuous enough for a queen.


Used as an accent color against a palette of soft whites, creams, and champagnes, shades of dark and light lavender serve to modernize this vintage style sitting room heavy with neoclassical and baroque details. Very impressive!


Taking a page from any fashionista’s repertoire, color blocking, shown here by mixing shades of lavender, crimson, and violet, results in a look both clean and bold! Like any good accessory, the gold metallic accents break up any monotony that may have been caused by the lack of patterned textiles or art. 


A feast for the senses!  On the tabletop, bundled sprigs of fresh lavender add a hint of color and soft aroma to this otherwise blank tablescape. The look is effortless and whimsical, perfect for any gathering!

Not many scents equal the distinct, fresh aroma that lavender cleaning products infuse into the home. Known for their use of herbs, essential oils, and organic flora, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day cleaning supplies have become a staple in my own utility closet! Their dedication to chemical-free, natural ingredients have yielded one of my favorite laundry detergents that is as gentle on fabrics as it is on the skin it touches. Aroma therapy while doing a load of laundry? Yes, please!


The use of lavender in the home doesn’t have to be limited to its use in design or scenting the room. Instead, try creating an aromatic cocktail accented with sprigs of fresh blooms that guests will see, taste, and smell – a full sensory experience!

Courtesy of Couture Craft Blog, try making this Lavender Collins for a fresh and colorful twist on a classic cocktail!  


1 1/2 oz Jensens Bermondsey Gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz lavender syrup ( method below)
3 oz club soda

Sprig of lavender for garnish

To make the lavender syrup:

1 cup water
3 tbsp fresh or dried lavender flowers
2 cups sugar


Firstly to make the lavender syrup, bring water and lavender to the boil in a saucepan, using a wooden spoon stir in sugar until it is completely dissolved Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and allow to cool with the lavender, once cooled strain flowers away. This will store for 1 week in the fridge.

To make the Lavender Collins, transfer all ingredients except club soda into a cocktail shaker and mix. Pour into a long glass full of ice. Top up with the club soda and a sprig of lavender to decorate.

Until next week!

Its a Lavender Sale!!!!      


Large Amethyst Geode on Lucite Base: $816.00  Sale price $425 

Jolie USA Knotty Hair Ties (10): $ 25.00   Sale price $18.50

Benton Art & Design Tea Towels: $34.50 ea  Sale price $24.50

                 Lollia Hand Cream in Lavender & Honey: $ 30.00 Sale price $20

Linneas Lights Hand Poured Soy Candle in Lavender: $32.00 Sale price $25

To inquire about these items email

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.