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Sunday
Jun012014

Southern Beauty - Historical Baton Rouge

When I went for the book signing in Baton Rouge at Rodgers and McDaniel Home, a must see home furnishings store, filled with anitique and contemporary furniture, accessories, and lighting,  I was so fortunate to meet a wonderful Southern lady.  She invited me to an early coffee at her personal home that Rodgers and McDaniel had done the design work for.  Meeting her at 8am before I started the trip back to Houston, it was such a treat both to visit with her and to tour this lovely historical home. Although much of the bones were left as is, there was definitely a complete change in aesthetics of the home through paint colors, wall coverings and furnishings. I hope you enjoy the tour even with my not so professional photography!!

As you enter, you are immediately met by lovely antiques, period furnishings, and a graceful staircase that give a very warm and welcoming feeling.

The hand embroidered drapery, with the stunning Zuber Wall covering and antique rug, provide such a dramatic statement but in a subtle, refined manner to the home's dining area! Truly using her home, she was working on a school project for her kids onthe dining room table! Oh those days!!

The living room is just to die for! It mixes luminous fabrics with antiques and stunning art.  I love the pop of leopard and her accessories, which take this very formal room to an enticing entertaining space that would make any visitor feel comfortable. 

 I of course adore all the painted pieces in the room!!

The mantel and the mill work are quite exceptional!!

This is a little keeping area.  Love the old marble floors, antique mirrors and the beautiful period grate in the floor!!

The master bedroom is as lovely as the rest of the house and changes the color tones to a soft green.  There is that same fun pop of animal print!

 I adored her master closet.  Revamped with the mirrors and brass panel insets, it was so charming!!

The powder tucked under the stairs has that beautiful marbled antique mirror and faucets to die for!!!

 

 This is the butlers or staging room, perfect to lay out a food spread or use as a staging place that you can close off while entertaining!!

The den kitchen area was completely revamped and is so well done!  Looking outdoors to the beautiful backyard, it is so warm and inviting!!! I love the beams and wooden ceiling mixed with the green of the kitchen cabinetry!!

 A fab mix of benches and stools!!  Plenty of space to chat with the cook!!!

There is something about the decor in Louisiana that is elegant but no so serious. It creates an inviting feeling in each space.  This pop of color mixed with playful fabrics makes me just want to pull up a chair!!!

 A tapestry hung over the tv hung with a simple curtain rod!!!  Brilliant!!!!!

The gameroom and den are comfy and beautiful with their ceiling details!! 

The outside as pretty as the inside. It definitely has that New Orleans flair to it!!!  I hope you enjoy taking it all in!!  Thanks so much to this gracious sweet lady for opening up her lovely home so early in the morning!!! It was such a treat for me!!!

 

 

 

Hope everyone has a lovely week!  Till next Monday!!  xo  Leslie

Whats new in the boutique......


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Saturday
May242014

Dad Rocks! Man Caves & Gift Picks

I hope that everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! With Father's day fast approaching how do you celebrate that special man?  Here are some ideas on how to decorate a "Man Cave"  for him and some fun  Father's Day gift picks! 

"Man Caves" are not a new concept. A space where " a man can be a man" and enjoy his hobbies or have a place to think. These spaces can either be a place to be alone and think or a place to entertain friends. Throughout history, there are some wonderful examples of great men and their "manly" retreats, from Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and many more! 


 

Andrew Carnegie's decadent study has a beautiful painted mural above the paneling of one of his favorite inspirational quotes "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." 

Contemporary Man Caves include many of the same elements and serve the same purpose. Leather couches, hunting trophies, books, cigars, sporting goods and music equipment can all still be found in modern man caves. Now they may be joined by techno gadgets like giant flatscreen TVs and gaming systems! Below are some modern man caves that have caught our eye! 

This is an amazing man cave housed on the third floor of a home that we just completed! So much thought was put into how to house each item for this avid sports collector. 

 

Source

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Man Cave accessories would be perfect for Father's Day gifts! Here are a few ideas from the Segreto Boutique!

Tizo watch box $225, Mounted Minerals (left $175, right $340), wood coasters $105

 Pair of side tables made from vintage bicycle parts $550 each

Burled Wood tray $115

Leather, Bamboo and Acrylic Tizo frames from starting at $79

 

Celebrating Dads who Rock! 

Father's day is a great time to spend time with your family and do activities together. John's favorite Father's Day events are when the kids cook him a big pancake breakfast or when the family spends the day together hanging out by the pool and he and Matthew can catch a round of golf!  

Here are a couple of fun ideas for Father's Day gifts! 

Make some personalized art for Dad's study with the kids. These ideas are artistic and easy for anyone to do! 

Source, Source, Source, Source

Plan a family barbecue in the backyard and you can present the Dad's with fun new grill tools! A spatula with a funny card is a great simple present. These spices from "Special Sh*t" were a huge hit with John, who thought they were hilarious and tasty! Cleaning the grill is never fun, but this new GrillBot might be a huge hit. It's supposed to clean the grill all by itself! We definitely need one of those! 

Cute Spatula Idea Source, Top Right: Special Sh*t BBQ supplies, Grill Bot

 

No matter what kind of gift you're giving, big or small, thoughtful presentation adds a special touch! For some "Dad" themed wrapping you can make the package as simple as using a bow tie or tie as a ribbon or, if you are feeling ambitious, try one of these cute DIY shirt cards or wrapping! Instructions for the card here and for the shirt box or bag here

 

Segreto is off to celebrate the wedding of one of our own Leslie Carrigan (soon to be Simmons)!!! We had a wedding shower for her with the whole team on Monday morning. Everyone contributed and we got her a beautiful Beatriz Ball tray engraved with love from the whole Segreto Family! We can't wait for her to have all of us over for dinner! Congratulations Leslie and Charles!

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend! Until next week! XO Leslie 

 

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Sunday
May182014

What Segreto is Working on!!!

We have been busy at Segreto! My favorite transformations are when we alter existing elements in the home to give them a whole new feel. 


This house has some pretty substantial beams in their great room!! Although the owners liked the architecture of them, they didn't like their dark shiny finish. We were brought in to make them look older and transform the tone to a weathered gray.  If you look in the top left to the right of the red scaffolding you can see our sample!

Here is a big section done-- it makes a huge difference. If sanded well, you can go over the existing stain without having to strip the beams - which is expensive and smelly!!!

Here is an aged cabinet finish we are working on in a secondary bath.  I would like to do a two toned treatment here where the inset pieces and corners remain lighter than the rest of the cabinet. We currently are on the second layer--two more to go!!! 

In this study, the owner wanted to go from ranch to a contemporary feel for her existing study!  She loves the texture of the pecky cypress wood just not the tone so we put several layers of a white wash on it to give it a whole new presentationl! 

We do many houses where we tweak the finishes on existing elements. We plastered this house in a soft white and the cast stone surrounds had a yellow tone that just didn't go with the new decor. 

You can see how paint can alter the tone of the cast stone--it's starting to happen at the top!!! 

In the same home, the owner didn't like the tone of the mantel or the lines that the joints of the stone made. By plastering over the surface, we were able to give her a seamless look.  This is the first coat of two that we are applying now!

The client loved these light fixtures but wanting to add a bit more interest. We took these from a solid  black and added some gold detailing and a decorative element to give them a bit more charm. Perfect for their new home!!

This kitchen had a flat molding piece at the top of the cabinetry which looked plain even after the glazing had been done.  To lend interest we stenciled and hand embellised a design to give them a personality all of their own. 

Kitchens, always fun to do, feel more like a room with glazed cabinetry and a plaster hood.  We are currently finishing up by creating a reclaimed look on the doors that lead to their mud room area in the back right. 

Love the gray tones of their cabinetry with Calcutta marble!!! This previously white cabinet takes on a whole new look when distressed and finished!!

Come visit my pup Charlie at the store this week!  He is ready to meet and greet at our front door which was previously stained orange! We repurposed, distressed and finished it in gray to give all our visitors a Segreto Welcome!!!

What's New at Segreto

We have a beautiful new shipment of Minerals and Corals! Perfect for decorative accent pieces or as gifts. Here are a few of the newest pieces, come by to see our whole collection! 

Left: Apothalite crystal $385, Middle: Poca Coral $225, Right: Yellow Apothalite crystal $195

Pair of Agate bookends $250

 

 Large Arican White Quartz $450

 

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
May112014

The House Renovation!!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!!! I spent it with my husband and two daughters and Mom and Ken.  My son in Dallas couldn't make it but this 25 year old son sent me flowers!! First time!  Well a lot is going on at the Sinclair homefront with the home renovations, here is a bit of an update.

My dream would have been to do the amazing renovation that Newberry Campa Architects did for the exterior renovation. Their creativity and insight as to what I wanted was brillant!!  After getting back the timing that this extensive project would have taken, we decided that we would postone this for when the girls were gone! Please read about his vision for my house here. 

So for now, we are doing just a purely cosmetic redo for the outside and replaceing the plumbing and bathrooms on the inside!!! The house is coming along and although we have tweaks with the limewashing I think that I am getting used to having a white house. I am trying to picture the entire exterior done complete with landscaping, gates and new lighting! These elements make such a difference in the overall look of a home, much like dressing up an outfit with jewelry, shoes and a great handbag.

I bought 4 of these awesome pots from Joyce Horn Antiques!  We are putting a bench in the inside of the brick wall with a little garden around it--they would look great there--or..... so pretty by the front door.... or in the back yard by the pool!! P.S.  She just got in a new shipment so hurry on over there, beautiful things!!!

I saw this article from the online version of Southern Living about a Georgian makeover!  I wish I had seen it before my Limewashing experiment--they added sand to the mix!!!

Below are the sources they used to dress up the Southern Living home!! Loved some of the ideas and wondered if I should mix in some of the planters with the Mediterranean ones I bought?

Lantern & Bracket: 5001 in Rust by Fourteenth Colony (fourteenthcolonylighting.com), from $1,322, available from Brandino Brass; 205/978-8900

Door Shutters: Western Red Cedar Horizontal Louver with Radius Top (in Artichoke; prattandlambert.com) from $700/pair; timberlane.com

Roof Tiles: Majestic Slate in Midnight Gray by EcoStar (ecostarllc.com), $4/sq. ft., available through Emack Slate Company; emackslate.com

Planter: 24-Inch Cube Planter in White, $186.53; cedarwoodfurniture.com (Reader deal! 10% off entire site with code SOUTHERNLIVING)

We purchased these beveled glass  doors in 1987 when we bought the house. Such the rage in the 80's.  To simplify the look I repaced them with plain beveled glass instead.  My plans are to refinish the doors to look like old found pieces.

 

Although I loved the lantern in the Southern Living home, I had heard about Sheryl Stringer, a local artist here that had a line of lighting. I emailed her and she came out that day to show me a few!!! I really liked the copper one we are hanging above my window to the right.

I had originally thought it would be nice to have it hanging by a chain but she said because of the wind and the glass window that I would have to use three chains.  I didn't feel that look was right for my house so I opted for the Yoke, which means it is suspended by the iron rods drawn. Well patience is a virtue, as I tell my sweet clients who wait for me, so the unveiling will be in about 3 months.

Moving to the inside, I have been working with my good friends from Goodchild Builders! Here is Steve himself along with his right hand men Juan and Henry.

The main project we are doing is gutting three bathrooms and replacing all the plumbing in our home (this is the issue that started it all).  Today we are having a meeting about the master cabinet design.

Remember I bought two of those amazing, very huge, mirrors.  They will be installed over double sinks and on the opposite side of the bathroom will be a vanity for me.   The architectural piece on the right from Joyce Horn Antiques will hang over the tub.

 

I like these two styles. I fell in love with this Danish commode by Niermann Weeks so we are using this as inspiration for the vanity and sink basins and the cabinet style to the right will be around the tub surround.

This picture is just to show the towel bars under the sink that I love--I ordered some from Acero Bella so we will see how they look on the cabinets after they are built! 

The project continues!!! Hope ya'll have a great week!! Until next Monday!  XO Leslie 

 What's New at Segreto--

Lots of beautiful new earrings! 

 

Aquamarine necklaces, soft scarves and Horn chain link necklaces! 

Super cute beach bags perfect for this summer! 

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
May042014

Gray in the Home 

Thanks everyone for the sweet supportive comments about the limewashing at my house!!!  I will send you pics when we are done!!  The new Antique Shops & Designer Magazine is out and I wanted to share a portion of my latest article about the Color Gray and give you a sneak peak of my upcoming book Segreto Style!!!!

The room below, one of my all times favorites, is from the talented Talbot Cooley From TC Interiors!!! I loved the soothing polished plaster we applied in this bedroom!!!  This house and the ones below will all be featured in their entirety in Book #2  Segreto Stlye which I have been working around the clock to get to press so it will be out for the fall, fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

I love all the gray rooms and accessories that are in home design today. With the busy lifestyles of working parents and children juggling countless activities, I hear repeatedly during consultation with homeowners that they want their home to be a retreat – a relaxing haven separate from the hustle and bustle of their schedules. I almost always point these clients to tones of grays. After reading the definition of gray from the dictionary, though, I’m a little perplexed as to how the color became the chosen neutral of designers and homeowners alike. The Dictionary by Fairlex defines gray as “ Dull or dark: a gray, rainy afternoon. B. Lacking in cheer; gloomy: a gray mood.”

We glazed this amazing kitchen for the ever so talented Munger Interiors!!  What a transformation it was!!  

From this description, gray communicates a void of movement, emotions, warmth of any identifying characteristics. So why do I find homes using gray as a background color serene, soothing and elegant? I think this very lack of emotions is what makes gray so calming! Because gray isn’t expressing much of anything, it remains simply restful, quiet and tranquil. It not only allows different colors to pop while also cooling their intensity, but it gives the ability to layer textures and patterns without looking overwrought.

This bathroom which we did for cute designer, Leslie Strauss, has a metallic stencil atop gray plaster walls.  I love the way the metallics layer over the plaster!!! 

Think of the walls of your home as a sophisticated, all gray outfit. While it may be drab and dreary on its own, the ensemble comes to life when layered with jewelry, scarves, shoes or a jacket. The same basic backdrop can create entirely different tones and styles from dressy to urban, contemporary to romantic.

A gray dress can go from business casual to a night time statement ensemble, just as a home’s ambiance can change from room to room depending on the textures and accents of color. To subtly elicit the mood you would like your room to have, try mixing gray with yellows, teals, blues, greens, pinks, lavenders or my favorite “Blaygeen” color.

 

This newly built bar we did for Barnett Custom Homes. Full of age and character, it is truly one of my favs.  The worn and distresssed look marries it well with the old brick and wine label tiles!!

For instance, charcoal gray is a wonderful choice if you wish to impart the strength and mystery of black without its negative connotations. Gray truly goes with any color, don’t be afraid to do something unusual and give your trim the gray undertone while incorporating some color on your walls or cabinetry.

Since there are as many shades of gray as there are of white, picking the right color can be difficult. To start, look at the other fabrics, rugs, furniture and surfaces in the space. Do they have a warm undertone (yellow-based) or a cool undertone (blue based)? To ensure a cohesive design, pick the shades of gray with the same undercurrent.

Left: Sherwin Williams Sensible Hue 6198, Right: Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray 6197

Sherwin Williams Colors: Dorian Gray 7017, Dovetail 7018 and Repose Gray 7015

Some of my go-to colors for warmer grays are Seed Pearl, Revere Pewter, Collingwood Gray and San Antonio Gray from Benjamin Moore and Colonnade Gray, Worldly Gray, Repose Gray, Dorian Gray and Dovetail from Sherwin Williams. For cooler grays, I like Gray Owl from Benjamin Moore, Blackened from Farrow & Ball  and Passive from Sherwin Williams.

Are you ready to bring some gray into your home?

It’s the perfect color if you want: 

  •  To foster and environment where compromise is encouraged.
  • To engender a neutral, non-invasive feeling.
  •  To reduce the intensity of another color while still including it.
  • To create an isolated getaway.

What's New at the Segreto Boutique...

 

Left Moonstone bracelets: $52 each, Middle Druzy pendandt necklace: $325, Right Moonstone earrings: $180

 

Moonstone and Aquamarine earrings: $150

 

Long Smoky Quartz and black necklace: $325

 

Left: Cork lace earrings: $49, Right: Cork lace bracelet with magnetic clasp: $89

 

Long dainty side cross necklaces: from $109-$189 depending on the stone

Hope everyone has a great week!!!  Till Next Monday!  xo Leslie

 

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

To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.