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Monday
Sep092013

Kemble Interiors opens an office in Houston!!!

I was thrilled to learn that Kemble Interiors, with offices in both New York and Palm Beach, will be expanding into Houston! I had, of course, heard and known about the wonderful work of Kemble Interiors for some time, but about two years ago, I got to experience the design firm's trend-setting work first-hand while helping Celerie Kemble and her associate Lindsey Herod with the finishes in a Houston home. It was so much fun watching this design legend's philosophies at play!!! 

 

Here's busy Celerie, sitting on her Serpentine sofa (photo by Don Freeman)!  In addition to running the New York firm, Celerie is constantly designing various pieces for her collections.  This sofa is part of her gorgeous collection of case goods and upholstery with Henredon Furniture. This line is perfectly complemented by her accessories collection from MAITLAND-SMITH.   

Celerie also has a rug collection with Merida Meridian!  She has a talent for mixing colors and patterns in bold, unexpected ways, as evident here in her Catalyst rug shown in Pink Grapefruit.  Check out more of her designs below!!!

 

Whether you prefer wool or jute, Celerie has some fantastic options! I've included the specs on these rugs below, in case you're interested in learning more about her collection with Merida Meridian:

 

There is truly nothing that this little lady doesn’t do well!!! She even has a wallcovering and fabric line with F. Schumacher! All of the items in Celerie Kemble for Schumacher espouse her well-known design aesthetic, combining classic lines with modern detailing and an eclectic flair. Celerie is a pro at blending a variety of styles and trends in a beautiful, harmonious way.  I just love how her F. Schumacher collection has everything from geometric patterns to ikats to metallic finishes to velvet!

So how could this busy mother of three have time to expand? Her right-hand gal, Lindsey Herod, a native Texan, was happy to take on the challenge! Here's Lindsey inside the incredible home I helped them with a couple years ago!  Go here to see the house when we first started and to meet Christopher Garrett, the renovator!!!

This two-story entrance has corridors upstairs and down as well as a room that leads to the upstairs halls.  After falling in love with a discontinued wallpaper, Celerie and Lindsey enlisted Segreto's help to replicate the look.  Using the wallpaper as inspiration, we came up with this elegant, two-color stencil design.

You can see the detail of the pattern above! It was such a pleasure getting to know Lindsey better throughout this process. She's been interested in art and design since she was a little girl. Although she graduated with a degree in architecture from Texas A&M, she quickly became head over heels for the interior design department at Pratt and completed her Masters of Interior Design there.

It was so fun for me to see how Kemble interiors maintained the home's cohesive feel while layering myriad colors throughout! I asked Lindsey how they managed to achieve this so spectacularly: ”I typically start with one pattern or multi-colored item in every room.  It might be a wallpaper or a rug or a fabric or a painting.  Then I draw everything from that.  And I always layer in texture.  A little grasscloth or sisal, some brass, something shiny, and something dull and always something old.  An easy way to do that, don’t buy everything in your home from one place or in one style.” Love that advice!

As you can see from this home, Lindsey adores color! While some people are afraid of using color because they're worried about flow, Lindsey's not one of them!!! "Flow can be overrated!  I’ve put a bright coral entry, next to a pale yellow living room, next to a natural grass cloth family room, next to a high-gloss mint lacquered dining room, next to a lime green kitchen!  It doesn’t feel odd or confusing; it feels like a surprise is up ahead."

This color philosophy is at play here, going from a room saturated with jewel tones to this more neutral dining room with plastered walls keeps the home interesting.  Kemble Interiors always finds so many unique pieces, like the iron doors, chandelier and velvet chairs on display here! With experience in cities across the country, Lindsey has developed a repertoire of shops she loves! Some of her favorites include Dixie Highway, Shi Ernhart, D&G Antiques, and Circa Who in Palm Beach, and in New York, she loves Todd Romano, John Rosselli, 145 Antiques and John Sallibello. 

While she's still discovering all the great places in Houston, Lindsey frequents Brown, FOUND, The Gray Door, Joyce Horn, MAI, Carl Moore, Longoria Collection, and Segreto Gallery when shopping for her Houston clients.

What a fun, unexpected back staircase!!!  I love the layers of interest from the paper, the washed wood floors, the wonderful pops of color in the fabrics, and the staircase balustrades that we embellished with a hint of gold. You can certainly tell that the Kemble gals love what they do!  

This wide open kitchen/breakfast area is spectacular! It has an eclectic feel, yet all the elements marry together perfectly!!!

 

The Carrera marble back wall reads like art! I think the combo of the industrial feel of the bar stools and the European touch of the brass and metal hood is so stunning! This is an absolute dream kitchen!!!

Our part in the kitchen?  The floors!  Taking inspiration from the window treatments, we hand-painted the floor with a design of delicately scattered leaves.  Throughout our conception of these floors, I imagined it as though we had thrown leaves up into the air and then painted them wherever they landed.

In the cozy breakfast area, comfy chairs and a loveseat invite you to sit down for a family meal.  To personalize this space, we also added the kids' names around a few of the designs... they had so much fun looking for their names!!! 

Another clever idea - hiding the tv behind curtains! In a kitchen/breakfast space like this, I think this concept works particularly well since it draws on the cottage style of using curtains to enclose cabinetry.

It’s all in the details with this home! We not only finished all the vents and lights to blend with the papers, tiles, or paint finishes on the walls and ceilings, but we also added striping details to lights and finishing touches to furniture.  This guest room is still a work in progress, but we have just completed the walls and moved the furnishings back in.

What an amazing project to be a part of!  The best part was getting to know Celerie and Lindsey!!!  They are as creative as they are nice, beautiful and charming! Thank you so much to both of you for letting me share your work and a little of yourselves.

Next week: a bed and bath makeover from Lindsey and the Kemble Interiors team!  Have a great week everyone!  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 Segreto Blog, click here.

 

Monday
Sep022013

Big Dreams and Little Closets

Closets are becoming as important in home interiors as the kitchen or the master bath.  Adorning them with custom cabinetry, specialty finishes, elaborate draperies, chandeliers or wallpapered ceilings, they are spaces that big or small bring out the inner princess in us all!!

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With carefully considered storage for accessories and shoes, islands with built in refrigerators and ironing boards, the new breed of big closets challenge even the most famous of celebrities. 

Architectural Digest

The infamous closet of diva, Mariah Carey, as featured in Architectural Digest and MTV cribs. A completely color coded personal boutique!

Joan Crawford (left), Christina Aguilera (right) Source

Architectural Digest

Sir Elton John's Sunglasses closet

 

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

One of the main tips from professional closet organizers is to make sure that you take a mental inventory of your entire collection of belongings and make sure you have a designated spot for each item. If something has a home, it's easy to find when you need it! 

 

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Storage solutions made simple!!

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Decorative moldings painted to the color scheme of your room make prefect ledges for shoe storage!

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Love this idea of having a lazy susan built right into the closet.

Better Homes and Gardens

Edging it's way out of the retail stores and into home closet organizing, slat wall is an extremely versatile organizational tool. You can use it to hold up shelves, baskets, hooks and change the configuration whenever you need to reorganize!

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Letter dividers for flip flops or flats!!!

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Built in jewelry storage with a mirrored front!!! I would love this!!!

 

Special Touches

Closets are the perfect room to express your personality and indulge in special finishes and wall treatments that can be much more dramatic or completely different than the rest of your home! 

A closet we painted modeled after the Dior boutique in Paris!!!

 

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Elle Decor

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Conceal in Style

Whether your closet is big or small you can make a statement with interesting doors or curtains that cover the clutter. 

Elle Decor

Remodelista

Traditional Home

 

So Many Clothes, So Little Space

I loved when talking to my fashion forward design assistant Andrea hearing about how she made her oh-so-little closet special so I wanted her to share what she did with all of you!!! Take it away Andrea!!!!!

I never thought I had a problematic amount of clothes and accessories until I tried to squeeze them all into a 3 ft wide "reach-in" closet. Needless to say, I had to find a more efficient solution to my fashion problem!

J. Crew's creative director, Jenna Lyon's, closet as featured in Elle Decor 

My roommate, Anne Marie, and I both wished for a surprise third room to appear so we could turn it into our own dressing room heaven, like J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyon's closet above, but unfortunately it has yet to appear!

Vogue

Anne Marie's solution was to get a good quality rolling hanging rack from the Container Store and it works perfectly for her! Her strategy for keeping it beautiful is to keep things consistent. Stick to one type of clothing or one color scheme. I tried a rack from a different company that wasn’t very sturdy, so I always had a precariously leaning tower of clothes. So buy good quality!

 

My next attempt was to use an armoire. I added a dowel rod in the top and it was the perfect height to hang shorter items like shirts and jackets, and then I stored shoes in the bottom drawers. This is a great solution for anyone on a budget! Now that flat screen tvs are the norm, people are getting rid of armoires they previously used as tv cabinets for great prices.   

But I still wasn't quite there...

My designer Mom came to my rescue with a simple and functional soulution that only took an afternoon to install! My hanging space went from 3 ft to 6.5 ft using just a few stock materials from our local Home Depot and a shutter we found at an antique store! She added a cubby shelf and some cute storage boxes underneath to create even more organizational space for shoes and accessories. We finished off my new closet with some curtains from Tuesday Morning that blend with my existing draperies. I absolutely love my new custom closet and it adds so much charm to my room!

Thanks, dynamic duo sweet Andrea and her cute mom Sally, for sharing such an innovative, functional and beautiful way to create a closet!!!!

There are so many incredible closets for inspiration! You can find more pic ideas on my pinterest board here. The winner of the Christina Graci art give-a-way is Janet Sheperd Preble!! Congratulations Janet!! Have a wonderful Labor Day and 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 Segreto Blog, click here.

Sunday
Aug252013

What we have been painting at Segreto!!

 Summer is over and school is back in at least here in Houston!  I hope everyone has had a great summer.  Here are a few projects we have been working on!

 Paneled Rooms!!

I love how glazes enhance natural lines of the wood adding character to a paneled room. It is really easy when your paneling is freshly painted  but what are your options if you have stained paneling in which you would like to alter the color?

This study previously an orange stained color that was popular in 80's and 90's that has been transformed with a gray wash.  When glazing over an existing stain you are limited a bit by what is underneath and can only go a certain amount lighter.  Darker finishes are easier to achieve.

Although still up to date this walnut toned glazed paneling was too dark for the homeowner.  If you can see the new fabric in the chair and the soft colors of the rug, we wanted to attempt to lighten the space and bring in the soft teal color that was now being introduced into the room.

The new finish was about two shades lighter, still neutral but definitely a softer look with the new decor. Why try to glaze over the existing finish rather than paint and start fresh?  A huge money savings!!  For a painted finish the walls would need to be sanded, primed and then painted with two coats of paint before any of the glazing begins!! In a room this large, the expense could add thousands to your project. When working with a finisher have them apply a sample for you on the back of a door or shelf to see if the sought after look can be achieved over the existing stain.

Its all in the details!

This built-in cabinet (there are two that flank the fireplace) is slated for an old distressed finish. this is how it looked when we started the project.

Pulling a door off the piece, we did the sample right on the job. I can't wait to see the piece in its entirety complete--what a transformation!!

If you have a light fixture with a patina that is not quite right for your decor, it's easy to alter the finish with paint for a fraction of the cost instead of buying new!!!!

Solid marble or fauxed to look that way? Can you tell the difference?

Only the tip top slab is marble.  The rest was built from wood and fauxed to look like the top!! Hats off to Segreto's finisher, Alex!  I couldn't tell the difference when I checked on the finished product!!

When the homeowner first moved into this house, she couldn't get past the rangehood finish to see she had a lovely kitchen. Calling me in, we came up with an idea that totally changed the feel of the room.

First, the hood was plastered in a smooth finish to blend with the walls and the heavy stained wooden strip at its base was painted to match the cabinetry.  Secondly her island was painted and glazed in a French blue to lighten the space and blend with her drapes! Lastly a design was painted onto the plastered hood.

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This embellishment to the hood was the homeowner’s husband's family crest, which was used on her wedding invites and stationary. Hand-painted in a tone on tone fashion, it added such a personal touch to the space.

 

Its all about the stencil!

This painted stencil design really complements the mirror and stone in this oh-so-elegant powder.  There are no seams with paint and it’s easy to get the perfect color this way!!! Now we just need to hang the mirror and the room is done!!!

Although many of the stencils we do are tone on tone, you can add different colors to stencils, giving it a totally different look to the design. The base in this room was painted Sherwin Williams 7016. The light color of the stencil is Sherwin Williams 7028 and the leaves were Modern Masters Warm Silver. I love the bit of shimmer added to the walls.

Wanting a totally different look from this powder that the homeowner inherited from the previous owner, we decided to stencil the walls in a large pattern since, the room was spacious and the ceilings very tall. What a transformation this powder undertook!!!

She did replace the counter of the existing piece, the faucets, the mirror and the sconces, but the rest we achieved with paint!! We used a stencil from Royal Designs and painted the walls with a combination of Farrow&Ball Pavilion Gray and Wimborne White. In Houston, I purchase Farrow&Ball products from Boxwood Interiors.

I love how the homeowner added the skirted table on the opposite side of the vanity in this oh-so-spacious powder adding a softness to the room!!

Our funiture refinishing studio!!! We have been really busy in our workshop transforming and refurbishing some wonderful pieces for our clients!!! If you love the lines of a piece but not the finish giving them a facelift can make them work perfectly in your space!! I hope you enjoy the before and afters!!!

 

 


What's New at the Segreto Boutique!

 

 Love these pieces we had framed that were the pages of a 1930's men's suit catalogue.  I used a few in my son's new apartment in Dallas!!!

These Rosy Ring candles and diffusers smell wonderful, last forever and are beautiful!!!  Perfect for the Holidays!!!

Part of the new jewelry shipment that arrived I may have to purchase one of these for myself!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!! I do appreciate the patience of all of my clients, who have waited for us to arrive at their homes, and the support from all my blog and Facebook friends.  We will announce the winner of the art-give-away next week.  If you haven't entered read last week’s instructions on how here !!  Till next Monday!  Xo Leslie

 

 

Monday
Aug122013

Christina Graci: Art Give-A-Way!!!

 

Meet Christina Graci: Designer by Trade, Artist at Heart

Christina, one of the wonderful artists featured in Segreto Gallery, runs an interior design firm based in New Orleans with her brother, Chad Graci. Together, they are able to offer a wide variety of services to their clients from color consultation and space planning to complete home design. In her art, Miss Graci truly brings the color and enchantment of her hometown to life on canvas.

"My design style is transitional but leans more towards a traditional, comfortable side. Chad’s style is a bit more transitional but with a more modern, eclectic feel. We both love the combination of beautiful antiques with modern and new furniture."

I was lucky enough to find Christina while visiting my daughter, Sammy, who was attending LSU at the time. After getting a bit lost in town, I wandered into an antique mall where Christina was showing her art. Moved by the wonderful color combinations and composition of her work, I purchased one piece and ended up contacting her later for more. Her work has been so successful in our gallery.  Read on to find out how you can enter to win a Christina Graci original...

"My work is constantly changing and is a reflection of my mood and the place I am in during my life. I have many different styles and have an urge to try new things all the time."

Christina, who began painting in high school, uses her art both to inspire and adorn the walls of the interiors she designs.

 

"My paintings, although sometimes have a lot of movement, are also very precise and thought out. I would never paint something that I wouldn’t put into one of my clients’ homes."

Hailing from a creative family, Christina’s career path and passions are not unusual. Her father and Chad both graduated from LSU with an architecture degree, and even her cousin has an incredible talent for art.

"My design style is actually a lot like my paintings, believe it or not! A cool, pale color palette with pops of color, proportion and scale, thought out placement of color, and a very simple and precise aesthetic would be the main focuses of my design."

As far as being an artist goes, Christina is the total package. Not only does she have the intrinsic eye for art and design (perhaps a talent passed through her family}, but she is also well-educated in the subject. She received her degree in interior design with a focus on art history from LSU and was able to spend a semester abroad studying design in Copenhagen, Denmark. She later went on to work with two prominent New York design firms: Victoria Hagan and David Easton.

"The only time my mind is completely clear is when I am painting. It has been the most calming, fulfilling aspect of my life thus far."

When she isn’t painting or running her interior design business with her brother, Christina can be found near the by-water area outside the French Quarter. She loves to browse the antique and vintage shops, including Sterling Provision, a personal favorite of both her and Chad. For all you Houstonians out there – Christina recommends Carl Moore and Joyce Horn as great shops to visit.

Christina’s creativity extends to the kitchen where she absolutely loves to cook for her friends and family. "I guess that’s just the New Orleans Italian in me!" she explains. On the nights she doesn’t want to stay in, you may find her at Mr. B’s or even Galatoire’s for Friday lunch. "Galatoire’s is the epitome of New Orleans dining in my opinion -- it's classic and fabulous."

"I truly get gratification when a piece of my work is purchased. I love knowing it’s hanging in someone’s home."

As for the future? Christina’s goal is to continue to build upon the success and happiness in her life she has already experienced, and then some. "I would love to be able to continue Graci Interiors and my painting well into the future, someday have a family of my own, and maybe live in a foreign country for an extended period of time to be truly inspired."

Thank you so much to Christina, you are a true talent!  Many of these wonderful works of art are available at Segreto’s gallery and can be viewed online at www.segretofinishes.com. Or...... stop by Segreto at 1414 Antoine (Open M-F 9:00-5:00) to see her paintings in person and browse our little shop.

 

Don't forget! You can win your very own Christina Graci original. Here's how: 

1. Go here to "like" Segreto on Facebook.

2. Go to our Facebook album of Christina's paintings here and choose your favorite Christina Graci original. Then post a comment describing why you love it.

3. We will have a drawing and the lucky winner will receive the 12" x 12" Christina Graci original painting below:

 

Best of luck!! Till Next Monday!!  xo, Leslie

 

Sunday
Aug112013

Madison Lily Rugs

I love love to shop and with so little time on my hands, I seem to find myself sourcing little treasures at all the beautiful homes I see each day! I have been craving some of the luxurious materials and soft colors of the rugs available today.  After all, many times the rug is the starting point for the color schematics of a room. When I asked where many of my favorites were purchased-Madison Lily kept coming up. So I had to go see their showroom for myself!!

I called them to see if they were open at 11:45 on July 4th (having a bit of time to shop) and owner, Edgar, answered the phone. He said he was there working on some designs and would be there till one. I quickly put on my Lulu Lemons and off I went!! 

With fresh designs, beautiful soft color combinations, and high quality materials I not only fell in love with their product but also enjoyed learning about the creative and passionate team behind the Madison Lily brand and wanted to share a bit of them with you!! 

Kelly and Edgar Podzemny began their business almost 20 years ago, first teaming up with antique stores and having trunk shows across the country and settling down to open thier first store in Austin. After meeting in Hawaii, they travelled the globe together before settling in the US. Edgar is an art major from Amarillo and Kelly is from Wales, UK.  Having visited areas that wove rugs, they fell in love with the art form. Later, the opportunity arose to move to Houston and Madison Lily was born. Named for thier eldest daughter, Lily Madison, Madison Lily seemed to have a nice ring to it. They have also named other lines of rugs after their other three children.

They graciously shared insights into their creative process and the trends in the contemporary rugs. See their answers to our questions and their gorgeous work below!

Q: What makes Madison Lily different from other companies?

A: We have a passion for the design and quality of materials used. When designing the next piece, we consider how each material used will play into the finished product, from nettle and bamboo silk, to hemp or hand-spun wool, the options are endless. 

Q: Do you do all of your own designs?

A: We design all the more modern rugs in the store and our partner designs the more traditional pieces. The partnership was a perfect opportunity to meld Edgar's design styles with that of our partner's more traditional taste. It has been a lot of fun, artistically, to create pieces together and to use both styles in the same interiors, a beautiful addition to any home. 

 

Q: What is the best type of rug to buy for high traffic areas?

 A: All of our rugs are made of quality materials and really can all be used in high traffic areas. We can also stain guard our rugs, which helps repel stains, etc.

Q: What questions should you ask when looking for a rug?

A: There is such a broad spectrum of qualities out there. Look to see if the rug is hand knotted, types of materials used, and policies of the store. Do they have full service for cleaning and repair, etc.?

Q: What is the best way to clean a rug?

A: The best way to clean the whole rug is to have it professionally cleaned. For spills and spots, it is best to always blot the stain, never scrub, and use a mild soap like dawn and luke warm water and blot until the stain has gone. 

My dog had an accident on mine and they had said to try club soda mixed with dawn and then follow rest.  It worked!!!!! Yayyy!!!

Q: What are your favorite designs from your collection? 

A: It is hard to pick just one favorite. My (Kelly's) favorite right now is the Relish. I love the vintage texture of the scraped away design and the organic texture of the handspun, semi-finish wool background. Egar's favorite is the Niagara (pictured above), which has a very similar finish to the Relish.

Q: What trends do you see happening in the industry as far as color and style?

A: We see a lot of neutrals and tones of gray as this can work with many different design styles. Though we do, of course, have many clients that love to add a splash of great color.

Q: Can you do customized rugs?

A: We can customize any color, any size, and shape. We can create a virtual rendering on the computer that shows exactly how the finished rug will look. This is a great tool to take a lot of the unknown out of the custom process. 

Q: What is the biggest challenge in opening the business?

A: I guess the biggest challenge is juggling a young family and a business, there is never a dull moment, that's for sure!

Q: What is each of your favorite part of the job?

A: (Edgar) My favorite part is creating and designing the rugs and (Kelly) Playing our part in helping our client create a beautiful space for their families to enjoy for years to come.  

I wanted to add a bit of life and fun in my breakfast room and purchased this polka-dot pattern that makes me smile every time I walk by!!  Charlie loves it too!!

Going a bit more contemporary in the dining room, this rug was the perfect choice for me! Yikes! I can't seem to fiqure out what to do on the walls!!  Many Thanks to Kelly and Edgar for sharing their story and beautiful rugs with us! Visit them on the web HERE or at their showroom at 1727 Post Oak Blvd, Open: Mon-Sat 10:00 - 6:00PM. 

New at the Segreto Boutique!

Start a unique colletion: Combining vintage crystal and metal crosses with unusual glass and cut crystal bases, Greyfreth Designs creates unique and beautiful objets d' art that are a conversation piece in any room. 

Jewelry with a story: vintage pieces by Intellectual Propery, like this lovely vintage bronze and enamel Catholic La Salle School Merit Award, 

Be subtle but glamorous: This unique necklace is made with labradorite, pearl and black diamonds! 

Bring in a little nature: New corals and minerals have just arrived at Segreto! Until next week! xo Leslie

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