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Pool Decking and Coping!!!!

Well the house project continues... This week I had to finalize my pool decking and coping materials. Since my house is lime washed brick that leans to the gray side, I didn’t want the stones to turn creamy or yellow which many do. 

When I first was looking at inspirations for my pool, I was really drawn to the ones that had a coping detail and grass. 

The large inset stones into the grass are my favorites!!! I wondered how furniture would set up around them and if it would be hard to places since the legs may be at different levels. At my shop we used air conditioning pads at 40$ each to create this look around the back patio. 

I even considered doing brick coping and lime washing it like my house! I really like the look here with inset stone with grass in between! It is also very cost effective. Two drawbacks with this for me--the first is brick does snag the girls' bathing suits if they are sitting on the ledge of the pool.  And secondly,  I have tried to keep grass up in between features like this before but I think I just don't have a green thumb.

Soooooooooooooo..........after going to many really wonderful stores and seeing so many beautiful options......

I settled on some quartzite options from Thorntree! Budget friendly and beautiful, I narrowed my choices to Keegan green quartzite (below) and white quartzite (shown above), I was torn between the two! Quartzite is the most durable surface and can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use while maintaining its pristine look. These two particular versions are much more consistent in color than some of the other options. I really wanted consistency in color.

This picture and the one below looks like Pennsylvania Blue stone, or Belgium Blue stone, both more expensive options, but so lovely!!! 



Established in 1980, Thorntree has two locations in Houston! One is at the Houston Design Center, and the other at 10105 West Gulf Bank is their remodeled 60,000 sq. ft. full-service showroom and warehouse facility, where you can see an extensive collection of slate, quartzite, granite, limestone, glass and porcelain. For everything from backsplashes to fireplaces to pool coping, they have a broad array of ideas to fit any need, whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one. 

Here is the Keegan green quartzite sample at their showroom. 

Here is the white quartzite. Always wet your outside surfaces to see what they will look like--Around a pool they may look wet more than they do dry!!!


I have seen these tiles that look like wood at so many homes I am working on right now!!  They look so real when laid, and are so indestructible!!!!

How fun would these be laid either in one color or mixed to make a pattern!!! I had such a great experience at Thorntree and was so surprised at the many different options and surfaces they had displayed.  Their staff was so nice and helpful and now I can't wait to see how it all turns out!!! Although they have two locations in Houston i know they sell products around the world!!  I hope everyone has a wonderful week! We are off to Boca Grande Florida for work in an historical home there. Can't wait to share what we did!!!  xo  Leslie


Whats New at Segreto...


In these cute jars are assorted hair ties and headbands! They are perfect to put in a care package to send to girls at camp!

Come by the shop and check out our new summer stuff! We have cute beach bags, towels and much more! 


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Joyce Horn Antiques opening party!!

If you haven't heard of Joyce Horn Antiques, the founder Joyce is one of the most long standing French Antique dealers in Houston! Although I knew her before, I really got to know her when I worked with her on the finishes in her home over 12 years ago. Now I am lucky to call her my friend.

Her home, as beautiful as her store, features a beautiful French blue tinted sheetrock mud applied to appear as if it had been chipped away to reveal the under layers. Published in Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, page 224, Country French, and on the cover of Antique Shops & Designers magazine, it is one of my most published entrances.


This is her hide away office/studio in her home. I would love to say I painted those beautiful floors, but Miss Joyce herself was the artist here!!! If she ever wants to quit her day job she definitely has a job with me. Such talent!!!

Although she has been in her new space for a bit she just had her premier opening party last week!! We were so lucky to take a sneak peak before the event began!!! This space previously held purple carpet and purple walls.  It's hard to imagine that now with the amazing trasformation that Joyce and her design team- daughter Reid and her contractor husband David- accomplished!!!  

Known for unique and fairly priced merchandise, the new space is 10,000 square feet and filled with such lovely things!!

I don't know if i like the table better or the French macarons!!  My favorite!!! Joyce now travels much of the time with her daughter Reid to France. They go every 6 weeks to bring in containers filled with one of a kind items.

Look at the finish on those doors!! Such inspiration for me!!

These antique shutters line the commercial windows of the space, really creating the allure of upscale store one might find in Paris or the South of France!!

 People were starting to arrive and it was definitly a wonderful affair!!!

We ended the night with a fun Happy Birthday to Will, Joyce’s husband, who just turned 70!!  He doesn't look a day over 50 for sure!!!

Thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful party and most of all for supplying us with such beautiful things for our homes!!! Here is Karen, Andrea, and Leslie from my office having so much fun. The Joyce Horn Group follows with  Will and Joyce, Chris, Reid and Susie!!! To see more of her shop go here, her old location here and to her website here.

My bathroom is starting to look like a room, thanks so much to the efforts of Goodchild Builders!  We were putting up the architectural piece, from Joyce Horn Antiques, above the tub to see where to set the faucets. Stay tuned next week to see more!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!!  xo Leslie

Whats new at  the Segreto Boutique?

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To subscribe to the Segreto Blog click here.



West Coast Splendor with a European Touch

I was so excited for this home to be published in Veranda! This beauty, set on the beach in California, incorporates reclaimed surfaces that give it an authentic European feel. It’s almost as if a Villa was transported to the west coast shores! Led by my sweet friend Ohara Davies- Gaetano, California designer – extraordinaire, this project was truly a joy for me to consult on!

As you approach this unique beach front property, you are greeted by these amazing reclaimed doors!! Because of the travel distance and project deadline, Segreto did not do the plaster work inside. Instead, we consulted with the design team to create a tone perfect color scheme to complement the wonderful antiquities within!. I hope you enjoy the tour of this exquisite home!!!









Ohara and the Texan homeowners did such an amazing job!!! Seeing this home completed is such a treat after getting sneak peeks all of the stunning fabrics and pictures of the reclaimed architectural elements during the planning process. The final installation went above and beyond my expectations. I am so pleased to be even a small part of this West Coast Splendor!!   Vist here, here and here, to see more of Ohara's work and to visit her store Bliss Studio, feautured on the blog.  She is as sweet and kind as she is talented and beautiful!!!!!  I hope you have a wonderful week!!!! xo  Leslie


What's New at Segreto...

Accessorize your vanity and store your treasures in style with enamel jewelry boxes!

Small turquoise enamel jewelry box: $49, Large turquoise enamel jewelry box: $225

Small white enamel jewelry box: $139, Large white enamel jewelry box: $249

Keep your jewelry safe and tangle free on all your Summer vacations with one of our adorable travel jewelry cases! Available in 3 different sizes and many different patterns! Small $38, Medium $54 and Large $64



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.



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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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. 








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 


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.