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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.

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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 (, from $1,322, available from Brandino Brass; 205/978-8900

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

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

Planter: 24-Inch Cube Planter in White, $186.53; (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.



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.




A Limewashed Facelift for my Exterior

I have researched the web high and low to find the best solutions for altering my exterior brick. My husband for the last 28 years has loved the brick and finally is letting me change it. I debated between a slurried brick finish (mortar troweled or brushed a top of the brick), a painted brick or a lime washed surface. I finally decided to go with the lime wash.


Lime washing can be done many different ways. It can be applied to give full coverage over the brick or you can let some of the brick show through. It can also be used as a transparent wash where the brick is toned to a different color but you still see an even variation in the bricks tones rather than chips of the true color to show through like above! It is important to decide this up front before you begin, rather than test all different options on your home like I did!!!!  

The first true paint was made from lime and protected ancient monuments, and it still protects European cathedrals and museums. As lime paints age, they develop unique patterns and shadings that bring out color in the embedded lime. Time also leaches out white lime, lending a sun-bleached look.

Lime wash covers bricks with a coating that absorbs into the masonry without trapping moisture. It's made of natural, nontoxic ingredients and it even has a fungicidal effect. The crystals that form on the exterior cling to the bricks and concrete for a protective finish that is porous to vapors, but resists stains. Owners of historic buildings apply lime wash to bricks for a natural, aged appearance.

The aesthetic changes in the lime wash come from ongoing carbonation as lime reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide and starts to become limestone again. Crystals within lime adhere tightly to the surface, creating lasting coverage, but they also refract light for a unique depth of color. With patience and care, you can paint like the ancients -- and enjoy the same enduring results.


The beginning of my home’s transformation!  We bought our lime wash though Roma, a company in Atlanta.  They will tint it for you with all natural ingredients, which is a wonderful option.  We had some un-tinted stock and had a gap in our schedule so we tinted it ourselves. If you go in this direction make sure there is enough mixed for the entire job to insure the colors are the same.

It is very important to clean the surface well before you start—we power washed the brick. It’s best to apply in temperatures from 46-86 degrees. I have to hurry temps are rising here!!!


We thinned the product by 50% and have tried many different application methods, a few include brushing and using a no nap small roller. Both lent different outcomes. In all my internet research I also happened across a recommendation to apply in a crosshatch pattern, I will try that today! The instructions for the cross hatch say to first brush the paint vertically then horizontally and then vertically again. Use an even stroke and apply steady pressure.

I have found that when using a light color lime wash you have the perfect variation in tones when you are doing the application, but hours later the surface becomes much whiter and the overall variation changes, giving you a more solid look.  We are attempting to power wash off some of the surface since it is fresh  to get back some of the variation.

I did read that you could add extra color depth,  by apply a small amount of darker paint as a shadow around the edges of the wall and paint in lighter areas elsewhere.

I will let you know how it turns out!  I do think I like the lime washes tinted a bit darker, my husband likes bright white so we compromised on a soft white. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Whoever said doing your own home is easy?


Lots of new art and jewelry at the Segreto Showroom! Come by and pickup all your Mother's Day and graduation gifts! 


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.








And the Renovation Continues... Master Bath Edition!

Well my house renovation is in full force and underway!!  My bathroom is gutted and I am trying to finalize all of the selections. Marble is the topic today!!

Here is my inspiration picture!  I love the way the marble comes down onto the cabinet!!!  As you can see, we are going a totally different direction than the original floors —from brown to white!! I have been shopping the globe for slabs and finally realized it is best to find your flooring first. It is easier to get a sample of the floors that you can take with you to make sure your slabs match! With the help of architectural consultant, Sarah West, we purchased the Calcutta flooring from Materials Marketing, a 12" x  24" tile that we will run as a running bond pattern. The smaller tiles will be used in the shower floor.

I originally wanted a quartzite. It is a more durable material than granite but has the soft veining look of marble, perfect for a bath!! Here are some beauties!  Princess White, Sea Pearl, Taj Mahal to name a few!!

I ended up getting This Calcutta slab from Walker Zanger. Stephanie was a great help and so patient with my back and forth decisions!!  I love the veining in this piece, it's very irregular with soft tones of warm grays and gray greens.

Then there are all the decisions about finish. Should you hone the marble for a matt look or polish it for a higher sheen? My bathroom previously had polished marble which has been slated as a no no but I never had issues with it scratching. After researching the web and getting so many varied opinions this is what I found: A polished marble is beautiful and gives you that sleek look but can be slippery on floors(this is true) It is recommended to hone  your floors, which gives you a bit more traction when getting out of the bath!! 

As for countertops there are pros and cons to the different sheens. Polished is more durable as far as withstanding stains, however it scratches more easily and the scratches are visible. The good thing is that most of the time natural stone responds very well to restoration and repair. It is, after all, a natural material and not a surface with a laminate top.  A honed surface is more susceptible to staining, but it doesn’t show scratches as much.  All natural stone should be sealed to protect the look and installation and sealing honed stone can help to protect from staining. It should be resealed periodically. I went with honed countertops this go round, mainly because I thought that it would look better with the fixtures and mirrors I purchased.  

When cleaning any stone, you should only use products that are specifically manufactured for natural stones, sometimes even products that are nature friendly contain ingredients that can harm your stone (like vinegar and lime juice)! I guess I will need to be careful of that makeup and toothpaste! Walker Zanger recommends Ocean Care sealers and cleaners and Berings recommends "Intercare Cleaner" by Marblelife and the "Marble, travertine, limestone & slate cleaner and resealer" by "Custom Building Products". 

I am so excited about the mirrors I found at the Marburger Farms Antique Show from Art and Antique Hunter. Such a unique design, I was so excited that they had a pair!!!  They are a bit large for my space but oh well!! I purchased a matching pair--How lucky was that!!!!!

.......AND THEY ARE HAVING A WAREHOUSE SALE IN DALLAS--  Tuesday the 22nd and  WEd. the 23rd 10-5

 My gorgeous new mirrors were not the only great piece at the Art and Antiques Hunter booth! Owner and hunter, Mitra Kilburn started the business when she was ready to leave the corporate world and follow her passion for hunting for beautiful antiques! She is known for her exceptional pieces, especially mirrors, lighting and decorative arts. She travels to Europe several times a year and her collection is mainly Italian but includes pieces from Sweden, France and the Netherlands! If you're in Dallas, you can visit her brick and mortar location at 1130 Dragon St., Suite 170.  I wish i was in Dallas to go!!!!

...and WE are having a Trunk Show with other vendors at Back Row Antiques!!!!   Come see us to find one of a kind mothers day graduation and wedding gifts!!!


I am so looking forward to sharing the completed look with you and having my bathroom back in order!! The project continues!! 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.

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