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Painting on Tile and More!!!

Since I have painted the backsplash at my home (you can see it here!) and it has held up for over a year, I have felt confident to recommend this as an option to my clients. Here is a kitchen we just completed with tips and step by step instructions!

Moving into this lovely new home, the clients wanted a lighter cleaner look for their kitchen without a major redo!! They replaced the countertops with a light colored concrete and hired us to paint the tile.

We first cleaned all the surfaces very well and then applied the primer shown on the right. After it was completely dry, we painted the product shown on the left tinted to a chosen color atop.

After it was painted a solid color we decided it needed a bit of a glaze to help pull in the various tones of the concrete that one color just couldn't accomplish!! Here are some different samples we were playing with. You will notice too that the center tiles were never grouted. By applying a bit of caulk and then repainting it, the gaps were closed!!!

The texture of the stone was brought out a bit and the kitchen was given a whole new look at a fraction of what it would have cost to replace the tile!! 


Art Installed

This client fell in love with Kirsten McLean's painting from Segreto's gallery to the left but needed a complementary piece to flank the opening and go over the chest. She commissioned us to create a piece especially for her! I love how the contemporary art fits in with her more traditional French pieces!!!

This Christina Graci painting from Segreto's gallery really works perfectly with the beautiful vignette in an entryway in which the plaster was just completed!!

For my own home, I have been shopping for new things for an upcoming remodel! I was successful at Memorial Antiques and Interiors. I don't know where they will go, but I just fell in love with these vintage acrylic chairs from Kathy Flournoy's booth and had to get them!!

I also scored this antique chandelier from Janet Wiebe Antiques for my dining room.

I really loved this one at Joyce Horn Antiques from an old opera house in Paris but it was a tad too big! So sad, but there were two of them so they may still be available!!!!

Right now with the holidays fast approaching I haven't had time to complete my own home. My daughter, Kirby, who graduated from Texas A&M in May went to work for designer Talbot Cooley. Very talented and oh-so-sweet Talbot also has her own jewelry line. With home interiors and jewelry being two of Kirby's passions, it was a perfect fit for her! I have asked them to help me pull my dining room together, among other things, in time for Christmas dinner. Kirby found these rounded French chairs from Judith's Wholesale Antiques. At $100 each, they were a true bargain. I am thinking about mixing them with chairs I currently have. They of course will be painted, slipcovered, and monogrammed!

If you missed our Holiday Christmas event come in anytime M-F, 9-5.  We have lots of great gifts for everyone on your holiday list!!  Segreto is at 1414 Antoine(same street as Ikea), 3 houses north of Westview, in a light house with gray trim across from St Regis School. There is no sign.  Extra parking in the back! We look forward to catching up with you all!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the 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.

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Boxwood Is Branching Out With Boxwood Containers!

Boxwood Interiors and B2 are two of my favorite home furnishings stores in Houston, combining New York Chic, Country French, and contemporary. I get so many wonderful ideas looking at their eclectic well put together vignettes!! In a blog post featuring their original store here, you will also see they are the only retailer in Houston that carries Farrow & Ball's paints and papers and that they have some of the best selection of pre-made pillows of anyplace I've seen.

I was so excited when I found out they were opening a new store, B2, located at 1320 West Alabama Street in Houston, and they called me to do some work there!! Look beyond the custom made couch and see if you can sneak a peek at what we did!!

There is my crew hard at work painting the floors!!! This shop is a must see! Bret Duhon took an old home, much like I did, and turned it into an amazing very well done showcase!!! On top of being the creative genius behind the Boxwood stores, he also does the most amazing interiors.

Here is a home we worked on together that was just published in Decor magazine!!! It was spectacular!!!

The Newest Member of the Family - Boxwood Containers!!
It has always been Bret's dream to travel abroad and scour Europe for fine antiques and collectibles. Loving the feel of a collected home, the Boxwood team traveled to France, Germany and Belgium, hand selecting unique antique and vintage items.

Boxwood Containers, open only when new shipments of their hand-picked antiques arrive, will host their first big sale on November 12th to designers and the 13th-17th to the public. Hours will be from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the new location: 4622 Center Street, Houston, Texas 77007. Read on for a preview of some of my favorite items in their inventory!!

What are their favorites? Haha - they compared that to choosing a favorite child! Maybe it's this incredible gilt Louis XVI mirror with rope detailing that I found them swooning over?

Perhaps it is one of these three matching crystal cage chandeliers from France that would look breathtaking paired together in a long hall?

Or maybe it is one of these Globes de Mariee from the 1800's that I personally fell in love with!! These antique displays, which can house anything from mirrors to porcelain pieces to wedding crowns, have been traditionally placed prominently in the formal dining room of a married couple. They preserve wedding souveniers and tell the story of the couple's wedding and life together and continually grow add photographs, locks of their children's hair, and special jewlery!

Don't worry brides-to-be! There are some beautiful empty vintage French cloches on hand too so you can place your own memories in them!! 

The Boxwood team says their first collection has exceeded all of their expectations and I agree!! I encourage you to stop by the sale this coming November 13-16 to shop all of their beautiful vintage finds and antiques. If you would like to see more pictures, feel free to email Boxwood Containers to ask for preview photos of any specific items you may be looking for. They will be happy to assist you!! And make sure to visit their website and Facebook page as well to be kept up-to-date on new arrivals and upcoming sales!!

Tie Up Your Holiday Shopping at Segreto!

 We have extended the hours!!! Please join Segreto for our open house on Thursday, November 14 from 10:00 - 7:00 and Friday, November 15 from 10:00 - 3:00! Come see our new look while holiday shopping! You will find unique gifts, jewelry, art, home accessories, candles, baby gifts, menswear, ornaments, bath products and more!! We hope to visit with you there! Have a wonderful 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 Week With Segreto!

Goodness with the holidays coming up we have really been busy at Segreto! From painted furniture to plastered walls and stenciled bathrooms, we are busy trying to put the finishing touches on our clients' homes for friends and family to see!!

Cabinet, Furniture and Wood Finishes!!    


This cabinet previously had different doors on the bottom and open shelves on the top. After the piece was re-designed with new doors, we completed the look by applying an aged finish atop in one of my favorite colors "Blaygeen."

This piece was done in our furniture refinishing shop! Previously stained mahogany, this piece made quite a transformation and complements perfectly our clients' newly redone breakfast room!! 

This formerly inexpensive feeling stained piece transformed the bathroom's look when a textured much lighter finish was applied. The added gold leaf rubbed onto some of the carvings, dressed up the piece without making it too formal for the space!!

Yikes!!!! Caught myself in the mirror while I was photographing the finish we just completed on this pretty antique to help it blend with the mirror above.


This one was quite a challenge. Loving this early American antique from the 1700's, these clients had the bottom base added to give the piece more height and extra storage. Given to us in a raw wood state, I would say the guys did a pretty good job making it all look like one!! 

Wanting to tie in her new wood ceiling with the reclaimed beams installed in this sunroom renovation, we aged the ceiling to blend with the beams making it impossible to tell which is old and which is new. With the homeowners' wonderful taste in furnishings and designer Courtnay Elias' fab fabric and rug, this room is as charming as it is comfortable. Many of the accessories came from Segreto's new boutique store!!

The treatment was carried out onto the patio. Modern Masters makes a wonderful dead flat exterior sealer that protects the finish without any sheen or yellowing over time.


Who says stenciling is reserved for the walls!! This ceiling in an office really gives this space personality! Don't forget to look up when coming up with the finish designs for your room!!

Loving all the new geometric designs now available! This one looks so great with the drapes that Miss Mollie picked out for the space!!!

This back powder room had a major transformation with this damask stencil we applied to the walls. Leaving the base color of the cabinet the same, we gave it a furniture look with a series of soft glazes!!!

This range hood design felt a bit empty before we started applying the stencil. By hand embellishing the design, dimension was created. The right side is complete, while you can see the left doesn't have the embellishments painted that create a beveling effect. Way to go, Alex!!

What's New at Segreto Boutique!

We are so excited to have just received a shipment from Tizo, an Italian company that crafts beautiful home décor and gift items for men and women alike. The owner, Alex from LA, stopped by the store so we could meet him in person as he showed us the new items in their line!

For men, we now carry these handsome trays, coasters, picture frames, and clocks that would be perfect in a study or office.

Of course we ordered more colorful jewelry boxes for storing and organizing your jewelry collection!! And these gorgeous silver trays would look fabulous on a vanity or buffet. Love these!!

And my personal favorites are these unique acrylic and bamboo picture frames!! They come in various colors and sizes including 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10. Visit the boutique anytime M-F 9-5 to see all of the lovely new gift items from Tizo!!

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at what we've been up to lately here at Segreto. Everyone have 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.


Halloween Tricks, Treats, and Tips!!

Halloween is this week and kicks off one of the best times of the year - holiday season!! Here are a few simple yet impressive ways to treat (or trick!) guests in your home this Halloween:

DIY Tabletop Decor
If you plan on hosting any Halloween parties, a well-decorated holiday table is a must!!       


Here's a cute do-it-yourself project using some of my favorite candy! Use a paper towel roll in the middle of a tall column vase and then fill the outer ring with candy corn and pumpkins to your liking. Spray paint a few branches (that you can pick up from your local craft store or even your front yard!) black and insert into the center of the paper towel roll. Ta-da!! A creative centerpiece.       


Martha Stewart shares this great idea for place cards if you are serving a festive dinner!! Using black crepe paper, wooden skewers or toothpicks, and tags to write names on, you can recreate these pumpkin-bat creations for your own table!!  


This is an easy one your kids would like to do -- bringing terror to a tablescape with this creepy flower arrangement!!


Another fun DIY centerpiece with candy!! All you need is a little hot glue and a Styrofoam ball painted black.                               

Perfect Pumpkins
I shared some unique decorating ideas for your pumpkins last year in my Halloween blog post, but I keep discovering new and great ways to decorate them! This year's crop is below. For many of them, if you click the link to their source you can find a helpful DIY tutorial!!             





Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Treats & Sweets 
Let's be honest - everyone looks forward to Halloween so they can indulge in all the candy they want! And we all know calories don't count that night... But if you're looking for something a bit more healthy to serve, these made of apples, marshmallows and peanut butter would be fun to make and eat.


For more traditional Halloween sweets, these festive goodies below make my mouth water! Click on the sources to view the recipes.               




Helpful Halloween Tip!


I'll leave you with a great new tip I learned from browsing Pinterest (click here to see my boards)! If you plan to put out your pumpkins early this season, wash them in a mixture of bleach and water first. This should clean the pumpkins of all dirt and other residue that can cause them to rot quickly. 

We are branching out at the Segreto Boutique! 

Finally, I found a unique line of gifts for men and right in our backyard!! The sons of one of my clients developed Paris Texas, a fun menswear line, and we are so excited to be carrying their array of ties!! Love the oil rigs, Texas flag, fish, "Come and Take It" and armadillo patterns!!

We are so excited to be carrying Mela & Roam's line of baby clothes and blankets. The first set of pictures above are traditional Indian summer blankets called Dohars. Made from three layers of pure, super soft cotton, their weight lies somewhere between a sheet and a blanket the perfect baby gift!! All of their hand loomed products wash well and are so super cute!!

I hope you can use some of these festive Halloween decorating and cooking ideas in preparation for the big night on October 31. 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.


Fraser's Friends: A Special Cause

This time of year with the holidays fast approaching,  there are so many deadlines to have clients' homes ready for parties and family gatherings.

Photographer: Wade Blissard

This lovely client's home was no exception. For the past 6 months while having so much fun working with Brad and Melissa in thier new home, I have been hearing about a party deadline but really didn't know what this special occasion was all about!

Photographer: Wade Blissard

Two weeks before the party, while Melissa and her team worked to perfect the finishing touches inside the home, Aztec Events and Tents  was constructing a tent coverting their entire backyard into a room to host the big affair!! At this moment I realized this event was special and asked about the function.  

Photographer: John Lewis Photography

This was not just a party but rather a charity event graciously hosted by my sweet clients and benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital’s Fraser’s Friends, a cause so close and dear to them. In 2011 their daughter Hailey, a 13 old fit, athletic young lady began experiencing a series of seemingly unrelated minor health issues such as sore throat, ear ache, sinusitis, and strep throat. The ailments would resolve after taking antibiotics, steroids, or allergy medications so they didn’t think anything was serious.   


In late May, Hailey had strep throat accompanied by fever that would not go away with antibiotics, so her pediatrician, Dr. Rey Calderon, advised her mom to take her to Texas Children’s Hospital to be safe.  After a very long terrifying day in the Emergency Room, her blood pressure fell to dangerously low levels. Within a few minutes it was determined she needed open heart surgery to remove a large amount of accumulated fluid around her heart caused by “viral myocarditis”, a condition they said they encountered only 14 times per year in the hospital. 


Hailey endured a series of 5 different operations over the next 30 days or so, and after many very scary moments and lots of hard work on her part, she was released from the hospital to begin her life on lots of medication.

Photographer: John Lewis Photography

Hailey, pictured here with Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief, Donovan Chair and Chief Congenital Heart Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, is doing well, going to school but missing being able to play competitive sports. She has volunteered over the past two summers working at Texas Children's Hospital, has been a speaker at various fundraisers for the hospital, and has shown a confidence and poise that is rare for a 15 year old who has gone through all of the pain and anguish that she has endured.

Taking in enchanting ambiance, it was easy to get lost in the evening while walking around mingling with all of the guests and enjoying the amazing food by  Swift + Company. The realization of the importance of the evening became clear when the Juneau family began personally sharing their story. 


Photographer: John Lewis Photography

In essence, as soon as Hailey was told she would need open heart surgery, the world class surgical team of Texas Children’s Hospital executed a highly complex surgery at 4:30 am the same day and saved Hailey’s life.  The Juneaus had no idea what they were facing when Hailey was taken to this hospital, which happens to be the third ranked hospital in the entire country. They very quickly gained a deep appreciation for the blessing that Texas Children’s Hospital and their talented staff were to their family, and the families of the many patients who are seen there each day. The average person may not consider a statistic such as a hospital ranking to be that important, but the moment that a loved one is at the brink of life or death, this statistic becomes the most important one you may ever encounter. Throughout the course of the evening, I was lucky enough to meet many of the supporters of Texas Children’s Hospital and I heard countless other tales of how this world-class hospital saved their children’s lives as well.

This is Melissa and I reminiscing on what a wonderful evening it was! The best part was learning more about Texas Children's Hospital and hearing beautiful, courageous Hailey and the Juneau family talk about their experience. Although my children have not gone through the unexpected health issues that Hailey has experienced, it comforts me greatly to know that if something ever should happen, Texas Children’s Hospital would be there for my family the way they were for the Juneaus.

Donations small and large are what keep Texas Children's Hospital saving lives, by funding their world class physicians, facilities, and research. To learn more about Frasier's Friends or if you would like to generously donate to the cause, please visit their website by clicking here. Thank you so much Brad, Melissa and Hailey for sharing your story and opening up your home!! We all wish your family continued health and happiness. Till next Monday! Xo, Leslie 

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