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To market, to market, to market we go!!!!

Well I was really excited to go back to Dallas market to shop for the store and............ to see the floors that we painted the week before for the oh so lovely Aidan Gray showroom. Taking my right hand gal, Karen we hopped in the car and off we went!!!

The Crescent Hotel had very special rates for those attending market!!  I was thrilled; its walking distance from where my son lives and close to the Dallas Market!!!  Best of all its sooooooooooooo pretty!!!  I love how they hung the bubble vases off the centerpiece in the lobby where cute Karen is standing!!! We dropped off our bags, hopped in a cab and had them drop us off right in front of the Trade Center.  So much faster than looking for parking and walking (although to meet my New Year’s resolutions I should be walking.)

First stop Aidan Gray to see the floors!! It was so fun seeing everything put back together again! They are masters at this!!!  Look at the florals, drapes and their amazing new collection of furnishings, accessories and antique pieces!!

I was met by Randal, the genius behind this wonderful furnishing and accessory company!!! He looks pretty happy to show off all his new items!!!

 The creativity of the displays really took my breath away!!

The mix between chic and old world really comes together in this show room. It allows one to have a collected look incorporating much of what they offer in your home without feeling like you went to one store and bought it all!! 

Pheromone is a new line Aidan Gray is carrying in their showroom. It's a wonderful collection of beautifully framed minerals, shells and butterflies!!  We will be carrying these at Segreto--I fell in love!!!!!

The delish food was catered by Patina Green Home and Market-a wonderful restaurant and shop in McKinney. I have been and eaten there and their food is fresh home grown and AMAZING!!!!  We had lobster pizza for this event! SCRUMPTIOUS!!! 

When you come to the Dallas Showroom say Hello to John! He is a permanent fixture there and is so knowledgeable about the line!!!  You see him with the famous "Aidan" of Aidan Gray -- Randal’s son Aidan--so handsome!!! Derick, shown with Randal on bottom left photo, is one of Randal’s right hand guys who also is in their fabulous store in McKinney!!!  From running stores, overseeing promotions, to traveling to venues or checking the production of the merchandise Derick is a jack of so many talents!!!   Thank you again Randal and the entire Aiden Gray staff for including us in a small way in your move to the 10th floor!!! We had so much fun painting the floors and visiting with you at market!!!!!!


We had a lot more shopping to do--Here is just a sampling of the crazy mix we bought!!!

Beatriz Ball’s pieces are made entirely by hand, one at a time, using the ancient art of sand casting: pouring a premium quality alloy of molten aluminum into sand molds, and then going through four levels of polishing. They have so many beautiful pieces reasonably priced and perfect for wedding gifts!!!!

I can’t wait to use some of these myself and can think of so many uses from notes to gift tags to fun gifts!!! Chalk Ink ® is the highest quality chalk marker on the planet. It works like a paint pen, yet looks like chalk. No dust, no smearing once dry. It comes off with water.  They come in so many colors and we carry the tags and paper and chalk boards as well!!!

Uniquely Fashion Cork!!

We currently carry this line in our store and I was so excited to see and order many of their new designs!!! Uniquely offers high-end and sophisticated cork fashion accessories that are entirely hand-made in Europe. They are truly unique!!! I just had to have those boots!!!

We were enamored with these muslin, bamboo and organic baby blankets, swaddles, bibs and more from Aden + Anais. The open weave and lightweight quality of theses fabrics help reduce the risk of baby overheating, while still providing comfort and warmth. A workhorse fabric, they have the ability to withstand countless washes and become softer—and better—with age.

Soft, bold or graphic these towels are generously sized are super soft and can be used for beach wraps table cloths towels or  throws!!  Love the beach bag totes as well!   When I got back and pulled up their website it was no surprise to me that it was Oprah’s favorite and had been written up in every major publication as the product to watch!!!



Good Work’s Make a Difference has a wonderful selection of wrap and silver bracelets filled with inspirational phrases. This trendsetting company donates 25% of net profits to good causes. We loved not only their designs but their spirit of giving back!!

I can't get enough of monograming!!!!  We will be carrying robes slipper scarves, placemats and more that you can special order in many colors complete with monograming!!!!


We carry beautiful Ashley's jewelry line in our Boutique so it is always fun shopping her new designs.  From vintage pieces reworked to fab new designs, I have a hard time not purchasing them all for myself.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day ladies tell your husbands!!! Congratulations Ashley on your new little one on the way!!!

 Purses purses purses!!  We are now carrying a wide range of leather purses and totes--these are my stingray line!! 

 These people honestly drug me into their booth wanting to do a demo on what a difference thier product made on wrinkles and puffy eyes!!  I must of looked really tired. Well as you can see the treatment was done on my left eye and not my right!!  Seeing Karen literally say OMG what a difference I became a fan!!! OMG! By Instantly Ageless™ is a revolutionary cosmeceutical serum that works within minutes to temporarily reverse the signs of aging. Within minutes lines and wrinkles are greatly diminished and puffy eyes (bags) reduced dramatically. My transformation was nothing short of a miracle. At $64.95 for a 2-3 month supply this product is a bargain!!!! 

Of course I got to see my cute son Matthew and take him out to dinner when I was there!!!! He moved to Dallas about 6 months ago and is beginning to know the ropes around town.  If you missed the blog about his new pad there, go here. Well I think I need another room with all the purchases we made--this is just a small sampling, we also bought candles, decorative unique vases at great price points, and acrylic line of desk ware and the list goes on on on!!!    I hope everyone has a great week!!! Please come by the shop if you are in Houston 1414 Antoine Dr.!  We have much of the store on sale for 50% off, getting ready for our new shipments and also have some wonderful new jewelry at all price points for Valentine's Day!!!  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.


Mix and Match Chairs - Break the Rules!!

Mixing and matching various chairs at a table, which has become more and more popular in design, can be a fabulous option to add interest to your kitchen, dining room or breakfast room. It may sound a bit unusual but when done well, the use of mismatched chairs can truly showcase your distinct personality and style!! Read on to see some exquisite examples of these eclectic collections that can be an extremely beautiful addition to a room!!

All Mixed Up!


With this trend, although you are trying to blend an assortment of different seating together, you should strive to maintain at least one unifying element. This could be the fabric, paint, finish, size or style of the chair. Here, the chairs are all dissimilar styles and covered in various fabrics, but the color and tonality of each is neutral allowing them to work together in harmony.


This beautiful room flaunts a wide array of chair styles and fabrics with the common thread being the lovely gray finish. So pretty!!


Here, the cohesive elements at play are the neutral color palette and the rattan chairs interlaced into the group as every other seat.


Incorporating a small couch or settee as one side of the table is an unexpected surprise and brings a little glam to this breakfast nook!

The Head of the Table


An easy way to test the waters of mixing and matching chairs is to simply differentiate the chairs that sit at the heads of the table. Because the lengths of the head and sides of tables are usually different, it makes sense that they may call for different types of chairs.


This is an interesting way to mix it up!! Unpretentious director's chairs and their slipcovered counterparts intermittently placed around the table. What fun!!


I love how fresh and bright this kitchen is designed by Julie Dodson!! The white nubby slip covers shown at the table are fabulous additions!! If you would like a set of you own, contact Beadboard Upcountry!


Many people adore the look of oversized upholstered chairs anchoring the two heads of a table. It has such a classic and established feel to it!!

In one of our client's homes in which we plastered and glazed the cabinetry, designer Leslie Strauss chose to mix the chair style around the breakfast table, giving them a gentleman's tailored flair. Love the monogram embroidered on the host and hostess chairs!!!

Modern Bench Seating
Bench seating, typically associated with a more rustic farmhouse style, can look fabulous when combined with other types of chairs around a table. It allows you to create an eclectic modern feel without losing any of that country charm!




Eclectic Events!
Mix and matched chairs are also completely on trend in the wedding and event industry, especially when a bride or hostess opts for a country or vintage vibe!! Take a look at the interesting seating arrangements below - so fun!! 

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

Now it's your turn to experiment!! If you are as intrigued by this combination seating as I am, start visiting estate sales, flea markets, antique shows and resale shops to look for the perfect pieces for you! Anything you can find can be recovered and of course, refinished, to realize your desired look!! I hope everyone has a fabulous 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 Visit To Aidan Gray!!!

I have always loved Aidan Gray's furniture and accessory line so I was very excited when I got the call to do a bit of handy work in their new showroom for the opening of Dallas Market  this week!

This isn't our first time working with Aidan Gray. We were honored to be a part of Cote de Texas' Aidan Gray contest where the design company's owner, Randal, redid the winning home with a houseful of beautiful furnishings.

On the inside page of his new catalogue, Sweet Randal put a shot of the rooms where Segreto applied both cabinet and plaster finishes along with our logo!  How nice is that!!


Aidan Gray's new showroom in the Dallas Market Center has a 140- by 8-foot corridor that runs through the space.  To differentiate this corridor from the rest of the room, he wanted the concrete stenciled in a very faded fashion, like the inspiration photo above.  I loved his logo and thought it'd look great to give hints of that design on the floor.  We drew out a stencil and sent it off to be reproduced! When we got the renderings back though, I just wasn't wowed.  There was no time left to start over so I turned to Royal Design Studio, a company we often purchase stencils from, to search for a precut one that would ship overnight and look fab!!  

The design, featured here as the motif in a powder bath for designer Cindy Witmer, has always been one of my favorites! And I think it complements Aidan Gray's beautiful logo perfectly!


Here we are on site, laying laying out the pattern and working out the math (the most challenging part for me)!! John, the go-to guy for the Dallas showroom, moved all the furniture out of the corridor space so we could begin!  Thank you, John!!!

While the guys were getting started, I had some time to shop around and place an order for our little Boutique Gallery in Houston. It was so hard to choose - everything was so beautiful!!!  Here's a sneak peek of their wonderful treasures!

I really noticed how the showroom now carries some antique items!  Along with their exceptional reproductions, I spied a few one-of-a-kind treasures that would be the perfect finishing touch to a room's flavor.

This is a new line for the showroom... and I fell in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They had shells and butterflies framed as well!  Put those in my cart please!!!

 This new design, a skirted zinc table, is to die for!!

In the meantime, the guys have made great progress!

Before we and a few other trades started, the showroom had everything placed perfectly. But even with things stacked in corners, it wasn't hard to appreciate the many treasures!!  I adore those pedestals and the beautiful cornice!  I might need that for my renovation project!!


Randal and team really have outdone themselves this year, creating so many unique products - fresh and current, but with a timeless appeal!  I can't wait to go back next week and see everything put in its place and our floors completely finished!  If you are going to market, be sure to visit Aidan Gray at their new location on the fifth floor. You can also check out their pieces at your closest retailer or shop online.

Since I was driving back and forth the same day (about a 9-hour drive), I coaxed two of my besties into going with me.  We, of course, had to take a little break at my favorite pit stop!  Buc-ee's!! A road trip is never complete without getting some beaver gear! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!  Till next Monday!  xo Leslie



Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!!  I so hope you had a wonderful Holiday with your friends and family and a Happy New Year!! I am so sorry I have been under the radar for a couple of weeks but I was sick the entire break! I still had a wonderful time as all my kids were home, and when do I get to sit on the couch for 14 days and watch old movies, and catch up on a CW show called Heart of Dixie.  I've watched 2 and a half seasons and am hooked!!

2014 will be a fun year for me.  With the Houston real estate market being crazy, as well as my work load super busy, John and I decided to renovate our home of 26 years rather than move. Architect Ken Newberry who I have worked with on many amazing projects agreed to help.

I have never liked the exterior of our home built in the 60's although we did make some changes for the better when we first purchased it in the late 80's.  If I were building from scratch I would model the design after architecture that I love from the 20's. Ken definitely had to be creative on this one and as you can see below he met the challenge. 

I was honestly brought to tears when the new elevation was unveiled. Believe it or not this is the same structure.  I love the  slurried brick, new dormers, and metal casement windows. Ken and his talented team turned my house into my dream home!!   Given it’s in our budget after the bidding process,  I am excited to take you with me every step of the way.

Getting ready for the renovation we will be confined to the back part of the house.  This is spurring us on to modifiy what used to be the Segreto offices (above) into space we can use now. My office to the left will eventually become the exercise room but during the construction we will turn it into Kirby's room since she is living at home with us.  The offices to the right are being renovated now to combine my office and a craft room.  I am almost done with it and can't wait to show you the final reveal!!

And of course there are all those New Years resoulutions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loose weight!!!!   I ordered premade meals from My Bistro MD.  They were having a sale for $99 for the first week.   The food is good, they ship it directly to your home and I was never hungry. I hope it works!!



This  are great exercises for people who have not been regular exercisers like me to get you started!!!


Beautify!!!!!  Buy New Lipstick--Bobbi Brown's Bikini Pink - a universally flattering nude!!!!!


Home remedy to whiten teeth I have been wanting to try!!!!!!

Option 1: Put a tiny bit of toothpaste into a small cup, mix in one teaspoon baking soda plus one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and half a teaspoon water. Thoroughly mix then brush your teeth for two minutes. Remember to do it once a week until you have reached the results you want. Once your teeth are good and white, limit yourself to using the whitening treatment once every month or two

Option 2: Dr. Oz Teeth Whitening Home Remedy: 1/4 cup of baking soda + lemon juice from half of a lemon. Apply with cotton ball or q-tip. Leave on for no longer than 1 minute, then brush teeth to remove.


Soften your feet!!!!

One of the best softening, detoxifying foot soaks ever! Fill a large bowl with warm water and add 1 cup apple cider vinegar with 1 cup Epsom salt. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, rinse and lightly scrub with pumice stone. Then say hello to gorgeous feet :)

 I am excited to see what 2014 will bring!!!  Come visit us at the store this week as we are having an everything must go sale!!  (See Below).  Happy New Year to all and back to mmy regualr schedule!!!  Till next Monday!!  xo Leslie



Home for the Holidays

 Can you believe Christmas is here!!!  Each year goes by so fast!!!!

Clients are getting ready for Christmas and it is so fun seeing all the different ways that they have decorated. Above is one of my client's grandson--isn't he a cutie!!!   I hope you enjoy these decorations from the fun home tours I get to see every day!!! They certainly put me in the holiday spirit!!!


Simple Slendor!!!!!!!!!!!!





Formal Elegance!!!!!!!!!!!


 Tablescapes to Dine For!!!!!


Its all about the tree!!!!!!


Happy Holidays from the Segreto Finishes Team!!!... We had so much fun this year at our annual Christmas party.  With all of our staff and their families we had over a 100 attend.  We always host the event at Tia Maria's Mexican Restaurant on Dacoma street.  Family owned and operated they have our own special room complete with mariachies and great food and service!!

P.S in this shot is left to right is Charles who is Leslie C's Fiance, my husband John who helps with all the bank work and insurance, Leslie C who is my Sr Designer, Karen who runs my office and store, and Isai who runs the plaster crews!!! The picture to the right also includes Andrea who runs the furniture refinishing, art gallery, and helps me with all the scheduling!  What a wonderful management staff I have!!!



 Each year we give out plaques for exceptional service for 5 years.  We with moving into the shop last year didn't have our Christmas event so this year we had 9 team members that celebrated 5-7 years with the company!  Hats off to them they are exceptional employees!!!!


My little dog Charlie got a new coat for Christmas!!!  He is as excited as I am to have Segreto's work featured in the two publications below!!  To end the year I want to make sure you all know how much I appreciate all of you--my wonderful sweet blog readers!!!  I so hope you have a wonderful Holiday with your family and friends and a very Happy New Year!!!   Till next year!!  xo  Leslie




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