This week the Skirted Roundtable welcomes Leslie Sinclair, who owns Houston based Segreto Finishes. Segreto specializes in paint finishes applied to walls, ceilings, and cabinets. These finishes include a newly engineered stucco application, glazes, murals, and faux paint jobs. Many houses I have shown in the past four years have been those where Segreto applied their magic. And magical is exactly what their finishes are. There is no way to adequately depict how beautiful Leslie’s finishes are in a photograph. You almost have to experience them firsthand to truly understand their worth. The finishes are subtle and textural – wrapping the room in a soft color while adding an air of sophistication.
This beautiful house with plaster wall treatment by Segreto is an example of the usually large, custom houses that they usually work on.
During the interview, we discussed what is trendy today in paint finishes and what is no longer in vogue. Wall treatments evolve with the times just as interiors do. Born with an artistic eye, Leslie left the corporate world to start Segreto which today has over 25 employees. Many of the more gorgeous houses in Houston have been painted by Segreto, for they truly are the best at what they do. As if running her own company and house, being a mother and wife wasn’t enough on her plate, Leslie recently compiled her portfolio into a gorgeous book – one of the prettiest design books of the year. Page after page shows these fabulous interiors, all with her wonderful glazes and stucco finishes.
This gorgeous kitchen by Kara Childress features the glazes that Segreto uses on cabinets.
Since doing an entire house in a specialty finish is not exactly cheap – most of the houses are large and quite luxurious. But, recently on her blog, HERE, Leslie showed a townhouse that is owned by a former employee of Segreto. The townhouse is now for sale for $385,000 – and is located in the Rice Military Section. The paint finishes in this townhouse are gorgeous – and one can truly see what a difference her touch can bring to house, no matter what size it. Since this house is more affordable than many of the Segreto’s usual million-plus customs, one can look at these photographs and imagine how one’s own house might look if given the Segreto touch. This difference is amazing to me.
Now, take a look at this townhouse – owned by a former associate of Segreto. Three story, with 3 bathrooms, it is located in the Rice Military area.
The townhouse was plain when it was bought by the current owner. Filled with builder finishes, the nondescript townhouse had walls with a blown on finish as did the ceiling. In the great room, Segreto applied plaster to the walls and ceilings which envelopes the room in the soft color. I think this picture truly illustrates what a difference the plaster makes to a room. This plaster is different from the plaster of years gone by – and is a finish that Segreto is known for. Look how gorgeous the ceiling looks! It is so luminous and rich looking. It’s as if the entire room is wrapped in this warm, glorious glow. The stucco finish makes a space look very custom. I just love the way this room looks now~!!
When the homeowner moved in, she had all her furniture slipcovered in neutral khaki and light blue fabrics. French accents such as the candlesticks and trumeau give the room character. The color of the plaster was chosen to blend in with the fireplace surround. Also, it was chosen to match the molding.
The plaster finish is my favorite one. I really love the sophisticated look it gives to a space. This townhouse completely illustrates what a difference this finish can make to a room.
Leslie helped the homeowner design the window treatments using a burlap fabric for the panels and the shades. A cornice brings in the French blue found throughout the room. I love that touch of blue. Notice how the cabinet is also painted blue.
The granite really stood out because the cabinets were painted white. Segreto applied a taupe glaze to the island and a blue glaze to the kitchen cabinets pulling in the colors from the living room. By applying the colored glazes, the granite becomes more sedate. In the breakfast area, a matching burlap shade was installed.
In the master bedroom – the walls were ragged in a soft blue. Stencils were added to the ceiling. Such a pretty room!
The walls in the master bedroom are painted in the same blue of the basecoat of the bedroom.
The guest bedroom is painted a soft neutral.
The downstairs sitting room is painted all one color – walls, molding, and ceiling. This creates that enveloping feel – soft and custom looking with no contrasting moldings. This is a great way to update your look – it’s more “today” than a white ceiling with white moldings and darker walls. Wall to wall seagrass is installed in all the bedrooms – which I love. Darling room!
This townhouse is for sale at $385,000. To contact the owner email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
AND to order Leslie’s book, Segreto, go HERE.
Please be sure to listen to Leslie Sinclair’s interview on
The Skirted Roundtable – it’s a good one with lots of information to learn from, HERE.
psst. Guess who is our next guest on The Skirted Roundtable? He’s a Million Dollar Decorator, darling!!!
Recently, interior designer Cheryl Ketner from Plano, Texas submitted her kitchen for the Readers Kitchen Series. When I looked at her photographs, I was intrigued. Most kitchens that have been submitted have been white or some variation of white. This kitchen was red! Through the years I’ve been accused of showing only houses with gray paint and white slipcovers. I thought that this would be a perfect departure from that norm. I asked Cheryl to send more photographs of her house and was pleased to see that it was a total renovation – taken from plain builders grade to custom. I love total redos – I think they are a great help to those of you who are currently undergoing a renovation. Here are the before and after pictures of the “Red House.” Enjoy!
BEFORE: The house in Plano, Texas was a typical red brick home when the Ketners purchased it. Cheryl, an interior designer, sometimes works on projects with her husband Kerry, who is a contractor. Of course, this was one job they both were heavily involved in – their own house!
AFTER: in an unusual twist – the brick was painted a dark taupe color, but a row of red brick was left exposed around the windows – which highlight their arched shapes. This is such a great idea. Also, the trees were thinned out and the landscaped beds were greatly enlarged, creating much prettier curb appeal.
BEFORE The Entry Hall: The house had good bones, pretty moldings and high ceilings. But, Cheryl loves bright colors. Builders grade cream paint would never do for her.
AFTER: Bright yellow paint fills the house. The moldings are painted white to highlight them. And red is introduced at the front door through the lampshades and chair fabric.
A variety of rugs cover the entry hall floor. Cheryl loves symmetry – as you can tell by this perfectly balanced vignette. I’m a symmetrical person too – you either are, or aren’t. Notice how the large mirror is the exact right size for this area.
BEFORE: The living room and dining room are off to the left side when you enter. This room was carpeted.
AFTER: The bright yellow room is now carpeted in wall to wall seagrass. Love that. An Oriental rug is layered over the seagrass. Red and yellow toile curtains hang in the living room and the dining room – to the right. A daybed takes the place of a regular sofa and the large armoire anchors the furniture arrangement.
The Ketners – Kerry and Cheryl. This is the only picture of the dining room – so you can see the homeowners too!!!! I wish we could see more of the room – the chandelier, and the table. Notice the elegant shades that are layered behind the curtains. Very pretty picture Cheryl!
BEFORE: The family room had a blah looking built in and was carpeted.
AFTER: The Ketners added hardwood floors in here and layered oriental rugs over them. Again, the walls are the same shade of yellow – makes for great continuity when all the public rooms are painted the same. Amazing – the bookcase looks brand new, but it was just painted black and lights were added to the top. Corner fireplaces can be tricky when arranging furniture – but Cheryl came up with the perfect solution.
Here you can see into the living room and dining room from this view. And you can see where Cheryl added lights to the bookcase – making them seem much more custom. Great idea. It also looks like crown molding may have been added to the bookcase too. The mantel was painted to match. Luckily, the tile surround was already dark and didn’t need to be changed.
Before – The Butlers Pantry, between the dining room and kitchen, was stained the same as the bookcase.
TODAY: Fauxed black with red undertones, the paint completely customizes the pantry. Also new hardware updates it, along with seeded glass in the doors. All great ideas to emulate when updating cabinetry.
BEFORE: Looking from the family room into the kitchen, with more light stained cabinets.
AFTER: The bar’s countertop was extended to make it more usable. And new tile was added – placed diagonally, which helps expand the room.
BEFORE: The footprint of the kitchen didn’t change at all. But, all the design elements did.
AFTER: New granite countertops and stainless appliances, along with a new tiled backsplash make the kitchen more custom. But, the biggest change is the red painted cabinets. They were fauxed to add more dimension to the paint job. New hardware was also added. The pantry door was painted black – a trick I like to do too. Who says a kitchen has to be white????
BEFORE: The powder room was nothing special.
AFTER: It is now a little jewel box with richly veined marble and a red oriental cabinet. Grasscloth on the walls adds texture.
The Master Bedroom has the same paint – with a newly added textured carpet. Mismatched tables add interest. I really like the shades here – very pretty.
The guest room has brown and white bedding mixed in with greens and blacks. I love the touch of green.
BEFORE: The guest bathroom.
AFTER: Two great ideas to update a 90s bath without breaking the bank. Remove the cabinet hanging over the toilet! And raise the shower curtain to the ceiling. It looks so much more custom when raised. Add a mirrored frame around the mirror and new marble countertops to take it a step further.
The office is dark brown and very dramatic. The light colored desk pops against the dark walls. Red pops up in the accessories and the fabrics.
And here, in another room, the same dark walls are the perfect backdrop to the wall of art – another way to decorate without breaking the bank. Purchase identical frames and blow up your favorite family photos. The white mats really pop against the dark, brown walls. Again, red shows up in the fabric. Love that carpet.
BEFORE: The back yard – with the red brick.
AFTER: With the brick painted a dark stone color – Cheryl added a mirrored trellis to the brick to create a focal point. All the outdoor furniture is covered in red and white fabrics – bringing the inside – outside. Another great way to add continuity to the design.
BEFORE: The back yard was all grass leading up to the fence.
AFTER: Now, instead of just grass, there is a large deck with benches that surround it. Again the red follows from the inside out.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at the Ketners colorful home! They took a rather bland house and turned it into a cozy, warm and inviting home – by painting it a bright yellow and using vibrant red throughout.
A million thanks to Cheryl and Kerry for inviting us to peek into their house!!!
What? Did I hear that correctly?? A sale at Tara Shaw Antiques? YES!!!! Tara Shaw in Houston is hosting a “Once in a Lifetime Event” – a sale! Why Once in a Lifetime? Because Tara Shaw NEVER has sales. Never. Until now, that is. Emails went out to all their customers announcing the sale in Houston, starting Tuesday, November 1. BUT BUT BUT – if you read this, you can go early, before the crowds. For Cote de Texas readers, the sale starts this Saturday!!! Why the sale? The store in Houston will be moving to a new location – to be announced in the future. So, I suppose this is a cleaning out, the less to move, the better. The doors open Saurday at 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. AND, the store will be open on Monday. I can’t wait to see what’s for sale and how much discount there is. This is your chance, a once in a lifetime chance, to buy an important antique, at a discounted price. Tara sent over a few pictures of things that are on sale:
The front of the Houston shop. I love those huge pots for a porch. Beautiful!
A view towards the back of the shop. Those two mirrors on the left look interesting. Hmmm. I see a lot of things I like.
This bookcase is in the store and on sale.
This is a great piece for an entry, a dining room, or a family room – with a mirror and beautiful lamps.
Beautiful!!! This piece is also in the Houston shop.
Tara Shaw’s star is on the rise. From the owner of a small antique shop dealing to the trade only, Tara is now a major player in the furniture business. Just recently, Tara Shaw opened showrooms in the Highpoint, New York and Atlanta markets to sell her line of exceptional reproduction furniture. When she started her line, Maison, in 2008, she had 46 items. Today, the line has grown to over 200 items and all wonderful, if you ask my opinion. Also exciting, Tara was the only non-Californian designer asked to design a room for the Veranda Showcase House designed by Windsor Smith. The focal point of the bedroom was the iron canopy bed from the Maison line. The side tables also came from Maison while the rest of the room was furnished with antiques from Tara Shaw.
Tara Shaw – Interior Design Project
A few years ago I first wrote about Tara Shaw’s arrival in Houston when she forced by Katrina to open a shop here because her New Orleans store was unable to accept a shipment. It was monumental – the first to-the-trade antique shop Houston had seen in ages. The prices were truly wholesale and very affordable. At her first shipment, I almost gave myself a heart attack. Seriously. I ended up at the cardiologist after I thought I had heart pains brought on by all the gorgeous antiques. To read that story, go HERE. While, there was nothing wrong with my heart, it was perfectly understandable why I was hyperventilating. I had never been exposed to so much for so little. Whew! Over the years, the policy changed, and Tara Shaw is now open to the public. I am thinking this sale will be reminiscent of those earlier to-the-trade only days! Through the years, at Tara Shaw, I have bought both for clients and myself. I love to see what’s she has in stock. I’m always perusing their 1st Dibs listing HERE and their web site to see what’s in store in either Houston or New Orleans.
In my own living room, my antique French chandelier came from Tara Shaw. I had waited for years to buy one, and finally found exactly what I wanted at Tara’s.
My antique French Buffet a deux came from Tara’s also. I had saved up money from my business and bought it all by myself. I was so proud! ha!! Inside, my collection of Masonware is on vacation for a while. Instead, I have a collection of shells and cream covered books, from Tara Shaw, of course!!!
A few weeks ago, I went to Tara’s and bought a small collection of creamware plates – that I put on top of the table. The antique altar sticks are also from Tara, as are the reproduction sconces that flank the French door. There are very similar sconces in the Tara Shaw Maison line.
This pair of antique sconces also came from Tara – I would love to have a pair of tabletop lights just like these.
These four chairs came from Tara Shaw – I bought these at her grand opening when I gave myself a fake heart attack. Today, these chairs are on vacation in the Ga’Rage – while the kooboo chairs take their place. For the photoshoot that will be in the Kitchen Renovation magazine, Bonnie Broten styled the breakfast room showing both these chairs and the kooboo chairs together. It looked really cute, I wish I had enough room to have them both like that all the time!
In Elisabeth’s room, I bought this large mirror from the Tara Shaw Maison line – I love it. It’s a great reproduction and looks like an antique.
There are so many items in her Maison line that I love:
The Swedish day bed is a favorite from the Maison line. It’s perfect for a living room, a sitting room, even a bedroom. Love it!
This Swedish chest would be beautiful as an end table in a living room or next to a bed. It really looks authentic. Swedish antiques are so expensive – and most reproductions are cheaply made. Maison really has beautiful pieces that are made so well and look so old.
I am crazy over this new item in the Maison line. An Italian cabinet – I’m thinking I might need this in my entry hall. It’s so good looking. I love the barely blue paint next to the gilt.
Finally, another new item I am lusting after – these balustrade lamps with a parchment shade. Beautiful.
Don’t forget – doors open Saturday, Oct. 29th, at 10:00 at Tara Shaw, Houston, for a Once in a Lifetime sale!!!! Open to the public. Get there early and good luck – I hope you find something you can’t live without like I do every time I walk in that shop!!! And remember, the store will also be open on Monday.
For more information:
1845a W. Alabama
Houston, TX 77098