Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Segreto Finishes ~ WOW!

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while, but I just got re-inspired and decided to write this on the fly.
Okay, I can not say enough about Segreto, but before I try, I have to talk about owner and artist Leslie Sinclair.  Never in all my years in business and in life have I come across such a genuinely responsive business owner or human being.  I do not know Leslie personally, only through email correspondence and through her blog, Facebook, and Pinterest (I follow her on all the above). But her personality shines through so totally and obviously even through online media.  I started out with a question for someone at Segreto when I came across some of their work on Pinterest which led me to the website and blog. I emailed a question that I thought would not get answered and received an immediate response with the answer from Leslie.  She was so willing to share information and was genuinely sincere about helping me with my questions.  I was a bit stunned, but realized this was a person who loves her work and loves to share it with the world.  I was instantly a fan of Leslie and of Segreto.

Now onto Segreto.  Gosh, what do you say about such beautiful and creative work? Every time I see something come across Pinterest or read her blogs  I almost jump out of my skin with excitement for the beautiful finishes they create and the spaces that they transform. I would have never thought that there is actually such an endless amount of creativity in one person or business. Segreto is based out of Houston and I only wish that it was closer to Birmingham so I could see their work in person. 

Leslie has recently published an absolutely beautiful hardback book called, Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors. This is a MUST have coffee table book. BEAUTIFUL!  Leslie is not only talented, but naturally surrounds herself with a bevy of very talented designers, artist and other creative people.

Below are just a few of my favorite photos from Leslie's and Segreto Finishes work.

This last one is my absolute favorite bathroom EVER!

Remember ~  Delight the Eye........Nurture the Soul.
Bye for now,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Let there be light

One of my favorite ways to accessorize and make a big impact on a space is through lighting.  I love, love lighting, whether it be chandeliers, sconces, lamps, pendants, or candles. Its all so beautiful to me, but something about the warmth and coziness of lamp lighting feels special.  With lamps that make a statement, and are placed in just the right spot, its easy to make a space look and feel great.  When you walk into a space and it feels really good and inviting, and you can't really put your finger on what specifically makes it feel that way, its probably the lighting. So in short, lighting is HUGE in designing a great space.

Today I am focusing on some of my favorite lamps and will follow up with other lighting types and styles in a later post.  

Probably my Absolute favorite table lamp. The Garden Spire lamp from Barbara Cosgrove

I absolutely love this crusty old looking fragment lamp with linen shade from Bliss Studio

Texture, Texture, Texture.  This iron lamp from MSM4 Imports is gorgeous!

The Chaves lamp by Aidan Gray, what can you say? It's Aidan Gray. Very cool.

Ahhhh, the Quatrefoil floor lamp.  My all time favorite floor lamp by Suzanne Kasler

The Pattern Makers floor lamp by Regina Andrew.  If I can't cant have Suzanne Kasler's, I want this one.

Zeugma Imports makes tons of these lamps in different shapes and sizes.  Love the warmth of the old wood texture and linen

Aidan Gray La Gray lamp for a bit of casual elegance.  LOVE IT!

This sweet little lamp by Gallery Designs is one of my favorites simply because it is SWEET! 

For shear elegance, this Rococo crystal and iron  lamp from Restoration Hardware is awesome.

Truss lamp set by Aidan Gray.

Into the bit more modern.  This icy glass lamp by Regina Andrew gives a room a cool and sleek look. 

The unique shape of this Thorpe Pinched edge porcelain lamp from Arteriors Home is just simple and pretty.

This Bodega driftwood lamp by Arteriors Home screams "Please put me in your beach house". 

Royal Marine Tripod floor lamp from Restoration Hardware.  Just really, really cool.

There are many, many more lamps that I really love, but for obvious reasons cant show them all.

REMEMBER ~ Delight the Eye............Nurture the Soul!

Bye for now,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Loving Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

So, I finally decided to get myself a small retail space and sell my refurbished furniture and cool items that I pick up at market. I have been wanting to do this for a long time and I figured there is no time like the present.

I have been so excited about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I just can't stop painting.  It seems that everyday I am painting another project to put into the new space.  I am finding old things to refurbish everywhere.  If it can be painted, I am painting it with ASCP.  I LOVE this stuff.

This will be my first post in a series of posts documenting my preparations for my retail space. I have 1 week to get ready for move in and I am working day and night to paint, tag inventory, shop, and plan. This is very exciting for me and I can't wait to start selling.

Below are a few projects that I have started using the chalk paint.  I am still experimenting with the paint and coming up with new ideas on every project.

I used Louis Blue on the base and pure white on the detail, then dark wax.

Duck egg on the base, drawer in Old Ochre, then Dark wax.

French Linen on the base, then dry brushed Pure White and Paris Grey, then lots of dark wax.

I seemed to get so excited about getting started on the project that I ALWAYS forget to take before pictures.  I will start doing a better job at that so that the vast differences with be apparent.

There are many more projects in the works and I will post as I go along. I hope everyone using ASCP is as excited as I am about it.  It is great stuff!

REMEMBER ~ Delight the Eye..........Nurture the Soul.

Bye for now,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mirror, Mirror Très Français

As I have said in previous posts, I am a DIY'er.  I have always loved, loved, loved Trumeau's and thought to myself, "that can't be hard to make".  So, I finally made my first attempt at making one for myself, and guess what?  It wasn't hard at all.  While planning the mirror in my head during many sleepless nights, the one thing that bothered me that I knew I had to remedy, was that if I wanted a very large mirror it was going to be very heavy.  I tried to think of ways to make it not so heavy, and here is what I came up with.

Here it is in its raw, unfinished state.

Does this look like a door?  Well, it is. I bought a flat panel 36" luan slab door from Home Depot for 25.00.  Luan is very light weight as compared to solid wood, or plywood.  That is how I remedied my weight issue.  Now, the rest was really simple.
I glued and tacked decorative mouldings onto the door, built up a crown and base then glued the mirror into place.  That Simple!
Then the fun part began.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint to finish the trumeau with the French Linen as the base coat, then dry brushing Pure White and Paris Grey. I then used combinations of clear and dark wax and kept dry brushing and waxing until I had the look I wanted.  Below is the finished product.

Now, this is a fairly simple design and as trumeau lovers know, they can get very ornate and fancy.  Maybe I will try that next time.

Remember ~ Delight the Eye.......Nurture the Soul.

Bye for now,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Details, Details, Details

As of late, I have been enamoured with the close up shots of details.  I love the candles, pillows, corners of furniture, doors, etc. I think the close up shot makes everything feel really special, so today I am posting some of my favorite close up shots of the details collected from blogs, pinterest, magazines, etc.

I love the clean, pure, softness of the flowers housed by the rough, rustic, harshness of the sugar mold.

Ahhhh, the warmth of candles in the cool, clear glass.

The fringe of the pillow.

The cold steel, with the warm ageing.

again, the juxtaposition of the soft, warm fabric against the cold, antiqued mirror and silver.


 The finish on the chest.

I can never get enough of pillows. EVER!

I love these linen script books in any room.

And here they are in a dark gray.  LOVE!

I love the colorful pillows and the aged finish on this settee.

Of course, the chandelier. Italian please!

Distressed finishes just do it for me. I love the gold detail.

Below is a collage of the details that I love so dearly.


REMEMBER ~ Delight the Eye...........Nurture the Soul

Bye for now,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Framed Intaglios Tutorial

I am a DIY'er and always have been.  If I think I can duplicate something that I have seen, and at a much better price, I will certainly give it a shot.  That's why when I decided I HAD to have the somewhat pricey Framed Intaglios that seem to be all the rage right now, I knew I had to make them myself.

As I diligently surfed the Internet looking for the Intaglios themselves, I discovered that they were harder to find then I thought they would be. I ended purchasing them from, and they were very reasonably priced in a variety of sets.  Shipping from the UK isn't as bad as I thought either.

This process was a little trickier than I thought it would be. As the Intaglios are of different sizes and depths, finding frames deep enough to accommodate the Intaglios proved difficult.  You will probably have to adjust with extender clips which I will explain below.


This is a brief tutorial on how I made my Intaglios and I hope that anyone looking to do the same, can benefit from my experience.

Materials: Intaglios, 11'x14" frames, fabric, paint, glue, extender clips, foam board, matting, craft paper.

Step 1:  Dry run: Layout design for Intaglios.  This will give you an idea of how you want your mat cut. I had mine cut at Hobby Lobby for 6.00 per mat.  If you have a mat cutter you can cut yourself.  You will need to have your mats cut before you glue the Intaglios so that you can use it as your guide to center the Intaglios.
There are limitless ways to lay these out. Try out many designs during this dry run.

Step 2: Prime and paint 11x14" frames
Primed frame
I bought frames at Hobby Lobby, but of course waited until they were half off.
I used Titanium colored metallic paint from Hobby Lobby and applied with a small brush.
Step 3: Cut fabric for backing of Intaglios.
Since I was saving so much money by doing it myself, I splurged on my fabric and got a really good quality beautiful linen to use as my backing.

I cut the fabric to the size of the backing board that came with the frame.

Step 4: Iron the fabric to prep for adhering to backer board.


Step 5: Use spray adhesive to apply fabric to backer board, then tape around edges to neaten them up(the tape is really optional, I just didn't like seeing the frayed edges and loose threads. You won't see this once in the frame, I was just being particular.).


Step 6: Layout Intaglio designs. I suggest laying the cut mat down to use as your guide and center the Intaglios within the mat. (you should have your mats cut to interior opening you desire before this step) Glue Intaglios to the fabric centering them within the mat. Let the glue dry completely. At least 1 to 2 hours. I used Gorilla glue.

Step 7: Attach extender clips to frame. You will need these to account for the difference in depth from the glass to the back board. I used 1/8" extender clips.
Step 8: Cut foam board.  You will need to put the foam board behind the mat and in front of the Intaglio board.  This is to fill the space between the mat and the board (due to depth of Intaglios) so that there is a tight fit and mat wont lift from behind glass. You will need to cut the outside of foam the size of the board and cutout the center large enough that the foam doesn't show behind the mat.

Step 9: Put frame together
      •  Clean glass
      •  Lay glass in frame
      •  Lay mat behind glass
      • Lay foam behind mat
      • Lay back board with Intaglios behind foam
      • Tighten extender clips to snug up to board
      • Glue craft paper on the back
      • Add picture hanger
    You are now ready to hang them.
    I hung mine over the fireplace mantle, but will probably move them umpteen times before I am totally satisfied.
    REMEMBER ~ Delight the Eye.........Nurture the Soul.
    Bye for now,