House Tours All Day Long!

Hope you’re all having a great Memorial Day weekend!! One thing I love about work is that I am able to see so many different beautiful homes and basically go on home tours all day long!! I thought it would be fun to have you come along with me!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Cabinet and range hood

My first stop of the day was checking on a new construction that we were finishing up for designer Sarah Eilers and builder Andy Abercrombie! The kitchen, full of charm, has a special finish in which we add sand to the primer before we paint and glaze to create a wonderful, subtle aged effect. Part of my job, especially at the end of a project, is figuring out how to use paint so your eye can focus only on the impact elements in the room without being distracted. In this case, the cans, vents and speakers really interfered with the beautiful ceiling planked with reclaimed wood. By faux finishing these elements to read like wood, they’ll become magically undetectable. Notice also how the beam that hits the plastered surface above the limestone range hood.  It was decided that it would look better if the hood appears to go to the ceiling, so we will faux the surface above the hood so it reads like an extension of the stone.

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Plastered Stairwell with Sconces

Going up the stairs, I went to check on some new doors we were refinishing to look old. The sconces along the staircase are stunning and look so great against our plastered walls!!!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Antiqued Door Finish

What do you think? Peeking through the opening, you can see the white door in the background. That’s how this door looked when we started! I am going to have them touch up  some of the white dots in the finish but other than that I love it!!  I wish I had taken a picture of the bathroom for you… it is stunning!! Next visit I will!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Plastered Room

Aren’t these twin chandeliers beautiful!!! The iron door leads to the wine room!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Hiding Vents and Can Lights on Wood Ceiling

The next stop is to visit a large remodel we have been working on here in Houston with California designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano! You should check out other homes of hers I have written about here, here and here. By looking at the vent, speaker and can in the center compared to the white one to the left and far right, you can see that we’re in our final tweaking stage. What a difference this makes! I don’t want a thing to distract from the ceiling, beams, doors or plastered walls we finished! Or from those stunning fixtures!!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Antique Doors leading into Kitchen

This home is full of reclaimed doors. I love the color of this set and the way it frames the cabinetry and tile in the bar. We finessed the white oak cabinetry to have a slight gray, limed appearance.

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photo for Range Hood

Here is an inspiration photo we were given for the range hood finish in the kitchen. We thought that we would receive a light metal, silver in tone, to start with. But…….

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Range Hood Unfinished
Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Range Hood Unfinished

These are pictures of what we saw when we arrived!!!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Range Hood

No worries, master artist Jerry is working his magic, and I can tell it really is going to look great when he is done!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Gray Antique Cabinet Finish

I love all the soft tones in this home! Here is a finish we did to new cabinetry in an upstairs bar area.

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - New Door Finish to change tones

I can’t find my before pictures, but these doors were previously a dark, stained mahogany. Once the new, lighter floors were installed, the doors just didn’t mesh. Picking only the most important, focal point doors, we applied a worn gray, stained finish that worked much better with the home’s new look! The rest of the doors and windows were painted to blend with the plaster.

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day

So many diverse projects in one day! My next stop was to check on a mural we’re applying to an entry door! Living in a high-rise, the homeowner has deed restrictions that determine that all the exterior doors must look the same. To make it just as pretty leaving her home as it was entering, we’re painting a scene on the inside portion of her front door.

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Entry Door Mural

Here is the start of it!!!!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Entry Door Mural

And a little further along in the process! You can start seeing the shape of the top and sides now, which will be painted to look like drapes!

Segreto Secrets - Home Tours All Day Long - Segreto Vignettes color correcting

Then back to the office, I had a meeting to go over the final color corrections for the new book, Segreto Vignettes!!! Yay, it is finally off to press! My favorite book to date – I can’t wait for you all to read it!!! You can get notified when it’s released by emailing

Home Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!

Next to a meeting with a new client. After purchasing a unit in a high-rise and doing major renovations, she’s decided that plain walls just aren’t working. I love the backsplash in her gorgeous, dramatic kitchen!

House Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!

The unit is filled with beautiful, new arches they had put in that made me think of the architecture of Istanbul, so I want to come up with a way to enhance their shape!

House Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!

Leading down the hallway, she had a colorful, intricate mosaic installed!

2016-04-27 15.08.25

These are her favorite colors so I felt that these tones should be used to inspire the hand-painted designs we will apply throughout the home.

House Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!

The bathrooms all have intricate tile work with patterns inset into the Turkish arches.

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

So excited about the project, I went back to the office to find some inspiration photos! I searched for Istanbul design!!!

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

I felt they could either go light or dark with the plaster base and then accentuate with decorative, painted-tile-like details!

Home Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!

The homeowner has a recessed panel like this one that I think a raised plaster design would look great in!

Home Tours All Day Long!  Segreto Secrets Blog!

Segreto Secrets Blog! Home Tours All Day Long!

Here are just a couple of our many designs I think could work well!!!

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

I also felt, with the black trim throughout the home, she could go dark and moody!!!

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

Look how dramatic this is with the Venetian plaster and the burnished gold insets!

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

The cover of Milieu, one of my favorite magazines, has some Turkish inspiration for me as well!

Segreto Finishes House Tours All Day Long - Inspiration Photos

Playing off the mosaic floral design in the hallway art niche, something like this would be a wonderful complement behind her bed! What would you do if it was your home?

When it rains, it pours!!!

2016-04-18 08.29.49

As many of you know, we had some terrible storms and flooding in Houston recently! I wanted to show you some snapshots of all that rain! It was crazy this year!!! Here at Segreto, we had several employees whose homes were flooded and who had to be rescued by boat. My heart and prayers go out to them and all the other Houstonians affected!!!

Home Tours All Day Long! Segreto Secrets Blog!!

This picture was taken outside my parent’s home!!!

House Tours All Day Long!-Segreto Secrets Blog!

And the next day Lori, who handles our books, took this picture outside her front car window on the way home from work!! She got no arguments this time when she showed her boys and asked them, “Please don’t play in the Bayou!!!”

And if that doesn’t look like the wild wild west, take a look at this video taken right here in Houston!!!

There’s still time to enter the Miracle & Skinny Noodle Challenge – Win a signed copy of Segreto Style!!!

The challenge is simple: send me your recipes that use Skinny or Miracle Noodles (and any photos you have of the finished dish). Then either 1) subscribe to this blog if you are not yet on our list, 2) follow us on Instagram and leave a comment below, or 3) if you’re already following us on Instagram, you can also enter by sharing this post on Facebook and then leaving a comment below!

The contest is open until next Friday, June 10th at noon! We’ll be posting our favorite recipes on the blog and picking a winner based on creativity and taste. The lucky winner, to be announced on June 20th, will receive a signed copy of Segreto Style, so tell all of your friends!!! Click here to submit your recipe! Good luck!!

Here’s one of the amazing recipes we got last week, from Janet!!!

Segreto Secrets - Miracle Noodle Challenge Entry - Skinny Scampi

Skinny Scampi

created by Janet W.

I found this Scampi recipe that called for much less butter than usual but because of the shallot, garlic, lemon and red pepper flakes, made this dish so flavorful! I know we are not supposed to have alcohol but this only called for 3 tablespoons so I felt it wasn’t too much of a violation. My husband devoured his portion last night as did I! Serves 2.


2 packages Skinny Noodles Angel Hair
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
20 large shrimp – shelled, deveined and patted dry
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp white wine
Juice of one lemon
lemon zest of one lemon
Chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and rinse Skinny Noodles and place on paper towels (to remove excess water).

Heat butter and olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and immediately season with crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Continue sautéing the shrimp with the garlic and onions until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.

Add in chicken stock, wine, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue to stir to combine. Let the mixture continue cooking for an additional minute then remove from heat. Toss in the Skinny Noodles until the noodles are well coated with sauce. Top with fresh chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.

Hope you enjoy this one!! Can’t wait to see more of your recipes! Have a great week!

xo, Leslie

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  1. Renae Moore says:

    Beautiful Leslie!
    I would love to see some Colorado type inspiration! We are headed there after our home sells. Your work is always beautiful inspiration for me!

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      It is beautiful country!!! I am going back for the first time to measure etc. I can’t wait to get started!!!

  2. I love to see you work your magic, Leslie. The range hood is going to be amazing! Hope you’ve had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      I did! Celebrated my 29th wedding anniversary and headed to the beach!!! xo

  3. These are all beautiful photos, but my jaw dropped and hit the keyboard when I got to that mosaic.

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      Mine did too when I saw the house!!! It was stunning!! I hope my paint work does it justice!!!

  4. oh leslie! there is so much lovely here, i am not sure where to begin. the finish on that door! can you tell me (i totally understand if you cannot) how i could attempt this myself for doors in the fixer upper? your blog is quickly becoming my favorite because you always seem to strike something on my radar, and i can feel your positive energy streaming through the screen. if you’ll have me, in the coming months i would love to come follow you around for a day, interview you (we could use the excuse that it is marketing for the forthcoming vignettes title or just call it ‘bring a blogger to work day’), and be able to see the tools of the trade up close and personal. yes? and we can eat skinny noodles and figure out how to get fit with exercise again. peace to you this holiday. xox

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      That sounds like a date!!! It is so hard to give directions especially for the old doors. It is basically a little of this and a little of that, and step back sand add more!! Its probably why I like doing them so much! Just like cooking, I cannot follow or write down a recipe! Just remember you cannot ruin things its just paint! You can always add and layer more!!

  5. Leslie……your work makes my heart beat faster …… So much talent …. Every inch in beauty
    Love it alllllllll !!!!!

  6. Leslie ….. Always beautiful … Makes my heart bet faster !!!! Love love love ❤️❤️

  7. Olive Reed says:

    I so look forward to your blog, so many wonderful things to see. You are so talented. Looking forward to your book.
    Many years ago I lived in Galveston so am aware of “The Rain” Like everything else in Texas it is BIG. My thoughts and prayer to all who are dealing with the floods. I did enjoy the round up on the video. Only in Texas.

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      So true on the video!! My heart goes out to so many! In Alvin apparently there are still people homeless from the destruction with no place to go . Thank you so muc for following the blog. Pleas give me any ideas you would like to hear about!! Books out in September! Yayy!!!! Happy Week!


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    Go Fast And Light In The Daylong

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