A House Redone, Part 1!

Jan 11, 2016

I don’t know if y’all remember Leslie Simmons, my senior designer. I’ve done blog posts on her past townhouse and her amazing wedding to hubby Charles!!!! If you have time, you should definitely check those out.

Segreto Secrets Blog!- A House Redone!

Leslie and Charles have just purchased their first home, and she was anxious once again to put all that she has learned at Segreto into the renovation.

Segreto Secrets Blog!- A House Redone

This was the home before! Walking in, there was a small entry that led into a massive room. This shot is from the back of the room looking towards the front door. The previous owner had used this as a formal living and dining space…

Segreto Secrets Blog!- A House Redone!

…..and had turned the dining room into a sitting area. Although the home was lovely as is, Little Leslie, as I call her, wanted a fresher French feel with a bit of contemporary mixed in.

Segreto Secret Blog-A Home Redone!e!

This large room had 8-foot ceilings and a small skylight right in the middle. The first thing she did was to take out the skylight and paint the entire home. The trim was painted Sherwin-Williams Pearly White, and the walls, Sherwin-Williams Natural Choice.


Changing the color scheme from gold to a neutral, lighter palette made the cast stone fireplace stand out as yellow! By applying a light gray glaze over the surface, the tones blended better with the revamped room’s coloration.

Segreto Secrets Blog-A House Redone!

Happy with the lighter feel, Leslie turned her attention to furnishings, but this room had her stumped on the scale and placement of the furniture! So she called Talbot Cooley Interiors to help her furnish it. This was fun for me because it was the firm that my daughter Kirby worked for!!! So I got some of the inside scoop before her final reveal!!!

Segreto Secret Blog-A Home Redone!

Starting from the entrance, which she put together herself, Leslie purchased the console and mirror from Bering’s Hardware and accessorized it with two Aidan Gray lamps and artwork by Alicia from the Segreto Boutique & Gallery. She wanted a final reveal surprise, so with the exception of the lighting, the entire living room was installed in one day while she was away at work!!! How fun would that be!


She was so excited, she was brought to tears!!! It looks AMAZING!!!! Looking from the entrance back, two seating areas were devised with two light fixtures defining each space. The first, with these over-scaled swivel club chairs, is such a comfortable area for a smaller group!


The second, with plenty of seating, is a great place to cozy up in front of the fireplace! Using taller furniture actually lifted the ceilings and provided a more spacious feel to the room. Concerned about the chandeliers when they were first installed, she was so happy that she just trusted her design team, as she was thrilled with the finished product!

Segreto Secrets Blog!- A House Redone!

What a different feel!!  Before…..


…..and after!!!! She was delighted with all that Talbot Cooley Interiors did for the space and was so glad she hired them for that area. And now to tackle the rest of the home herself!

Segreto Secrets Blog!-A Home Redone!

Her first purchase for the dining room was the chairs that we had used in our conference room! I had bought these years ago from Denny Register Antiques. He buys up entire homes’ furnishings and has some wonderful items which are extremely well priced! I purchased a lot from there when I helped my son Matthew with his place in Dallas! See his place here!


It was so fun for me to see how beautifully these chairs worked in her room!! Upholstering them in teal mohair gave her a pop of color that worked perfectly around the table she had custom-made. Leslie completed the room with a rug from London Grey Rugs, a chandelier and mirror from Kuhl-Linscomb, and an Aidan Gray console table from the Segreto Boutique. The walls and ceiling were plastered and polished in the same tone as the connecting rooms, adding a bit of glamour to the space. Many people ask if they can plaster just one room – the answer as shown here is YES!!!

Segreto Secrets Blog!-A Home Redone!

Leslie was most concerned with revamping the kitchen space while remaining within her budget, which only allowed for paint! When consulting with clients, I often ask, “What do you like about the room and what bothers you?” She didn’t like the dark counters, the backsplash or the range hood. I told here we could solve all of that with paint and plaster!! So, how?

Segreto Secrets Blog-A home Redone Part 1!

The first thing was to give all the cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Wanting a light kitchen, it was decided to use Sherwin-Williams Pearly White on the cabinets, walls and trim. By painting everything the same color, you are eliminating the elements which break up the room and giving a cleaner feel to the space. No longer having the contrast between he walls and trim, your eye now goes only to the backsplash… oh no!!!

Segreto Secrets blog! A House Redone Part 1!

No worries, the back-splash was painted as well!! To learn how, go to my post on painting tile here.

Segreto Secrets Blog!-A Home Redone!

Now, for the hood! We plastered over it with a thicker plaster to cover the grout lines and give this surface a whole new look.


What a difference that made! To create an accent behind the stove,  a European countryside scene was painted under the hood!! The cabinets were also glazed to pull a bit of the colorations up from the floor and down from the counters, tying the counters, cabinets and floor together and softening the contrast between the three!


Is this the same kitchen?! By simplifying the elements, the kitchen has been given an updated feel with just the magic of paint and plaster. We even painted the carved wood wall hanging, which had hung in her past townhouse, to work with all her new colors!

Well, Leslie has done such a wonderful job, and I have had so much fun working with her and Charles on their first home!! Stay tuned for next week’s post where the rest of the home and its updated exterior will be revealed!!! Have a great week!

signature-dust blue

  • Tracy Cirioli
    Posted at 07:17h, 11 January Reply

    Lovely! Congratulations to Leslie and Charles on their beautiful new home!

  • Fern Bradley
    Posted at 12:05h, 11 January Reply

    Leslie’s new home is gorgeous! Love what you did with the kitchen. Would you be able to source those beautiful chandeliers in the living room? Can’t wait to see the second installment. Thanks.

  • Karena
    Posted at 13:15h, 11 January Reply

    Wow Leslie how gorgeous! Love seeing the before and after! They Must be thrilled!

    The Arts by Karena
    Life Lessons: So Honored!

  • The Enchanted Home
    Posted at 15:07h, 11 January Reply

    Wow Leslie..what a makeover! Absolutely fabulous..thanks for sharing and for this beautiful dose of eye candy!! Happy 2016.

  • Bara
    Posted at 17:34h, 11 January Reply

    Very nice job. Love the kitchen and I’m interested in the kitchen floor. Are you able to give info on kitchen floor? Thank you.

  • lynne
    Posted at 21:00h, 11 January Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous, all of it. I especially love the kitchen tweaks ! I have a question….can you plaster over granite? We have granite around our fireplace and I would love to neutralize it! I have asked contractors working at my home in the past and they all said no, that I would have to pull out the surround and remove the granite. Any feedback would be appreciated.

  • Nancy Ahmed
    Posted at 09:15h, 12 January Reply

    Hi Leslie!!!!
    Again I am Impressed by all the cool and fun renovation of Little Leslie’s new home…. I am sure she is loving it!!!! and I cant wait to see the rest of the house completed…..Thank You for sharing the process and the paint colors and where she got every piece…..(I wrote down all my notes).
    Please don’t forget to post when and where you will be signing your new book…cant wait to have it in my living room!!!!
    Best Wishes

  • Kate
    Posted at 16:59h, 12 January Reply

    Wow, beautiful!!

  • michele@hellolovelystudio
    Posted at 19:34h, 12 January Reply

    oh leslie, this was such an amazing and fun tour! i cannot cannot believe how you guys transformed that kitchen. what? you are miracle workers. and those dining room chairs…yum. it’s so clear from your commentary that you love what you do, and i just wish i could join your team and soak up some of that positive energy you radiate. peace, girlfriend.

  • jennifer Moree
    Posted at 14:49h, 03 February Reply

    Hi Leslie!

    I too have a question like Nancy Ahmed. I have granite tile on my kitchen countertops that is hideous. The previous owners did a terrible job laying it. I do not want to rip it out if at all possible. Can I plaster over it and paint it to give it a sand stone appearance? Obviously most products state to scuff up a bit with sand paper but of course granite is too hard to scuff. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 18:23h, 03 February Reply

      Concrete may be able go over tile-You might google! Let me know!!!

  • Evie
    Posted at 14:53h, 22 February Reply

    Beautifully done. I especially adore the kitchen redo! I hope to do my kitchen using the same ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:54h, 24 February Reply

      Hi Evie! I can’t wait to see your kitchen! Do share the final reveal!!!!

  • Christy
    Posted at 18:34h, 01 April Reply

    Wow! Beautiful transformation. I’m curious about the glazing that was done to the fireplace. I, too, have a cast stone fireplace in a peachy, sandy tone that I have struggled with making work with my neutral color palette. I have seen others paint them, but don’t love that look. Is there a trick to applying the glaze? Any information would be very helpful. Love your work!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:44h, 04 April Reply

      Hi Christy!! I definitely like them glazed as apposed to painted as well. It isn’t hard to do the work, the difficult part is that the undertones of the mantle effect the top glaze color so the finisher would really need to know what he or she is doing. sometimes sealing it with a clear sealer first would be helpful so it would be easier to wipe off samples that while perfecting the color-hope this helps!!

  • Kim
    Posted at 23:37h, 28 August Reply

    Hi, I love the white, plastered dining room (with the teal mohair fabric on the chairs). What brand of plaster and what color did you use on the brautiful walls and ceiling? Thanks!! Kim

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:56h, 29 August Reply

      Hi Kim! We use Diamond plaster by USG. Hope this helps!

  • Miranda
    Posted at 12:29h, 15 September Reply

    Wow, amazing work! I just stubled upon your blog and it’s fabulous! Were did you find such a large neautral rug for the living room area?

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:34h, 17 September Reply

      Welcome aboard!!! This is a sisal that you can purchase at most store that supply carpet. you can customize any size and they will bind it for you! A very cost effective way to soften a large space! have a great week!

  • vania zignago
    Posted at 21:32h, 10 June Reply

    beautiful! do the walls (SW natural choice) have any yellow tone in it. From picture I love the color but am looking for an off white with no creamy tones.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 16:29h, 11 June Reply

      Try that and also sw 7009 Pearly white!! Good Luck–send me pictures!!

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