At Home with Jennifer Martinez

Mar 23, 2015

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘a cobbler has no shoes’, but in designer Jennifer Martinez’s case, she has a bunch!

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I have worked with Jennifer on many jobs and always loved her colorful and eclectic style.  I was very excited when I got the call to work on a project in her own home!!! I couldn’t wait for a tour!!!


Walking in, you immediately see her whimsical flair. Not the typical composition; the art continuing below the console really creates a statement in her front entry. Using Martin-Senour Linen Weave as the backdrop on her walls, ceilings and trim, she is free to move art around and add pops of color wherever she chooses! Helpful hint, this lovely neutral is beautiful cut in half as well!!

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Above are two other great warm neutrals– Benjamin Moore’s Feather Down and Creamy White.

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To the left of the entrance is a home office study. Interestingly, Jennifer graduated from UT with a master’s in business, and worked with Enron as an acquisitions consultant. Six years later, a company- wide layoff left her unemployed with a growing family and a newly built home. It was here that Jennifer combined her love for design and business savvy to follow her passion; starting first in her own home on a shoestring budget.

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With four school-aged children, two dogs and a sweet, but messy, husband, it can be a challenge for anyone to keep up with the chaos of a well-used home. So sweet – during my visit, the dining room, located off the entry, was serving as a staging area for girl scout cookies.

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Here is a picture of the same room decorated for Easter. You can see she has changed her chairs since then. The Baker table retailed for $10,000 and was something Jennifer, 26 with a limited budget, could only dream about. Her sweet husband found it for $2000 on eBay and gave it to her on Valentine’s day 15 years ago! Always so creative, I love the hand-cut burlap runner she created for her Spring table scape!

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The den is the space where my project began. The built-ins flanking the fireplace could only be used for display (she had already started cleaning this out when I took the pictures).  With the kids games and constant projects, Jennifer wanted more storage and a cleaner feel to the room, offsetting her families hectic lifestyle.

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It gives me great joy seeing people using the Segreto books as inspiration for their design.  This room, in the first home spread of Segreto Style, designed by Ellie Bale, houses reclaimed doors from Joyce Horn Antiques.  Not able to find old doors to the right dimensions, Jennifer had a local carpenter made them out of new wood.

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I carried with me a rough draft of Segreto Vignettes, due to be out in the fall, to show Jennifer her projects in the book!  Falling in love with the doors on the cover from Chateau Domingue, we used their finish for inspiration (room designed by Talbot Cooley Interiors).

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I adore the way the finish turned out and the change the doors lent to the room!!! Jennifer found some wonderful old French bolts from Settlers Hardware as a perfect compliment!!! Loving to mix old and new while layering different textures, the room is comfortable and the look reads as effortless.  Can you guess what the coffee table was? A re-purposed youth bed!! The butterflies, hanging on the wall from Mecox, are pretty wonderful too!!

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The fireplace was the finishing touch.  Replacing the antique mantle (scroll back above) with a more contemporary design, a streamline box was built and coated in plaster in the same tones as the walls. Accessorized with the books that previously lined the shelves, this well thought out room has become both beautiful and functional.

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Taking a break to use the potty, I fell in love with the vintage feel of her powder bath. Mixing shabby chic and reclaimed elements, the bath has an updated feel with her use of a modern scale and color palette.

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Jennifer’s mud room is a utilitarian dream with its built in cubbies perfect for collecting rain boots and school bags. But instead of feeling cold, the walls and cupboards were papered in a graphic kelly green design. The result is an exciting, inexpensive way to dress up a space.

This table looks very similar to the stunning ones from Design Within Reach, for $7000. Jennifer found a look alike on Amazon for $1500 and it looks great!!! Jennifer’s home is a clear example of the passion she has for designing inviting spaces. Every room is created to reflect the joy that is to be had in them. As Jennifer describes,  “Helping someone with their home is much more personal than a natural gas transaction!  I’ve made a lot of good friends because of this job, and I am thankful for that!”. I consider myself blessed to be able to call Jennifer both colleague and friend and hope you enjoyed my peak inside the beautiful home she created for herself and her family to enjoy for years to come.

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Although I haven’t been the best on my diet, eating and sleeping resolutions, I have so enjoyed speaking to the art classes at Spring Woods High School about what I do, tips on starting your own business and interviewing suggestions. Here I am with the fantastic students of Mrs. Fiocchi’s class as well as Mr. Bautista’s class!  A Big THANK YOU to New Spring Center for organizing the talk at Spring Woods High School and all of the wonderful teachers and students who hosted me. I had so much fun and look forward to teaching many more!!

I’ll be in McKinney, right outside of Dallas Thursday the 26th!!! Read my feature blog about the event and this charming town and store!


Don’t forget! If you’re in the Dallas area, be sure to visit with me & Segreto Style at the newly redesigned Aidan Gray Gray Living March 26th  for what is bound to be an incredible evening catered by Patina Green!!!! The more the merrier- bring a friend!! For more Segreto Style, be sure to check out the wonderful reviews posted by two of my favorite bloggers, Kim of Savvy Southern Style & Tiffany of Savor Home!! I was so excited to be featured on their fabulous blogs – be sure to add them to your blog roll if you haven’t already!


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  • The Enchanted Home
    Posted at 05:34h, 23 March Reply

    STUNNING!! Leslie, you are so talented:)

    • Leslie
      Posted at 06:36h, 23 March Reply

      Hi Tina!!! this was a fun project for sure!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!!! xo

  • Karena
    Posted at 07:22h, 23 March Reply

    Leslie, I love this profile on Jennifer and her home. What a beautifully designed and artfully accessorized property! I love her choices of art! You’ve how bright art can play against a neutral palette. So creative!

    The Arts by Karena
    A New Gallery in Town!

    • Leslie
      Posted at 11:18h, 23 March Reply

      I do love the colors in all of the art! infuses a sense of artful whimsy into the home!! xo

  • Barbara Bussey
    Posted at 11:08h, 23 March Reply

    Hi Leslie,
    You are both such talents! What a transformation! I’d love to sell your new book in my shop. Where should I go to order?
    Thanks!, Barbara

    • Leslie
      Posted at 05:49h, 24 March Reply

      Hi Barbara!! I would be so excited for you to carry the book!!!! email or call the office 713-907-5222. Thank you so much!!!

  • Design Chic
    Posted at 21:48h, 23 March Reply

    You make every space look so pretty – just love her home and the dining room amazing!!

    • Leslie
      Posted at 05:51h, 24 March Reply

      Hi Chic friend!! Jennifer is a talent for sure!!! I am having so much fun reading your book! It is wonderful!! xo

  • Kim
    Posted at 21:03h, 27 March Reply

    Wow, I love the change to that room and those doors are fabulous!

    • Leslie
      Posted at 04:12h, 28 March Reply

      Thanks Kim!! they were so fun to do!! I want them at my house!!! Hope you have a great week!

  • Taylor Greenwalt
    Posted at 21:32h, 05 April Reply

    Love her style…

  • Christi Bennett
    Posted at 14:08h, 26 April Reply

    What a lovely post! The interior pics are lovely and of course, your work in the house is beautiful. I’d love to know where the entry art is from as well as the bright floral by the breakfast table?


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