How do you Design a Den around a New Barbie Couch?!

Nov 07, 2016

Hi Friends!!  Before we start I wanted to show you the amazing showroom Vivaldi which I am going to speak at this Wed.!

Segreto Secrets Blog!

The first time I walked into this place I felt like I was in an art gallery!!  Although they also have a warehouse, they have a large showroom where the slab are mounted and back-lit!!!

Segreto Secrets Blog!

I know this one will be a really fun event!!!  Come with firends for lunch and walk with me though the gallery where I will show how different colors and finishes complement your stone.  Gal Pal, Chas with Acero Bella, will be there with their hardware to show how knobs and handles finish off a doors and cabinetry like jewelry does with a fine outfit!  And of course the Vivaldi crew will be there to speak to the durability and care for different stones.

And now the story!

Well, if you have followed my blog a while, you know that husband, John, is so picky about his couches!  Especially the one in the den!!! Remember below, when we redid this room in 2011!  please click on this post! It shows the room 30 years ago and all the revisions since!!!

I really loved the room as is but I have finally given in to John’s constant requests to recline!! See my last couch shopping excursion with him here!  UGHHHH!!!!

Pinnacle PowerReclineXRw™ Full Reclining Sofa

Although this is the type he really had in mind from La-z-boy, I didn’t think this would mix well with some of my French finds–haha! He said his friend had one with a cooler in the center panel–that was the way he wanted to go!!!

Segreto Secrets Blog! How Do You Decorate Around A Barbie Couch!

Well, after searching, I remembered that when I helped my son Matthew furnish his apartment in Dallas we saw some super cool things at Cantoni!  It’s a cute story. If you haven’t seen, click on the link above! I was wanting to incorporate some contemporary elements so I thought this would be the perfect place to shop! I took hubby John there after a scouting trip and he loved it! Coming from Italy; it took 4 months to make.


Well when it arrived, hubby was so excited, he took pictures and sent them to me! I honestly was a bit horrified! Not only did I not think about the cords needing to plug it in–the scale was all wrong!!! The top of the couch literally came up to the arms on my French chairs!!!


OMGoodness!!! And the coffee table was much higher than the couch!


There was no getting him off this puppy so I had to figure out a way for my new Barbie reclining sofa to work in the room; cords and all.


I tried putting tall pillows on the couch to make it appear taller, which helped, but the rest of the furniture still looked too large!!!

Segreto Secrets Blog! How Do You Decorate Around A Barbie Couch!

Gal pal designer, Kara Childress, suggested a line of chairs from John Brooks!  They swivel, are super comfortable and have a transitional feel! I loved these, but since the couch was leather I…


…opted for a linen slipcovered pair that I felt had a Belgium aesthetic. As you can see, I moved them to the other side of the room, purchased these small petrified nesting tables from the Segreto Boutique and found the perfect pillows from Boxwood Interiors!!!  I also took down the darker linen drapes–I am reusing them in other rooms– and replaced them with an off white linen and trim I found at Interior fabrics!!  They have super prices if you can find what you like there!!! I can’t tell you how much brighter the room feels!!!


The cabinets had doors on them before with metal grates (see above) and were stained in the back. We took the doors off and painted a gray behind. The before had coral in every shelf. I added some art and crystal frames we carry at the boutique to add a contemporary feel. Using art in shelving is a great way to accessorize. Sweet Kirby had some black and whites made of the family for the frames! One day I need to lighten the finish on the fronts of the cabinetry, but I absolutely need to change the hardware to something more contemporary.


And you know how one thing leads to another…now the rug!!! I went by Madison Lily and pulled three that I liked–all of their rugs are beautiful! It was interesting to see how a rug makes such a big change to a room! Although I like some of the lighter rugs and ones mixed with linen or silk–my dogs are not well trained and ruin everything!! We looked at bold graphics and subtle-cut rugs, but felt we needed a darker rug! This is the one we chose. If you look in the bottom left corner you can see the other two.


Cutting the legs of the settee down 2 inches and moving it to the other side of the room, opened up the space and made it work better height wise with the couch. Off to interior fabrics again–that fabric looks as tired as pup Charlie!


Adding some lighter, oversized pillows from Boxwood on the couch and these cool Lucite benches from AREA, finished the room enough for a wedding shower we were co-hosting for 70 people!! Grand dog, Stella, seems to love it!

But, I wasn’t finished yet! This coffee table with tucked in ottomans, is going to Colorado. I wanted a sleeker, more contemporary table for this space, and what better option was our new plaster tabletop line!!!


Here is the completed room! Now the scale is much better. I still have my eclectic mix. I still can’t figure out my style!!


Look at my two pups in the window!!! I wanted them in the pics but Stella, my grand dog, just wouldn’t quit barking!


Here is the room from the opposite side.


How do you feel about our new table top line? With 30 signature colors to choose from, it is made from plaster and is more durable than marble or concrete. We have set them atop metal, Lucite, wood, or in my case, plaster bases. We’ve made desks, conference tables, water fall consoles, dining tables, and more. I love how they bridge the gap between contemporary and traditional, maintaining a natural, organic feel while being sleek and polished.


Hubby John loves his reclining couch and although I liked the way it was before, I really love the changes in this room!! Please let me know your thoughts on the transformation!! We have some exciting events coming up with Segreto in November!! I hope to see you at one of them! I so hope each of you has a great week!!


THIS WEEK’S EVENTS!! Two exciting ones !!!

vivaldi-event-flyer talbot-cooley-invite

Talbot’s interior is the front cover of Segreto Vignettes!!!  She is such a talent!!!–Till next week!!!!

xo, Leslie


If you are interested in hosting an event or carrying the book  please don’t hesitate to reach out! Email for all inquiries! We love to visit new cities!!!


  • Taste of France
    Posted at 06:59h, 07 November Reply

    What I like is the daybed….

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:23h, 07 November Reply

      I always love daybeds!! So cozy to watch TV!!! Have a great week!

  • Julie A
    Posted at 07:12h, 07 November Reply

    I am really enjoying the finished product! The new coffee table is an unexpected twist and I like the smooth shine on the top. I love how you problem solve and move on! Sawing the legs off 2″ was brilliant. Sharing your challenges and how you solve them is rather freeing to me. Thank you for sharing and detailing your thought process…it looks pretty and real! So enjoyed meeting you the other night and the sweet inscriptions to the front of my books were perfection!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:22h, 07 November Reply

      Hi Julie!! It was great meeting you are well! Have you had your coffee yet? I am so glad you enjoyed the post!!!

  • Renee Slattery
    Posted at 07:50h, 07 November Reply

    It looks great, Leslie. Tell me…what did you do with the former couches??? Any chance they may be available 🙂

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 10:36h, 07 November Reply

      You wouldn’t want them haha! Those dogs of mine! The couch in there went to my daughter she is recovering it!

  • Linda
    Posted at 08:17h, 07 November Reply

    Barbie couch, so funny. Great post, thank you. Did the new rug hide the couch cords?

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 10:35h, 07 November Reply

      Yes, I ended up getting a rug that was a bit larger so the cords were hidden!!!

  • Joanna
    Posted at 10:09h, 07 November Reply

    My husband wanted a lazyboy when he retired. I finally agreed but only if it fit with the rest of the house. We found a wing backed recliner that I liked so much that I ordered two. Mama needs stylish comfort too. Lol
    As Julie said, I loved your problem solving. It was a real act of love to make the big, modern sofa work. You did it!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 10:35h, 07 November Reply

      This one was a challenge!! You will have to send me pictures of your recliners!!! xo

  • Nancy Ahmed
    Posted at 17:34h, 07 November Reply

    Wow what a transformation!!! Another home run… Love it… The room looks so much brighter and calm…I want to have chai tea in your den!!!!!!!
    That’s my style “eclectic” …
    Thanks for sharing step by step the transformation… I’m sure your hubby is very happy!!!!!!
    Stay well

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:24h, 08 November Reply

      HI Nancy! Thanks and hubby is very happy!!! What I really like about the room better is it has better seating. You can sit on the back of the couch and the sides, so for entertaining it really has been great!!! Have a great week!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 08:57h, 08 November Reply

    I applaud you! Most of the furniture in the house is not “man comfy” So we went to Laz-z-boy because they do have some nice simple reclining couches.Well, I found a few and he found the one exactly like what you posted above.That is what we came home with because I made the mistake of saying “get what you want” H e usually just goes along with what I want.My bad!
    I knew this was a mistake as it is way too big for the room,not to mention my aesthetic is the same as yours.
    I just walk past the room now and don’t look at it.It’s an ugly man cave

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 15:40h, 17 November Reply

      Hi Debbie!! We need to start a wives club on reclining sofas!!! We all have the same issue. I have let John choose what he wants before so I know your pain! Here is to happy husbands though!! xo

  • michele@hellolovely
    Posted at 11:50h, 10 November Reply

    what an entertaining evolution, leslie! i love that you were willing to go to such great lengths to make this piece for your beloved work. it speaks volumes, and i can only hope i have as much mercy in me. xox

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 15:37h, 17 November Reply

      Hi Michele!! We joke in our family that it is the year of John haha!!! Have a great week! xo

  • Shirley@Housepitality Designs1
    Posted at 07:40h, 17 November Reply

    Wow…when I thought this room could not get any better, you go and work your magic to make everyone in your family happy, including you!….You have created a room that is so elegant, yet extremely comfortable and you seem to do it with such ease. Amazing makeover of the room…and love your table line.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 15:35h, 17 November Reply

      HI Shirley!! You are so sweet and really made my oh so busy day!! Have a great Holiday! xo

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