In The Limelight – Southern Home 2018 January/February – Segreto Secrets Blog

Jan 22, 2018

HI Friends!  Hope you enjoyed your week!  The weather has been crazy in Houston–summer, winter, summer, winter–I think it has been crazy throughout the country!! Well I had a big surprise!!  I received a magazine from Southern Home thinking it was just my normal subscription–I truly love the magazine!!

Well the cover looked so familiar to me and I realized that it was that amazing job I did in Florida with Houston designer Kathy Johnson and her talented daughter Heather!

Such a fun project, I had a ball both consulting on the interior and exterior finishes. Boca Grande is a small residential community on Gasparilla Island, in southwest Florida.  In the 40’s wealthy American and British sportsman discovered this charming area for its fantastic tarpon fishing and began building homes here.

Look how beautiful!!  So bright and cheerful, I love the lighter and brighter look that the renovation brought to the home. We plastered all the walls, in a warm neutral and lightened all the beams and woodwork in the home! My crews had the best time, not only because of the southern hospitality which the Johnsons showed, but also painting or plastering and looking at the water views–it doesn’t get much better than that!!

All of the bedrooms have their own personality and a Florida flair! Kathy and her daughter Heather with JJ Design Group is a master at mixing patterns fabrics and trims, perfect for these bedroom retreats!!! Since, Heather has opened a vignette business (JJ Hall) of putting together unique and amazing dorm room designs full of mix and match patterns.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!


In the kitchen, den, dining areas we finished the cabinetry giving it character in a warm, fresh way!! By plastering the ceilings even the kitchen which is right at 8 ft. appears taller.  Kathy and Heather–what an amazing jo you did!  I am looking forward to my next visit! The interiors are just as warm, inviting and fun as you two talented women are!!



But wait, as I flipped though there were two more homes, in this one magazine in which we finished.  This one is with California design firm Ohara Davies-Gaetano Interiors . Working with Ohara on a California project, I was super excited to work with her again and see her talents come to life in Houston!! Since I have become a big fan!!

Sweet Laureen is the homeowner of this beautiful home!! She is full of life and great ideas.  Working with her before this renovation, I was excited to see what she and Ohara had in mind!! The home was much darker before both in walls and furnishings.  Now it is fresh French and fab!



Look how beautiful the floors are by Custom Floors Unlimited!  They were originally stained dark but I must say I love the lighter grayish look much better!  The exteriors are to die for. The back of the house has golf course views, while in the front there is a private courtyard with pool and summer kitchen!


Give me any room!  They all could be master retreats! The plaster in the sea foam color range is such a soothing palette!! In the master bath we refinished the wood to emulate stained!  It marries perfectly with the doors from Chateau Domingue!! Laureen has such an amazing collection of art. And it is truly a collection!  Hearing her stories of where she and her husband “found” certain pieces give this home such soul and personality!  Each piece means something.  And isn’t that what collecting is all about?! Thank you Laureen and Ohara for including me in such a special project! I am both honored and grateful for your trust!

This renovation was so fun to see.  It is in my neighborhood and I got to see the transformation on my early morning walks.  Even More fun, Designer (and friend) Ellie Bale, was renovating a home of her own.  Her past home was in Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, was a new construction and was very French! I also have featured it on a previous blog!  She loved the idea of buying a classic home and renovating it!



She hired architect Josh Jones and renovator Goodchild Builders to help with the re-design.  You can see that hardwoods were installed throughout, and rather than taking walls out, some were filled back in.  The staircase with its graceful curve was left, but updated with a more contemporary railing.  Her outdoor area borders the bayou.  It feels like you are somewhere else with no homes in view.



Unfortunately, this beautiful sunken living room did flood during Harvey!  Its put back together now and we actually are re finishing her cabinets and re painting the step this week!!  To see more about this project go here  where I have some more before and after’s and show what we painted on the floors. to see more about the house.  The kitchen and bar are to die for.  I love the warmness, of the spaces with the infusion of brass, and classic yet contemporary design.

NOW FOR THE BIG DISCOUNT! Southern Home has graciously offered a subscription to their magazine for on $20.00 to my friends!!  That is $14.95 off the subscription price! Tell your friends to visit the blog! The offer will be up for a month!  Make sure you type in Southern for the promotion code! Thank you Southern Home, for that generous offer!  I do love your magazine and the sweet southerners that work there!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  See you next Monday where I have another amazing before and after  home renovation!!








  • Kathryn L Jackson
    Posted at 09:26h, 22 January Reply

    I’ve bought Southern Home magazine at the grocery store often and would like to subscribe at this great offer price. But when I follow the link, it’s $29.95. Am I missing something? Thanks

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:31h, 26 January Reply

      Hi Kathryn!! Try putting Southern as the promo code, Let me know if that works!! I love the magazine as well—hope you enjoy!!

  • Design Chic
    Posted at 21:44h, 22 January Reply

    How exciting was that?! Such a beautiful home and your talent adds the perfect character – so thrilled for you, my friend!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:29h, 26 January Reply

      Loved all three!! I am so excited about maybe meeting you in person soon!!

  • Joni Webb
    Posted at 19:36h, 24 January Reply

    Congratulations! I love that magazine – it’s so wonderful!!!!! That Florida project is incredible.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:28h, 26 January Reply

      Hi Joni!! So good to hear from you! Lets catch up soon!! xo

  • michele@hellolovelystudio
    Posted at 13:34h, 28 January Reply

    What a feast for the eyes all of these French inspired and Segreto-rich projects are to devour this afternoon. The charm of that Florida home! Those finishes, floors and doors in the Ohara-Davis project, and the transformation of Ellie Bale’s project is so dramatic and wonderful. Love seeing your work across the country, Leslie. Keep raising the bar! 🙂

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:41h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you! It was amazing to have three suck special homes in one magazine. Not only special because they were beautiful, but each client was special as well!!

  • Miranda Hust
    Posted at 15:03h, 28 January Reply

    Beautiful work, and congrats on the recognition! ~Miranda

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:39h, 29 January Reply

      Hi Miranda! Thank you!! It was fun to see it in a magazine!! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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