Tweaking My Living Room!

Nov 30, 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Well, due to a tropical storm in Cabo, we ended up canceling the trip just hours before!!  Lucky that we didn’t go as we had a pipe break in the house and spent much of the time cleaning and drying out. Unfortunately the room below was affected and we will have to once again redo the floors!! Water and wood just don’t mix! I had already written this blog, so I still wanted to share the small tweaks I gave to my living room – keeping much of what I had but adding a fresh feel.

Tweaking My Living Room- Segreto Secrets Blog

This is my living room before. The furnishings had been unchanged for about 13 years, and the finishes had been there for much longer! The walls were previously painted BM White Dove with a glaze on top that contributed a warm glow. Notice the hand-painted tile design on the ceiling, the murals and the glazed fireplace. See below if you can tell what changed!

Leslie Sinclair tweaked living room

Connecting the entry to the kitchen, this paneled room read golden and strong against the lighter tones of the adjoining rooms. I wanted a softer feel, one that would convey a bit of today’s cleaner aesthetic but still use most of the furnishings which were an investment when purchased.

soft gray panel wall finish

The first thing I did was to paint the paneling in SW Silverpointe. And you know me, I just couldn’t leave it plain! I added a complementary gray to the crevices, a dry-brushing technique to the paneling, and aged silver leafing to the rounded bead detail within the molding. I just LOVE adding a bit of metallic to finishes!!! Used sparingly the effect is sophisticated rather than over-the-top glitz.

Aidan Gray chandelier

It was hard to pull the trigger, but I plastered over the painted tile detail on the ceiling! I love the sheen of plaster and felt it simplified the room, giving it a more modern feel.

Tuscan wall mural

The fireplace murals and cabinet below looked great with the previous wall color, but they seemed so YELLOW next to the new blue-gray paint! Still loving both finishes, I had to think of a way to soften them so they would melt into the new room’s tones…

dry brush to soften furniture finish

I dipped a rag into a thinned-out version of the paneling base coat paint and rubbed the mixture atop of the mural! It worked like a sheer film softening the different tones in the original paint. Thrilled with the effect, I used the same technique on the fireplace mantel and furniture piece, but using a brush instead! You can see the difference between the upper drawer and bottom door.

the new look with paint finishes

Voila!!!  It worked! This made a huge difference in the room, and I was so excited to be able to rework and use the things I still loved.

new Aidan Gray chandelier

Now for the furnishings! The French light fixture (look back at first picture) was a place I felt a contemporary element might now work. I found an incredibly well priced one from Aidan Gray. Even though I had to change the gold finish to a silvery champagne with Rub N’ Buff, I decided it was worth the risk.

changing the finish on a chandelier

I liked the airiness of this design so much that I am now carrying it in my shop! Only one left though… any takers?! A fun side note – at night, the fixture throws a wonderful pattern on the ceiling. I feel like I have a new ceiling treatment now!

Matt Camron living room rug with pink tones

The rug, purchased years ago from Matt Camron, had always been the inspiration for the room’s color choices. This time, I wanted to pull some of the blush pinks!

a great chair I found at an estate sale

I found these chairs at an antique shop and originally was going to use them in my dining room.  At $75 each, it was worth the investment to refinish and recover them.
refurbished chair in pink mohair

I found the most perfect shade with a John Saladino mohair, at the Ken Kehoe Showroom. John’s colors are as beautiful as his rooms!! Ordering a bit too much yardage, I used the extra on the interior of the sofa and two chairs.

the before pic of Leslie's settee

The French settee from Joyce Horn Antiques, was previously covered in two different fabrics. The inside and outside back was covered in a taupe velvet, the bottom cushion a French blue with bolsters and pillows lining the back.

the after pic of the recovered settee

I left the outside back the same, but covered the inside back and bottom cushion and placed newly made sofa cushions as the back. A simple, long B. Viz Design pillow from the Segreto Boutique rests in the middle. (NOTE:The fabric looks much pinker in the photos!!!)

tweaking my living room - drapery treatment

I thought about changing the blue silk drapes to a champagne-toned wool or cotton-silk. After getting countless cuttings, none of which matched the samples I pulled (so frustrating!), I decided to keep what I had but alter them. Years ago, I had hung them with tie backs from Pottery Barn. Inexpensive and quick, I still liked the way they look.

new Cowtan and Tout trim on drapes

So I raised them to the ceiling, cut off the puddle and changed the trim to one from Cowtan & Tout!!! I think they will last another 12 years!!

tiny Lucite side tables

I’m currently obsessed with Lucite, so the new living room look gave me the perfect opportunity to add some!!! I found this console and two side tables from Lam Bespoke. Reasonably priced, they were the perfect scale just to set a drink on!!!

Lucite console with blush pink chairs

On the console, I added a lamp made from an antique American wallpaper press and a few of my grandmother’s hats. Dear to my heart – a little of her in every room just makes me smile! I am thinking about hanging this graphite sketch which use to hang in my entrance hall above… Thoughts?

bird bath coffee table

Sticking with the theme of the existing coffee table which was made from a French bird bath, I accessorized it with a Lucite base and some Lalique birds I found at an estate sale.

Fortuny fabric chairSegreto Designs fabric options to recover chair

To change or not to change? I still love the Fortuny fabric that I had used to recover this chair years before, but I am wondering if this oyster velvet with a hand-painted design in champagne tones from my new fabric line would be a better choice.  What do you think?!

Leslie Sinclair living room vignette

I created a small vignette using a chair, which was formerly in the main seating area, an antique pillow from the couch, a sconce that used to hang in my powder bath, and a furniture piece storing oyster plates! The pillow is from Dot & Dana  and the rest from Joyce Horn Antiques!

Leslie Sinclair tweaked living room

I hope you like the changes to my living room!!!

Leslie Sinclair new living room

Thank you to Dave Shilling from Atlanta for taking the before shots years ago and to Julie Soefer for taking the recent after shots!! I know you can tell the deference from when I take the photos.

( I’m working on becoming a better photographer!!!)

I need your help!!  Spread the word to anyone you may know in Dallas!!  Join me at The Mews  this Thursday where I am giving a talk on fabrics and finishes and a book signing!

Leslie Sinclair Talking Fabrics at The Mews in Dallas

I’m heading to Dallas for a special event at The Mews, introducing the new Segreto Designs fabric collection from Coleman Taylor Textiles. If you’ll be in the area, I’d love to see you at the talk or the book signing or both!!! Till next week! I hope everyone has a good one!!

signature-dust blue

  • sharman keister
    Posted at 06:02h, 30 November Reply

    I LOVE it. Beautiful. Does Segreto have a fabric line now? I’m curious about a certain one.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:44h, 30 November Reply

      Hi Sharman! Yes I designed a line for Coleman Taylor Textiles. Which one do you have questions on? In Houston They are shown at Ken Kehoe Here is a contact there or what can I answer for you?

  • Courtnay
    Posted at 06:51h, 30 November Reply

    You had me at pink mohair! Fabulous!!!!!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:40h, 30 November Reply

      Hope you had a wonderful holiday sweet friend!! xo I love pink!!

  • Cathy Zimmermann
    Posted at 07:14h, 30 November Reply

    Hello Leslie,
    I love your new changes! I am new to painting furniture, but would like to experiment on some pieces that I bought.
    How did you thin the paint from your paneling base coat? Do you do that with turpentine?

    Also, I love the trim from Coutan and Tout! I purchased some wide trim to add to my dining room curtains. Would you mind telling me where I can get the trim sewed on? I really don’t like to sew.

    I too love lucite, but haven’t purchased any pieces yet.
    Thank you,

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:40h, 30 November Reply

      Hi Cathy!! I thin it down with paint thinner and glazing liquid. Any upholsterer or someone who makes draperies can sew the trim on for you. Good luck to you!!! xo

  • Teddee Grace
    Posted at 08:02h, 30 November Reply

    I know in your line of work you need to “keep up the times,” but I sure liked the original! I’m having difficulty converting to this newer, cleaner look and architectural elements. Palomino yellow is still my favorite color

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:05h, 01 December Reply

      I totally understand! I have been struggling with it myself! What to change what to keep!! How to use what I have! How to stay true to myself and not just what the trends are!! It has been fun though! Have a great holiday nad thanks so much for following!! xo

    • Alice
      Posted at 07:50h, 28 December Reply

      The light fixture looks like 1980.

      • Leslie Sinclair
        Posted at 08:21h, 28 December Reply

        Hi Alice! Its funny house things come back around!!! I am saving the french fixture I have because I know I will put it back up one day! Best to you!!

  • Gina
    Posted at 08:35h, 30 November Reply

    Very pretty. Love how you were able to use what you had but change it a bit to make it look fresh.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:03h, 01 December Reply

      Hi Gina!! Thanks so much! I do like the softer look and that it really has more color than before!! Have a great week!!! xo

  • michele@hellolovelystudio
    Posted at 10:29h, 30 November Reply

    oh leslie! what is not to love about this makeover? my favorite aspect is that your talented hands touched almost every surface with love, creating something fresh and new. the blush pink? truly genius with those quieter champagne silvery surroundings. i love the etching above the console–yes, to me it works! i also love the newly plastered ceilings and can imagine gazing upward and creatively daydreaming with the calmer field. i am so thankful that you point out the details in your design (i.e. the PB tieback situation on drapes) so we can benefit from all your experience–wish i could learn more at your talk on thursday night–knock em dead, mama, and peace to you, lovely maker.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:03h, 01 December Reply

      You are so cute and I am loving your makeover as well! I need your well wishes on Thursday! I am nervous!!! xo and happy holidays!!!

  • Sandy Lewis
    Posted at 10:44h, 30 November Reply

    Hi Leslie!

    Would you consider posting pics of your entire house as renovated/updated inside and out in one post? Perhaps you have done this already and I missed it. If not, would love to see it all together!
    Thank you,

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:01h, 01 December Reply

      Hi Sandy! I need to do that when it is all done!With the floors being flooded I am back to square one in some areas! Yikes!!!

  • Karena
    Posted at 12:04h, 30 November Reply

    So soft serene and inviting, I love it all Leslie. So proud of all you are accomplishing!
    You are the best, girlfriend!!

    The Arts by Karena
    India Hicks Holiday Collection

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:01h, 01 December Reply

      so excited about your new job!! I can’t wait to see!! Have great week! xo

  • Danni Stewart
    Posted at 16:42h, 30 November Reply

    Love the silver edging!!!!!
    And Love the pink mohair!!!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 07:00h, 01 December Reply

      Thanks so much! Two of my favorites as well! Have a happy Holiday Season! xo

  • Rié | Portobello Design Blog
    Posted at 02:20h, 01 December Reply

    All I can say is SIGH! Love the pale metallic finish, and the blush French settee and B. Viz pillow… the room is lovely! You must be so pleased! xx Rié

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:59h, 01 December Reply

      Hi Miss Rie!! I will be so happy when all is complete–so many little things go into it! I am glad you like! Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!

    Posted at 11:40h, 01 December Reply

    Nicely done!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:48h, 07 December Reply

      You are so sweet!! It like I see you every week! You are so lucky to hve Ellie moving in across the street! What a fun neighbor!!

  • Sharon
    Posted at 13:39h, 01 December Reply

    It looks beautiful, Leslie! Well done! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. All the best Sharon xx

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:47h, 07 December Reply

      So fun to hear from you!! Thank you !! I can’t believe how close it is!!! xo

  • Taylor Greenwalt
    Posted at 12:30h, 03 December Reply

    Your home looks beautiful!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:46h, 07 December Reply

      Thank you!! One step forward one step back!!!

  • Mary
    Posted at 12:43h, 05 December Reply

    Hi Leslie,
    It is just beautiful. Much cleaner colors than the previous incarnation. Would you tell your readers where you found the lucite curtain rods, if that’s what they are?

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:46h, 07 December Reply

      The rings in the living room are iron tiebacks but int he dining room they are Lucite from Lux holdups on etsy!

  • Jennifer Robertson
    Posted at 22:14h, 01 January Reply

    My husband is going to be so mad at me when I come home with a sample of Silverpointe tomorrow. I have about 50+bluish grayish greenish paint samples in my quest to find the perfect color. I love your redo! It was beautiful before but I understand that urge to change things up. I think it’s just perfect.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 08:35h, 02 January Reply

      Let me know if you like it!! It is one of my fav’s!!! Happy New Year!!!

  • Allison Nisbet
    Posted at 07:45h, 29 October Reply

    Hi Leslie!

    I absolutely love reading your blog and was looking back at a few older posts. I was sad to find that most of the pictures have disappeared from this one. Are ya’ll able to fix this? I am so curious to see them again now that I am in the process of creating a new home.
    Allison Nisbet

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 09:30h, 29 October Reply

      Hi Allison!! I know and am so sad about it–I am working slowly to recreate them. It will take me a while! Frustrating for all. Thank yo so much for being such a loyal part of our family!! xo

Leave A Comment