Artisan and Craftsman

Jan 232015

The influence of Grey and Beige “Greige” is very prevalent in Leslie Sinclair’s new book “Segreto Style”.  There are innumerable mixtures of gray and beige,  greige,  with soft pastel shades that Leslie and her team of talented artists use to transform interiors using plaster, paint, glazes, metal leaf and the artistry which has made them a premier finish design firm.   Here is my review of Leslie’s first book, Segreto Secrets of Finishing Beautiful Interiors.  

There are 39 amazing residences shown in Segreto Style showcasing the work of a team of very talented interior designers, architects, builders, craftspeople and artists.  The focus of my review and the images Leslie provided me for this blog is to talk about the finishes.  The walls, ceiling and trim are the major players in the success of the spaces.  There are some great before and after pictures which demonstrate the power of the color palette and finishes like this study.  I love the effect the addition of wall panels added to the room.  Many of the homes use reclaimed wood.  The beams and the great finish add a lot to the character of this space.   As I read the book I knew my impression of the power of the finishes would be the subject of my blog.

Segreto Style before and after

This kitchen is another great before and after. Cabinet refinishing and plaster have really transformed this space.

segreto style

More beautiful cabinet refinishing with artistry to the panels.  Love the pewter countertop.  The finishes tie everything together.

segreto style


Wonderful mural is perfect with the reclaimed doors from Chateau Dominque and antique chests from Carl Moore Antiques.

segreto style

Perfect touch of artistry on the hood in this kitchen as well as handsome palette for the island and kitchen cabinets.

segreto style

Painted mural on gold leaf.

segreto style


Terrific plaster ceiling with just the right touch of gold.  Plaster moldings from American Masonry Supply.  Railing designed by Sheila Lyon Interiors Inc. and fabricated by Metal Railing of American, Inc.

segreto style

Love the faux finish on these iron closet doors which were converted into wine cellars.

segreto style

Love the cabinet finish.

segreto style

This French-style paneling and molding started with raw wood, textured primer was applied for an aged look and glazed to bring out the details, silver leafed and and stained to tone the bright silver to champagne.  The plaster was applied to walls and ceiling.

segreto style

This is just a peak at the beautiful work in Segreto Style.  One of my favorite homes is a renovation started in 2007 of a French Chateau designed in the 1930s by architect, John F. Staub.  The designer Kara Childress along with a great team is doing a spectacular job.  Purchasing items from around the world such as a chandelier that once belonged to Napoleon III and  restored sixteenth-century ceiling panels that originally hung in a villa new Parma, Italy.

Leslie Sinclair and her talented staff of artists.

Leslie Sinclair


More greige color palettes for inspiration.

greige colors

So soft and pretty with beautiful door panels.

greige nursery

Greige compliments just about any color.

greige with lavender

greige color paletee with teal

greige color palette

greige with gold

greige with teal

Wonderful with powder blue.

greige with powder blue

greige color palette

greige with pink

greige color palette

greige color palette

greige color palette

beaux-artes Florentine Recessed Light Trim

Beaux-Artes Florentine Recessed Light Trim would look great in this greige kitchen as well.

greige color palette

monochromatic color palette

The color of ornament.

color of plaster

greige color palette


Greige with gold

monochromatic living room






 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 1:24 pm Artisan and Craftsman, Interior Design No Responses »
Sep 222014

Rizzoli has just published a new book  Americans in Paris on the Ecole des Beaux Arts which was responsible for the beautiful architecture of our young country that we refer to as the Gilded Age .   This book presents a comprehensive overview of the seminal early work of a century of American architects who studied at the famous school before going on to design and build many of the nation’s most important buildings and monuments.

Book cover

“The first American to be accepted to the École, in 1846, Richard Morris Hunt (the brain behind the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and the fabled Breakers estate in Newport, Rhode Island) led a line of students that included Guy Lowell (architect of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts), Julia Morgan (the school’s first woman and the designer of Hearst Castle), Charles McKim (of legendary firm McKim, Mead & White, whose creations include New York’s original Penn Station and the Morgan Library), and John Russell Pope (best known for the Jefferson Memorial and the National Archives in Washington).”

George Howe Post Office rendering

Here are some of those important buildings along with a collection of mansions from the Gilded Age.

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers Exterior

The Breakers interior

breakers interior

The Breakers Dining Room

Boston Museum of Fine Art

Boston Museum of Fine Art exterior

Boston Museum of Fine Art interior

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Art interior gallery

Hearst Castle

HEarst Castle

Hearst Castle Entrance

Hearst Castle Tower

Hearst Castle

An iconic pool.

Hearst Castle Pool

Today’s icon Lady Gaga chose the Hearst Castle indoor pool for her video location.

Lady Gaga Hearst Castle Indoor Pool

Love that we have such magnificent places combining architecture, decorative arts and sculpture.

Hearst Castle Roman Indoor Pool

Hearst Castle Great Room

Morgan Library

Morgan Library Rencering

Morgan Library Exterior

Great sculpture.

Morgan Library Lions

Morgan Library

Morgan Library

Morgan Library Ceiling

Morgan Library Ceiling

Morgan Library


Continue reading »

 September 22, 2014  Posted by at 5:41 pm Architecture, Art, Artisan and Craftsman, Interior Design No Responses »
Sep 022014

My last Blog on Best Dressed Walls focused on period walls. Ever since I have had an eye out for beautiful walls created for today’s classical lifestyle.  I would love to credit this magnificent work.  If anyone knows please send it to me.

wall mural

Timothy Corrigan

Tented room with colorful fabric

classical library designed by timothy corrigan

Classical walls have so many possibilities.  Using molding to create a grid, panels and symmetrical designs are the beginning of turning the modern intrusion,  drywall, into beautiful walls.  

Mr. Corrigan used mirrors with a lovely patina, great moulding in this elegant hallway.

patina mirror paneled hallway

This is so special.

fretwork panels

Vintage Best Dressed Walls – Villa Perosa, The Chinese Gallery, Architectural Digest September 2014

Chinese Gallery - Villar Perosa

Majolica Plaques ornament the walls of the Dining Room in the Villar Perosa Estate

majolica plaques ornament dining room walls

painted panels

coffered effect on the walls

Plain drywall with a lovely collection of framed images.  I would go further and add panels which I would then organize the collection in.

drywall with framed prints

panels with artwork

wall grid with panel moulding


Alidad Embossed leather





Venice Luxury Hotel, Gritti Palace

Gritti Palace Panels

Gritti Palace Panels

gritti palace paneled guest room

Love the color palette.

Gritti Palace wall panels

The Gritti Palace used very similar styles for the panels in the guest rooms with different color palettes.

Gritti Palace

wall panels and mirror

wall panels with lovely faux finish

blue and white porcelain