Designer Q&A: Leslie Sinclair of Segreto Finishes

After enjoying a successful career in corporate sales, Leslie Sinclair followed her passion for architecture and interior design by launching Segreto Finishes, a premier finish design firm based in Houston, Texas.

Over the past 22 years, she has expanded her portfolio to include books, furniture, and countless design projects. We sat down with Leslie to chat about her work, her newest title, Segreto Vignettes, and her innovative SegretoStone plaster product.

SH: Tell us more about Segreto Finishes. What led you to the finishes niche?

Leslie Sinclair (LS): I launched Segreto Finishes in 1995. The company combines all my passions—architecture, interior design, art, people, and business—into my idea of the perfect job. Twenty-two years later, with a staff of 40 artisans, it has become a premier finish design firm.

By mixing paints and plasters, conceiving new cabinetry finishes, and devising architecturally interesting ceiling designs, our company creates a flow inside each interior, enhancing the home’s architecture and the homeowner’s personal style.

SH: Tell us about your books

After clients asked to purchase my portfolio books for their ideas, I decided to self-publish a book. At 300 pages, Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors was quite a venture! (I went on to publish two more books: Segreto Style and the newly released Segreto Vignettes.)

This book isn’t just about finishes. It touts examples from the many wonderful designers, builders, architects, and tradespeople I have been honored to work with. I believe it takes an army to design a beautiful space, and it gives me great joy to recognize all the talent that contributes to the finished product.

SH: How has the finishings industry—and your company specifically—changed since 1995?

I feel that Segreto’ s techniques and “look” have totally changed the finishing industry. The world of decorative painting and plastering is limitless, ever-changing, and richly complex. Finishes for walls, ceilings, floors, and cabinetry are crucial to the embodiment of a home’s character.

Recently, Segreto began a furniture line made from plaster. Our newest product, SegretoStone, is being installed in kitchens and baths as countertops and is being used for our new line of custom sinks. The product, made from plaster, is hand-poured and polished, giving a natural, breathable appearance. Its luster complements traditional, transitional, European, and contemporary aesthetics.

We also are plastering showers for a seamless look. We have been installing these for about six years. When I remodeled my bathroom three years ago, I used it and have loved the clean aesthetic it creates.

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