A Livable Home My Way | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Often I study consumer behavior statistics to get to know changes in my market. Some studies say that women are the primary decision makers in almost 90% of all home purchases. In all my projects this statistic has been correct, unless I dealt with single men. In my homeland Italy, we have a saying that goes like this:
“I am the boss, but the person who bosses me around and makes decisions is my wife”.

In my career as a designer, I made many observations on how today’s homes often don’t reflect people’s needs. Generally, the square as shoebox is the most common shape for homes (round shapes are difficult and costly). The shoebox homes have large rooms to fill with stuff and possessions, high ceilings to waste a lot of space and very little attention devoted to the spirit.

If I were a builder, I would pay more attention to people’s living habits. I would make the necessary adjustments to the concept plans to make sure the home has harmony and beauty first, then comfort. Coming home from work should be a pleasant experience, even when we have a lot of chores waiting to get done.

In all my years in design business, I have observed how people enter their homes. The front door is beautifully decorated, but they hardly see it.  Home owners reserve to themselves the ugliest part of the house to enter from: the garage, where a pile of laundry, cars,  stuff and all the mess will greet them everyday. They reserve the best for the guests: the front door.
During the year, I make a round of visits to my clients’ homes and leave a small token at the door if they are not there. Then, I will call to let them know I was at the house and left a package at their front step, otherwise they will never see it. What is the point of making a surprise visit if I have to tell them to open the front door and pick up my small token? The phone call spoils the surprise.

ValComic1
One day, I thought if I were a builder, I would design the house with a back door foyer, where  one door would lead to a mudroom/garage and one door would lead to the kitchen. In the back door foyer, I would create a drop zone for the mail, keys and charging area for phones and electronics, that way all that stuff will not end up on the kitchen counter.

The list of areas I don’t like in a modern home is very long. I have spotted a point of disadvantage in all the closets in American homes. They have no window and being positioned just in or outside bathrooms, it’s only natural that clothes smell musty, molded and old. One more thing, people who live with pets, wears the smell of their pets on their clothes. Think about it, just an operable skylight will suffice to get rid of  house and pets smells.  I get up in the morning and open my bedroom to let fresh air in.  I would do it even if I lived in a cold climate.  A few minutes of fresh air don’t hurt anyone, it helps  clothes smelling fresh and keeps the house healthy.
VAlComic2
If I were a builder, I would add a window in all the closets. I would move the linen closet outside the bathroom and find a way to circulate fresh air into it, if there was no possible way to add at least a window.

MahoganyLinenCloset

How about hosting dinner parties and entertainment? I remember a different functionality in European kitchens. We had a small area off the kitchen, closed with a door, where food preparation and cooking took place, we called it the hot kitchen, where there was the essential, a chopping table, a  sink, the garbage  and the refrigerator, the rest of the kitchen cabinets, storage and small appliances were in the better part of the kitchen.  As soon as food was ready, we brought the plates to the table in the better part of the kitchen used for everyday informal eating. This same area was also the place where we had a cup of coffee with close friends, we paid bills, kids often did their homework and we mingled with family. Formal dining room was close to the kitchen, but not close to the hot kitchen, just so the cooking smells would stay away from the formal area. Outside the hot kitchen, we had the spice garden for our cooking needs.

Il Lauro

(Photo: Il Lauro, Italy)

If I were a builder, I would return to the European way of planning the kitchen for real cooks. For people who don’t cook but spend a bundle of money in remodeling the kitchen just to have a good resale value, I suggest to save that money and go on a fantastic trip. People who use microwave to reheating store-bought food don’t need to have a fancy kitchen. Any house will sell for various reasons, not because there is a fancy kitchen in it.

If I were a builder, I would pay attention to open spaces, dual-purpose stairs, I would turn a non-utilized spaces into workable zones and I would pay attention to creative details to build a livable home my way that would embrace soul, mind and body of everyone living in the house.
******

As seen on Affluent Living: 

*****

Remember to tell me your story, I will design your dream. Come one over to Facebook, let’s start a new friendship there too. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
ValHatCelesteStampValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors. Get your copy through
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Advertisements

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Green Door Hospitality
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 17:14:40

    All excellent points!! We have been working on designing our dream home that we would love to have built in the next ten years if the money is there. And we are actually designing it to be much more similar to older European homes than American homes! (For many of the reasons you stated!!)
    Kenley 🙂

    Like

    Reply

    • Valentina
      Sep 11, 2013 @ 17:40:46

      Kenley, the house should function for the people who live in, not because the market dictates certain living arrangements. If you need any help in the concept drawings of your home, I am here. I help people planning their spaces that will change their lives. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

      Reply

  2. john mandola
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 10:26:48

    Good blog, really nice information shared.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Wefixandcare
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 11:11:03

    Very Nice & interesting Blog…

    Like

    Reply

  4. Trèsors De Luxe { tresorsdeluxe }
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 05:33:15

    Valentina, we couldn’t agree with you more! The European way of planning the kitchen for real cooks deserves the space they require to move about and do what they do. If you’re idea of cooking is the microwave, spend your money elsewhere than on a fancy kitchen. Cheers! XO Trèsors De Luxe http://www.tresorsdeluxe.wordpress.com

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

MAGNO

"La flamme des cuisines."

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story"

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

The Love of History

Another site/blog for loving history

La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Life is too short to drink bad wine

Badfish and Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

daysandmonths

a journey of discovery with my camera...

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Chasing Destino

I'll be outside of the mosh pit . . . waiting with bandaids and kleenex . . . I can also work magic with an ace bandage. Just sayin' . . .

this man's journey

Each journey has a story to tell. Each story has the possibility to bring about change, hope, joy, comfort, healing.

LEANNE COLE Photography

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Through Harold's Lens

Harold Green Photography

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

The Punchy Lands!

Embrace Your PUNCHY Nature

In Bruttium

Uncovering Calabria & The Mezzogiorno, One Toe At A Time. | By Adam Underhill

Design Secrets

fulfill your craving for a beautiful home

Decorating by Donna • Color Expert

A Virtual Color Expert who is highly specialized in designing color for your home.

Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

DEAR HUMAN

These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.

Tanamannya

Tanaman, Alam Semulajadi Dan Yang Berkaitan

Architecture, Design & Innovation

Construction Industry News & Views

Critique Collective

Critique Collective is your source for information and interviews about emerging and established contemporary artists.

The Dragon Blog

Fantasy Author Raani York's voice

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

Zeebra Designs & Destinations

An Artist's Eyes Never Rest

2me4art

amy begun saab ~life as i see it. a Vermonter deeply entrenched in Alabama dirt...so i planted flowers.

I see beauty all around by rob paine

Pro Photographer Rob Paine's (of DeepCreekImages.com) stories behind his photos along with helpful photo tips

%d bloggers like this: