Functional Shapes | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Baby boomers are downsizing, unmarried young adults can’t afford a large home and most often live in small apartments, space, today is a prime commodity. Manufacturers have understood this changing society decades ago and have made space-saving furniture, which are not only functional, but are also attractive and whimsical.

Decorating is all about finding the right ornamentation that will offer a comfortable living without sacrificing beauty and function even when one needs to downsize, transition in a new life or moving around from city to city. All my clients need a lot of storage in their furniture, coffee tables and side tables are a few of those items that must have a double function. Sometimes I can design and custom-built some pieces of furniture, sometimes it is simpler to find them in stores and some other times, furniture must be movable. I get to discover so many funky and useful items which meet my clients’ needs and personality.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

This wine barrel-style side table with leather top is big enough to function even as coffee table.

Drum table – Wisteria

I incorporated this drum table in the conversation corner of colorful family room design.

Spool side table with storage

Spool Side Table with Storage – Ballard

I have used the spool table in a colorful living room, between the love seat and a wing chair by the fireplace. A retro 1950s golden lamp sits on it.

Napa style wine crate coffee table. When open, it holds many bottles of wine, wine glasses, a few dessert/appetizers plates and has even a small drawer for cocktail napkins, when it is closed functions as a coffe table.

Napa Style – Wine Crate Coffee Table

The Napa style wine crate coffee table is here between the custom built-in media unit and the sofa. It will serve as a dining table for the small kids of this house and will hold wines and spirits for the adults.


Custom Designed and Built Media Unit – ©Valentina Interiors & Designs


Vaughn Nesting Tables – Wayfair

Vaughn Nesting Tables – Wayfair


The nesting tables are in this home office next to the Kilim chair under the Japanese rice paper lamp in a very eclectic room décor.


This end table is pretty funky with three drawers going in different directions and a clock printed on the front. It will be included in a retro 1950s décor.


Mixen end table – Wisteria


This end table stores bottles of wine and wine glasses, or books and magazines.

Heritage End Table With Storage – Wayfair


This is not all. We can choose from tables that can be larger when needed, sofa that become day bed, ottomans with storage, retractable shelves, revolving cabinet units and so much more. Transitioning in a new space, or a new life is all about prioritizing what is really important to keep or to get rid of, the rest is about creating a pleasing functional life in smaller places and still have an organized harmony. Ciao.


Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola transforms and creates spaces realizing people’s dreams in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She infuses your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Valentina is well-known for bringing originality on any project and for thinking outside the box. Her interiors are not made with cookie cutters, only follow client’s inspiration, lifestyle and personality. She offers on-line design consultations through Skype and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge anywhere in the world.  She is the author of three books, all-available on



Be Careful Where You Put It | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Oh, look at this giant flower!
I fell in love with this unusual winter skirt because the flower design is thoughtfully positioned on the side and because of its bright cheerful color. This, will cheer up those few grey days we have in California.

Imagine if the giant flower was designed to cover the derrière of a woman, it wouldn’t be as appealing as it is on the side. Asymmetrical designs are interesting and please the eyes, they also say you are a type who likes challenges and translate your character as being unconventional.

I don’t want to take anything away from the skirt design, thus I decided to go with black only as the main color for the outfit. However, I want to keep the outerwear toned down. To finish this outfit, I have a couple of solutions:
1. white or black overcoat/duster in the same length of the skirt,
2. a white/black short ecological fluffy fur jacket.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Here it is a more spirited  bold garment. There will be always someone who would put on whatever strikes his/her fancy without asking if a garment will enhance or kill the figure.
I saw this striking leggings (below) outside a hippy store in San Francisco, where young and young at heart “flower children” still buy their tie-die clothes, 1968s style. Do you really want this design in prominent view on your derrière? Apparently some people do.


At times I find things I like. They look good in store, I bring them home, look at them under a different light, I match them with the items I have, then they change my feeling and suddenly I am totally displeased. It was the case of this black skirt. Ruffles on a skirt are sassy when they are at the bottom of a pencil skirt marking the voluptuousness of a female body and adding movement to each step, but on an “A” line skirt such as this one, ruffles make a person look frumpy. I purchased it anyway, because I had a vision.

I gathered the fabric in the front of the skirt and closed it with a bobby pin, on to which I attach, or hag things. For an evening look, I attach a dark flower or a chunky brooch and for a day time look, I attach a brighter flower, fringes, tassels, or whatever looks interesting. Accessorizing this extravagant skirt takes fantasy. Detour the attention from the large flower to other parts of the body, wear gloves, pantyhose, or a hat. Needless to say, it will catch people’s attention no matter what. Are you ready to be seen and observed? Ciao.
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services


Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear.
To better help people all over the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on


Asparagus Elegance | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Some people eat asparagus with hands, as if they were finger food, a few properly cut asparagus with fork and knives, and a hand full of people know the existence of a special tool to eat asparagus with elegance. It is the asparagus tongue, with three rings comfortably positioned to insert fingers, pick up the asparagus from the plate and bring them the mouth one by one.
I adore this tool, it is elegant and a piece of conversation on the table. My set is silver and comes from Italy, but Amazon sells the stainless-steel version, practical and at a very inexpensive price. Why not taking advantage?

(Click on each photo to view it larger)


One person said that she has always eaten asparagus with the hands, why bothered with another kitchen tool? Sure, anything is possible. In fact, in Barcelona, I saw a woman sitting at a counter of a tapas bar eating her entire tapas dinner with the hands. It wasn’t a spectacle I liked to watch, but hey, I was observing and couldn’t help writing a travel note of that.
Since the invention of the fork, a gentler, cleaner way of eating became customary and people stopped knife stabbing their food morsels to bring them to the mouth with the tip of the knife.

However, it seems to me we have gone back to eating casually with the hands. At parties and meetings, we are served finger food because they are convenient. Most people eat French fries with hands, pick up shrimps with the hands to dip in Marinara sauce, touch chips and dips with hands, eat short ribs and fried chicken with hands, grab crackers from the pile to add a piece of cheese on them, strawberries and grapes are always near the cheeses ready to be picked up with the hands and with a plethora of sandwiches variety who needs fork and knife? Some people would say.  This is what I call the returning of historical courses.

The role of a designer doesn’t stop at placing new furniture in the room, slapping colors on the walls, selecting fabrics, or moving walls to enlarge a kitchen. We claim to bring harmony and beauty in people’s life, I believe the role of a designer is to inform and to introduce new elegance even in customs and societal behavior. What is an elegant designed home without a person showing an elegant behavior? Ciao,

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

It’s my hope that through my writing and my stories I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style and inspiring you to live in beauty. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion designer since 1990.

I am here ready to offer consultations on-line if you need. Check out my latest book on the subject of colors ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors

I Am Not A Vegetarian And Yet….| Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Food is part of my color scheme of life. I cannot live without colorful and flavorful food presented well, even if I am eating alone. Eyes want to see beautiful things to send a message of happiness to the brain. It doesn’t take much efforts to do something special for ourselves.  I am not a vegetarian and yet my every day food seem to reflect that style of eating. As soon as I was weaned, my parents taught me to eat everything without distinction and to waste no food. That concept has been good and alive in my life, every where I lived in the world.  I have discovered that in countries different from mine, people eat the same vegetable, often prepared the same way, but, also, I have discovered new vegetables, new flavour and new ways of cooking vegetables. My repertoire of earthy food is getting so big, I don’t have enough days in a year to cook them all. For the moment, enjoy these three simple and so tasty recipes from my kitchen as much as I enjoy them.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

A sandwich to die for –  Grilled Zucchini and Italian Prosciutto.
Thinly slice zucchini, align them on a parchment paper over a baking sheet.
On each zucchini slice, add finely chopped garlic and ginger, Parmigiano cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper and bread crumbs.
Bake at 400 F. until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Brush a small amount of olive oil on each bread slices and grill them (I made my country-style bread).
Assemble the sandwich with Italian prosciutto. I did not add anything else, it is tasty enough as is.

Grilled Zucchini and Italian Prosciutto di Parma Sandwich

What do you say about a plate of oyster mushroom? 
I adore this dish, whether it is made for a healthy lunch, with a piece of bread and a glass of red wine, or as a side dish to go with an entrée of meat or fish.
Brush off impurities from the mushroom, or cut them off (if you wash mushrooms in water, they will exude water in the cooking).
Finely chopped garlic and chili pepper, if you like it, briefly sauté in olive oil, then add mushroom and continue to sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add chopped Italian parsley to finish. It is a real delicacy!


Oyster Mushrooms Sautéed in Olive Oil and Garlic

Do you have mozzarella?
In Italy we call this sandwich “Mozzarella In Carrozza” translated is Mozzarella In A Chariot.
Beat some eggs, depending on how many sandwiches you are making. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
Warm up an iron skillet brushed with some olive oil, or butter.
Slice mozzarella in thin pieces.
Dip each side of the sliced bread in the eggs. Lay on the hot pan, each slice of bread one at a time, then mozzarella slices on top, close the sandwich with the top bread slices also dipped in the eggs. With a spatula push down gently on the sandwich to allow mozzarella to stick to the bread.
Brown one side of the sandwiches until crisp, carefully turned with the spatula, brown and crisp the other side.

Mozzarella In Carrozza

There you have it, three simple lunches, easy, inexpensive, healthy and tasty, that you will want to repeat often. This kind of food is only found in Italian homes, not in restaurants.
During trips to my native region of Puglia, Italy, my guests will taste food with a flavour of simplicity and antiquity, such as these. Ciao,

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of says:
“Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on

My Blood Moon Palette | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

The cosmos was so exciting this week. A rare Super Blue Blood Moon happened, an event that has not occurred since 1866. Apparently it was a fantastic combination of the Moon coming close to Earth, making herself appearing 17 percent larger than usual, then passed through the Earth shadow, which made the Moon appeared red. It was also a full Moon twice in one month. An exceptional feast in the cosmos!
This event coincided with a total lunar eclipse and I missed it. Clouds and fog covered the reddish tint of the Moon.
Reading about this event, I learned that temperature went up to 200 F and fell below 200 F.

I wonder if people felt influenced by the movement of this powerful moon, if their emotions went on a roller coaster, or if many babies will be born this year.

I imagined a variety of reddish colors the Moon changed into as she went through the Earth shadow and that intrigued my fantasy. I was curious to see how an outfit would look in the colors of the Super Blue Blood Moon. From many photos I saw of different photographers, I picked up hues of grey, taupe, mustard, golden beige, dark red, rosy and Bordeaux.
(Click on the photo to view it larger).

My Blood Moon palette was born in my closet. It feels strong and comfortable, warm and creative. The large silky scarf, with a wavy pattern, wraps it all harmoniously and calme it down. I will wear this and I can say to be part of this beautiful Universe in motion. Ciao,

Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear.
To better help people all over the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on

Variations | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Art, food and street life are the three things I want to explore when I travel. They are three variations of expressions of people and their culture I want to learn.

In a few TV cooking shows, I learned about Barcelona La Boqueria Market, I could not wait to go down Las Ramblas to visit this open market as soon as I arrived in Barcelona.  I was hit with a profusion of colors, aromas and flavors to which was hard to resist. Inside La Boqueria market, I spent a few hours ” A Ramblear” as locals would say, getting lost in food heaven, looking, learning, tasting and taking photos. It is an open street market, covered with a hard canopy, sun or rain don’t seem to bother people or activities and the variations of one or another are so interesting.

Everything I had heard about La Boqueria market was true. Colors and flavors were so vibrant and inviting I didn’t want to leave. Many curiosity filled my eyes and my camera, picture after picture flowed like water in a river and I also tasted an incredible amount of food. The Jamon Ibérico with a flavor of juniper berry was delicious, hoof or no hoof, and I really enjoyed the various ice creams with a chili pepper kick mixed in with the flavor of the ice cream. What a treat !!!

The choice of tapas variations prepared at all the bars was infinite, the aromas were irresistible, try eggs and  cuttlefish, of my, what a variation on the egg dish! The wine……that’s another story, as a tourists drinking at hours normally not conceived for drinking,  was so liberating. At La Boqueria I felt at ease, regardless of all the noises, people are friendly. I speak Spanish and that helps enjoying the market in its fullest.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


Above: Dry peppers of many colors and heat spice up the area.

Above: Xorico Sauces in many colors, flavors and texture.

Above: Sangria in bulls, in flamenco dancers and in toreadors shaped bottles.


Above: Jamon Bellota with a hoof on a Jamonero ham holder, a typic gadget of Spain.

Above: Jamon Ibérico with pata negra (black hoof).

Life is full of variations, explore them and don’t be afraid to try something awkward. Ciao.

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, her native land, Valentina’s intention is to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. She wants to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism.  Through stories of local customs, art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, she wants them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out her books on


Say It With Colors | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Say It With Colors, is the TV show I conducted last week  by myself in front of a live audience. The show is about presenting the fresh, unusual color combinations we can do this years with Ultra Violet color, a bold and very powerful color of 2018 .
(Click on each photo to view it larger)

Entry Scene: “Say It With Colors” TV Show – Valentina Design Universe

(Above: Photo taken in the studio by Tyler Wiest)

Questions from the audience were interesting. Time always feels very short, in only 30 minutes show, I could not answer all the questions, but I will elaborate them here:

What is the most attractive color to the human eye?
I would say that red, green, yellow and gold are attractive to the human eye.
Red is the color of the heart pumping red blood. It is the color of passion and love. Products on sale always have a red tag and we feel the urge to buy them while discount lasts. It’s the color of impulse buying and the color of those who take action. In fact, when selling a house, an entry door painted red and some red accessories scattered around the rooms will help selling the house faster.
Green is a peaceful color of nature and everyone feel at ease.
Yellow is the powerful energy of the sun and gold is the powerful energy of wealth.

Modelo Paint Finish

(Above: accent wall Red Modelo paint finish by Douglas Greenberg)

What color is the sexiest?
It is hard to answer to this question without thinking of a nation and its culture. Not all colors have the same meaning in all the cultures. For example, in European countries black is associated with death and funerals, white in China is used for death and funerals, but in Brazil purple is the color for death and funerals. Funny, how three different colors means the same thing in three different continents.

What color looks best with cream?
Cream color alone, to me, is a very boring color, for some people is a calming color. The eyes need light and shadow to feel rested. If a room or the entire home is cream color without any other accent colors, the eyes will wonder constantly and soon will feel tired. The vibe from a cream color is very feeble, to create and interesting monochromatic cream color scheme, the option is to pair cream with a few earth tones, as brown, olive, rust, coral, or to pair it with a few dark accents as navy blue, purple, or even black. With warm and hot colors, such as red, orange, red and rust, cream becomes the color which dilutes the others and calms them down.

Beige Color and Texture Concept Board

How to spice up a personal space with colors?
Answering to this question is like having a clean canvas and splash any colors on it. Rhythm is what you want to create to spice up any room. Look for something that will attract the viewer, such as an accent wall painted as an art piece or painted in a bold color; mix furniture changing style and colors; add textures in the accessories or mix floor textures; paint kitchen/bath cabinetry or add whimsical doorknobs/hardware; mix antique and modern lighting fixtures.

Mix of textures and colors for a sitting room

(Above: Mixed furniture)

Painted Vertigris Patina – Laundry wall

(Above: Accent wall painted as an abstract art piece by Gyorgy Sofalvi)

(Above: Mixed ceramic hand painted kitchen cabinet doorknobs)

Whatever you do, it’s your home and if you like to have one polka dots wall with an animal print sofa, or a red kitchen with Salvador Dali hardware who is to say it’s wrong? Ciao,


Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author, who became a TV producer/host. She is currently producing her shows at KMVT15 in Mountain View, Los Altos & Cupertino TV station, under her label Valentina Design Universe. The goals of her shows are to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. She never gives up trying new things. She found a new energy conducting shows by herself and interviewing guests on the stage of her shows. Find Valentina Design Universe TV, here:

Get a copy of her books here:


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