Walking Fashionable | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Girl-Pink-Green-1aWelcome to my Fashion Friday episode.
My parents and their siblings were in their late teens when WWII broke out. After the liberation by the hands of American troupes, the entire Europe fell in love with everything American, products, fashion, cars, food and English language took over the world. Roll time forward, Italy, many years later, there I was watching American films with my fashionable aunts who, like everybody else in Italy, loved Hollywood.

audrey-hepburn(Audrey-Hepburn Via Pinterest)

We admired the class of American actresses, dressed impeccably, hats & gloves, their hair always in place, nails always painted red and that infamous cigarette holder forever between their red lips. They exploded elegance with body language, through their clothes and in the expressions they used. Never, I heard blasphemy and vulgar words out of their mouth. The actors were not far behind, charming in their manners and so well-groomed. I believe,  back then, people centered life around looking perfect in every moment of the day; even homes showed in films, often set in California, were so elegantly decorated.

Roll time again, forward it many more years later, I moved from Italy, now living in California. I came here and didn’t find all that elegance I saw in American films. California is still under the influence of hippies and bohemian free people, casual is the style. There is nothing wrong with casual, but when being casual borders untidiness, then it’s a different story, we can call it slovenly, or lack of self-respect. At times, I feel people go out in their pajamas and don’t even bother to wash or dress. Californians live in flip-flops and sweat suits every day. Stores sell cheap merchandise with high price, fashion choices are awful for both men and women.

Hollywood today,…..well…. it is not an exemplary place, it’s only a platform for venom and vulgarity.

pliner1

 

pliner4

One day, I was walking in a posh area, elegant stores all around and very casual people walking in the streets. Something caught my eyes. Returned on my steps and saw original men shoes artistically displayed in the window. It was the store of Donald J. Pliner. I asked a woman working there, if she knew who is the typical client buying these shoes. She couldn’t say, probably thought I was a weirdo. I asked for permission to take photos and left, irritated by her lack of interest.

pliner3

pliner2

(Photos taken inside the store Donald J. Pliner -https://www.donaldjpliner.com)

Shoes tell a lot about us. It’s encouraging to know someone still cares for personal image.  I like to understand where are the men wearing these shoes, because out there, feet are wrapped in UGLY.
Thank you Donald J. Pliner for designing for men who care to look good for themselves first. Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my
Fashion Services https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValOperaStampI am Valentina, a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style has surrounded me since the very beginning of my life. My many years of experience in design business led me to offer consultations in both fashion and interiors, so much so that I can remodel homes as well as personal images. I am passionate about colors and I encourage my clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. I am the author of three books, one of which is a book on color theory: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Shadow | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Early afternoon, the south of Italy rests with pleasure. Every business, schools and offices close down from 1:00 to 4: 00 pm. This is people’s time; most people go home to eat homemade food with family.

The sun reflected on walls mutates from bright yellow to orange, then from gold to ocher and finally fades into a Siena tone. Looking at these colors changing before the eyes, one has the impressions walls are empty canvases for painting a picture with gold foil and antique technique. As the sun turns, shadows and highlights add themselves into the deep ocher and gold. Everything picks up that mysterious sense of antiquity, simplicity and peace. The afternoon rest becomes sweet, lulling, magic, even without going to sleep, the world doesn’t turn for four hours. Shadows are so refreshing, especially in the hot summer heat.

Alberobello - Trulli Courtyard

Alberobello – Trulli Courtyard

Silence pervades the streets filled with the sun, they seem abandoned. At times one can hear a distant voice, a music on low volume, or a telephone ringing. It’s my native ancient world, it’s all familiar, I was made here.

As an expat to California, I live on the go every moment of the day, rushing to nowhere, floating in the air like an object thrown to see if it reaches a point, but when I am in Puglia, I feel grounded, my batteries recharge, the slower rhythms make life so right and I wish they would never stop.

giovinazzoombre

These are the shadows of happy guests in my travel group. That day we enjoyed our lunch, wines were excellent, food divine and laughs… well… I don’t know why they come so naturally in Italy.

(This post is in response to WP weekly photo challenge: Shadow).

Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentina-ValleMonteAs a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism. Through stories of art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Playing In Green | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

greenleafPantone says Green is 2017 color of the year. How many things does green represent?
Green: color of some currencies.
Green: color of grass.
Green: color of leaves.
Green: color of stones such as emerald, or granite.
Green: color of tea.

Green represents peace and relaxation.
The green street light tells us to go, but a green light in the bedroom induces sleep and the green color in the bath chromotherapy  let us relax.
In the ocean, a green water patch indicates that below there are live algae feeding from the sea nutrients.

Green is not one of the colors people wear well.
In the home, green walls at night look muddy, at times even greyish and depressing.
Green furniture look outdated, unless we give some strong power to the green.

I have composed a living room with colors which will boost the power of green.

 

 

2017pantonecolorsSource of items in my board
Orange Sofa: http://www.my.dvdrwinfo.net/furniture-stores-reno
Green Rug: Heyneedle-Loloi Charlotte
Caramel Pillows: https://www.zazzle.com/caramel+square+pillows

green-vibrantcolors

Of course, any room can be dressed with these vibrant and full of life colors, even office spaces. The idea is to play with the green and to make it come alive. I don’t see live plants in homes anymore. Live plants clean up the air, add oxygen in the home and decorate very well.

I am not afraid to combine green with colors others ignore, they look dynamic and I love them. Any questions on green? I am here at your service. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

QueenValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in interior and exterior color analysis, 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 and on RAI – Italian National TV. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Knowing How To Do It | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

We are all online, we read each other, we share content of people we like, we make friends, being online has become a new home for most us and the world is in our pocket. Years ago, I decided to make my time spent online a profitable time by offering consultations, design concepts, drawings and color solutions, all online services without moving one inch from my office.

This is a family room with a seating arrangement in a stairs void. Client told me that people feel as if they fall into the stairs void when sitting there. The void brings a cold draft in the room, thus nobody ever sits there. A small digital piano takes a space on that cold, naked wall and it needs something to embrace it.

stairsvoid

(Above and below: Seating into the void of stairs)

stairsviewintoliving

My solution is to close the wall up to a certain point leaving a large circular opening with a decorative iron design, which would allow light to spill in the stairway, would get rid of the draft and would allow people to feel more protected when sitting in that area. For the small piano, I planned a shelving unit enclosed between two flat fluted pilasters faux painted in silver-gold mix and a beautiful new lighting effect.

familyroomconcept(Above: Concept for the wall with seating, digital piano and open shelving)

 

The other wall hosts a lonely, dark, outdated fireplace stuck in the middle of the wall with a fake window on the right side covered with a curtain.

fireplacebefore

With my design concept, I created a built-in unit made of dark and light wood, incorporating TV, fireplace, music and storage space.  Woodworkers in the city where client lives will fabricate it. The unit will be the focal point of the room, whether the fire is on or not and will be visible from any angle of the downstairs open space lay-out.

frontvievelevation
(Above and below: Concept drawings for wall with built-in unit, fireplace, TV and storage)

perspective_a
Furniture of the family room will remain as it is. My involvement in the remaking of the room with a new concept was limited to designing two walls and producing a couple color palettes, both of which will create a great new atmosphere for the space. Hopefully, when the two walls will be completed, client will feel encouraged to change the rest of the room décor.

It didn’t take me long to create the new concept. It’s all about knowing how to do it through experience, love for the work and understanding client’s desires. The photos of the existing conditions and a few Skype conversations with the client told me the story. I hope to receive photos of the completed work.

Anything is possible these days when working online,  from designing kitchens and baths to create color palettes. The world is smaller and work doesn’t have to be hard.
It’s all about knowing how to do it and I have the solution for any of your design challenges. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com
Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentinadivaglassesValentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. She is well-know for designing custom furniture. She cares to make spacious and functional pieces, but she doesn’t forget to introduce the element of surprise, sinuous lines, attractive shapes and colors in the style fit for each of her special clients. She is the author of ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors. Check out her books on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Feet In Short Trunks | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Girl-Pink-Green-1aWelcome to a new episode of my Friday Fashion.
Shoes are object d’art, symbol of status, taste and tradition. Shoes are the world’s favorite fetish. Women collect shoes as treasures and show them off in any occasion. Nowhere in world, but in America I have seen women at the cash register with a shopping cart filled with shoes. As soon as I learned the art of filling my closets with shoes, it was the end of me believing that a couple of pair of shoes for each season was sufficient. Now, I am addicted to shoes and created a storage problem, just like every woman I know. Buying shoes for the sheer pleasure of buying them is fun and it helps the economy, but do we know what style will complement our legs and make them look perfect?

steppingoutfrench

In the Italian language, ankle boots are called “tronchetti”, translated in English become short logs or trunks, OK, ankle boots. You see, knowing the etymology of a word, will help us decide, take an action, or understand a situation. If a shoe looks like a short trunk or log, it means it is chunky, stout, stocky and only a slender leg can wear this type of ankle boot, otherwise the leg will look like a stump.

There are tricks of the trade to fool the eyes.
1. With shapely legs is best to wear a very dark stocking to slim down the legs, or wear pants that go just a little beyond the edge of the boot, without covering all the details.
2. For someone with shapely legs, the skirt must be short, from above the knees or higher to elongate the legs.
3. A short person with shapely legs should wear only long pants with this type of short trunk boots and never wear a long skirt and ankle boots together.

redtronchetti

Red is not a color for holidays only, red tomatoes grow in the middle of summer and red poppies bloom in spring and summer. Wear red in the summer, when a boost of energy is needed or when you want to make a statement.

pied-de_poule

Pied-de-Poule or houndstooth is a woven pattern of textile clothing almost similar to the barnyard. To think that this pattern is only good to wear with a black & white outfit is a mistake. Wear it with any solid colors you like, no patterns and let the houndstooth shoes make a statement. The red apple in my photo is suggestive of a color.

Need help with your wardrobe this year? Contact me any time, I am ready for a new adventure. Ciao,
Valentina

Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 


Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentina-ValleMonteValentina 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
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Repurpose | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

“Those who know how to make things with hands will survive” ~ often said my grandmother, who lived through two great wars and economic depressions. She embedded in us kids her way to save everything and made it a concept for a life.
To reuse and repurpose is a daily practice for me, in fact, my neighbors thinks I come from Mars for being so extremely diligent in saving the environment.

Other than papers and a few bottles, my garbage bins are always almost empty. I dry my laundry in the wind and  repurpose as trash bags those plastic bags for fruit-vegetables from grocery shops. Leftover food become a new specialty. Consumed towels get repurposed into dust rags.  Papers written on one side are reused as scrap paper. I repurpose clothes as new creations, save buttons from old clothes and incorporate them in something else new. Scarves and shawls become covers for side tables, the list goes on and on.
I am a true repurpose and recycle Queen, perhaps I should start teaching classes.

The object in the photo below was a candle holder with glass beads. A little knowledge of Arduino technology turned it into a LED light for the garden. The night is no longer dark in that area of the garden.

lamp

arduino-1a

This was in response to WordPress weekly photo challenge: Repurpose

Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentinadivaglassesIt’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 colors.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w  

Graceful | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

What do you do when outside is cold, damp and lonely? You go inside a family owned restaurant and find comfort and warmth in food. That night we did just that. The day had been relatively warm, a sudden drop of temperature was not expected for the night, but the prospect of being received in a restaurant built in 1900 with the tufa stone was too exciting to miss it. Gracefully, we were seated in a small room reserved just for us. The light yellow colored walls, the natural texture of the exposed tufa stone and the sparse décor were an invitation to feel at home.
I had no doubt food was going to be exceptional. Here, under the curved vaulted ceiling,  nothing mattered that night.

giuseppepouringwines
I couldn’t help noticing Giuseppe, the waiter pouring our wines with grace. He was elegant, attentive not to spill even a drop on the tablecloth of that precious wine, pouring from the left of the guests as the Bon-Ton requires, the seriousness of his motion, all said to me: “Here, you will be treated with class and grace“.
In my capture, Giuseppe looks totally absorbed in his task. Pouring wines is an art of its own, it requires knowledge, elegant manners, subtle motions and grace.

Wine represents the labour of many people and nature’s generosity, when it wants to be generous. The gracefulness of the people of Puglia towards food and wines tells how much respect they have for the land. Preparation of food is sacred, eating happy food prepared with love keeps people healthy.
Knowing that someone will take care of us, offering the best food they can prepare in one night it is grace to me.
The guests in that trip to Puglia are still talking about that night. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentinadivaglassesAs a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism and through stories of art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on 
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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