It’s Easy Being Green | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

It’s easy being green in my kitchen. Vegetables abound even though no one in my family is vegetarian or vegan. Every meal is composed of various food, complemented with vegetables prepared in all possible ways. We eat everything, nothing goes to waste. There are no enemies at my table the “infamous calories”, we don’t believe in counting calories. We enjoy our food. Simple as that.

People who have eaten in my house, ask me why my food is simple and full of flavor. The answer is equally simple: I don’t need to produce complicated food every day, but I want to eat savory food, with layers of flavor easy recognizable one by one, inside of which every spice comes through vibrantly fresh. The secret is the freshness of every ingredient. In my kitchen, there is nothing pre-packaged, pre-made, nor pre-organized by the food industry. I go to market to get fresh food and I return every two-three days. My vegetable and spice garden produces a small quantity of food, if the season goes well,  and I take full advantage of that too.


What was green on my table today? Fusilli pasta with spinach pesto. When basil is not available, use spinach, arugula, or parsley.
It takes almost 15 minutes to make it, all the ingredients are raw except for the cooked pasta.
Before starting the preparation, very briefly toast a hand full of pine nuts in an iron skillet over the stove, or in the oven for 5 minutes. Be careful, they burn easily.
Now, wash all the spinach. Drain the water, but leave them a bit wet.
In the food processor, put all the spinach, 3-4 cloves of garlic and grated Parmigiano cheese (I used pecorino for a stronger flavor).
Turn on the machine and from the top hole, add olive oil a little at a time, until spinach have become a cream.
Drop the green mixture in a skillet, add pine nuts, season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Cook pasta al dente for no longer than 8 minutes. Drain the water, add it to the skillet with the pesto mixture.
Toss and turn, let it marry well. Serve this delicious green pasta with more cheese to add at the table.

This is a green dish to cook and eat at once, good for summer or winter. It will surprise you how easy it is being green and to eat green food.

Oops, I goofed, I should have used a yellow plate with this green dish.  Food photography should be equally appetizing. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 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 http://www.wine-fi.com 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

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

Why Not In Blue? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Last week an email arrived in my inbox. The title was a question: Why Not In Blue?
This is a typical example of how an intriguing title will make you open an email.
Reading the email, I realized it came from a person I didn’t know, who was asking me for a color consultation on the hardwood floor of his house in Florida.

In the process of re-styling the main livable areas of the home, client realized the common floor to all those areas needed attention. The previous “butcher-block” hardwood floor was going to be stripped and revamped with a new color or stain. The house is on the coast of Florida, my client caressed the idea of a blue floor to reflect the coastal atmosphere, but was hesitant to try it, the new color or stain was a challenge to them. After a few Skype calls, after seen the spaces in the screen and through photographs, the choice of blueberry color for the hardwood floor was the best, which urged to redo a lot of the colors in those spaces. Hardwood floor usually covers a large space, often items in the areas defined by the hardwood floor need to be taken in consideration as well, such as tiles, hardware, furniture and lighting. Repainting or re-staining the hardwood floor cannot be a lonely act, one must be prepared to change a few things, to make everything flow together.

That is exactly what happened with this virtual client, who asked for help through my online consultations. They listened to my suggestions and were willing to take on the challenge to renew certain other things. The new color composition was born based on a bowl of shells I own, which met my client’s favor.

 

The kitchen top cabinet doors will change to glass fronts. All the golden beige colors will go on walls, some crucial walls where light hits differently will be accented with aqua, jade and basil colors. The browns will be some of the rustic furniture client wants to get. Gray colors are the existing ceiling beams and will remain as they are. Black and white represent existing interior doors, wrought iron door hardware, some new black lamp shades and some white pillows to mix with various green and bluish pillows. Decorative items will be in blue, aqua and decorative glass.

I am so happy to have found someone excited about a blue floor, one in a million. Most people think of resale value and don’t live in the environment they have always dreamt.
A few hours of colors consultations will bring you a new energy, a renewed life force, a new face to the home and I haven’t moved one inch from my studio.
Are you tired of your butcher-block hardwood floor yet?  I am here to help you. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 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
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

 

Wish | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

A few years ago, I wrote this piece of advertisement and I can proudly say it is true! All my dreams and wishes came true so far. What is a wish without the action and the energy to go out there and get it? It’s only day dreaming.
Being a type A person, meaning hyperactive, I am that kind of person that doesn’t stop, once I have realized one dream, I want to pursuit the next one.

My long-time wish has been to build my own shell house. Ambitious? Yes!
Most contractors don’t want to invest time in building curves and artistic details. Fluid architecture, artistic buildings, creative homes take time, involve a great thinking and take efforts doing something out of the ordinary. Most of them is happy building a shoebox that is sellable to the mass, makes money quick, move to the next project and repeat it with the eyes closed many more times around.

It takes the same effort to dream big than to dream small. I wish big things. I wish to build a shell shaped home, everything inside made of natural, organic materials, wavy walls emulating the sea movement and in some parts of the interior I envision walls with lacy design through which natural light plays its games on the floor.
I see undulated, cozy, warm, embracing fixtures and furniture. In some areas of the shell house, I envision a thick temperate glass floor with real sea fauna and flora underneath.
Expensive without doubts, but hey, this is my wish.

In my wish I envisioned a décor filled with rugged wood mixed with tumbled stones and interior doors made of coiling glass shaped like a shell. I see wrought iron balcony rails. Greenery and luscious vegetation framing the exterior of the house all around and twirling exterior stairs taking to various levels of my shell shaped house or in other detached areas of the house.


This is not all. My wish turns more pleasurable. The shell house is near the sea and not necessarily outside the door. I would be fine just to know the sea is in a walking distance. Once a week, I envision organizing bon fires on the beach, roasting fresh seafood with friends and telling stories. The back of my shell house is another paradise: my vineyard!!! That’s right. In my wish, I want to grow my own vines and produce specialty wines in a small scale. Among my vines, at least once a week, there will be evenings with Shakespeare plays acted out by students and aspiring actors.

This is my wish and so alive in my mind. For now, I start with drawings, let’s see where it will take me. Ciao,

Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 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
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB

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

Sky Blue and Green New Vibrations | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

babyblue_green_compositionWarm and cold, extravagant, original, young, modern and fresh, this is how I see a color palette for March. Let’s take March to renew, to get rid of useless winter stuff and regenerate the atmosphere in the house. Aquamarine is the birth color for march and even if it is not your stone, it is an easy color on the eyes.

Starting from sky blue, I worked my way into the greens and what a combination it is. It’s almost a retro color palette.
In the ‘50s, sky blue with apple green was a beautiful combination seen from tableware, kitchen appliances to fashion. The characteristic of the era was plastic and shiny chrome. Today, we pair these two colors in a new way and it is still beautiful. Chrome on furniture is gone, we are into natural, eco-friendly materials, breathable fabrics, wood and distressed metals to emulate nature in home décor.

greenpurplebabyblue

In my room composition, I added blue purple and magenta as accent colors. Now, imagine a living room with a purple accent wall and a purple sofa against that same wall. Being a bulky item in the room and of the same color of the wall, the sofa disappears in the wall. Imagine the other three walls in the room being of a golden beige and the room filled with colorful chairs from magenta, sky blue and apple green. Illuminate this vignette with funky lamps, add wood end tables of different shapes and voila’ les jeux sont faits (the games are done, or the chips are down).

babybluegreenroom

Above sources:
Reclining Purple Sofa https://www.templeandwebster.com.au
Copper Lamps http://www.lonestarwesterndecor.com/turquoise-glass-floor-lamps.html
End Table – Mercury Thaddeus Twist – Wayfair

Now that you have seen how good these colors look together will you wear them too? I just both a sky blue pants and an apple green short sweater buttoned up in the front. I will add a scarp with abstract design in bluish purple and green and that’s the reason I wrote this post. These are comfortable colors to wear and to live in.
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

valentina-ValleMonteAs an Italian designer and true to my origins, I am well-known to bring originality to people’s homes, but that’s not where I stop and any situation is a perfect opportunity to design something out of the ordinary. Check out my three books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

A Good Match | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

The color of this year is Greenery, says Pantone, Institute of Colors.
Greenery includes green foliage, vegetation, undergrowth, underbrush, plant life, flora, herbs and green vegetables. Often people associate colors with holidays. It’s OK to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, but not any other time, many people think this way. The other day, I heard a friend saying she would feel a potted plant if she wore green. OK, green is not her color and many feel the same. It’s hard to dispel this myth, when it is inculcated in people’s mind that green clashes with their skin tone, corroborated by expressions such as “green with envy”- all these beliefs contribute to keep green color away from the wardrobe. Green is a good match to many colors and I will prove it.

First, I suggest not to wear green around the face if it feels that uncomfortable, wear it at the bottom or as accessories.
Second, mixing colors is an art and a fun art. If you really want to mix your own green and create original combinations, just remember that green is a secondary color made with blue and yellow. By introducing some yellow into green, the result is avocado and by adding more of the blue to the yellow the result is turquoise. Avocado and turquoise are good match with silver, cream, gold, black, brown and even rust.

I have composed two combinations, one for spring-summer and one for fall season. Both combinations are easy to wear, casual-elegant and classy, perfect to leisure around or for work.
Don’t tell me green is a difficult color, these are a good match anyone can wear.


Spring-Summer:
 Turquoise – Avocado – Beige
tuquoise_avocado_beige
In the above composition:
Turquoise Shirt – Reborn Collection Green Garden
Avocado Pants – Paul Smith Green Avocado Cotton Blend Pants
Avocado Bag – http://www.poshmark.com
Wedge Sandals – Badgley Mischka Women Cashet-Ii
Suede Wedges – Soludos – Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Fall: Green – Rust – Brown
greenrust_brown

In the above composition:
Moto Jacket by Veronica Beard – https://www.veronicabeard.com/stevie-fringe-moto-jacket.html
Knit cardigan by ModCloth – https://www.modcloth.com
H&M Suede Dark Green Pants
Leopard Scarf – http://www.scarfand.com/scarfands-crinkled-leopard-infinity-scarf/?gclid=CKic2MqeqtICFYhsfgodmNg
Shoes by Monroe&Main – Heelcap Oxford
Dolce&Gabbana Animal Print Bag – http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp

 

Still afraid of green? Don’t be, I am here to convince you of the contrary. 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

 

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

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

 

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