One Day In Napa | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Design

Moving away from the chaotic metropolitan area feels very good, I can already taste the pleasure of wines. Leaving behind the super crowded freeway and slipping down a country road feels even better. Nature starts to feel real and aromatic. The sound of the wine train that takes visitors from one vineyard to another reminds me very much of the local train in Puglia of many years ago with the beautiful round and imposing façade of an old smokey locomotive. The train greets us in the wine valley. Life here starts to appear slower and not marked by time, the only time that really needs to be marked is the harvest of the grapes.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Sattui Winery

 

Locomotive wine train

Locomotive wine train

It’s so nice to see long stretches of land planted with vineyards, everything is so lush and bucolic. I start to see the Mediterranean style homes the old Italian emigrants preferred, and old Victorian-style homes built before 1887, wrought iron on doors and gates, wine barrels everywhere as decorative items of stores and vineyards.

The air is sultry, of course, it’s a valley away from the sea breeze. Grapes don’t like winds or an abrupt change of weather, they like it hot and calm.

 

Napa View

Napa Vineyards

 

Middle-class people inhabit the outskirt of the wine valley, they are mostly workers of the vineyards, homes are down to earth and convenience stores serve them. The change in lifestyle is immediately noticeable when approaching the fancy vineyard establishments where people go for wine tasting and shopping for high-class or imported food. Here, days go by tasting wines, eating specialty food, and international variety of cheeses. I think that’s the reason people are so relaxed here. Life is easier when it is not stuck in the same groove.

Sultriness

Mid-Day Sultriness

 

 

Napa Historic Building

 

The views are beautiful, no matter what. St.Helena is very posh, art stores, tourist shops, boutiques, and decorating shops cater to sophisticated people. Prices and originality are very high, I love to discover them all, at least I get my eyes filled with creativity.
This Italian original wine press is from around the 1700s, I would love to have it for my garden, next to my Bacchus’s face hanging on the wall.

ItalianWinePress

ItalianWinePress

Home décor stores appeal to me more than anything else. In this store, the atmosphere is dark and minimalist. It displays home items generally a family with kids will not choose to have. The furniture here is theatrical and very playful.

 

Store Display

What do you do with a metal mannequin dressed in a cotton funky dress or with a rusted bucket and a thick rope spilling out? Nothing, they are nice details that make you wonder. The stone wall behind the bucket gives that natural character, in fact, stones, and metal are two elements found in nature. Between the 1950s-70s a lot of homes had stone interior walls as an accent, then builders got away from using stones and started to build homes without characters, resembling more like shoe boxes.

 

Ropes-Rusty-Vessel

This table is set for people who like to converse on intelligent topics, while they are sipping a lot of wine and eating small morsels of food, that’s the way I imagine it. It’s dark, minimalist, metal plates, golden tone flatware, glass top table, tall back wicker chairs, but I don’t think a lot of eating is happening here. This décor is suited for single people, high rollers, definitely not for a family with kids.

Table-Setting

Table-Setting

I love this swivel chair, it feels like a seed pod.

 

Flag Swivel Chair

Flag Swivel Chair

I was intrigued by these bergère chairs, they feel very baroque in style, except the legs are too short and the backs too high. They have been revisited in a modern key.

 

NapaStore

Napa Store

What I am trying to prove with this post is that an interior décor style must fit your lifestyle, otherwise, as beautiful or posh it might be, you will never feel comfortable in it. I will be happy to help you find your style. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina

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, they only follow the client’s inspiration, lifestyle, and personality. She offers online design consultations through Skype or Zoom and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge anywhere in the world.  She is the author of five books.

Amazon – Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

 

 

I Am On Electric Press | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The publisher of Electric Press opens my article with a question: “An article about interior design in a literary magazine…are we crazy? No, we are not.
He continues: As Valentina explains in this article, the interior design of our homes and workspaces have an important bearing on our health and wellbeing and, ultimately this is reflected in our creativity”.

My article “Colours and Emotions” was published today and perhaps it came at the right time when the entire world is on a painful lockdown, sheltered in our homes. We can beat our seclusion by surrounding ourselves with colorful homes, colorful food, and scented plants. During this time, we all have less to do, it might be a good time to learn how to use mirrors to double the image of all pretty things in the home, how to use lights to create great atmospheres and see colors as our friendly aid to positivity.

Nothing beats seeing vibrant colors as soon as we open our eyes to a new day.
Of course, the chirping of birds, a kiss from the loved one, and the aroma of fresh brewing coffee are part of this corollary I call the good life, a natural consequence of a harmonious environment colored the way we like, because you see, before you slapped colors on your walls, or you selected colorful clothes, someone colored the world just the way it is with blue sky, yellow sun, green grass, brown trees, colorful flowers, blue waters, colorful fish, white mountains, and on and on, he was sure we were going to like it.

What is there to be afraid when using colors? If I can keep converting people to colors, I will keep on being happy.

Click on each picture to view the article and enjoy it.

 

Electric Press

Colours and Emotions – Page 54-55

 

Electric Press

Colours and Emotions – Page 56-57

Click here to read Electric Press May edition. Thank you, Paul, for publishing my article. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Some years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire, and inform, while she is living her passion. Get a copy of her books here:  Amazon and Barnes&Noble

 

Space and Inspiration | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I am so honored I have been featured with my article Space and Inspiration on the site of Author James J. Cudney IV,  in the Tips and Advice section, where authors can share their tips on any subject they love. My topics always gravitate around design, style, and colors, that’s what I do the best since I have conducted my design business for three decades and not showing signs of wanting to quit.

In this article, the ceiling is the protagonist. I talk about how the ceilings might play a good role in inspiring writers. Some of my pictures show extravagant ceilings of places I have visited in Europe. I am not saying that to have an inspiration, a writer must have one of those highly decorated and historical ceilings to be able to write.

Inspiration can come from anything, even from a stone, or from a dollop of butter curled in an unusual way. It happened to me a long time ago, when looking at that dollop of butter on my plate, I ended up designing the exterior part of a home in Italy.

It’s easier for me to look up above if I am waiting for something to come to me, a spiritual, artistic, or a fantasy inspiration. That phrase my father pronounced “You are not going to find it on the floor” stuck with me ever since.

Tips-Advice-Graphic

Tips-Advice by Valentina Cirasola

Click the graphic above or the link below here to enjoy the article.
I hope you have an inspirational space to write or do your creative work. If you don’t, I am an email or a phone call away.

Tips & Advice: Products & Services – Valentina Designs Space & Inspiration

Permit me just a little shameless promotion of my book on Colors, available in paperback and ebook version on Amazon and Barnes&Noble:
©Red- A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition. It will help to shed a light on all the benefits, including health and wellness, colors will bring into our life.

RED-SecondEdition-Cover

RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition

Thank you, James, you are a great person with a big heart, I would have never met you without the internet. Ciao.
Valentina 
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. A couple of years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire, and inform, while she is living her passion. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble 

 

 

 

 

Reminiscence | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I don’t know why suddenly one of my clients came to my mind today, she was the owner of this house. She was a very tall woman, her weight, which was well distributed on her body gave her a powerful presence. She met me at one of my “colors” speaking engagements when I surprise people talking about the emotions colors produce on human beings. She hired me just to fix the grey and beige colors of her home, interiors, and exterior. She gave me permission to go bold with colors but not the furniture. She left all her traditional furniture in place.
The colors I selected required very modern and stylish furniture and although she was very happy about the vibrant colors, I was disappointed to not being able to finish her interiors with great furniture that would have emphasized the colors and made her home an artistic place.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

DiningArea2

Kitchen Dining Area – Original colors

This home was designed with a split floor, a very popular layout in the ’70s and ’80s. I love this concept of open views from any level while maintaining each area separately. She left this world at age 42 and only enjoyed her colors for a short year. Her sister, who still lives in New York, left me and my realtor in charge of the sale the house and all the contents. It was on the market for only one week, an Indian family fell in love with the colors and bought it.

For some reason, today I was thinking of her. I looked at all the pictures of her project, upstairs, downstairs, the garden patio and I noticed that the style of her furniture would have done very well in a 1950s magazine.
I played with photoshop on a few pictures and turned her colorful home into the mid-century style.

DiningArea-B&W

Kitchen-Dining Area – 50’s magazine style

Comparing the mid-century style I created with the original pictures, I must say, I still like the games of colors I put in this house.

Living

Living Area – Original Colors

 

Living Area

Living Area – Sepia tone

This is her cute patio, we sat there for coffee many times when I was overseeing this work. All her plants, garden fixtures, statues, and table sets now live in my garden.

Garden 1

Garden Patio View 1

 

Garden Patio View 2

Garden Patio View 2

It felt good to indulge in reminiscence, I heard her voice and the expression of happiness when the paintwork was completed.

Do you want to know how colors affect you emotionally? This is the book you want to get in Kindle or paperback format.

RED-SecondEdition-Cover

RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition – Valentina Cirasola

Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com
Amazon Author’s Page

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. A couple of years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

What’s Up Peeps? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The coronavirus has brought all of us to our knees, everyone I know is sheltered-in, but not everyone I know is doing good emotionally. Some of my friends cannot work due to the nature of the work they do and some others work from home. Some people are getting depressed and some are very happy with the slow, downtime as they realized their life was on the accelerated mode. Many people have rediscovered their homes and the people they live with and some other people are getting farther apart, too much closeness might not be a good thing for them and they are just finding out.

I heard the divorce lawyers are on stand by. I also heard that in China, after the lockdown for the coronavirus was over, there has been an increase of divorces by 30%. I also read a funny advertisement from a realtor, it said:
“At the end of the quarantine, if you decide you can’t stand the people you live with, remember I’m your Realtor” and I will add: “I am your Designer, I can design a new home for you, finally the way you want it”.

Everyone is doing something online to spend time in a productive way. Since we must stay home, why not loving where we must be for a while? I am producing daily short videos on how certain home items have come about, their history, their meaning in dreams if we happen to dream about them, and how they have evolved through time. I came up with the idea of “The Evolution Of A Home”. I love history, the human race wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t made history good or bad.
My daily episodes are intended to inform, entertain and keep each other’s company. I hope you like them.

 

So far I produced nine shows, all on my Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/designsvalentina  
Follow me if you like and if you need me at this time, I offer consultations online. Nothing is simpler than to connect with a video and give you some of my sage advice. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Amazon Author’s Page 

 

Copyright © 2020 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 love to encourage my clients to show their personality through their home décor, or the clothes they wear. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion designer since 1990.
Check out one of my books on the subject of colors, ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Bxhq08
Barnes&Noble: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

The New Blue | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The blue of this year is vibrant and cheerful, it is at least the way I am using it. I don’t like a room that feels like a cave, painted dark blue, with dark furniture as I see it everywhere on Pinterest and magazines, that’s not me. I can do so many things with the new blue color without giving the blues to the person living in this new expression of blue.

I am working at a home addition built last year, a very small place that was intended as the in-law’s quarter. The in-laws never showed up, thus now the place will have a new function, it will be an air B&B. Thank goodness, the client is as vibrant as she can be and excepted the color challenge I proposed.

The hardwood floor was reclaimed from another home, I found it at the architectural salvage yard, where all kinds of treasures can be found, just like second-hand vintage stores, except these salvage yards are for home building on a budget. An array of beautiful items with characters are available, one needs the time to rummage through to find that particularly interesting item.

The hardwood is now stained green and looks stunning with the wood coming through, it looks rustic and casually elegant.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Green Floor

Color Palette with Green Stained Floor

In the living room, I selected blue and yellow chairs, a blue top side table, green plants, colorful lamps in all shapes, sizes, and designs, nothing matching.

In the bedroom, the striking painted blue wall with splashes of red color will grab the attention of the guests. I absolutely adore this treatment done over a plaster, a bit expensive, but worth it. No rules to follow for this treatment, it’s really an imaginative faux finish, plaster goes on first, let it dry, then apply the blue which will go into the fold of the plaster and will look tridimensional. The accent splash can be any color: red, gold, silver, copper, anything that strikes your fancy. The painter who will take on this job is very good and experienced.

Verdigris-BlueEffect

Verdigris-Blue Effect

In this room, some white furniture will distract from the dramatic blue wall. I have selected whimsical red lamps mixed with other hues, they will have different shapes and sizes. The lamps are from PixieStixDesigns on Etsy. Like a miracle, I found the vintage bed headboard, made of whitewashed distressed wood. I wasn’t even looking for a headboard that day, it fell on my lap, sort of speaking.

Wood Whitewashed Headboard

Wood Whitewashed Headboard

The common denominator in both rooms will be white furniture with gold accents and splash of red here and there. That’s it.

Blue wall

Blue Wall

I hope you can be adventurous with your living spaces as well. Your home is your space, show your personality.

Allow me a little shameless promotion of my latest book on the subject of colors:
©Red – A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition. On Amazon.

 

 

Red-A Voyage Into Colors-Second Edition

Red-A Voyage Into Colors-Second Edition

Ciao,
Valentina

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer 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. RAI–Italian National TV invited her to appear in “Cara Francesca Show” and she has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Author of five published books, one of which is on the subject of colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition. Find her books Amazon  and Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

Tiny Chips Called Mosaic | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

In Mesopotamia, around 4000 years ago, tiny pieces of stones, ceramic, pebbles, shells, and glass were shaped and reduced in the most beautiful mosaics. Creating mosaics became a form of art intended to decorate patrician palaces, Christian basilicas, synagogues, and mosques, often using gold, lapis lazuli and other precious stones. Standing in front of mosaic works I have the impression of having a glimpse into the life of ancient people, it’s like watching slides of a trip into civilization. They tell us how those people lived, how they decorated their homes, what they ate and what they planted. Mosaics tells us about ancient rituals, the God they venerated, the architecture they built, tools used in everyday life, how they dressed and their customs. It is a fantastic way to learn history.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

Mosaic

Mosaic wall. The photo was taken by Valentina in a tile showroom.

 

Tesseræ are the tiny pieces assembled into a design and I am still wondering where those ancient people picked up this art, certainly not in any school. Mosaic art spread from the ancient Roman Empire extending to Africa, Syria and the Middle East provinces, to Greece, Byzantine people, the Easter ancient Europe and even to Russia, as the art for the wealthiest up until the modern 1900s.

Seatings Park Güell

Seatings at Park Güell

Catalan Architect Antoni Gaudi introduced mosaics in most of his work. At Park Güell in Barcelona, I saw the most extravagant stone seats decorated with colorful tesseræ, irregular, but beautiful. That day was windy, the sun was warm and I let it caressed me, I was in awe, in the right place breathing art, enjoying Gaudi’s work and imagining how it would have been to work with a creative genius like him.

 

Alligator

Alligator at Park Güell

Mosaics fell out of vogue for a while, prohibitive costs and long hours of installations discouraged people from having them in their home. Today they are not that expensive and come on a 12″ x 12″ mash ready to compose the entire design. It is not even difficult to make your own mosaic work. Design first the pattern you like with chalk or pencil, apply glue or bonding material on the design, apply stones, glass, or anything you like, and it’s done.

Mosaic Bath

Mosaic Bath – Photo was taken by Valentina in a tile showroom

 

I covered the bathroom floor of one of my clients with this mandala mosaic from Spain.

Madala

Mandala from Spain

 

If I had a wall this large, I would fill it with this mosaic design.

artmonument.ru

Photo: artmonument.ru

 

The boldness of mosaic work on the walls or on the floor will make the décor and nothing else will be needed. Personalization is the keyword. I am thinking of all the white homes I see around and in magazines, if they had some colorful mosaics, they would be less flat, common and…boring… 🙄 just saying.

For the love of colors, allow me a little shameless promotion of my latest book on the subject of colors: ©Red – A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition. On Amazon.

Red-A Voyage Into Colors-Second Edition

Red-A Voyage Into Colors-Second Edition

Ciao,
Valentina 

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a storyteller by nature. Stories are very important to her design career to convey ideas because making someone’s home or personal images is not only about building around shapes, lines, forms, and colors. It is about the story one can create around their spaces and how they want to appear to others. It’s about life experiences and how Valentina can incorporate them in her clients’ homes. She is the author of five books, all available on
Amazon – Barnes&Nobles 

 

 

 

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