The Bed | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The bed, the cocoon, the throne, the dream catcher, the love alcove, the resting place and even a playground, however we want to describe it, the bed throughout history has had many functions, but providing a comfortable rest has been the most important function of all and it has been the greatest invention of the human kind.

Long time ago, babies were born in beds at home and the last breath was drawn in beds before the body was taken away. The chamber room which contained only one large bed, often was the place where people met socially. It was no surprise to see grown up kids in their twenties sleeping in the same bed with the parents. The bed was the place for love-making, to produce kids, as well as discuss family problems. In the Middle Age people slept in beds that were built into the walls, set into an alcove enclosed on three sides and the opening was a curtain or shutters.
(Click on each photo to view it larger)

(Medieval bed built in an alcove with shutters.
Source: http://themedievalsmithysims2.blogspot.com/2014/09/alcove-for-single-beds.html)

From that complete closeness, we arrive at our time, taking to bed our frenetic life and everything that has become a necessity: computers, cell phones, bills to pay, food, TV, and if there is any time left, we might think of some love. The items I just mentioned produce negative energy, the electromagnetism affect our sleep and should never be taken to bed.

How do we keep the bed and the chamber a safe heaven? The first and most important item close to our skin is the bedding set. After reading so much about bedding and how to provide a refreshing night’s sleep, I came to conclusion that comforters made of hypoallergenic eider-down are the best. The female of this duck species living in the Northern Seas of Europe, North America and Eastern Siberia has been proven to have the best quills in the breast area. The eider’s nest is built close to the sea and is lined with eider-down, plucked from the female’s breast.

(Photo Wikimedia by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Silk fabric is best to use as covering for the filling. Silk does not allow the growth of bed mites and is resistant to bed allergies.

Sheets made of natural fibers are the best. I used to think sheets made from bamboo fabric were the best, until I touched the sheets made of beech wood fabric and fell totally in love. The feel is regal and opulent, delicate and soft, silky and cool. I am totally into it now.

 

Once you decide on the natural aspects of the bedding, please, please don’t match the bedding set to the curtains, the rug, the carpet, the bathroom towels, the art work and everything you wear to bed. What a mistake it would be!!! Please, refrain from doing so. The bed has one function only: to give you an exceptional sublime experience of resting and pleasure, it has nothing to do with anything else in the room, keep it special.

 

Consider dressing up for bed, whether you sleep with a partner or by yourself. If your bed is the means of an exceptional experience, why would you go to bed dressed in a cheap night attire, on in short pants and t-shirts with vulgar writing on, or even worse, torn? Think about it. Wouldn’t it be better to create an aura of pleasure around you? Put a few drops of your favorite scent and get dressed in a night attire that makes you feel good. Your sleep will improve and….what do you think would happen if you sleep with a partner…? 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

From Messy To Sleek | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I have my theory about Harmony in the home, it doesn’t come from any particular science, only common sense.  Three words starting with the letter D will block a good energy: Dust, Dirt and Disorder. Often, I go into homes where the mess is made of bad habits, lack of cleaning knowledge system and lack of organizational skills. As a designer, from time to time, I find myself teaching how to stay organize, how to create a method and good habits that will keep my design visible six months after the renovation is completed. It takes a long time to tech people how to live in clean spaces in order to have a clean state of mind. It takes efforts and disciplines to break out of bad habits. Living in a mess could make your life feel upside down. This picture below says it all and even though this home is not usually this bad,  it gives a sense of disordered life. This house is one of those restyling projects that keep growing, it has been a domino effect. Restyle one room and then need to restyle the next one, as the floor is common to all the rooms, the opens spaces take over the major area of the house and getting rid of useless stuff has been one of the main needs to allow the design to flow, communicate with furniture, colors details  and finally harmony to take over.

Back in August 2016,  I wrote about this fireplace wall to remodel – https://valentinaexpressions.com/2016/08/09/your-fire-is-an-element-valentina-cirasola-interior-designer – and how I was thinking of changing it from this  traditional and anonymous look  to a modern and sleek look.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

It finally happened. I choose this metallic look (below), with much of my surprise, it was well received.

The mess is gone, the room starts to look decent. The new furniture are not there yet and I can’t show the rest of the room. A new stain went on the hardwood floor, which now doesn’t look like a butcher block anymore. Followed a new, modern, LED lighting in the ceiling and the walls have new warm colors.  I choose a palette of three colors, tone on tone, from light, medium to dark, which create a beautiful warm rhythm in he room. This living room looks so much larger and inviting and this is the result.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).


In the next projects, I will  convince my next client to get this same metallic finish in different colors, perhaps a Tuscan rustic, a watercolor effect, or even a space effect, as shown below.


Wall treatments such as these are work of art and nothing else is needed, only a striking piece of furniture, or a super theatrical light. 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

Gold, A Treasure Color | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

It seems gold has taken over this year, I find it in home décor stores and in fashion stores. Gold used in an unbridled way could be annoying and pretentious, used sensibly increases a sense of wellbeing. Gold resides in the center of our body between the orange sacral center and the yellow solar plexus. Being surrounded by gold is a good thing, as gold represents the treasure of our being and the deepest of our soul. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

In color therapy, applying gold in our living strengthens our worth and the unique treasure we bring to the world. Colors vibrations work wonders on our chakras, but only if they are the right colors. Gold might bring a gut feeling of knowing a situation is right for you in a certain moment, that’s the power it has, but when gold is unbalanced in out body, it will bring a sense of worthlessness and disconnection from the soul. What to do then? Let’s start from the colors of the interior rooms used the most and then we should rethink some gold colors in our clothes. To balance gold, take any chakra chart and refer to the green heart chakra located above the yellow solar plexus.

Green will put gold back in balance, as it represents the heart and the vital force in your chest. Green is the companion color to gold, when decorating with gold color. Turn to green to assure your décor is peaceful and centered in the sense that feels good, just as we feel peaceful in the green colors of nature. Adjust the combination of gold and green with a tangerine color to give the room a vibrant vitality and add some glass with golden details in it. Glass or crystals will pick up and reflect all the hues and colors in the vicinity creating a great burst of color energy. I found these twisted glass bottles with gold trims at Z Gallery home décor store.


(Above photos taken inside Z Gallery with a permission granted)


(photo above: Salmon Bay Pebbles http://www.patagoniabuildingsupplies.com)

To introduce tangerine in a décor with gold and green, simply use either tangerine flower arrangements, a bowl full of tangerines fruit, a display of beautiful mixed salmon-orange bay pebbles (photo above), or paint a tangerine wall as a detail. I love everything about this corner below, it encapsulated everything I talked about and I would make it my private corner. Photo found on http://hadeda-tiles.com


I hope you will try some gold décor this year. I would like to know how it makes you feel. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
As a designer in business since 1990, I am interested in helping people designing their interior and exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. I am always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces I design. Color is the focus of my business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. Vogue Italia magazine, Gentry and many prominent magazines in California featured my work, I appeared on RAI, National Italian T.V. and nonetheless my story continues. Find copies of my book on colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors  and  the rest of my  books
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Midwest Zen Meditation | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Talking to someone from the Midwest USA, who loves to meditate, I realized not everyone knows what to do with interiors and their needs. How do you combine these two things, so very different in style and feelings, he asked me?

Midwest is relatively flat, consisting either of plains or of rolling small hills: the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Lakes Basin, the Ozark Mountains, the rugged topography of Southern Indiana and far Southern Illinois, hardwood forests, flat lands are converted to farms, pastoral areas and urban areas. Due to various rainfall patterns, even grass grows differently in the prairies: tall grass in the wetland, mixed-grass in the central Great Plains, and shortgrass prairie towards the Rockies (Bits from Wikipedia).
The elements for a Zen meditations are all there. Refer to the local nature’s essence, copy it, bring peace and balance in the home décor. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

In the Midwestern Zen style, I see furniture made with sustainable wood, chairs with natural fiber and washable slip covers, upholstery patterns that imitates nature’s examples of the area such as leaves, butterflies and swaying grasses. For the meditation area plan for sisal rugs and comfy pillows. Be inspired by past and present. Mix modern accessories with vintage and artisanal-made items to stage a casual expression of the Midwestern rugged area, such as furniture left natural and shaped as if as a tree trunk has taken its own form.


(Photo above taken at Luoghi di Pitti, Altamura Italy with permission granted)

Add a bowl full of pinecones, a driftwood with embedded air plants, rocks form the mountains, quilts and local pottery. Make sure everything is a perfectly mismatched, in that, all together these items and findings will communicate with the outside environment and will bring a special charm in the décor.
Choose leather, suede, velvet, raw silk and no pastel colors. The rugged Midwestern calls for bold colors: rich reds, juicy oranges and earthy inspired hues such as blues to emulate the sky and green tones to bring in the various prairie grasses. Once the space has been created with a mixture of local elements, the harmonious elements of air, water and earth must be put in place.

Invite lots of fresh air, let the sun filter through bamboo shades and let the cool breeze caressing your face. Put a fountain in a corner to cut all other noises; long tree branches or shapely driftwood in four corners of the room as buffer and grounding elements; add soft meditating music, if you like and an altar with the objects of your personal beliefs. Make sure the room is well ventilated for a pleasant meditation experience .

Light up the meditative space as you wish. I suggest objects of light by Italian artist Peppino Campanella. http://www.peppinocampanella.it/en/atelier/
Glass is a natural element, it reflects well light and atmospheres created around it.


Location of daily meditation should face nature if possible, a blue water, a green park, a scented meadow, or a garden full of flowers. If this is not possible, any room can be created as nature-like setting and, sometimes, just hanging a poster of nature on the wall, or an enlarged photo of nature you took during an exotic trip is sufficient to recreate a similar effect of being in the nature. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

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

Tranchier Style | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Cutting boards today are party vessels to serve cheeses and other dry finger food, or kitchen utility items to chop, mince and slice food for cooking. Some new style cutting boards are designed to use as plates, with a cut out space for holding a wine glass on one side and place food on the flat area. This is a convenient way to hold food while shaking hands with people at networking events. Those of us who are habitué at these gatherings know how difficult it is to eat, hold a wine glass and shake hands all at the same time. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

 


(http://www.oooms.nl/product/puzzleboard)

Trencher was the name for cutting boards in the Medieval era, from Old French tranchier “to cut” and it was far from being a common wooden board. A trencher was a type of flat round bread used as a plate, upon which the food could be placed to eat. At the end of the meal, the trencher was given to the poor or dogs. Later, around the 1500s the trencher became a circular or square and completely flat wood plate, made of natural beech or sycamore, without the lip or raised edge of the plates we know today. A circular indentation in the center of the trencher would catch sauces or juices and in one corner, another circular depression contained salt. Diners filled up their trenchers with food from the larger charger plates and larger trenchers placed in the center of table.


(BLW_Trencher_David-Jacobson – Wikimedia)

Forks didn’t exist yet, the only way to eat was to cut food in bite size with the knife and eat it from the tip of the knife. In the upper crust, gallant men cut the food for the woman on his right side and fed her from the knife. However, eating with hands was a normal custom even for the upper class. Those trenchers of the 1500s are the cheeseboards of today and in some cases, we can also use them as decorative items under a plate setting, as I saw it done at one of the World Market stores.


Don’t really understand the function of a cutting board under a stack of plates, other than wanting to sell it as part of a whole table arrangement. However, it looks pretty, different and it caught my eyes. For a coastal table setting it picks up a perfect rusticity. If you have a special coastal table setting, please share it here.
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends fashion and interior well in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual, as much as she likes to restyle people’s images. She needs your story to design your dream. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

One Day Two Years Ago | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Two years ago, this month, Little Italy San Jose, Ca was unveiling a new arch. I had been part of a design team for years. In-kind professionals formed the team, donating our time to attend meetings, discussion, challenges and all that it took to move a city project forward. In addition to time, many of the professionals donated construction material to build this beautiful artistic arch and when it was completed, all of us received the award in a form of an engraved plaque with our name.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).


Little Italy Arch – San Jose, CA – http://www.littleitalysj.com/archway.html


Above: My award – http://www.littleitalysj.com/archway.html

(President Little Italy – Joshua De Vincenzi-Melander, speaking at the arch unveiling ceremony – March 27, 2015)

The concept of the arch was to create a bridge between the old Italy and Italian emigrants who landed on American soil at the turn of 1900s and the vibrant Italy of today, competitive on the economic level with cutting edge stylish products known worldwide. The arch is situated in an area of San Jose where the Italian emigrants lived to honor their lives and work.

Some of the Victorian homes the Italians emigrants occupied were renovated for resell. An area, we called Piazza Piccola, delineates an Italian style patio with trellises and pavement made of bricks engraved with donor’s names. In Piazza Piccola, Little Italy organizes street fair, opera in the piazza, Italian Christmas carols in December and celebrates Befana Day in January, as it is customary in Italy.
Often visitors simply sit on benches and sip a glass of wine with friends. Little Italy have organized large fund racings, of which as a designer, I was part as well, and many small events of all sorts to find capitals to pursuit our goals.


(Photo above courtesy of Little Italy – Brick area in Piazza Piccola)


(Little Italy Gala – 2014.  Food, wines, music, silent auction and a load of attendees)

So far, we have established the presence of a few Italian businesses successfully operating in the Little Italy area: a restaurant, a café, an Italian language school for kids and the August 2-days Family Festival in the park, event which attracts $40,000 and more visitors every year. They flock to visit our vendors with Italian products, listen to the music sitting on grass, watch the Renaissance parade, participate to talks on various subjects related to Italian culture, watch art exhibitions, taste food and wine and many visitors will dance, happy to be in a recreated Italy.


(Pasquale Esposito, Italian tenor with Valentina Cirasola, Italian designer, celebrating the unveiling of the arch and the awards – March 27, 2015)

The unveiling ceremony was a day of celebration for many achievements and successes the Little Italy organization reached though the years. The ceremony culminated in Italian food, wines and music experience, as it should be.


(Above: Little Italy arch illuminated at dusk. Below: bronze plaque on the arch with all the “in-kind’ people’s names)

Little Italy future projects in the making are the building of an Italian-American Museum, a Pinocchio Village for children, a Bocce Ball Court, an Italian Cellar Bar and an authentic Trattoria.
It will be a very nice Italian village where everyone will enjoy Italian culture and learn about community.

It has been a journey, I met so many good people, learned so much….I would have never thought Italy is dearly loved outside its borders. I am an expat of modern times, to see so much love towards my country, warms up my heart.
I am proud of all the people who work to keep Italian traditions alive. I am very honored and grateful to have received an award for my contribution in the design concept of the arch. Ad majora, Little Italy! Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina 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 was seen on RAI – Italian National TV and 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.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
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.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

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

 

 

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