What If I Dined With Casanova | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

If I had received the letter of introduction as it was customary in the XVIII Century among noble circles of Europe, I would be invited to dine with Casanova in a chic setting only reserved for the élite.

Knowing him as a womanizer, the task of keeping women away from him would be difficult but not impossible. His weakness lays in his developed sense of opulent fashion, playful Rococo furniture, home décor and expensive objects, it would be easy to distract him from women with subjects of refined culture. Casanova, a multitalented, multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society loved to spend time conversing about literature, history, music, fashion and food of the world. I have something in common with Casanova, we both like great minds and thinkers, we would be dining with Voltaire, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin, King George III of England, a few Popes and many more intellectuals of the XVIII Century. Our dining conversations would happen in a 1730s Venetians interior where the walls are covered with masterful, opulent and occasionally frivolous paintings.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

 

The Ridotto of Palazzo Dandolo by Francesco Guardi

 

 

Ecritoire – French – ébéniste Pierre Macrette- circa 1750

 

Rococo Arm Chair – Venice, Italy – circa 1750

 

Telescoping Spyglasses and Time Piece

Casanova came from a humble background. His mother left him at a young age to pursue the career of an actress, but as soon he understood what kind of luxury life was hidden in those Venetians palazzi, he made sure to win the sympathy and trust of the aristocrats of all circles.

He developed a taste for luxurious objects, among which he enumerated women. Dining was a pastime, as it is today and one of my favorite pastimes as well. I would have loved to see how high society embraced the service à la Françaises, meaning each dish was placed on the dining table and passed around among the guests. Casanova and I are both into high-class dining. On our dining table I envision display of beautiful silver serving vessels and ceramic terrines in the shape of exotic animals. Discovering new distant lands brought exotic food and spices in European courts and dining tables of nobles. However, a terrine in the shape of an elephant or a turkey didn’t mean inside there was the meat of an elephant or turkey. The table fashion was highly stylish, extravagant and exquisite, exactly the way I envisioned it if I was dining with Casanova.

If I dined with Casanova I would have the servants prepare the food he loved served in refined dishes: “macaroni prepared by a good Neapolitan cook, a well creamed cod, perfectly hung game, and buttery cheeses”, so he wrote.

 

Various Serving Terrines

After dinner we would have a card game with the famous people invited to dine with us.

Card Game

Casanova often talked about his audacious adventures with women of all ages and social status. He got involved in just as audacious business opportunities, some of them illegal. His adventures produced twelve volumes of “The Story of My Life”. His life was everything but a generic life, he lived recklessly and didn’t fit in any standard canons. “Libertine” was a new word coined for men like him, who rejected constriction of marriage, favored adultery and sexual conquests. I guess he had a lot to talk in his books and probably twelve volumes barely covered only a short period of his life. The first complete version of his writing without redaction of all scandalous details was published in 1960.

I wondered how many times Casanova visited a lady’s boudoir during her morning ablutions and flirted with the maid as well.

Getting Dressed

 

Well, it was amusing to fantasize about Casanova inviting me to dinner while I was going through the exhibition. In my previous lives I must have lived in Venice, somehow, he is very familiar to me. There is a thread that unites us, I don’t know what it is, maybe I was a libertine too and maybe I liked to weave intrigues in those opulent rooms of Venetians palazzi. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual, as much as she likes to restyle people’s images. She is a story teller and finds inspirations everywhere to write her stories. She needs your story to design your dream. She is a public speaker, a mentor and author. Check out her books on

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

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Backyard Paradise | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

It’s time to invite in beautiful garden views and say goodbye to any fence, walls or dividers that are plain unattractive. Would you like to sit in your garden without seeing the fence or the retaining wall between your home and your neighbor? Look at this photograph carefully. The fire pit, the seating and the steps are all real, all the greenery and the flowers are not. That is an image printed on a stone wall between two homes.
(Click on each images to view it larger).

Do you have a favorite vacation image you want to look at all the time?
Do you have a picture of the place you got married?
Do you have your favorite zoo images?
Would you like to reproduce in your entry an image from the Versailles Palace?

You can. Anything is possible with this printing technique. What are the advantages and why is it better than murals or trompe-l’oeil? You might ask.

1. If you have a garden view with flowers and vegetation, it helps conserving water, because there are no flower and plants to water. If you have a water scene, you don’t have to change the water to keep it clean.
2. The images are printed on panels easy to roll away with a change of season and mood. If you are handy, it’s a super easy to do it even by yourself.
3. The product is fire-retardant, anti-mold, washable with water, weather resistant and hard to destroy.

In the Before and After photo of the pool area, you can see an empty wall turned to a water view. Once the real water filled the pool, the vignette looks cohesive, as if that pool is looking over a lake. Pretty impressive!


In this next photo the cacti, the lawn and the chairs are real, but the view of the Canyon is not.

(Photo courtesy of Wall Sensations. Permission granted)

I took many pictures of flamingos at San Diego zoo. I want this image on my garden fence, so I can enjoy every day the memories of these colorful and elegant creatures, they impressed me so much.

I invited the company Wall Sensations to my TV show, two handsome lads came to explain to the audience their innovative idea and product. if you want to watch the show, click here – https://youtu.be/uUM10Rw6p0s 
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

As 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. Being a curious person, any situation is a perfect opportunity to design something out of the ordinary.
I draw my inspiration from anywhere. Check out my three books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Yellow Everywhere | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

 

Floor Design made with 4 Marble Types

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

During my color talk seminars, I hear, to my surprise, many negative comments about colors. Some people don’t wear orange, they associate it with prison orange. Others don’t wear yellow because it makes them feel jaundice. Green makes some people feel potted and Red, oh my…., let’s not use red because it is too bright, too bold, too everything…..it might excites someone….

Why don’t we start looking at colors as pieces of jewels or tasty food, instead?
Orange: agate stone or healthy orange juice.
Yellow: rare yellow diamond or yellow grape.
Green: emerald or green leafy vegetables.
Red: ruby or juicy strawberries.
Suddenly colors become interesting and vibrate positivity. After all, we embellish our hands with these jewels, and we eat these colors, why should we not have them in our homes.

Once we give a pleasant connotation to any colors, we are encouraged to wear and live even in bold colors. The secret is to use some bold colors sparingly as simple accents to give the décor live vibrations and they will not feel “in your face” anymore.

This year Yellow is everywhere. Yellow shows you are a happy person and have lively spirit. It also says you are courageous, like to take risks and shows you are confident.

A few years ago, I created a spectacular mixed floor (photo at the top) with four kinds of marbles: Giallo di Siena (Siena gold) combined with white Carrara, green and grey cipollino marble.
The result was original. These below are the samples of that room.


What does a foyer entry charged with warm yellow and apricot say about you?

What are you waiting? Use yellow freely, it can only bring sunshine in your life.
As I always say: “Colors will change your life vibrations”. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

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

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

Flamingo Pink | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Finally, I got the chance to know the flamingos in person, I waited my entire life for this opportunity. I had seen them in photographs and documentaries, until my recent trip to San Diego last week put me face to face with these tall and gracious birds living in San Diego zoo. Immediately, I felt innamorate of their elegance and their color. They are not pink, as I imagined them, they are orange color, kind of a salmon orange and I was pleasantly surprised. Their voice sounds as if they laugh constantly and I laughed right along with them. I can’t stop thinking about them. I want to have their photograph everywhere in my home, maybe I will have the best picture stretched and printed digitally as a wallpaper, or perhaps I will paint one flamingo on one of my interior doors with a nice scene surrounding it.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

The brilliant color of their feathers made me think of how fun it would be to have this bright salmon orange in a home. Looking at the pictures I took, I see all the other colors that I can combine easily with that salmon orange. There are all the possible shades of the green vegetation, the yellowish color of the water they play in, or the sandy color of the ground they stand on to sunbathe.

On my facebook wall my friends were debating what color is flamingo pink. Is it like pink and orange together, or is it a type of red that didn’t turned out quite red, or is it salmon-with a rose hue? It is a color with an uncertain personality, like periwinkle is for blue and lavender.  One woman suggested that Crayola should have one color in their collection, one stick which encompasses pink, fuchsia, orange swirled meld, that would changed as used.

One of those friends took the time to check that Crayola didn’t already have a color called Flamingo Pink and good enough there is. Looking at the chart below, one has a clear idea how many colors possibilities we can have with Famingo Pink and the list goes forever, it’s insane, but makes me very happy. http://www.crayola.com/explore-colors/flamingo-pink.aspx

In past few years we had a few bold colors to pair freely with other bold colors or any color we liked, for instance, in 2013 Tangerine Tango was made the color of that year, in 2014 we had Celosia Orange and Cayenne, in the 2016 Peach Echo was the color of the year. (Below: Pantone Colors)

 

 

I would be happy to use Flamingo Pink as an accent colors and have all the neutral colors around as a calming and buffering colors. I found this Victorian chaise long, at Laurel  Crown, I know it is an old classic style, but I see it as the only antique piece in a modern décor. The fabric with golden designs that goes with this chair is exquisite.

(Sofa and Fabric from: https://www.laurelcrown.com/victorian-single-end-show-frame-sofa)

This chaise long and my Flamingo Pink color palette will be perfect for my studio.

Life is a play and I like mine to be a colorful stage. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2018 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.

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

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.
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

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

 

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?  https://goo.gl/Vj9TFy

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

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

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,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

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: https://goo.gl/2tbN3N

Get a copy of her books here:

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

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