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, but 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 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 

 

 

 

Futuristic Homes | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

“Valentina, do you have the keys to my house? I have a cold and my house door doesn’t recognize my voice, I can’t get in the house.” That was a client who demanded a voice-activated entry installed at his door. One day, he had a cold and the computer didn’t recognize his voice. His wife was on a business trip, the kids had gone camping and he had left the keys in the house as he usually did, he trusted the system would never fail. He ended up going to a hotel until he figured out what to do.

Electronics are excellent when they work and hopefully can free our time of nuisance house chores. However, electronics are made by humans and will always fail. Alternative plans are in order. In this video, you will see a “smart refrigerator” it will tell you when your milk or eggs expire, it will talk to you about various need you have with food and many new features we are not used to seeing in refrigerators.

Today’s appliances seem to be made for wealthy people. The refrigerator featured here costs around $5,000, but this beautiful invention cannot be the only appliance in a kitchen, it calls for all other smart appliances to play the same role in a sophisticated kitchen. In a remodeling situation, it is not difficult to come up with the “magic price” of all the appliances needed.

Watch this video, it’s fun and probably you will fall in love with this beauty.

 

I welcome innovations that will let us use our time in a better way, to socialize with other human beings, to read, to write, to create beauty, to help the world, and hopefully, will not give us a robotic life.

However, I am always wondering what kind of listening-in devices new appliances have these days, just saying….a thought for you.

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
http://www.valentinadesigns.com  

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValentinaRedHat

Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in interiors and fashion. Her extensive training and knowledge in both fields led her in both directions successfully. She is well-known for designing custom furniture. She cares to make spacious and functional pieces, always attentive to innovations, but she doesn’t forget to introduce the element of surprise, sinuous lines, attractive shapes and colors in the style fit for each of her special clients. She also focuses on color theory and psychology to transform people’s life. She is the author of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition.
Check out her books on Amazon and Barnes&Nobles

Audacious People That Inspired Me | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I can spend hours in awe looking at homes of flamboyant, audacious people, those who decorate their homes as the last paradise on earth, or as if they are living in their own fantasy. In my reality, I rarely visit homes that leave an impression on me. People think decorating is all about rules, geometry, and functionality. Although functionality is a requirement for harmonious homes, playful fantasy is not, and somehow people think an undescriptive home is better than a fantasy home. That overwhelming feeling of admiration we feel when we are in front of a piece of art, that sense of sublime we feel when we see an originally decorated home doesn’t exist in today’s homes. Most decorating today is about minimalism, straight lines, and space-saver container furniture. I can understand that, builders are not interested in making artistic homes, they want to turn around more shoeboxes homes as possible in a very short time and saturate the market.

I am not complaining, I am only wondering how is it possible to live in a home that doesn’t show any fantasy, any hidden dreams and the playfulness towards life.

One of the people I have extreme admiration for is a former interior/fashion designer, and a geriatric fashion model: Iris Apfel, I believe now is 96 years of age. Iris is a maximalist and has cultivated a personal style that is both witty and exuberant. She can mix high fashion with low street fashion, modern with ethnic jewelry, baroque with French-style and oriental furniture. She carried her vivacious personality in home decorating as well as in fashion.

Iris Apfel Apartment

Iris Apfel Apartment – COPYRIGHT ©2011 THE CONDÉ NAST PUBLICATIONS.

Through her designing years, Iris collected incredible home accessories that show off all her personality.

Iris Apfel - Accessories

Iris Apfel – Accessories

 

Elephant cocktail table

Elephant cocktail table

Iris is an original. She combines fabrics, colors, and patterns like nobody can.

On Vivienne Westwood FB

Iris Apfel- Source: Vivienne Westwood FB page

 

Someone else got my attention years ago, French fashion designer Christian Lacroix with a totally different style, colorful and equally flamboyant as Iris Apfel.

Hotel Christian Lacroix

Hotel designed with Christian Lacroix fabrics

 

 

Histoire Naturelle

Histoire Naturelle fabrics by Christian Lacroix

This zebra sculpture is fantastic.

appartment_Sacha_Walckhoff

appartement_Sacha_Walckhoff

 

belle-rives

belle-rives

 

I am glad my home is not any less than the flamboyant, audacious people that inspired me in my design career. In my theatrical home, I broke all decorating rules because I can and I made it very colorful.
“Life is a theatre and this is my comedy,” I said it. Ciao,
Valentina 

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValentinaRedHat

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, the latest ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition is about colors. All Books are available on Amazon and Barnes&Nobles 

 

 

 

 

A New Challenge | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I love to be challenged, especially at the beginning of the year. Resolutions are useless, nobody keeps them passed January, challenges are almost an attach to self -discipline. I am in every time someone challenges me. This month, I am participating in Paul Taubman’s blog challenge, writing one blog a day for the entire month of January. http://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimateBlogChallenge

On January 1st, I never do any work, I refuse to get closer to anything resembling work. I am starting from day 2 of the blog challenge by telling about my work as a designer.  Often people think designers live in a gold bubble, have a golden life in a high stratosphere, and are fortunate people to discover where fantastic items, fabric, furniture, and rare clients are. Some of this is true only when a designer reaches a certain level of fame. Starting out is a hard climbing uphill for 90%  of the designers unless behind them there is an angel ready to shell out lots of money to subsidize the new profession.

Valentina on Job Site

Valentina on Construction Site

To produce something spectacular takes hard work and the behind of the scene moments are not that attractive. Designers often hang out in the industrial areas, dirty and unsafe places, where things are built. As an interior designer, I have dealt with fabrications of cabinets, wood, stone, iron, lighting, furniture in shops and warehouses located never in the richest and elegant areas of the city. One time, for only a second, I didn’t get caught in a crossfire of gangs shooting each other. The daughter of the iron fabricator got a bullet in her head and remained a paralyzed vegetable for life. She was at the time only 16 years old and I witnessed that very sad moment.

Designers must be psychologists dancing around clients’ troubles, quarrels, stress, and problems. They must know how to keep the peace and how to use the clients’ budget. We don’t want to talk about liability….of my!

If I was told all that I had to face in the real world at the end of my design studies at the university, I am not really sure I was going to stay in this design profession. However, knowing me and my love for design, I would have challenged everyone. In the meantime, thirty years have passed by and I carried on both professions, fashion, and interior design. Have I arrived? No, I have so much more to do, keep evolving in new future challenges.

If you want to see my evolutions, click on the video. TV producer Adek Hanukai, interviewed me this past summer on his show at KMVT15. The name of the show is simply “Valentina”.

What is your challenge this year? Wishing you a splendid 2020 all the way through. Ciao,
Valentina

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValentinaRedHat

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. She produces her own line of clothing and accessories and designs custom outfit for special occasions when her clients requested it. To better help people all over the world, she offers consultations online. She is the author of four books.
Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors:
©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition on
Amazon and Barnes&Nobles

Christmas Reflection | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Receiving gifts is an exciting moment, someone is thinking of you and wants to please you or make you happy with a simple gesture. You go through the process of tearing the beautiful wrap covering the box and reading the card attached to the gift. You think “I am so lucky someone took the time to do this for me on this occasion”. Finally, the gift presents itself to your eyes and suddenly you feel sad, your jaw drops as if you have seen a ghost and you are in disbelieve of what you just saw in the box. It is the same present you gave a year ago to that same person giving you the present, the gift returned to you recycled.

Yes, this is true, it has happened to me, I received a year later, the same gift I gave to that very person standing before me, telling me how much she cared for my friendship. My surprise was so big, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry. I exclaimed: “I wanted to buy me this gift last year, I loved it so much…, instead I bought it for you because you like everything I wear, I thought you would have worn it with pleasure, instead I am so fortunate it returned to me, it must have been really made for me.” End of discussion and friendship. She could have simply written my name on the gift to remember who gave it to her and recycle it to a different person. That year, I decided not to give Christmas presents anymore to no one. To most people, Christmas is only the time to overspend carelessly, the holiday itself doesn’t mean much else.

In this period of the year, I spend time with friends I have not seen much during the year, I call people in need of comfort and company, I cook special food, and sweets to share with others, I make simple things to give away, such as decorative balls for the tree and give thanks to many people who helped me in my life and business. I enjoy attending many Christmas shows and parties. This time of the year for me is all about the new light coming into my life, realizing new dreams, and thinking of new opportunities.

I want to give you some suggestions if you are into giving a lot of gifts. All factory items already come sealed in a lot of plastic boxes, often very hard to open. We must be conscious of the environment, let’s eliminate all the possible waste we can. This year wrap your gift in brown paper, better if it comes from grocery shopping, cut away the name of the store and use the rest of the shopping bag. I saw this picture on Pinterest with the photo of the person the gift is intended for, I thought it’s a great idea.

OurSuburbanFarm

Our Suburban Farm

Jane Lee on Instagram has another great idea, she attaches parts of a newspaper over the brown paper, a fern branch with a wax seal and a handwritten message.

Jane Lee Instagram

Jane Lee Instagram

Sometimes, I have wrapped gifts in my own architectural drawings for home remodeling I did for clients. It was another way to show people what I do and recycle the drawings. Also, I have wrapped gifts in fabrics to use as napkins or kitchen towels later.

Shopping_Package

Fabric as gift wrap

Please don’t stress out over Christmas, this is the time to enjoy a renewal of your spirit and collect the strength to start a new fabulous year. Ciao,
Valentina 

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValentinaRedHat

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

Amazon Author’s Page

 

Doors | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

A door is a swinging or sliding barrier by which an entry is closed and opened. A theatre opens its doors when a new show is ready to be viewed. A door could be a gate to secure people inside a dwelling or a closure for some kind of cabinetry. The word “doors” can also mean an opportunity that presents itself unexpectedly. We give many meanings to the word doors, the fact is that before the Neolithic time human beings didn’t know what a door was, they lived well protected inside caves, the fire kept the humans warm and the wild animals away. I saw the first attempt at a Neolithic door in the museum Ridola in Matera, Italy. It was made with straw, mud, dirt, and pieces of wood.

(Click on each picture to view it larger).

Neolithic House

Neolithic House, Ridola Museum, Matera, South Italy

Doors evolved in something more decorative as security became a necessity, even when that security served to hold people up in dungeons.

Door In Gioia

Door In Gioia, South Italy

Painters and artists at times have used doors to immortalize effigies of powerful people who gained high places in society. That’s the case of Swabian Emperor Frederick the II, ruler of South Italy, surnamed “Stupor Mundi” for his love of the arts and cultural innovations as a means to unify all races.

 

Painted Door

Painted Door, Gioia, South Italy

As times progressed, riches and nobles decorated their entry door with the family crests, faces of divinities or any symbol showing wealth, prosperity, and personal beliefs.

Matera-Door.jpg

Door in Matera, South Italy

 

 

Antique_CastleDoor-Gioia

Castle Antique Door in Gioia, South Italy

 

Bari-Door Palazzo Fizzarotti

Door Palazzo Fizzarotti, Bari, Italy

Even door hinges have had a place of importance throughout history. Inside La Salle d’Or recreated at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco we can admire the splendor of the French Court through a disjointed hinge that allows people to get a preview of who is in the room without being seen.

Salle D'or-Legion Of Honor

Salle d’Or-Legion Of Honor, San Francisco

Some doors provide a good blackboard for the fantasy of a Flâneur to unravel. Here on this door in Polignano a Mare, Italy, this passionate wonderer wrote a Shakespearian sonnet:
“Love runs to meet love with the same joy young pupils run away from their books, but love which must separate from love has the face of young pupils returning to school.”

Flâneur

Writing of a Flâneur – Polignano a Mare, South Italy

In Barcelona, the city where even the sidewalks are overly decorated, I saw many beautiful Art Deco doors in just as many beautiful buildings lining the streets.

Barcelona_Building

Building in Barcelona, Spain

Prague, an austere and romantic city, displays very elegant doors with caryatids supporting pilasters, arches, balconies, and many classic architectural details.

Jewelry Store

Jewelry Store

Some doors are just elegant gilded barriers to keep the elite in and the plebeians out.

Royal Door as Prague Palace

Royal Door at Prague Palace, Czech Republic

While other doors look like a fortress just because they conceal the secrets of a nation.

Romanian Embassy

Romanian Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic

But then some playful people like to stick birds and flowers on their entrance door and others like to paint puppet’s faces.

Nature Decorated Door

Nature Decorated Door

 

Marionettes Shop

Marionettes Shop, Prague, Czech Republic

As a world trotter, I take pictures of the details of a country. Doors attract me just as people’s expressions, customs, food, and languages. I conceived this roundup of doors only to say “Be Yourself.” The entrance door is your business card, it makes the first impression of who are the people living behind the door in a split of a second.
One of my clients is turning her house located in a nice downtown area, into air B&B. The entry door will be painted red as an indication that the interior rooms will be modern, upbeat, and very colorful. Don’t be afraid to paint your entrance door, to stick charms on it, to add faces and decorative elements, or to use a type of wood nobody else uses. Ciao,
Valentina  

Author’s page 

 

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
AmazonBarnes&Nobles

 

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