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

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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

Urban Style With Traces Of Antiquity | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

For many years I was asking to get a client with a non-traditional taste, someone who would care less about the “resale value” of the house and care more to create spaces suited for his/her living,  where function, art and whimsy would marry well. At one point, even us designers, get tired of producing same designs over and over, the same white or beige kitchens, decorating with traditional furniture, or worst, have to find inexpensive modern furniture, often made from sawdust, to keep expenses down.

My “prayers” were heard. Someone reached out to me, after silently had studied me online, followed my blogs, saw my posts on social media without commenting one word and finally one days, she called. Her husky voice made me think of a very demanding person…and she was. She is an antiquarian by trade with a clinic eye trained to see only beauty.

She asked me to design her open space, kitchen-dining-living in an urban modern style with prominent traces of antiquity. This woman is not a common person who gets content with a maple kitchen. This woman demands a full stainless steel kitchen, including cabinets and she envisions a color palette ranging from silver, gray, powdery bluish, gold and a hint of white.  I am so lucky, I thought. Finally, I had the opportunity to run wild !!! I placed myself in that empty space and I saw the effect in my imagination. What a beautiful spaces  it will be when completed! This is what I came up. (Click on the image to view it larger).

Stainless steel needs contrasts, otherwise looks very cold and industrial.  The contrast here are the burnished bronze door handles, same treatment repeated on the backsplash.
The house faces a beautiful city view, framed by arched French doors, it will reflect, as I see it,  onto a large antiqued wall-to-wall mirror, placed opposite to the city view. It is quite expensive to do an antiquing treatment on a mirror,  but it is the necessary element for this urban interior with a patina of antiquity. Grisailles treatment in a grayish tone will enclose this large mirror and it will not look stark and naked.

 


(Photo Grisaille: http://montanarosepainter.tumblr.com/post/143901271457/lapagedenine-via)

This silver iron with a hint of blue is the wall treatment.  (Photo: lured2stock.deviantart.com_silver_iron)

Bluish-green draperies in my board are not to beautify the French doors, the view needed not to be concealed. The photo of the drapery below is an example of how I see Venetians style draperies with silk tassels to function as a decorative divider element between the kitchen-living-dining open space and the corridor leading to the entry.

(Above: interiorsbycolor.com)
(Photo antiqued mirror in my board: AntiqueMirrorGlass-roselawnlutheran.org)

A white and rough stone floor will unite all the texture and bring light to the common spaces. Work will start in the new year.
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Ciao,

Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens, cooking and extensive knowledge of food. She operates in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. Check out her books available on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

 

 

 

Dining In Colors | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Eating is a story, not just a moment to fulfill a necessity. Every nation has special holiday dining customs and rituals. In the western world, we sit at a well decorated table and give our guests something stunning to look at while they gather to enjoy dinner. Your dining table should be colorful, inviting, extravagant (why not?) and especially filled with good food.

It is easy to set up a table with traditional dishware, crystal glasses and silver flatware, nothing to it. The challenge comes when you want to do something out of the ordinary, colorful and follow your instinct instead of rules. How a table that responds to these characteristics would look like?

First, create a color scheme, let’s say blue. It doesn’t mean everything on the table must be blue, you need to create a rhythm with complement or analog colors.
Vincent Van Gogh said: “There is no blue without yellow and without orange”. Right there is the answer. With a blue tablecloth, yellow and orange tableware will be perfect. Blue is a cold color, yellow and orange are warm colors. You have created a color temperature.

Start with choosing a theme for your table: Bohemian, bucolic, country and so on.
Then select dark, medium and light values of the color you plan on using.
Find some complement or analogue colors to mix in and to add rhythm to the table setting.
Mix and match the tableware as you like.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

For this first tablescape the theme is Bohemian. I chose a white tablecloth as the base for layering all the colors. Two different colors tea tablecloth covered opposite corners of the table, one black with bird motifs and the other one in golden tones with classical motifs.
Playing with geometry and mixing round with square plates from various dish sets is fun. Mix vintage and modern plates, mix colors and shapes, no rules and surprise yourself.
I made the napkins from leftover material of various projects and closed them in brass napkin rings. Tea light holders made of rusted metal go well with brushed bronze flatware.
Glassware don’t match on purpose, but the greenish tone is their common denominator to other items on the table.
Prosecco bottle has an interesting Venetian embellishment. She is the autumn leaves lady that sometimes is on a wine bottle and sometimes is on a mirror somewhere else in the house. Her purpose is to embellish.

For the second Bohemian table, I have used a floral tablecloth, made of silk fabric in silver tone, as the base, then I cover it half way with a red voiles shawl. Each set of glassware is made of three different styles glasses and each set is made of the same three pieces. Even though, I chose a continuity in the glassware, I wanted my plate sets to be extravagant in style and colors. The silver flatware is a contrast to the gold wine glassware. I scattered some acrylic diamonds on the cloth to pick up light from candles and lamps outside the table. The table is set for two, it would be just the same for 4-6 or more people.

A dinner table is for food and conversation, decorations should be kept minimal and low to allow guests to see each other and talk across the table.

This will be the topic of my next TV Show: “Dinner At 7:00” produced under my label Valentina Design Universe.
I hope you have a splendid Thanksgiving. 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
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

 

 

 

Rounded | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Going to Napa, the California wines’ valley  is a fun experience every time. Stores display unusual merchandise for those people looking for originality and at time a bit crazy too, but crazy in home décor is good. One or a few whimsical pieces here and there make a jovial, playful home. Colors and rounded shapes are more welcoming than straight lines or sharp corners, especially if kids are around.

I loved this pod chair. Not only is round, it swivels and is patriotic.  All black leather covers the interior of the pod. I would have liked it in all red interior.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)


In the same store, I found this very unusual table set made of hammered metal with golden beading. I wondered if this is only a decorative table set, or it is intended for food and if it is, how food would taste on metal. In the Middle Age, metal and wood were the only materials used to make plates, until ceramic was invented.

 

This set of lace tray and plates is magnificent, and the price is as well,  $525 each set, of my !!!

The visit could not be complete without a visit to at least one winery, where the round oak wine barrels, round shaped garden and beautiful flowers  greeted us.

Round shaped flower beds and a round fountain make an inviting courtyard.


Napa Valley is a country side, with a warm, sultry temperature, vineyards and wine makers populate the area. 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.

Some of the buildings stayed the same since 1892 or just about. The round paneling enclosing all windows makes nice details on a building that is otherwise square.  History and traditions is what I want to see when I get away from the city, skyscrapers and heavy traffic.

I think, I can live here, even without the sea. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art and original pieces means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves writing travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design her interiors. She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on:
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB

Talking RED With Carra | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

This week, five years ago, I launched my third book: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors. Many people interviewed me and cheered along with me.
Carra Riley was one of the kind and interesting people who interviewed me on Blog Talk Radio. Here is the link to the interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/carra-riley/2012/10/18/red-hot

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

©RED – A Voyage Into Colors- Author Valentina Cirasola

 

Carra Riley is an author, realtor and one of the most creative people, full of ideas I have ever met. She never stops at one enterprise, she has two or three already started and taking shape at the same time. Carra is a high energy, passionate person and I love her just because of that. Passion is a rare quality that makes the world go around. She connects the dots around the world and dodges Cosmic Cow Pie with her book full of solutions and practical advises for an organized and balanced life. After her Cosmic books and products, she developed the Transition Living Real Estate Team through which she takes care of seasoned people transitioning in their third and fourth age.

(Above: Carra Riley – Author, Photographer, Realtor)

Carra loves photography. Two of her photos were exhibited in a Russian Art Gallery during the Olympics in Russia 2014 featured in the “100 Wonders Of The World.” The exhibition was put together with the help of National Geographic, a unique way of re-examining the view of the world from the perspective of different societies and cultures, such as Russia, Germany, USA, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Kuwait and even African countries.

(Above: Banana Flower taken in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii by Carra Riley)


(Above: Gallery for “100 Wonders of the World.” St. Petersburg, Russia)

Talking RED with Carra was fun and entertaining. She asked what the title of the book meant and I explained that my drawing on the front cover has many symbolisms. The heart represents all my passions tight by a leather belt to keep them from escaping. The three holes at the tops of the heart represent windows in my travels from which I have seen colors of other cultures, hence RED-A Voyage Into Colors. The red dot at the tip of the heart represents the heart itself kicking and shuffling all my colorful passions to make them happen and…. happen they did.

She went on asking about the meaning of the color RED in various aspects of life.
I introduced some concepts of RED used in marketing and sales, in decorating with Feng Shui theory, dos and don’ts of RED, how to polarize water, how to use it in our clothes and how to balance the red chakra.

Often one hour is never enough to talk about colors, but I was so grateful to Carra for this interview while I was launching the book. We exchanged our books, I was so happy to read her Cosmic Cow Pie, even happier about her book on CD I listened in the car during my long hours of driving.
Find her books here:  http://cosmiccowpie.com/store/book-and-cd

 

Cosmic Cow Pie Books – Author Carra Riley

Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots by Carra Riley

Carra makes the world go around, she is a giver and a caring person. I am so happy to have connected online with her many years ago and still waiting for that moment when I will meet her. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

As a designer in business since 1990, Valentina Cirasola is interested in helping people designing their interior-exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. She is always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces she designs. Color is the focus of her 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 her work. She appeared on RAI, National Italian T.V. and on many local TV Shows in California. Her story continues.
Find copies of her book on colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Bring Back Charm | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Newly built homes might follow trends of the moment, but lack the charm of trims and custom millwork of elegant homes of the past.
Adding an arch, a niche, a wainscoting or various crown moldings is not as intimidating as one thinks. I am working on a client’s home, it will be cute as a button when it will be finished. Adding the archway was easy even for the contractor. Between demolishing the existing door and building the new arch, took no time, just a day of work. It seems such a small detail, but the new arch is making a big impression in the room. The medium-high kick board highlights the new distressed wood next to the tile planks. The cabinets with interior lights on both sides of the arch, seem to frame it.  The new corner block molding finishes beautifully the end of the crown molding, which doesn’t dead end in the wall.
Before the arch, there was a door there, now both rooms look one entity, even though there is a change of color.
That is called rhythm.

Block moldings are small details with large power, they finish corners so beautifully.
(Photo below: Decorating Ceiling Tiles)

(Photo below: Crown Molding Corner Blocks Lowes Sheltylvratt Net Pinterest)

In the photo below is explained how easy it is to design and elegant ceiling crown moldings with a bunch of strips stacked together in an artistic manner. (Photo below: TheJoyofMoldings.com)

What else can we frame with crown moldings? Frame a mirror.
(Photo below: http://www.kts-s.com/kts/53083/how-to-frame.asp)

Frame a door with simple molding and corbels, which will add attractive classical details with an old charm, even if it’s only one doorway as shown in the photo (By: Full of Great Ideas – http://www.livingho.me)

 

Wall frame paneling – simple moldings can be arranged to mimic ornate profiles and add the illusion of wood paneling, just like those used by the British homes in the 1750s. (Photo found on: http://www.buzzfeed.com)


Tall Baseboard –After World War II, houses went up like mushrooms. Society had the need to rebuild infrastructures, homes, schools, shops and everything else. To give way to fast building, beautiful details of past architecture were not important anymore.  Layering various pieces of molding with different feature, such as a flat plank with a decorative cap molding and quarter round pieces, is very effective, it defines the room by adding a regal look and value to the house.
A tall baseboard can be made with flexible skirting as this one in the photo below.
(Photo below – https://www.wmboyle.co.uk/product/sx118-flexible-skirting)

 

 

Upgrading the home with small details such as crown molding will increase the value of your property and will be your home, personalized to your taste, not the builder’s taste. 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 online 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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