Picasso – Catalan Door

In Barcelona, every street and every building speak art and design. At the Picasso Museum, I expected to find a modern building, maybe a surreal building, as I see many of the modern museums around the world hosting surrealist art, instead I found a typical Catalan gothic style, almost the same as the Spanish Colonial architecture seen in Central America. I was not disappointed, the building was very nice, and I had a lot of architecture to study and admire.  I think the modern glass door needed to be a heavy carved wood door to keep in style with the decorative stone pediment above.

Picasso Museum – Barcelona, Spain

The museum is located on 15 Carrer de Montcada, in the Baró Gotico, basically, the historic heart of Barcelona and it spreads through five ancient stone palaces built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Through an exterior staircase in the courtyard filled with palm trees, the visitors can reach the exhibition areas upstairs.

Up there, the primary focus is on Picasso the apprentice and his early artistic life. With the teacher, his father, he mastered the human anatomy, the psychological insight of portraits, learned to paint real feelings as death and life. Growing up in France he tried to emulate many of his colleagues’ techniques: impressionist landscapes, posters and still lives.

Picasso Museum – Barcelona, Spain

It was a great pleasure to learn about his early work of the period he lived in Barcelona, a collection hardly seen anywhere. One can see over 4,000 works between paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics.

Picasso declared he was taught to paint as an adult when he was a teenager and painted as a child when he was in his eighty.
The Museum sells more than one million tickets each year, if you plan of going over there, get prepared.

This is in response to the Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Coffered Door

Bari, my native town is dotted with classic and neoclassic style doors. The coffered red door in my photo was, at one point in history, the entrance to a patrician home. A coffer in architecture is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit, or vault, usually found in historical buildings of powerful families, nobles, and royals. Doors were also designed in the coffer style to mark the importance of the family living there. Today, this building with a coffered red door is home to regular working people, the patina of time on the stones around the door tells the story… it is a great expense to clean those stones, modern people without servants usually don’t pay much attention, busy as they are making a living.

Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), Italy

This type of door has a central panel that opens to let in only one person at a time. It closes with a latch and a huge iron key just like a castle key. An iron door knocker announces that someone is at the door asking to come in, otherwise, the usual screaming in the street, calling someone’s name would do the trick and a person would come out at the balcony to respond.
Usually, this large door opens into an atrium without a roof, where people socially congregated. In the atrium, a set of stairs will take the people to their flats.

Bari’s old town has been revamped to accommodate fancy businesses and tourists more than residents. About twenty years ago, the city gave incentives to people living in the old Bari to leave the area and find newer homes in the modern part of Bari. As a consequence, many designers, movie producers, music makers, architects, lawyers, and many professionals took over the top floors of the historical area. Down below at the street level, restaurants, bars, pubs, various eating places, and shops for tourists occupied what was once warehouses, deposits, and market stalls. Today, old Bari is very safe and retains the charm of an ancient town. It is called the living room of the city. I remember when I needed a man to accompany me as a protection, just to attempt to walk around along the perimeter of the old town, it was never advisable for a woman by herself to get lost in the deep part where it would have been difficult to get out.

This is my entry for Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

La Salle Dore’ – Door With A View

I visited la Salle or Salon Dore’ at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco when it was just reopened after a newly refitted for a seismic area. The room is a re-creation of an elegant French neoclassical interior architecture. At the time I was remodeling an upscale home in the very same French style. The hinges of the doors in this room reminded me of the same ancient door hinges I had seen in my grandmother’s home and in many ancient homes of regular blokes I visited when I was a child.

The hinges allowed the doors to open away from the frame and lay flat on the walls, giving more space to the ladies wearing a panier dress to pass through without going sideways. That’s what women wore in the 1700s. One can see the full door opened in the rectangular photo (click on the photo to see it larger).
This hinge also allowed the owner of the mansion to see how many guests were in the salon without really being seen. My lovely vane grandmother did the same thing, she wanted to be fully prepared to receive her guests and peeped through the half-open door hinge. She came out when the room was full of people.

A very special door hinge at La Salle Dore’

A Bit of History
During the reign of Louis XVI, the rooms’ style in patrician mansions reflected the grandeur of ancient Rome. Evoking the great exploits of Imperial Rome with giant gilded Corinthian pilasters, tall arched mirrors, trophies of war and love was the way to convey a higher social status of the owner.

Salle or Salon Dore’ Photo: Legion Of Honor

The Salle Dore’ is a historical room that passed hands many times since 1795. Its boiserie (wood paneling) beautified the rooms of many world noble elite, notable business people and bankers, from the Hôtel de la Trémoille in Paris to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s mansion in England, to Mr. Rheem in Burlingame, California until finally arrived in San Francisco at the Legion of Honor Museum and re-created in its full original beauty.

My client ended up decorating one of the rooms in her home sort of like this Salon with bergères, and a canapé upholstered in blue and white silk, armchairs and console tables against the walls. The hinges….?
I had to wrack my brain to find a blacksmith who could reproduce the very same style, nothing less, or my head would have come down.
This is my entry for Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

A Venetian Door

In response to the Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion, it seems appropriate to talk about a Venetian door at this Carnevale time, the largest event in Venice that happens every year forty days before Easter. This is the door of the historical Gritti hotel, one of the few most exquisite hotels in Venice.

Hotel Gritti Palace – Venice, Italy

The entry door is designed in a typical classic style, with an arched top, surrounded by stone pilasters on both sides decorated with acanthus leaves and dentilles details.

The noble palace dates back to 1475, and although today it is a commercial hotel for the “elites”, it retains the feel of a private patrician home, where exceptional art and elegance are kept.

Hotel Gritti Palace – Venice, Italy

The Pisani family owned the palace in 1475 and transformed it into a Gothic shape. In 1525 the building became the private residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, and in the centuries that followed, the palace changed hands many times. It was home to other noble families and illustrious visitors until the early 19th century when it became a luxury hotel.

From the outside, it looks like an ordinary entry door of a patrician palace like many others in Venice. Inside the Gritti shows an unbridled luxury to leave astonished any visitors entering an unreal world beyond all limits. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
 


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

I Take Refuge In The Art

Are you tired of government restrictions and mandates? Do you wonder if we will return to the life we had before 2020? Some of my friends, established married couples of many years are now divorced, some have moved to different areas, and some have disappeared on their own.    

Certainly, life has not been very exciting, my refuge has been art for the last two years. Pretty pictures, lots of colors, and inspirational images have saved me. In the history of the world, the greatest masterpieces sprung out of the epidemic crisis. Art has been a refuge for the soul during hard times for a lot of people. Artists see the reality that scientists ignore, said Gustavo Rol, an Italian parapsychologist, philosopher, and painter. 

I think art comes from that invisible world that dominates us, of which each of us is the millionth part and together creates the great puzzle of human art.

Some people may think can’t even draw a straight line. That’s not true, they just have never developed the artistic side of the brain. Everybody who can see is an artist without even knowing it, everybody can contribute to keeping this world beautiful. Beauty and art will save the world.

I don’t think I make art masterpieces, but it has been uplifting to take refuge in the colors of nature.

I painted the guest bathroom from top to bottom, furniture included and refurbished the décor.
The yellow illuminates like the sunlight, there is no chance to get depressed in here.  

While I am waiting for life to come back, I will continue doing what makes me feel good, soak myself in the arts. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Bubbles On The Walls

How easy it is to get uplifted and pick up some good vibrations from the universe with just a bucket of paint? It’s very easy and this is what is happening to me. This year, I have decided to restyle my home just with paint and colors. From room to room, slowly my home is changing face. This is my corridor.  

My entire home is full of fantasy, it follows nobody’s trend or style. I live in colors, a lot of colors, they make me feel happy and energized. This corridor was a bit dark and always a tight space. After a paint job and a lot of gold bubbles, the space looks visually larger and illuminated.

Corridors usually divide rooms on the left and on the right, usually are built narrow and without windows to save space, but they are the places people go through often during the day. I never understood why people want to turn an already dark corridor even darker using the darkest colors, but that’s their prerogative. I want a corridor to lead me into light and fun. Here I see a lot of rhythms the exposed beams create with the stripes under the passageway to the corridor, the golden bubbles and the reflection in the mirror.

The home is an older house, I bought it for its character, I left all the details native to the house to keep the originality. I will never exchange it for a modern shoebox built today.


I painted this mural a few years ago and I still like it. I wanted to reproduce a fantasy Italianate-style building façade with some sign of life in a room and a couple kissing in the window. Italians are very expressive and are not stingy in love.

Life must not be serious, a bit of quirk in our days doesn’t hurt.
In my home we drink bubbles every day as a celebration of life, thus I thought of transferring that bubbly feeling onto the walls.
Call it weird, strange, unusual or whimsical, when I go through this corridor I feel happy vibrations. Ciao,
Valentina
Valentina Designs


Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is Italian-born, trained Interior and Fashion Designer. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual, as much as she likes to restyle people’s images. She is a storyteller and finds inspiration everywhere to write her stories. She needs your story to design your dream home or your dream look. She is the author of 6 books. Check out her books on
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Create Beauty Every Day | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

I was born in beauty, in a country that has created beauty in every corner from the sea to the mountains, in the cities or in the country. I lived in beauty, I accepted beauty as my oxygen. I cannot help but having beauty all around me.
Seeing the masterpieces of the greatest artists of all times, walking in cities made with great architecture, breathing beautiful fashion made by people who understand shapes, forms and colors and savoring the best whole food, all helped me shape my insatiable thirst for beauty.

I say it many times, beauty is contagious and multiplies, show it to people, it will make them want to copy it and create their own.

What is beauty? The Webster dictionary defines it as such: “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit”.  

In my daily routine, beauty is doing things that eliminate stress, add peace to the soul and clarity to the mind. Beauty is doing certain things I learned in my antique world that helped me being different from the mass.

Creating beauty is not only about beautifying a home. It’s about creating sensible rituals, like pick up a card and send it to someone near or far for no reason at all, or organizing a Friday night tapas a home with friends.
Creating beauty is about dating the partner who lives with us in the same home, just to kill a deadly routine, or learning to use every beautiful thing we own, antique, historical, inherited or with an emotional attachment, because the special occasion is only today.
Creating beauty is writing for yourself, it doesn’t matter if you publish it or not.
Making wines from a simple grape grown in the backyard creates beauty.

My ideas of creating beauty are endless.

We live in too much ugliness, people have become mean and feel nothing anymore, society has become deaf to all the problems of humanity, we must beautify our little world as much as we can, it’s our responsibility to make it livable for us and the people we love.



On my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/designsvalentina you will find all the episode of the series I started a few weeks ago. It’s called simply: “Create Beauty Every Day”. Every Thursday, I appear on a video and talk from my studio on how to create beauty. They are short and to the point episodes. Perhaps some people think my messages are about common sense, perhaps common sense is not so common anymore. Ciao,
Valentina



Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

It’s my hope that through my writing and my stories I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style and inspiring you to live in beauty.
I love to encourage my clients to show their personality through their home décor, or the clothes they wear. Now, I offer consultations on-line on home and fashion. Two of my books are on design and colors.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Bxhq08
Barnes&Noble:http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

The Right Home Energy | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I remember as a girl I used to come home from school and often found my room moved to a different location in my home. My mom was constantly changing rooms around as she felt the energy was not right.
As an adult and especially after I became a designer, my home layout was set at first trial, I always knew where everything was supposed to be set and stayed the same way until I moved to another city.

Lately things have not been the same for me, I felt the same restlessness my mom felt. My home had not gone under upgrade in many years. I felt the energy was stagnated.

I started to repaint furniture and various stuff. Painting makes me feel good but it is not enough. After I painted some existing furniture, I had to paint the walls behind and around those pieces, then the white door didn’t look good, the mirror needed to be changed and, as you understand, it became a domino effect. The result is that now I am redoing the look of my entire home, nothing structural, only cosmetics so far.

These in the photo below are Italian made dressers and nightstands. I was tired of this look, but could not find anything that satisfied me, too much press wood chipboard in the market. The solutions was to repaint and to give them a new face with golden onion feet and golden pulls. Here is the result of one room done in one month of redecorating work.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

I repainted the walls behind the dressers in a faux finish treatment, called the “striated effect” and added a corded wood piece vulgarly called “chair rail”.

There is a lot more to a chair rail than just protecting the walls from chairs rubbing against them. With a little fantasy it can be applied creatively and everywhere. Here it is at the top of the striated wall.

I repainted the door as well in a whimsical way. The feeling at night with suffuse lights is exquisite and in the morning I feel I am in the sea.

By painting everything myself, I saved $5K for the faux paint job and $3K for new furniture.

Once you start redecorating, restyling or just revising some area of the home, everything else will follow, and if you are not ready to tackle what seem to be an insignificant upgrade, while you are still living in the home during the process, don’t do it, the mess is overwhelming.
Next, I will tackle the bathroom and the corridor. Ciao,
Valentina
www.valentinadesigns.com


Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an art lover, author, and a lifetime designer. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. Currently, she consults on colors that will enhance clients’ personalities and are in tune with their lifestyles. To add harmony and peace to the homes, Valentina creates atmospheres using proper lighting and creating fantasy rooms instead of typical rooms looking like furniture showrooms. She is the author of six published books, two of which are on design subjects and colors. Amazon and Barnes&Noble

A Spring Table | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Eating just to fill up the stomach is a necessity to survive and get the daily fuel needed to have energy for all activities we schedule in a single day. What if we would elevate that food necessity by adding beauty to something more spiritual that really supports us? I am talking about our soul. Just like exercising and doing beauty routines, the soul needs care. Loving ourselves even in the small details of life is important to assure a serene voyage through life.

Ever since the world has been in lockdown, I miss people sitting at my table sharing food and stories, geez… I only know how much I miss it, but it doesn’t stop me from taking care of myself more than I did before. My table is well set every day as if I had guests coming, but in reality it is set only for the two of us and our spirits.

This is my Spring table. My home is furnished with enough objects to decorate a table in any season and for any occasion. I use everything in my home, even décor from various rooms that don’t belong on the table, appear on my tablescape from time to time. I orchestrate a nice, interesting sceneries and set the stage for a good eating experience. Everyone can have a unique tablescape, it’s doubtful someone else will come up with the same look. The décor of each home is original to the person living there.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Tablescape by ©Valentina Cirasola

The other day on Facebook I read this passage, I wished I knew her name, I couldn’t agree with her more: “

“It’s impossible to ban living beautiful…
Taking joy from the little details…
Because everything beautiful is infinite…
And you will never lose your values…”

Tablescape by ©Valentina Cirasola
Tablescape by ©Valentina Cirasola

Treat yourself to a bit of opulence, quirkiness, originality, or whatever strikes your fancy. No matter what the situation is today, this is the time to love yourself more than ever. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page


Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val in a Hat Shop

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer established in 1990. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. Currently, she consults on colors based on clients’ personalities and lifestyles. She creates atmospheres using the proper lighting that is going to add harmony and peace to the homes and she helps clients creating fantasy rooms instead of typical rooms looking like furniture showrooms. She is the author of six published books, two of which are on design subjects. Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Transformed | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

One of my longtime clients inherited a house. She was faced with a new challenge, what to do with one more home when there are already a few more to live in? She got the idea to turn this home into an Air B&B.

(Click on each picture to view it larger).

Common Living Area
Common Living Area


I helped her achieve this beauty and transformed it from an outdated 1970’s dingy house into a very colorful, hip place. I find it always easy to work with people who don’t fight colors and accept new ideas.

Common Living Area
Kitchen Area

I like the warmth and the ambiance we achieved with the ensemble of colors, natural stones, and colorful art. The change of floor material from wood planks to pebble centerpiece in front of the fireplace adds a lot of interest. At night, the fireplace is perfect with the magic of San Francisco’s rolling fog one can enjoy through the large glass doors.
There is a lot more of this house, now a commercial operation, I trust my client will send me the rest of the pictures. The Air B&B is within 15 minutes walking distance from downtown San Francisco.
Ciao,
Valentina
www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an art lover, author, and designer. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. Currently, she consults on colors that will enhance clients’ personalities and are in tune with their lifestyles. To add harmony and peace to the homes, Valentina creates atmospheres using the proper lighting and creating fantasy rooms instead of typical rooms looking like furniture showrooms. She is the author of six published books, two of which are on design subjects. Amazon and Barnes&Noble


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