Your Relationship With A Dining Room | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I can’t remember when was last time I decorated or designed a dining room. In my parents’ home, Sunday family gathering was a big deal, therefore the dining room was used every lunch and dinner on Sunday, the rest of the week that room was kept in order.  After I moved away, nothing was the same. I went to live in European countries where the life style was different from my Italian life style and Sunday dinners were not deemed that important. By the time I arrived in America, I had seen a revolution of customs to make my Sunday dinners affair a memory of an ancient past.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

©Valentina Cirasola – Photo taken in ZGallery

My youthful friends and clients in America, ate at restaurant often (still do), when they ate at home, sat with a tray of food in front of the TV in the media room, man cave (such an ugly definition) or in living/family room. Most of my clients had a traditional dining room at one point (still do), with a table and seating for eight people, a credenza, a china cabinet storing in plain view an array of tableware never used. Such room was mainly dedicated to Thanksgiving or Christmas and even then, often got invited to someone else’s home, leaving their dining room completely ignored for the entire year.

One might think this society has no social skills anymore and it is not so, at least not in most cases.


Parties or various home social gatherings still happen, not formal sitting down dinners anymore. The new point of mingling is the kitchen, the great room and the outdoor room. I have refreshed some of the existing formal dining rooms my clients had with new colors, accessories and artwork, and still remain unused, the formality of dinners is gone.


All the parties I have been invited to in the last twenty years have been always buffet style. My younger clients don’t even own a dining table.

At this point, I started to think maybe creating rooms without dedicated functions is a better solution.
A dining table can change function into a working table and it doesn’t need to be in a room called dining room. In the photo below, I placed this everyday function rustic dining table in the family room, nearby the kitchen, facing the open living room on the other side of the fireplace and near the game room on the left. The lower level of this house is one large space with multiple functions, one can even take an occasional nap in the large window nook of the living room with the fireplace on.


A dining table can be placed near a window seat or nook to look out on the garden (photo below).

Today, people work anywhere. A rustic wood table with benches is a modern solution for dining and other functions, it can even turn into a table for business meeting if the office is in the home.

Except for kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, all the other rooms can have multiple functions. Single people without kids can get away with sleeping anywhere in the house/apartment. The attitude toward our private spaces has changed, no longer we need to give names to rooms by their functions. No longer we need to place rugs down to defining an area, or relegate artwork only to the best part of the house, we can now have artwork in kitchens and bathrooms. Colors flow not to divide the house in the red room, the blue room , the yellow room, but to unite the spaces and expand the views.

I have beautiful boudoir lamps, floor lamps and artwork, both in my kitchen and bathrooms. I don’t have a dining room, my gatherings with friends happen between the living area and the kitchen. We sit on the floor cushions when seats are not enough.

Large kitchens sell the house. The best way to get a return on investment is to eliminate the dining room completely and take that space to create a larger kitchen.

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

In my 28th years of design business I am having more fun than ever, experience eliminates stress and dictates the pace of work. I am evolving in different directions while still helping people realizing their dream spaces in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. Colors are the main focus of my business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. I am on TV once a month, that is my own TV show produced under my label Valentina Design Universe, bringing fun topics to my audience.
Check out my books on




Colors Around Food | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Doing colors for a restaurant is not the same as doing colors for the home. A restaurant is a place people spend money to eat, want to be jovial, want to be treated right and feel good in the environment they are paying for.
Colors must be inviting, pleasant, easy on the eye and meet everybody’s taste. In the home we can get away with blue and grey, not in a restaurant, unless the décor of the restaurant is done purposely in high-tech, contemporary, with exposed steel beams, glass, then it calls for cool industrial colors. If that is the case, lighting will be extraordinary to counter balance the office-type colors.

If food is good but people leave reviews about the lack of ambience, most likely it has to do with colors and décor. It was the case of this restaurant. The owner painted walls/ceiling grey and black, added black tables and grey chairs thinking the modern, clean look, linear design would be suiting to people, but the space originally was not planned to be an industrial style.  Apparently, their customers did not like it a bit, thus the owner called me, the Queen of colors, to find solutions for this place that looks more an office for geeks, than a restaurant.

The first thing I want to git rid of is the black fascia at the ceiling line, it makes the place really heavy like a hood. I substituted it with a view of a street lined up with restaurants scene. At least it is a colorful and happy scene, people sitting across from that wall, will have something interesting to look at, instead of a black wall.

Colors of the entire establishment will change to sunny colors. I think eating in a public place is an experience that engages all the senses, not just the papillæ buds. One wants to look at beautiful décor, soak in the ambience to feel relaxed, enjoy the fire if there is one, taste wines that will encourage conversation, be under a beautiful lighting that enhances the food and gives a glow to people’s faces. A successful restaurant must think of all these elements as one more thing to offer with good food. Why people would spend money to go out to eat, if the restaurant is less attractive than the ambience at home?

Below is the previous black wall, now decorated with a scene on panel printed digitally.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


This is the previous black wall and grey ceiling as it was.


These are the colors I have chosen, with other décor to beautify the place. The look I am trying to achieve is a shimmering effect of seeing and not seeing through mirrors and transparencies. I want mirrors on the walls with colorful mosaic frames. Illuminated glass turtle for a funky décor, will appear as if the turtles are walking the walls. Travertino stacked stones and glass blocks will decorate an area to hide workers in the kitchen. Wood panels (in my drawing) with  mirror insets will divide a few areas in the dining room. The holes with the mirrors are large, medium, small for a playful game and will reflect various areas and not just faces.


The work will be done in stages, due to the foot traffic the restaurant has every day. I hope to see the work finished in no time. Ciao,

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


A Good Interview In New York | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The week starts with Monday and my week started with a good interview.
Star Host Rick Delgado interviewed me for a radio show in New York “The Professional’s Roundtable” at All Business Media FM.

(photo of Rick Delgado from


Rick Delgado interviewed some notables, just to name a few:
Steve Martin
Mayor Gavin Newsom (Mayor San Francisco, CA)
Adam Ferrara (Top Gear)
Barry Williams (Greg Brady/Brady Bunch)
Jim Breuer (Saturday Night Live)
Hall & Oates
Jon Stewart (The Daily Show)
Mario Cantone (Sex & the City/The View/Match Game)

And now should I consider myself one of them? Here is the link to my radio interview, if you would like to listen to:

The interview was about my activity as a designer in both fields of home interior and fashion.
I guess, when they found me searching the internet, the duality of my business struck their attention, they might have thought it is not common to find a designer who comprises two activities under the same business. Actually, it is not that difficult.

Designing my way has only one verb in common: Build.
In designing a home, I take care of lines, shapes, forms and colors, just the same as designing a personal image with clothes. I build these elements adding harmony and balance to make an appealing result, which is easy on the eyes and favorable to each personality I worked for. Nothing to it, especially when I have done it for decades and I was exposed to style since a young age.

Interview here:

I am very grateful All Business Media FM in New York found me and I am grateful for the honor to have been interviewed by Rick Delgado.
It was a great experience being on the air with him. Now, I just have to wait for some good results. Ciao,


Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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

Oversize It | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I want it big, I want it large, I want it to fit even a small hole, I want it sturdy and comfortable.
I want an oversize coffee table to place books and interesting decorations, food and drinks, put up my feet up to listen to music or have a business meeting around it. What were you thinking I was referring to? Although….that thought was nice too….

In a client’s home I have used a Gwendolyn table from Living Space, as large as the three-seat sofa leather they have. It looks great.

It is a myth that a coffee table, which sits in the middle of a conversation area must be small and not overpowering the furniture. I am glad today we have the freedom to choose how we want to decorate a room and there are almost no rules to follow. A large table covering the length of a sofa or just about, will make the room appear larger, whereas a small table will make the room and the seating arrangement look a bit skimpy. I don’t like to see the small tables side by side, or two small ceramic Oriental cylinder in front of the sofa, I like to see an oversize table, something that can store more seating underneath, and can serve everyone sitting around.

I also got this coffee table for a client, who often has more people the house can handle, it provides extra leather seats, which are stored under the glass table top when not in use.

Selecting large furniture for a small room, makes the space look better and reduces the amount of odd, small little things that inevitably crowd the space. Ciao,

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

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,


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


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 – 

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

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… 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,

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


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