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

 

 

 

A Dinner Table Is Not For Royals Only | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

During the holiday season everybody wants to celebrate something important, whether are the achievements of the years, religious events, or just the advent of a new year that will bring novelties, hopes and new perspectives.
As in all the celebrations, food is the center of the attraction and if we don’t indulge at least once a year, what’s the point?

“Do not worry if you have a few pounds on, you will have the eternity to have only bones” ~  my joke. You can take care of those few pounds after the holidays.

At the moment, I just want to give you some suggestions on how to set a formal, or a casual dinner table. The drawings are pretty much explanatory, but a few rules apply when sitting at a dining table properly staged.

Cutlery – The way the cutlery is set, will indicate which food will be served first. If there is a spoon on the right, you know that a soup is coming. The cutlery on the outside of the plate will be used first, work your way from outside in towards the plate. The silverware, fork and spoon, or just one of them, at the top of the plate is only for desserts and not for stirring drinks, or coffee.

Hands – Both hands must be visible on the table, but not the elbows. The body must occupy only the space that it takes.  Elbows must stay closer to the body when cutting the food and not hitting the next person sitting near you.

Napkins – will be folded in half and placed on the lap with the fold toward the waist. Gently dab the mouth with the napkin when needed, but never rub the mouth with it.

Plates – I like to place a charger plate in both casual and formal dinner setting, I think it decorates the table well. On top of the charger, place all the plates according to the sequence of food and how they will be served.

Drinks – are always placed at the right, butter plate on the left.

Bread and Butter – In different cultures you might see the breadbasket in the center of the table, which will be passed around if guests ask for, or you might not see a butter plate at all. If you are the host setting the dinner table, make sure you know the preferred customs of your guests.

How to serve – In a formal dinner, never serve the entire dinner in one plate, it is a good practice to change plate for each course. If you are the host and serving the food as well, please know that the rule is to serve from the left and pick up empty dishes from the right of each guest.

Dessert and Coffee – Dessert is usually served at the table with coffee. Invite the guests to the sitting room, or living room for a taste of spirits, such as digestive, cognac, port or sherry.

I hope this simple guideline will make a great dinner experience for you and your guests. May your table be blessed with healthy, tasty food and pleasant company.

Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

A big thank to Rebecca of  http://misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com for awarded me with the fifth star of The Blog Of The Year 2012 Award. I love her strong character. It is refreshing to read her blog on social issues. My stats as of now, show I have received 4,149 visitors to my blog site today. I am ecstatic, cannot be happier than this. This is a load of fun! I take my  hat off to everyone who is passing through, leaving a comment, or awarding me. Thank you.

Need to know more about this award? Check out the FAQ page:
http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/faqs-blog-of-the-year-2012-award

And the award goes to:

Tom – http://thepalladiantraveler.com – he fell in love with my Italy and writes about the pursuit of happiness from within the borders of Italy and, occasionally, beyond.

Cristian – http://cristianmihai.net – A writer and author from Romania. Don’t ask him to sing.

Tina – http://astronomybythecosmos.com – She writes about astronomy, very interesting subject.

Leanne – http://leannecolephotography.com – Very nice and attractive  photography.

Let’s start celebrating. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

PrintValentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. Vogue Italy  featured her as the guru of staging a home in the theatrical way. Among designing and remodeling homes, designing custom-made furniture and writing books, Valentina is now teaching etiquette, table manners, table setting and life style. Check out her latest books ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors on the subject of colors, available on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

 

From Fashion to Christmas Table | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Are you still eating on a tablecloth, or do you use placemats, or do you eat on a bare table? My table is always covered with a tablecloth and only for Christmas.

This year I have looked around for inspiration in fabric stores to designs and make my tablecloth. Fashion dresses from famous designers will give me some great source for new ideas to transfer into tablecloth designs. All those opulent dresses I have seen lately, remembrance of revival Baroque and Rococo style are a real temptation for a couture tablecloth. Some fabrics come with attached ruffles, strips of fabric, furry threads, tone on tone strings, beads, lace and so much more. The fabrics look complicated to use, but they are not and often sewing is not even necessary. Just think of it as a draping technique, just cut the yardage needed for the dining table and let it hang to the floor. Velcro ands stitch witchery tape are all the saviors.

I found a company http://www.prestonbailey.com specializing in events. The couture tablecloths showing here are some of its fabulous ideas.

Found on Etsy

 

(Photo above: viamedia-cdn.pinterest.com)

I love this idea below of creating paper cut-outs as runner and matching placemats. Any art and craft stores will have patterns to copy from, or even wallpaper are a source of inspiration. Trace and cut the design you like on any colored cardboard and place your cut-outs over a common tablecloth. Is that simple!

An elegant tablecloth can be made of various fabrics, from taffeta, raw silk, linen, voiles, chiffon to cotton and even upholstery material. Some time ago, I made a table carpet with a heavy Indian fabric and nice drapery trims for the edge. It was more a piece to cover the table, than to eat on. I like my table to be beautifully dressed.
One other time, I hand painted a tablecloth with napkins using a fabric painting that will allow me to wash the cloth in the machine without losing the design. I have nothing in my house that needs more care than myself.  Trims are all the rage, with a bit of fantasy,  you can truly lose yourself in the trims department.

Bare in mind two important things when creating your tablecloth: the color scheme of the table setting and the surroundings décor of the room where the table sits. Lighting is one of the major factors when designing any setting, but I will talk about that at a different time.

The pièce de résistance comes from LumiGram, a French company of fashion and décor that sells fiber optic tablecloth for only €249.00 (Euro), a snip, if you think about it! http://www.lumigram.com

You have a month from today to Christmas to produce a fabulous tablecloth and if you make something spectacular send it to me and I will post it in my blog.
Have a colorful and happy Thanksgiving.  Don’t worry about indulging, the next day is a different day. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.Valentinadesigns.com  

 

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Print

Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. “Vogue Italy” magazine featured Valentina as the guru of staging a home in the theatrical way. Among designing and remodeling homes, designing custom-made furniture and writing books, Valentina is now teaching etiquette, table manners, table setting and life style.

Check out her latest book ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors on the subject of colors, available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Are We Losing Manners? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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The rules of Conduct, or Etiquette of everyday life have always distinguished the humans from the animals. The rules of conduct have had a great value in the evolution of man, an intelligent way to regulate his own life and the life of others.

However, the revolution of the ‘60s brought into society a refusal of conventions and restrictions, resulting in a new thinking and new set of non-rules. The proper manners of the Victorian Era considered as being too fussy, too constricted and not very expressive of human freedom, were thrown out the window completely, giving way to casual behavior, casual language, casual dressing and casual eating.

(Photo: The Oyster Lunch. Painting by: Jean-François de Troy – 1734)

Most people consider Etiquette a set of behavioral rules, but in reality Etiquette is a value system that helps us understand how not to offend others while harmonizing our own daily life.

Good manners and good customs are not the same thing and therefore it is not easy to distinguish one from the other. Good manners become in time the customs of the society’s next generation. The generation of the ‘60s not only rejected Etiquette and the value of good manners, but also refused to teach them to the generation they created. It just so happened that in the course of 50 some years we have become accustomed to see bad manners and often we feel numb around people displaying bad manners.

(Photo: Elegant Marrymaking. Painting by: Peter Angellis. Date unknown).

Having good manners is not for “dandies”, it symbolizes self-control and reliability, but it also translates in owing one’s emotions. Having good manners makes a good impression in business, on people with hiring power, on new friends and allow us to open doors. It has been said: “kindness will give us friends”.
Who on earth wants to be around disrespectful and badly mannered people?

In the last few years, etiquette schools and forums are now springing up like mushrooms, as society wants to evolve and return to the respect for others, politeness and even dressing up for our own self-respect, or eating with proper manners.
I find the non-existence of table manners one of the many prevalent faux pas in today’s society. Let’s start by learning table manners.

Using the proper eating utensils will not only show we are knowledgeable in food and we know the sequence or function of each utensils. It also will automatically bring a certain elegant behavior. Our gestures and posture will take a special attitude. Click on my link below to see many eating utensils for proper eating. Some of them have been forgotten, but not in my house. I own them all and I use all of them, impressing my guests every time.

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Being an interior designer does not mean my work stops in building comfortable homes and creating attractive home décor. My work continues in styling other aspects of life. As one of my associates says:
“Valentina will style your home first and then your palate”.
I shall be ready and prompt when you need help in styling your life. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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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. 
As an interior designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking she loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos.
©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, her new book on the subject of colors is due to be released very soon. Check out her books  on 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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