Renaissance Canopy Bed | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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It is a pleasant surprise to start the week with a project featured on Avaliving.
Thank you Avaliving for choosing my projects among all the very talented designers hosted on this site. Avaliving is a site for experienced designers who want to showcase their work to consumers and help them decorating or restyling their homes through on-line consultations.
This week’s theme was a timeless canopy bed. I presented my Renaissance Canopy Bed, which I designed for a teenager who enjoyed the room until it was time to leave the nest to go to college. This is still her room when she returns home and she is still enjoying the timeless décor.

Splash of FunFour-poster beds became very popular around the early 1600. They usually had side curtains, which afforded a great measure of warmth, as well as privacy to their occupants, although personal privacy concept was taking off as an idea, it was relatively unimportant at that time. Small kids still slept in the same room with the parents, as they did in the Middle Age time, while the older kids slept in one room all together. A desire for a greater measure of privacy was evidenced by the separation of the masters from their servants, who usually had beds in the smaller adjacent rooms, or near the kitchen.

(Photo: http://www.hyperkenntnis.com/27b06ba105ba-velvet-canopy-bed-curtains.html)

Furniture was to be admired and to convey the wealth of its owners, but the primary function was to be used, just like today. Tables, chairs, containers furniture such as credenza and cupboards, curtained four-poster beds were of oak or walnut with elegantly turned legs and often hand painted with the application of gold or silver foil. Canopy beds, when they were very ornate, found their place in the middle of the bedroom as a focal point just to add style and character, or against the largest wall in the bedroom.

Today we have kept the same custom. In my room featured on Avaliving, the canopy bed takes the center stage in a very colorful room. It was custom designed accordingly to the girl’s taste. The frame at the feet of the bed was hand-painted on wood in the style of a Renaissance bucolic theme. A local metal worker, who executed my design, forged the metal posts beautifully.

 

 

https://valentinadesigns.com/portfolio-view/girl-bedroom-and-bath-palo-alto-ca/

A canopy bed can fit in any style décor, even in a contemporary style with straight lines, dark wood and neutral colors.
I like the spicy colors in this photo (below). I find it very relaxing and vibrant.
Vintage pillows on the coral velvet settee that sits at the base of this bed bring a splash of colors, while bringing life to a neutral color bedroom.

Have fun with a canopy bed, take inspiration from the past, or look around in stores to adapt elements that might be used for something else and make it your own. Not everything we see is meant to have one function only.

As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your needs, whether it will be decorating, designing, or remodeling. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

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A Design Success Story Video:

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Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been in business as a designer since 1990. She has helped a variegated group of fun people realizing their dreams with homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She is a designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes. As an Italian designer and true to her origins, she provides only the best workmanship and design solutions.
She is also the author of two books. 
Find her books on

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

Mirrors And The Opera Singer | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Josephine On Ava

A maze of garden vignettes and strategically placed pathways hide a series of beautiful condos each with its own personality and mostly inhabited by couple without kids, or well to do retired people.
From downstairs in the garden a faint opera music resounds in my ears and as I get closer to the entry door, the voice of Pavarotti singing an aria fills the air.
This is Josephine‘s home, a retired widow, a traveler, artist painter, and a social butterfly, involved with many committees, social gathering and charitable events. Did I forget dancer?

Josephine’s home is a theatre, at the turning of each corner there is a new scene, my eyes keep staying attentive, there is so much to capture. Nothing matches in her décor, but everything fits together well. Amazing how some people try to do the matchy-matchy dance and end up with a boring décor. Josephine likes to be surrounded by her travel memories, her art, which she paints like a pro and color, lot of colors.


The first thing a visitor will notice is the Italian kitchen made by Scavolini, shiny, Ferrari red, young looking, but Josephine is a vibrant lady in her 70s. She refuses to act her age, to dress for her age, or accepting a tranquil home in all beige tones.

The Ferrari red kitchen hits you like a sudden rush of blood to the brain and all the notes of an Italian ‘farsa’ appear to be written all over it.

The black granite counter is jagged, never seen before, with three Murano glass pendants playing a diagonal line of light over the counter. Josephine doesn’t like “common” and doesn’t like to follow other people’s taste. She has been the perfect client!

Unlike many people, she is at ease with mirrors and likes them scattered in her décor, in unusual places.

She has one mirror artistically placed in a living room over a slipper chair and a Venetian mask peeping from the top. Then I see another mirror in the studio’s bathroom into which a grouping of more Venetian masks reflects from the opposite wall.

It’s like theatre curtains opening up for a new act, I go through a corridor and I spot another mirror, enter a new space and see myself in a French mirror set around some Oriental vases.

A shimmering is also coming out from an umbrella stand full of umbrellas decorated with edges of roses and mirrors. Fun, whimsy, feminine!


Earlier, I said Josephine feels at ease with so many mirrors, but the real reason is that she likes to sing opera’s arias while she is taking care of house business or paper work and watch herself reflected in all the mirrors.

Her home is her stage and her play. She has a young soul.
Amazing woman!

Thank you Avaliving for having selected this project to feature in your theme week:
Designing with mirrors.

(All photos taken by ©Valentina Cirasola inside Josephine’s home with permission).

As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your needs, whether it will be decorating, designing, or remodeling.

I offer design consultation on-line.
Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer and former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe since 1990. She blends well fashion with interior and colors the world of her clients. She has been described as “the colorist” and loves to create the unusual. She is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w 

A Versatile Corner | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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As featured on Avaliving, a site for designers directed to consumers. Thank you Avaliving for choosing my project among many others. Offering design consultations on-line any where in the world without leaving my office is a new addition to my business, resulting in a huge savings for the consumers.

The Story:
Any unused corner in the house is a good opportunity to turn it into a chatting, reading, or breakfast area. Sometimes is just enough to have a bistro table, a couple of wrought iron chairs and real flower on the table to create an inviting scene.

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

My Client had an empty corner in a large room she didn’t know what to do with it, especially because the room was a mismatch of eclectic furniture.
My goal was to create an “out of the ordinary” corner, a bit on the Bohemian French style and create vignettes in the rest of her large room that would communicate with each others while keeping each its own identity.

Each vignette would offer a certain activity: a game area, a reading area near a built-in bookshelf, a T.V. area with comfortable divans and club chairs and a conversation area.

I wanted the transformation of the space to be cohesive with these activities, I wanted to be comfortable for all the family members of all ages (family made of many women and a husband) and harmonious with all the shapes and colors.
The Client wanted to keep the majority of the mismatched furniture. That was my challenge! Some of them remained in the large room and some got relocated in other rooms. Floating furniture is something I do when I am engaged to stage a home for sale.

40 Winks Hotel London

40 Winks Hotel London

My inspiration for the breakfast corner came from a couple of pictures I have in my library, one of which, a 1940 Hotel, particularly struck my fancy.
(Photo left: 40 Winks Hotel – London)
The room came out a colorful one, a bit nostalgic and very Bohemian in the style of romantic French. The mood is a combination of comfortable, feminine, and quirky. To some of the painted furniture I added custom jewelry as door knobs.

DoorKnobJewel -Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Colors had to be vibrant! Plum, Chartreuse and golden beige, warm and cold palette always result in a playful role.

The unused corner turned out to be a versatile corner, breakfast in the morning, reading or music listening in the evening, extra seating when there is company. The unused corner is now very busy.

Do you have an unused corner in your home you don’t know what to do with it? Ask me, I have many solutions, even using the same furniture you already own, if they are in good condition. Repurposing something old becomes very new in a different space of the house and in a different light.
Leave your name in the box below and tell me how I can help you. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer and former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe since 1990. She blends well fashion with interior and colors the world of her clients. She has been described as “the colorist” and loves to create the unusual. She is a book author, find her on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

Set The Mood With Colors | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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“Let me out of the grays and beiges please!” My client was screaming.
She managed a computer software company. For 10-12 hours a day she lived in a boring environment. She was longing to see a colorful home upon her return in her cocoon to balance her day. She requested bold colors and being single, she only had to please herself. As a designer many times defined “a colorist” I was in my perfect spot with this client.

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

To really understand her needs, I went through a long list of questions to find the right colors for her personality and her life style. We all know colors are easy for designers, but not for all the clients. Sometimes a color they like very much might not be of their liking anymore after the house is painted.
Colors can either break or make a space and I did not want the result to be a failure.

This client liked the warm and vibrant colors of the buildings in Italy. She had never been to Italy, but saw enough photographs and films to make her dream about it. Good enough, I am Italian born, I know what she wants exactly, so I dared. She was astonished about all the color palettes I could come up, but not overwhelmed. In all the palettes I coupled cold colors with warm colors and added some texture samples for the areas of her liking. She chose to texturize kitchen walls and lightly antiquing the green color areas of the family/living room.

Living View From Upstairs Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

She studied the color palettes for a few days, then we passed to the action: painting! The house came alive from the white walls you see here to all the colors. Emphasizing many architectural features was also my goal, in fact they looked so much better with the games of colors playing with each others.

I recall the painter singing while he was working, he really liked to apply those vibrant colors. The client was so happy and enjoyed the colors for a few years until her work moved her to another city and she was compelled to sell the house.

 

Now you would think it is hard to sell a house with all those colors. I must admit that it is not true. Selling homes painted in beige and neutral colors might take forever. The boring homes dressed in beige, must offer other strong features in order to sell fast, such as price, location, square footage etc. But when the market is soft, economy is not so friendly, location is not the best of the best, is easier to sell homes with colors. Paint the walls in soft yellow and the front door in a golden tone of yellow or dark red and the house will sell immediately.
People feel attracted towards yellow because is the color of the sun and towards red because is the color of many food. These are inviting colors and mean family.

After this house was posted for sale, it sold in three days, just because of the interior colors. The next buyers told me later that everyday “she baths in colors”.

Let me know if I can do the same for you. I offer design consultations on-line. Leave your name and email in the box below, so I can give you details on how to contact me and I love to hear your comments too, thank you.

Avaliving is a site for designer helping consumers. My colorful project was selected to be featured for one week Feb.7-Feb.14, 2011 among many beautiful projects of other designers. It is an honor to be part of Avaliving’s community. Thank you Ava for featuring my project again and to the wonderful team who puts everything together. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer and former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe since 1990. She blends well fashion with interiors and colors the world of her clients. She has been described as “the colorist” and loves to create the unusual. ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors is her third book, now in the making and coming soon. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w


Sawdust Or Stardust | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

 

Spring is almost at our door, it is time to refresh the look of interior spaces and to buy furniture. Those of you who have just finished a home remodeling, after such a big sacrifice and hardship, now is the moment to make the new areas shine, sit back, relax and enjoy the new spaces with comfortable furniture.

Before rushing to furniture stores with a renewed excitement (remember last time you bought furniture?) is important to know the shifts that have occurred in the market with supply and demand, the shift in consumer thinking or choices and to know about imported or locally produced furniture.

The annual world market furniture show at High Point in North Carolina will happen April 2-7, 2011. It is the world runway for home fashions and it happens one month after the New York’s Fashion Week. There you will find an enormous selection of furniture and accessories of all styles and historic periods. The show is overwhelming and super stuffed with beautiful furniture, but all of that will reach stores at some point during the year, so we can all enjoy and finally make a purchase.

This is basically what you need to keep in mind. Decide how much you want to spend and the quality you want in your home, then look at the product you are buying.
The most common furniture are made of melamine material, veneer, laminate, solid wood and a lot more. I will just talk about a few.

The majority of furniture are made of sawdust pushed together with various resins with the exterior surface made of plastic derivates printed and colored as wood. When the resins are not treated at a high temperature (this is an information never disclosed to consumers) they emanate a formaldehyde gas which is carcinogenic and irritating for the lungs. The odor is not pleasant and emission can last many years. To reduce the emission, these kind of furniture are covered with an exterior layer of melamine.

Furniture with veneer and honeycomb: the exterior face has a layer of about one millimeter thick of real wood, the interior is made with a honeycomb structure which doesn’t allow doors and drawers to bow with time. Furniture with veneer exterior are good lasting furniture and priced affordably.


(Photo Italian Trumeau Lombardo – http://www.labottegadegliartisti.it/catalogo2/cattrumeauuk.htm)

Real wood furniture are the stars of any interiors, they have all the characteristics of elegance, beauty, style, durability and they are pricey. Real wood furniture fall in the category of luxury, but knowing the right ebonist (artistic furniture maker) real wood furniture can be produced locally at a better price than the market.

Let me be your chosen designer who can put star…dust in your décor. I can help you with any style. Put your name in the box, leave a comment and I will answer you within 24 hours. Ciao
Valentina
www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been in business as a designer since 1990. She has helped a variegated group of fun people realizing their dreams with homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She is a designer well known to bring originality to people’s homes. She also designes furniture and has been successful in producing them locally with local artists craftsmen. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

A Fabulous Space For Bacchus | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Wine Tasting Area & Chef Pantry ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Wine Tasting Area & Chef Pantry ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Brazilian Cherry and Pecan wood inlay. This is the kitchen among many of my designs that Avaliving selected to feature this week. The area where the refrigerator used to be became a space for wines and an area where to taste cheeses, slicing prosciutto, basically an area where to prepare aperitif. The tall floor to ceiling cabinet hosts sixty bottles of red wines on roll-out shelves. Clients did not really require a temperature controlled room for the red wines, as they use them every day with friends and family visiting often. A small refrigerator for white wines under the granite counter top was necessary to free the space in the family refrigerator, already bursting with food serving two growing boys and the family entertainments.

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

I strategically placed this wine area between the new door to the dining room and the chef pantry. The supplies such as crackers, toothpicks, dried nuts, fruits and stuff for aperitif are now kept close by the wines and the wines have easy access to the dining area with a new passageway, saving the owner a trip around the wall.
Planning a well-functioning kitchen is not just about designing cabinetry to stuff the walls, but it’s about letting all the spaces communicating with each others and their function.

The “anticato” tile floor I added really suited the clients who are Italians and like me, they don’t care that the floor or counters show a little ring of wines here and there, the signs of a good time and the sign of a lived home. Natural stones will leave with us and will become beautiful when they start showing the sign of life, just like our stones in Europe are living through centuries and everyone admires their beauty.

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

This wine area was part of the entire kitchen remodeling with family and dining rooms included.
There you have it, another example of how I can change a kitchen from an unattractive 1970 cooking area into a contemporary dining, cooking and entertainment showcase. Thanks to Avaliving featuring it this week, more people will have the chance to admire it.

I am available to consult with the wine lovers out there and to design a fabulous space fit for Bacchus. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com


(All photos belong to ©Valentina Interiors & Designs) 

 


Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She has been operating in the USA and Europe since 1990. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos. She is also the author of two Italian regional cookbooks:

©Come Mia Nonnna – A Return To Simplicity http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
©Sins Of A Queen http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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Hot Fireplace | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

I am so happy to start my Monday with the news that one of my project is featured on Ava until next Monday, a site where designers can interact and connect with potential clients anywhere in the world without having to travel. Ava’s site is a place where anyone looking for home solutions can find it there and learn from the experts. Every week AvaLiving has a theme and based on that it features the best submitted designs.
This week theme is: Hot Fireplaces.

I presented my project in Foster City, California of an interested fireplace in the living room with attached built-in unit.
This room was part of the entire home remodeling. Clients had no preconceived idea of any style, or decor. They were open to any suggestions. The only request was that the T.V. would not be on top of the mantel, as it is usually seen in most homes. A fireplace is for enjoying fire, while reading a good book, or sipping wines in company of friends. A crackling fire should be a cozy background for watching T.V.

©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

In designing this fireplace I had a few challenges: two windows on both sides of the fireplace and not enough clean walls to place a larger plasma T.V. as the client requested.
The result of my studies of the room was to design a built-in unit attached to the mantel to make it visually looking as one continuous wall. The built-in unit would include a short bookcase, a smaller plasma T.V., storage for DVD/CDs and the fireplace itself.
The fireplace’s stones came from the work done in other areas of the house. Being budget conscious I make sure no material goes to waste, as usual in all my projects. The iron stone was very expensive, it was a good thinking to use the left over for the hearth application. As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your design needs, whether it will be decorating, designing, or remodeling.

I am honored to be featured on AvaLiving, thank you Ava for your support. Life is good at Valentina Interiors & Designs. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been in business as a designer since 1990. She has helped a variegated group of fun people realizing their dreams with homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She is a designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes. As an Italian designer and true to her origins, she provides only the best workmanship and design solutions. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

 

 

Custom and Traditions Of An Italian Christmas Dinner | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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In Italy, in the province of Pavia, Christmas Eve dinner starts with a soup of lasagna mixed with mushrooms sauté in oil and garlic. In old times in Italy newborn babies were wrapped in bands of white cloth to keep their tender legs very straight and prevent them from growing bowed. In the fantasy of the local people this dish represents those bands, it is made in honor of baby Jesus being born on Christmas Eve.

Many specialties follow this first dish: marinated eel, salted stockfish and escargot. The small horns of the escargot allude to discord and disagreement between people, therefore they need to be hidden in the stomach of the guests to properly prepare themselves to a peaceful Christmas, as the legend says.
Other fundamental specialties are risotto cooked in any style, roasted turkey, boiled capon dressed with mustard. In the same province of Pavia, going more toward the inland towns and villages, included in the typical menu of the holidays, after a risotto plate, one finds stuffed onions with meat and focaccia bread.

A must have dessert for the end of the dinner is the Sbrisolona Torte, a typical dessert of that area. It is a crisp and friable torte, which accompanies Torrone, Panettone and Pâte Brisee’ all hand-made specialties found in each home. The Sbrisolona Torte doesn’t really mark the end of the dinner, there are still all the fruits of the season parading on the table: citrus, grapes and dry nuts. Apples, even though are fruits of Christmas season, they are not eaten because they represent the fruit with which Adam and Eve committed the original sin.

(photo Sbrisolona Torte: http://cucina.corriere.it/ricette/lombardia/62/torta-sbrisolona_d5e0be70-1afb-11df-af4a-00144f02aabe.shtml)

Women bake hand-made breads for Christmas holidays. The portion to use for every meal is cut and reserved, then all Christmas breads are placed on the center of the table and everyone in turn must take a piece every day from Christmas Eve until the 31st of December. It is a belief that Christmas breads do not go bad, do not grow mold and therefore they are good to cure bellyache.

Every region in Italy has different customs and traditions. In the South, the main item on everybody’s table is fish, cooked any way possible, in addition to the delicacy of raw fish and shell-fish and it doesn’t matter how much its price sky-rockets in this time of the year, it is a must have! Christmas dinners last many hours, they could go on for 5 or 6 hours. Italians people spend a lot of money for a Christmas dinner and cook for days to make it ready, but the only important thing is the togetherness of the family, the love for one another and that in itself is priceless. Ciao.
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Watch the trailer of my second book: ©Sins Of A Queen, due to be released in a few days.

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Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990. Her life is a continuous evolvement of colorful events. She will not only design your home, build it and decorate it, but she will also design your palate with her new productions of Italian regional cookbooks. She is the author of: ©Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity and ©Sins Of A Queen.  Both books are available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Caressing The Past | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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This year I feel very honored to have been one of the designers selected to decorate Christmas at the Historic Ainsley House in Campbell, CA.

The owner, John Colpitts, a British native, built the House in the 1920s as a retirement home. John came to California in the late 1800s and made his fortune canning food, which he exported to England to his brother.



 

This year Christmas theme was “Christmas Around The World”. Being Italian born I thought of bringing a bit of the Amalfi’s flavors into my decorations, with citrus fruit, grapes, roses, camellias, and the typical poinsettia. My color scheme has been platinum, green, white, with a touch of purple and gold as accents throughout the guest bedroom, boudoir, closet, and cosmetic parlor.

Cosmetic Parlor

Cosmetic Parlor

The guest quarter is a very delicate room, with powdery pastel colors fit for an elegant woman. Original 1920’s dresses are kept beautifully on mannequins and inside of the closet, while originals accessories peek through an original traveling trunk resting in the boudoir. I was so surprised to see a cosmetic parlor in the boudoir. It is a simple pedestal sink with a lighted mirror above and monogrammed face towels hanging on the bar, all concealed beyond a door when not in use. What a nice feature! Small features and details such a cosmetic parlor have ceded the way to large bath spaces, which, at times, I feel they are totally sterile and without a soul.

While I was in the attic of the House selecting the items for my Christmas decorations, I felt so much part of that era. The director was telling me that J.C. the owner, kept his liqueurs in the basements beyond some wood panels. The Prohibition Law marked the era, but we all know that when something is forbidden, we want exactly the object of sins. The story goes that the highlight of the Ainsleys’ parties was to turn all the lights off and make the guests find the door to the basement where the liqueurs were kept.

Going up and down the stairs from the attic, I could not help admiring the hardwood floor beautifully concerted almost as inlay work, the type of setting that would require the artistry and clinical eye of an ebonist. Custom flooring is another area of designing that has ceded the step to a less expensive and faster application.

The House was designed with 15 rooms in a style of Tudor Revival architecture with the influence of Arts and Crafts movement of the 1920s. The most striking feature is the English style thatched roof, remade in 2007 as a faux thatched, but one can also admire the half-timbering façade, the interior wood paneling, the multi-paneled windows and the bay windows, especially the corner one at the breakfast room.
During my conversation with the curator/director, I learned that in 1990 the House was lifted up in its entirety and moved about 1.5 miles to the present location in Campbell, CA. One would think tiles would come apart, the floor would open up and walls would create cracks during the house moving, but nothing came undone. The workmanship was really a mastery, I can adduce.

 

Boudoir

Boudoir

 

The modernity of the guest bathroom style really struck me, the entire bath is quite spacious. The tub is enclosed in a Tudor style alcove surrounded by Nile green tiles, the shower is separated from the tubs, enclosed with a glass door and finished with the same color tiles with three water jets, a very avant-garde detail to find in bathrooms of that era. A deep linen closet and an enclosed W.C. make this a desirable spa, just as we intend it today.

 

Christmas_in_Amalfi

Christmas_in_Amalfi

 


Alcinda was in love with John Colpitts, who was a workaholic with a strong character and played hard to get. The only way to get him to pay attention to her was to accept a job in his firm as his bookkeeper. Alcinda was 17 years younger than John, but she became his wife at last. A medium, while visiting the house a few years ago, felt a massive male energy, so I was told. I felt the same while I was decorating the upstairs guest bedroom, an enveloping warm male presence, perhaps he was a woman’s charmer. He had many visitors from Europe sojourning in his house. I can see the care that was given to the guest bedroom, made delicately elegant and comfortable for a woman. For the same reason, I wanted to give the room the same gentleness using soft Christmas colors and a certain daintiness with the flavors of romantic Amalfi.

The Ainsley House will be open every day from Nov. 20th to Dec. 19th. Calendar of events will include Holiday Teas and Tours, Holiday Boutique, Photo with Santa and Holiday Open House.
I have enjoyed the experience of caressing the past in a prestigious historic home and especially have enjoyed the comments on my upside-down tree.

Perhaps next year, I can be called to decorate your Christmas with a special theme at your home. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and stylish, timeless designs. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away your comfort. She loves to restore old homes, historic dwellings and she focuses on remodeling. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Elegance | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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In a world of an exulted cult of the appearances, people tend to live in vanity, exaggerations and in the desire to impress others at all costs. Often people’s aim is to overdo and to over say, not only in fashion but in every expression of life.

Elegance is not showy. Elegance is style, awareness, and moderation.
Elegance is a balanced mix of good taste and precise choices. It translates in the right search for substance and attention to details. Elegance is sober and sobriety is elegant. Both are pleasing and comfortable, functional and beautiful.
Sobriety is not a sacrifice. I would describe it as the ability to choose only what is needed, especially when it comes to fashion as an interpretation of self, other than home fashion.

Some people think elegance is a gift and others think it is an innate talent. It could be somewhat true. There are people who know how to express and communicate with their look better than others. On the other hand, nobody is condemned to be vulgar, bulky and annoying, or just trust his/her own instinct. Elegance, sobriety, and simplicity are all things we can learn and cultivate and once we learn them, they can simplify our lives.

Einstein said: “To be simple, is to be brilliant” e someone else said: “Simplicity is the key of elegance”. Totally agree, in fact, I am the queen of simplicity.

Style and elegance are not easy to define. Style refers to forms, appearances, and character. Everyone has a style that can be beautiful or not pleasing at all, according to what our eyes project.
Let’s talk about home style, just to take an example. Baroque style is an elegant style, but ancient and not practical for the times we live in. If we mix Baroque style in the simplicity of contemporary furnishing, it can result in a dynamic décor and it will describe a person with a variegated and polyhedral character. But not everybody can make combinations of this sort, well thought out that looks good too.
(Photo Baroque chair below: http://foter.com/explore/baroque-living-room-furniture)

 

(Photo Piano Rug belongs to Amazed)

 

 

Elegance never goes out of style, that is if we don’t follow trends to the letter.
Another example can be the European fascination with the color black as a screaming trend in kitchen design. Come on! How would you like to eat tasty mussels (black shells) in a pasta specialty served on black plates, with a black drinking glass set, surrounded by black kitchen cabinetry?

As a designer, my goal is to accentuate the personality of the people living in the house I am contracted to design, making sure their spaces serve their needs and have an originality too. My spaces are not made with a cookie cutter. My spaces are timeless, they cannot be recognized as made in 2008 or 1998 and yet I am a person very much projected in the future, but I don’t feel I must follow trends dictated by any industry.
I take only the best part of the trends, the rest I invent it myself and that is “my trend”.

How can you, in a few simple words, explain this concept? Any home can be simply elegant and stylish, I am here just for that. My help is simply available to style your home in a livable elegance.
Please forward this article to someone you think might be interested in reading it, or in receiving the same tips. Comments are welcomed. Thank you.
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

As seen on Affluent Living:

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Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer since 1990 and a former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. Fashion designing has been the first career choice that made her happy in her own fashion company for fifteen years before settling in the interior designing business. Find her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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