Golden December | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

This month, as everyone in the world, I am in and out of stores, not to look for presents, I buy everything online, but to learn about Christmas trends. Z Gallery has filled the stores with an all-white Christmas from furniture to accessories and Christmas décor. The only color I saw is the table setting in purple-silver and some artificial flower arrangements.

Besides the all-white Christmas, I did notice an overabundance of very modern mirrors, a lot of gold home accessories and tableware. I find shiny gold very pretentious, especially if reflected in mirrors, however, if it is done tastefully, one or two elements can be quite elegant.

(Photos taken in Z Gallery store with granted permision)

I was reading the horoscope for the coming year and apparently the planets are aligning to enter a new era of prosperity, which will last nine years. I like this forecast, don’t you? Knowing that everybody will be well-off and helping others with the wealth created is very reassuring to me.
Forecasts are beneficial to marketing, or any business for that matter. Stores must know trends and colors to sell what people want. Perhaps, all this gold reflects our next direction.

I have not thought yet how to decorate my holiday table this year. My food is always the center of attraction and decorations are minimal.
How are you decorating your table this Christmas? Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

valentina-ValleMonteAs 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 and any situation is a perfect opportunity to design something out of the ordinary.
Check out my three books on

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Christmas Atmospheres | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

This year I would like to suggest nature simplicity on Christmas table. Let’s stay away from the artificial decorations and stinking petroleum candles. Let’s make instead “organic” the focus of our table and I mean even organic food. Let’s turn our attention to food grown locally with zero travel and zero carbon emission. How do you do that? Read labels and ask questions to your grocer, find out where the food you want to buy is coming from and make your decisions. As far as decorations a simple trip to your local market will suffice to find your decorations as well.

Tall decorations on the table look impressive, we got used to see them in stores or magazines and never understood why we want to copy the same look for our tables, considering that those vignettes are about merchandising and displaying products for sale. Decorating a table is about creating an atmosphere of pleasing colors and tasty food, these are the only attractions of a table, to which we must add harmonious and well diverse company sitting under a suiting light.

Guests sitting at the table must be able to talk to the guests across the table without the obstruction of tall decorations. This year think of grocery shops as inspiration for your table centerpiece and play with food arrangements, pumpkins, tomatoes, vegetables, flowers and pine cones. On both sides of each guest there must be at least 18” of space to perform certain actions with ease like cutting food, but if space around the table is limited each guest should have at least a foot of clearance.

Light coming from above the table such as a chandelier should be suffuses but not totally dimmed, you want your guests to see the color of food and the beautiful table setting. Recessed lights must be directed over the plates and the lights above the two head table need to crisscross at the center of the table to highlight the centerpiece. If recessed lighting is not set right, it will create bags under your guests’ eyes and your women guests will not appreciate it, be kind to them, don’t make them seem older or sick.

Cover the table with an elegant tablecloth, it is Christmas after all, treat yourself and your guests to something special. I have three suggestions:
1. Flandre linen, high quality monochromatic textile produced in Belgium since the 1800s. It is very formal.
2. Chambray linen, produced in the city of Cambrai, France. This is a plain weaved fabric with a hint of silk, also produced since the 1800s. It is perfect for casual elegance.
3. Boutis, a Provençal quilting cloth used for table covers made in the South of France since the 19th century. It is similar to the Italian Trapunto, which started in Italy before the 14th century and still produced today. It gives the table a semi-formal look.

On top of the tablecloth add the most beautiful dishes you have, be creative even in mixing and matching if you like, add all the glasses and flatware and let the dinner roll. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2014 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

Christmas In Colors | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I am into colors and lot of it. I live colorful experiences because I live a colorful life. I can’t imagine my home, my wardrobe, or my garden without colors. In my new book  ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors I wrote:

“I am thankful for God who gave me eyes to see glorious colors!”
Have you thought of your Christmas colors this year? The classic timeless red, green and gold will always be available for those who want to stay in the tradition. Personally, I like to change Christmas colors every year and when the holidays are over, I organize a selling party to get rid of all the decorations and to have an excuse for the first party in early January before the real heavy work starts.

This year I have compiled six color schemes to show how easy it is to elaborate a color in many different directions and solutions. Think about how many more will be possible. You can spread one color with all its complements, opposite and undertone hues from the Christmas tree to the table setting and all the surrounding areas. The important thing is to stay within the boundary of one color and not exceeding or spilling into cheap combinations. Cheap is cheap, but simple is elegant.

Love to see your combinations.  Let’s share. 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 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.

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

Waiting For New Year | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

One of the pleasures of entertaining family or friends is the setting of the table process. Food of course should be the focus of the table. A well-decorated table with poorly prepared food does very little for the spirit and I would say for the stomach too.
Once I was asked to describe bad food and my answer was “food haphazardly scrambled together but presented well”.

Having a theme in mind is one of the important elements when styling a table. Creating light, dark, shadow and silhouettes are super ways to illuminate the space around the dining table.  Repeat the same trick on the table with the decorations.
(Click on the photo to vie it larger).

Christmas Table Setting by ©Valentina Cirasola

If a chandelier is over the table and candles on the table, you might want to create an ambience by turning the chandelier on dimmer and let the candles cast a warm shadow.
Recessed down lighting over the dining table is a bit tricky. If a down lighting is not placed properly, all the people sitting at the dining table will have a dark shadow under the eyes and everyone will look a bit more aged than they really are.

Inside of a theme, select the season, texture and the colors you want to assemble. The solutions are endless as you can imagine. You have the choice of keeping every thing in the same coloration or texture, which gives the table a calming effect. You also have the choice of making a creative or funky arrangement.

Let’s take a few colors as samples.
If you want to create a tablescape with the sea in mind, the underwater world includes all the blues from the darkest ocean to blue sky but also includes all the blue-green tonalities of the underwater garden vegetation.
For a nature inspired table setting, the green beauties will include all the variation of foliage colors to olive greens.
A fall arrangement will have a riot of colors to choose from. You can select the reds with an undertone of orange and pink; the oranges that lean towards pink, the purples with a red base, or you can mix browns bleeding into shades of grays.
If the colors of natural gems inspire you, add some metal texture to the tablescape. Gems and metals are both two elements formed in nature; they combine well with the drinking glasses and fabric cloth, two other kinds of texture.

Tablecloth and napkins must not be necessarily of the same set and colors.  Actually if they don’t match is even better, will make the table an interesting canvas to look at.

In my arrangement of the end of the year I did not want the usual red cloth most people use for festivities. Instead, I chose to use dark colors on the table illuminated by metal candle lanterns to emulate the dark winter night, the light of the stars over buildings and the new spiritual light that will infuse the night turning into a new year.

The year 2012 has been described as the year of the Aquarius, not as the ‘60s movies, but as a very spiritual year, a new era of rebirth and enlightenment. Colors will take inspirations from nature, but the exciting part is that we can create a mysterious combination with the undertone of each color and use it in a new way to set the mood, or create high contrast never done before.

This year let me help you projecting your personal image, your home image, or your party tables into new modern, graphic colors that will speak about you and your personality. The current millennium loves colors! Happy New Year, make it great, make it fun. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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  ©RED- A Voyage Into Colors the forthcoming book on the subject of colors. She is also a published author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here on this site on the Books page and in various other locations.  

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

 

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