The Importance Of Christmas Lights | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Every year the entire world celebrates Christmas one way or the other. In some countries, it is a spiritual occurrence and in others is a commercial event. All the shiny things that make sparkles and reflections paired with a lot of white or colored lights come out from storage and embellish streets, homes, and stores. Everything looks so much better under the twinkling Christmas lights, the world seems a nicer place, people seem sweeter and open to give.
Lights and colorful decorations in the month of December, around Christmas, is something very ancestral we have carried through centuries of generations. The reason to decorate Christmas with a lot of lights is very spiritual.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was a dark time. The three Kings found the baby Jesus following one star which was the union of three stars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. They followed that very luminous star until it rested on the place where baby Jesus was born, and they began to worship him. That moment, the light was brought into our world. Jesus stepped into the chaos and brought peace in that dark time. An amazing occurrence that softened even the hardest stony heart then and now.

December 21st is the Winter Solstice, it is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s literally the “darkest day” and the beginning of the cold, dark winter season. Many people suffer from depression for a lack of sunny days. Decorating Christmas illuminates and uplifts the spirits giving hope for a better year and a new guiding light that will follow us on a new path.


The star we put on top of a Christmas tree reminds us of that event in the darkest times…that star being the new guiding light of a Supreme Power will come in our chaos to make all things new and balanced again.

This year on December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will be aligned again after 20 years. “These two planets are known as “social planets,” influencing broader themes that affect all of humanity. Their Grand Conjunction (GC) impacts the evolution of society and politics for the next two decades” says astrologer Astrologer Pam Younghans.


I am in love with lights and what they can do to my soul. At Christmas, I just play a lot with lighting, even more than the decorations, in fact, I keep the decorations minimal, because the colors are artificial, and don’t really reflect any spirituality. I rather decorate with elements of nature lit with candles and glass items. With lights I can create atmospheres, chiaroscuro (light and dark); I can create a halo glow on the walls from the bottom up by setting moveable lights on the floor behind furniture; I can light corners to add positive energy to the room; crystal chandelier drops are everywhere at charity shops, they will add the sparkles of the stars where ever you use them, and of course, warm candlelight flickering will complete the picture.

Crystal drops at Ballard Design
Trees and lights

If you can, set a nice dinner table with lights and reflections, then forget the pandemic of this year.

Create a splendid holiday all the way through and if you don’t celebrate it, at least celebrate your life. Ciao,
Valentina
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Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina

Valentina Cirasola is a designer, author, TV producer, and storyteller by nature. Stories told through shapes, lines, forms, and colors are very important to her design career to convey ideas that contribute to the making of a personalized home, reflecting the life’s experiences of people living there. As an author, she writes non-fictional books, about practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, travel, and cooking. Find her books on Amazon and Barnes&Noble

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

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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