Don’t let limited bathroom space cramp your style! | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The aim was to pamper a teenage girl by creating a modern bath that was comfortable, dramatic, elegant and functional. The space did not exist in the previous floor plan, it was created ex-novo from one of the rooms. My challenge was to use all the hard surfaces left over from previews projects my client had done on his properties. I had to work with what was made available to me and I still managed to play with my fantasy. I have designed many pieces of furniture for this home, this bathroom was one of the many challenges. As I progressed in the project, I realized I wasn’t designing for the 17 old daughter, I was designing more for the mother, two very sophisticated women, who knew exactly what they wanted. No time is ever wasted with people who have clear ideas of what the style of the home should be. The girl knew that in a year time she would be gone to college, she trusted her mom’s taste and let her have fun in choosing nothing but the best for the only girl in the family.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Diamond_Valentina(Valentina happy at the cabinet maker’s shop)

An Italian master ebonist built the vanity cabinet in Mahogany with inserts of Lace Maple. Its door handles and pull are real silver 925. The area for counter top was minimal, therefore purchasing an expensive stone, a beautiful Opera Fantastico marble was not a big expense at all. Flooring and the shower enclosure were the two areas where leftover stones from previous remodeling projects were used. A combination of Italian marbles and stones created the contrasting colors. Italian made wall lighting and a delicate seafoam wall faux finish set the tone for this small bathroom.
Cristina Bath
One day, the client sat with me on the freshly installed hardwood floor to shoot the breeze. In a rare moment of confession, she showed me her collection of original jewelry made of precious,  semi-precious gems and told the story of each piece . They were beautiful examples of lapislazzuli, quarts, corals, African copal and much more. All of those eccentric pieces led me to my inspiration for the bathroom and the bedroom of the girl.

Inspiration StoneMinerals

A small bathroom is one place a designer can propose expensive material without breaking the budget and almost have the license to do it. It is the right place a designer can show off abilities to make everything fit in a reduced space, still produce a functional bathroom with all the amenities and do it with style. Furthermore, using material from previous projects and know how to put them together in a new space is a magic only the expert with clinical eye can pull off. The results exceeded even my own expectations. Many designer magazines published this home and it was on designer tours many times. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val:FarfalleStampValentina 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. She offers design consultations on-line 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
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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From Here To France | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Christine, a French young woman, was reading my blog and my posts on Facebook without commenting. I didn’t know she was sort of “watching” me, today we would say she was following me.
Her home entry and the studio room needed attention, she had a vague idea of how she wanted to decorate the two spaces with a few materials she attempted to collect. Then one day she connected with me and told me she was following me all the way from France.

It seems a long way to design someone’s home across the world, one would think, but the world is no longer unreachable. Through Skype line I am able to help people with design challenges in the four corners of the world.
Christine wanted to divide the two spaces with a separé (room divider), as there was no space for a swinging door. My solution was to add a pocket door with a sand-blasted glass panel, to let the light in the entry, still keep the studio private and add some flair or style to the spaces. To help her visualizing the door, I made a drawing of the glass design, added photographs of some of my previous work and emailed them to her. The door was produced locally in her town in the same wood of all the interior doors of her house and the glass was sand-blasted according to my instructions.

She told me her wall color preference was soft colors. I suggested a soft faux finish treatment that she liked very much, but had no idea how to do. I sent her a few samples in the mail and she ended up painting the entire house instead of only the two rooms I was engaged for. In areas where the sunlight hits indirectly, one can see the beautifully done sponge and stippled finish techniques.

The entry needed some furniture and her mother’s desk-chair set needed a new look. By elimination of her choices, we selected the new fabric for the chair and new knobs for the desk. The small ceramic rosettes look very cute on the dark repainted wood. I purchased them at Anthropologie store and shipped them to her.  Emailing her photographs of accessories was the easiest way to convey ideas of look, texture and colors of items she could find easily in her town. The studio only needed wall paint-work and she actually made the lamp shades showing in my photos.

Floating furniture is a technique designer use often. Once we set furniture in a room, doesn’t mean they must stay in that position forever. Furniture look different and sometimes even more attractive if we move them around and set them in a different light with different accessories. I let her bring into the entry space two small chairs she had somewhere else in the house and never use them. Through Skype line was easy to see what she owned and repurpose each item. She thought nothing of some pieces she had in various closets, but I made them come alive, found new life and a new place.

The entire process took about three months, including all the work done by others. She was inspired and encouraged to reuse many of her own pieces that did not end up in the landfill. She is enjoying them in a new style and didn’t spend much money in the design process. “A clever designer must know how to romance the room and dance around client’s budget” ~ I say that.

Now, when writing a blog, be careful of what you write, you never know who is “watching”. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val:FarfalleStampValentina 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. 
She offers design consultations on-line through Skype and in the traditional face-to-face, helping people with their design challenges anywhere in the world.  She is the author of three books, all-available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Musical Chairs | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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I was in a deep sleep; nothing was going to disturb that peaceful phase of my rest. Suddenly I heard a sweet melody coming from far away, it was getting closer and closer, finally stopped right in front of my eyes with a curious display of chairs dancing on a music scale, as if the chairs were notes out of a music sheet. I followed the music, smiled and continued dreaming.

That was many moons ago, I was a student in the interior design university. The day after that dream, my class was schedule to have a test on History of Furniture, which included the study of chair styles in each period of history and each period with its sub categories of every possible rulers or short-lived kings and queens and their short-lived customs. It was a load of information I had to retain and the pressure of doing well was high, at least it was for me, as up to that moment, I had received a few high honors already.

 

 

Chair Composition ©Valentina Cirasola

 

(Above Musical Notes in my furniture board: Free Clip Art by x7Vector).

I saw dancing in front of me Greek and Roman style, Savonarola chair, Chippendale, Queen Ann, cabriolet legs, Louis XV-XVI and all the Louis, freezes and linen fold, Empire style, Liberty Style, Modernism and post- modern style, Asian style, Italian and Venetian style, French Bergères, fauteuils, Recamier, fainting chairs, gossip chairs and slipper chairs, Art Déco and Belle époque style…..blimey, I am out of breath just thinking about it.
That tune was Tea For Two by Nat King Cole played in two versions:

That pleasant and sweet dream remained in my memory. Later in the years I learned one simple thing about chairs, their hidden meaning is POWER. A chair puts in focus leadership, desire of emerging, acquiring or abusing power. At the time my desire was to become the best home designer known and be empowered with knowledge that would help people improve their life with better spaces, colors, furniture and life style.

The chair was invented to distinguish humans from animals, but mainly to distinguish the higher strata of society from the plebs and had a resemblance to thrones than chairs. The rest of the people and servants either sat on their knees (as we still see in Oriental cultures), on stones, or on stools and benches without a back.

The word chair in Greek (the base of all Romantic languages) translates in Kathedra. In Latin the word chair translates in Cathedra as the bishop chair in the cathedral and the word Cattedra in Italian translates in desk from which to teach, thus requiring a chair to sit down and turn the setting into a place of authority.

The expression he/she has arrived often refers to someone who occupies a chair of importance in society, in a political career, as a President of a company, the chair of a University Dean, or the throne of a modern King and Queen, just to name a few. The Pope sits on a beautiful gilded chair.

To dream of being sited on a chair like a throne means the inner self is looking for an exasperated search for power while losing the grip on reality. To dream of being sited in an enveloping chair means to be surrounded by a suffocating female figure, or suffocating family. Interesting? Practically every piece of furniture in dreams has a particular meaning, which always refers to our inner self, searching for something, or emphasizing certain aspects of the dreamer’s character.

(Photo above found on: http://naturalresultschiropractic.com/good-posture)

Humans first crawled, then learned to walk, soon after felt the need to sit down and invented the chair. The concept of comfort was not always present in the mind of the chair’s inventors and builders, their concern was to produce chairs fit for power. Today, with the long hours all of us spend at the computer we need to think in term of ergonomics postures and sit on chairs that are going to protect our spine and knees. Comfort is of the utmost importance, style matters, price doesn’t. Your back supports your life, nourish it as you nourish your brain.
Like what you read? Sharing is caring. Pass it along to someone who’d benefit. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.Valentinadesigns.com


Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces design concepts for remodeling, upgrading, new homes, décor restyling and home fashion. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Her new book on Colors is almost ready to be published. Stay tuned for ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Tète-à-Tète | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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February is a cold month in most parts of the world, fortunately is warmed up with the fuzzy theme of love. Thinking of love, the tète-à-tète chair comes to mind.

(Stone tète-à-tète chair via Pinterest)

Typical and essential piece of décor for gardens and interiors, the tète-à-tète chair marked an era when a man could only court a woman by looking not by touching and under the vigilant eyes of her relatives. It was designed for coziness, close enough to look at each other in the eyes, occasional brushing elbows could slip out, but the armrest in the middle divided the two sexes keeping them at a certain distance.

Actually, the chair didn’t serve only lovers. Gossipers also used it while sitting together. Sitting face-to-face was favorable to discretely passing in each other’s ears all the juicy details of someone else’s life, or of a person present in the room unaware of being the subject of interest. The tète-à-tète chair allowed women to sit comfortably with fashionable belled up dresses with cumbersome crinoline underneath.



(Above photo found on https://www.etsy.com/listing/500135605/sonia-messer-tete-a-tete)


(Above photo, French Victorian seat,  found on: http://www.newel.com/products.php)

Fast forward a couple of centuries and we see some new versions of the tète-à-tète chair. I have to admit warmth and coziness are gone, but they are attractive in their own unique modernity. The black and white of the Eli-Fly Chair is very graphic, the lines are slim, sensuous and lonely. The two chairs can face each other at a distance, or can be set closer to make caressing a little easier. But it seems to me this is a type of chair the people in “need of their space” would buy.


(Eli-Fly-Lounge-Chairs by Deisree)

 

More modern versions of the tète-à-tète chair are also available for the garden in wrought iron or wood. I have seen a pretty set painted in blue in one of the historical establishments in California. They wrap them around trees, where people can relax with a book and courtship under a magnolia tree might be possible again.

 

I absolutely adore the Heart Cone Chair designed by Verner Panton in 1959 and reissued by renowned furniture company Vitra.
Price of the Heart Cone Chair: $3,670. Precious!
It would fit beautifully in any décor and in any empty corner. Red is imposing, calls for attention, but this chairs brings passion.
“Most people spend their lives in dreary beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colors,” Panton said, in the mid-1950s. I could not agree more.

 

What does this chair have to do with the tète-à-tète chair of Victorian time? Nothing. The heart is already there, it needs two people to sit in each other’s lap and the tète-à-tète picture is complete.

Let me support you in finding your uniqueness in décor and style, but don’t forget to leave your name down below. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. She is well-known for designing custom furniture. She cares to make spacious and functional pieces, but she doesn’t forget to introduce the element of surprise, sinuous lines, attractive shapes and color in the style fit for each of her special clients.
She is the author of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, her forthcoming book on the subject of colors, due to be released in the Spring 2012. Check out her first two books on

©Come Mia Nonna: http://goo.gl/T0eL36
©Sin of A Queen: http://goo.gl/JA4WMO

 

Funky Sofas | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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This month I am searching for a sofa, would love to have a funky one for me, but for right now I need to get on with my search and find one exceptional for a client. Funky shapes and vivid colors attract me. Will they attract the client too? She is young and seems to be receptive to new ideas. I can surprise her, stand back and observe her reaction, or I can play safe presenting her all traditional shapes and perhaps get an indifferent face reaction.

Actually in my design world, nothing is left to the chance and nothing is a guessing game. So much thought and planning goes into a design concept. Sometimes a client takes months to come out with a decision, it is almost like a light bulb comes on suddenly for a surge of electricity and sometimes the decision comes so quickly that I have to put a break and let them ponder for a short while.

The cleverness of a designer is to avoid the first scenario from happening, risking of losing the availability of one particular item and have to start the search all over again, putting in the trash precious time and effort already spent. The best strategy that will help the designer understanding a new client, whose habits, likes and dislikes might not be totally known is called “talking and asking”. That’s right, I talk and ask a lot of questions, instead of roaming in the dark. After that is rock and roll designing and composing the project together with the client.

 

The selection of even one piece of furniture must be coordinated with the existing pieces and colors in the room. For a designer with a clinical eye it should not be a hard thing to do. Introducing a new color, or a new piece of furniture is like putting together a group of friends, they all must get along, otherwise there will be trouble in the air. Conversely an empty room is a blank canvas for anyone and the road to freedom of choice.

In my client’s home, the room I am designing is an empty canvas, kids and adults will be using this room, that’s why is important to remember to buy for various tastes and style preferences. The new sofa in this room will not be the primary seat, it will be a corner filler, a conversation piece, or a mood piece just to play around. Based on my conversation with her, I know I can dare with something fun, funky and colorful. I can’t wait for her reaction. The last three lounge pieces in red and orange are from Scandinavian Designs, way under $1,000. The others are Italian or European made.

Searching for furniture pieces is part of my every day work. Please let me know if I can help you or anyone you know in this task. Brighten your home with something out of the ordinary, even if you have a traditional décor, it will break the routine and feed the soul. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Share

Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors.
Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. She is well-know for designing custom furniture. She cares to make spacious and functional pieces, but she doesn’t forget to introduce the element of surprise, sinuous lines, attractive shapes and colors in the style fit for each of her special clients. She is the author of ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors, her forthcoming book on the subject of colors due to be released in the spring 2012.

Check out her books on 

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

 

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