Keep It Festive | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Every year most people get the beautiful Christmas decorations up and functioning soon after Thanksgiving festivity. For more than a month we get used to live with shimmering colored lights, many different colored decorations, scented candles, crystal items and silver flatware. Everything looks so lucent and elegant. We do need all of this as a way to reward us for a year of hard work and to celebrate in style the passage into a new year with renewed hopes, dreams and goals, but as soon as we are into the new year the trees and decorations go down and the shimmering lights are turned off. I keep all of my Christmas decorations until January 6th to celebrate Epiphany Day. This is a Christian commemoration of the Magi or Wise Men’s visit to baby Jesus, which marks the end of all December festivities. Kids get another present, just like Jesus received incense, myrrh and gold from the Magi, the Christmas tree is taken down on that night with all the beautiful lights and decorations, Christmas markets close, holidays are over and officially the year starts.

Epiphany day was a fun day for kids. On that night of January 6th, my parents organized a tree dismantling party and invited other kids with their parents. Our Christmas tree, as most people did, had chocolate decorations hanging among all the other Christmas decorations.
With a draw, one kid at a time had to find the chocolate decorations as a price, whatever object the kid touched first, that was the item he/she had to take down first. If a chocolate decoration was found first, the game moved over to someone else. Another kid’s name was drawn to give everyone the chance to dismantle the tree and to find the chocolate pieces. Kids fought, laughed or exchanged items, according to each of their tempers or level of vices. This game lasted for hours, before all the decorations were down on the floor, but the tree game was the excuse to get the adults together for another eating feast. My mom and her sisters prepared the last treats of the holidays, generally it was panzerotti (small size stuffed calzone), or home-made pizza, potatoes coquettes, or arancini (rice balls), lot of vegetables, sweets, biscotti, pies and prosecco. This custom is now gone forever as Christmas is more of a consumerism event than a celebration of life, light, spirituality, love and New Year’s good intentions.

Whatever you do to take the Christmas decorations down, it remains the fact that at the start of the year the glitters and glamour are gone and that corner where the tree was is now in the dark. Some people suffer the blues after Christmas is over as they settle into winter, cold and short days. What do you do to avoid that? Redecorate, move furniture around or thinking of Spring already? In some parts of the world Spring may not come until late April, that’s a long time to stay depressed. For me it is easy and simple, as I have adopted a simpler life.

I keep some Christmas decorations around for the next three months. I choose to leave out the not so obvious Christmas decorations, but only one special item for each room, one with an attractive shape or color. First thing to do is to illuminate dark corners with some light decorations, hang something with a visual impact from the ceiling, embellish a doorknob, or a lamp. Glass balls or ornaments generally have interesting shapes and nice colors, I like to keep them in bowls on coffee table and furniture mixed in with other textures. I also like the idea of filling lanterns with colored balls and create an arrangement of three. After the holidays nothing will look Christmassy any more. Take a look at the photos to get an idea and perhaps you have some of your own you want to share with me.

 

The ornaments will keep my house festive through some cold days while surprising some of my friends. In the meantime, while I am waiting patiently for Spring, I will think of new ways to redecorate and go through the process of cleaning out closets and cabinets. As it happens every January, there will be someone new who wants to take the renovating journey with me as their designer to guide them. It will be a new adventure just right for the new starting year. If you are ready to take that journey with me, do not hesitate to leave your name in the box.
Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Print Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends fashion and interior well in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual. She is also the author of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, the forthcoming book on the subject of colors and the author of two published book on Italian regional cuisine, available on

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

Up In The Air Or In The Ground | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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We have been accustomed to create gardens and orchards in the ground. Getting down in closer contact to the ground I think is very spiritual. While we attend our garden on our knees we can touch nature with our hands, shape it to our liking, mix the color we prefer and perhaps listen to our favorite music on the iPod. I find gardening time very relaxing and a good way to do some thinking.

Unfortunately a couple of months ago I fell in the street on hard concrete and seriously injured my right knee, lucky me I did not break it, but here I am two months later I still cannot bend my knee to go down very well and my garden as been suffering. As a designer the natural thing for me to do was to research on raised gardens or finding some easy solution for clients who have knees or back problems. I found this attractive creation designed by Patrick Morris called Sky Planter, which can be used indoor for fussy plants and outdoor to save our back.

It is made of ceramics, locks the plant and soil into the place and hang from a ceiling or wall-mount. A reservoir hidden in the top waters plants gradually. I also found the easy reach, the ultimate Pulley System for any plants! I think this is such a brilliant idea for any flowers, vegetables and cooking spices. The pot can even be raised up and down to put the plant in the sun when needed and in the shade when the sun get to hot. Take a look of the video by clicking on the following link:

 

At the Orticola Garden Trade Show in Milano last month, I saw gardens on rotating stairs like a Ferris wheel, easy to attend and to water as the plant comes around. For those people who live in the city and don’t have much space for gardening, I found the eco urban garden, called the “Cavalier”, made by Paris based designers Az & Mut. Hand-made in France, the products are made from a composite of 70% flax fibres. Pot cavalier is designed to be slung over the balcony railing, holding itself in place without any other hardware. The pots are light and frost-resistant.
(photoimage © designboom © morgane le gall )

The same designer came up with the idea of the “Danseuses” a lamp shade that balances on its two cut edges. It can be used either lying down, between plants to emanate a very delicate glow in its surrounding space or hung onto a wall, or suspended looking like many dancers (danseuses). They are made of bleached flax fibres and ecological resin.
(‘danseuse’ image © designboom © morgane le gall)

It is my pleasure to bring you ideas and novelties. Let me know if I can help you with some exteriors or interior solutions. Ciao, Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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VC10Valentina 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 designs landscape and hardscape as a complement to the residential design concept as a unity. She is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Illuminate Your Summer | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Light is life. Where there is light there is a crowd of people and where there is a fun lighting there is also a fun divertissement.

(Photo left found on: http://weaselmedia.com/gorgeous-solar-lights-for-backyard/outdoor-solar-lights-landscape-lighting-houselogic-within-solar-lights-for-backyard)

We all know how to illuminate our exterior paths, the garden and the house and we do it accordingly to the style of the house. Illumination is one of those items in the décor that can go extravagant, out of the ordinary, be a bit crazy.
In my house I have lamps and light sources different from one another and yet they live together really well, adding the conversation element too.
I want to show you how to illuminate your summer with solar lighting in the fun way and save you money at the same time.

Magic Solar Glowing Globes are good for any pathways, swimming pool edge line, or as stakes on the grass between vegetation.

Solar Stakes add a little comic life by mimic flowers and plants elevated to the nth power. Glass Solar Steaks go into the ground, the multicolored glass will illuminate in colors any trees, any shrub, any vast area of plain grass, now you only need imagination in creating your own secret garden fantasy.

 

If you have a swimming pool you can produce a nighttime underwater lighting show with lit up fountain creating water shooting scattered here and there on the water of the pool.
(aliexpress.com)

How about something to recreate pleasant sounds?
Whether you like quiet time with yourself, or entertain in style, these fake rocks are light enough to be picked up by one person and moved anywhere you like. Add speaker to them and your favorite music will fill the air.
(Photo fake stone found on: http://www.problemsolvers.com)

A chandelier in the garden, what a novel idea! They are not what they seem, they are hummingbirds feeders in the version of small chandeliers, artsy, whimsical, colorful. Any place in the garden is the right place, hang them off trees, pergola and arbors. My hummingbirds are very happy these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now relax, sit in this “Paradisio” alcove, with UV-resistant fabrics and maintenance-free material and forget the world! (Photo: Paradisio.com)
There is so much more to do in recreating a summer of harmony: solar shower, outdoor heaters, nighttime fire and all the items I can pull together for you in a jiffy, while saving you money too. Leave your name down below in the box and I shall answer you in 24 hours time. 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 designs landscape and hardscape as a complement to the residential design concept as a unity. Find her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

The Flavor Of Lighting | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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As I say many times, light is life. People gravitate in places where there is a good infusion of light. Shopping centers are a good examples of how lights attract people and invite them into shops. Any merchandise look super good when spot lights shine on them and of course the good use of light is one of the many selling techniques.

GreenApples(Photo found on an Italian lighting magazine. Credit given to the owner).

In homes, for the benefit of all the inhabitants and to ensure maximum comfort, we must have a variety of levels for lighting:

Ambience lighting, if we need to relax, meditate, or converse.
Task lighting, if we are in the kitchen cutting, chopping and preparing food, or if we are in the bathroom grooming in front of a mirror. Kitchens are special places for me, because I love to cook. Normally I like a lot of light when I am cooking, but when all the activities have quieted down, I love to keep the kitchen in a relaxing mood by turning on the cove lights, any dark corners, any glass front cabinet, the under cabinet lights and the island toekick on too. I keep the rest of the kitchen in the dark. The effect I create is one of a floating kitchen that I absolutely adore.

Aside from these few illuminating effects, we can illuminate pictures with pictures lights, photographs with illuminated crystal panels, wall washers especially used to emphasize some special wall faux finish. Remember that a beautiful home without an proper illumination, is like a woman dressed up without a make up on.
But what if we could almost taste the lighting? Read the article I wrote for Avaliving, a site for designers to consumers featured on their first page. http://www.avaliving.com/article.php?aid=1423

Please forward this article to anyone you think might be interested in reading it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Thank you. Ciao,
Valentina
Interior Designer since 1990

www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She combines well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual.
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity

Booksite: outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.

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