Queen’s Hamlet | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Parties are for having fun, meeting friends, new people, eating, drinking and small talks and better be prepared, they will happen! Actually knowing how to conduct small talks to your advantage is a professional social skill. I was at a Christmas party where I met a woman who knew how to ease in the small talk conversation until she realized I was an interior designer. The natural questions that followed was: “I bet your house is beautiful! What is the style?”

Often people forget to ask what is your personal style, which would define better the answer. Style can be copied from magazines and voila’ it’s done. Does that mean it is your style? Maybe or maybe not. You might feel good in it, if you choose it, you must like it. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

I remember when I visited the palace of Versailles in France, I also visited the idyllic Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet), a rustic retreat in the park of the Château de Versailles built in 1783 for Marie Antoinette, who longed to play a farm girl role during her week spent in luxury. The building scheme included a farmhouse to produce milk and eggs for the queen, a dairy, a dovecote, a boudoir, a barn, a mill and a tower in the form of a lighthouse.


Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Each building was decorated with a garden, an orchard or a flower garden. The Hameau served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends, a place of leisure, the rooms offered an intimate setting than the grand salons at Versailles or at the Petit Trianon. Clearly Marie Antoinette was never a farm girl, only wanted to experience the feeling of living someone else’s life.

That is what I notice when I go to people’s homes, often the furniture and home décor don’t reflect their lifestyle. There are formal rooms never enjoyed because they don’t entertain, there are expensive designed kitchens where nobody cooks, there are immense spaces for a household of only two people, or I go into small homes filled with an overabundance of heirloom objects, garage sales findings, collectibles and travel memories, all contributing to the home clutter.

In the house where the party was, all the pictures frames were brown to match the brown furniture. Just to continue the small talk conversation, I pointed the picture frames to the woman speaking to me and I said it is OK for some people to match one thing to the other, just as they match the earrings to the necklace, the handbag to the shoes. To them it feels comfortable, to me is mortally boring (my favorite phrase) and banal. If you want to be unique, break these rules, I told her.

(Above: Evening atmosphere in my office)

In my house, I broke all the rules on purpose. All my picture frames are different and still communicate with the décor. She said: “I hope you use this phrase in your marketing material, as it explains all your thoughts in a few words”. I felt I opened a door for her to new ways of arranging furniture and “thoughts”.

(Above: Evening atmosphere in my kitchen)

Antique pieces can be paired with modern furniture, warm colors with cool colors are beautiful, various metals finishes can be arranged together; glass live well with wood finishes or stones and rugs or pillows must not match the artwork at all.

eveningkitchen(Above: Evening atmosphere in my kitchen)

I feel comfortable in a house that is not the scheme of someone else, I live in the colors that make me feel good and in the atmospheres I create for my well-being. I live in my Queen’s Hamlet. How about you? Ciao,

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

It’s my hope that through my writing and my stories I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style and inspiring you to live in beauty. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion designer since 1990. I am here ready to offer consultations on-line if you need. Check out my latest book on colors
©RED-A Voyage Into Colors,
available on

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


Sunday Gratitude | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


Twice this month I have received an award from bloggers following and reading me.
This Sunday I am thanking Marianne’s from Stockholm for nominating me with the “Beautiful Blogger Award”. I feel so excited about receiving the award and humbly accept it.
Marianne’s blog is about 365 Days Mental Coaching and is very inspiring. Look forward to receive it every day. https://marianne365days.wordpress.com/

My two blog columns are about design, style, architecture, food and Italian culture.
By receiving awards from other bloggers, I have increased my readership and I am so very grateful for that. Through my blogs I was also able to get hired as a designer from distant clients in various parts of the world, such as France, Florida, England, Italy and even got a client locally at 20 minutes by car from my office.

I will tell you three things about me and what I am grateful for:
1. I am not a chef, I am Italian and because of that I wrote two Italian regional cuisine books based on simplicity, healthy and colorful food. “Eating in the rainbow” will keep us healthy, young and will give us a beautiful skin through older age. I like to cook every day, design my food, delight people with my food and talk about food as all the Italians do. I am very grateful I have learned to cook and to have a deep knowledge of food. This knowledge saves me money because I know what to cook that is good for my health and how to put a weekly menu together.

2. I am a trained designer and love my work. If we choose a “work we like, we will never work one day in our life!” Totally agree with this quote and I am very grateful I did find my passion work to carry me through life. I was a fashion designer for 15 years and I have been an interior designer for 22 years giving no signs of wanting to quit. I am grateful to have work and beautiful clients in this not so friendly economy and I am also grateful my new book on colors is just about ready to be published:
©RED – A Voyage Into Colors.

3. I am grateful for one new friend I met in person last summer and for so many virtual friends I met through various social sites and blogs. Actually, my virtual friends are also becoming a reality, as I try to meet them through Skype, Facebook video, or Google+ hangout. What fun time we live in! I am super grateful for the technology that can put my family closer, allows me to meet new friends and exposes me to new work. Please, let’s not forget the friends closer to us that we can reach easily and have fun together.

It is my pleasure this Sunday to nominate three bloggers of my liking for the Beautiful Blogger Award:

http://carolgiambri.com/ – She is from Denver, Colorado and writes about beneficial and healthy food, gardening and more.

http://teaandsympathynewyork.wordpress.com/about/ – A British living in New York reporting on everything British.

http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/ – Her nom de plume is TBM, her blog is about the challenge to herself to visit 192 countries, read 1001 books, and watch the top 100 movies before she dies. It has been fun following TBM.

Now, it would be nice if you visit each blog and get to know them. What are your gratitudes for this Sunday? Ciao,

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She works on consultation and produces drawings for remodeling, upgrading, new home construction, décor restyling and home fashion.  “Vogue Italy” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Check out her books on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

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