Travel Theme: Foliage | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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From Ailsa’s travel theme: Foliage
http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/28/travel-theme-foliage/
She says: “anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all”.

This setting, over 100 years old, some described it Spanish, some said it was Tuscan and some called it plain California style, has remained in my memories as the most beautiful place I lived when I first arrived in California from my native Italy.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

At night it was magical, we fantasized seeing Humphrey Bogart coming through the gate, or Clark Gable holding one of us in his arms. It was easy to make up these images, the suffuse light emanating from the old street lamps and the smell of the juniper threes, helped us creating romantic imageries.

 

The stairs to my studio were a set for many weddings’ photography and many painter’s inspirations, who came with empty canvases and left with the interpretation of their imagination imprinted on. Virginia Klassen, a German flamboyant woman, then 83 years old, impenitent single, harpist player in many European orchestras, often sat with me on these stairs to invite me in her memories of a life on the Orient Express, passionate lovers, lavish living and famous theatres of the world.

 

The gate to a perdition, as I called it. We were all artists of some kind, or musicians living there, all without kids and family. An architect, a designer from Italy (me), an image consultant from Sweden, a chef, a novel writer, a furniture designer, an opera singer, a flute player, a software engineer from Germany, a pottery designer and an expert in custom laws from Mexico. Every day, after 6:00 pm, as we closed our business, we would meet around the fountain with wines, food and music and spent a few hours together, but often we went into the small hours of the night. Conversation around many topics was interesting and enticing, friendship got tighter and tighter as we got to know each other better.

 

This was my small world away from home, where people welcomed me as their friends and where we all shared our pains, jokes, aspirations, concerns and family matters. Unfortunately, this place doesn’t exist any longer. An architect firm abated it to build high-rise, high-priced office and condos.

 

In my work as a designer, I often find a way to preserve something with a meaning, or history and incorporate it in the new design. 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. She also offer on-line consultations through Skype line.  “Vogue” 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

 

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 scheduled 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 subcategories of every possible ruler 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. 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 lifestyle.

 

 

 

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 linenfold, Empire style, Liberty Style, Modernism, and postmodern 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 I heard in my dream was “Tea For Two”. I found two versions Nat King Cole played in his days of fame.

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, the desire of emerging, acquiring or abusing power. 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 the 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 terms 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

 

Some Like It Pink | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Spring is here, at least on the calendar, even though in some parts of the world is still cold. In the spring we want to get rid of the dark colors in favor of bright, cheerful colors that will welcome the spring in our heart, gardens, wardrobe and our spaces.
(Source: colmet.tumblr.com)

Spring palette contains most of the colors of all the palettes and all the colors of the rainbow. But can everyone wear or live in the spring palette? Certainly not.
Our skin tone is a major indicator; it will tell which color looks the best and which color fights with it.

To be able to create a color palette that will always be in harmony with our skin, we need to choose colors that have the same temperature and value as our skin, hair and eyes. Let’s say you have a cool-based coloring, violet-rose skin tone, grey-blue eyes, cool greyish or cool brown hair, then I can say your coloring is cool and you can choose colors from all cool hues families.

Warm colors are not off limit to a person with cool colors, just need to find the undertone of the warm colors and mix them with cool colors.
Sounds difficult, but in reality it is not.

If the skin agrees with certain colors and not others, the interiors of our spaces react the same ways when we use the right colors that match the color temperature and color value of our skin. If the wrong color bounces off the walls and reflects on our skin, we will certainly look and feel not at ease.

(Pink Smeg fridge photographed by Claus Bellers&Thomas Ibsen | via Bolig magazineSource: Pinterest)

Some like it pink, but pink doesn’t like everybody and I am one of them.
My skin has a golden tone, pink will clash with it and with my personality.
I can wear pink away from my face, as for instance I can wear a pink purse, which will be the accent and not the main colors on my body.

I apply the same rule to my spaces. My main living colors must be in the golden tone, or vibrant warm tones. I can highlight an area with pink, as in my photograph of the open view bookcase with pink wallpaper in the background. I can accent an area as the pink staircase, or the pink refrigerator in the kitchen, but pink for people with golden tones, must be used in a small format and must be toned down with many browns, grayish brown and warm greys, or black.
Although for some people pink equals vintage, its use can be quite attractive and elegant in home décor.

 

In the Italian bath photograph (below) the use of pink is limited to accent the room. The smarter part is the way grey tiles mixed with the pink tiles create a verticality of dynamism. Silver plumbing fixtures, accessories, a large skylight and all the silver contours in the room add a load of natural light and pleasant reflections. The bathroom is playful but elegant and it can be used by both sexes. It is equally masculine and feminine.
(Source: Italian Magazine Case e Ville)

 

On the contrary, the Russian designer’s pink bath glows in playfulness.
(Source: http://milleniondesign.com/apartment)

Two different styles and both are elegantly original in pink.

Sergay MakhnoSergay Makhno Designer

 

There is a lot to say about colors, when in doubt, ask the experts.
I am one of them and I can save you money, time and headache.
Like what you read? Sharing is caring. Pass it along to someone who would benefit. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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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. ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors, her book on the subject of colors is the publication and will be released by the end of April 2012. Check out her other two books on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

 

Woman’s Day In Yellow | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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March 8th is the International Woman’s Day.
It is traditional on this day to give yellow mimosa flowers to women as a sign of respect and solidarity. This is a day to celebrate appreciation and love towards women and to celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements. Women give Mimosa to each other as well.

Yellow is one of the many colors that characterizes spring and summer. A controversial color that makes people feel happy, but creates anxiety; it is the color of the sun, which gives life to nature, but as the autumn approaches, the leaves turn yellow, lose their life and die. It is a cheerful color, however not many people can wear it, they feel either washed out or don’t feel good in yellow. Being a bit of a difficult, but inviting color, how can we include yellow in our fashion or homes?

Orienting your color scheme to your own particular hair and skin coloring is a good practice to make a pleasing cosmetic environment. The same practice is valid when decorating any spaces we live in. Before pairing colors with yellow, we should know how to distinguish each yellow. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

Winter and summer yellow is stripped of any gold reflexes. Winter yellow is pale like the winter sunlight. Spring yellow is hot and delicate, like the yellow of the daffodils; summer yellow is riper as the pineapple and it is also sharp as lemon; the autumn yellow is deep mustard gold.

White is the neutral color needed to calm the yellow and it is perfect for the blue-based winter and summer skin tone, as it brings out the pink tone in their skin and make them look healthy. Winter and summer people can use yellow in home décor with a good amount of white. White washes out people with golden tones skin. Spring and autumn people need to turn to creamy beige colors.

It is good to pair yellow with metals. Add silver for people with a blue-based skin tones and gold for people with yellow-based skin tones to bring out their warm coloration. Brown and purple are perfect colors to tone down the yellow. As you see in bedroom photograph, a metallic yellow is the accent color in the bedspread, pillows and glass details.

It communicates well with the metallic purple, the silver coloration of the floor and the white light of the lamp, but what brings everything together is the golden brown of the wood furniture with a yellow tone. This room will work well with an autumn person.

The right cosmetic color will lift our spirit and light up our face, it will work the same in our home décor, after all if one color doesn’t look good on us, it will not look good in our environment either. The walls or décor will reflect the wrong energy and we will never feel comfortable in that space.

Mimosa (acacia dealbata) was introduced to Europe from Australia in 1820.
It is probably the first tree to flower as early as January with yellow flowers.

 

 

A Mimosa Cocktail to serve at a morning brunch is the easiest drink to prepare:
Mix one part champagne (or other sparkling wine) and one part thoroughly chilled citrus fruit juice, orange juice or grapefruit juice. It is traditionally served in a tall champagne flute.

In substitution, you can make an apple juice kicked up with ginger as in my photo above.

Tomorrow, celebrate your beautiful self and give a woman a mimosa.

My book on the subject of colors RED-A Voyage Into Colors is just about ready to be released. Stay tuned for the launch, but if in the meantime you need suggestions on colors, please do not hesitate to leave your name in the box below. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

 

*******

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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ValPresStampValentina 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.

Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

My Red Philosophy | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Lovely to place another check mark near my goals with the word DONE. Here I am at my third book, finishing up the publishing process.
©Red-A Voyage Into Colors will be released in the Spring 2012.

Red Book Cover

In this book, I have talked about colors in our spaces, homes, offices, gardens, fashion, food and astrology. I have also included easy studies on colors for those readers who want to learn how to make colors, learn how to see and interpret them, or learn to understand their psychology. Oh, yes, wear the wrong colors and the face will show signs of aging, the body will look awkward, out of proportions and the wrong colors in the house will give us headache.

The philosophy of ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors is based on the playful nature’s colors we have been gifted with and that we enjoy every day. It was easy to think of nature and write about it. I get up in the morning and salute the sun. Even when it rains, I welcome the gray colors of a wet day and wear the brightest colors in my wardrobe as a propitiatory dance to let the sun return into my life, but in the meantime I enjoy the changing of weather. Nature is my inspiration, always.
Color is life! We live under a blue sky and a yellow sun; a silver moon kisses us at night; we swim in green-blue seas and climb on brown mountains; we stroll in green parks and forests, our gardens are filled with a profusion of colored flowers. Nature has done it all for us, we can just copy it and celebrate. We are the nature; we are the colors.

 

A jolt of happiness travels through our brain and body when we get up in the morning and see beautiful colors in our house and then again when we go into the closet to select special color combinations fit for the occasion of the day.
With the promise of a colorful day that will put our disposition on a positive track, why would anyone live without colors?

So many people spend their life in dreadful beige homes, or worse in the colors for resale value, living not in colorful spaces of their liking, but living the life of the next buyer. People are so afraid of colors and yet colors have flavors, emotions, harmony and music. Colors play along with the daily rotation of the sun transforming their structure and light each time the sun touches each colored surface with its warm rays and because there is rhythm in colors, let’s not forget that each colors will increase our creativity, or inspire us.

Allow yourself to experiment with various color combinations and challenge your fantasy, when in doubt, always refer to nature.

I have produced one book a year for the last three years. I can really say nothing is impossible! I know which book will be next, I will leave that news for later.
Stay tuned for the release of ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors, hardcover, filled with my photographs and my drawings.

I am available for hiring in speaking engagements on colors and how we can use colors to our advantages. Ciao.
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Share
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.

Check her two published books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

A New Red Vibration | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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We are one week into the new baby year, but I can still wish you a Happy New Year. This year will be exceptional! I am feeling the electricity vibrating all around me. I sense a renewed positivism in people, we will have new election in this country, in Chinese astrology 2012 is the year of the dragon and I am a dragon, but not shooting fire, only good vibrations.
My third book, now in the finishing line, has been accepted for publication on the evening of December 31st, while the previous year was ending and I was celebrating the arrival of 2012. What a better way to start a new year with a new book to be published soon! The title I chose is ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, just right with this year powerful energy. The book will be on the market in the Spring, please stay tuned for the news of the launch. Red is a book on the subject of colors in our lives and how colors affect us.

I have included a section of colors in astrology, colors for interiors, colors in food and fashion. The beginning part explains what colors really are, how to see them and how to interpret the character of each one. Writing this book has been a labor intense, but also a fun process and in a few months I will see it realized. I will be putting another check mark next to my goals and dreams and a big “DONE”.

This year 2012 is all about colors. 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 contrasts never done before. Pantone, the leading industry in the subject of colors, for decades has influenced product development in multiple industries, including fashion, film industry, traveling, interior designing, home industrial design, product packaging and graphic design. This year Pantone made Tangerine Tango the color of the year.

 

Tangerine Tango is a red-orange hue, which will characterize 2012, performing well in spring and all the way through autumn. It is an all-round color most people can wear, exotics in its structure and very friendly to most skin colors. It will perform exceptionally well with green and blue eyes and when paired with brown eyes will highlight the amber cast. It is highly wearable in daytime and evening affairs.
Tangerine Tango in interiors is an energizing color that will lower inhibitions. It is perfect in entryways and foyers, love to see it kitchens or simply in a few kitchen appliances for a surge of energy. It will spice up the rest of the house just with a few pillows, accessories, bedspreads and rugs. Don’t need much of this colors, its warm presence is visibly palpable.

(photo: BH&G)
In the past years, red color really irritated me, therefore I kept away from fire-red and wore it extensively only in December through the festivities, but now I feel good toward that red energy in my life. Through this year I will be celebrating my twenty-two years mark in designing business with RED-A Voyage Into Colors my new book on colors and my renewed hopes and goals for my future. All the good reasons for not letting this powerful vibrations passing unobserved. May all your dreams be realized in a colorful life. Let’s Tango! Ciao,
Valentina
Design website: www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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ValentinaXmasValentina 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 also a published author of two Italian regional cuisine books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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