Grass On The Window | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

As long as I can remember and even before I became a designer, doing window dressing has been one thing I never liked to design. I think if the view is pleasant and perhaps vegetation or altitude protects your privacy, there is no need to cover the windows. Soak in the beauty surrounding your home and let the colors of nature fill your interior, but if that is not the case and privacy is an issue, I understand you must cover your windows to protect your life.

For many years the design industry has talked and created eco-friendly designs solutions to help to protect our natural environment with new sustainable products that will also meet our changing needs. Grass on the windows means exactly that: window covering made of natural grass material.

Skilled weavers create woven shades out of the finest natural wood, reeds grasses, and fibers that are carefully selected and hand-woven on traditional looms. Grass roller shades give the room an aura of organic beauty. The artistic hand-craftsmanship and the elegance of modern window dressing, transport rich sentiments of nature and worldly sophistication to any room.

Grass roller shades have the same features as the conventional hanging fabrics: independently operable liner shade is available in various tones and opacity; top-down and bottom-up mechanism to choose the view you like to see; hand pull-up cords or motorized function, just in case you get too comfortable; you can create a valance or mount the grass roller shades inside window frames. One more feature and I like this one: you can see out, but they cannot see in your home.

No more fabrics hanging on windows collecting dust and contributing to your interior pollution. Dry cleaning the curtains will bring home more chemicals than you want to breath. To clean the grass roller shades you only need a vacuüm with a soft brush duster.

(Click on the photos to view them larger)

Do you think designers like to design everything they are hired for? I don’t think so, but when that happens we must comply and find the right solutions to make customers happy. I just finished designing this traditional window treatment for the entire home of a client. Would I put these curtains in my home, absolutely not! My style doesn’t allow heavy curtains and heavy patterns and simply doesn’t allow curtains, but I wasn’t working for my house. As long as the client is happy, I am happy too.
Sharing is caring, I am here if you need help. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValWorkingIt’s my hope that through my writing I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style and inspire you to live in beauty. I have loved my profession as an interior 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/xUZfk0
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Living In The Time | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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The concept of living in the time is about how to transform a living space in a more responsible and sustainable space while keeping it full of dreams and personal touches.
One of the most loved idea is the Outdoor as part of the indoor interiors. I don’t want to talk about trend, as I don’t see this outdoor idea going away anytime soon. We are more willing to live with the nature than being surrounded by cement, but the outdoor must have all the amenities, functionality and attention to details as any interior, to feel livable and comfortable.

Outdoor furniture should be carefully selected for durability under the weather. Teak Wood is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona Grandis native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, cutting boards, indoor flooring, countertops and as a veneer for indoor furnishings. It is weather, termite and pest resistant even when not treated with oil or varnish.

One of my friend introduced me to Ifit another hard wood from Guam and Pacific Rim. The extremely dense and reddish wood is highly termite resistant and was once extensively used for interior woodwork such as flooring, window frames, corner posts, cutting boards and other accessories, as it is highly polished. These type of wood species being durable and pest resistant become eco-friendly because they will outlived us and hopefully we will buy them only once, but their traveling will need lot of petrol to take them from their native lands to their next destination.

While decorating with sustainability in mind, think of a variety of eco-friendly upholstery fabrics, such as organic cotton grown without pesticides and not genetically modified. Organic Cotton is printable in many patterns and choices are endless.
Hemp is stronger and more durable than cotton, needs half as much water to grow and doesn’t require pesticides. Hemp is just beautiful if it remains in its natural coloration, as shown on the chairs in my photo.
I was really surprised the first time I saw a Tencel Fabric, made of wood pulp fibers. The moisture and temperature control is the wonderful benefit of clothing made from this unique way of processing a tree. The Tencel fabric pulls the moisture from the skin and releases into the air. Lounging around the poolside, or having a soft bathrobe made of wood pulp fiber is pure pleasure!

One other area that contributes to the making of a perfect outdoor living concept are the picture windows. It is very nice to admire the view from the garden, or the beauty of a night skyline of the city while sitting in a bathtub, but we must not think only of our inner pleasure. It is necessary to reduce home heating and cooling costs through air sealing techniques and house insulation. By plugging air leaks with caulking or weather strips, we can save more than 10 percent on the energy bill and by using Energy Star windows we reduce the heating bill by 30-40 percent compared to uncoated, single-pain windows.
Weatherized the entire home will provide year round comfort and savings.

Cool the house without air conditioning by using fans, specifically fans which remove the hot air from the attic and exchange the hot air in the house with cool air from outside.
A whole house fan is a large powerful fan that gets installed in a central part of the home (typically a hallway) and blows from the house into the attic.
As the house fan blows, the pressure in the attic increases and the pressure in the house decreases. The hot air in the attic then vents through roof and other attic vents. Of course this is a one time large expense.

Ceiling fans are less expensive and do a great job too in cooling the house without air conditioning. Tropical style ceiling fans will make a wonderful addition to any décor, whether it is traditional, rustic, tropical, or even elegant. Ceiling fans with blades up to 60″ or 72″ long are powerful and large enough to be right at home and keep us cool.
(http://ceilingfanmodels.com)

There is so much more to talk about the outdoor-indoor living, perhaps I will create a second part to this blog. In the meantime making a few improvements towards an intelligent living is already a good step. You, as a person, are an integral part of the environment. Cultivate flowers that will attract butterflies and grow your own food, it is possible even in pots on small balconies and you will elevate health and spirit. Ciao,
Valentina

http://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 is a designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes.
She is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
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How We Were So Green and Did Not Know It | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Growing up in Italy, I remember looking at the hot water boiler over the sink in the kitchen, one boiler in the bathroom over the tub and another one again over the sink of the service bathroom and thinking how ugly it was to stare at them. In my mind as a child, it would have been better to have one big boiler hidden in a closet serving the whole house, as wealthy people had it. Wrong! One of the building green idea is to let water travel a short distance and save on electricity.

In the morning, as soon as we were all awake and up, all the windows were opened to allow fresh air in the house through the morning while the house was being cleaned. Bed sheets came off the bed and were shaken, mattress was beaten to get the “bed bugs” out, technically called dust mites. It is a good idea to vacuüm the mattress every day as you vacuüm the floor to get rid of dust particles hidden in the mattress that can cause asthma problem.

The kitchen was a sanctuary. First of all it was spotless, cleaned only with natural products, like “Savon De Marseille”. During cooking all the windows were open to let the cooking vapor, steam and grease smell escape out. Many times the kitchen were built outside the house perimeter. It was called the hot kitchen, a place only used to cook, the eating happened inside the house.  (Photo left found on: http://www.rosemari.fr/categorie-produit/la-maison)

It was amazing to watch food preparation and wondering if all that it was discarded would have gone into my stomach instead. I was too young to understand that wasting food was not an option. Food was not pre-made, everybody made fresh food at home every day using every bit of food that could have been used. I remember all the egg shells, coffee and tea ground, discarded vegetable leaves and stems, fruit peels and much more went into the compote pile to make fertile ground for our home grown food. Fish heads, tales and bones along with discarded peel of onions, carrots and celery became fish stock. Eatable flowers rolled in sugar became candies. Apples and various spices became vinegars and tomatoes were turned into a sauce conserved for the winter. We never had leftover food (freshly made food is good for your health and look) and there was almost nothing going into the garbage, like plastics, packages, metals and sorts of things we see in garbage today.
Kitchen and bath furniture were made of real wood without formaldehyde and lasted for generations. Note I have called it “kitchen and bath furniture”.

Many items of clothing, at least the manageable types were washed by hands to give them a longer life.


(Photo Wikimedia:  Immanuel Giel)

This contributed to a less spending and more savings. We bought only a few pieces of clothes needed to match with the existent pieces. All laundry was hung in the sun to dry. A few hours later they were ready and they smell so fresh and clean! Today, living in America, I still hang my clothes to dry in my laundry yard and I have never owned a dryer, with the shocking disbelieve of my neighbors who think I come from Mars.
We didn’t need energy-efficient appliances then, but we do today and we want to save money.
Our floors were made of stones and still are, stone floors are healthy, breathable, wash and wear. A bit of water and soap, voila’ the floor is clean.

During my growing up, we only turned on the lights in the rooms we were using and turned off all lights in the rest of the house. We still do that, electricity is so expensive in Europe.
Do you think that was living in an old world? Perhaps, but we didn’t have to care about saving the environment, because we didn’t abuse it in the first place and we saved all kinds of money, because there wasn’t much to waste. At the same time, we didn’t even know we were already contributing to saving the environment. Today we must revert to that way of living. How much money are you loosing for not being green and beautiful?

Since a few years ago, I am part of the “green concept design” helping people understanding how to build and design with the environment in mind. Talk to me about your needs, I am here to help you saving money and save the environment, the only HOUSE we have. Do you have questions? Please, leave a comment below. I will answer all of your questions within 24 hours. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola, the principal designer and owner is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces design concepts for remodeling, upgrading, new home design, décor restyling and home fashion.
“Vogue Italy” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work . She also has made s few 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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