Knowing How To Do It | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

We are all online, we read each other, we share content of people we like, we make friends, being online has become a new home for most us and the world is in our pocket. Years ago, I decided to make my time spent online a profitable time by offering consultations, design concepts, drawings and color solutions, all online services without moving one inch from my office.

This is a family room with a seating arrangement in a stairs void. Client told me that people feel as if they fall into the stairs void when sitting there. The void brings a cold draft in the room, thus nobody ever sits there. A small digital piano takes a space on that cold, naked wall and it needs something to embrace it. (Click on each photo to view it larger).


(Above and below: Seating into the void of stairs)


My solution is to close the wall up to a certain point leaving a large circular opening with a decorative iron design, which would allow light to spill in the stairway, would get rid of the draft and would allow people to feel more protected when sitting in that area. For the small piano, I planned a shelving unit enclosed between two flat fluted pilasters faux painted in silver-gold mix and a beautiful new lighting effect.

familyroomconcept(Above: Concept for the wall with seating, digital piano and open shelving)


The other wall hosts a lonely, dark, outdated fireplace stuck in the middle of the wall with a fake window on the right side covered with a curtain.


With my design concept, I created a built-in unit made of dark and light wood, incorporating TV, fireplace, music and storage space.  Woodworkers in the city where client lives will fabricate it. The unit will be the focal point of the room, whether the fire is on or not and will be visible from any angle of the downstairs open space lay-out.

(Above and below: Concept drawings for wall with built-in unit, fireplace, TV and storage)

Furniture of the family room will remain as it is. My involvement in the remaking of the room with a new concept was limited to designing two walls and producing a couple color palettes, both of which will create a great new atmosphere for the space. Hopefully, when the two walls will be completed, client will feel encouraged to change the rest of the room décor.

It didn’t take me long to create the new concept. It’s all about knowing how to do it through experience, love for the work and understanding client’s desires. The photos of the existing conditions and a few Skype conversations with the client told me the story. I hope to receive photos of the completed work.

Anything is possible these days when working online,  from designing kitchens and baths to create color palettes. The world is smaller and work doesn’t have to be hard.
It’s all about knowing how to do it and I have the solution for any of your design challenges. Ciao,
Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


valentinadivaglassesValentina 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. Check out her books on




Funky Sofas | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


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,

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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 


Hunted and Saved | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer



For a few days now, I have been going around the house looking to give a second life to some old pieces. Strong of the experience I had a few years ago, I am ready to repeat the artistic experience with a new piece. Sundays are perfect days to go bargain hunting around garage sales and flea markets. I love flea markets! In one of those excursions, I found a few old pieces of furniture and ventured through the refinishing process.

There are a few things you need to do before you tackle a refinishing of a piece of furniture. First, you don’t know where the piece has been before you and how the previous owner used it, unless someone tells you the history. Disinfect, clean it really well and keep it in an open and well-ventilated place for a few days to eliminate previous odors. While you are deciding on the transformation of the piece, the new design, color, pattern or the overall new look, I would suggest taking pictures of the piece and visiting some reputable antique dealer who will tell you just by looking at the photograph if it is a valuable piece or not. If it is a value piece you might want to leave it as is, just give it a good clean, otherwise if it gets restyled into a new life, the piece will lose its antique/historical value.

The refinishing process is very easy. Strip old paints and varnishes with a coarse sand paper by using a sanding machine or plain elbow grease, which I like better as it is another way to exercise muscles. The plain wood grain will surface again in all its beauty. At this point you can decide to leave it natural to emphasize the wood grain and apply only transparent varnishes, or you can paint it in your favorite colors. My photographs show painted examples, découpage and antique finishes.

Painted Line Chest by ©Valentina Cirasola



Painted Line Chest – Detail – by ©Valentina Cirasola


Dust off the remaining of the sanding with a soft cloth; make it really clean, you must not feel any grain under your fingertips. Apply a coat of primer paint to cover all the imperfections, wait until it dries well, sand it lightly with a less coarse sanding paper, and dust it off again. The surface must be really clean every time another coat of paint goes on.

Apply the first coat of the paint color of your choice. Let it dry. If the result is good, then the piece is almost done, but if it needs another coat of paint, sand it lightly again, dust it off and apply a second coat.

(Venetian Chest paint by Douglas Greenberg)

Most of my pieces have been speckled at the end. With a small brush I splashed a dark varnish here and there for interest. Highlighting all the details is the fun parts. The style of the piece of furniture will dictate whether the highlights will be antique or contemporary style.

Découpage is always done as the last detail. The only items needed are a flat brush, a découpage glue and an image, nothing to it.
If you like to draw an image free hand, that step is also done after the piece has received the last coat of paint. Trace the image with a carbon paper; with a brush go over the line drawing and paint your image with the selected colors. This is the easiest way to apply a design. Stenciling a design over the top coat is another way, but this takes a good skill. Seal the découpage, stencil work or any drawing with a non-yellowing water base varnish.


Venetian Painted Chest by ©Valentina Cirasola

(Painted sky blue chest photos ©Valentina Cirasola)

Now it is time to apply the jewelry. Get your fantasy in motion, use anything and everything for drawer pulls, or door knobs. One of my cabinets has a pair of hearings as drawer pulls. Others are a mix of style, colors and textures. Arts and craft store sell wood knobs and pulls, which can be painted in any style you like; that will satisfy your artistic vein, other than saving you money.

There are professional artists on the market who make excellent money in producing elaborate faux finishes. I know this process as I have described might sound simplistic. If you don’t have velleity of taking your refinished piece to the Guggenheim exhibition and you just want to give a second life to something old with interesting shapes, then don’t make the refinishing process complicated. Follow these simple steps and you will produce an attractive piece just like those in my photographs.

A few years ago I helped a person in France restyling her piece. She contacted me through Facebook, asked me questions about the furniture she wanted to refurbish, liked my answers and hired me to assist her in the production. I did not move one inch from my desk, our communications developed through Skype calls and emails. She purchased the knobs from my selection photographed in a store. Her French piece turned out beautiful. If you are stuck, let me help you or anyone you know in restoring your piece, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. Ciao,

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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. As an Italian designer and true to her origins, she provides only the best workmanship and design solutions.

She is the author of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, her forthcoming book on the subject of colors.
She is also a published author of two regional Italian cuisine books. Find her books on



The Kitsch Of Today | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


DavideIn every era items of dubious taste appear on shelves of home décor stores and invariably we have a good laugh when we find them in people’s home.

The term kitsch refers to an item regarded as tasteless, sentimental, or ostentatious in style. Sometimes an item is so kitsch to turn irresistibly attractive, perhaps because it has an inner beauty, or an intrinsic collectible value, or better a memory of a romantic past. I love to hunt in flea markets, looking at some items often is a learning experience of the past, especially when I engage in conversation with senior exhibitors who know all the life story of an object and turn into instant story-tellers. I could spend hours and hours listening to people who have lived in different eras, I find it very fulfilling and educational. Today I want to talk about the funny aspect of a few kitsch items.

Take a look at this David statue, one of the most recognizable masterpiece of the world and an enduring symbol of Florence. To see the David in Piazza della Signoria in Florence is natural, it fits the historical environment, but to see him naked in a home would be a bit annoying.

Coat of Arms near the living room fireplace, or on top of the doorway will really tell your friends how highly blazoned you feel, unless for real you have royal blood, but in this case you wouldn’t display the coat of arms so visibly anyway.

The Folies Bergère stool is very kitschy and extremely whimsical, but I wouldn’t put it on display in the center of the most used room. It would feel appropriate in a boudoir, where you can sit to take your shoes off after a night of follies.

The Babette side table. Just the name alone of this table will tell the story. It might be useful to rest a drink on it, but its disheveled look, seamed stockings, red garters and strappy red heels demands attention!
A romp boisterous lad experiencing his first flat might like this piece as a way of entertaining his friends in funny conversation.


Ah, the guillotine was a classic in the ‘70s. I have seen it in some offices propped proudly on a boss’s desk used for cutting the tip of cigars. It was considered an unusual historic executive toy. It hurt just to see it and wondered what kind of pleasure there was to own such object.

Cleopatra Chaise, even though a little garish and excessively ornate, I can use it as an accent piece and let it claim a place of honor in my décor. After all, it is a reproduction of the famous ruler’s chair and it is fit-for-a-queen (me). By the way, my title of last published book is: Sins Of A Queen. You can find it here:

(All photos from: Toscano Design)

Ok, I have been playing around today with outrageous things, I know, but not all kitsch items are ugly, extremely in your face, garish, or unpleasant. The idea behind choosing a kitsch object is to have fun and to create an attraction, just do not use many of these objects in one room, or many times over throughout the home décor.

Ultimately, if you like one piece, nobody can tell you what you should or should not have in your décor, just do it sensibly. Do not overlook flea market findings, they could be a treasure sometimes.

As a professional designer, I can stir the selection toward a more valuable choice and toward the choice that makes sense for the style of your home. I shall be here to help with any choice, selecting furniture and accessories is one of the specialty of my business. Leave your name in the box, I will answer you in 24 hours time. Ciao,


Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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. Author of three books available on


Sawdust Or Stardust | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


Spring is almost at our door, it is time to refresh the look of interior spaces and to buy furniture. Those of you who have just finished a home remodeling, after such a big sacrifice and hardship, now is the moment to make the new areas shine, sit back, relax and enjoy the new spaces with comfortable furniture.

Before rushing to furniture stores with a renewed excitement (remember last time you bought furniture?) is important to know the shifts that have occurred in the market with supply and demand, the shift in consumer thinking or choices and to know about imported or locally produced furniture.

The annual world market furniture show at High Point in North Carolina will happen April 2-7, 2011. It is the world runway for home fashions and it happens one month after the New York’s Fashion Week. There you will find an enormous selection of furniture and accessories of all styles and historic periods. The show is overwhelming and super stuffed with beautiful furniture, but all of that will reach stores at some point during the year, so we can all enjoy and finally make a purchase.

This is basically what you need to keep in mind. Decide how much you want to spend and the quality you want in your home, then look at the product you are buying.
The most common furniture are made of melamine material, veneer, laminate, solid wood and a lot more. I will just talk about a few.

The majority of furniture are made of sawdust pushed together with various resins with the exterior surface made of plastic derivates printed and colored as wood. When the resins are not treated at a high temperature (this is an information never disclosed to consumers) they emanate a formaldehyde gas which is carcinogenic and irritating for the lungs. The odor is not pleasant and emission can last many years. To reduce the emission, these kind of furniture are covered with an exterior layer of melamine.

Furniture with veneer and honeycomb: the exterior face has a layer of about one millimeter thick of real wood, the interior is made with a honeycomb structure which doesn’t allow doors and drawers to bow with time. Furniture with veneer exterior are good lasting furniture and priced affordably.

(Photo Italian Trumeau Lombardo –

Real wood furniture are the stars of any interiors, they have all the characteristics of elegance, beauty, style, durability and they are pricey. Real wood furniture fall in the category of luxury, but knowing the right ebonist (artistic furniture maker) real wood furniture can be produced locally at a better price than the market.

Let me be your chosen designer who can put star…dust in your décor. I can help you with any style. Put your name in the box, leave a comment and I will answer you within 24 hours. Ciao

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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 also designes furniture and has been successful in producing them locally with local artists craftsmen. Check out her books on


Give Me Space | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


Buying furniture can be a difficult or easy task, depending on how you react to your need, prices, choices, or necessity. Particularly in the case of a couple getting married for the first time and the unknown factors of how large the family will grow, or even if the marriage will last in time. Then come the questions of how to choose colors, styles, sizes, functionality and how to fit everything intelligently in each space in order to maximise the available space in every small inch.

When buying good furniture allow yourself plenty time for searching and don’t stop at the first offer just because the price might be right for you. Evaluate material and price of the furniture and don’t fall in the trap of discounts. If you purchase furniture on the Internet to save 70-80% and then turn around and pay a high price for shipping that is not at all a good savings, therefore buy locally and really save! Some local stores will offer shipping free of charge just to gain your custom.

Furniture to me, as a designer and lover of practicality, must be beautiful, stylish and hold a double functionality. Not necessarily made for contemporary décor with straight and clean lines, furniture can be antiques, or classic, but they must always offer storage space solutions, in that space is a challenge in everybody’s home and a precious commodity.

A Tartan Credenza (left) in the living room can decorate a wall beautifully and serve as a storage for table cloths, napkins and silverware. A kitchen credenza (right)  can also hold office files on one side with a roll-down panel to hide the files when not in use.

If you are looking to add rhythm and dynamism to an office space or a kids’ room, the Code bookshelf made by Snaidero (left) is a good solution. Looking at my photo most people will think of kids’ room immediately. 
A bookshelf designed in colored squares is perfect for kids, that’s right, because it offers infinite playful compositions. But why not thinking of a dynamic office, filled with young minds, or young at heart people, innovative and productive, who want to keep up with evolving times? This type of free-form modular shelving multiplies in space vertically, horizontally and performs well all kinds of functions, even in the kitchen, or pantry.

Do you have a bare corner? A drop shaped vitrine (Photo right) with interior lighting made by Carpanelli is a good solution to hold a few collectibles and to light a corner. I like to add lights in corners, it gives the illusion of larger spaces. Ottomans and settees are also super solutions for storage and stylish furniture, which can be added anywhere in any décor.

When giving a particular attention to storage spaces and assign a dedicated space to each of your activities, life becomes simpler and pleasant. Well, now it is time to go shopping. I am here to help you finding the right furniture solution, or build some storage spaces for you, your home, your style and improve your life. Ciao,


Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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 also designs furniture and has been successful in producing them locally with local artists craftsmen. Check out her books on

House As A Reflected Image Of Yourself | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


Have you ever asked yourself why some homes designed by architect or designers look so much like showrooms, instead of reflecting the personality of the people living in the home? And why after having spent a boatload of money in the remodeling, the inhabitants of the house might not feel totally comfortable?

Designing a home is the same as having a custom dress designed for our body. A fashion designer or tailor will take in consideration the physical structure of the client, his/her beauty, the color of hair, eyes, and skin; will consider the personality of the client, his/her body language, texture, and proportions. It is just the same when designing a home. A designer should take into consideration all the characteristics of the client’s body. Therefore, that affirmation designers often know how to satisfy their client’s needs, it will never be true, unless a careful study of the client’s body has been made.

(Anne-Marie Gräfin Stadion by anonymous (18th c.)

Let’s see why a house should be the reflected image of yourself?
A man with a rectangular shape, tall and slim, will feel comfortable in a house with high ceilings, doors, and windows proportionally tall and rectangular furnishing with little or no curves.
A woman with a curvilinear body and a small waist will gravitate her choice of lamps and accessories around diagonal lines or A-Lines and her choice of furniture, door handles and architectural details most likely will have a few curves.
A person with an extroverted personality who makes easy friendship will feel comfortable among vivacious colors.
A person with an authoritative job will prefer the “shaded” colors, colors non-better defined, one of them being the “greige” which is the combination of gray with beige. The shaded colors are also described as calming colors.

Any space of the house designed on the occupant’s personal need should take in consideration the height of chairs, counters, dimensions of bathtubs and relate them to the person’s height to assure an easier usage and functionality. I would never decorate a home with oversized furniture if a petite, small person lives there and vice versa.

If we want to take the concept of personalizing a home a step further, walls, upholstered furniture, flooring should also be selected in relation of the color of eyes, hair and skin texture of the persons living in the house.

In a personalized home, a “private corner” for each person should be planned. It is not true that open spaces are always that good. At times we want to be alone with ourselves and it doesn’t mean we love the people in the house any less. The private moment once a day is necessary and the “appointment with ourselves” cannot be happening where there are open space and a lot of activities going on.

(Photo below: Henri Matisse – Woman seated in an armchair)

Gentry Design magazine, a prominent publication in California for designers and creative people featured me again this month.
The kitchen in the picture below is the reflection of my client’s personality and an example of how successfully I have interpreted their body’s proportions in relation to their space. The house they bought was built in the late ‘70s, but the client is a young couple. I had to modernize the house with many contemporary amenities, appliances, and electronics. They are minimalist, love neutral colors and love to meditate. They are tall and slender, the reason why I decided to leave the space open and free of kitchen top cabinets. Their height, the tall ceilings, and tall top cabinets would have looked like a bunch of soldiers lined up. It explains why the kitchen and surrounding areas are all painted in a light golden cream, furniture has been lightly antiqued and there aren’t many dust collectors lying around, only the necessary accessories. Lighting fixtures are also slender and rectangular, placed all in strategic locations to help them in their activities. Simplicity has been the key to this décor, as the couple loves to wear designer clothes with simple, but elegant lines, no frills.

(Kitchen interior by ©Valentina Interiors & Designs)

I would like to conclude that we should strive to produce a personalized home, where each space and décor reflects who we are and not exclusively the fashion and trends of the moment. Houses photographed in design magazines are beautiful, well made, some are very intelligent, but they are not ”our homes”. If we copy them, or worse, if we take bits and pieces and transfer those ideas into our spaces, they might not fit the dimension of our body and might not agree with our soul, as all the dresses parading on a fashion runway don’t always end up covering our bodies.

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,
Interior Designer since 1990

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


VBlue2Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior & Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She marries well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. Get your copy of one of her books on


No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Graffiti Lux Art & More

Luxuriating in the Arts

Inspiration you need

Inspiration is our vision as it is the key to success. This page is about Personality Development, SEO, Amazon Affiliate Marketing, Blog ideas, and photography.

Electric Eclectic's Blog

All Things Bookish and more...

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

James J. Cudney

Best Selling Author of Family Drama & Mystery Fiction

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

The Write Stuff

"Writers Helping Writers" with Marcia Meara & Friends

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Banter Republic

It's just banter

Watching the Daisies

Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.

This Is My Truth Now

Author, Inspirational Blogger, Book Reviewer & Promoter (James J. Cudney)

Warning:Curves Ahead

reasonably photogenic and relatively stylish

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

London Life With Liz

A lifestyle blog with a little bit of everything.

Inspired Motivation

Get your daily motivation fix right here!

Janaline's world journey

My sometimes Strange, but usually Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through this amazing World we live in.

From my guardaviñas / Desde mi guardaviñas

Sharing ideas. Photos, travels, music, History, stories, feelings, thoughts,...

Dancer Attitude

"Shoot for the top"

Modern Tropical

Art + Decor by Kristian Gallagher

For The Love Of Ligh

APK Photography Blog

A Dash of Words with Loleta Abi Romance Author

Love, Family, and the Journey Home

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Jean's Writing

Jean M. Cogdell, Author-Writing something worth reading, one word at a time in easy to swallow bite size portions.

Valentina Expressions

Luxury for Comfortable Living and Good Life Through Designs, Style, Travel, Food

%d bloggers like this: