In The Mood For New | Valentina Cirasola |Designer

Lips mini sofa by Studio 65 Vitra

I am in the mood for something new, and craving something especially red. Actually, this desire didn’t come with the brand new year, I have been wanting to redecorate parts of my home for a while now. I have been looking and searching, but everything out there is so dull, squared, boxed… I couldn’t find anything extravagant for a long time until I stumbled on this lips mini sofa by Studio 65 Vitra. It is a reproduction of Salvador Dali’s lip sofa kept in his house now a museum.

The next thing I spotted was this hippy wallpaper to accentuate the wall behind the red lips sofa and make it come alive. All hippy expressions are coming back again. Sixty years later, people are still looking for sunshine in their lives, want to be closer to nature, feel peaceful in the positive cosmic energy, and want to defy drabby interiors. Nothing has changed in sixty years, but why humans have not found that balance with nature, cosmic forces, and inner peace yet?

I soon realized the lips sofa is affordable but very small and the wallpaper, although I like it very much, would cause many extra changes to the surrounding décor. Changing one item often creates a domino effect and everything around will soon need to be changed, something I am not ready to tackle now and I don’t want to either, I still like my interior décor made of classic, eclectic, and fantasy expressions.

There is one thing in my trade that has been proven so right:
“Before you start anything, learn how to finish it.” DIY people often don’t know what a project entails and end up learning from their mistakes. I know where I want to go with the new loveseat, the vignette I want to create will be a bit French classic, end of the 1900s style.

Well, since the lips sofa doesn’t have the right measurements for my space, I opted for something else, just as pretty. A purple tufted loveseat that fits well with the rest of the décor and nothing else needs to change.

Milani tufted love seat

Two new lamps will come into this new play and a nice vignette will be recreated. I will post pictures when everything arrives and will be put together my way. Until then, if any of you is up to a room make-over and needs help, I am here for any question, ready to give you a helping hand. Ciao.
Valentina
www.valentinadesigns.com


Copyright © 2021 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer established in 1990. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. Currently, she consults on colors based on clients’ personalities and lifestyles, she creates atmospheres using the proper lighting that is going to add harmony and peace to the homes and she helps clients creating fantasy rooms instead of typical rooms looking like furniture showrooms. She is the author of six published books, two of which are on design subjects. Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Furniture – A Movable Thought | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

welcome-to-my-a-to-z-challenge-2

Welcome to my personal A to Z Challenge on the subject of Home. The goal, in a year time, is to elaborate and dissect topics regarding the Home not as containers of stuff, but as a cocoon for the soul, mind and heart. I will touch on decorations, style, trends, history of home and sometimes technical information.

The word furniture comes from the 1570 French word “fournir” (furnish in English). Furniture was the prerogative of the higher levels of society and nobles who lived in castles while the less prosperous sat on benches, stools or on the floor, ate at whatever table available at their disposition and often slept on beds of straw. Furniture had a double purpose: to decorate a room as we intend it today and to be mobile. In fact in many European countries where romantic languages are spoken furniture was also called “mobilia” a Latin word which means mobile. The word is still in use today.

Vacation time of the rich and nobles was like a house moving of today, they took along chairs, tables, trunks and household stuff when they left their castle and went to visit their peers in their castles. Visiting people’s castle was a common custom as today we go on vacation and stay in hotels, except that our hotels are fully furnished and clothes is the only thing we carry around.

Furniture and adornments were meant to convey the wealth of its owner. Rich oak was the preferred wood for container such as trunks and credenza; upholstered chairs in velvet or expensive materials divided rooms elegantly in vignettes; turned legs accented and beautified any boxed furniture; elaborate window treatments kept the cold winter out and gilded and decorated walls lined with expensive art really told the story of how wealthy the family was.

 

The Dutch were the first to use Turkish rug as table coverings and not as floor covering. They believed furniture was to admire, to use and never to crowd a room, in that it would detract the light and the spirit within. However their reason might have been a more practical one. Dutch people scrubbed and cleaned their homes every day and when entering the house, took their shoes off on the unfurnished and very bare first floor, which was considered an extension of the street. With slippers on their feet, they entered the livable home on the second floor. However, the cleanliness of their homes did not reflect the cleanliness of their bodies. One would think that the same people who scrubbed, cleaned and shined their homes, would take an exceptional effort to keep up with personal care and hygiene as well, but that was not the case. Houses did not have a room for bathing and the multiple layers of clothing that kept them warm during the hard winter months, discouraged bathing and exposure to fresh air: “the bark stays better on the trunk”.

Strangely enough, not much as changed since then, except that furniture are less decorated, more functional, respects the rule of ergonomics, often is very technological with more than one function and we don’t take them on our vacations. In decorating, we like to reproduce past styles to feel a connection to history. The Dutch four-post bed is still in use today, as are alcoves and banquette seating under windows. Family portraits and various art pieces still line our decorated walls. Entering someone’s home it’s hard to remain indifferent one way or the other. Furniture will immediately communicate the status symbol or non-status of the owner and the style will speak about the owner’s personality.

As for cleanliness, I wonder often if people have learned anything or if technology has even helped. It’s not uncommon for me, being a designer, to go into a house for the first time and find a royal mess and stale air. The answer is to be found in the question: “what do people do with their time?”. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val:FarfalleStampValentina 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-known 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 color in the style fit for each of her special clients.
She is the author of three books all available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Mirrors And The Opera Singer | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Josephine On Ava

A maze of garden vignettes and strategically placed pathways hide a series of beautiful condos each with its own personality and mostly inhabited by couple without kids, or well to do retired people.
From downstairs in the garden a faint opera music resounds in my ears and as I get closer to the entry door, the voice of Pavarotti singing an aria fills the air.
This is Josephine‘s home, a retired widow, a traveler, artist painter, and a social butterfly, involved with many committees, social gathering and charitable events. Did I forget dancer?

Josephine’s home is a theatre, at the turning of each corner there is a new scene, my eyes keep staying attentive, there is so much to capture. Nothing matches in her décor, but everything fits together well. Amazing how some people try to do the matchy-matchy dance and end up with a boring décor. Josephine likes to be surrounded by her travel memories, her art, which she paints like a pro and color, lot of colors.


The first thing a visitor will notice is the Italian kitchen made by Scavolini, shiny, Ferrari red, young looking, but Josephine is a vibrant lady in her 70s. She refuses to act her age, to dress for her age, or accepting a tranquil home in all beige tones.

The Ferrari red kitchen hits you like a sudden rush of blood to the brain and all the notes of an Italian ‘farsa’ appear to be written all over it.

The black granite counter is jagged, never seen before, with three Murano glass pendants playing a diagonal line of light over the counter. Josephine doesn’t like “common” and doesn’t like to follow other people’s taste. She has been the perfect client!

Unlike many people, she is at ease with mirrors and likes them scattered in her décor, in unusual places.

She has one mirror artistically placed in a living room over a slipper chair and a Venetian mask peeping from the top. Then I see another mirror in the studio’s bathroom into which a grouping of more Venetian masks reflects from the opposite wall.

It’s like theatre curtains opening up for a new act, I go through a corridor and I spot another mirror, enter a new space and see myself in a French mirror set around some Oriental vases.

A shimmering is also coming out from an umbrella stand full of umbrellas decorated with edges of roses and mirrors. Fun, whimsy, feminine!


Earlier, I said Josephine feels at ease with so many mirrors, but the real reason is that she likes to sing opera’s arias while she is taking care of house business or paper work and watch herself reflected in all the mirrors.

Her home is her stage and her play. She has a young soul.
Amazing woman!

Thank you Avaliving for having selected this project to feature in your theme week:
Designing with mirrors.

(All photos taken by ©Valentina Cirasola inside Josephine’s home with permission).

As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your needs, whether it will be decorating, designing, or remodeling.

I offer design consultation on-line.
Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 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. She is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w 

A Versatile Corner | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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As featured on Avaliving, a site for designers directed to consumers. Thank you Avaliving for choosing my project among many others. Offering design consultations on-line any where in the world without leaving my office is a new addition to my business, resulting in a huge savings for the consumers.

The Story:
Any unused corner in the house is a good opportunity to turn it into a chatting, reading, or breakfast area. Sometimes is just enough to have a bistro table, a couple of wrought iron chairs and real flower on the table to create an inviting scene.

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

My Client had an empty corner in a large room she didn’t know what to do with it, especially because the room was a mismatch of eclectic furniture.
My goal was to create an “out of the ordinary” corner, a bit on the Bohemian French style and create vignettes in the rest of her large room that would communicate with each others while keeping each its own identity.

Each vignette would offer a certain activity: a game area, a reading area near a built-in bookshelf, a T.V. area with comfortable divans and club chairs and a conversation area.

I wanted the transformation of the space to be cohesive with these activities, I wanted to be comfortable for all the family members of all ages (family made of many women and a husband) and harmonious with all the shapes and colors.
The Client wanted to keep the majority of the mismatched furniture. That was my challenge! Some of them remained in the large room and some got relocated in other rooms. Floating furniture is something I do when I am engaged to stage a home for sale.

40 Winks Hotel London

40 Winks Hotel London

My inspiration for the breakfast corner came from a couple of pictures I have in my library, one of which, a 1940 Hotel, particularly struck my fancy.
(Photo left: 40 Winks Hotel – London)
The room came out a colorful one, a bit nostalgic and very Bohemian in the style of romantic French. The mood is a combination of comfortable, feminine, and quirky. To some of the painted furniture I added custom jewelry as door knobs.

DoorKnobJewel -Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Colors had to be vibrant! Plum, Chartreuse and golden beige, warm and cold palette always result in a playful role.

The unused corner turned out to be a versatile corner, breakfast in the morning, reading or music listening in the evening, extra seating when there is company. The unused corner is now very busy.

Do you have an unused corner in your home you don’t know what to do with it? Ask me, I have many solutions, even using the same furniture you already own, if they are in good condition. Repurposing something old becomes very new in a different space of the house and in a different light.
Leave your name in the box below and tell me how I can help you. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2011 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. She is a book author, find her on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

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 – http://www.labottegadegliartisti.it/catalogo2/cattrumeauuk.htm)

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

 

Can You Be Bold? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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November and December are two fabulous months for me to get inspirations from stores and their displays. Being the curious person that I am and always with a camera in my hands, I shoot at anything that attracts my eyes. The other night, after I had taken a few pictures, I started to notice a pattern in my photos. Everything in my camera view was big, bold, large, oversize and not for any particular reason. Ok, nothing wrong with that, I guess my eyes needed to sweep in wide spaces, but how do we fit oversize items in small spaces, you might ask? Let’s start by saying that one does not need to have tall ceilings and ballroom type of space to host large objects.

Two bulky bookshelves (as in the photo) will look massive in a small room, but adding a large picture, print, or canvas in between will break the bulkiness, the monotony and will fill the wall nicely. The horizontal lines must be kept on the same level for the eyes to rest peacefully and send a message of harmony to the brain. The same two bulky bookshelves placed side by side in the middle of the wall in a large room will not look so massive any more and it will allow floor space perhaps for a pair of chairs, or a pair of floor lamps on each side of the bookshelves.

I love clocks on the walls, whether they are antiques, contemporaries or reproductions, they are timeless objects of décor. A Grand Central Station wall clock, a Parisian country clock, or a Grand Father’s clock, they all need to be surrounded with the right accessories. An oversize clock hanging on the wall needs a large base, a console, or a credenza under its own weight to eliminate the feeling of “hanging” in space, then the wall feels balanced. Of course to match the right kind of style of chandelier and lighting to the style of the clock would be ideal, but today’s décor permits to go outside the rules and allows personal expression to make a statement and to define the character of the home.

Mirrors: consider them as another kind of windows opened in the walls. They reflect the light and they reflect the beauty, so place them where you can see the beauty elevated to higher power. Mirrors must not be all the same style and look, nobody said that, as matter of fact, more they are different in sizes, shapes and style, higher the interest they will bring to the décor of a room. And if one of the mirror is so large that would be even too heavy to hung, lay it casually against the wall, it will actually give a perception of height and everything reflected in it will look slightly taller. A mirror combination will fill a large wall graciously and a large mirror in a small room will change the status of the room from contained to grand.


(All photos taken in the store by ©Valentina Cirasola with permission)

Lighting finishes the room like jewelry on a woman’s dress. This is one item of furnishing where we can all go to town due to a wide variety of choices, but remember that the eyes find repose when they meet shadows. It is very nice to have bright light and light beams when we need to see clear, but in some special moments a light glow coming from various planes is so much more refined.

Large items have one advantage: they fill any space magically, clutter is eliminated instantly and so is the desire to accumulate more items.

As seen on Affluent Living: 

Go out there and find the boldest, largest items for your decor and then set them in the most unusual way. Ask yourself what this item makes you feel, what is the emotion that it exudes in the room and how it dictates its presence. If you like to send me pictures, I shall be here to help with any challenges. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and stylish, timeless designs. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away your comfort. She loves to restore old homes, historic dwellings and she focuses on remodeling.
Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

 

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