In The Light Of Chartreuse | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Hot – Cold – Yellow – Green. Luminous. Undecided, yet strong. What is this chartreuse color? There is character in this color and it takes courage to wear it or live in it. Personally, I love it and have wore it ever since I can remember. I found the way to incorporate it in my mises, even when it was not in fashion. In the history of the costume, light green was considered a manly color. Men wore jerkins embellish with hand made silk embroiders and lace ruffles. Men wore brocade, damask, silk and velvet fabric just like women. Often a chartreuse fabric was designed or embroidered with patterns of pink color with shoes to match. Men were confident with their sexuality and carry chartreuse, pink, or both together,  just as good as women.

(Photo above: Wikipedia – Watteau, L’Enseigne de Gersaint)

Men of today, confidently still wear these two colors, they think of them as just another way to jazz up some boring ensemble, which men have plenty of those boring garment occupying their closets. In the 17th century Europe, Chartreuse was the color of many highly decorated or carved Venetian furniture from trumeau to commode (a low cabinet or similar piece of furniture, often highly ornamental, containing drawers or shelves and not a toilet, as in the English language).

Low cabinet(Photo above: Hand painted Venetian chest by BG Galleries)

In today’s fashion this color persists and has invaded every closet I have seen so far, but who can really wear this color? A person whose skin’s color temperature is considered warm. That means golden-brown hair, brown eyes and yellow-brown skin, or ivory tone skin. This person might choose all the colors in the warm palette, reds, yellows and oranges with the warm undertone of each color. This person also is allowed to choose the cool colors temperature, as violets, blues and greens with the warm side of each color to wear in combination with the reds, yellows and oranges. If you are this person, imagine your chartreuse warm summer palette as in my photo below.

Composition Chartreuse Summer by ©Valentina Interiors & Designs

(Above composition by ©Valentina Interiors & Designs)

This combination will be perfect for home interior as well, we tend to decorate in the same colors we like to wear. Imagine chartreuse walls, yellow-orange seating area with leopard print pillows or rug, chartreuse accessories and chartreuse window treatment, add warm tone lighting.

A person with a combination of warm color skin, green or blue eyes and light brown, ash blond or red hair has a temperature of sun/moon. This person have a mixed color temperature, thus can choose all colors from the cool and warm palette, as in my chartreuse compliment colors palette. Again this combination can be used for the interior as well. Imagine chartreuse seating and walls, blue-green accessories, black pattern pillows, black chandelier and lampshades. To this picture I would add one wall covered with black pattern fabric and chartreuse window treatment.

Composition ©Valentina Interiors & Designs

(Above composition by ©Valentina Interiors & Designs)

Putting together unusual color combinations will show your all-round self-confidence. On my Pinterest, there is a board dedicated to Chartreuse, ideas and a few color combinations:

Transforming your image or your spaces is a challenge, but working together with me and my ”step-by-step” approach, you can reach your owns special milestone. Ciao,

Design Website:

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and 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. Her latest book on colors: ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is published. Find it:



Floralia | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

P15e5.1 Unframed
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain – Triumph of love , by Francesco Pesellino (1450), celebrates the arrival of spring and the flowering associated with May)

So much is happening in the world of Italy in the month of April and May. I have been there working, vacationing and taking notes.
Not knowing when work and play stop and start, I am considering myself lucky. The dilemma is what to write about first. Do I write about the Saint Nicholas celebration in Bari, which happens again in December, or do I write about Saint Francis festival, the “Calendimaggio” in Assisi, which happens only in May? I have seen both celebrations in the same month, they are unforgettable historic folklorist events and I don’t want to lose the opportunity to spread the words.
(Photo left source:

“Calendimaggio” festival happens every year on the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of May to inaugurate the arrival of spring, greeting the rebirth of life, after winter hibernation and hardships. During the centuries many northern European cultures have celebrated the arrival of spring with flowers and colors.

The Celts had two seasons in a year, the dark and the light season, the effect of spring did not come until the beginning of May.
The Romans during the “Floralia” celebrated Maia and Flora, two goddesses of Spring. Groups of young gaudentes in flowery dresses decorated with flowers in the hair and all over their bodies, sang, danced and charmed the people in the streets with their serenades.

During the Middle Age the newly adopted Gregorian calendar changed the name of the spring celebration to “Kalende di Maggio” (Calendar of May), but the objective was the same: to propitiate the abundance and good fortune at the beginning of the season transformation, when trees bloom and start producing fruits. This transformation of nature is the fundamental base of a better life. Good food means good health, which in turn means better spiritual life. Banquets, bonfires, songs and dances at the top of the hill celebrated the season transformation, while inevitably the so-called “honorable” citizens erupted in horseback fights.

(Photo left Sbandieratori -source:

Bitter and hard conflicts between various factions were the reason for creating Saints, symbols and flags in most history of people and Assisi’s history is no different. Today, the show of the skilled flag wavers is magnetic. The colors of the flags are blue for secular authority and red for pontifical authority, both temporal and religious powers in the Middle Age.

The spring celebration, a pagan custom, blends well with the religious celebration of Saint Francis, the patron of Italy, which happens simultaneously. Young Francesco (Francis) renounced his nobel and rich heritage, adopted a simple brown robe with a rope in the waist as his dress and served as the “poor of God” looking after the poor and sick people, spreading the Word of God.

The beginning of the spring season today is celebrated much the same way with love songs, choral music and street dances accompanied by violins, guitars and lutes. There are competitions, games and events, without the bloodshed of the old Middle Age. Medieval processions and torch-lit parades will recapture the old charm.

The festival leads to the prestigious Palio with two districts of the town of Assisi competing against each other for a valuable prize. The districts are the ‘Magnifica Parte de Sotto and the ‘Nobilissima Parte de Sopra’, meaning the Low and High Districts of Assisi.

All of this fun and re-enactment of history happens while the aroma of the traditional porchetta and roast-suckling pig fills the air of the entire town.

It was worth going out-of-the-way of my designated path while in Italy. I had never seen the city of Assisi overflowing with a kaleidoscope of colors, flowers, adorned trees, various symbols, statues, altars, religious figurines, flags and gonfalons, as in this three days of celebration of life, peace and food.

People were so happy and proud of their Italian heritage and I am too. Ciao,

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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. She is interested in food in history studies and historical events.

Author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here in this site on the Books Page and in various other locations:

Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity
Sins Of A Queen


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