Why Not In Blue? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Last week an email arrived in my inbox. The title was a question: Why Not In Blue?
This is a typical example of how an intriguing title will make you open an email.
Reading the email, I realized it came from a person I didn’t know, who was asking me for a color consultation on the hardwood floor of his house in Florida.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

In the process of re-styling the main livable areas of the home, client realized the common floor to all those areas needed attention. The previous “butcher-block” hardwood floor was going to be stripped and revamped with a new color or stain. The house is on the coast of Florida, my client caressed the idea of a blue floor to reflect the coastal atmosphere, but was hesitant to try it, the new color or stain was a challenge to them. After a few Skype calls, after seen the spaces in the screen and through photographs, the choice of blueberry color for the hardwood floor was the best, which urged to redo a lot of the colors in those spaces. Hardwood floor usually covers a large space, often items in the areas defined by the hardwood floor need to be taken in consideration as well, such as tiles, hardware, furniture and lighting. Repainting or re-staining the hardwood floor cannot be a lonely act, one must be prepared to change a few things, to make everything flow together.

That is exactly what happened with this virtual client, who asked for help through my online consultations. They listened to my suggestions and were willing to take on the challenge to renew certain other things. The new color composition was born based on a bowl of shells I own, which met my client’s favor.

 

The kitchen top cabinet doors will change to glass fronts. All the golden beige colors will go on walls, some crucial walls where light hits differently will be accented with aqua, jade and basil colors. The browns will be some of the rustic furniture client wants to get. Gray colors are the existing ceiling beams and will remain as they are. Black and white represent existing interior doors, wrought iron door hardware, some new black lamp shades and some white pillows to mix with various green and bluish pillows. Decorative items will be in blue, aqua and decorative glass.

I am so happy to have found someone excited about a blue floor, one in a million. Most people think of resale value and don’t live in the environment they have always dreamt.
A few hours of colors consultations will bring you a new energy, a renewed life force, a new face to the home and I haven’t moved one inch from my studio.
Are you tired of your butcher-block hardwood floor yet?  I am here to help you. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola transforms and creates spaces realizing people’s dreams in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She infuses your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Valentina is well-known for bringing originality on any project and for thinking outside the box. Her interiors are not made with cookie cutters, only follow client’s inspiration, lifestyle and personality. She offers on-line design consultations through Skype and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge anywhere in the world.  She is the author of three books, all-available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day And The Interesting Green | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Here we are already approaching Saint Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick, in Latin Patricius, is the patron saint of Ireland. It is traditionally celebrated as a religious event in Ireland, America, Canada and Australia by Irish and non-Irish alike.
Up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world.

ShamrockA note of history: At age fourteen Patrick was captured from Britain by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After entering the Church, he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop. One traditional icon of Saint Patrick’s day is the shamrock. An Irish tale tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. Shamrock represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit existing as separate elements of the same entity.
Today, people of all background celebrate the day with parades, wearing something green, drinking beer and eating traditional Irish food. Tradition says that people who don’t wear green will be “pinched”…. in an affectionate way.

One reason St. Patrick’s Day might have become so popular is that it takes place just a few days before the first day of spring. Spring is time to renew, refresh and upgrade any space in the home.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

flickr-BenjaminMooreColors(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benjaminmoorecolors/5978084052/in/photostream)

I love surrounding myself with bold colors, but not everybody thinks that way. Calm, no need to paint an entire room in bold colors to brighten it up. Use bold and colorful accessories such as rugs, throw pillows, and window treatments to add punch to a room painted in a neutral shade. This way, bold colors can be contained in small areas, making it easy to change or eliminate if later you decide to go with something else, or go with the change of seasons.

Using a bold color in a small room, will add a feeling of coziness. Some people think it will shrink the room, I think it is only how you perceive your space and how you intend to make it work for you. With a bold color in a small room, it is a must to use a spectacular light effect to avoid that shrinking feeling.

EyeForDesign
(Source: Eye For Design)
Cottage Market

(Source: Cottage Market)

Depending on the mood you like to create, green combines well with purple and grey for a modern high tech hipster décor. Soft pink and green tones if you want to create a feminine environment, or yellow and golds if you like your home to have a summer feel all year round. Use cool green and turquoise hues for tranquility.

GreenGrayPalette
(Source: Color Palettes)

Pale Pink and Green

If you want to use a darker color in any size room, consider painting one accent wall in that color, then paint the remaining walls with a lighter tone of the same shade, or with a different neutral color to set off the bold color.
In the kitchen get creative with your backsplash in contrasting colors. Using a contrasting grout draws attention to the tile. In this example, a light-color grout lets the round green tiles pop.
(photo below: BH&G)

ColorContrast
In home décor all the different elements can co-exist in the same space to create rhythm and a dynamic space. Green often is the right color to repaint a repurposed piece of furniture that can be used for beauty and functionality.

Repurposed Table
(Found on: www.lizmarieblog.com)

I am always available to resolve any design challenges and yes, I am the colorist who brings happiness in any décor. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15 and on RAI – Italian National TV. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors.
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

 

 

So Rich Poor Art | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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I like to fantasize about a period décor, the antiquity, traditions, elegant woods, beautiful but simple furniture, how about you? Perhaps you see yourself sipping a glass of aged Bordeaux wine while sitting by a carved stone fireplace, you know, that kind which has a large mouth and a very tall mantel. I remember one of those in my grandmother’s home when I used to stand in it and feel completely tall. It is a nice feeling to go back in time and sense the enveloping of classicism and the warm atmosphere of the past. Do you like to smell the wood and do you appreciate looking at the craftsmanship of artisans who worked on wood like a sweet poetry? Then you would like “Arte Povera” in your home.

Arte Povera, literally “Poor Art” is a movement which started in Italy in the decade between 1960 and 1970 by the Italian art critic and curator Germano Celant. It sprung up as a rebellion and as a rejection of the convoluted and massive Italian furniture used before World War II. Urban artists from Genova, Milano, Torino and Roma exhibited their works in various galleries showing a new concept of making art using poor and recycled materials and bringing art into a new dimension. The ‘60s in Italy were turmoil times, every level of culture was attacked by cynicism, skepticism and rejection of the past, but it was also a time which a new consumerism was embraced. Italy, as the whole Europe was enjoying a new post-war wealth, consuming every possible merchandise was a very attractive idea. I remember the first Vesta and Lambretta (mopeds) and the first, very exciting Fiat 500. What a jewels they were! Contradiction, modernity and simplicity marked the ‘60s in Italy.

Arte Povera as I said started as a rejection of the heavy and classic bourgeois art of the past. The new concept of furnishing in the ‘60s was conceived with simplicity in mind, taking inspiration from the simple woods and linear shapes of the farms and country life, but some other furnishing were made with new everyday materials, interchangeable, vibrant colors, anything and everything was used as the new material, making Arte Povera so modern and surprisingly contemporary even for this new millennium.

(Photo below: Masseria Torre Coccaro, Fasano. http://www.callea.it/realizzazioni.htm)

Last year I went on vacation and spent a few days at a B&B in the Salento area, a southern Italian region. The architecture was a typical farm-house with stone walls and vaulted ceiling also made of stones. Furnishing was made of decape’ farmer’s pieces and soothing colors. My room was beautifully elegant in its simplicity of Arte Povera, it was very homey and cozy, but the price was not at all poor. I must say that since in Italy furnishing in the Arte Povera style is in high demand, it has become very expensive.
Decape’ style, or Shabby Chic is one style comprised in the Arte Povera. This is the perfect style to renovate old furniture that has little value. With a few paint techniques, it is possible to exalt the simple beauty of an old piece and to create a romantic retro environment.

In the kitchen I have designed for one of my client (photo), the kitchen cabinets were made of oak stained in dark walnut, the client brought in an old dining table from a farmer that really added character to the kitchen room. The look we were after was that of a country Italian kitchen, but every detail was well-studied and executed with the same care and passion characteristic of the poor farmers making their own furniture by hand. (Click on each photo to view it larger).



My experience of decades in interior designing allows me to rebuild or restore any décor by taking care of the small details that will change your home into a master piece, even if it is decorated as a “Poor Art”. If you have a creative vein, you can tackle a project of refinishing a piece of furniture in the decape’ or poor art style, but if you want a well-researched and sophisticated look in the Arte Povera you should consider working with a professional. This is why many people are discovering the benefits of working with me as their trusted interior designer and consultant, someone who can make you feel at home in all of your dreams and decisions. Ciao,

Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. 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. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Color Pink On Stage For Valentine’s Day | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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The color Pink is a color that I am not particularly fond of, but I have learned to appreciate it in some situations. Pink is sweeter than red. It reminds me of the cotton candy and bubble gum I never ate, they just looked too sweet; it reminds me of strawberry ice cream I delighted myself during many Italian summers. Girls between the ages of 10 and 15 years old absolutely adore pink.

We generally associate pink with the femininity and everything delicate. In the mind of some people, pink indicates the weaker sex. Go figure! From time to time, Pink is also seen in men’s fashion, but it is short-lived and it goes in and out of style. I love to see men with some interesting pink garment on!

Both red and pink denote love, but while red stirs up hot passion, pink is romantic. The pink gentle and delicate vibrations have a proven soothing effect on one’s behavior. You could almost say that pink literally fills the heart with love! However, we must be careful, when too much pink is used in an interior space, it can create a floating effect and the illusion of living in a padded and protected environment.

(Photo: Gordon Roberts)

If using Feng Shui theory the best use for pink (Fire color) is in the Earth Element area of one’s space, as it is connected to Love and Marriage. Earth is a productive cycle of the Feng Shui’s five elements.

In designing a room, the Fire energy can be simulated by painting an accent wall in a delicate pink, or by adding some pink in the accessories. The “hot version” of pink is Magenta Pink, which we are seeing more and more often, as it brings a fiery energy, especially when coupled with orange, also a Fire Element color. A beautiful way to bring pink color into one’s personal or business space is to place a bowl of rose quartz crystals, as these rock crystals carry strong natural and healing love vibrations.

Powder room, or creative offices are the perfect spaces to decorate in pink. Use it sparingly in a girl’s bedroom. Combining pink with extravagant colors will show we are not afraid of colors and criticism, but we must know how to do it right.

Besides the marvelous pink and orange combination, pink and green, or pink and black are the best vibrant combinations. In Feng Shui, a sharp-looking pink and green from medium to dark is an active color combination. It brings together the energy of Fire Element (Pink) and Wood (Green). This combination will sooth and strengthen our human energy.

(Photo credits given to the respective owners of the images in this board)

Pink and black together are a very elegant and beautiful “retro” combination, very much used in the style of the ‘20s and ‘30s. In Feng Shui these colors brings out the energies of Fire (Pink) and Deep Water (Black). Black alone represents a Yin feminine energy; it stands for stability and protection, thus it is needed to ground other colors and to dilute the energy of pink. All shades of pink turn from playful, girlish colors into sophisticated colors when combined with black or gray, or shades of blue from medium to dark.

As a career woman and since I passed the age of 15, I would never wear pink shoes, not at work, not for walking at leisure, not at an elegant affair, not for fun either, but that’s just me! A touch of pink in the wardrobe is welcome, but only a touch. I am here to help you getting in touch with any color in your fashion and in your home. My design services include architectural colors analysis and colors for home fashion. For the benefits of my Clients, my color and design services are also available on-line. Please tell others about it and feel free to forward this article to someone you think will enjoy receiving the same tips. Comments are welcomed. Just leave your name in the box below. Ciao,
Valentina

www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends fashion and interior well in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. Valentina is knows as a colorist. Her life is a continuous evolvement of colorful events. Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors. Stay tuned! Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0 
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w  

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