Queen’s Hamlet | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Parties are for having fun, meeting friends, new people, eating, drinking and small talks and better be prepared, they will happen! Actually knowing how to conduct small talks to your advantage is a professional social skill. I was at a Christmas party where I met a woman who knew how to ease in the small talk conversation until she realized I was an interior designer. The natural questions that followed was: “I bet your house is beautiful! What is the style?”

Often people forget to ask what is your personal style, which would define better the answer. Style can be copied from magazines and voila’ it’s done. Does that mean it is your style? Maybe or maybe not. You might feel good in it, if you choose it, you must like it. (Click on each photo to view it larger).


ferme1-le-moulin
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

I remember when I visited the palace of Versailles in France, I also visited the idyllic Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet), a rustic retreat in the park of the Château de Versailles built in 1783 for Marie Antoinette, who longed to play a farm girl role during her week spent in luxury. The building scheme included a farmhouse to produce milk and eggs for the queen, a dairy, a dovecote, a boudoir, a barn, a mill and a tower in the form of a lighthouse.

Boudoir_au_Hameau_de_la_Reine.jpg


Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Each building was decorated with a garden, an orchard or a flower garden. The Hameau served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends, a place of leisure, the rooms offered an intimate setting than the grand salons at Versailles or at the Petit Trianon. Clearly Marie Antoinette was never a farm girl, only wanted to experience the feeling of living someone else’s life.

That is what I notice when I go to people’s homes, often the furniture and home décor don’t reflect their lifestyle. There are formal rooms never enjoyed because they don’t entertain, there are expensive designed kitchens where nobody cooks, there are immense spaces for a household of only two people, or I go into small homes filled with an overabundance of heirloom objects, garage sales findings, collectibles and travel memories, all contributing to the home clutter.

In the house where the party was, all the pictures frames were brown to match the brown furniture. Just to continue the small talk conversation, I pointed the picture frames to the woman speaking to me and I said it is OK for some people to match one thing to the other, just as they match the earrings to the necklace, the handbag to the shoes. To them it feels comfortable, to me is mortally boring (my favorite phrase) and banal. If you want to be unique, break these rules, I told her.

Studio_A.jpg
(Above: Evening atmosphere in my office)

In my house, I broke all the rules on purpose. All my picture frames are different and still communicate with the décor. She said: “I hope you use this phrase in your marketing material, as it explains all your thoughts in a few words”. I felt I opened a door for her to new ways of arranging furniture and “thoughts”.

Kitchen_A.jpg
(Above: Evening atmosphere in my kitchen)

Antique pieces can be paired with modern furniture, warm colors with cool colors are beautiful, various metals finishes can be arranged together; glass live well with wood finishes or stones and rugs or pillows must not match the artwork at all.

eveningkitchen(Above: Evening atmosphere in my kitchen)

I feel comfortable in a house that is not the scheme of someone else, I live in the colors that make me feel good and in the atmospheres I create for my well-being. I live in my Queen’s Hamlet. How about you? Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

valentina-ValleMonte
It’s my hope that through my writing and my stories I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style and inspiring you to live in beauty. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion 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/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Elegance | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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In a world of exulted cult of the appearances, people tend to live in vanity, exaggerations and in the desire of impress others at all costs. Often people’s aim is to overdo and to over say, not only in fashion, but in every expression of life.

Elegance is not showy. Elegance is style, awareness and moderation.
Elegance is a balanced mix of good taste and precise choices. It translates in the right search for substance and attention to details. Elegance is sober and sobriety is elegant. Both are pleasing and comfortable, functional and beautiful.
Sobriety is not a sacrifice. I would describe it as the ability to choose only what is needed, especially when it comes to fashion as interpretation of self, other than home fashion.

Some people think elegance is a gift and others think it is an innate talent. It could be somewhat true. There are people who know how to express and communicate with their look better than others. On the other hand, nobody is condemned to be vulgar, bulky and annoying, or just trust his/her own instinct. Elegance, sobriety and simplicity are all things we can learn and cultivate and once we learn them, they can simplify our lives.

Einstein said: “To be simple, is to be brilliant” e someone else said: “Simplicity is the key of elegance”. Totally agree, in fact I am the queen of simplicity.

Style and elegance are not easy to define. Style refers to forms, appearances and character. Everyone has a style that can be beautiful or not pleasing at all, according to what our eyes project.
Let’s talk about home style, just to take an example. Baroque style is an elegant style, but ancient and not practical for the times we live in. If we mix Baroque style in the simplicity of contemporary furnishing, it can result in a dynamic décor and it will describe a person with a variegated and polyhedral character. But not everybody can make combinations of this sort, well thought out that looks good too.
(Photo Baroque chair: http://foter.com/explore/baroque-living-room-furniture)

 

(Photo Piano Rug belongs to Amazed)

Elegance never goes out of style, that is, if we don’t follow trends to the letter.
Another example can be the European fascination with the color black as a screaming trend in kitchen design. Come on! How would you like to eat a tasty mussels (black shells) in a pasta specialty served on black plates, with a black drinking glass set, surrounded by black kitchen cabinetry?

As a designer, my goal is to accentuate the personality of the people living in the house I am contracted to design, making sure their spaces serve their needs and have an originality too. My spaces are not made with cookie cutter. My spaces are timeless, they cannot be recognized as made in 2008 or 1998 and yet I am a person very much projected in the future, but I don’t feel I must follow trends dictated by any industry.
I take only the best part of the trends, the rest I invent it myself and that is “my trend”.

How can you, in a few simple words, explain this concept? Any home can be simply elegant and stylish, I am here just for that. My help is simply available to style your home in a livable elegance.
Please forward this article to someone you think might be interested in reading it, or in receiving the same tips. Comments are welcomed. Thank you.
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

As seen on Affluent Living:

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Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer since 1990 and a former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. Fashion designing has been her first career choice that made her happy in her own fashion company for fifteen years before settling in the interior designing business. Find her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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