Golden Inspiration| Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

http://myatozchallenge.com/2012/02/20/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, until Jan. 13, 2014, 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 the home and sometimes technical information

 


Let’s get prepared for the autumn, shall we? As the leaves change, we should change our décor too. Without changing the entire furnishing of the house and with only a few strategies, it’s easy to get a fresh new look more suitable with the changing of seasons and with our personal look changing through the seasons.

Last week, I put together a flower arrangement for one of my public events. The colors in the arrangement inspired me to create my color trend for the coming fall. I called it “Golden Inspiration”. It’s elegant, warm and inviting.

Except for people with a pinkish skin tone, this palette is suitable for all golden skin tones, ivory skin tones, black, red-haired people and people who are in the summer/fall season category.
Changes are good, we must keep up with the change of seasons, changes of life events and embrace changes age brings.  Every age has its beauty, the important thing is to be aware and know how to play it to our advantage.

GoldenInspiration2

Next week, I will bring another exciting color scheme that exudes energy and that will inspire you to play with fantasy.

A week ago, I reached 1000 likes from all of you, creative and interesting friends. I want to take this opportunity to thank all my readers and followers for this beautiful number. Each one of you brought me news, ideas, encouragement, support, and knowledge. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

likeable-blog-1000-1x

Let me be your designer of choice for any of your decorating and remodeling needs. I offer design consultation on-line via Skype. Ask me for details.  Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValWorkingValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in Mediterranean 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. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors. Get your copies through

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

 

Did You Forget The Ceiling? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

History brought us beautiful examples of decorated ceilings of grand homes with high volts, tall windows, large interior doors, intricate floor design and expensive décor. With so much opulence in home design, ceilings could have not been left undecorated, as they would have looked disconnected from the four vertical walls.

Builders today conceive homes very boxy and design them mostly to turn a quick profit, living out ingenuity and skillful conception of design. Ceiling is the one area I always complain about. Often they are painted white for convenience and left alone.

I see a home as the nest, which first gives me comfort with functional spaces, attractive features and needed amenities, then caresses my soul with colors suiting my personality and objects that bring humor or whimsy. I have been lucky to find a cute home with mansard ceiling lines and I have had fun turning my ceilings into whimsical canvases. This Montgolfier in my photograph is on the ceiling of my studio for my enjoyment and inspiration.

Montgolfier

Curious of how it could look in the night sky, I photographed it and used Photoshop to manipulate the image into a Montgolfier flying in a night sky. Once I finished manipulating, I imagined painting a night sky view in someone’s room with fiber optic lights emulating the stars. The image in my mind was real neat. Not everyone is up to design the Sistine Chapel on the ceiling, but something more suitable to the person’s activities and modern life style is very possible. Playful rooms are not for kids only. Being a designer, playful rooms for me are a necessity.

Night ceilings we call skies are magic. Skies with stars and moonlight kiss us. at night. If we look up in the sky, in the daytime, we see the foliage of trees framing the sky picture beautifully while clouds encourage us to imagine any design our mind can sees. Fiber optics light produces the same warm, suiting and dreamy effect on the ceiling of our homes and they are energy-saving too. Let’s bring the beauty of a night sky inside and redirect our focus above.

The objective of my designing profession is to bring you the unusual for your unique personality. Let me help you with your ceiling design. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValWorkingValentina 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 create the unusual. She is the author of three books, the last one she wrote in on the subject of colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors. Get a copy of her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

There Is No Blue Without Yellow | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

One of my friends, who grows food so beautifully, gave me a young pumpkin.  Attracted by the round shape, I photographed it and played with Photoshop magic manipulations. So many new versions came out that inspired me to create some new home décor concept boards.

I like very much the first color board I created in yellow tones. Yellow represents the sun in all its energy, it’s optimistic and cheerful. Some people feel annoyed around yellow, some people feel anxious and babies cry more in a yellow room. For these people, muted colors must be mixed with yellow to accommodate the negative effect yellow has on their mind and soul.
Solution: tone down with grayish tones and some light brown, introduce light by adding bluish and pale yellow hues, harmonize it with any hue of light and dark green and punch it up with a small percentage of yellow.

For the rest of us, yellow represents life and happiness. What is the solution? Go for the high tones of vibrant blue, green and purple, mix in the warm golden-yellow and feel kissed by the summer.

There is no blue without yellow and without orange ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun ~ Pablo Picasso

I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie ~ Rodney Dangerfield.

When in doubt about the colors of your décor, add a little touch of brown. It’s safe and classy. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer 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. 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

Dancing With Fish | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

“The sea is as near as we come to another world” said Ann Stevenson, American-British poet and writer.
The visit to the Monterey Aquarium gave me such a good inspiration for the colors of the fall coming up. The names Pantone gave each new color are suggestive of precious stones, underwater world, seaweed, Mediterranean islands, expensive wines, sexy dances and turbulent times. How can I not like the freedom the fall palette gives me?

Pantone_Fashion_Color_Report_Fall_2013_thumb
(Photo: Pantone)

I can swirl in a bedroom that reflects the yellow-green seaweed (Linden Green) with the blue of a Greek Island (Mykonos Green) and a strong steaming coffee color (Carafe).
I can move around in a living room and dance to the sound of hot (Samba), drinking a sparkling ice-cold (Acai) berry drink.

The fall 2013 palette allows for experimentation, anything is possible. We can express many moods with this versatile palette and allow the shorter days in the colder months to evolve vivaciously without rules.

Take a look at the coral reefs in my short video, they enclose the secret of how to mix all those colors together. I can almost see them doing pirouettes to the beat of a Waltz. If those colors look good in nature, they will look good in your home and tell me you wouldn’t feel happy with all those colors together!!! Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Cappello GialloValentina 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. 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

Every Trick Is Permitted At Carnival, Just Need The Right Mask | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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In Europe around this time of the year we celebrate Carnevale, or Mardi Gras. The Christian calendar marks Carnevale as the period between the Epiphany and the first day of Lent, this being the day when all the fatty food must end until Easter Day. In Austria and Bavaria, Carnevale called Fashing starts the day of the Epiphany, in Cologne it starts at 11:11 of Nov.11.

At Mardi Gras, the day before Lent, we Europeans consume a variety of meat dish, food high in calories and proteins, lot of fried food and stuffed food, but on the Lent day and for forty consecutive days, until Easter, the diet must be light and lean.
In Carnevale time every trick is expected and accepted. I remember the sugar, or the white flour being thrown at the passerby in the streets, especially if they were wearing a dark coat. Getting mad was out of the question, next street corner it would have happened again. In the history of time, Carnevale has been a magic time of divertissement, debauchery, costume parties, eating, unrestrained sex, and a time during which life challenges were momentarily forgotten.

The etymology of the word Carnevale could be deriving from the Latin “carrus navalis” or from the Medieval “carnem levare” which it means to eliminate the meat from the diet for 40 days as the Lent requires. On Ash Wednesday, Christian people must spread ashes on the forehead as a sign of repentance.
During Carnevale it is a must to wear masks to disguise one’s identity, but the usage of masks is not a novelty of today, it goes back to Paleolithic time, when the chief of tribes wore masks during spiritual, or magical propitiatory rituals to invoke riches, or to get rid of maleficent spirits. Romans celebrated their Gods with Carnevale festivities. The use of masks concealed their licentious behaviors and their social status, allowing old and young, rich and poor, nobles, servants, slaves and prostitutes to mingle and dance together until dawn.

During the festivities of Carnevale, Romans celebrated Bacchus, the God of wines, with rivers of wines and long hours of dances all in the streets of Rome, hence the name Bacchanalia. The gladiators entertained the public and the king of the festivities, elected by the people for only the duration of the feasts, organized public games to which everybody could participate.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

In Italy, masks for Carnevale have been used in theatre plays, especially in Goldoni’s comedies, a famous Venetian writer of the 1700 and in the Commedia Dell’Arte in the second half of the 16th century, based on improvisation on stage. Plays of Commedia dell’Arte are still fascinating and alive in the arts and in the memories of theatre lovers.

Carnevale in Venice, renowned all over the world, is a magical and mysterious event that takes place every year around February, it calls for unruly behavior and the masks are breath-taking. Browsing in costumes through the narrow streets of a foggy Venice is like walking in the 16th century. Everybody is disguised, people laughing, chatting, a glass of wine here, a dance there. Carnevale in Venice is what it was and still is.

Paintings of Venice Carnevale scenes, or paintings of masks can be included into today’s home décor very easily. Think about a room in a total white color scheme with very colorful paintings on the walls as the Geraldine Arata’s art work. She knows how to capture on canvas the mystery of Venice and the complicity of secretive lovers. Her oil paintings are beautifully executed, colorful and unconventional.

(Defiance – Geraldine Arata)

Another example could be a room painted in grey gun-metal faux finish with a modern style décor and Geraldine’s colorful mask paintings just laid casually against the walls, or hung on a wall washed with light. Loose white chiffon draperies swinging in the windows as a sweet melody in Venice would carry two lovers in each other arms.

Find Geraldine Arata at:
www.aratafineartgallery.com
450 Columbus St.
San Francisco, CA 94133

As an Italian born designer and a lover of Commedia dell’Arte, I can help recreating the mystery of Venice, its flamboyance and Bohemian atmosphere into today’s home décor and I can help placing this particular art in a special home. It takes a sunny eye to see the sun light.

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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,
Valentina

www.Valentinadesigns.com

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VBlue2Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She combines well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual. Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors.
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles:http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna


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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The Table Is A Lady | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

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In my Italian culture, the table has a masculine connotation when is used for various tasks: paying bills, writing personal notes, rest all the groceries that are waiting to be placed in cupboards and fridge. This is the case when the table is called “il tavolo”.
A curious thing happens when the table is dressed up for food, meaning for breakfast, lunch or dinner, suddenly it becomes a feminine genre and it is called “la tavola”.

This is my observation: In every part of the world, when a woman is invited to go out to a restaurant, she gets well dressed up and prepared for a few hours of fun. Is it for the respect of food, or for the person who invites her, I don’t know…? Perhaps it is only the anticipation of the simple pleasure of tasting food, smelling the aromas and flavors paired with good wines, while resolving life’s problem at the same time. I think that the answers to most questions in life are generally found around a dining table.

Ever since Roman times, food have been the special occasion to be invited to, breaking bread with people meant then, as much as it does today, to be trusted enough to be part of the host’s special circle. Even though the Romans ate half laying down on the “triclinium” a type of chase long, their low table in front of them was highly dressed in the fashion of the era and the guests had to appear in elegant attires. Think about the great holidays of the year and how much efforts women take to dress up the table. The purpose of that is to show off the food and enhance the flavor with the decorations on the dining table and all around it.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

We eat with eyes first; a golden roasted Thanksgiving turkey would not look good if the dining table was not well dressed, right? For the holidays, I arrange tablescapes for my Clients and I teach others the secrets of a well balanced decorated table, just so the pleasure of being seated with nice people, eating and conversing can be prolonged well into the day. A decorated table also has the property of limiting calories, because it dictates a slow pace of eating, induces conversation, people diverge their attention on life matters and food becomes the way to a general pleasure and not the center of attraction.

On the contrary, when people eat away from the table, on their lap by the T.V., on the floor, on the sofa, they tend to eat more and until their favorite show is over, they have ingested an enormous amount of food, damaging themselves day after day.  Driving, eating and drinking is the worse, as the attention is somewhere else and not on the road. At night, before I retire into my sleeping quarter, I prepare “la tavola” for the next day breakfast: tablecloth, which changes according to my mood, a scented candle to be turned on in the morning, place settings composed of plates, cutlery, cloth napkins, a coffee cup turned upside down on its saucer and the book I am reading at that time. I want to ease into the morning with a calm and quiet beginning, treating myself to comfort and beauty, accompanied by the sound of classical music and the fresh food I will prepare on the spot. My  lunches are always sitting down for about an hour. I never work through lunch, or eat at my computer. Dinners are the delight of my every day, a relaxation time cooking familiar food and enjoying again a dressed up table for the evening.

I don’t eat at the Queen’s table everyday, but I want to be the Queen at my table each and every day. It’s the good life!

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.
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 combines well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual.
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity on
Amazon http://goo.gl/xUZfk0 and Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.

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