Bring Nature In: Bloom in Apricot Color | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Welcome to a new episode of Bring Nature In. Twice a week for the next thirty days a will write about new décor solutions inspired by nature.

You would think growing an apricot tree is a very hard task, not at all, it’s the easiest thing in the world. Apricot trees resist moderate period of drought. The well-established trees only need to be watered in extreme conditions.

A few years ago for the entire season of the apricots, I ate organic apricots bought at a regular market, threw the pits in the same spot in my garden, water it regularly with the rest of plants and forgot it. Next spring the first apricot tree was born, then I tried it again and two more trees were born. Today, I don’t need to buy apricots at the store, they are abundant in my backyard, I eat them off the trees and make marmalade out of them. Pruning is necessary at the end of the apricot season to get an abundant production in the next year, especially must eliminate the damaged branches and those growing close together. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

MyApricots (Apricots grown in my garden from pits)

Apricots have antioxidant properties, thus considered a fountain of youth. If you have a tree, eat them fresh as they mature, and dry the rest to eat through the winter. The beta-carotene in the apricots prevents the degeneration of retina cells and the iron in them is suitable for treatment of anemia. The potassium in fresh and dried apricots prevents fluid retention in the body, helping people control their weight and hypertension. In between meals, fresh apricots suppress hunger and provide carbohydrates in the form of a good source of sugar.

Apricot blooms smell sweet, the small flowers are very delicate, transparent, almost paper like, the color is generally white-pinkish, with an occasional burst of dark pink and yellow pistil shoots. This is a perfect color palette for a bedroom.

Apricot Color Board
Let’s start with a dark wood or brown leather headboard to ground and disintegrate all the electromagnetism in the bedroom: TV, alarm clock, computer, iPhone and more and more, we like to bring all that stuff into bedroom. For warmth add a lush, rich color hardwood floor that will also absorb all the electricity around you.
Paint apricot orange the wall behind the bed headboard. That rich apricot color will soften the leather or wood headboard and will positively energized you when you get up in the morning. Paint the rest of the room in Off White. To add a touch of elegance, try pure silk sheets on the bed and will never return to anything else, promised. Mix a few lush apricot throw pillows mixed with red or dark pink pillows.

With a leather headboard and silk sheets, this representation looks very much a contemporary décor, thus I envision a white leather or white upholstered bench at the feet of the bed and a modern, sculpted white dresser. The left corner of a room is the wealth corner, Feng Shui theory says so. This is where you should finish the décor with hanging baubles holding cacti or air plant, or a plant that doesn’t require much care and water.

ApricotOrangeWhite
How you want to bloom every day is up to you, just remember that a touch of a bold color will change your day’s energy. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValHatCelesteStampAs a designer in business since 1990, I am interested in helping people designing their interior and exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. I am always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces I design. Featured on Vogue Italia magazine, Gentry and many prominent magazines in California, appeared on RAI-National Italian T.V., my stories continues. Find copies of my three books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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Quartz In The Sky | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

It would be nice if designers have new clients to propose new color trends every time Pantone comes out with new colors, but that’s not always the case and not always clients like the new trends. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

Pantone_Color_of_the_Year_2016_shop_Pantone_Swatch_Cards

(Pantone 2016 – Rose Quartz – Serenity)

Rose Quartz and Serenity are the new colors for 2016. They look so retro and so much 1950s. The new colors are soothing, calming and bring peace in this time of so much turmoil. It’s a genderless palette that emphasizes the duality of today’s society.

Joseph Carini Carpet(Joseph Carini)

However beautiful, soft and weightless they might be together, these two colors are not for everybody’s taste or skin. Some men will never live in a pink interior. It happened in one of my projects. The wife liked a lot of pink and peach on the wall, in the upholstery, in pictures and accessories, but her husband didn’t. They argued and discussed incessantly, I had to play a lot of my magic to quiet them down and bring the project to an end. I was able to add various shades of grey and earth tones to make most pink items disappear. In the kitchen he got his dark slate floor and beige cabinets with a lighter color contrast panels and she got her peach walls.

OvenArea
Living
This year I have experimented with pastel color combinations in my clothes not in my interior and I am starting to like them. Knowing myself, it isn’t just enough to follow Pantone’s suggestions, my soft color combination will always have a splash of vibrant color. Let’s see how the rest of the world is treating Rose Quartz and Serenity colors.

Terrazzo & Marble Blog(Terrazzo & Marble)

I think this color scheme looks good with distressed wood and exposed beams.

Joaquín Précoma(Joaquín Précoma)

House Beautiful UK(House Beautiful UK)

I love the copper texture with quartz color. It feels very natural.

Eijerkamp(Eijerkamp)

 

ceramics-amaï-saigon-(Ceramics-Amaï-Saigon)

If Rose Quartz and Serenity color combination is not for you, there are eight additional colors to choose from. Make it colorful and exciting.
2016-pantone-spring-trend-colorsCiao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

valentina-ValleMonte
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

Hide And Sneak | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

In nature some animals use their camouflaging colors to stay off the menu of other animals, they play hide and sneak neatly to blend in the surroundings, or to change their look completely, such as the butterfly in the photo that takes the form of a leaf.


Butterfly-Leaf(Photo above taken at the Science Museum San Francisc0)

This is what happen in the animal world, but what happens when we buy sofas or carpet because the fabrics remind us of something else? I came across a few pictures this week that really struck me. I thought it is really odd women want to look like their furniture. Did the cat in my photo come before the carpet or after the carpet was installed? Poor cat, he is bound to be stepped on, he is really hiding in that carpet pattern!

Cat

(Photo above found on  http://fototelegraf.ru/218665-maskirovka-80-go-urovnya.html)

Miriam thought was well dressed and she was until she sat on the sofa. I don’t think that sofa belonged in her house, I am sure she would have not bought a dress that looked like an upholstered piece of furniture. A little common sense will suffice when buying furniture.

Miriam(Above Ann Taintor’s quote)

In the ’70’s was a common practice to get dressed in the sofa colors and patterns.

70s orange
(Photo above found on: http://inspireddeco.com/)

During the Victorian era when people used to go to grand balls, women lined the walls waiting to be asked to dance. The least attractive women who didn’t get to dance much remained part of the wallpaper. Would you like to disappear in the background, or be considered one of the cushions of the sofa? The woman in leopard print showing a lingerie piece is a perfect example.

Lingerie
(Photo above found on:  cowboys and crossbones)

We designers often fuse fashion and interiors. We look for curtains or upholstery fabrics to create different fashion. I am guilty of that as well, or extravagant enough to dare. If I use an upholstery fabric for one of my fashion creation, I don’t cover a sofa afterward with the same fabric and then sit on.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: RNL/Maharam entry for the 2015 Pret-a-Porter fashion show, “Future: Undefined hosted by the International Interior Design Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter at City Hall April 17, 2015. This entry won Best Use of Soft Surfaces using upholstery fabric, wall covering and drapery. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

DENVER, CO – APRIL 17: RNL/Maharam entry for the 2015 Pret-a-Porter fashion show, “Future: Undefined hosted by the International Interior Design Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter at City Hall April 17, 2015. This entry won Best Use of Soft Surfaces using upholstery fabric, wall covering and drapery. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Being coordinated and color conscious is one thing and unless you can pull it off in style, like the woman in red, don’t be matchy-matchy with your interior.

Red
(Photo above: Vogue – by Helmut Newton, 1960.)
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

10626547_10203527385518761_5878448476892428943_nIt’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 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/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

In Tune With Fall | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

I get excited every season when I see the new Pantone color palette released. You might say: “colors are colors and you see them all the time, especially in your work. What’s there to be so excited?” Well, I must say I don’t get to see that many colors in my clients’ home. I get to see the usual neutrals in all the tints and tones. It is just the same music season after season, if you know what I mean.
I have converted people to colorful homes, but it has been a hard process. On the hand, I do see colors in the clothes they wear and make me wonder why often their homes are totally the opposite, colorless. The answer might lay in the fact that everyone leads a frenetic life, but once home, they want to feel calm and relaxed. I go with that, after all, we have different needs. In my home I want to feel happy and get up to cheerful colors. To add colors in some of your spaces it doesn’t have to be risky or difficult and colors do not have to be in your face either. My way  is to illuminate the rooms with colors.

(Photo credits for each piece of furniture and fashion items are given to the respective owners)

Just for the sake of color argument, I put together a few boards to show how easy it is to decorate and to get dressed with the same colors of Fall 2014. I find the colors of this season being very appealing for any kind of skin, warm tones, wearable and livable.

Pablo Neruda once said: “Slowly dies the person who doesn’t risk, doesn’t change colors of dresses, doesn’t speak to stranger……”

Changing the colors of your environment will change the energy of your life. Ciao,

Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val WorkingValentina 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

 

Colors Of Barcelona | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Ah Barcelona….! The city of dancing colors, as I call it. I was there last year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was cold, but the amazing colors of the city knocked off the winter darkness from me and made me feel warm inside. Color, style and funky shapes are everywhere. As I am approaching to return, I can see the colors all over again enveloping me in their warm sunny light.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

The undulating building Architect Antoni Gaudí designed are the quintessential of extraordinary, a precursor of his time who was much criticized for his outlandish ideas of conceiving buildings. Nobody had built anything like that before him and nothing compares to the art of Antoni Gaudí. He left an invaluable and astounding patrimony the world admires breathlessly. The city is happy, colors affect people and their life. They are up all night strolling the streets, eating and drinking through the small hours of the night and  I have not found one rude person there!

Every nuance of color has its own taste. The greens are luxuriant, the blues echoes the sea and sky, the reds and the purples are juicy like strawberries and plums. Nothing is dull. In this kind of environment is hard not to live in full colors. If I ought to have a flat in Barcelona, I would decorate it exactly as I made my color scheme palette, modern in style, hip and funky.

Barcelona Style
(Photo credit given to each owner of each piece of furniture seen in my board above)

I would use all the colors of energy in kitchen, dining, great room and living; I would reserve the colors of relaxation, blues and the greens in bedroom and baths; I would paint in beiges, cream and light browns all transition areas, study and library, but when I get to my home office I would treat it a funky way to make each working day pleasant and playful.

What do you say? Can you handle all this colors throughout the entire home? Or after a while you would need a detached house to get away from the energy of all these colors? Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val Admiring World Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Fashion-Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990. 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

Helping Designing With Care And Love | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

The last three months of last year I was submerged with projects to develop online, projects I would have never considered when the work of an interior designer was only face-to-face and in the home of a client. Three years ago, I decided to add online consultations to my services, to help people with a tight budget.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Color Scheme1
Online projects are quick, often not complicated and do not engage me for six months to a year. People hire me for only a few hours of consultation via Skype and the rest is in their hands. Some people who have seen those projects I posted on social sites were kind to say “it’s nice and simple” another way to gently say “it’s too simple”. Yes, I hear you, projects online are simple because they are for people who want professional opinions and ideas, but want to challenge themselves to do it. However, as much as projects can be simple, they require the same efforts from me to produce something aesthetically pleasing and affordable. It would be a waist of my efforts to give someone something they can’t afford.

Color Scheme2

Aside from the simple projects that come almost every week, my online consultations have helped far away customers with large remodeling projects. In fact I designed a kitchen in England, a living room, studio and entry in a house in France, a kitchen and conservatory in Florida and a few others around the country without moving an inch from my desk, all via Skype. New floor plans drawn up and spaces redesigned by me the professional was the object of all these projects, hiring the labor to execute my designs, supervision and resolving problems that might arise during construction was left to the client.

In online consultations, due to lack of personal contact, there is no touching, hand shake, sharing a cup of coffee together, or taking a client to lunch, people only talk to me through a computer screen and it becomes almost impossible to cultivate a client. To avoid having impersonal conversation it is important to listen well, to be compassionate, make them feel loved, show the same care as for large projects and sell only what they want and give them only what they need.

My services have the same value, fees are not discounted and my knowledge doesn’t change because I consult online. The savings is in getting a few hours of my expertise, versus hiring me from concept to completion. Doing designs online has its downfall: often contractors take advantage of cutting corners if the designer is not on board checking on every little details, therefore if my design concepts have changed and at the end the project doesn’t look the same, I will not publish it.

Color Scheme3

Here I am showing one online project for a college woman in her 20s, who gravitated my design decisions around a large brown leather sofa she owned before she met me. The scheme #3 is her final choice. I ordered a few club chairs to fill up her empty living room, seamstress sewed pillows and curtains, selected an Ikat rug, a few lights, a coffee table with seating and shipped everything to her.

I expected to see a more vibrant and upbeat taste in a young woman, this to me is very traditional, but this is exactly what she wanted. She is happy and that’s all it matters. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaBlueStampValentina 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. 
She offers design consultations on-line through Skype and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge any where in the world. She is the author of three books, all-available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

From Here To France | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Christine, a French young woman, was reading my blog and my posts on Facebook without commenting. I didn’t know she was sort of “watching” me, today we would say she was following me.
Her home entry and the studio room needed attention, she had a vague idea of how she wanted to decorate the two spaces with a few materials she attempted to collect. Then one day she connected with me and told me she was following me all the way from France.

It seems a long way to design someone’s home across the world, one would think, but the world is no longer unreachable. Through Skype line I am able to help people with design challenges in the four corners of the world.
Christine wanted to divide the two spaces with a separé (room divider), as there was no space for a swinging door. My solution was to add a pocket door with a sand-blasted glass panel, to let the light in the entry, still keep the studio private and add some flair or style to the spaces. To help her visualizing the door, I made a drawing of the glass design, added photographs of some of my previous work and emailed them to her. The door was produced locally in her town in the same wood of all the interior doors of her house and the glass was sand-blasted according to my instructions.

She told me her wall color preference was soft colors. I suggested a soft faux finish treatment that she liked very much, but had no idea how to do. I sent her a few samples in the mail and she ended up painting the entire house instead of only the two rooms I was engaged for. In areas where the sunlight hits indirectly, one can see the beautifully done sponge and stippled finish techniques.

The entry needed some furniture and her mother’s desk-chair set needed a new look. By elimination of her choices, we selected the new fabric for the chair and new knobs for the desk. The small ceramic rosettes look very cute on the dark repainted wood. I purchased them at Anthropologie store and shipped them to her.  Emailing her photographs of accessories was the easiest way to convey ideas of look, texture and colors of items she could find easily in her town. The studio only needed wall paint-work and she actually made the lamp shades showing in my photos.

Floating furniture is a technique designer use often. Once we set furniture in a room, doesn’t mean they must stay in that position forever. Furniture look different and sometimes even more attractive if we move them around and set them in a different light with different accessories. I let her bring into the entry space two small chairs she had somewhere else in the house and never use them. Through Skype line was easy to see what she owned and repurpose each item. She thought nothing of some pieces she had in various closets, but I made them come alive, found new life and a new place.

The entire process took about three months, including all the work done by others. She was inspired and encouraged to reuse many of her own pieces that did not end up in the landfill. She is enjoying them in a new style and didn’t spend much money in the design process. “A clever designer must know how to romance the room and dance around client’s budget” ~ I say that.

Now, when writing a blog, be careful of what you write, you never know who is “watching”. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val:FarfalleStampValentina 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. 
She offers design consultations on-line through Skype and in the traditional face-to-face, helping people with their design challenges anywhere in the world.  She is the author of three books, all-available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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