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


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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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Precious Stones For Any Home |Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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As customary every month I send to my clients and people in my sphere of influence a tip of the month, suggestions, useful information, updates on new trends, new building codes or rules and basically anything that concerns homes, building a home, remodeling/addition ideas and practices for a good living.


(Photo found on http://www.marbletrend.com/projects-details.php?project_id=265&show_all=1)

This month, I want to bring to your attention a new solution for countertops made of semi-precious stones, such as Agate, Lapis Lazuli, Tigers-Eye, Jasper, Fossil Woods, Malachite, Pyrite, Obsidian, Sugilite, Quartz just to name a few.
Imagine covering a small vanity counter fabricated in one of these semi-precious stones, it would be a sculptural dream! As alternative, imagine using them as an accent in some parts of the kitchen, perhaps on the backsplash. The result is an art form of its own kind and of course it adds value to any property. The application of these semi-precious stones is limitless, from bars, vanities and counter tops to wall art, frames, shelves and fireplaces; from desks and table tops to light-traffic flooring and staircases; perfect for yacht cabins.


(Photo found on: http://drytech.ru/goods_catalog/izdeliya-iz-natural-nogo-kamnya)

I am a Designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes. Should anything like this strike your fancy, I would like to be the one to give you these special solutions ready and available to me. As an Italian designer and true to my origins, I provide only the best workmanship and design solutions.

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.
Designed regards,
Valentina
In business since 1990 and not counting.
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer, working in the USA and Europe.
She “is a woman who knows her stones”, says Gentry Magazine. 
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity
Amazon http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes & Nobles  http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors

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Dress With Art | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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“Dress With Art” is the password of this year unfriendly economy.
Luxury is not a thing of the past yet, but people are spending less. We are all rediscovering quality and we are buying items that are going to last longer, thus we will be throwing away less.
Looking at magazines of the ’40 my mother left in her attic, I am discovering one pattern common to all. The world was at war then, women could not afford many dresses and outfits. To make themselves look rich, abundant, elegant and to give the impression the war did not affect them, a lot of lipstick and make-up was used, in fact, cosmetics houses were booming. Women closets were not filled with an overabundance of dresses and outfits. Dresses were the same all year round, just worn differently.  To keep a fresh look on the one and only dress women-owned, they would sew it in many ways, they turned it inside out a few times during the year, or they added details, like belts and collars one time and sparkles the next time.

Studying the trends of the end of 2009 and the trends of 2010, it seems we are returning to the ’40 again. Many people I know are returning to sewing and to customize their own clothes (it is so refreshing to see creativity walking in the streets again, versus the same look everywhere) and many people are encouraged to economize on many fronts. Old values are coming back, it boils down to what matters the most.
While people are thinking of creative ways to spend their money, fashion designers are having fun bringing back old comfort. Gloves and hats are reappearing on the scene, just like Donna Karen’s padded shoulders and red lipstick presented last year in Paris and New York (thank you for femininity again). Laura Biagiotti invented a collection named LaurArt in the year 2007, to tribute her collections of futurist’s art paintings. Greek fashion creator Mary Katrantzou focused on vintage fatisse bottles of perfumes of big houses (Jean-Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Guerlain …). She adopted the distinctive shapes of these famous bottles to outline women’s bodies.

Fatisse01

(DesignBoom – Mary Katrantzou dresses – women in perfume bottles)

Fatisse02

“Dress With Art”  as a concept has entered the home too.  People are buying affordable luxury items making sure it will provide the same comfort and ambiance with one added thing: durability.  Many people are considering authentic vintage and old pieces of furniture to be re-faced with an artistic flair. I see much Classicism mixed with some contemporary pieces, competing with strong classic elements in the architecture.
Kitchens are more and more the heart of the house, in fact, people are cooking more at home than eating out and grocery stores are booming.
Bathrooms continue to represent the cocooning and the spa at home for relaxation with every possible gadget and novelty: chromotherapy, aromatherapy, music, entertainment, fireplace and fridge for champagne.
With digital art on wallpaper, walls don’t have to be painted anymore, they can be covered with unique digital art, which is waterproof, mold proof, no glue, or water needed. Do you fancy the look of a Roman bath? Find a scenery that suits you, the experts will transfer it digitally on paper. Do you paint art as a hobby, or as a  profession? You can have your own art transferred digitally on paper for your own enjoyment. Until you get tired of that scene, the walls don’t have to be painted ever again.
The 2010  trends continue to carry colors on the walls that are emulating the metal finishes, with an aged, hammered or burnished texture, perfect with a neutral palette. Beautiful artistic walls can be created.  The new concept of a functional home is not to overstuff it with lot of nonsense dust collectors, but to have only what matters the most.
Valentina

Fashion Services

https://valentinadesigns.com/services#fashion-services

 

 

 


Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaValentina  Interiors & Designs is an Interior and Fashion design firm.
Valentina, the principal designer, and owner is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces design concepts for remodeling, upgrading, new homes, décor restyling and home fashion. Valentina has been featured in Italy on: “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California. She also has made two appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15.

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

 Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors

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Hello World! | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Hello World, Happy New Year and Happy New You!
The festivities are over, guests are gone, the Christmas decorations are gone and left a hollow space, outside is kind of cold and grey. How do we pick a cheerful mood again? Redecorate and make any space, or the entire home ready for the Spring. Now, is the perfect time to get rid of all those items that have occupied a space in your home for a long time and donate them.
Redefine conversation areas with a new throw rug and colorful pillows on the seating. Reupholster a sofa, or chairs in a new fabric and give them a new life. Rearrange and rotate all of your art work on the walls. When you take out art work that has been in the closet for a while, it looks new and interesting again, but if you really don’t like it anymore, refresh, free your closets from clutter and donate.

Refresh the walls by painting them with vivid and cheerful colors welcoming the Spring. Rotate your furniture too and pick up chairs and accessories from other rooms to mix and match as you like. Rooms don’t have to look the same year after year. By doing this, you create a flow of positive energy in your home.

 

Add fresh flowers in each room and plant cooking spices that you can keep in pots inside the kitchen window and use them for a new fresh cooking style.
Clean all your windows inside and out and wash the curtains.
Decorate your front door landing with a variety of new pots for new plants and garden ornaments.
Reclaim dead spaces. If you need more storage space in your home, there are many areas people don’t think of using.
For example, the part underneath a stair case can be filled with shelves and drawers, add decorative doors in the front and you have an attractive storage room that now has become an integral part of the room.

Bookshelf spaces of 6″ to 8″ can be created all around doors. I love to see books in every corner of the house, I place them everywhere, not just in the library room.
The space under a window can be used to create a built-in banquette seat with storage capacity inside for blankets, toys and sport gears. Fill the top of the banquette with decorative pillows and nobody will ever know what’s inside.
Clean and polish all your shoes, why? They look good and it is a new year!
What I am saying is, celebrate every day of your life, not just December with all the Christmas lights, glitters and decorations. Every day is equally precious.

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
Interior Designer
Website: 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 turn unattractive spaces into castles.
Fashion designing has been her first career choice that made her happy in her own company for fifteen years.
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity
Booksite: outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors

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