Going Up | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

How can I forget where I grew up and where my roots are so firmly embedded?

“You are not going to find it on the floor!” I heard it often from my father. It was his way to teach me to walk proud with my head high. Walking with my head high I learned to discover beautiful architectural on top of buildings and all the details that are not at eye level for everybody to enjoy.

The streets of Italy are an open art class where walking is a real learning experience. Nude statues coexist well with people dressed in the latest fashion. Once I stayed in a hotel in Venice facing a beautiful nude of a man sculpted in marble. He was so real, I could see every vein going through his muscles and yet he sat on top of a church looking directly into my window, as sinful as he could possibly appear, almost saying:
“I am here, enjoy me!”
Ah, Venice, the only city in the world where pigeons walk, lions fly and sexy men are stones!

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

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In Venice, it is common to find, in one street alone, broken pediments and eyebrows windows, neoclassical and Romanic style, Moorish windows and Baroque style, all competing to maintain a place in history. One might wonders who was the lucky patrician family to live there. Today, too often commoners are the lucky ones, people or offices who don’t even have the time to notice the beauty of their bulding.

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Balconies decorate young and old buildings, they are almost like urban gardens so much sought after today. In reality, space in Italy is limited, people live in flats, for centuries balconies have been seen as an escape valve from the four walls surrounding the lives of everyone. Behind those plants on the balconies, Italians see, observe and keep the secrets of the neighbor’s life unfolding before our eyes.

If ceilings, which are not made of stones are highly decorated. In modern living, often ceilings are the forgotten walls making the room looked unfinished. In Italy, we like to eat under art, coves and circular shapes, the geometry of roundness gives vibrations of security and harmony.

In the southern parts of Italy, all the constructions are made with terrace roofs to enjoy eating ‘al fresco’ and soaking the Mediterranean sun without being seen, but in the colder north, the characteristic ‘comignoli’ chimneys line the sky. Many wealthy Californians have embellished their Tuscan style homes with copies of our Italian comignoli and ‘faccioni’ cherub’s faces stuck to walls as garden planters. The sophistication and elegance of those stone faces change any non-descriptive house into a classical villa of the past, however the Italians who are lucky to have an outdoor space, most likely will use walls, beams and stone heaves to dry produce for the winter.

My fashion school in Italy is an ancient building born first as a nunnery, then it became the state police headquarter, until in modern days, it became a fashion school. Going up those marble stairs made 400 years ago, warped in the center I felt a great sense of respect towards history. All of us students walked on each side of the stairs to preserve them a little while longer.

I never did find anything on the floor, except a few red cents.

This is in response to WP weekly photo challenge theme UP.  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/weekly-photo-challenge-up-2

Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com


Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

ValWorkingValentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, classicism, stylish and timeless designs have influenced Valentina’s design work. 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. Find her books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

 

The Distinctive Direction Of Italian Fall Home Fashion | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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A few months ago, I had the idea of declaring the month of October the month of Italian style. Many presentations will occur this month in the Bay Area, one of them will be the event I have organized with Frette store in Stanford Shopping Centre, Palo Alto, CA. Frette is an Italian house producing luxury bed and bath items since 1860.
In October Frette is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a new collection simply called “Anniversario”. It is my interest as a designer, to present the new Fall line and show my audience how to use it, in addition to talk about the distinctive direction Italian home design is taking this Fall 2010.

Fashion and home design are two separate disciplines always intertwining and taking oxygen from one another.
Since the beginning of time, the human body has determined any project of building. The reflection on the human body has been the vehicle that made people want to paint the body, to dress it, to build cities, to build homes and their interiors and to design our entire surroundings.

The Italian word “abito” (English: dress) takes from the verb “abitare” (English: to live, to inhabit). The dress is the first place our body lives in and the body offers infinite possibilities to relate ourselves to the surrounding space. Fashion gives us the freedom and fantasy to dress how we want and the freedom to compose our own style in homes.

To dress a home goes far beyond colors and fabrics, it is the thread, which resolves the human body’s architectural spatial challenges and satisfies the human desire to be surrounded by functional and beautiful objects.
Dressing an Italian home interior is quite simple as long as lines and forms are kept at a minimal. As an Italian born, I can say that Italians live in antiquity, we open our windows and history surrounds us, but in our homes we are very modern, we like simple, straight lines and very few bold colors.

Leather Floor

(Photo ref leather floor: http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/products-collections-tiles.php?coll=TOUCH&linea=FIRE)

A leather red floor would be perfect for a home studio with satin chrome furniture frames mixed with glass, as much as a white/beige striped closet doors would look so elegant on a white marble floor. Play it tone on tone and never go wrong.
Italian kitchens are not at all fussy, but functionality is a must, color is optional, they are either very colorful, we like Ferrari red by the way, or very black, greige (combination of grey and beige) and rivers of white. Forget the kitchen knickknacks all together.

(Photo taken by ©Valentina Cirasola with home owner’s permission) – (Click on each photo to view it larger).
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Italian living rooms are made for “fare bella figura” – an Italian philosophy to present a good image, to make a good impression. Our guests, when entering an Italian home, musty be greeted by beautiful things and be seated in an even more elegant room, which in some cases, the family hardly uses for themselves just to keep it new as long as possible.

Baths must have the minimal essentials and powder rooms do not exist.

Space in Italy is the essence. Italy is a small country, its homes reflect the restriction of space. In comparison with American homes, I must say Italian homes are very small, but they are very fashionable and efficient. If you visit a building with eight apartments, you will see eight different home styles, each one being very creative and á la page. In one of those eight styles, you bound to find a classic antique décor too.

Fashion and home design are two sides of the same creative coin, they both thrive on ideas and innovations.

Dress your home according to your character and personalize it as you would put together your fashion ensemble in the morning.
Carry a color scheme from room to room, mix modern with antique pieces, play with patterns, make art out of your memories and cherished moments, show your personality, be extravagant in small spaces, don’t forget to decorate cozy outdoor corners and make a “bella figura” with the main entry.

Hiring a professional designer, especially an Italian designer like myself will assure you the perfect look of an Italian home. I am ready to offer you my services, if you are. 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 and a former Fashion Designer. 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. 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 a comfortable living. Check out her books on

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

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