A Rustic Fascination | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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I have always made claims that kitchens look like soldiers lined up for a parade when cabinets are all the same size, when the look is uniform, when there is no change of colors, wood, nor striking details.
(Photo: http://www.pecorellaarredi.it/cucine-in-muratura/w4u/prodotti/66268,7,133323)

My idea of a fun kitchen is exactly the opposite. I like to see cabinets with different heights, some accent colors, some accent wood species, I like to see fenestration with glass and interior lights and especially I don’t like granite counters. So many varieties of stone material, why limit the choice to granite?

 

 

The primary characteristic of the kitchen is to store cooking and serving equipment. That function remains in any style, whether it is modern, classic, country, elegant, or funky. If the kitchen function is utilitarian and of service then why not design it with style in mind, with cabinets which give movement and rhythm to the space?

I love to add unique details to coordinate with a personal taste. I love to create warm and refined atmosphere, with quality and robust material that will last in time, thus break the monotony of “all alike and uniform” cabinets.

I am a big believer in savings, even when designing kitchens. I am showing here a new way Italian manufacturers design kitchens in the walls. They are beautiful, stylish and made to save even without the typical exterior sides.

(Photo found on  http://www.tuttocasaesposi.it)

Basically the kitchen is made only of solid wood doors, interior shelves are also made of wood, but the interior walls are made of usual sheet rock and painted to taste. Cabinets are recessed and flush with the walls, so they don’t stand in attention. The interior is as spacious as you like it to be, no need to stay with the standard solutions 18”-24”-27” and so on, doors will follow the interior width.

The idea is to save on material and to attribute a feel of lived antiquity and rusticity while still having all the modernity of appliances and equipment. Of course the choices of style are endless, even contemporary.

The details on walls and hardware will beautify these kind of fitted kitchens, even an elegant chandelier, totally unrelated to the rustic style will look so appropriate, suitable for those people who love to surround themselves with beautiful and exclusive things.

The style of fitted kitchen has been seen only in Europe so far, but if you like to know more about it, or if you would like to install a kitchen in your home like these samples, I am here to help, just place your name below in the box. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

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Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos. She is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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A Fabulous Space For Bacchus | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Wine Tasting Area & Chef Pantry ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Wine Tasting Area & Chef Pantry ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Brazilian Cherry and Pecan wood inlay. This is the kitchen among many of my designs that Avaliving selected to feature this week. The area where the refrigerator used to be became a space for wines and an area where to taste cheeses, slicing prosciutto, basically an area where to prepare aperitif. The tall floor to ceiling cabinet hosts sixty bottles of red wines on roll-out shelves. Clients did not really require a temperature controlled room for the red wines, as they use them every day with friends and family visiting often. A small refrigerator for white wines under the granite counter top was necessary to free the space in the family refrigerator, already bursting with food serving two growing boys and the family entertainments.

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

I strategically placed this wine area between the new door to the dining room and the chef pantry. The supplies such as crackers, toothpicks, dried nuts, fruits and stuff for aperitif are now kept close by the wines and the wines have easy access to the dining area with a new passageway, saving the owner a trip around the wall.
Planning a well-functioning kitchen is not just about designing cabinetry to stuff the walls, but it’s about letting all the spaces communicating with each others and their function.

The “anticato” tile floor I added really suited the clients who are Italians and like me, they don’t care that the floor or counters show a little ring of wines here and there, the signs of a good time and the sign of a lived home. Natural stones will leave with us and will become beautiful when they start showing the sign of life, just like our stones in Europe are living through centuries and everyone admires their beauty.

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

Full Kitchen View ©Valentina-Interiors & Designs

This wine area was part of the entire kitchen remodeling with family and dining rooms included.
There you have it, another example of how I can change a kitchen from an unattractive 1970 cooking area into a contemporary dining, cooking and entertainment showcase. Thanks to Avaliving featuring it this week, more people will have the chance to admire it.

I am available to consult with the wine lovers out there and to design a fabulous space fit for Bacchus. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com


(All photos belong to ©Valentina Interiors & Designs) 

 


Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She has been operating in the USA and Europe since 1990. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos. She is also the author of two Italian regional cookbooks:

©Come Mia Nonnna – A Return To Simplicity http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
©Sins Of A Queen http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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

Curvaceous As A Woman | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Many times I wonder why people think cabinets intended for kitchens and baths must be just square boxes lined up like soldiers either on the walls or on the floor. Cabinets are utilitarian items and must serve a purpose of storing lot of cooking arsenal, food and products. Their functionality determines their bulky status, we know that, but we can at least improve their look by using certain strategies.
Mixing expensive wood on few panels with less expensive wood is a way to save and improve; mixing colors adds interest and movement. Using recycled wood, or hammered metal doors here and there will give your guests something to talk about. Counter tops don’t have to be all the same colors and the same materials and islands don’t have to be a box either. Once I saw an old Queen Ann dining table made into an island with the cooktop in the center of the table, Jonny Grey design – photo below.

Johnny Grey

 

Kitchen and bath cabinets I see around are so uniform, so even, so square, so boxy and so boring! They are as common as they can be.
I didn’t have to become a designer to like different things, shapes and forms. I became a designer just because my thinking is different and I can offer so many solutions to the people I want to serve.
Let me tell you, curves in home furnishing and cabinetry have never gone out of fashion, just like curvaceous women have always existed in history, in paintings and even more so in modern times. In fact plastic surgery enhancing those parts of a woman God forgot to add, or just about, is producing more curvaceous women than ever before.

Curved lines in kitchen cabinetry create rhythm and flow other than saving floor space, as we all know those 2 or 3 inches make a difference on a floor plan. Curved corners bring so much harmony in the stark look of any cabinetry. Look at this elegant kitchen curio cabinet I designed for one of my client.


Think of a kitchen space as a whole, don’t look at the price of the curved cabinetry. Choose warm color wood species, add warm colors in the hard surfaces material and walls; open up some cabinets by adding glass door front with interior glass shelves and lighting; mix closed cabinets with open shelves and just wait to see how pleasurable the kitchen will be.
Curves in bathroom cabinetry make an easier flow with fewer points of danger. Curved cabinetry fit well in contemporary décor as well as in traditional style.

Producing custom-made curved cabinetry has many advantages and no disadvantages that I can list, contrary to what most people think. The cost to produce curves is higher than boxy, squared cabinets, I agree, but originality is priceless, in this world of “common looks and common places”. Would you not like to enter your kitchen or bathroom and say to yourself: “Yes, this is me!”. I think you would, especially when guided by a designer that will follow your dreams and allow that to happen. Today, being original is a way to preserve your personality and your soul.

Furthermore, consider that home fashion décor doesn’t change every three months as fashion does, so it makes sense investing once in a good cabinetry material made with superior craftsmanship that will last more than a decade, thus stretching your money for a long period of time. 

This cabinet made of hare wood is original in design, fills up a dead corner intelligently, parades its beauty every day and it is there to stay for years to come with much of my client’s satisfaction who doesn’t have to spend more money to redesign the space in two years again.

Don’t be afraid of using expensive woods on small cabinetry, it beautifies the space with only a small amount of dollars.
Tell me about your storage challenges, I will resolve it with style, beauty and save you money at the same time. That is my goal.
Valentina
http://www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola, the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interior & Designs is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces design concepts for remodeling, upgrading, new home construction, décor restyling and home fashion. Valentina was featured in Italy on: “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California. She also has made two appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15.
Valentina is also the author of two Italian regional cookbooks and the forthcoming author of the book on 
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Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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