Embrace A New Beginning In A Cold Season | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

New year is a time for a new beginning and new home editing. Yes, the house needs to be edited every season, the same as everybody calls de-cluttering.

Spirit and Soul – If you believe in Feng Shui now is the time to consult an expert of this science or a book to make sure all the elements in a room are in harmony. Spring and summer are too far away and Christmas glitters are all gone. This is a time the Northern Hemisphere suffers most cold and it is grey or white most of the days, so why not embrace and celebrate each day of the year, not just the preordained November and December? This time of the year is perfect to celebrate the promises of something new and the life that is growing under the snow and cold weather. There is not much going on this month of January, why not clean inside all the closets, kitchen cupboards and free the spaces of old cosmetics, clothes and shoes? Feng Shui or not you should edit your environment to let a new energy in. Our home should reflect feeling and the mood of coziness of this season.

Colors and Paint – This is the time to refresh the paint of crown moldings and kickboards if a few years have passed since last time they were painted. The same applies to refreshing the paint of a few rooms, especially the most used ones, like kitchen and baths. A new paint job should be done every two years as a house cleaning practice and to update to current colors. Alternatively, to offset the grey and white of the outside, you might want to experiment with rich, deeper colors to add warmth or soft pastels to encourage spring.

(photos via Pinterest)

However there are always people who will want to decorate with white and neutrals colors regardless of seasons. First thing to do is darken the floor to anchor the white colored décor and to make it not seem aloof. Then, create a warm ambience with special lighting that comes from corners, behind or underneath furniture and from inside the fireplace. In some areas burning wood is now prohibited and the beautiful, stylish, or carved antique fireplaces have become part of wallpaper décor. Well it doesn’t have to be like that, add a lot of candles or LED lighting inside the mouth of the fireplace and the dark hole will disappear giving magic to the room.

Textures – Anchor a white color scheme by experimenting with a mixture of white, ecru, beige and greige or a mixture of textures. Introduce wood furniture and wrought iron details, make imaginative pairings with layering fabric textures, raw silk with unbleached linen, mix ecologic fur with animal print, wool with voiles, lace, crystals and dry wood branches and if you want to introduce a couple of accent colors pillows you can.

Floating – I know that in American homes there is enough space to store various things, if nothing else, we can draw from our stockpile and re-hang paintings, redecorate with accessories that have been in store for a while and float furniture from other rooms. A new freshness and vibrancy will come out from the same objects and everything will look new again, while other items will go to Goodwill. That’s a good thing too.

It’s cold outside, but it doesn’t have to be cold and white in your home. Make it cozy and you will want to come home. Ciao,

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValWorkingValentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works all over the world via Skype line and in the traditional in- home consultations producing concepts for remodeling, restoration of historical dwelling, décor restyling and home fashion. Vogue magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15 and has been interviewed on various Blog Talk Radios. Author of three books all-available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w


I For Illuminate Your Space | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


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.

I have the opportunity to design the exterior lighting of the house featured in my video. The house is located in an upscale area, but the landscape is not really upscale. it is utilitarian greenery. Most of the plants in this landscape are evergreen, a lot of foliage and very few flowers. This kind of landscape is congenial for public streets, as it requires little maintenance and little water. Basically, it’s a xeriscape planning, which is OK for today’s need to conserve water.

If I were the owner of this house, I would have had the guest areas, the main entry, and the front yard made up with seasonal flowers. I would plant vegetation synchronized with the regeneration of each season, where one group of flowers goes dormant, while the other group comes alive and together swing out colors and scents all year round. Then I would make up a xeriscape for the hidden, utilitarian and not so pretty areas, like the service areas and driveway. This is my first time designing only the exterior lighting without redesigning the landscape, that’s the owner’s wish.

All that green foliage doesn’t reflect the moonlight and makes the house very dark at night, while during the daytime makes it very heavy. The front door is not easy to find as it is completely covered with heavy vegetation, making it not inviting either. There is no curb appeal and no focal point.  The backyard, with the exception of a few rose plants and Agapanthus bushes, has no interest. Being the house positioned in an upscale area, it needs an elegant landscape with character and “manners” and not vegetation for highways.

I will eliminate outdated fixtures and will create layers of LED lights that will cast silhouettes on the walls and shadow on the ground. Some fixtures will have colored filter lenses to give some depth in the darkest areas, as the bamboo area and some trees will be illuminated with a soft string of lighting. I will highlight the balcony wood rail with bullet lights. The backyard needs the ambiance of an outdoor living room. My games of lights will enhance the heavy foliage and will change the feel of the existing landscape into a garden that is comfortable for the people of the house and their guests, livable, energy-efficient and easy on the eyes.

Sharing is caring. Share me as often as you like. Through Skype line, I offer design consultation on-line, other than the traditional “in house” consultations. I design for people all over the world without moving an inch away from my desk. I am here to help. Ciao,

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Cappello GialloValentina is an Italian Interior Designer since 1990 designing for the USA and Europe’s markets. She loves to remodel homes and gardens. With her many years of experience, she is able to cover a wide range of design solutions. Often clients ask her to designs the landscape concept complete with lighting as a complement to the interior design.
Valentina is the author of three books available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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