Sculpting With The Light | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Is the sparkle of a chandelier the only light you imagine yourself being enveloped in?
Fortunately, a central light mounted in the middle of the ceiling as the only fixture that illuminates the entire room is passé and so are all the track light systems. These fixtures attract attention to themselves and detract attention from people, often-casting shadows on people’s faces.

Modern lighting is a visual phenomenon, it’s made inviting and creates a mood. Light is life and people congregate in rooms well-lit. In fact, the eyes need highlights and shadows to rest. A bright blasting light only blinds people, gives headache and leaves everything flat with no dimension.

In planning an efficient lighting system, we must first think of people and how good they will feel in our home when the light is right. We don’t want our family members or guests to look sick with bags under their eyes.
We should think of the type of tasks we do daily. These areas will receive a brighter light to fulfill our tasks.
We must create ambient light, which is perfect for conversing, for the comfort of the soul and to relax the mind.
Finally, we must accent everything of value, artworks, sculptures, glass art, photographs and interesting piece of furniture.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Sculpting with lights

Sculpting with lights

I see a good lighting system as a “layering effect”, sort of like painting and sculpting with lighting. The fixtures come in the second order and the light plays the main role. Don’t get me wrong, fixtures add style to a room, and we can admire their beauty during the day when the lights are turned off. However, lighting is one of the elements of design that must agree with human eyes, colors and shapes and the one element that visually enlarges or shrinks spaces. As in a theatre performance we never see the light source, we see highlighted only people and the important details of the plays, the same principle applies to home lighting.

A light effect from a lamp

A light effect from a lamp

Have a corner you can call yours, a place just for you and layer lights for harmony and coziness.

Cozy light ambiance for a private corner

Cozy light ambiance for a private corner

I like to create silhouettes, contrasts of shadows and light for different areas of the same space. I will never leave a corner in the dark and often I put lights behind furniture to create a glow on the wall. If I have an empty vase, most likely I will fill it with a light and if I decorate with flowers, artificial or not, somehow I will illuminate that arrangement indirectly.

I hope these small examples help you to look at your spaces in a different “light”. I do offer online consultations via Skype or Zoom. The world has become smaller and distances do not exist anymore. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

It’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 love to encourage my clients to show their personality through their home décor, or the clothes they wear. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion designer since 1990. I am here ready to offer consultations on-line if you need. Check out one of my books on the subject of colors, ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, the third in line of my book collection
Barnes&Nobles: https://bit.ly/2FLyp0q

Christmas Atmospheres | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

This year I would like to suggest nature simplicity on Christmas table. Let’s stay away from the artificial decorations and stinking petroleum candles. Let’s make instead “organic” the focus of our table and I mean even organic food. Let’s turn our attention to food grown locally with zero travel and zero carbon emission. How do you do that? Read labels and ask questions to your grocer, find out where the food you want to buy is coming from and make your decisions. As far as decorations a simple trip to your local market will suffice to find your decorations as well.

Tall decorations on the table look impressive, we got used to see them in stores or magazines and never understood why we want to copy the same look for our tables, considering that those vignettes are about merchandising and displaying products for sale. Decorating a table is about creating an atmosphere of pleasing colors and tasty food, these are the only attractions of a table, to which we must add harmonious and well diverse company sitting under a suiting light.

Guests sitting at the table must be able to talk to the guests across the table without the obstruction of tall decorations. This year think of grocery shops as inspiration for your table centerpiece and play with food arrangements, pumpkins, tomatoes, vegetables, flowers and pine cones. On both sides of each guest there must be at least 18” of space to perform certain actions with ease like cutting food, but if space around the table is limited each guest should have at least a foot of clearance.

Light coming from above the table such as a chandelier should be suffuses but not totally dimmed, you want your guests to see the color of food and the beautiful table setting. Recessed lights must be directed over the plates and the lights above the two head table need to crisscross at the center of the table to highlight the centerpiece. If recessed lighting is not set right, it will create bags under your guests’ eyes and your women guests will not appreciate it, be kind to them, don’t make them seem older or sick.

Cover the table with an elegant tablecloth, it is Christmas after all, treat yourself and your guests to something special. I have three suggestions:
1. Flandre linen, high quality monochromatic textile produced in Belgium since the 1800s. It is very formal.
2. Chambray linen, produced in the city of Cambrai, France. This is a plain weaved fabric with a hint of silk, also produced since the 1800s. It is perfect for casual elegance.
3. Boutis, a Provençal quilting cloth used for table covers made in the South of France since the 19th century. It is similar to the Italian Trapunto, which started in Italy before the 14th century and still produced today. It gives the table a semi-formal look.

On top of the tablecloth add the most beautiful dishes you have, be creative even in mixing and matching if you like, add all the glasses and flatware and let the dinner roll. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

PrintValentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. Vogue Italy featured her as the guru of staging a home in the theatrical way. Among designing and remodeling homes, designing custom-made furniture and writing books, Valentina is now teaching etiquette, table manners, table setting and life style. Check out her latest books ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors on the subject of colors, available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

The Flavor Of Lighting | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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As I say many times, light is life. People gravitate in places where there is a good infusion of light. Shopping centers are a good examples of how lights attract people and invite them into shops. Any merchandise look super good when spot lights shine on them and of course the good use of light is one of the many selling techniques.

GreenApples(Photo found on an Italian lighting magazine. Credit given to the owner).

In homes, for the benefit of all the inhabitants and to ensure maximum comfort, we must have a variety of levels for lighting:

Ambience lighting, if we need to relax, meditate, or converse.
Task lighting, if we are in the kitchen cutting, chopping and preparing food, or if we are in the bathroom grooming in front of a mirror. Kitchens are special places for me, because I love to cook. Normally I like a lot of light when I am cooking, but when all the activities have quieted down, I love to keep the kitchen in a relaxing mood by turning on the cove lights, any dark corners, any glass front cabinet, the under cabinet lights and the island toekick on too. I keep the rest of the kitchen in the dark. The effect I create is one of a floating kitchen that I absolutely adore.

Aside from these few illuminating effects, we can illuminate pictures with pictures lights, photographs with illuminated crystal panels, wall washers especially used to emphasize some special wall faux finish. Remember that a beautiful home without an proper illumination, is like a woman dressed up without a make up on.
But what if we could almost taste the lighting? Read the article I wrote for Avaliving, a site for designers to consumers featured on their first page. http://www.avaliving.com/article.php?aid=1423

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
Interior Designer since 1990

www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaValentina 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 book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity

Booksite: outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
Author of the forthcoming book on the subject of colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.

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