Absurd Living | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Last week, I had three tasks to do for clients: find an original solution for bathroom fixtures, find a modern, colorful rug and find a few table lamps of different shapes. I went to my usual stores, where I am a customer and have a designer/merchant relationship, also where, for a long time, I had found a world of originality. With my great disappointment, all three stores had closed down. Irritated enough, I started to swear up and down and I don’t really know to whom I was directing my invectives.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

New Buildings Cupertino

New Buildings Cupertino


I didn’t have much choice but shopping online. I hate shopping online for my clients and for myself for that matter, everybody gets to own the same things and even though the selections are infinite, it is not possible to touch, feel and experience anything. How do you buy a sofa online without sitting on it and feel how comfortable it is? How do you buy a dress online without trying it on and see how suitable it is to your body? I remember a Persian store, where the owners greeted me by my first name, they knew my likings and why I visited them. There, I used to buy particular cooking spices and other food the commercial supermarkets don’t carry. Now, they are gone, just as the small family cafe’ with stuffed chairs and home-made pastry is gone, just as the living room store with fireplaces is gone, as all my favorite fashion boutiques are gone and all the stores I visited for my designer needs. We are losing the sense of community and the personal relationship with merchants.

New Buildings SC

New Buildings SC

In place of all the stores with original merchandise, huge and unattractive “box revival” buildings are growing, they are the future offices and living accommodations for all those people coming to work in the Silicon Valley and becoming a “game piece” for the young ultra-millionaires who can manipulate their subjects as they wish and like.

Meanwhile, what are we all going to eat? What are we going to put on our bodies, and what are our houses going to look like if there are only buildings and no stores to support our living? Why must we be forced to buy everything online and buy the same as everybody has? We are losing the sense of touch, smell, feel, along with the chance to go into a store and in a friendly manner, say to someone familiar: “How the fuck are you today?”. Oops, I am speaking in French again.
We have been flattened down like pancakes made with a mold, in a boring uniformity, all looking the same, all using the same expressions, we drive around a jungle of ugly buildings painted in sordid colors, looking for nothing and eating science projects for food.

Redwood City

New Buildings RWC

I do yawn when I see the “Beige Box Revival” a new boring architecture growing like mushrooms with no particular interest and no fun details, we will remember nothing of these constructions two years from now. The towns look the same everywhere, no squares, no landmarks, no monuments, nothing that speaks of the past or even an immediate past, no parks for kids, no fountains, nothing.

Today, builders are erecting expensive box revival buildings in the most uncharacteristic corners, over gas stations, at intersections of a four-way street, near overpasses, or overlooking the garbage area of a supermarket. Often these buildings have a huge monstrous parking garage next to them to host huge cars of those same people disguised as “game pieces” who drive alone on large freeways. Earth tones are the only colors builders know, occasionally they come up with a hint of color. The revival box buildings are made for people who spend their entire days at work and only go to sleep in their expensive shoe boxes at night. No stores to serve them, no community, nothing….but we must cheer the prosperous economy (I go for that, don’t get me wrong), the online shopping, and the solitude. Ciao.

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a storyteller by nature. Stories are very important to her design career to convey ideas because making someone’s home or personal images is not only about building around shapes, lines, forms, and colors. It is about the story one can create around their spaces and how they want to appear to others.
She extends her stories in the TV shows she produces with artistic and inspirational people.

She is the author of four books, all available on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
The latest book just published is ©The Road To Top Of The World – https://tinyurl.com/y7tuyfh8



Order | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Recently I was in Seattle for a couple of speaking engagements. I had a few days for me to be a tourist and enjoy a city I had never seen before. My first impression of the city was the same as San Francisco, the roads go up and down, some are very steep to climb on foot or in the car and at times stop signs are placed at the very top of the hill, leaving the car in a vertical position. Weather was cold, gray, windy and the sun peeped into the clouds on and off during the day.

I have always loved the order of classical architecture, but I have discovered order in the cement jungle of the modern cities as well. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

The geometric cluster of buildings propped on the hill overlooking the Bay create a very playful skyline order.

The classical pediments at the top of this corner building, caryatides of native Indian framing windows, balustrades and dentelle work disguise the boxy modern building behind it.

The verticality of these two towers orderly lead in a downtown street of business and shops.

Modern cities must have color contrast for interest, but the order is in the windows, all the same size, where even the reflection in the glass has an order.

Light and dark in order.

Tall and short order. A very tall building shields this classical elegant building in which Banana Republic store resides. Cheap merchandise sold in a classical architecture…..

In this photo geometric order steals the scene. Glass building, brick stairs, horizontal and vertical windows, dark and light buildings, this corner has an appeal thanks for the greenery. This is the view from the rowdy Irish pub I ate. Beer and food were delicious.

Seattle is a very modern city, bustling with people, amateur musicians cheers the streets, traffic is congested, young people eat in rowdy pubs, and buildings are vertical, just like all the new cities of the Middle Age, when churches and cathedrals were built to reach God and the competition between the patrons who could pay to build the tallest church was high.

For me it’s always a good thing when I can combine work and pleasure. The trip was profitable, lovely people came to hear me speaking on the subject of Colors and sold a lot of my book: RED-A Voyage Into Colors was a hit. Ciao,

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves to write travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design home interiors of her clients .
She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w


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