Don’t Worry About The Small Room | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Are you challenged by a small room in your house? Don’t be! Consider a small room as the jewel box you will create,  think of the  fun you will have decorating and planning a functional space.
Small rooms teach us how to stay organized and how to save money as well, because you will only buy the necessary items. In a small space every inch counts and every piece of furniture must have a double function for storage and living tasks. Before starting a decorating fun, it is important to assess the room. Take out of the room all the items, edit them heavily, donate, sell or throw away the items not needed anymore and start fresh. There is a great feeling of freedom in doing a complete de-cluttering. You will see the actual size of the small space for the functionality and purpose you want to assign to it. You will know how much storage and shelving are needed. Yes, even small rooms can have a multiple purpose.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


Furniture – must have many functionalities and be adaptable to any situation. Choose seating that have storage, cabinets that hide a retractable table or shelves, compartmentalized drawers to have everything in plain view. Use decorative boxes, trunks, luggage or ottomans as side tables and coffee table that can be used as extra storage. Choose a sofa for the daytime that easily turns into a bed at night. European furniture makers are masters of small spaces, they have created an array of items for small European homes. Heavy and dark furniture make a small space seem even smaller. One way to trick the eyes is to incorporate glass items and furniture with legs instead of boxy furniture. Seeing open spaces under the furniture will improve the room look bigger, at least visually.

Lighting – Layer heavily. It doesn’t matter if recessed lights are already in place inside the ceiling. To create an ambience and a sculpting atmosphere, scatter around the room, tall and small lamps with different colors and styles. Don’t try to match.

Scale – Trick the eyes with large pattern wallpaper design, large artwork and large decorative items.

Color – Bold colors go well with large scale items, together will make the room look expensive and, no, dark or bold colors don’t make the room smaller, it’s a myth! Have fun painting horizontal stripes if you want a room to look longer, or vertical stripes if you want a visually taller room.

 

 

Mirrors – Will open the space, especially if they are placed across or near a window. The bigger the better and if they have details is even more playful, will add interest to the décor.

 

Natural Light – It’s always welcome, along with the sun energy. If privacy or the view outside are not an issue, don’t cover windows with curtains, let the outside in. The room will benefit from natural light and everything will look more luminous. Otherwise, hang curtains as high as possible, and from wall to wall, outside the window frame to give the window wall a larger appearance.

Hidden Storages – People tend to use the space under the bed to store shoes and seasonal items. A positive energy must flow freely in the room to impact positively your sleep or your quiet hours, if boxes occupy the space under the bed, that positive energy and natural flow of air circulation will be blocked. This is where saving money comes into play. Buy only the necessary clothes, shoes and accessories to keep at a minimum the need for storage. You will win the clutter!

Rules are made to be broken, allow your fantasy to go where it wants to go.
I am happy to help you anytime, online design consultations are available. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 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 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 my latest book on the subject of colors ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Hidden Spaces | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Consumerism has put a great need in our lives to accumulate things (useful or not).
We are seeing more boxy container furniture with dual functionality to make up for the lack of space, providing additional storage and serving other functions as well, such as seating arrangements. Many corners in the house are now utilized to the fullest of their potential with various creative solutions. Lot of them are showing up in up on my Pinterest board.
http://pinterest.com/vcvalentina/

This means that many people are thinking about this problem and finding solutions anywhere they can. I will point out some good solutions to emulate and others not as good to copy.

Wet Bar – It is a perfect idea to utilize a dead space under the stairs for a wet bar in an informal basement or family room. However, I would not like to see kitchen cabinets style, appliances and plumbing fixtures in an elegant space such as living room. With state of the art Italian technology, a faucet can be hidden behind moveable walls and doors. Take a look at this video, you will be surprised to see how beautiful technology can be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag-J9R8DtTU

I would disguise cabinets and appliances with panels made of the same wood style and colors of furniture present in the room. The wet bar will not look like a small kitchen cramped under the stairs.

 

(photo above: http://hamtana.com/basement-wet-bar-under-stairs-inspiration-decorating-3-2764-design.html)

Library on Landing – Great use of both spaces. Stair landing are usually treated as transition areas with little importance and often left undecorated. At times even lighting is not adequate to travel that route. In this digital era, it is sad to see the lack of books in homes. For me, adding books around windows, doorways and landing together with a comfortable seating area, show that anytime is a good time to stop and read, even when doing the laundry upstairs.

(Photos above and below: BH&G)

 

Craft and Hobby Room – Nice solution if everything needs to be in open view. A standard base cabinet is 24” deep, there is enough space to make a slide-out cabinet from the back. After accounting for backings and sliding mechanisms, the two base cabinets might be reduced to 8-10” each. Furthermore, keep in mind that a little bending down might be necessary to reach that back slide-out cabinet.

(BH&G)

First Step – That first step must hold the full weight of a person. To make parts moveable and operable for storage it is necessary to reinforce the tread (where foot rest) of the first step, otherwise it could cave in.

 

(Photo above found on: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-your-stairs-into-s-38329. They say these stairs with drawers are made by an Australian company, Unicraft Joinery).

Banquette – Filling a window area with something useful such as a banquette and storage underneath is always a good idea to use as seating and storage for extra china or linens.

(Source: HGTV)

Stairs Drawers – Of the two examples, I prefer the drawers, but both are good use of the under stairs space.

 

(Photo above: http://www.idesignarch.com/under-the-stairs-storage-ideas-to-maximize-functional-spaces)

Kitchen Cellar Stairs – I would have to say a big wow to this idea. Sure it is nice to go down below to get a bottle of wine while cooking, for me at least, but the building code requires the stairs tread (horizontal part) to be at a min. of 11” wide and at least 7” high for the riser (vertical part). Big pain! The idea is nice, but the stairs as they are built appear to be dangerous.

(Source: via thekitchn.com)

Implementing these small solutions can only improve the life of the people living in the house. The expense is only paid once, but the reward is immense, you get more space, a better-organized life and value added to the house.
Like what you read? Sharing is caring. Pass it along to someone who’d benefit. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com 

 

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina 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 on consultation and produces drawings for remodeling, upgrading, new home construction, décor restyling and home fashion.  “Vogue Italy” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15.
©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, her new book on colors is about ready to be published.
Find her books on 

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

Give Me Space | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

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Buying furniture can be a difficult or easy task, depending on how you react to your need, prices, choices, or necessity. Particularly in the case of a couple getting married for the first time and the unknown factors of how large the family will grow, or even if the marriage will last in time. Then come the questions of how to choose colors, styles, sizes, functionality and how to fit everything intelligently in each space in order to maximise the available space in every small inch.

When buying good furniture allow yourself plenty time for searching and don’t stop at the first offer just because the price might be right for you. Evaluate material and price of the furniture and don’t fall in the trap of discounts. If you purchase furniture on the Internet to save 70-80% and then turn around and pay a high price for shipping that is not at all a good savings, therefore buy locally and really save! Some local stores will offer shipping free of charge just to gain your custom.

Furniture to me, as a designer and lover of practicality, must be beautiful, stylish and hold a double functionality. Not necessarily made for contemporary décor with straight and clean lines, furniture can be antiques, or classic, but they must always offer storage space solutions, in that space is a challenge in everybody’s home and a precious commodity.

A Tartan Credenza (left) in the living room can decorate a wall beautifully and serve as a storage for table cloths, napkins and silverware. A kitchen credenza (right)  can also hold office files on one side with a roll-down panel to hide the files when not in use.


If you are looking to add rhythm and dynamism to an office space or a kids’ room, the Code bookshelf made by Snaidero (left) is a good solution. Looking at my photo most people will think of kids’ room immediately. 
A bookshelf designed in colored squares is perfect for kids, that’s right, because it offers infinite playful compositions. But why not thinking of a dynamic office, filled with young minds, or young at heart people, innovative and productive, who want to keep up with evolving times? This type of free-form modular shelving multiplies in space vertically, horizontally and performs well all kinds of functions, even in the kitchen, or pantry.

Do you have a bare corner? A drop shaped vitrine (Photo right) with interior lighting made by Carpanelli is a good solution to hold a few collectibles and to light a corner. I like to add lights in corners, it gives the illusion of larger spaces. Ottomans and settees are also super solutions for storage and stylish furniture, which can be added anywhere in any décor.

When giving a particular attention to storage spaces and assign a dedicated space to each of your activities, life becomes simpler and pleasant. Well, now it is time to go shopping. I am here to help you finding the right furniture solution, or build some storage spaces for you, your home, your style and improve your life. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

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Valentina Cirasola has been in business as a designer since 1990. She has helped a variegated group of fun people realizing their dreams with homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She is a designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes. She also designs furniture and has been successful in producing them locally with local artists craftsmen. Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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