Mini And Cute | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

It’s grey outside and on my table, there is always something colorful whatever the season. Today I played in the kitchen with stuffed peppers, and cabbage stuffed with chicken breasts. These are food that requires a few hours of execution. Once completed I put them away in the freezer for those busy times when I can’t cook elaborate food, and I still want to eat well. I chose to feature Stuffed Mini Peppers as the easiest of the two specialties I prepared today.



Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Ingredients for 4 people
Mini bell peppers to fill a baking pan
Garlic, ginger and fresh chili peppers to your liking
Cherry tomatoes split in half
2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice
A hand-full of capers and fresh basil leaves
Parmigiano and salt to your liking
Extra-virgin olive oil

Cut the mini bell peppers in half and align them in a baking sheet.
In a bowl prepare a mixture with all the ingredients mentioned above.
Fill each bell pepper half with the mixture.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over and a generous swirl of extra-virgin olive oil.
Bake at 400° F until golden brown.



This is an easy vegetable dish full of colors, and flavor. Pair it with meat or fish for a complete meal, or make it as an appetizer and serve it with a Prosecco.
The smallest things are always the cutest! Ciao,


Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val LeopardValentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on


Cocktail at 5:00 PM | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Girl-Pink-Green-1aToday my Friday Fashion talk will be about a fundraising’s fashion ensemble I will wear tomorrow. There will be a cocktail and wine tasting at 5:00 pm and dinner later in the evening. Volunteer students dressed in Patrician Roman costumes will greet guests coming in from the valet parking, Opera singers will fill the air with well-known arias during silent auctions and some guests will take a photo opportunity with some of our Roman handmaidens or male Roman soldiers.

The title of the fundraising “Sempre Avanti – Moving Forward”, inspired me, as the designer on the committee, to create the Roman Empire theme. In fact, the fundraising is dedicated to creating more funds for building the Italian Cultural Center in the future Little Italy of San José, CA. For the last four months, the committee worked on ideas and went through intense preparations. Tomorrow will time for all of us to enjoy the event, study what we can do better next time and collect as much money as possible. My fashion ensemble will not be in tune with the Roman theme, nor will anybody’s else cocktail dress. I had a blue tone in mind since the beginning of this fundraising organization and wanted to use it as a playful color. My seamstress worked on one of the outfits I designed and I worked on the other. Now, I have two choices of colors:

Cocktail Mise

Ensemble A: Night blue and nuances of blue cobalt. It carries an asymmetrical, overlay, detachable piece, in aqua leopard print (click on the image to see my hand drawing) over midnight blue pants and a tank top. I can wear that piece interchangeably with a skirt or pants even for a different occasion. A wrap made out of the same leopard print will cover my shoulders if the temperature drops in the evening.
Ensemble B: Brown and nuances of blue cobalt. The construction of this piece has been made with two fabrics with different style polka dots: skirt body has blue tiny velvet polka dots over brown chiffon, bottom volants are champagne color velvet large polka dots over brown chiffon. A wrap made out of the same fabric of the volants will be my shoulder cover.
Accessories will be simple: a necklace with two large pendants on a long blue cord, cobalt blue silk long gloves, pochette, and suede shoes. What do you think?


As part of the decorating committee, I will be busy talking to people tomorrow at the event and enjoying myself, I hope someone will take a photo of me. Ciao,


Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val:FarfalleStampValentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, working in the USA and Europe. Born in Italy in a family of artists, style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. To better help people in the world, she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on

Swimming Pool or Lagoon? | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

At this time of the year, with the summer heat in full bloom, the only container I can think of is a pool in the garden containing a large body of cool, blue-green water where I can refresh my brain with a simple dip.

A “Swimming Pool” is a structure, basin, or tank which is intended for swimming, diving, or recreational bathing which contains water more than 24 inches deep at any point. This is roughly the description given in the book of building codes. Before December 14, 2006 building a swimming pool was fun and free of constrictions, until one-day things changed to complicate our lives.

Now every swimming pool installed, built or substantially modified after that date, must be equipped with one or more approved pool alarm which are capable of detecting a person entering the water at any point on the surface of the pool. The alarm must be audible at the poolside and other locations on the premises where the swimming pool is located, unless the swimming pool is equipped with an automatic power safety cover, then the alarm is not required.

A barrier of at least 4 feet high completely surrounding the swimming pool and obstructing access to the swimming pool is the next most important rule to know when building a swimming pool. Rules don’t stop here, we have been gifted with many more, but these are the two most important rules that will protect the homeowner if a group of strangers decides to jump the fence, take a dip in the pool while the homeowner is gone, act stupid and one of then drowns. Raising fences around the pool gives a sense of double seclusion more than the first fence built around the perimeter of the house and if you ask me is an unattractive feature. However, since the only thing we can do is to respect the rules, matter as well create something attractive and easy on the eye.

Just remember, if you are adding a swimming pool to increase value of your property, stop right there. The next buyers might not share your same interest in the pool and perhaps are looking to get a huge backyard for growing food instead. You never know. If you are building for your own pleasure, do it.

A few years ago I created a set of drawings for remodeling the exterior of my client’s home. The remodeling was mostly aimed to have an attractive swimming pool for entertainment right outside the kitchen. In my concept drawings there was just about everything the client wanted. My list might help someone reading me in this moment in building their own pool space.

1. Next-door neighbors was curious about the affairs of others and looked in my clients’ back yard to find his own amusement. Tall trees would block the curious neighbors and at night the in-ground lights would not make the trees a dark presence.
2. During the day a livable stoned terrace area would provide a secluded area for sunbathing, reading, relaxing. At night, warm LED light would highlight the terrace area creating a cozy ambient where friends would sit comfortably on cushions, converse and sip a cool drink while the illuminated pool would be the centerpiece.
3. I planned for solar panel to warm up the pool water when needed.
4. Marine sails over the lounge area offer a good amount of shade.
5. The space was large enough for plenty lounge chairs aligned all around the pool.
6. Planning an illuminated swimming pool complements the house and adds safety. I even planned an island of flowers protruding on the water and stairs to help kids get in the pool.
7. Of course I planned an attractive tall fence all the way around the pool.

This is what the client wanted and received. This project in the Tuscan style was developed on-line and I never got to see the finished project. I am always happy to follow the client’s desire and dreams, that is what a designer should do, but if I ought to make a swimming pool for myself I would opt for a lagoon, with large rocks, water fall, tall trees and illuminated lush vegetation, much like the photo of a lagoon I posted here, without being open to the sea.  Ah, let’s not forget the music! Good food, cool drinks and fun friends will follow. Ciao,

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValHatCelesteStampValentina 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. As an Italian designer and true to her origins, she provides only the best workmanship and design solutions. Author of three books all-available on

Hold On To The Light | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Creativity is a beautiful thing especially when the result is spectacular!
Krystal Touch of New York introduces the Wave Crystal Door Knob Set. A superior quality crystal makes this fantastic doorknob set, which illuminates with the touch, stays illuminated for one minute and then goes off, until touched again. If in your home there is a dark corridor, or a dark closet, this doorknob will keep you in the light. LED light illuminates one side or both sides of the knob and fits standard doors thickness of 1-3/8″ to 1-3/4″. Guarantee for a life, the price is very affordable, these knobs make great solutions for a home with character.


Find some more fun door knob here

Emtek combines functionality, design, and fun all in one with its collection of Brighthandle, made of acrylic levers and stainless steel. Perfect for public restrooms and hotels, when the room is occupied the levers illuminates with LED lighting powered by a single AA battery. No need to put the Do Not Disturb sign against the door anymore. These levers are more expansive than the illuminated doorknobs, about $250 per door set.  It is fairly a new product and like all the new products, the price will come down with a larger market demand.

One small suggestion: if you have arthritis, problems with joints or difficulties in doing turning motion, it is best to use the wrist blade door handles and faucets levers. Ciao, Valentina

Val:FarfalleStampValentina Cirasola transforms and creates spaces realizing people’s dreams in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She infuses your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. 
She offers design consultations on-line through Skype and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge any where in the world. She is the author of three books, all-available on

Garden Inspiration | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


In this part of the world, California, we are having a mild summer, very pleasant and conducive for work in the office, or work in the garden and a day at the beach is never scorching.
For a couple of months, we can still make improvements to the garden, before we need to prepare it for the coming winter. The garden should follow the architectural style of the house, at least at the front street side, the curb appeal should reflect it. The interior part of the garden, or otherwise called backyard, might be extravagant, whimsical, dreamy, or it might be kept in the same style of the house.

If I am designing the interior colors, I keep them communicating with the exterior and the garden colors. This will avoid the choppy or disconnected feeling and will keep everything in harmony. A Mediterranean style home with a Japanese style garden is out-of-place. The best way to design an interesting garden, large or small, is to divide the ground in many vignettes and create a certain rhythm that will invite you in. My Pinterest board has been an inspiration; so many good ideas and tips are showing up and I am taking full advantage of all of them. Here there are some solutions I find very intriguing:

Strawberry rocks – No longer need to worry about birds eating your baby strawberries. Place these rocks around the strawberry patch, the birds will bite on the rocks thinking they are biting on the strawberries and will soon learn never to come closer to your patch.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Strawberry Rocks

(Photo above:

Broken clay pot
– Do not discard, use them to create a view in your fantasy.

Create islands – Place an island here and there, with loose bricks and rocks, the pot in the center will carry the plants arrangements of your liking and will become the centerpiece.


Simple fountains – Very inexpensive to do, made of simple rocks or leftover construction material, a small lining to collect the recirculating water and a pump; place them anywhere between plants.

(Photo above:

Pathways – I love to see pathways not designed in the same style. Pathways should change according to the vignette design. Keep them interesting.


(Photo above:

(Photo above: Tom Mitchell’s display in Plantasia Garden Show)

Playing games – Don’t you love this checkered game area with tall chess pieces?


(Photo above:  DIY Network)

Vertical orchard – This is possible to create even if you don’t have a garden, on a balcony or on a terrace. If you can, plant food, it will be better than food sold in stores, guaranteed!

(Photo above found on:

Paint a color door – Allow only one door leading in the garden to be of a different color, I painted red my garage door leading to the garden. A bit of splash of color among the greenery is intriguing.


(Photo above found on:

Do you like vintage? – Look what is possible to do with old china sets, or with an old musical instrument. One becomes bird’s bath with a few modifications and the other one becomes a flower display bed. Actually, a speaker hidden inside the flower display, would a stylish solution, from which the music of a violin diffuses in the air. I often hide speakers under resin rocks. How sweet!

(Photo above –


A relaxation area – Unused trampoline can change into  a cozy daytime bed where to nap on a Sunday afternoon, or anytime rest is needed.


Many different ideas, funky, whimsical, elegant and original will be available. If in doubt call the expert, I love to design gardens that speak of you.
I do offer design consultations on-line through Skype line. Visit my Pinterest boards, when you have some free time: Ciao,

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


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 designs landscape concepts as a complement to the residential design concept as a unity.
Check out her books on



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