Ambience | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Can we define “Ambience” as the character and atmosphere of a place? We certainly can. It all starts with the front door,  your business card. People visiting your home will know what’s inside by the way the front door greets them. Is the front door landing clean, are plants manicured, is the landing well-lit, is there a functioning doorbell or door knocker, is there a welcoming bench outside the door, is the pathway leading to the front door curvy or straight, is the landscape matching the exterior colors of the home? These are some of the questions we should answer to give a good first impression and to create a positive aura around the home. Inside the home, your spirit should be noticeable as soon as one steps in. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

composition-ambience-a

This is what to do if you are creating your ambience, or need inspiration. The first thing is to compose a visual board (photo above) with pictures of images that strike your fancy. Once you have them all together, you can edit the composition by subtracting or adding the way you like. The board will help visualizing colors, textures, natural material, finishes, line, shapes and where the light should hit to create feelings, backdrop, or set the tone for a dreamy ambience.

venetians2a

My inspiration for my living room ambiance came from a hand-made golden Venetian wine set I bought centuries ago in Venice, Italy. That wine set, in my imagination, called for capricious living room items, not too modern and not too traditional either, with a bit of fantasy, showing opulence and warmth. In Venetian interiors is common to find some mixed items from Asian and European countries, as wealthy Venice of the 1700s (The Serenissima) traded with the Orient and the Middle East.

Music is big part of my life. I wanted a miniature musical instrument on my entry door that played music every time I opened the door. I found a small harp made in Scotland. Now, a sweet sound welcomes people when they come in my house.

Door Harp by Valentina Cirasola

Door Harp (©Valentina Cirasola)

Continuing with music, Venice and Bohème theme, I wanted a lyre side table for the sofa in the style of Biedermeier. I found something similar and contemporary, which I keep illuminated from the bottom and from the top. The slipper chair next to it is a real treasure, it’s a Jacobean style. It came from an antique store in the Gold Country in California, the owner didn’t know its value. I re-upholstered with mystical fabric, I thought music and constellation play the same tune.

slipperchair
To find a Venetian chair was a challenge, but not for long. I found a chair with the right shape and price, but beauty wasn’t there. A skillful painter, using only Chartreuse and gold paint, turned the chair into a Venetian style. Re-upholstered in double face: Chartreuse color fabric with Venetian shoes printed on, paired with a purple-chartreuse polka dots fabric, made this chair an original, whimsical Venetian idea. It is now in my reading, breakfast corner.

venetianchair_ledlights_a

 

bohemian_corner_a(Above: reading-breakfast corner)

From these few items, creating the ambience I was looking for, was easy. The aubergine wall is dark and sexy.  A colorful lamp découpaged with Florentine fabric details sits on a glass top with an Italian amphora underneath, which I keep illuminated inside and now fills an empty corner. This colorful lamp adds mystery to the wall, which at night picks up different tones according to the lights I turn on and what I want to illuminate.

colorfullamp

Warm colors, candlelight, posh pillows, glass accessories and mirrors reflecting light, all make the perfect Venetian-Bohemian style space for me. Does this style exist? Who cares, it exists in my fantasy. ❤️ ❤️❤️
fireplaceatmosphere1

 

As I said earlier, light has an important role when creating ambience. In spaces where no task is required, I like to create suffuse lighting effects coming from any corner even from inconspicuous places such as behind furniture.

Happy New Year

 

The home is your cocoon, create the ambience that makes your soul sing. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com


Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

valentinadivaglassesValentina Cirasola is an Italian designer in business since 1990, interested in helping people designing their interior and exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. She is always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces she designs. Colors are the focus of her business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. Vogue Italia magazine, Gentry and many prominent magazines in California featured her work. She appeared on RAI, National Italian T.V.,  nonetheless her story continues. Find copies of her book on colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors  and  all her books  on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Globe Of Happiness | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

The holiday season will soon open the fun part of the year. Preparing for Halloween to me means decorating my clients’ home with fall colors, organize thoughts for Christmas decorations or parties, putting food away for the winter and arranging the garden that will go dormant soon.
Although Halloween is not one of the holidays I prefer, I like to set up a few things for the autumn celebration.
I adore the jewel tones of the fall colors, I like to wear them and I like to see them on my table. It is so easy to design my clothes in striking combinations with purple and orange, or green, baby blue and ochre, blue, gray and yellow, or pumpkin, burgundy and beige.  This is the season to be playful, we can just copy what nature does and repeat it in our fashion ensemble.

My globe of happiness must contain all things around me. I want my garden to play with statues, fountains or some jewels and radiate its vibrant energy back into my house.

Even my wild birds are happy playing in my garden. They see their reflected images in the gazing globes and think they are in the mirrors, then coquettish go sing at me from their hideaway in the threes. Often, just like the birds, seeing myself in the globes I experience my oneness with the Universe and the positive energy that these Spheres of Light as they were also called bring to me, to my house and my garden.

Every object in space emanates energy. Inanimate objects such as glass or metals affect our life just as much as celestial objects, stars and planets do. The round shape of the gazing globes like all the circles is a harmonious shape, it supposed to bring happiness, good luck and prosperity. Thus, it is a good idea to place gazing balls near every entrance of a home, in gardens around plants and even inside the home. The legend says the gazing globe keeps away misfortune, evil spirits and illness, but I believe this legend is true, because the round shape is a very powerful shape and keeps things moving around and around.

Placing the gazing ball on iron stands will add a powerful strength to the globe sitting it on stones or on top of vases will add certain elegance. The highly reflective glass of the gazing globes is suitable to show off the garden in different views. Grouping them at different height between plants and flowers will add playfulness, as I have seen the famous glass artist Dale Patrick Chihuly doing in his traveling exhibition throughout the Botanical Gardens of America.

Garden Globe Vignette by ©Valentina Cirasola

The Swan King, Ludwig II of Bavaria, adorned his palace with globes, he made a copy of a Versailles Palace.

I have made my small Versailles with a few globes in my garden, but only because I heard they keep the witches away. Witches can’t bare to see their image reflected in the globe.

Gazing globes remind me so much of the bull’s eye mirror my grandmother’s had in her kitchen and used it to see who was at the door while she was cooking, or to keep an eye on us kids. We couldn’t escape out the door without being noticed.

Some of my clients have a “Butler Ball” in the Butler Area, which alerts the servants that the guests sitting at the dinner table need assistance without staring at them. It feels a Victorian era all over again when I am invited to such high level engagements. I only need the petticoat and a fan in my hand.
I am joking, I feel very honored being invited at my clients’ table.

Gazing globes are an invention of the 13th century Venetian glass blower artists and after eight centuries are still bringing enjoyment.

Please, let’s not get the witches disturb us while we are preparing a nice butternut squash bisque for Halloween night and some pumpkins cookies.
My globe of happiness include cooking and enjoying eating as my wellbeing and as fuel for my brain.
Remember that: “The red on the cheeks come from the mouth” – from my book ©Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity. 

 


Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque
2-1/2 lb. butternut or acorn squash
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 medium onions
a hand full of dried thyme, chopped
1 small bay leaf
2.5 oz. of ham or Italian prosciutto, cubed
3-1/2 cup chicken broth
roasted apples slices
freshly grated nutmeg
salt to your liking

Preheat oven to 350F. Split squash in half lengthwise. With spoon, scrape out seeds and fibers from cavity. Season with salt; place flesh side down in a lightly buttered baking dish.
Add in 1/2 cup water to baking pan. Bake 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until skin is browned and flesh is tender when pierced with knife. Remove from oven; let rest until cool enough to handle. Scoop out flesh; discard skin.
In large saucepan melt butter. Add diced onion and season with salt to your taste. Sprinkle thyme over onions. Add bay leaf.
Saute’ prosciutto with onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes and the prosciutto is golden. Add the pulp of roasted squash. Season with additional salt and pepper. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring often.
Add broth, bring to simmer uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Remove bay leaf. Puree soup, in blender or food processor.
Add grated nutmeg, taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper. Decorate it with a few basil leaves or dill. I like to add some parmigiano shavings.

I also like the prosciutto cubed and not cooked and roasted apple slices, both ingredients to add separately as you enjoy the soup.

Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is the author of two published books on Italian regional cuisine, available here in this site on the Books page and in various other locations: 

http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnq8baaAq0M
http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen


	

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