Ambiance | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Can we define “Ambiance” 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).


This is what to do if you are creating your ambiance, 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 to visualize colors, textures, natural material, finishes, lines, shapes and where the light should hit to create feelings, backdrop, or set the tone for a dreamy ambiance.


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 a 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 to 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.

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 with a double face fabric: 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.



bohemian_corner_a(Above: reading-breakfast corner)

From these few items, creating the ambiance 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.


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. ❤️ ❤️❤️


As I said earlier, light has an important role when creating ambiance. 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 ambiance that makes your soul sing. Ciao,

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


Timeless Venetian Style | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

We are in full Carnival time, a short period of the year to be licentious until Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) when all will end. This joyful celebration inspires me to create some Venetian interior. In decorating a home interior we can choose from so many styles: French, Asian, American, English, contemporary, antique, just to name a few, or we can have a theme like beach, country, eclectic, Bohemian, shabby chic and so on. If celebrations inspire us for instance we can decorate in the mood and colors of 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas. However a lot of the styles I mentioned are seasonal, Venetian style is a timeless style and not only for Mardi Gras. Have you seen Joan River’s home?



To understand a particular style it is important to know the history of that period to gain some insight of what shaped a particular style and why people accepted it.

The story of a Venetian style happened many centuries ago when Venice was a very wealthy republic, peaceful and productive. Venice’s name was La Serenissima meaning the Very Serene, because Venetians were financially stable, politically powerful and did not fight with neighboring countries. Instead Venetians people traded goods with foreign countries and the Far East, especially after Marco Polo went to China through the Silk Road and brought back to Venice a new way of decorating with silk fabrics for interiors, Oriental vases and potteries, new spices to enhance food and new fabric for both men and women fashion.

The result of Venetians being peaceful and wealthy people was that they embrace lavish parties, hence the introduction of dressing up with elaborate costumes and masks at Carnival time.

The homes of wealthy Venetian Republic were highly luxurious decorated with valuable material and furniture. One of the items that still goes strong is a particular red marble called Rosso Verona used for flooring. It grows in the area and it has been largely used through the years in monuments, churches and museums. Venice sits on water,  the colors of a Venetian interior reflect all the colors of the water, blues, light greens, aqua and as the sun rises or falls the warm sunrays reflect on the water, which at time becomes light pink, light purple or light blue and even light grey.


Fashion had a lot of influence on the interiors as well. The silk fabrics that Marco Polo brought back were also used for the upholstery. Men and women used the same colors. It was common to see a man with a light pink jerkin, yellow silk stockings and cream ruffled shirt, as much as it was common to see a woman in a purple dress with Chartreuse shoes.


Venice is mostly a grey foggy and cold town, to counterbalance the grey colors of the outside a traditional Venetian interior is cheerful but delicate, it reflects the colors of the water, delicate pastels, mix of floral and a lot of cream colors.
A traditional Venetian interior is not complete without bombe’ and hand-painted type of furniture, heavy upholstery in burgundy colors to echo the wines Venetians drink and gold accessories and home trimmings to echo the gold of the jewelry they once traded on. Fabrics are usually brocade, damask, silk and velvet. Flooring is often a very dark hardwood, or a very common Rosso Verona marble, or checkered designs and heavily composition of mosaics. The windows are always embellished with panes of stained glass.


(Above photo found on:

In modern Venetians interiors, the décor changes dramatically. We might still see a beautiful decorate marble floor, but with modern, industrial lighting,  light-colored walls, colorful seating and contrasting color pillows, rug and accessories. Another modern decor  might be an all white interior with silver-grey faux finished walls with pastel accessories and colorful paintings on the walls, artistic masks and oversized Venetian blown glass here and there. Let’s not forget Venice is the capital of extraordinary blown glass creations. The modern Venetian curtains might be made of sheer material in pastel colors or totally white.


Even though time in Venice has remained still, the interiors have evolved. A Venetian interior today can have the features of Venice like the light colors and pastels, the fabulous floor of marble work and stunning blown glass without the heavy velvet, damask and brocade fabrics.

Transforming a space in a period style or in a particular theme takes knowledge. The first step in any design project is gathering inspiration. How can you know which elements to choose for your space if you do not know history?
Happy Mardi Gras. Ciao,

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Flapper GirlValentina Cirasola is a trained
 Interior Designer
 in business since 1990. She is the owner and principal designer of her company: Valentina Interiors & Designs. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and timeless style. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Find Valentina’s three books on

Infinite | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

This week photo challenge on WordPress is Infinite.

At Columbus Day celebration in the city of San Francisco, I had plenty infinite inspiration. Coming in the city, an infinite number of Art Deco buildings and modern skyscrapers line the horizon. An infinite number of palm trees, street lights and street sculptures filled The Embarcadero, a long promenade stretching for a few miles overlooking the water.

Trolley buses revamped to their original charm come by with antique coquetry and their infinite electric wires share the air space with street lights, palm trees and buildings. Weekends in the city are devoted to street markets. Infinite number of white-tented kiosks occupy empty plazas on the Embarcadero, where San Franciscans and tourists shop for arts and crafts, novelties, custom-made pieces and organic food. Music colors the air making a pleasant city to walk in. San Francisco is definitively one of the best cities in America.

(All photos by: ©Valentina Cirasola)

Following the Embarcadero, I reached the parade for Columbus Day celebration. The parade was nice, happy people, infinite candies thrown from moving vehicles making kids really happy.
I was more interested in seeing signs of Italian heritage, it was Columbus Day after all.
Other than a few stereotypes, tarantella, Perry Como and Dean Martin songs, things modern Italians don’t relate to, I found my infinite interest in a group of people dressed in colorful Venetians costumes.
The flag didn’t belong with the costumes, Tuscan people made an art of throwing flags, but not Venetians. OK, I understand, this is a make-believe Italy of the past, the Italy tourists like.

(All photos by: ©Valentina Cirasola)

Among infinite marching bands from different cultures, Italian products and socialites in their convertible cars, I chose this group of people as they seemed the most authentic, true to the colors and opulence of historic Venice. Their gestures conveyed well the flirting mannerism of La Serenissima (ancient name of Venice) and the frivolity of the era.

I heard on the news today that someone is thinking of changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Day. Really? Did this person fall off the bed? Should we change the entire history of United States as well to suit every ethnicity? Ciao,

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val WorkingValentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, Classicism, stylish and timeless designs have influenced Valentina’s design work. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away your comfort. She loves to restore old homes, historic dwellings and she focuses on remodeling. Author of three books all available on

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