Born and raised in Rome, Valentina studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Rome’s premier Fine Art University, before travelling throughout Europe with her husband. After coming to the conclusion that she wanted to be a practical artist, rather than a painter, she came to Vancouver in 2006 and enrolled in the Interior Design program at the Art Institute of Vancouver.
Valentina began her career in residential design, working on contract with several firms in the city, before working at Studio One Architecture, where her creative ability was focused more on commercial spaces, a field that she feels truly inspired to work in. Her accomplishments there include many commercial spaces at YVR.
She opened up her own company, Valentina Commercial Interiorshttp://valentinacommercialinteriors.com, with the intention to become the leading design firm specializing in commercial spaces.
She met James four years ago when he was starting his first gelato adventure in Vancouver. She had a lot of admiration for James and his vision and saw that he really wanted to make something great for the public, which he has obviously succeeded in. The design for the Coal Harbour location was inspired by the antichegelateriein Italy, using the warmth of the wood, combined with some playful elements such as the checkerboard flooring and wall stripes. She also wanted to blend a few contemporary details into it to harmonize the space with the modern building in which it’s located.
The new location was a challenge because of the many different purposes that the space will have and bringing a fluidity into the look and functionality. She had to create a suitable mood for both the daytime and evening crowd. This way, at whatever time of the day you come in, be it for a gelato or coffee after a jog on the seawall or a romantic dinner, overlooking the marina, you will feel as if the space was created just for you. The choices of the lighting create this ambiance for the evening. It will be like having stars over your head. The combination of the materials are a classic Italian combination that will never go out of style, noce e marmo di Carrara(walnut &Carrara marble). She also loved to play with the contrast of the colours black and white to create more depth and dynamics. Another Italian element is represented by the Bisazza mosaic, featuring the Venus, which symbolizes the muse and the perfection in art, something that James embodies in his gelato creation. It was a big risk to create a feature wall with something that hasn’t been done before, and she was nervous until it revealed to look as good as it did in her imagination, but as she says “You’ve got to take a chance sometimes and trust your instincts and vision.” All of the mosaic fit to complement the mosaic on the handmade oven from Naples that James chose because as usual, he wants to provide only the best of the best.