Reincarnation & the Dining Room

Life after death fascinates me. I’ve always felt that there is a reason to live which then carries to an afterlife.  I am also curious whether our senses travel when they disappear from our physical body, transcending to the elements of the environment. It’s like a rollercoaster of senses that has a beginning, an ending, and perhaps another beginning.

When I was studying my sports science degree in Australia, I was motivated to find ways to help athletes become better then their opponents by triggering their senses.  But first, I had to achieve this feeling myself.  I read a fair amount of motivating books but there was one book that changed my perception and understanding of self awareness. This book is called “The Complete Peaceful Warriors Way” by author Dan Millman.

Dan MillmanA great book to get in touch with your senses

So what if we build our senses to the point that it could affect our presence that guides us to a better path.  I believe this can happen and I am now aware that we can stimulate our five senses through multiple ways in an interior space. There is one particular room in a home that aligns all senses. The dining room.

This is a space where you are able to sit at a position and look directly into someone eyes, share the same aromas of a cooked meal, discuss stories and concerns, and taste the pleasures of food and drink. The dining room is where you start to teach your children and grow with your spouse. Unfortunately, it appears that we as a society have forgotten the function of the dining room.

I feel like it’s my duty to bring back the importance of the dining room and to refocus on perfecting our senses.  Getting in touch with our senses can create better memories for our children.  It is helping me with my children.

There are subtle things that can change the function of the dining room, such as the shape of the table. A rectangle dining table provides an intimate setting compared to a round dining table. Although its easier to have a conversation with a round table, you sit further away from the person opposite to you. Wall sconces and floor/table lamps illuminate the corners of the room in the evening which balances the pendant above the table.  Illuminating the corners of the room is crucial because it defines the angles allowing you to feel comfortable of your surroundings. Adding color and texture can enlighten a dining room.

The dining room is a blank canvas that allows you to explore your creative flair and personal style.  Legendary designer Albert Hadley once quoted that ” decoration is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful”.

Top song to design your dining room – Nightmares on Wax (Shape your Future)

When I first started my career in New York City,  I began an internship with Cullman & Kravis.  I was the only male working amongst 14 young and stylish women.  I felt a little out of place but I was inspired by Ellie Cullman and the respect she had from her staff and clients.  I really enjoyed my time with this firm and it were these moments that set a higher standard for me.  I also learnt from Ellie the values of building long lasting relationships.  Her book, Decorating Master Class, is a classic guide to decorating for a “modern traditional” aesthetic.  I am always referring to her design opinion.

Cullman & Kravis A guide to decorating by a leading firm in NYC

All of these dining rooms (see images) from Cullman & Kravis show the clients interests in furniture, art, light fixtures, color, and texture.

Cullman & Kravis 1Urban City  – Sophisticated Dining Room by Cullman & Kravis

Cullman & Kravis 3

Clean and Modern – A welcoming dining room by Cullman & Kravis
Cullman & Kravis 2Traditional setting with an emphasis on abstract art by Cullman & Kravis
Cullman & Kravis 4Strong architectural details with colors to reflect the countryside by Cullman & Kravis

It’s a struggle to control our outside world and it’s easy to lose connection to your senses.  We are continually ignoring what we are feeling through compulsive habits that technology and social media are leading us towards.

It’s time to rebuild the dining room so that there is no escape from hiding your senses.  It’s time to sit down and enjoy your children’s voice again and look into their eyes.

Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, start working on improving your senses and create your new dining room. This will help you live better for this moment, for your future and everybody else’s future around you.


It started with a tablecloth.

I arrived in Chicago on April 13th, 1996 from my hometown in Adelaide, Australia.  I remember landing at the O’Hare Airport. There were people everywhere and the weather was colder than what I was used to. The world just opened to me and I was about to embark on a very long walkabout.
I had a job with Motorola as a Sports Scientists and a part-time modeling career with Elite Model Management. I had an apartment in the vibrant area of Lincoln Park which was a great destination for networking (smart-phones didn’t exist in the 90’s).  Chicago was where I met my wife, Katharine.  Like most successful relationships,  it was a “work in progress” because we were two young individuals trying to discover life together.

Angelo & Katharine in Sydney

Katharine and me in Sydney, Australia a few years ago.

On one afternoon, I came to her apartment that she just moved into with two other guys and decided that her bedroom didn’t feel right. I wanted to surprise her with a makeover that changed the setting to a more inviting and cozier room. So, I organized the closets, hung artwork and mirrors, dusted, and cleaned.  I was hoping to get bonus points after this!
I had a couple more hours before surprising Katharine and decided to walk down Clarke Street where there were some cool home décor stores. With little money that I had, I purchased new throw pillows, a table lamp, and an elegant tablecloth. There was something special about the pattern and soft tones of this tablecloth that got my attention.  It was more than I wanted to pay for, but I knew I was about to make my girlfriend extremely happy.  I wasn’t sure where to display this tablecloth, but it had to be the focus of the room.
There was a dresser that Katharine had moved around from boarding school, so it had a good amount of wear and tear.  I decided that this was the spot to drape this soothing material.  I then placed her perfumes, photo frames, and the new table lamp on top of the dresser.  Suddenly, I created a cozy bedroom for someone new and special to me.
I wish I was able to capture her smile when Katharine walked into her bedroom.  A room that was once an empty space with messy furniture and white walls just gained a soul. My intention was to give her a feeling of comfort and belonging which my family gave me in Adelaide. The tablecloth helped me speak without speaking. It was the gesture that connected two people that were once worlds apart.
I guess growing up with an Italian family in Adelaide taught me the values of relationships and traditions. To me, the tablecloth is the fabric that is spread on a table, so family and friends can rejoice together.  It transforms a solid surface with color, patterns, and a texture that looks and feels welcoming.
This tablecloth created a bond between Katharine and me. It was the right solution to bridge two people together and helped spark a lot of fond memories. After Katharine’s bedroom makeover, she convinced me to go to interior design school which I did in the Spring of 1997 at the Harrington College of Design.

I am so grateful for that tablecloth.  It was also the first time I trusted my interior design instincts which is everything in the world of interiors.

Happy Valentine’s Day Katharine.


Great table accessories from Bloomingville (above), Bloom & Give (below).

Bloom and Give