Finding Balance

Photography by Tim Lenz

Westporter Nancy Galasso has been a professional interior designer for twenty-five years; for fifteen of those years, she served as a senior designer at Lillian August. Now she heads her own interior design firm: Nancy Galasso Interiors ( Her projects take her to New York City, Los Angeles, the Bahamas and other beautiful places—including nearby towns. For example, we asked her about one of her projects in Ridgefield (above). She and Richard Cerrone created the interior design for the home and Mary-Beth Oliver of Karen Berkemeyer Home worked on the cabinets and tiles in the kitchen. Galasso worked with decorative paint finishers for the walls in both the kitchen and the family room.

In this suburban project, the mix of stone, shades of gray, blue-grays and cool white, and the thick glass of the coffee table in the living room have grounding effect. It’s a feeling, which is part of Galasso’s approach to projects—she senses what feels right. This home’s design is solid without bringing in intrusive heaviness, and that type of balance takes a professional’s training and years of experience to master.

left: The new kitchen awash in shades of white and different levels of sheen. right: The tiles are an eye-catching and attractive addition to the room.

While the living room has the smooth coolness of stone, the bar area is a warmer earth tone. The floor-to-ceiling cabinetry is awash in a creamy white with a shimmery backsplash with floating shelves and a strip of light underneath each one. It’s well lit, enough to see what you’re doing at this work station, yet it’s a luxe glow, like a sunset.

The kitchen blends all of these elements for a cohesive feel. Here are the mix of neutrals, the shiny backsplash, the shelves, the rich and creamy colors of the walls, ceiling and cabinetry. What did the client most want from the project? “The client wanted to update the kitchen of a home that they recently purchased to fit the need of their lifestyle,” she says. “First steps were getting to know the client and see how they lived and how they wanted to use the space.”

Ultimately, the kitchen was renovated, with the butlers pantry included, and the fireplaces were upgraded with new marble.

The well-lit butler’s pantry in soft white

Of the entire project, she says, “The biggest change was the kitchen—making it lighter and brighter.” It was worth it, because the clients were happy. “The loved the way the kitchen was light and how it all flowed with the family room.”

Galasso is not surprised that the kitchen makeover had such an impact. Many clients dream about it. “We find that the kitchen/family room concept is always the first thing that people want to do,” she says, “to make life easier on a day-to-day basis.”

She knows what her clients want, generally, too. Calling on her fifteen years at Lillian August, she uses the experience to influence her work now. “I learned to work with so many personalities and on all jobs big and small,” she says. Before diving into a project, she learns about them. This way, she can deliver results that not only make an impression, but also make living in—that is, using—the rooms better. “I really want to get to know my clients and how they want to live in their home,” she explains. “Lifestyles are important.”

That applies to changes at her own home, too. “I will be adding a new sunroom and veranda in the next year,” she says. “I’m very excited about that.”


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