Slideshow: Her Haven

From the outside, this 6,500-square-foot Medina home whispers, “Hi, I’m traditional,” with its grand entry, large windows and neutral color palette. It’s pretty, familiar and comfortable. But step inside and this home shouts whimsy, creativity and high style.

“My home is my haven,” said Nancy Cirillo, a busy mom of three boys who co-owns NaLa Seattle, a fitness clothing line. “I walk in at the end of the day and feel comfortable, protected and at ease. It’s bright to me, literally and figuratively. It makes me smile!”

The home was designed in 2002 by Cirillo with Sullivan Conard Architects, completed in 2004, and has five bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths. It’s designed with living in mind – no room or piece of furniture is off limits. Even the family dog, Lola, is allowed to kick up her paws and relax. “I think only twice has something been broken that was out on a table for décor,” Cirillo said. “I don’t fret that stuff. Live in a space that fills your spirit. If something breaks, you can replace it.”

Cirillo enlisted the help of her friend and designer, Nichole Jacobson, owner of Jacobson Interior Design, a Bellevue business she started in 1998. The Eastside native and University of Washington graduate is married to her high school sweetheart, who owns a home construction firm. She has worked on hundreds of projects.

“My design approach is energetic, yet precise and articulate,” she said. “More importantly, however, it’s to help clients realize that decorating and design does not have to be a mystery, burden or an additional source of anxiety.”

The home was beautiful when Cirillo hired Jacobson, but the homeowner wanted to bring modern and whimsical elements and pops of color to the previous traditional French furnishings that dominated the spaces. “There were a lot of high-quality European furniture pieces we were working with. I put bold, contemporary fabrics on these pieces and I wanted to make sure the integrity of the overall look of the furniture paired with the timeless house design and wouldn’t be compromised by our selections,” Jacobson said.

It was a fun project and the homeowner and designer worked as a team. “She is such a vivacious person and brought a lot of energy and fun to the project. She has her own sense of style and natural good taste, but didn’t get bogged down by the details,” Jacobson said. “She and I definitely worked as a collaborative team. This mutual respect resulted in a project we were both very happy with.”
The end result?

“It’s traditional with a whimsical, eclectic girlie-glam twist, but still durable for the boys to rough ’n’ tumble in the hallway and crash on the sofa to watch T.V.,” Cirillo said. “Blissful.”

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