QUICK CHANGE ARTIST
By Linda Marx
Published in: Aventura Magazine
UTILIZING HER TALENTS FOR COMBINING A CLASSIC LOOK WITH contemporary living, designer and TV personality Krista Watterworth redesigned a South Florida home in just a few short months.
Located in Palm Beach Gardens’ Mirasol Country Club, a haven of natural preserves and pristine lakes, Krista Watterworth knew her native Floridian client wanted to take advantage of the clean outdoor environment. So she concentrated both on the home’s spacious interior and its glorious outdoor space. “My style is classic contemporary with simplicity and clean lines,” says Watterworth, who joins rapper Rob Van Winkle in staging his South Florida million-dollar mansion on TV’s The Vanilla Ice Project (DIY Network). “I wanted the home to be fresh and alluring with a cozy, classic feel. My goal was to modernize the Mediterranean flavor by utilizing the history and classic detailing.”
Watterworth is a former snowbird who studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York and holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the New School. She moved to Palm Beach County with her husband and two young children after selling the family’s northern apartment to prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz. She has also teamed with Robert Irvine to design restaurants around the country on the Food Network program Restaurant Impossible and has worked with the HGTV shows Save My Bath and Splurge & Save. Now her company, Krista Watterworth Design Studio, is focused on South Florida residential work, including the 2014 Red Cross Designers Show House located in Palm Beach County, which had her participating with a group of independent designers who reimagined the interiors of a historic home.
Watterworth likes to work with a clean canvas, often choosing gray and white tones with touches of glamour. She says her favorite design choices can be unexpected, like mixing and matching metal and wood finishes and using horizontal stripes. She enjoys updating the Mediterranean flavor found in many South Florida homes, which drew her to the Mirasol project.
For this young family of five, she tackled a choice renovation. The husband is in wealth management and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. The 5,000-squarefoot house has four bedrooms and three baths with a beautiful backyard featuring an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and whirlpool bath. Since the home was built in 2003, Watterworth felt it needed some major changes to modernize the look and feel. “I set out to make the space both classic and contemporary and take advantage of the wonderful outdoor space, because people virtually live outside down here.”
But there were plenty of challenges, which Watterworth accepted when she signed on for the project. For example, a sunken bar lounge in the great room dated the house, so she had it removed. She also tossed the faux painting (plaster work), removing it from walls, ceilings and light switches. In an effort to open up the house, she took some major steps in the dining room, which had exposed brick and was too dark. “I wanted to delete and refresh—basically, start over,” she says. “We took the walls out and used a clean, fresh color palette. We opened the house dramatically.”
Another challenge was the abundance of dark cherry cabinetry in the children’s playroom. Watterworth felt it required a more playful style, so she tore out at least half of the cabinets and refinished what remained in white. “I wanted the room to be fun yet sophisticated, and whimsical for the kids,” she says. She also added some eye-catching yellow, a color that pops in the room and helps certain features stand out.
The kitchen, which is part of the great room space, is a favorite place for the family to gather because it is beautiful, comfortable and functional with an Italian marble floor. Since the client loves to cook and entertain, Watterworth spent a great deal of time perfecting it. All family members like the idea of a white kitchen so the designer did her best to satisfy. She reused cabinets but reconfigured them and created a great deal of open shelving for display. This way, showcasing the wife’s collectibles adds color and texture to the white environment.
Watterworth also made better use of countertop space using beautiful white Carrara (folo) marble. And she improved the flow of the room by adjusting the bars so all are the same height, which gives the area an open, even feeling. There are hanging lamps and dark bar chairs with other touches of contrast via color throughout the space. “Opposing forces make the room breathe,” she believes. For the media room, the living part of the great room space next to the kitchen, the client wanted deep seating for casual living replete with modern detail. Here Watterworth was able to use her favored gray tones to create clean lines and cool tones. “Everything can’t be white,” she laughs.
The salon was a favorite room for Watterworth to work on because she was able to use her signature horizontal stripe along the wall. In this instance, she used a bold interpretation to make a point. “This is a simple yet sophisticated room with a preppy feel that has great views of the pool and backyard,” she says.
“I used my horizontal stripe to create a needed focal point. I love what it did for the room.”
Outside is a virtual paradise carved out for different purposes. Watterworth planned seating spaces for dinner parties and utilized other areas for easy Florida living with the pool and hot tub as targets for fun and relaxation. Using a largescale coffee table between a pair of couches, she created a vignette that was both attractive and functional. “I like large coffee tables, because the family members eat lunch out there by the pool and need to be comfortable,” she says. “I treated the outside as a very important part of the home.”
The end result of this renovation was gratifying for all. Watterworth interpreted her clients’ sense of style and gave them a space that was both classic and contemporary and wouldn’t become stale over time. “I was happy with the renovation, and the clients were over the moon,” says Watterworth. “In fact, the wife was crying with happiness.”
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