Several challenges were overcome during a complete kitchen and master bath redo
BY MICHELLE LOVRINE HONEYAGER
ABOVE The kitchen cabinetry extends high for a majestic look, and the glass portions have lighting behind them. At night, the top portion of the cabinets glows for a floating effect. The flooring is wideplank distressed wood.
THIS GORGEOUS HOME with beautiful water views and a location across a river from a preserve received a complete renovation. The homeowners purchased it as a winter home since they travel to the area often for their daughter’s equestrian competitions. As such, the kitchen and master bathroom both received an overhaul to meet the owners’ tastes.
“[The clients’] house in Connecticut is traditional and elegant, so they wanted to express their modern side in this space. The end result, however, is nothing short of beautiful – a formulaic blend of contemporary lines, classic fabrics and finishes with a touch of whimsy,” said Krista Watterworth Alterman, president of Krista Watterworth Design Studio in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The custom cabinetry upgrades are a key point of the overall project. The original kitchen was in a more traditional design style, but the client wanted an updated feel without losing the painted cabinetry. Undercabinet LED tape lighting adds a nice extra glow, and electrical outlet strips are hidden below the cabinetry so as not to disrupt the gorgeous backsplash. The kitchen also had an inset Shaker-style door with a contemporary gray finish added.
The layout of the master bath was completely changed as well. The shower, vanities and closet placements were all rearranged, and the tub was placed by the window, which overlooks the private garden.
The project had several challenges, however, each with its own unique solutions.
- FINDING CUSTOM PRODUCTS
The first challenge was that the clients wanted custom products from European vendors like B&B Italia and Carl Hansen, but the timeframe of the project did not allow the products to be shipped in the usual timeframe of 16 to 18 weeks. “We hounded these factories to get furniture
completed quickly,” said Watterworth Alterman.
- BALANCING TASTES
The husband and wife had differing styles that needed to be addressed. The design team balanced his modern taste with her affinity for the eclectic with clean, inset, Shaker-style cabinetry and plumbing hardware in a shiny nickel finish with a classic profile.
- KEEPING RELATIONSHIPS SMOOTH
Another challenge was the conflict among the custom cabinetmaker, the builder and the client. The builder and cabinetmaker didn’t like the clients’ time constraints on the project. To keep all parties happy, Watterworth Alterman mediated among them frequently. She worked with the contractor to focus on other elements that needed to be completed, and the cabinets were placed in at the very end. The cabinet builder was allowed a few more weeks to finish, and everyone was happy.
- HELPING THE CLIENT MAKE DECISIONS
Another challenge the designers faced was a client who had difficulty making decisions. The design team would send care packages to the client with fabrics, wood finishes, metal finishes and wallpaper, and then the client would change her mind on her selected favorites. “[The client] was very specific about the marble tonal qualities, and it took a lot of trial and error to get to a final decision, including shipping samples from Italy,” said Watterworth Alterman. She noted the patience required in such cases to ensure clients get exactly what they want – even while they revise and update their decisions. 5
- HANDLING ALL THE COOKS IN THE KITCHEN
Multiples parties were involved with the project, including the builder, the client’s assistant, the landscape architect and the audio-visual team. “Everyone had an opinion, and it affected the client’s ability to make decisions,” said Watterworth Alterman. “For example, I would specify a backsplash, and the builder would specify another one. I had to protect my design, but I also had to keep the client happy and maintain good rapport with the team.”
She kept her calm by maintaining balance in her communications. There is the pressure to maintain creative control and have publishable showpieces, but there’s a need to keep the client happy and relationships intact. While working with the others on the team, the designer recognized that they were the best in the industry, and that’s an environment that can be a breeding ground for innovative ideas.
BELOW The bathtub overlooks a courtyard facelift that included a new Zen garden. The client took pride in her participation in this part of the design and all landscaping, since she is a horticulturist. The flooring is honed, vein-cut marble laid in a herringbone pattern, and the countertops are white quartz.
Krista Watterworth, Krista Watterworth Design Studio, Interior Designer;
Alonso and Associates, Builders;
Krent Wieland Design, Landscape Designer
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessica Glynn Photography
Designed by Krista Watterworth and built by Richard Lamontagne of Lauryan;
KITCHEN BACKSPLASH: Ann Sacks;
KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS: Caesarstone;
PLUMBING HARDWARE/TUB: Waterworks