Classic And Contemporary Come Together In The Light, Bright Designs of Krista Watterworth
Story by Julie Unger, Photos by Jessica Glynn
An affinity for interior design began at a young age for Krista Watterworth Alterman of Krista Watterworth Design Studio. She was 7 years old when she started drawing people and homes in elevations — dissections of homes much like dollhouses.
“I really wanted to have a dollhouse; my parents couldn’t afford it,” Alterman recalled. “So, I would draw what it would look like in that dollhouse, with kids in one room playing together, an adult reading in a chair, and I would base the people in the drawings on family members.”
That was where Alterman’s design passion began, now that she can afford a dollhouse, she bought her daughter one. “It was totally a dream that I was able to get her one. She’s 6 now,” Alterman said.
Alterman gravitates toward a classic, contemporary look. The influences of growing up in Connecticut, spending time in new York city and in south beach helped establish a fondness for clean, contemporary looks, reflecting Alterman’s urban experiences, with classic details, reflecting Connecticut, and mid-century and art deco accents reflecting south beach.
“It is an amalgamation of those three elements that put me in my design happy place,” she said. “But I feel as though I have to be almost like a chameleon. I have to listen to what people want and what they need, and not really infuse my style upon them – but I do need to infuse my sense of style.
The difference? Sense of style is a sense of good style, regardless of what style of design. Alterman’s style would be her personal preferences.
“It really is just about giving clients a sense of good style, no matter what design sensibility they’re attracted to,” she explained.
Her common thread, or signature, is light, bright, neutral color palettes. Currently, light and bright is trending. Alterman said, and that look reflects a sense of space. Dark colors, which absorb light, can make a space seem smaller, compared with light colors, which reflect light.
Alterman’s unique sense of style is apparent in collaborative tile line with TileBar. The line is called Eighty by Krista Watterworth, featuring pop-culture shapes in an elegant manner with marble tile mosaics. The first set of tiles has already sold out, and they’re on the second batch.
They’re all designed based upon certain ‘80s shapes and profiles. I put them in a classic form,” she said.
On the studio’s website, Alterman has a blog that provides a glimpse into what Krista Watterworth Design Studio does and how it works, as well as a page with items that are specifically curated home furnishings that she is drawn to.
Her name might seem familiar; Alterman has been working on the Vanilla Ice Project since its first season helping to stage the house for sale. She has designed on HGTV, the Food Network and the DIY Network on shows such as Save My Bath, Splurge & Save and Restaurant Impossible.
Alterman’s credentials make her unique. She earned her master’s of fine arts degree from the New School in Manhattan, then went back to study at the Parsons School of Interior Design.
Between Alterman’s natural talent and exemplary education, styling someone’s home really is her adding to a customer’s vision.
“Designing someone’s house isn’t about me, and a designer has to be part psychic and part psychologist,” she said. “I believe, in order to be effective, I have to read into the spirit of my client and bring that to life on the canvas of their home.”
From start to finish, a project can take a year to a year and a half. Over the course of that time, the designer and client work closely together, forming a bond while making the client’s dreams come true.
When looking for an interior designer, Alterman suggests looking for a personality that meshes with your own.
“Make sure that you get a good sense that you’ll work with this person,” she said. “You want it to be a positive experience all around. It’s a very, very personal experience designing a home. It’s where we live, it’s where we create memories, and it’s where our children grow up. It’s where we are with our husbands, and we grow old together with our partners. It’s where we celebrate, and it’s where we mourn. It’s such a personal, human part of life, that I think you want your designer to understand that sensitivity.”
Renovations, especially if living in the home at the time, can be stressful, she pointed out. Sometimes it’s the smaller things that have to be kept in mind when hiring an interior designer, whether it is the connection, understanding the intimacy of the design, or that they show respect for the budget.
Alterman’s studio has been featured in many publications, such as Kitchen Trends, Luxe Interiors + Design, Palm Beach Illustrated, Aventura Magazine, Good Housekeeping and Redbook. The studio was voted Best of Houzz, Designer of the month on Wayfair and Best of the Palm Beaches by South Florida Luxury magazine. The studio is also featured on Joss & Main.