Q&A with DESIGNER KRISTA WATTERWORTH ALTERMAN
Known for light and airy designs that are as sun-drenched as her home base in Florida, Krista Watterworth Alterman also leans toward neutral colors and rich, mixed textures that add depth.
Q: What does art bring to a home?
A: An intimate look into the soul of the collector. Q: What’s your first reaction when a client asks you to design around their personal art collection?
A: Silent horror. There is nothing more personal than collected artworks. There can be a strong emotional attachment that sometimes precedes a good sense of style. But it’s my job to discern a workable collection against an unreasonable one. It can lead to challenging talks. Q: Why are frames important?
A: Existing framed art can be the bane of my existence. However, it’s on-trend to hang works with various finishes, subject matter, and artistic style as a collection. It takes forethought and talent to pull it off correctly.
Q: Why is white space important?
A: It means anything is possible. White space is my happy place. Q: How do you use fabrics to best effect?
A: Many designers believe you shouldn’t mix, say, velvets with cotton or silk with linen. I like to put them all together. If colors and patterns feed off each other, they create a brand for the home that’s unique to that particular space. If it all works well together, why does it matter what they’re made of ?
Q: Have you had any failed experiments with art, and if so, what did you learn from them?
A: I’ve had failed experiments with everything! That’s one road to success—learning from the pain of defeat. For example, when I was a young designer, I didn’t pay enough attention to scale. That’s 90 percent of hanging artwork successfully.
Q: What piece of art would you love to buy?
A: I’m super into photography, especially rock-star subject matter from a female perspective. So anything by Janette Beckman, Pennie Smith, or Kerstin Rodgers. But I also love fashion and beauty photographs by Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon.
This photo: Glamour emerges in the master bedroom, courtesy of gold- and silversequined throw pillows, a gold chandelier, and luxuriously long formal draperies. Opposite: Cubbyholes lined with woven wallpaper in the office act as small “frames” for...