With its wafting fronds, balmy temperatures and sea breezes, Palm Beach is a year-round outdoor paradise. Krista Watterworth Alterman integrates its restorative, transportive qualities into her designs with a welcoming palette of neutrals and bright splashes of personality. We spoke with Alterman, who’s part of our Trade Program and the owner of Krista + Home in Palm Beach, on her city’s aesthetic — and how to export it anywhere.
How would you define Palm Beach style? It’s a more modern take on a luxurious yet livable lifestyle. It’s like that vacationing spirit you feel when you’re in a beautiful, tropical place.
What colors suit this look? Neutrals, they make me feel relaxed. I want to kick back and chill in a room covered in whites, grays and creams. The homes here have large windows, and those colors reflect light and bring in a lot of fresh energy and sunshine.
How do you make those whites look warm and inviting? It’s all about layering. If I put in a light-colored area rug, it has to have texture, a heavy pile or a tighter weave — something that feels lush on the feet. It’s about enticing your senses. For fabrics, I love anything linen, hand-loomed or handmade, all of which bring softness to contemporary furniture. And wood grounds a room with white colors.
What about adding brighter colors? I like happy snaps of color. Right now, I’m really into tropical hues, like lush greens, peacock, magenta and blush. When I introduce color, it’s with accessories, throw pillows or artwork; then I carry those colors throughout the house. I also really like pattern, anything hand-stamped, painted or nonsymmetrical — that makes it more fun.
And architectural details? We see a lot of historic early-1900s buildings here. I love any type of crown molding or ceiling details that are a nod to that time period, along with door profiles and furnishings.