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Ideas and Inspiration

Oct 25, 2018


International Artist Day with Krista Watterworth Alterman

Whoever said it first was right. The earth without art is just ‘eh.’ Art brings life where there was none. It can spark sorrow and intrigue as much as it does joy and hope. But the best part about art is that it encompasses more than just pencil to paper or brush to canvas. Art is any form of creativity and that’s why International Artist Day is a celebration of painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, actors, dancers and designers alike.

About International Artist Day

Since 2004, International Artist Day (IAD) has been celebrated every year on October 25th – Picasso’s birthday. On this day, you’ll find an array of events in cities across the globe, from San Miguel Spain to White Rock, British Columbia. The IAD encourages people to honor the great contribution artists make to society in whatever way is comfortable for you. They suggest, “take an artist to lunch or buy that painting that’s been on your mind for the last month. Visit a gallery, or go to the symphony. Participate in something creative outside of your daily routine.”

At Capitol Lighting, we recognize the talent of all creators, but there’s one particular artist we want to spotlight with a special feature. On this International Artist Day, we’re honoring the award-winning Krista Watterworth Alterman of Palm Beach, Florida for her stunning home designs and unforgettable contributions to the world of interior design.

About Krista Watterworth Alterman

Krista was born and raised in Connecticut. Growing up in a big Italian-American family, Krista developed a lively personality that instantly captured an audience. There was no doubt she was going to make a name for herself. But first, Krista focused on school. She graduated from the University of Maine, where her father was an associate professor of accounting. Krista later decided Maine wasn’t where she would settle, so she moved to the Big Apple to study at the New School in Manhattan. There, she earned her master of fine arts in acting but realized she also had a love for design. Krista pursued her interest at the Parsons School of Interior Design. It wouldn’t take long before Krista Watterworth Alterman became a household name.

Today, Krista lives in sunny South Florida with her husband and two children. She’s the creative director of KRISTA + HOME, whose mission is “Designing The New Palm Beach.” The New Palm Beach offers a fresh take on the iconic architecture, but it’s certainly not your grandmother’s Palm Beach. This new look blends classic elements with modern touches to ensure paradise living never gets old.

Krista Watterworth Alterman: The Artist

Where it All Began

Krista Watterworth Alterman has always been a creator. Though she studied professionally at the New School and Parsons, her natural-born talent is how she landed her first television show on HGTV. With just a camera phone and a quick tour of her New York City apartment, Krista’s career was up and running full steam ahead. She went on to host “Save My Bath” and “Splurge Save” on HGTV. More recently, you can find Krista on the DIY network’s “The Vanilla Ice Project.” For seven seasons, she has served as furnishing stylist alongside the nineties pop icon.

How Far She’s Come

Krista chose the E.F. Chapman Archtop pendant by Visual Comfort to complement the home’s traditional style. Thanks to a deep bronze finish, she was able to create a striking contrast to the crisp-white kitchen.

When Krista’s not in front of the camera, she’s behind the creative output of KRISTA + HOME. In 2018, Krista’s designs won two American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Excellence Crystal Awards. She and her team at KRISTA + HOME took first place in the Traditional Design Category for a Hollywood-style home she designed in Parkland, Florida.

Krista was also awarded honorable mention in Contemporary Design for a home she worked on in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The home was later featured in Architectural Digest with a 16-page spread.

Rounding out her A-one year was the Luxe RED (Residential Excellence in Design) award. She was a regional winner in Kitchen Design for her classic farmhouse creation in a Wellington, Florida home.

Why She Designs

Regardless of style, Krista’s idea of a beautiful home is one that is as functional as it is fashionable. Back in Connecticut, her aunt had an elegant home that was professionally designed. Though it was a lovely interior, it felt “untouchable.” Krista remembers that home fondly and credits it for her design affinity today. It’s why Krista strives to design luxurious homes that could jump off the pages of a magazine but still feel welcoming.

A Q&A With Krista Watterworth Alterman

While the right furnishings and wall color bring a room together, it’s the lighting that really sets the mood. As an artist, Krista is inspired by the power of light, which is evident in her use of clean white cabinets, marble tile and neutral furnishings that keep a room nice and bright.

More than that, she always tries to accentuate a home’s natural light features. Whether it’s floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room or frosted glass in a bathroom, Krista will select design elements that flow seamlessly with the light of the room, but it doesn’t have to be natural to be wonderful. She is just as adept at creating a beautiful space with artificial sources of light.

Krista sat down with Capitol Lighting to talk about how lighting influences her designs.

Krista incorporated the Barbara Barry Simple Scallop pendant by Visual Comfort in a neutral living room. The oversized drum shade suits the wide planks of the high, coffered ceiling.

Capitol Lighting: What priority do you place on the lighting in your overall design?

Krista Watterworth Alterman: As da Vinci says, “all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” Every artistic endeavor is defined by light – that’s a creative source. What’s amazing about artificial light is it defines the beauty of a space, but it’s also extremely functional and necessary. While I’m designing a home, lighting is always a priority.

CL: When does light become a focal point or largest consideration in your design?

KWA: To me, lighting should always be a focal point. I envision each light as a piece of the puzzle necessary to complete the look. Without it, a room is left undone. I only use lighting that is pleasing to the overall vision of each space. The bigger, the better. It should stand out; not be an afterthought.

CL: What unique applications of lighting have you incorporated into a design project?

KWA: I love utilizing the lighting of various shapes and finishes. I don’t discriminate. Throughout my work, one can see selection variation from home to home. I have some favorite standards that I use repeatedly. For example, I love oversized drum shades. They have an “Alice in Wonderland” quality. I’m completely open to experimenting. I’ve been known to put a crystal chandelier in the bedroom and a bent-wood mid-century pendant in the kitchen – in the same home.

CL: What room in the home is your favorite to design using lighting and why?

KWA: I love master bedroom lighting. To me, the light hanging over the bed is something we spend a lot of time gazing upon – when we wake up in the morning and before we sleep. I have criteria that must be met. This piece can’t be pointy or hard. It needs to be sensual and approachable and evoke a calm and intimate vibe.

Krista Watterworth Alterman is not just a powerhouse in interior design, she’s a true artist. Between her love for lighting and her eye for strategic pops of color, we’re constantly enamored by her work. We hope you’ll join us in honoring Krista on this International Artist Day. To see more of her masterpieces, visit or follow her on Instagram @designpalmbeach.