Classic Meets Modern in Palm Beach Family Home

A New York couple trades the big city for Southern-tinged living in Palm Beach


The exquisite properties dotting the landscape of this private Palm Beach community display a charming diversity of architectural styles ranging from European to Bermudian. Luxurious houses nestle amid mature oaks, sprawling banyan trees, and a picturesque beachfront golf course. One such home, a 5,560-square-foot dwelling situated on an expansive cul-de-sac with views of the Intracoastal Waterway, was enticing enough to convince a New York couple to finally embrace Florida living and leave the city ways of Manhattan behind—geographically speaking, that is.

“We were tasked with fusing sophisticated New York City style with a Florida aesthetic,” says designer Krista Watterworth Alterman, who happily embraced the challenge along with team designer Kirstin Kaplan. Owner of the award-winning interior design firm Krista + Home, Alterman, who was born in Connecticut and studied at New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Interior Design, is also a television personality known for her HGTV shows Splurge & Save and Save My Bath. Her classic, clean, and modern signature look has earned her numerous adoring fans in Palm Beach County.

“This East Coast couple has sophisticated, intellectual tastes,” adds Alterman. “The wife is from Norway, and the husband has a refined style. They also have young children, so they wanted the house to be comfortable, functional, and non-fussy.”

Designed by Schwab, Twitty & Hanser Architectural Group, the stunning waterfront property emanates a traditional presence atypical of homes in the area. Full-width porches on the first and second levels speak more to the quintessential antebellum styles that embody the Deep South. The clients sought to preserve these traditional features, but infuse them with modern touches. Alterman and Kaplan were also tasked with structuring the interior design around the owners’ eclectic art collection. “I used the art as inspiration when choosing color and settled on a rich palette of mustards, charcoal grays, lavenders, and peacock blues,” says Alterman. “The wife revealed that her favorite color was lavender, so we found sophisticated ways to weave various shades into the design in unexpected places.”

The style throughout displays a satisfying juxtaposition of old and new. Rich wood finishes, pops of color, and varying textiles create depth, texture, and surprise. “For the entrance, we immediately set the tone for a warm yet sophisticated style,” says Alterman. “A modern alabaster disc-shaped fixture with aged brass and a crisp yellow ikat-patterned wallpaper on the ceiling create visual interest with a bit of traditional flair.” There is also a well-studied play on shapes demonstrated in nearly every space. “The spherical elements in the family room nod to traditional because of their soft edges,” notes Kaplan. “The curves on the accent chair and chandelier counterbalance the straight lines of the ottoman and fireplace beveling.”

For the living room, the design duo paired a crisp white sofa with a sleek mid-century modern accent chair. Backdropped by a fresh palette of mustards, lavenders, and blues, the space sings with color. “My favorite element is the velvet drapery fabric,” says Kaplan. “It has scattered brush marks printed on velvet adapted from a Jessica Zoob painting.”

Gregarious types, the homeowners love to host family for the holidays, so Alterman designed an extra-long dining table with seating for eight. “The Sula table is part of my newly launched furniture line, the KH Collection,” she adds. “I love the dipped jet-black legs, and the acorn finish and clean lines give it mid-century modern notes.”

But undoubtedly, the true family oasis is the blissful outdoor area featuring a poolside lounging deck and a pergola with a fireplace and kitchen. “The owners adore the spaciousness—a big change from city life in Manhattan,” laughs Alterman. “It’s magical and makes a comfortable, chic homestead where they can connect and celebrate.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Krista W. Alterman & Kirstin Kaplan, Krista + Home, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Text by Jeanne de Lathouder

Photography by Jessica Glynn, Lantana, FL

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