Get To Know What 6 Local Interior Designers Treasure Most About Their Houses

by Alyssa Morlacci Also on Digital Edition

Interior design talent abounds in South Florida, this is clear. But when our local designers aren't accessorizing an oceanfront condo or mapping plans for an Intracoastal-facing villa, have you ever wondered how they design for themselves? We did. So we asked for a peek inside six local designers' favorite rooms in their own homes.


Angela Reynolds

Owner/lead designer at Angela Reynolds Designs, on her kitchen

“A kitchen always has to have both storage and functionality in mind, though I admit that I sometimes let Aesthetics win out over function.”

With clients including Céline Dion and Kid Rock, it goes without saying that Angela Reynolds, 46, is an authority on interior design in Jupiter. Her career started across the Atlantic Ocean after studying at the Inchbald School of Design in London—the first interior design school in Europe. Upon graduation, Reynolds opened a decorative antique shop on New King's Road before launching her design career and moving to South Florida.

Why the kitchen?

The kitchen is always the heart of any home, and mine is no exception. The original kitchen in my house was small and inconveniently located in the center of the house with no windows. When I remodeled, I took down the walls of a family room and an office to create a large kitchen with lots of windows and natural light. The kitchen now opens up to the family room and dining room so it's well-integrated into my casual living style. If you stand at my island you have natural light streaming in from the windows of the north, south, east and west. I love the natural light and openness.

From where did you draw inspiration?

I've been designing and remodeling kitchens for over 20 years, and when I decided to do mine, I stuck to the classic design elements that make a kitchen timeless. Soft white cabinets, polished nickel hardware and plumbing, open shelving for decorative elements that can be changed out with the holidays or seasons.

What are your three favorite elements or pieces in the room?

The large kitchen island where friends and family gather around. The windows letting in all that natural light, especially the one behind the range, which looks out on my garden and acts in lieu of a decorative backsplash. And the wide-bodied porcelain I used for my countertops and backsplash. Porcelain is such a versatile material, and in recent years it's been developed in large formats and printed to resemble marble.

What are the most important things to consider when designing a room like this?

A kitchen always has to have both storage and functionality in mind, though I admit that I sometimes let aesthetics win out over function. I can't help it, I always want it pretty over practical! That said, function did prevail somewhat. Adding a second sink in the kitchen island was ideal since the kitchen is so long, it's helpful to have sinks at both ends of the space. And I made sure to have tons of storage (some hidden and some open) so I could display my fine china but still have spots for bakeware and pots and pans.

What is your best advice for creating a favorite space in a home?

Follow your design heart, but keep it simple! I think a mistake some people make is to try to have too many ideas crammed into one space. It can be helpful to create a Pinterest board and gather imagines that speak to you. Then assess what common traits they have and use that as your guideline for creating your space. That way you're sure it's personal but streamlined to one design-friendly concept.


Eloise Kubli

President at Collective Construction & Design Inc., on her guest bedroom/relaxation room

“Think about what makes you happy. Color? Collectibles? Family or vacation photos?”

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Eloise Kubli remembers being inspired by local museums and mansions—like Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. After moving to South Florida and spending some time with other design firms, the Plantation resident opened her own company alongside her husband, Arthur, a general contractor. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Kubli says the best part of her job is “getting to know the client, hearing their vision and taking that far beyond the expected outcome on installation.”

Why the guest bedroom/relaxation room?

It was a mostly unused space that receives beautiful afternoon sun. I decided to have a custom sofa with a chaise and under the stylish frame, it holds a queen sleeper. The walls have a shimmer, lusterstone finish and the chest is antique mirror with gold accents. I love texture, details and mixing finishes.

Later in the day, away from my main business office, I can make final business calls with my feet up and perhaps a glass of wine! [The room also includes] an original mixed media painting by Brian Poli-Dixon called “Unlocked.”

From where did you draw inspiration?

Going to the furniture shows in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

What are your three favorite elements or pieces in the room?

My grandmother Ella's chair, along with her large brass floor candlestick from her Morocco trip; the custom sofa with the small contrast white welting, gray-silver legs, with the luxe tufted back upholstered in blue chenille; the flexible three-piece marble cocktail table that's easy to move, and [I] love the various shapes.

What are the most important things to consider when designing a room like this?

Style with durability, scale and flexibility.

What is your best advice for creating a favorite space in a home?

Think about what makes you happy. Color? Collectibles? Family or vacation photos? To me it's about a space where I can use colors, various finishes and family pieces that work together in my very personal room.


Gil Walsh

Principal of Gil Walsh Interiors, on her living room

“I'm passionate about art and in all of our homes, the paintings have always ruled the roost.“

According to Gil Walsh, interior design is a lot like cooking. “There is a singular moment between ‘it needs salt' and ‘this is really good,'” says the Jupiter resident who boasts more than 40 years in the industry. Walsh credits her parents' and grandparents' appreciation for “beautiful, gracious, hospitable” homes for influencing the Pittsburgh native to study costume and stage design at Chatham College, and later interior design and architecture at the Art Institute. After some time heading the interior design department for a large architectural firm, Walsh opened her own company and bought a home in Florida with her late husband during the '80s. “I began working on it right away,” she says. “I'm still at it. For me, a house is never done. It simply evolves.”

Why the living room?

It's like a three-dimensional album of my life.

From where did you draw inspiration?

Definitely from our art collection. I'm passionate about art and in all of our homes, the paintings have always ruled the roost.

What are your three favorite elements or pieces in the room?

My miniature chair collection; my art; my accessories.

What are the most important things to consider when designing a room like this?

How is it going to function? This is a rather formal room for before- and after-dinner gathering, so it needs to accommodate either a lot of people standing and chatting or several small groups of people sitting and having coffee or a nightcap.

What is your best advice for creating a favorite space in a home?

Think about how you live your life. How many people typically surround your table? Do you enjoy having weekend guests? Do you even like to entertain or [do you] loathe the thought of it? Then, pick a favorite object—a painting, a piece of porcelain—just one little thing that you love, or a place or even a flower. Let that thing inform you. It's the intersection of form and function that turns a house into a home.


Scott Robertson

President of Scott Robertson Interiors Inc., on his living room

“It is a work in progress—always a problem for a designer. When is a room ever done?“

Feeling fatigued from climbing ladders and scaffolds day in and day out, Scott Robertson decided to quit his job as the head of a decorative painting firm and return to school to study design. “I wanted to be more involved in the total look of the environments I was working on,” he says. The 64-year-old Lake Worth resident has since worked with top designers to create beautiful homes in South Florida.

Why the living room?

It is where we entertain guests; it has comfortable furniture, our favorite pieces of art and a really great view out to the golf course and the Intracoastal.

When was it designed?

It is a work in progress—always a problem for a designer. When is a room ever done? The next piece of art to come home or the next piece of furniture to catch my eye could change it all. My husband, Jim, lives in fear of waking up one Saturday to discover that the room is being painted again.

From where did you draw inspiration?

Functionality is always key to me. Living with two dogs (I joke that I spent a long time looking for fabric the color of dirt) and wanting a place to share with our friends, we enjoy entertaining.

What are your three favorite elements or pieces in the room?

The artwork; the sofa fabric, which is from Lee Jofa; the stippled, striped wall painting is something I still take pleasure in every day.

What are the most important things to consider when designing a room like this?

Who is going to live in it, and how do they want the room to function? Who cares what the room looks like if no one uses it? Get the lighting right and make sure there are comfortable places to sit and put a drink.

What is your best advice for creating a favorite space in a home?

Live with what you love—after all, it's your home. Surround yourself with your favorite things, and you will be comfortable. What could be more important?


Krista Watterworth-Alterman

Creative director at Krista Watterworth Design Studio, on her master bedroom

“My master bedroom is very special. I had the lyrics of our wedding song put in the songwriter's handwriting and printed on a wallpaper mural.“

Krista Watterworth-Alterman became a designer by accident. Plan A was an acting career. (Fun fact: Watterworth-Alterman says she was close to landing the part of Debra on the Showtime series “Dexter.”) While studying at The New School in New York City, the Palm Beach Gardens resident auditioned for an HGTV show, booked the role and realized she needed to learn about design. “It was more of a return to self than an accident, actually,” she says of her studies at Parsons School of Design. “I remember as far back as 7 years old drawing elevations and dissections of homes and apartment buildings,” says the now 46-year-old. “I loved to show people ‘living' in their spaces. That's why design is such a personal process for me.”

Why the master bedroom?

It's a room where we dream, connect, cry, love and escape. ... My master bedroom is very special. I had the lyrics of our wedding song put in the songwriter's handwriting and printed on a wallpaper mural. It's called “Valentine's Day” by Bruce Springsteen. Our home was in shambles, and there was dust, dirt, no flooring, windows missing. ... It was a renovation war zone. The mural was the first moment when we started to see the light toward a finished product. I walked my husband in with his eyes closed and revealed my special project. He loved it, thank God!

From where did you draw inspiration?

Inspiration for this room comes from a need to feel grounded as well as a newly found love for open space. Moving from Manhattan was a big leap for us—the world is quite different in Palm Beach Gardens. As a family, we needed a zen-type of comfort to help us adjust to our new environment. Plus, we had so much space (something foreign to a Manhattanite), so my approach to design had to be adjusted. The creativity and talent of a Manhattan designer is based in part on how well she can utilize space. Now, the options were endless. It was a real adjustment to my view on the creative process.

What are your three favorite elements or pieces in the room?

The elements that mean the most to me in this room are things that touch my heart.

I love my husband's guitars. Instruments show up in a lot of my work for that reason. Music is very important to our lives. There is always either jazz, classical, reggae, pop or classic rock providing our daily soundtrack.

I also love our nightstands mostly because I love dressing a nightstand. It's an intimate experience. The nightstand is an altar to display objects reflecting a true piece of who we are. I spend painstaking moments accessorizing—mostly because it has to be perfect. That requires thought. My husband's glasses, his favorite book, a hugs and kisses mug, and a succulent all make for a perfect visual montage of who he is.

The mural is my first and only “can't do without” element. It is the pure definition of who we are as a couple and how we define our roles in life. Our connection comes before all else.

What are the most important things to consider when designing a room like this?

Research and thought. Research the inhabitants, and once you've collected all the data, really think about how to put the pieces of the design puzzle together. In the end, it is solely and uniquely their one-of-a-kind canvas. It should be like no other.


Susan Lachance

Owner and president of Susan Lachance Interior Design, on her great room

“Traveling throughout Europe and being born in England has given me an appreciation for tradition.“

Susan Lachance was groomed at a young age to become an interior designer. Growing up, her dad taught her about construction and in high school, she even worked for an architectural firm. When Lachance was 22 years old she was offered a job working for an interior design firm in Miami, and just three years later—in 1974—she launched Susan Lachance Interior Design. Based in Boca Raton, the 68-year-old says the best part of her job is “conceptualization, drawing it on paper and watching my dreams become a reality.”

Why the great room?

I love my great room because it serves as a living room, family room [and] breakfast room all rolled into one. The space is not only a social gathering place, but [it] has ambiance derived by a fireplace, TV media, 150-gallon salt water fish tank, lots of lit trophy cases and beautiful views of the lake and golf course.

When was it designed?

I designed our empty nester home in 2004, and we moved into it a year and a half later.

From where did you draw inspiration?

I have always been an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright—symmetry and well-designed spaces that are easily understood. Traveling throughout Europe and being born in England has given me an appreciation for tradition. That being said, I still like to add a twist of the unexpected.

What is your best advice for creating a favorite space in a home?

Most importantly, a room must feel comfortable. The proper orientation of the furniture, the lighting, color scheme, good seating and beautiful art all contribute to the overall visual effect making for a favorite spot in the house.


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