Designer Tips for Quick Home Updates

Four local interior design experts offer easy ways to update your spaces and give your home a little TLC

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Photo by Jessica Glynn

Kitchen Upgrade

Designer: Krista Watterworth Alterman, Krista + Home

For more than 17 years, Krista Watterworth Alterman has been beautifying residences from her office in Palm Beach Gardens. “The way your home functions changes over time, and you should refresh your home accordingly,” she notes. When it came to one recently constructed house in a gated community, Alterman’s clients didn’t want the home to look brand new, so they made a few minor updates to make it appear a little more lived in. To achieve the same idea, Alterman recommends adding rustic elements such as open shelving, wood accents, and millwork to warm up a kitchen and make it cozy. “One of the quickest ways to immediately freshen up a kitchen it to have the cabinets painted,” she says. “Going from a dark, dated mahogany finish to a light and bright hue like gray, blue, or white will transform your kitchen.” Other tips include swapping out old hardware for something fun and modern or purchasing new barstools or kitchen table. Krista + Home offers a furnishing service to transform a home with paint, new furniture, floor
coverings, and more.

Photo by Sargent Photography

Master Makeover

Designer: Gil Walsh, Gil Walsh Interiors

Gil Walsh is a pro when it comes to juggling a variety of projects ranging from contemporary to transitional to traditional to boho chic. During the pandemic, she has stayed busy creating indoor-outdoor spaces that are sustainable, functional, and comfortable. “We and our homes have gone through a lot in the past year and, with a new year just before us, now is a perfect time to freshen up,” she notes, adding that a new piece of furniture, a painting, or a few accessories can update a home. At one client’s residence in Jupiter, Walsh worked with an array of colors to revamp the master bedroom and advises others do the same. “Pick one or two colors you love and then repeat the hues with accents in vibrant artwork, upholstery, pillows, and furniture pieces,” she says, explaining that bold accents like these contrast beautifully with white linen bedding. Additionally, Walsh recommends layering objects, textures, and fabrics to help create a plush, luxurious setting.

Photo by Jessica Whittaker

Bathroom Booster

Designer: Bianca Fathauer, Splendid Home Design

Since opening Splendid Home Design in 2019, owner Bianca Fathauer has dealt with her fair share of room renovations. “Refreshing your home can inspire new creativity and energy, making every day even more enjoyable,” says the Stuart-based designer. For a quick bathroom reno, consider mixing in a pop of color with “a hint of sass,” as Fathauer did for one client’s luxury waterfront abode. An accent wallpaper wall is another small way to make a change—mix in some greenery, floating shelves above a toilet, or a fun, vintage rug. “Paint is the most cost-effective way to create the biggest change,” Fathauer adds. “If wallpaper or accessories are too much, turn an otherwise boring Saturday into a paint party with your friends to inspire new and fresh creativity in your home.” 

Photo by Holger Obenaus

Next-Level Dining

Designer: Annie Santulli, Annie Santulli Designs

While many design styles are often called “timeless,” Annie Santulli says they never are. “Some pieces may hold up over the years, and some actually get better with age, but others just don’t hold up well physically or stylistically,” notes the designer, who has been based in South Florida for more than 20 years. “There are also improvements in materials and fabrication that can allow for new design options in future years. It’s important to freshen up accessories, artwork, and/or fixtures to give your living space new energy and life.” In one client’s home, Santulli changed up the dining room by adding complex layers of texture like silk chairs, custom window covers, black metal open shelving, and a smoked glass table and light fixture. Another simple way to spruce things up is to change out the shape of a mirror—or try adding an accent color or some fun accessories such as folk art, organic pieces, and contemporary artifacts with mixed metals. 

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