After visiting an endless number of designer show houses and poring over portfolios, Newsday has pulled together 11 designers, including one husband-and-wife team, who bring beauty and drama to Long Island's homes. We've taken a peek at what they've been up to recently and learned a little more about what makes each of them stand out from the pack.

First up, we chat with Keith Baltimore, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his Port Washington-based Baltimore Design Group.

How would you sum up your design style?

I have an anthropological approach, to understand the clients' needs and interpret their vision.

What is the first question you ask a client?

Tell me about yourself, your family, your lifestyle.

If you could only use one color in a room, what would it be?

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White! It is so glamorous and at the same time tranquil.

What is your favorite DIY tip?

Rearrange your furnishings.

What design trend are you so over?

Expected interiors — I love to add an element of surprise.

What is the cheapest find that you have furnished your house with?

A wrought iron bench that I picked up for $5 and then redid.

What is one piece in your own home that you couldn't live without?

First off, I couldn't live without my mattress. But, if you mean a decorative accessory, it would be covered boxes, especially crystal ones.

What is the most unusual space you've ever designed?

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An Airstream trailer, which I turned into a pool house.

Which project are you most proud of?

The Somerset resort in Turks and Caicos.

Is there a restaurant or other commercial space that you love the look of?

Union Prime Steak & Sushi in Great Neck and the corporate offices of AriZona Iced Tea.

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What do you usually start with when planning a space?

I assess the space limitations and constraints. If there is an area rug, I plan the contents of the room around it.

Which is your favorite room to decorate in a show house?

Often it turns out to be the room that no one else wants.

Name a book that would absolutely have to be in your library.

“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand.

What is your favorite song or music to decorate to?

Luther Vandross

What makes a great client?

A decision-maker with definite views.