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?
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?
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.
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?
What makes a great client?
A decision-maker with definite views.