Frequently Asked Questions:

Who needs this kind of design service?

It's not for everyone. The type of client that will get the most out of it falls into the following categories: someone who is working within a fixed budget and needs to maximize how far those dollars go; has some sense of what they want to accomplish, but not quite sure of how to get there; wants a customized and/or individualized design for their kitchen or bath.

What's the best way of working?

An ideal is when the client has some material that they want to use (like a jazzy glass tile) or some element that they want to feature (like a great-looking light fixture).

How much input will I have as a client?

Hopefully, a lot. After all, it's your space and it needs to not only work well for you, but also show off some personality. We consider our work to be a framework that you can add to as the need or desire demands.

What's the difference between designing and decorating?

In our view, quite a bit. Designing is considering the problem/space at hand, researching the factors that affect that space (spacial issues, traffic flow, usability, lighting, materials, etc.) and coming up with the right solution. Decorating is finding objects to fit that space and creating treatments for it. We're designers; we think the homeowner is best equipped to do the decorating.

Is there one particular style or 'look' to the projects?

There's no one signature look, but there is an overall design direction which can be summed up as being modern (or contemporary) with eclectic elements. Not only do we think that modern design can succesfully incorporate other historical styles or objects; we think it fits concepts better than specific period styles do. The pictures within the website can probably show off the style better than any words can.

What are those elements that are important to the design, or can influence it?

The materials used, whether they are wood, stone, paint, tile, metal (or any combination), are very important to the concept, and often a starting point to the design. Personal, eclectic items are also key elements that determine the design concept. Color, symmetry, and alignment are all other important elements that can affect a design. And of course, the space itself plays a large role in generating a great design.

I live in an apartment. What are the benefits of getting a consult?

Having lived in apartments ourselves, one of the things we prize ourselves on is maximizing the usage of space. We know that every inch is costly, valuable space and to waste that inch would be a crime. That lesson holds true in our single-family house projects as well.

How much money will I save with a consultation and plan?

As much (or as little) as you want to. What we mean by that is you have a certain amount of money to spend on renovations; we can design a plan that will give you a more expensive look for the same money. A project might cost $20,000, but look like one costing $40,000. Think of it as a 'design for less' make-over.

Suppose I'm already working with an architect or interior designer?

That depends. Many interior designers and architects will probably want to do the entire job. However, kitchens and bathrooms are highly specialized spaces and the designer or architect may not be as skilled in those particular areas, or they may simply be too busy working on the entire project to focus on the kitchen or bathrooms. Your architect or designer may be more than happy to have someone specialized working on those specifics aspects. We are certainly more than able to work with others on the job--whether they are designers or tradespeople--to get the best result.

Who is Ed Baumgarten?

Ed has been a graphic designer for the past 30 years, and has always been interested in 3-dimensional space and interior design. He studied architecture at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art before getting his BFA there. He began designing interior spaces by rehabbing his own personal living spaces, learning the various construction trades along the way. His prior experience working in professional kitchens and love of cooking gave special focus to the design of kitchen space. He also found that he had a particular knack for designing bathroom spaces as well, giving them an upscale look while using midscale materials.

I'm not in the NYC area. Will that be a problem?

It's always best to view and get a feel for actual space on site. But it's not a requirement. Depending on the level of service, the budget may need to allow for travel which may include transportation and lodging. Specific circumstances will dictate if travel is necessary and if so, then to what extent.