Keith Baltimore founded the Baltimore Design Group over 25 years ago, which has since become a leading East Coast design firm. While traditional in spirit, Keith’s vision exudes a modernity by incorporating cutting-edge technology and products, exotic materials and objets d’art—such as his stunning Baccarat crystal collection—introducing an element of surprise.
Capture Keith’s glamorous design sense with his personally consigned pieces on Sotheby’s Home.
How did you discover your passion for design?
I grew up in Queens, but the city was my playground; constant exhilaration from the architecture, and all the sights and sounds just walking the streets. Visits to museums and theatres opened up far-flung worlds to me, and I began to realize how much I was drawn to design with a deep curiosity about how things work and are put together.
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
For many years, I collected Baccarat crystal; my mom’s crystal box is my most treasured decorative object, constantly rearranged by me as a kid.
Can you pick your favorite items you are consigning, and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
The crystal boxes are only a small part of my extensive collection, which was painstakingly procured during my years abroad searching for fine antiques and collectibles.
Is there a special backstory to one of them in particular?
Every box in my collection is very special, as the pursuit in ascertaining them was very difficult and drawn out through years of travel—always with a keen eye for the perfect addition. I so enjoyed the acquisition of this collection as an entity.
Is design an art or a science?
Design is both an art and a science. It is simultaneously an aesthetic inspiration and a mathematical construction. However, I view interior design as a craft, a highly trained skill in making things with the hands.
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
Neutrals, beige, white and black are the perfect setting for pops of color, patterns, textures and metallic accents.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
When my clients tell me that the design is “so them” it confirms for me that I interpreted their personality, lifestyle and practical needs in creating a visual totally inspired by them. There is no feeling quite like it!
Share your biggest design secret.
Listening. It is the most essential skill to launch the design process.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
A common design mistake is too much furniture rather than a careful analysis of how the form and function of the space will best serve the client. As Coco Chanel would recommend to take something off just before you leave the house, less is more. Editing should be the final brushstroke.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
Balancing style, comfort and functionality is the intrinsic goal of every project I do, and it’s simple to achieve based upon understanding my client’s preferences and the parameters of the spaces.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
There is no set item I start a design off with. Each room/project is different. Perhaps the client has a treasured piece of furniture or art, or the windows offer sweeping views better maximized by low-profile furniture. Each project dictates its own jumping-off point.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
A fabulous tool for finding beautiful furniture and objects worthy of the Sotheby’s mystique at discounted prices.