Ever since The Designers Group principal Blima Ehrentreu was young, she was passionate about design. Her drive led her to work at an architectural firm after she received her masters in interior architecture and design. While there, Ehrentreu found herself falling into more and more interior design projects.
“From there I partnered with another designer in Toronto,” Ehrentreu said of her origin story. “Our projects got larger and larger, so we had to hire more of our own staff.”
Thus Ehrentreu established The Designers Group in 2009 alongside her design partner, Adina Hofstedter. And although they began in Toronto, as the firm grew, Ehrentreu set her sights on New York City. So after establishing a strong presence in Canada, Ehrentreu took The Designers Group to the city of New York.
Today, The Designers Group prides itself on its wide range of projects and expertise. Ehrentreu and her team work on everything from residential interiors to workplace, hospitality, retail, and healthcare. It’s this diversity of projects that excites Ehrentreu, and keeps her and her team on the cutting edge of interior design.
“I love having a diverse portfolio of projects,” Ehrentreu confessed. “For example, we just began designing healthcare projects a year ago. We took on a few projects, designed the second largest nursing home in the country, and the projects kept coming in from there.”
At the end of the day, for Ehrentreu and The Designers Group, it’s all about finding and creating a positive energy in every space. For office spaces, the goal is to create a space that encourages productivity and creativity. For residential projects, the space should be one that the client is happy to come home to at the end of the day. A school’s design should encourage learning, and so on.
Such a diverse range of expertise undoubtedly amounts to more legwork for The Designers Group, but it’s research and knowledge that’s put to good use—and is well worth the effort.
“We take what we learn from our healthcare projects, apply them to our office projects, and vice versa. It keeps us on the cutting edge, and we learn something from each project,” said Ehrentreu.
And The Designer Group’s industry prowess certainly shows. Every project is treated very individually, with a project designer holding the client’s hand throughout the process.
“Every client is unique, so we provide them with a unique design,” Ehrentreu said of The Designer Group’s creative process. “We have an amazing attention to detail, which is why contractors love to work with us as well.”
And The Designer Group employs the same detail-driven process and approach for all of its diverse clients. There is an initial design meeting to come up with the concept and preliminary design. From there specs are drawn up for every possible product and meticulous drawings are drafted for construction.
Sustainability and the environment are serious considerations for The Designers Group as well. “With every project, we keep the environment in mind,” Ehrentreu commented. “It’s a big focus for us, as the environment affects all of us and affects what we do.”
The Designers Group regularly meets with sales reps to discuss new eco-friendly interior design alternatives. The firm prides itself on constantly learning from and implementing new technologies, such as sensor lights, LED, and more sustainable building materials. Of course, all of this has to fit within a client’s budget, but if they can be implemented into a project, The Designers Group has both the resources and know-how to do so.
Ehrentreu is known for literally bringing the environment inside spaces as well. “Something about nature just makes people happy,” said Ehrentreu. “So putting people in natural surroundings is great. People like that outdoor feeling.”
Especially in New York there is a demand for grass, trees, and other fauna to break up the gray urban sprawl. The Designers Group has implemented outdoor fields and green ceiling awnings into their previous projects, and continues to accent lobbies and other spaces with the color green.
The Designers Group is hopeful for the future, as with more projects coming in, as well as a diverse array of design prospects, leaving plenty of opportunities on the horizon. And with new technology pushing the design sphere further and further, one can do more with a space than ever before.
“We keep expanding, we keep taking on more projects,” Ehrentreu said. “People are more productive in visually engaging spaces. We want to impact more of these people and spaces, because in doing so we can change the world for the better and make a difference.”
For more information, please visit www.thedesignersgroup.com.