By Alexandria Abramian
Bassman Blaine Home takes professional-league home design to a new level.
The sheer number of interior design projects by Bassman Blaine Home is impressive enough. At last count, the Orange County-based design firm founded by Ken Bassman and Bill Blaine had completed 750 homes. Delve a little deeper, and the numbers become more impressive. Since its founding in 2007, Bassman Blaine Home has been tapped to design numerous residences in coastal Orange County and beyond. All told, their work can be found in eight countries and 18 states, including compounds in Deer Valley, Park City, Los Cabos, Discovery Land Company, and other high-end resort communities. On Maui, at Montage Kapalua Bay alone, there are a total of 40 Bassman Blaine-designed Grand Residences, almost half of all residences.
Despite the magnitude of its scope, Bassman Blaine’s beginnings were far from grand. After interviewing many other designers and firms, a friend needed help designing her Maui home and reached out to Bassman. That project provided the genesis for a business creating turn-key residences that reflect the specific design DNA of each client. “This has always been about us finding out what you like best,” says Bassman. “We don’t wake up in your home. You do. Our goal is to be a total chameleon and completely client focused. You want modern, straight-line clean style? We can do that. You bought a traditional home in Pasadena? We have that as well.”
The Maui project soon flourished into an explosion of island clients seeking their services. Soon, the designers were regular commuters across the Pacific, while also juggling a growing number of projects on the mainland.
Success, however, was far from accidental. Instead, Bassman Blaine’s entire approach to home design — from initial concept to final execution — is rooted in decades of home industry experience.
In 1984, the two founded the wholesale furniture business Bassman Blaine, which currently operates an international sales force as well as trade showrooms representing many of the world’s best vendors. Clients include thousands of top interior designers across the country. For most, a $70 million a year enterprise would be enough to stay fully occupied, but after years of observing the design industry, Bassman and Blaine had gained their own approach to home creation. Putting that philosophy into play was a natural progression.
“We have familiarity with thousands of vendors,” says Bassman. “So if a client loves a $20,000 dining table, we immediately can source other, equally stunning options at a fraction of that cost. Ninety percent of the time we know of a line or a product that is going to come in at a price that is substantially less,” says Bassman, adding, “I don’t mind spending money, I just don’t like wasting it.” It is with this same empathetic and value-oriented approach that they work with their clients.
Those years at the helm of a successful wholesale enterprise informed their vision as they expanded into interior design, says Bassman. “We put tremendous focus on creating an exceptional client journey. We are spreadsheet- and client-centered in an industry that is typically not,” says Bassman.
It’s an approach baked into the infrastructure as well: Projects are kickstarted with in-depth client questionnaires, while budget and schedules are honored with near-religious fervor.
And while Bassman Blaine Home juggles projects across the globe, much of its attention is turned to its own backyard. “Here in Newport Beach, we live in one of the most affluent Gold Coast places in the world,” says Bassman, who routinely collaborates with top architects, real estate professionals, and local developers. As Teri Bassman, Chief Culture Officer at Bassman Blaine, emphasizes, “Our exceptional service ensures that the experience of creating beautiful spaces is filled with joy, pride, and appreciation.”