By Sophia Ricco
Take your dreams for your home and turn them into a reality with the help of Fresh Design Group, a local business beautifying Long Island one house at a time.
Fresh Design was founded in 2008 by interior, kitchen and bath designer Sharon Gunther. She finds great joy in work that stimulates her artistic and scientific sensibilities.
“I started remodeling homes I was living in and I really liked the process. I love that it uses both sides of my brain,” Gunther said. “It’s very mathematical and precise, which I am, but it’s also creative because you get to play with beautiful colors, fabrics and finishes.”
After earning a bachelors degree from Tufts University, Gunther went back to school for a degree in interior design. She became a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and is certified by the American Society of Interior Designers. A combination of her schooling and hands-on experience has given Gunther the expertise for seamless remodels.
“There is so much detail and technical knowledge that goes into remodeling and designing a kitchen,” Gunther said. “It makes the clients’ life a lot easier if you’re well-versed in the technical aspect.”
Precision is key, which is why Gunther measures down to an 1/8th of an inch. She finds the details are what makes designs stand out, from door knob colors to the shape of a kitchen island.
“We pride ourselves on a huge level of detail,” Gunther said. “A lot of clients have said I’m so detailed-oriented, but that’s what makes a project beautiful.”
There will always be bumps in the renovating road, but Gunther works to minimize these bumps for clients. Depending on the size of the project, it can be completed in a month or go several years. Gunther said she has high standards in customer service, so Fresh Design has many repeat clients who are continuously making improvements.
“I obsess about making my clients happy. I know my home has always been important and every detail matters to me,” Gunther said.
The designer is open to working with any vision or style, from contemporary to traditional and everything in between. She welcomes the challenge of variety and figuring out her clients’ different personalities.
“I want to client to feel at home in their own home,” Gunther said. “I go to great length to spend a lot of time with them and get to know them, most of my clients and I become very friendly. I want to figure out what their tastes are.”
When Gunther first meets with a client, they will sit down together and dissect photographs to figure out their likes and dislikes. Gunther then determines which samples and product options to show, while knowing where to push the boundaries.
“I really encourage my clients to think outside the box and I will push them outside their comfort zone at some point,” Gunther said. “If they play it totally safe, it will look like everyone else’s home and they’re going to be disappointed. You have to let the designer take chances, when they learn to trust the designer, that’s when they’re the happiest.”
Fresh Design offers exclusive pieces through the brands they represent, including six kitchen cabinetry brands, sixty different lines of furniture, window treatments and shades, and smart home set-up. Many are customizable, giving Gunther the option to completely design an item.
“They are all sourced – it’s called, ‘to the trade’ — It’s not something you could buy at a showroom,” Gunther said. “It’s always a better-made product than you buy in retail and it gives them a more unique look. But the costs are on par with the showroom, or less.”
Gunther is assisted by an interior designer and kitchen designer. If a client is looking to revamp one part of their home, Fresh Design will create a computer aided design for spacing and sizing. But if further remodels may be in the future, they will create a master plan for the house.
“The most expensive thing you can do in your house is the thing you have to do twice,” Gunther said.