GMM Design Studio
158A E. Park Ave., Long Beach
GMM Designs on Facebook
As I walked into the retail showroom of GMM Design Studio and greeted Gina Mangano and her assistant, Natalie Nakash, I was told, “Go! To the rear! You have to go to the bathroom!” (Are these ladies psychic, I wondered?) So, I went, and quickly understood the unique request.
What was actually a small bathroom, seemed like a toilet and sink sitting at the beginning of a boardwalk that extended over water into infinity. The porcelain throne was heated, with a built-in bidet, self cleaner, and a lid with a sensor that lets it open and close appropriately. The sink was industrial chic, and the mirror’s frame was actually a porthole. The “Long Beach in the evening scene” was an enlarged high-resolution photograph made into wallpaper, and the wood flooring of the bathroom extended the boardwalk effect.
The point is Mangano is a talented designer who can work miracles with any space. While she specializes in designing bathrooms and kitchens, she can transform a room with finesse, merging practicality with aesthetics. From tweaking a room with new paint or accents, to a full-scale remodel, every job is done with a personalized touch. And, she works within budgets, thus proving that hiring an interior designer doesn’t have to be unaffordable.
Mangano transitioned from fashion merchandising to interior design after redoing her own home. She worked out of an office until 2015, when she expanded and opened her retail store/showroom in Long Beach. While she goes to job sites, works with contractors, and/or shops for customers, Nakash takes charge in the retail studio.
GMM Design Studio is filled with interesting accents and furnishings. Currently, the ever-changing window display features a freestanding soaker (deep) tub. Original artwork by local artists is for sale, as are fun, one-of-a-kind handmade items. There’s a couch made from a chicken coop, porcelain pottery and jewelry, candles and more. Faucets, fixtures, tiles and wall covering samples abound.
Each job starts with a free one-hour consultation. Depending on what is needed, Mangano can steer someone onto the right path, do drawings, map out plans on the wall and floor with painter’s tape, throw out suggestions, and more. She has a profound understanding of plumbing, which helps her with bathroom design. Keeping customers within their budget is another facet. Options are endless. Some customers do their own shopping, and for others, she does all the legwork.
GMM Design Studio is open Tuesday through Friday, 930 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A gift certificate (for interior design services by the hour) is a unique and welcome idea, especially for new homeowners.