Designer Discourse| Interior Designer Brad Weesner Baltimore, MD

Commercial Interior Design Created for Maryland Institute College of Art

Commercial Interior Design Created for Maryland Institute College of Art

AT 6 years old, with his mother in an elegant dining room at LS Ayres department store, as the fashion models paraded the latest Dior, Brad looked up at the fluted columns and chandeliers and knew that he would be part of that world. It was the beginning of a career in interior design.

Then, life happened. Weesner studied business in college and went on to have three successful careers - in luxury hotels and restaurants, real estate and custom home building - before he found his way back to design in 2005.

In this Designer Discourse, learn more about the founder of Brad Weesner Design, a firm in the DC – Baltimore area, which creates upscale interiors for public and private spaces, from penthouses to landmark restaurants to the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Q: Tell me about your background. How did you get into designing?

Waterfront Residential Interior Design

Waterfront Residential Interior Design

A: From that day in the LS Ayres Tea Room, I knew I wanted to do interior design, but was always worried about being seen as a woman’s thing to do..  Then I grew out of that phase but realized, “Well, I don’t really have any training.” It was somewhere in my home sales career that the reality of holding back on something so intrinsic to who you are eventually spills out-   it was like water coming over a dam. I couldn’t stop it. At the time, there was a noted designer in Washington who was mentoring me. On my days off, instead of relaxing, I was doing interior design for fictitious rooms and bringing her my design boards for her critique. Around that time I just realized, “I have to do this thing.” So I left my job at the height of the real estate market and opened my design firm. We were so successful right out of the gate, it sure was affirming.

Q: What’s your design style?

A: Knowing this may sound likes a cliché  but my style really comes from the client. My clients would say that I’m extraordinary in learning their true style and making sure the environment uniquely captures them.

Left to my own devices, my style is very clean with neoclassic lines that are pared down. It’s timeless and calming. My rooms are typically sophisticated. Even in a child’s bedroom, I never let it become juvenile.

Traditional Home by Brad Weesner Design

Traditional Home by Brad Weesner Design

Q: Tell me the process of getting to know your clients and figuring out their style. 

A: I spend a great deal of time talking with my clients and getting to know them.   I need to know whether the dog sleeps in the bed. I need to know if you’re right handed or left handed. It usually becomes a very personal exchange. We earn the permission to know more about them that most anybody else they work with. I’m in their closets. I’m in their checkbooks. I know their children’s behaviors. I ask them what they like, but I also say, “Show me pictures of things you don’t like.” And then I ask why.

Q: You mentioned that your style is timeless. Given that, what’s your take on trends?

A: Whenever a salesperson from some furniture line comes to me and says Brad. I have to show you this chair. It’s our number one seller” - I’m not going to use it. If it’s sold in retail stores throughout America, it’s not going in my client’s home. Part of what we’re looking for here is exclusivity.

Q: Do you have a favorite room of the home to decorate?

A: No, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t have favorites, unfortunately. I don’t have a favorite food. I don’t have a favorite color. I don’t have a favorite restaurant. At church, I don’t have favorite hymn. My favorite dog is my dog. My favorite anything is what I’m doing right now. People say, “What’s your favorite room that you’ve ever done?” I say, “Well, I like the one I’m doing right now”.  “I have been so fortunate in having a rich and diversified life, that considering the wonderful tapestry of time and events, there is no way that something would be a favorite above something else.”