Designer Friday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Benjamin Bradley

Beginning with a special Christmas gift from his mother (an Econolite motion lamp) Benjamin Bradley’s love for the holiday season sprang from a passing holiday joy, to a lifelong love. Now, with over 3,000 Christmas decorations, a member of the Golden Glow of Christmas Past, and a dog named Ebenezer, he is proud to be the star of Netflix’s newest makeover series, “Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas.” With over 20 years of interior design under his belt (and a lifetime of holiday cheer), Benjamin gladly transforms any home into a festive wonderland. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Mr. Christmas himself, Benjamin Bradley.

benjmain bradley mr christmas on netflix
Benjamin loves absolutely nothing more than providing his audience with creative ideas to help us actualize the perfect holiday decor that will leave you amazed by your own homemade goodies! Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Andrew Joseph: What is the last book you read?
Benjamin Bradley: The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. It is a heart-wrenching story of life written by an author who identifies as they.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Benjamin: A return to Traditional style. I don’t mean over goopy, 80’s English Country but comfortable, warm, tailored interiors that stand the test of time.

Andrew: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
Benjamin: Mary Higgins Clark novels….they are the Nancy Drew of comfort novels. I have never admitted to anyone that I read them before!

Andrew: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Benjamin: I made my first appearance on the Rachel Ray show!

benjamin bradley in his home decorated for christmas
An interesting fact about Benjamin is that he loves to hold onto his German family heritage. Each year he makes sure to look for German imported fixings made between 1850 and 1920 which enriches the home with a very timeless ethos. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Benjamin: A rear flushing Toto toilet with white noise.

Andrew: Do you get your eight hours a night? – what is your schedule like?
Benjamin: I used to be a late night person. Now I am an early riser. I go to bed around 10:00pm, read for 30 minutes and then get up usually between 4:30-5:00. I find the morning hours the only time NY sleeps.

Andrew: Who is your dream date (alive or dead) and what would you do?
Benjamin: Pierce Brosnan on a physical level and absolutely anything! Charles Dickens on an intellectual level and we would need to have dinner so that we could converse!

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Benjamin: I would love to work on a historic restoration project or home of historic relevance where the client really enjoys living life against the backdrop of a beautifully designed home.

benjamin bradley decorating a white christmas tree with gold accents
Some families have the same holiday traditions each year and some create new ones. Benjamin makes sure to combine the old and the new in order to create a space that feels fresh but familiar. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Dogs or cats?
Benjamin: I adore animals of all kinds. Reptiles and insects not as much but live and let live….Total dog person. If ever I were to win the lottery, it would be a winery and dog rescue all in one! A dream come true!

Andrew: Who do you want to write your obituary?
Benjamin: Don’t care! What I do care about is how I treat those around me on a daily basis. I think it is our only responsibility in this life to treat those on this planet with empathy and kindness. I am not concerned about what comes after I take my last breath. Too late then!

Andrew: What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Benjamin: Fluid, impermanent, disposable…I think as our world becomes more global, the trappings of life will become more sparse and less permanent. A “get up and go” attitude seems to be the way.

When listening to clients’ needs, Benjamin takes all their needs and wants into account. In one episode of Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas, he combines the holiday spirit of both Christmas and Hanukkah to accommodate everyone in the home. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Benjamin: The way in which people are figuring out how to make the best of a difficult situation. Creativity has really brought about some incredible solutions to difficult problems brought on by COVID. I always feel that we shine as a species when confronted with difficulties

Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Benjamin: A Christmas Carol, it is a seasonal story of redemption and the fact that we can all change should we wish to.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Benjamin: I listen to Heather Cox Richardson every Tuesday and Thursday. She is a professor and political historian. She was my voice of reason during these last few years….

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Benjamin: Authenticity! Wrinkles, experiences, mistakes, etc. Own it and your life. Don’t hide behind pretense or false masks. You are the only one there is. Shine!

About The Designer | “Holiday Home Makeovers with Mr. Christmas” premiered on Netflix on November 18th, starring Interior Designer Benjamin Bradley.
The show which was filmed last year, marries Ben’s life’s work as an interior designer to his love of the holiday season. In each episode, Bradley and a crew go to a home and meet the family there, and with a two-day deadline, give the home an all-out Christmas makeover.

Benjamin is an established and well-regarded Interior Designer. Originally from Indiana, Benjamin studied interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. A veteran of the interior design industry for over 20 years, Ben has been published numerous times in various national publications, has participated in several regional showhouses and has worked on projects, both large and small, across the country.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.