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Baltimore, Maryland interior designer Brad Weesner shares insights on luxury residential design and fine commercial interiors. Read blog.

To “Before and After” or not to “Before and After”?

Before

Before

I work in a funny and weird profession.  Like many of them really.  We have our “do’s and don’t” and things that are typically done, and things normally not done.  Back in the day (as they say) there seemed to be a lot more emphasis on the way that “things are done.”  Time has its way of working on things, that’s for sure.  Given the intensity of starting a project, or working through it, and certainly at the installation, the fine points can be lost if you are not very careful.  Just a trim can take a life of it’s own sometimes, and you think “gosh, It’s just some lip cord..”  But, It’s the cord that along with 14 other fabrics, trims, buttons and tassels, were all to be used in the creation of a sofa, that now will not even start production because of this one very small thing.  Well, the small things can matter greatly in this business, you will see.  But I have digressed from the main point of the title above.  Sorry.

After

After

It has been suggested to me on several occasions, to never show a “before” and an “after” image on my website.  I recall the thinking that – you only want to show your best work, and not stray away from the message of what you can provide.  Other times, It has been shared with me to indeed go ahead and show this paradigm of just what can be accomplished.  I think, the late 1990′s was a different time than today, (heck 2 years ago was a different time than today!) and yet I still pursue questions about what is the right thing to do about this idea. Designers face so many challenges, that the real intricacies of this work escapes many.  It’s not just the details, headaches, personalities, mistakes, the dollars, the personalities, the orders, the complexity, (did I mention personalities?).  Many of my friends upon learning the real level of work, energy and time to perform my job, gasp at me and with real acclaim on their faces say “Why on earth would you want to do THAT for a living?”.  I don’t know the answer.  But I know one thing  -   Any designer I know who is good at what they do, cares so deeply about this profession and gets such joy from it – we all say there isn’t anything else we would rather do.  Now I have digressed again.. darn it.

 

So, when I am mulling over a decision like the title question here, I am famous for seeking out other’s advice and thoughts on such matters.  I do this because I am insecure about my own decisions sometimes, for sure, but mostly because I just learn so much from hearing other’s views and experiences.  For the senior and far more experienced designers that come before me, I value my colleagues advice very much.  Ever aware what a valuable commodity their knowledge and experience is, the pearls of wisdom I receive, get mulled over quite a bit.  One of my closest advisors will say to me “Brad, I will tell you what you should do, but I know you will not do it, but at least I will tell you anyway”, and sure enough, I will fail to heed the sage wisdom and end up hearing “I told you so….”

 

Enter our world of Facebook, Twitter, and now my blog, which, as a blog should be, has more fluid and relaxed content that a website was never meant to be.  Yes, I have found my decision. After some years of thought, and great advice,  that like this post, the information is never all in one package, and all nicely bundled together.  The information and lessons we glean from others can be just as circuitous as this post was.  Sometimes the messages are not what they appear, but we assimilate what we need to solve sometimes simple, and sometimes complex, questions.  So, this blog is the place that will show before and after images. Why not?  Come to think of it, probably on my website also!  What the heck, I never do what they tell me to do!

Now, the question is to you, dear reader; As I show the Before and After images of ongoing projects, would you prefer to see narrative about the changes and improvements to the space?   Or do you prefer “Just the Pic’s Please…” ?  Let me know.