For ten months out of the year, Benjamin Bradley is a Manhattan-based interior designer. But come November and December, he transforms into “Mr. Christmas,” pivoting his business to focus solely on transforming homes into winter wonderlands decked out in garland, candy canes, baubles, and traffic-stopping light shows. This year, Christmas-enthusiasts can see some of his most epic transformations for themselves on his new four-episode Netflix show Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas, out now.

“Thankfully my regular clients are mostly understanding and know that I am going to be a little bit absent in those eight weeks leading up to the big day,” he tells AD. “Christmas has always been a huge passion of mine. Clients would always ask about decorating for the holidays, and so I took those projects on and then my name just kind of grew. It just seemed like a natural branch out with the business.”

Of course, the holiday season won’t be the same this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are grappling with the fact that they might not be able to see their loved ones, but Bradley is keeping his spirits bright. Below, he shares more about his new show and how he’s coping.

Decorating a firehouse was particularly challenging because Bradley had to work his magic while the building was still functioning. “But we also got the added advantage of being able to use the volunteer firefighters for help,” he says. 

Courtesy of NETFLIX

Architectural Digest: How did your Netflix show come about?

Benjamin Bradley: I actually had made a vow to myself that it was going to be my year of saying yes. I was going to say yes to every dinner invitation. Yes to everything—because I cancel a lot on reservations. So when a producer friend asked if I was interested in making a show, I said sure.

AD: In the first episode, you give the clients what you call “‘50’s inspired” decor. Is that your typical style, or would you ever do something super modern?

BB: Oh sure. Much like what I do the rest of the year, it is never my house. It is always the client’s house. I really try to always keep that in mind. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I believe I am a good listener. If it is a super contemporary house, a completely snowy atmosphere is always a fun thing to do, using silver. In that first episode, the first thing that came to mind with all the black and white was trying to warm it up. Red popped into my mind. And then of course the iconic candy cane. The candy cane to me is kind of a classic thing and yet can also be construed as a little bit modern with its stripes and kind of graphic quality.

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