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Entrepreneur SEEN

Loren Weiner

December 1, 2014
Re-Designer

Loren Weiner wears many hats, and they change on a daily basis. Her work spans many different areas, such as unusual lighting installations, drapery, furniture refinishing and vintage treasure hunting to name a few.

In addition to working with her design clients and teaching at the Community House in Birmingham, her true passion is designing her own unique pieces.

Recently she’s been working on some wild sculptural chandeliers as well as a series of mirrored wall sculptures that were inspired by mid-century modern mirror designs. She plans to make them in a variety of sizes and sell them as customizable modular pieces. Her first was a huge 6.5’ tall by 8.5’ wide version for her own home in Bloomfield Hills, where she lives with husband, Matt, and daughters Lucy and Ruby.

She is also currently on the hunt for a location to set up a pop-up shop to sell her designs and vintage treasures.

She says she loves all facets of her career, “but my true passion lies in getting dirty and creating!” she says. “My beaten-up hands are the evidence!”

Can you describe what you do? When I am working with new clients, I like them to take me through their home to mock shop for their own things as if they were seeing them for the first time.

It seems weird at first, but it’s an interesting exercise that helps people to let go of unnecessary clutter. When you have too many knick-knacks around, it makes your pieces seem less important.

While “shopping,” we inevitably find a chandelier inherited from an aunt or chairs from a mother-in-law that may promise great potential with a makeover. That’s where the “re-designing” magic happens! This option works very well for budget-conscious clients. I take their tired existing items and redesign them into something cool and modern. I love the challenge!

How long have you been teaching classes at the Community House? For about a year now. It’s so fun connecting with my students and helping people get in touch with their inner artist. I will be hosting my second vintage shopping tour on Dec. 11 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. We will meet on location at two of my favorite vintage hotspots where I will teach my students how to pick out the perfect vintage holiday gifts.

How has design changed during your career? What are the newest trends? In my opinion, the concept of history repeating itself is always an underlying presence. Every era gets its encore performance, and right now the design world is gaga for mid-century modern architecture and design with an updated 21st-century sensibility. The vibe is retro and cool but must be user-friendly, clean and green. I prefer true vintage over new, even high-quality reproductions because the real deal gives your space authenticity and soul, but I recognize that used furniture from the ’50s isn’t for everyone, and I look for both for my clients.

What do you like about living in Bloomfield Hills? Bloomfield Hills is peppered with mid-century modern enclaves thanks to our close proximity to Cranbrook Academy where some of the greatest minds of the modern design movement learned and created. I love to visit and soak in the creative genius of Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames, who met and fell in love there and went on to revolutionize the design world with their ideas.

What do you love to do in your spare time? When I’m not creating, I love shopping for vintage dresses. I have amassed quite a collection and, much to my family’s chagrin, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them into my 2014 daily life. Yes, that means carpool lines and Target if the mood strikes!

Where is your favorite place to hang out? Ha! That’s easy, my house, wearing a vintage kaftan, in front of the fire playing a board game with my family.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I just recently learned how to ride a bicycle. NS

— Interviewed by Jackie Headapohl

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