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April 1, 2022



Featured photo: Artist and designer Brooke Maples at home

Rooted by her passions and motivated by a personal challenge, local artist and interior designer Brooke Maples shares the journey that led to launching her new business.

by Catherine Ruth Kelly • photographs by Chris Edwards

produced by Whitley Adkins •  hair and makeup by Cali Stott •  set assistant: Charisse Bruin

“Interior design is about elevating your clients’ personal tastes,” explains Brooke Werhane Maples.

The artist and designer, who moved to Charlotte from Connecticut with her family in 2018, recently launched Werhane Maples Art and Interiors. Her new business combines her lifelong passions for painting and decorative arts and allows her to tap into her experience working under the tutelage of esteemed interior designers Bunny Williams, John Rosselli and Jeffrey Bilhuber.

“Working for such legends in the design industry straight out of college was quite the master’s degree,” Maples says. After graduating from the University of Missouri, she moved to New York City and worked for three years at Treillage, Williams’ and Rosselli’s iconic interiors store. As an assistant to renowned stylist and store manager Howard Christian, Maples helped with buying, styling, floral arranging, event planning and public relations. Following her tenure at Treillage, she accepted a job with Bilhuber & Associates.

“Working for Jeffrey took my interiors education to the next level,” Maples says. “I learned about the business of interior design through managing clients, determining budgets, communicating with vendors and workrooms — you have to be extremely detail-oriented.”

Maples and her husband eventually left the city for a Connecticut suburb, where she focused on raising her young children. An artist at heart — she’s painted since she was a child and took art classes in college — Maples dedicated her free time to painting and picked up a few of her own interior design clients. After moving to Charlotte, the slower pace during Covid coupled with a personal health challenge led Maples to regroup, reevaluate and reignite her career.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 1, 2021, after my very first mammogram,” Maples says. “Fortunately, it was extremely early, so a double mastectomy was effective in eliminating the cancerous cells.”

Prior to her diagnosis, she had begun painting again, setting up a studio in her home and becoming more intentional and quite prolific with her art during the lockdown days of spring 2020. Her surgery and recovery process ultimately inspired her to take her passions to the next level and forge a new career.

“I thought, ‘Why not? Life’s too short’, and it gave me something to focus on during my recovery,” Maples says. “It felt important to keep a positive attitude for my kids, focusing on the good things that can arise from challenges and recognizing the talents I have to share with others.”

In her Foxcroft home, it’s evident that Maples appreciates family heirlooms, travel relics and, of course, art. Through Werhane Maples Art and Interiors, Maples aims to design homes that are tailored to her clients’ tastes and comfort levels, mixing old with new to achieve layered spaces seasoned by her clients’ life experiences.

“I remain tunnel-vision true to what I was taught in New York, which is designing beautiful rooms that reflect the personality and style of the people who live there,” Maples says.  SP

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