HGTV star and Interior Designer, Brian Patrick Flynn had two occupational dreams while studying TV and film production in college. Producing the reality television series, ‘The Real World,’ didn’t come to fruition, but the second, less dramatic option became Flynn’s reality. This DCOTA Winter Market Keynote panelist has broken design boundaries with television, technology and creativity.
For his first-ever showhouse design in Hollywood, CA, Brian brought the tinsel town drama with a custom made extra tall wingback headboard mixed with his signature touch of preppy seen in the teal and white gingham wallpaper.
After years writing, producing and directing news programs and home improvement shows on the Discovery Channel and elsewhere, Flynn realized his true interests. Every segment that involved Home and Garden or ‘High and Low,’ Flynn excelled in. Most importantly, he noticed he could make interiors look really good on camera, a new sort of design.
Flynn started to build a portfolio of his television projects, which led to him being in thousands of dollars worth of debt for his interior photography, and a portfolio that was “too approachable and hipster” according to his early critics. Then, he focused on high-end Atlanta projects and started his blog, before the age of Pinterest.
In order to successfully pull off this shade of spring green, Brian layered a bold paint color with solid upholstery in a slightly darker tone along with patterns mixing a shade of olive green with white. The result is balanced and not overwhelming.
“I was writing about being a self-taught interior designer and what I did wrong. I showed gorgeous pictures of a house, and what I would do differently now. I would change that shade of unflattering green in the bathroom and change the colors in that North facing room with light changes,” Flynn said.
Within two weeks people started to respond to the self-taught struggle and Flynn was invited to speak on panels, where unbeknownst to him, his flaws would facilitate his future. Luck be had, Flynn landed his dream role on ‘Dream Home’ and later on “Urban Oasis,” after meeting his fellow panelist, an HGTV producer looking for a jack-of-all-trades, designer, television personality extraordinaire.
This downtown Atlanta kitchen was designed to be neutral with elements of surprise, including the over scale brass pendant lights and the use of art above the counter.
We can all agree interior design, whether self-taught or formally educated is a special set of skills and professionalism. Being “one part designer, one part therapist, one part nanny and house manager” is no easy feat with or without a design diploma. Furthermore, translating interiors onto the big screen is an additional set of abilities.
“It’s a learned process. When you have a still camera on interiors, the lights are off, you can use natural sunlight and style everything to look not perfect – breakfast nook with a toy truck, a dog on the couch, spare change on the counter, the feeling of home,” said Flynn. But Television is a different beast.
Never one to shy away from color, Brian packed the media room of HGTV Dream Home 2016 with fun Floridian colors inspired by his childhood in sunny and colorful Fort Lauderdale.
“Little props look like clutter. When you’re styling for video, you need much bigger objects, one good-looking pizza tray, three potted herbs,” Flynn said.
Additionally, color choices are a whole new “wall”-game. Beige, cream and camel don’t really resonate, so color eye candy is needy for channel-flipping eyes. For patterns, one has to think larger than ‘real’ life. Small prints like gingham or small houndstooth are replaced with medium and large-scale patterns.
Flynn will share these skills at DCOTA’s Winter Market, where he along with Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham will discuss designing for a new generation in the world of technology.
Brian designed the master bedroom of HGTV Dream Home 2016 in Merritt Island, FL using bold shades of teal toned down with all black and white elements.
Although Flynn himself prefers to find inspiration in his mountain house’s natural breezes and noises, his Instagram-game is quite strong. Flynn shares some tips on programming your tech for Gen Y:
“The key takeaway for everybody is to really have your own voice. It’s one thing to take a picture of a beautiful blue room, but you need a story. “My installation happened in the middle of an ice storm, without electricity thanks to my amazing team,’ for example,” Flynn said.
Telling a design story with your own voice is an authentic opportunity to connect with clients in a whole new way.
The living room of HGTV Urban Oasis 2017 was designed with soothing shades of blue-grey layered with white and muted pink, including the unexpected pink front door.
Also, for people under 35, Flynn says max the minimalism. Younger generations are investing in one or two pieces that speak to them, mixing high and low, but spending on the forever pieces. Interior Designers are needed more than ever to nail down focus and avoid Frankenstein’s Home of Pinterest Boards.
On Thursday, February 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. join Brian Patrick Flynn, Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham in the DCOTA’s Atrium C. This morning keynote will kick-off the tech-filled talk of DCOTA’s Winter Market “Tech + Technique.”