Homework: Brian Patrick Flynn at Home and at Work

The first time I saw Brian Patrick Flynn of Decor Demon, I thought, “I don’t know who he is, but he’s important.” 99.9% of the time I am way too intimidated to speak to people like that, but luckily Brian spoke to ME (I was holding “The Beacham Series,” which he recognized… yea!). It seemed I was the last person in Atlanta to not know of him. You may have seen him in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 10 Under 40 feature this month in which he talks about being completely self-taught. We got to know each other when I went to shoot something for him to use in one of his editorial design projects for HGTV. Yes, he produces, writes and styles shelter magazine content, photography and video…for HGTV! People around the world dream of that job and he actually has it, plus the network handpicked him to write posts for their blog, Design Happens and he hosts a web series on hgtv.com called “Fast Fixes” which he describes as “higher-end DIY”. He also let it slip out during our shoot that he’s been the home and garden producer for Movie and a Makeover on TBS as well as the show’s on-air design talent for 7 years. Yeah, he’s actually on TV! Brian doesn’t really talk about it and doesn’t think it’s a big deal…at all. As if that weren’t enough, in his free time he takes on his own design clients, writes and produces DIY articles for houzz and writes Decor Demon; every single magazine-quality image was created from scratch specifically for the site with Brian art directing and prop styling every shot himself. Are you kidding me? I’m so jealous of his job and his swanky retro modern home he decorated himself with almost all custom or vintage pieces! I think he’s amazing, and was thrilled to work on this blog post with him. I asked the questions and took the pictures. He answered the questions and told me which shots we needed to bring the answers to life. We had so much fun getting ready for this together, even running to Yogurt Tap for White Chocolate and Graham Cracker frozen yogurt topped with multi-colored gummy bears. I hope you enjoy getting to know my new friend as much as I have.

Screen shot 2011-02-09 at 11.21.10 AM
1. Why do you call yourself a decorator even though you design almost everything from scratch?
Denial, I think—and possibly the harsh ramifications of the American legal system. I’m self-taught and lack the ASID or NCIDQ stuff.  Technically, I’m a decorator.
2.  If you could work as a designer/decorator in any other city, what would it be?
Kinda-sorta L.A.; I’m on an inspiration-high each time I’m zipping around the Hollywood Hills, but I don’t necessarily wanna LIVE in Los Angeles. The midcentury modern homes there are SICK; my dream would be to work on 1950’s and 1960’s Hollywood homes full-time but still actually live in Atlanta. I love it here. Atlanta and I are meant to be together. We’re like Spencer and Heidi, Carrie Bradshaw and Manolo Blahnik, or perhaps, Naomi and Wynonna.

3. Pet peeves and cliches that drive you crazy…or not?

As far as pet peeves go: sticks in a vase shoved in a corner, themes in kids’ rooms, “art” bought at big box retail stores, swag window treatments, leather rolled-arm club chairs in manspaces…I could keep going but then people who like this stuff would hate me on the Interwebs and pull that let’s-leave-scathing-comments-on-blogs-about-this-dude-and-totally-ruin-his-day nonsense. No thanks! Now, as much as I wanna be over the empty-frames-grouped-and-hung-on-a-wall-thing, I kinda still like it. In fact, I did it above my media room sofa using spraypaint in violet, plum and bronze tones.
4. If you were forced to hire a designer to do your personal home, who would you use and why?
floor - lighter
Phoebe Howard. Everything Phoebe uses is timeless, classic and made from the finest materials and/or craftsmanship. She’s also uber-refined whereas I paint red-orange zig-zags on wood floors and upholster walls with royal purple velvet; it would be a complete escape from my borderline-living-on-the-edge routine, plus I’d learn a great deal about restraint…in a good way.

5. What are you working on right now?
Pick up your camera, meet me in Inman Park at 3:15pm and I will show you. I’m just about to start a floor-to-ceiling redesign on an industrial-chic loft.
Dining room_DARKER
My client, Meghann, is a publicist. Her existing interiors make me wanna punch a squirrel. It’s all starter stuff with colors that just do NOT work with the space. We’re toning it down, BIG TIME.
paint colors
We’ve decided on a handful of greys and plums. I always pick up $5 testers from Sherwin-Williams, then paint all potential choices in groups on walls in different areas of the space to see how they play with the supplied light. Our winning color? “Mystical Mauve” but since anything referred to as mauve is scary as hell, I will simply refer to the color by its product number. Once the space is finished, I’ll confess—kinda like when you serve someone tiny chicken empenadas at a cocktail party, then once they rave about the taste, you admit they were actually reindeer or polar bear.
Although I’d have opted for fabric on the dining room walls, budget called for low price-point wallcovering; we stuck with a modern floral from Graham & Brown which we ordered online. It showed up only three days later.
Meghann wants feminine, but more Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty than Holly Hobby or tea party-poodle-skirt-girlie. We’re using modern and vintage lines, then mixing in some femme tones like the pink/grey geometric from Duralee and a budget-saving black/white zig-zag we found at Forsyth Fabrics for about $10 per yard.
I kinda despise new things unless I can design them from scratch; I prefer vintage whenever possible. Since I’m creating a custom bed, we’re
forced to save as much as possible in regards to all other purchases. We scored this lamp from Highland Row Antiques for a cool thirty bucks. Once the room is put together, we’ll top it with a new lampshade. I’m thinking it’ll be hot pink, then we’ll spraypaint the bottom of lamp the same hue.
Pillows w blur
All of the living room furniture we’ll be using was picked up at flea markets. In fact, the sofa, side chairs, bedside tables, dining chairs and table base all came to less than $500; however, we’ll be splurging on upholstery and refinishing. The furniture is in production right now but my seamstress already knocked out the pillows. From the hot pink linen to the rich, plum velvet, these are the tones that will flow throughout the entire space.
6. What does your own home look like?

Bedside Table better
Sofa better

Come over with your camera and see for yourself but don’t get too excited, all we can do is shoot tight, detail shots. Ain’t no way I’m gonna blow my chances with a national glossy shelter pub. They’d be all like “Awe, hellz nawe. You can’t be up in here if your crib’s already been published, dawg.” and I’d be all like “Y’all need to step off and chill, dawgs. The twitters and the blogosphere is where it’s at, ain’t y’all heard? Y’all better recognize”. You get the point. It’s a mashup of 1960’s and 1970’s set inside a 1955 midcentury modern ranch. Tons of texture through fabrics like silk-linen, velvet, boucle, Belgian linen and also through my grasscloth-covered walls. I’ve got pretty much all vintage pieces in grey tones accented with black, violet and tons of bronze and metallics. While it’s masculine, it’s also kinda elegant.
7. The last thing you bought for your own home?


Leather Door (1)
Door Detail

Leather upholstered doors with bronze nailheads. Well, they were the existing doors, I sent them out to be upholstered. I bet you’ve never had someone tell you that before, huh?
8. Mood boards or sketches?
also good
Trays. I fill trays with fabric, tile, flooring and finish options first, then once that’s solidified, I move on to space plans and sketches.
9. If you had 10 minutes to do a “Supermarket Sweep” of Home Depot, what would you get and why?
50 gallons of porch and floor paint, 3 HVLP paint sprayers, 5 cases of white gloss spray paint, 2000 linear feet of 1X8 MDF trim, stainless double door refrigerators, noiseless stainless dishwasher, 2000-sf of decking planks, exterior landscape up-lights, 2 tons of pea gravel, oil-rubbed bronze door hardware, 25 sheets of 4X8 beadboard and the most expensive pressure washer they stock. Yes, I have thought of this situation before. Many times.
10. If you won the lottery what would you do?
Purchase small homes in the following places, then spend two years living in and fully re-doing each one: cabin in the North Georgia Mountains, townhouse in Chicago, cottage somewhere on a lake, loft in downtown Denver and a two-story house somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
11. Fill in the blank.  If I never saw the color ___ again I could die a happy man.
Beige. There is no other choice. I loathe beige.
12. If you were stranded on a desert island (this is my favorite game) and could only bring one of the following, what would it be? [blanket, pillow, book, kitchen utensil, swimsuit, pair of shoes, T-shirt]
Blanket. I could use it wisely as shelter, fold it nicely as a pillow, wrap it around my head and play dress-up, wear it like a cool island sarong or stake it in the ground with a branch, then let it blow in the breeze as a get-me-the-@$#%-off-this-island flag. Well, as long as the blanket isn’t beige, that is.
Love. Him. – bb



33 Responses to “Homework: Brian Patrick Flynn at Home and at Work”

  1. Niki McNeill February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Great interview Blayne! You already know how much I love Brian but I have to say it again. He's incredibly talented but at the same time humble and always topping his best.

    Atlanta is lucky to have him!!

  2. Sara February 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    This is such an entertaining interview! It was awesome to meet him at Lavish. He is so talented and hilarious. Those leather doors are amazing!

  3. Annette February 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    the guy is totally over rated in my book…just kidding love me some bpf known him for years taught him everything he knows [i wish] he's a peach and he knows it. great interview now come interview me…really. but i am not as funny as bpf…but am much more opinionated.

  4. Scot Meacham Wood February 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    BPF is the BEST! great interview . . . !

  5. Melissa Payne Baker February 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I love him!! How fun was that interview!
    I love faux flowers/jail time!!

  6. julie February 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    FUN! Thanks for the interview, very informative.

  7. Mr. Goodwill Hunting February 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Gotta love Brian!

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  8. Tina Steele Lindsey February 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    What is not to love about the man.

  9. Tina Steele Lindsey February 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    PS, I posted my comment before seeing what Mr. Goodwill Hunting wrote ;-) great minds think alike

  10. Mark D. Ruffner February 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Great questions and equally great answers – great interview!

  11. Terry February 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Lots of fun thanks to human dynamos Brian and Blayne.

  12. katie o. February 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    I seriously can't stand how awesome this is! Such a fantastic interview of an incredibly talented, down to earth "designer". Love his no nonsense, tell you the way it is style. That's what I call a breath of fresh air.
    Love it! Great job Blayne!

  13. Lissa @ After Adornment February 12, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    This interview was beyond entertaining! Awesome job and fabulous questions…..sounds like you guys had a blast!

  14. Your Southern Peach February 12, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    I wish I would have met him at lavish! this interview brought a big smile to my face. very funny and obviously talented.

  15. Sarah Gunn February 12, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    This is pretty much my favourite designer/decorator/blogger interview ever. So much fun to read! And those leather doors are insane. Love them. Love.

  16. Christine Kohut February 12, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    B and B, new BFFs. This was awesome, I love that you got to see his house, his projects, and his face. So fun.

  17. condosbycanning.com February 12, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Sarah, I totally agree with you- this is definitely one of the best blog interviews I have read. I am coveting those doors!!! Great interview, thanks for sharing. You have comical questions!

  18. SHERRY HART February 12, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Blayne…I was glued …so interesting and juicy! I have never met him but I love his reuse, recycle and repurpose philosophy! Plus he is funny…points for that :)

  19. al mcleary February 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Fantastic Article Blayne – I always knew that BPF was headed for great things.

  20. The Design House February 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Awesome interview Blayne! I always love hearing about BPF!! He's my new design hero! I totally agree with your opening comments! And thanks Brian for being such an inspiration to even us "Designers" out there!

  21. my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you February 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    that door is the shitness.

    brian and i have been lovers since 1987…

  22. Karina Cifuentes February 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I am so thrilled I stumbled upon your blog. Great decorating tips + features :)

  23. CLAIRE WATKINS, ASID ALLIED February 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Atlanta IS lucky to have Mr. BPF. He's insanely talented and ridiculously funny. Can't wait to see Casa Flynn rocking the pages of House Beautiful!

    Great job Blayne!!

  24. Laura@Developing Designs February 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    LOVE him! What a fantastic interview with the perfect asked questions and the most entertaining real honest cool hip answers. :)
    Drooling over his upholstered doors….FAB!

  25. BJoerg February 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Awesome bold and great mod tips!

  26. ola appletea February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    great post! Love the blog soooo much!!!

  27. Tammy@InStitches February 17, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    What a great interview… He makes me chuckle and and gasp !

  28. Things That Inspire March 2, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Catching up on the blogs – this is a great interview! Love the 9 and 10 questions (and answers).

    • blayne March 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      Thanks Holly! I think BPF is hysterical!

  29. Carmen January 15, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    I have to say the only reason I know Brian’s name is due to the fact that his little sister used to work for me in college. I was her manager in a retail clothing store down in Florida. The only reason she gave me so much info on him is due to me being originally from GA. Her name happens to be Meghan, im curious if this re-d0 he’s knee deep in is hers? I catch glimpses of Brian on HGTV and I just grin as if to know him like some long lost relative. Due to our major connection,lol. Glad to see he’s doing so well. Amazing talent. We would be fast friends due to our similarities of pet peeves. Carmen Johnston

  30. Niki Papadopoulos February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Love the word association. That’s hilarious!


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