Brian Patrick Flynn is an American television producer turned interior designers. After years working in the home improvement shows, Flynn transitioned to residential interiors, quickly earning the respect of his peers and shelter magazine editors.
What inspired this career path for you? A short attention span. The only way I’m wired to work is on a project-to-project basis, because of the newness of each week and the lack of a Groundhog Day lifestyle. Interior design allows me to pretty much start from scratch each time one project ends and another one begins. I love everything about that, the instant gratification of photographing a finished home, then closing the books on it. But I’ve also been known to want to photograph my clients eating pizza on their one-of-a-kind sofas in formal wear while also holding livestock, so there’s that.
What is your go-to source for inspiration? Wide open spaces. Although I’m somewhat of a spaz, have entirely way too much energy for a single human to possess, and also have the attention span of a gust of wind, I’m a total introvert and spent the majority of my time out in the country. There’s something about being out in nature with a massive blue sky and bright green trees and pastures that really kick-starts my brain into playing with color, scale proportion, and texture. This can be anywhere, from my own weekend house in the north Georgia mountains to the Austrian countryside or a cornfield in Omaha; I just really love being out in a rural landscape as long as it has good cell phone reception and available Wi-Fi.
Tell us about your creative process. Textiles and the process of elimination. I start with one fabric pattern or wall covering color that both myself and the client love equally, and then I try to identify things they absolutely hate so much that they want to stab them, set them on fire, or both. Once those parameters are set, we’re like little kids on a seesaw going back and forth with budget ups and downs until we’re both satisfied with how things are shaping up, and then I bring in a bunch of stuff they are not even going to keep to make the rooms look perfectly styled before I photograph them and collect my check. The end.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Transitional. Tailored. American. Attainable. Eclectic. Emotive.
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? OMG the dreaded trend-based question which every designer or decorator fears but I totally welcome and let me tell you why. I kinda feel like we all do everything we can to stay away from trends in regard to timelessness and ensuring we create interiors that stand the test of time; however, while doing so and adding a fresh twist of our own, people often respond favorably and wanna bring that vibe into their homes, and then their squad sees it and likes it and they also adapt to said trend and the designers get paid and everybody wins, so therefore trends are okay. Right now, I am seeing pastels used in modern, minimalist settings, and that makes me very happy because I love a masculine twist on a feminine palette and I also grew up in South Florida during The Golden Girls years which was all about pastels and everyone likes The Golden Girls and you know that’s true. As far as trends I do not like, I’m not a huge fan of seeing tons of houses with the exact same artwork, but I don’t really have that strong of a stance on it and therefore maybe this sentence is invalid.
What’s a staple in your tool kit? Something busted. Nine times out of ten, if you pick up an antique piece of accent furniture or a vintage accessory from a space I’ve designed, it’s gonna be scratched or nicked or somewhat busted. Not every piece, of course, but more like just one or two or seventeen. We ain’t perfect; things ain’t perfect; and therefore our homes aren’t going to be perfect. Just a few things with some wear and tear add character and realness to an otherwise tailored and curated room, and that is all I am going to say about that.
Who do you look up to in the design world? Two designers with astronomically different aesthetics. Thomas O’Brien epitomizes everything I love about design and decorating and being an American designer. A little industrial lofty edge mixed with timeless classics, lived-in, collected touches, and contemporary art YES YES YES YES OH YES TO ALL OF THIS YES. And then there is Betsy Burnham whose preppy prints, coastal casualness, and meticulous layering of pattern and texture is just unparalleled. So I think my answer is Betsy O’Brien or Thomas O’ Burnham, you choose.
Tell us your favorite design-related quote. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” – Sir Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini Cooper)
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I am a large fan of all things Clinton Smith and therefore I am never without Veranda. Secondly, I am a very large fan of all things Sophie Donelson and therefore I am never without House Beautiful. As far as blogs are concerned, I’m pretty loyal to Style by Emily Henderson simply because I adore her aesthetic and think she is one helluva cool chick.
What do you love about Viyet? Transparency and accessibility are the new rich and famous. I love the idea of designers having a place where they can unload amazing pieces they can’t necessarily let go of, but also don’t have a project for, and can unload them at different price points to people who are going to love them and do them justice.