Happy Friday, y’all! Today’s FF is a special one, as it’s of one of our dear friends, Brian. He’s an interior designer, has designed multiple houses (and hosted a few shows) for HGTV, and is one hell of a friend. Seriously, he’ll do anything for his friends and he’s incredibly loyal. We had so much fun reading a little more about him (and seeing some of his gorgeous interiors) and we think you will, too. Take a look below to see what we mean…
Where are you from? Parkland, FL
Where do you live? Main residence: Bulkhead, Atlanta. Weekend: North Georgia mountains. SummerL Reykjavik.
Instagram handle: @bpatrickflynn
On how & why he started his design business: Two words: call times. In my twenties I was a production assistant working behind the scenes as an art department production assistant and associate producer for TV shows, and being the first person on set at 4am and the last person to leave at 10:30pm was not something I necessarily loved, especially because I was, and still am, terrified of driving in the dark. The first time one of my bosses let me dress a set and prop style it all by myself, I was hooked. It felt like a hobby more than a job, and so then I tried to figure out how to make money doing it...mostly by taking on small projects on weekends for bosses who were stuck in a rut with rooms in their own houses. I more or less had no idea what I was doing, so I literally just threw stuff against the wall to see what stuck...and it worked. I think a lot of the success came from me being self-taught and looking at things through a different lens.
On his favorite design jobs: Overall I'm most proud of landing the cover of House Beautiful magazine in June of 2018. It was my first shelter magazine cover and was extra personal because (a) it's my own personal home in Reykjavík, and, (2) and I styled the entire shoot myself. As someone who's self-taught, that was never something I even dreamed could be possible.
In regard to my favorite work with HGTV, I would have to say HGTV Dream Home 2019 in Whitefish, Montana. Rugged landscapes and wide open spaces, those are everything to me, and this house offers the sickest view I've ever seen; it provides a ski-in, ski-out lifestyle; and in the warmer months, it's truly an indoor-outdoor way of living. Plus, there are moose and foxes in Montana, so there's that. Anyone can enter for a chance to win through February 18th, 2019 HERE:
On a once-in-a-lifetime wedding destination: Antarctica. Seriously. We got married at the bottom of the planet 100% because I've had an obsession with Antarctica since middle school and figured if I was ever able to make it there, it should be the most unforgettable otherworldly experience ever. And it was. We went in December which is the start of the Antarctic summer, and magically the sun came out for nearly two full days and the seas around us were totally still and almost mirror-like, and our expedition leaders from Denmark, Alaska and Switzerland performed our ceremony on a stable chunk of ice floe in the middle of the treacherous Lemaire Channel. It was maybe 50 degrees and we had penguins and leopard seals (and avalanches) all around us and I am not even kidding with you right now. It was the most incredible experience ever.
On his coming out experience: [I came out in] August, 1997. Tallahassee, Florida. At lunch with my best friend since sixth grade. It turns out all four of my best friends always knew, but they didn't want to ever just assume, and instead they just decided that if I wanted to tell them that I was, I would...and on my own terms. There was never any judging whatsoever, just encouragement and acceptance and now, 30 years later, all five of us are still best friends and as close as we were in 1989. As grown adults with spouses, careers and children, they're just as close with Hollis as they are with me. I'm super lucky and inexplicably grateful.
On living in the city, country, and overseas: I'm hands down the most relaxed and chill and unstressed in Reykjavík; we live there in the summer and also during the holidays when the northern lights are out of control and in full effect. The Icelandic way of living puts so much emphasis on a high quality of life and being outdoors whenever weather permits, and that really has an effect on me. Hollis and I don't have any work stuff with us when we're in Iceland because it's our escape, and that complete lack of "stuff" really has a mental effect, in the best way possible. Fun fact: We bought our little place in Reykjavik on House Hunters International.
On the LGBTQ culture in Reykjavík: In my personal opinion, it's probably one of the most LGBT-friendly places on the planet, and that was a main selling point in us buying property there. In fact, Hollis and I went to the Pride Parade there this year and it was one of the most spectacular, beautiful and inclusive things I've ever experienced. The support for LGBT friends and family members from non-LGBT friends and family members is just incredible. I seriously think 80% of the entire population of Iceland was downtown in Reykjavik to support the entire LGBT population of Iceland.
On his idols: Career-wise, Thom Filicia has always been a major source of inspiration to me as has Thomas O'Brien. Kacey Musgraves is, hands down, the most played artist on my Spotify, so I would absolutely say her songwriting is massively influential in the way I view the world. Case in point: Watch any of my instagram stories from Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Antarctica or Patagonia, and you're likely to hear any song of hers juxtaposed with nature. And when people ask me who my dream client would be as an interior designer, the answer is always Tina Fey or Maya Rudolph. Smart, funny women are everything to me. Oh, and there's also my design team, Krystee (project manager), Johnny (locations manager) and Robert (photographer), they all inspire me daily.
On how he met his husband, Hollis: We were set up on a blind date in May of 2006. It was a Wednesday and we met up at 6:30pm and stayed up talking so long not only did we shut the place down, we ended up talking for another two hours as we walked around Midtown Atlanta until 2:30am and I grabbed a taxi back to my loft downtown. The rest is history and we've been together ever since.
On the one room he’s designed that is the most “him”: Out of all spaces I've ever designed, I think the living room of HGTV Dream Home is very similar to my own personal aesthetic. It's all about an indoor-outdoor lifestyle; it's quirky and colorful; nature is absolutely the star of the space; the collection of furnishings is eclectic and slightly rugged; and overall the room is heavily layered and somewhat complex. And it has a moose.
On pet peeves and what inspires him the most: Pet peeves? Um, yeah. Check my instagram stories about airplanes. From people getting up and standing in the aisle blocking those 2-3 rows in front of them to those taking business calls on speakerphone while seated on an already packed flight, I could fill up an entire book. And don't get me started on armrest burglars or people who bring strongly scented foods onboard with them. Oh, and gossip. I detest gossip, in all forms. I don't want any part of gossip. As far as what inspires me, overall I would have to say authentic kindness. It's not as common as you'd think, and when you find someone who's authentically kind, keep that person close to you, and never let them go.