Brian Patrick Flynn can burst into a building, round up a bunch of crazy flea market finds, add fabulous fabrics and lacquer and completely remake the place like a whirling dervish. Or a decor demon. You may recognize Brian from TBS's Movie and a Makeover
, where he is not only the on-air talent, but also serves as the set decorator and an associate producer. His blog, Decor Demon
, is relatively new to the design blog scene. With his eye-popping projects (my personal fave so far is a Jane Fonda-inspired bedroom
suite), beautiful photography by Sarah Dorio
, and the funniest commentary out there in decor blog land, its audience is growing exponentially. I think Brian describes it best when he says Decor Demon is "lifestyle editorial…with an edge. Easily amused. Not so easily impressed." But wait, that's not all! Brian has produced a Decor Demon webisode series which will hit the internet and cable TV next month. For those of us too lazy to go look them up, we can sign up to receive episodes right in our inboxes! The series is shot like a movie...packed with an inside look at the business of interior design.
Below are the pictures of Brian's last pad, a 920-square-foot Atlanta loft in a former milk factory. Along with all the rules, he tossed out his ubiquitous Dwell
-ish palette of light blue and charcoal with occasional pops of orange. Instead, he went way outside of his color comfort zone and turned to farmhouses, Andy Warhol, Mars, Kris Kringle, David Hicks, Mork from Ork, Mrs. Robinson and his parents at his age for inspiration. He was kind enough to give us some further explanation and advice.
Please tell us about your “first meeting” with your house
My loft was a damn mess. It had been abused with unfortunate faux paint
and stuck in contractor-grade purgatory. I like to think I saved it from an eternal damnation of pathetic decor.
What was the very first step of your remodeling/decorating process?
First up, I slathered the sad, silly walls with flat black-brown paint so they'd recede. Although I usually stick with Porter, I turned to Behr's "Bitter Chocolate" which is, by far, the best shade of black-brown there is. Walls faux painted
with pseudo-Venetian plaster [aka Venetian Disaster] were saved from the depths of hell with bead board and 1X3 strips of MDF trim; spaces with knock-down drywall were simply resuscitated with two happy coats of latex.
Tell us about the biggest renovation/decoration challenge you faced.
Of all the mini-projects, the most mammoth undertaking was definitely the closet. My British carpenter, David, tore down a wall between two embarrassing reach-in's to create an 8X6 dressing room style walk-in. Limited with materials due to budget, we did the whole shebang with plywood and beadboard. Is it the most high-end of closets
? Um, no. Is it bold and smiley and fun? Yessir.
What are your favorite style and colors?
Oddly enough, my favorite colors are red-orange
and charcoal which are nowhere to be found in the loft. Why? I wanted to try colors that were NEVER meant to go together. Traditionally, fire engine red, kelly green and white scream Santa Claus is Coming to Town but by throwing black-brown into the mix, it introduced a whole new take on the combo. While Christmas year-round would have been nice, there's only so much stop-animation reindeer and snowmen one can take before they want to set candy canes on fire.
Mod and farmhouse hold special places in my heart. You see, it all stems from my gravel road upbringing on Mars. Oh, wait, I'm from Fort Lauderdale Beach. Nevermind.
What's your favorite spot in this place?
Of all spaces in the loft, the dining slash workspace was top-notch. From that one particular spot, you could see the city outside the window, Jill and Bethenny fighting on Bravo, my ridiculous art collection and whoever was whipping up edible concoctions in the kitchen
. And when I say concoctions, I mean Froot Loops and canned soups.
Besides pets and photos, what would you grab first in a fire?
If the loft were ablaze, I'd snatch my Natalie Portman painting. An artist named Ronnie Bautista created it based on a scene from the Mike Nichols film, Closer
. I'm obsessed with Mike Nichols-directed films. One can find The Graduate
spinning happily round and round my DVD player on any given Sunday.
What is your next house project?
My next house project is...my house. Since moving from the loft, I've gone back to the future. On Christmas Eve, I bought a mid-century modern home four miles away and unleashed my inner Margaret Russell. How so? While the loft was poppy and bold and risky, the house is elegant, tame and understated
. If you consider gigantic wingback headboards, upholstered walls and 1970's wallpaper understated.
What is your favorite source for home decor (Etsy? flea market? grandma's attic? Fyndes? the curb?)
A great designer NEVER reveals his sources! Lucky for you, I'm [a] mediocre AND [b] a decorator. Flea markets are my life. In fact, I have a massive warehouse in Atlanta packed with flea market finds awaiting my touch. Everything in the loft is from a flea market or made from scratch with the exception of the West Elm bed. Sunday afternoons are the best time to strike flea markets since most vendors just want their stuff gone and will drop the prices if you haul it away yourself. If I MUST go with new stuff, I stick to Room & Board for sofas, Wisteria for dressers, consoles and mirrors, IKEA for bookcases, dining tables and kitchens, and Design Within Reach for dining chairs.
What is your biggest design pet peeve?
My biggest designer pet peeve has to be sticks thrown into a tall vase
and shoved in a corner. What the hell is that?
Readers, we are giving away a $50 gift certificate to West Elm. Just leave a comment by this Sunday, June 13 2010 and you'll be entered to win it!