Meet the Designer: LA's Brian Patrick Flynn on the Small Space Big Style Showhouse
Designer Brian Patrick Flynn goes bicoastal for his bedroom design in the Small Space Big Style showhouse. He gives us the 411 on his chic balancing act.
How is your design a reflection of your personality?
I started my career as an interior designer in the South, and I've drawn on elements of southern men's fashion for most of my interiors: tweeds from hunting jackets, muddy plaids found in dress shorts, as well as the tailored lines of short sleeve button-ups. Picture the look and feel of Billy Reid's signature menswear translated into interiors. And then there's my preppy Northeastern side: tons of plaids, nautical prints, gingham and loafers—like a Ralph Lauren extravaganza in Southampton. I also love classic masculine American furniture such as the extra tall wingbacks found throughout New England in the 1700s. I design a ton of oversized wingback-style platform beds and headboards for my clients, and so I brought that element into my bedroom design at the showhouse. Lastly, my California side is reflected through my love of midcentury modernism, which usually shows up in the form of table lamps, artwork and heavy case goods such as dressers and credenzas. There are also hints of Hollywood glamour in high gloss black herringbone wood floors contrasting against the white wall upholstery; it's my masculine spin on Dorothy Drapery circa 2012. I also love colors seen in the California sunsets and beaches: languid blues as well as light pinks, oranges and salmons.
Which character from history or pop culture do you envision spending time in this room and why?
The space is masculine, classic and preppy, but also meant for a modern man's lifestyle. Remember how JFK Jr. was always photographed zipping around town on a bicycle or walking in the park? That's what the guy in my space would do. A man-about-town can live here and be extra proud to bring a lady friend home. In fact, a lady friend would even want to live in the space without changing a thing: the design is also a bit sensitive in that I paired peacock blue, white and black with a more feminine tone, a pink that borders on salmon.
What big-style decorating advice can you give folks who dwell within small spaces?
Go big, not small. It seems counterintuitive to use large-scale pieces in a small space, but it's actually the right way to go. Just be sure to keep scale and proportion in check and you'll be in great shape.
In which ways did you depart your comfort zone for this project?
I covered my walls with peacock blue gingham...in LOS ANGELES! I would say that is stepping a bit outside of my associating-Los-Angeles-with-midcentury-modernism comfort zone. I figured Los Angeles has seen David Hicks-ish geometric wallcovering (which I love, love, love) used a million times, so instead I played with scale and proportion to adapt the preppy, Hamptons feeling of gingham for the West Coast.
What’s one piece from your design that you’re tempted to adopt into your personal inventory?
The Awards Season-inspired typography art! In addition to being a residential interior designer, I am also a television producer for design-based shows, so I'm quite familiar with all that goes into campaigning for awards recognition. As a result, I created an original piece of pop art that says "For Your Consideration.” I kinda love it.