>, Fabric, Furniture, Home Décor/Accessories, Interior Design, Kitchens>Guide to Interior Design – Tips From Interior Design Expert Brian Patrick Flynn

Guide to Interior Design – Tips From Interior Design Expert Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn interior design family room

Brian Patrick Flynn interior design family room

Learn how to think like a film producer as you plan your next design:

• Who is the director?
• Who are the lead and supporting actors, the extras?
• Is the set (room) designed for a romantic comedy or an action film?
 
 
Interior designer and HGTV star Brian Patrick Flynn knows a thing or two about interior design. He not only creates exquisite interiors for his clients, but, as the owner of Flynnside Out Productions, he also specializes in providing lifestyle-related content and set designs for TV networks, like on TBS’s “Movie & A Makeover.” His expertise in design even landed him a spot on the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) “Insiders” team, where he joins other influencers in the design and building industries at trade shows and events. 
 
Atlanta Home Improvement’s Design Editor, Katherine Michalak, sat down with Flynn to talk about his broad background in design and get his take on approaching an interior-design project.
 
Brian Patrick Flynn considers each project its own “production number” and manages the elements of the design based on the story to be told, the desired effect and the resources available. Here, he gives practical advice meant to provide homeowners with a gentle nudge in the right design direction. 
 
He says the most daunting part of any new interior-design project might just be the first step—getting started. Where and how do you begin creating the space you want in your home? With so many resources available, homeowners often suffer from information overload before they even get to the paint chips and fabric swatches.
 
Take a page from Flynn’s script to plot your own true-life design story.
 
Brian Patrick Flynn kitchen design

Brian Patrick Flynn kitchen design

 
Lights, Camera, Action!
• Think about each room as a movie set. Yes, each room can host its own feature film. But what kind of movie is it? Action? Drama? Romance? Comedy?
• What kind of action will take place on your set? Is this a high-traffic living area with kids and pets running about or a serene sitting room for quiet conversation? Is it a serious office with sophisticated technical requirements or a casual work area? What about a big family kitchen, ripe for a sitcom crowd or a glamorous gourmet spread made for entertaining? Are you seeking a romantic boudoir in which to luxuriate or a cozy retreat where you’ll crash at the day’s end?
• Who are the lead actors, the supporting roles, the extras? What pieces “carry” the whole story of the room? What works with them to enhance their appeal?
• How do you want to feel in this room? Get in touch with your emotions here.
• Where are your focal points? What’s one thing you want to notice when you enter the space?
 
Plot Twists
Secure the budget. Everyone on the project needs to know what’s reasonable. Once you have a budget and a vision, then it’s time to look at the value-engineering. This is like a giant game of Tetris, maneuvering line items and price-points to decide how much money can be spent on each element. Allot the bigger portion of the budget to the “stars” that will carry the show. This is all about balance.
 
 
Brian Patric Flynn CAMROSE BEDROOM design

Brian Patric Flynn CAMROSE BEDROOM design

Baby, You’re the Star!
Everyone has a personal style. But not everyone has clearly identified what that means for them. In your home, you have the freedom to confidently embrace your individuality. Bring in only the items that you absolutely love and cannot stop thinking about.
When you spot items in a store that interest you, ask yourself:
• Do I LOVE this?
• Does it fit in the budget?
• Does it have the right balance, scale and proportion for the room?
Focus on these three questions as you shop or look for ideas in magazines or online. Look for a pattern. Once
you pull five to ten elements together, you are going to see a definitive style.
 
In the planning stage, magazines and Pinterest are really useful for mapping out ideas and beginning to define your own style. Start file folders and Pinterest boards showing rooms and projects you like—these will help you establish the baseline. Design is imminently internet-searchable—rip tearsheets out of magazines and search for elements you like. Pin it all to your Pinterest boards, then go back and curate it. Notice commonalities and eliminate things that just don’t seem to fit with the others. 
 
Where’s the Director?
Consider the enormous benefits of calling in a designer. A professional can look at the budget and show you how to spend it wisely, which can save money in the long run. Big money. A good design pro will work backwards, using the budget as their guide. Pragmatically, hiring a professional designer is like hiring an accountant or tax advisor. They give experienced feedback and present another perspective—one that’s not emotionally attached to the space or the items in it. And, it’s not always necessary to hire someone for the whole project—consider starting with a consultation to establish a plan, instead of a committing to a full overhaul.
 
In addition to saving money, a designer can also save you time. Twenty years ago, the design industry seemed like a secret club of specialists who held all the contacts for products and services—which at that time were mostly accessible “to the trade only.” Now, it’s almost the opposite; everyone has so much access to ideas and products that we’re all flooded with possibilities. But the experienced, trained professional will likely navigate those options more efficiently and effectively than you can. Do you really have the time to wander through every fabric and furniture showroom in town? Probably not. And if you do, there are many details about brands, styles and structure that a designer can evaluate quickly. They can narrow down the options for your project and offer you a carefully considered selection.
 
And the Critics Say…
When it comes to making mistakes, we all do it. But some of most common things to note?
• Time Suck: This is your home and decorating it should be fun. People often start out in the DIY mode and then they see how much time it really takes to do a project right. If this is going to be an albatross around your neck, then outsource it to pros who can make the experience far more productive and enjoyable.
• Falling in Love with the “Right Now”: Trends always have an expiration date, so dial it back on the trendy twists to keep the project from becoming too dated, too quickly. Avoid using the same finishes throughout an entire house; don’t be afraid to mix things up. Never underestimate the power of black and white. Whether you’re contrasting with other colors or layering different shades, black and white will never go out of style and will work with any hue.
• Cookie-Cutter Copy Cat: It’s true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but, in home design, too much imitation becomes impersonal. When everything in a room comes from the same line or store, the room won’t look authentically yours. You want to walk into your own space, NOT a catalog showroom. Give each room some personal touches and customization—there are so many great ways to do that with art, accessories, textiles and furniture.
• Going with “Good Enough”: Skipping some elements or cutting costs on the wrong category can really impact a project.
 
For example:
• Custom window treatments truly elevate the entire room: Make the investment whenever possible.
• Ceilings don’t need to be white: Paint the ceiling a lighter tone of the wall color to pull the eye up and enhance the space.

• Look at the fixtures and hardware in the room: Be thorough with the design.

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