Tastemaker Tuesday – Brian Patrick Flynn

Y’all. This month’s Tastemaker is a doozy… An interior designer whose spaces make a profound statement. When you see a room of his, you know the designer behind it – even if you can’t explain how that’s possible. He has a Rolodex of celebrity clients and is a phenomenal TV personality to boot. You may have even seen him hosting some of our favorite HGTV specials. This month’s Tastemaker for the blog for steve mckenzie’s is Brian Patrick Flynn!

Check out this fantastic video all about “Who is Brian Patrick Flynn.” Not only will you gain great insight into who Brian is, but he offers a bit about what makes him tick and all that goes into his  business and designs:

Steve first became aware of Brian and his immense talent (and equally large personality) back during his tenure with Larson-Juhl, when the company worked with Brian to provide art and custom framing for some of his makeovers for TBS’ “Movie & A Makeover.” Now, being active members of Atlanta’s design industry, Steve and Jill have the pleasure of visiting with Brian Patrick Flynn at many local industry events and always find his projects so inspiring!

We invite you  to read on and learn a even more about this exciting Tastemaker – and if you don’t love him already, we know you will at the close of this Tastemaker post…

Brian Patrick Flynn
Brian Patrick Flynn

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

American, Collected, Comfortable

Brian's living room in HGTV's Dream Home 2016
Brian’s living room in HGTV’s Dream Home 2016

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

My favorite project to date is the 2016 HGTV Dream Home. It’s a 3,600 square foot home located on the water in Florida, where I’m from. We went against traditional Florida waterfront style and took an un-cliche approach. Kind of Hamptons meets Florida. I’m really proud of all that was achieved with this house and this new style I’ve been playing with.

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Anything Thomas O’Brien has ever done and all of his products.

I’m also inspired by anything out of Scandinavia, Norwegian design, the palette of Iceland – it makes me rethink neutral.

World travel with an American spin also plays a role.

I love thinking of new ways to use the red, white and blue color palette.

Finally, mid-century modern design with industrial, rustic touches.


4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Tina Fey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mark Zuckerberg

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

I always love to include on beat up, worn wooden chair in every space – even a bathroom. There’s something about an old chair stacked with books or towels. A vintage country, wooden, Americana chair is it.

bpf wooden chair bathroom

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

Yes, for every smooth surface brought in to a space, I add a combination of super warped, nubby textures to tone the shiny down with the dull. I do this even in glamorously styled spaces. This helps make it more livable.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Into = using blush tones for interiors. It’s fun and hasn’t been so popular to be worn out.

Over = I’m toning down the use of chevron and zigzag until that trend dies down.


8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

Artwork is the most important aspect of of any space. It’s always the one thing I’ll splurge on. The element of something completely original on the walls elevates everything else up in the space. A close second, in terms of importance in a space, are window treatments; they’re a great way to bring together colors in a room.

bpf bed pillows

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

WiFi. I can’t live without any connection – without it I’d go berserk. Next on the list would be a super comfy down stuffed pillow. We literally have like eight amazingly fluffy down bed pillows.

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

Never ever, ever compare yourself or your work to another designer. Some designers have bigger budgets, some cater to one aesthetic – there’s a place for every single one of is. The same person that hires me wouldn’t have hired someone else. No one’s vision and no one’s work is alike. We all have different design philosophies.

Jill, Brian and Steve in the steve mckenzie's showroom.
Jill, Brian and Steve in the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

We appreciate Brian’s advice for sure – and it’s something that can be a real challenge in our industry. It’s so easy to compare your work to other designers, but if we can all appreciate each designer’s unique voice, there will be a place for all.

Thanks to Brian for being our latest Tastemaker, and inspiring us with each new space he creates!!

steve mckenzie’s & Design Bloggers Conference 2014 – Part 2

Thank you all so much for the positive feedback on part one of our 2014 DBC recap post! We’re so glad you enjoyed our little synopsis. We certainly had quite the experience and are excited to share our part two post, highlighting day two of the 2014 Design Bloggers Conference…

Day two started off with a BANG, thanks to the gal who needs no introduction in our book, Candice Olson!

photo 4

It was such a treat to hear Candice speak, and her “Before & Afters” were truly show stoppers! Her Keynote address shared some brilliant tidbits, including how to help clients understand the balance between the investment in an interior designer and the return on their investment. Candice also focused a good portion of her presentation on the importance of contrast in design – something we’re fans of here at steve mckenzie’s. Contrast is key, and her discussion on natural vs man-made contrast, contrast in color, textures, and styles couldn’t be beat!

One of our favorite quotes of the day also came from Candice’s Keynote: “Thank goodness for the 80’s – it supplied a lot of work for us!”

We really had a ball during the next presentation on “The Role of Social Media & Building a Luxury Brand,” thanks to the energetic Toma Clark Haines!

Toma - The Antiques Diva
Jill McKenzie & Toma Clark Haines

Her candid discussion had us dreaming of antique scouting trips to Eurpoe and champagne lunches… In addition to all of the invaluable information she shared – including, her key piece of advice to us bloggers on creating a niche for your blog. Something we’re certainly in the process of working toward.  We’re really taking her advice to heart and are looking forward to sharing what we learned from Toma (and the other 2014 DBC presenters) here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s.

Robert Neu‘s presentation on “Building a Blog Google will Love” was up next, and was absolutely fantastic. Robert is a great presenter with even better advice on a topic that has many of us miffed – finding and implementing the perfect Search Engine Optimization (SEO) formula for your blog. Utilizing SEO is so important, but many of us don’t know how to make it work in the best interest of our blog, clientele, readers, etc. We’re excited to begin implementing much of what Robert taught us, and hopefully making our blog readily searchable for all who may be interested!

The Dwell with Dignity presentation came up next – we touched on this phenomenal event in part one of this series here – and had us all practically in tears… Seeing their video of their Atlanta project was a show-stopping moment for us at DBC, and we can’t wait to work with them in the future, to continue supporting their campaign to create beautiful spaces for more deserving families! Check out the touching video they debuted with us at DBC here:

Speaking of a memorable video, the next time slot was devoted to “Growing Your Brand with Creative Videos;” presented by Stacey Bewkes and Susanna Salk</a the dynamic duo behind some of our favorite (and most inspired!) videos, from Quintessence.

For us, another big, day two, highlight of DBC was hearing HGTV’s Alison Victoria speak about using “Digital Tools and the Design Profession.” Our own Jill McKenzie was lucky enough to be invited to a dinner with Alison on the Monday night of DBC, thanks to the folks at HomeAdvisor – it was an evening to remember, for sure, and Alison was such a joy to dine with!

Alison Victoria
Alison Victoria & Jill McKenzie

photo 5

Alison touched on partnering with technology to work together, and to help work with clients in a more effective way. Now that people have greater access to technology and the internet, it’s important we embrace it and make it work FOR us, and not against us. Great advice!

The final presentation of DBC 2014 was, so appropriately, on “The Future of Blogging;” as shared by Tobi Fairley and Jennifer Boles. Their advice is truly worth heeding, and something we’ll be reflecting on as we continue to grow our own blog. Both Tobi and Jennifer have unique blog perspectives, and the respect they’ve earned through the growth of their own brands is something we greatly appreciate. Maintaining a successful blog now, and in the future, is a job, but one we look forward to. And, thanks to this presentation, something we have a better understanding of.

All in all, a fabulous conference indeed! We’re simply filled with a renewed energy and new-found passion for blogging… So, please continue checking back for fun and informative content with a steve mckenzie’s twist.

Cheers to the 2014 Design Bloggers Conference all of the wonderful people we were lucky enough to experience it with!