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Two years ago, I bought my first house just a few months after re-designing my downtown loft. Kinda stupid, huh? Especially considering all the effort and money that goes into fully executing a design properly. Whatever…at least I avoided the shoemaker’s-kids-have-no shoes cliche, not to mention what it did to my confidence for pulling off high-end looks without high-end price tags.

Of all my design projects, my loft is probably at the top of the list; it was so personal, so outside-the-box and done on an extremely tight budget. It also landed a spread in the very last issue of O at Home. My objective was to mix up my favorite design styles: space age, pop and 1970’s masculine. One magazine editor labeled it “Loft in Space” which I kinda love.

Brian Patrick Flynn Red Buffet

To make a bold entrance, I had a $30 Craigslist credenza professionally sprayed with urethane paint in a color called “Red Gumball” by Pittsburgh Paints. The wall was hit with the ugly stick (as in awful faux painting) so I updated it with luan painted with flat “Bitter Chocolate” paint from Behr, then hid the seams with 1X3 MDF painted the same color but in a high-gloss finish.

Brian Patrick Flynn Photo Wall Mural

The billboard photo wall! Wow, I am still getting calls about how to do this, even two years after the photo made its way on to the Interwebs. You can actually have any photo turned into a billboard-scale mural as long as it’s the right resolution. Since this photo was taken in 1967, it kinda wasn’t high in pixels. For $35, I dropped it off at a local digital printer and they scanned it high-resolution for me. Next, it was cropped to fit the wall perfectly and printed on U/V resistant billboard vinyl.

Brian Patrick Flynn Living Room

Flynn is my last name. Flea markets are my life. It seemed fitting that I’d find a castaway capital “F” from a TGI Friday’s sign at a Jacksonville flea market. Actually, the entire room was furnished with items from flea markets which were later re-upholstered. As far as the chandelier goes, it was $100-ish, then I gave it new identity with a can of red spraypaint and globe bulbs. Here’s thechandelier how-to. See the doors on the windows? I opted for barn door shutters versus draperies to capitalize on the awesome arch in the brick work.

Brian Patrick Flynn Andy Warhol Soup Cans

I’m a huge fan of Andy Warhol; however, I’m not a huge fan of art work that costs more than my car. To add my own Warholian touch, I arranged Campbell’s soup cans on floating, country-modern shelves in my breakfast nook. To bring in a little bit of space age mixed with a little bit of the late 1970’s, I brought in my toy robot and my beloved Mork & Mindy lunchbox. Alright, alright, I’m a grown man with toys and sitcom-themed lunchboxes…so what, who cares?

Brian Patrick Flynn Kitchen Cabinets

These cabinets looked nothing like this when I moved in. Click here for my kitchen cabinet update tricks.

Brian Patrick Flynn Natalie Portman Pop Art

As we’ve already discussed, I’m a huge Andy Warhol fan. So naturally, I had a pop art piece of Natalie Portman commissioned in white and bubble gum pink along with a black and white of Jude Law. To bring in my love of farmhouse and country styles, I used FLOR in an Astroturf-ish style called House Pet, then had 1970′s patio furniture sprayed white and reupholstered with faux crocodile and green vinyl.

Brian Patrick Flynn Green Bathroom

Originally, the bathroom was hysterical, having been painted a very awful beige paired with contractor-grade fixtures even a contractor would despise. To breathe new life into the 7 X 7 space, I concealed the cheap shower with a custom, floor-to-ceiling shower curtain installed on a hospital track, then painted the pine floors white using porch and deck paint. Although I splurged a bit on the fixtures, I went budget-savvy on the doors by updating them with trim in a mod pattern, then painting them and the walls high-energy kelly green with “Formal Garden” by Behr.

Brian Patrick Flynn Rooftop Dining Room

Don’t get me started on my rooftop dining room. To turn a basic rooftop deck into a designer dining space, I stenciled a pattern onto the wood with porch and deck paint, then built a 4-poster table with basic pine, then painted it brown. For a touch of ambiance, an outdoor chandelier was hung above along with electrical conduit up the side of the posts. With the chandelier on a plug, it allowed for the fixture to simply be plugged in before sitting down, then unplugged and put away in a water-sealed storage compartment before heading in to do dishes.

Now that I’m half-way through updating my new house, who knows where I’ll move days after completing it and having it photographed?

4 Responses

  1. pixelecho69 says:

    You are so talented I am amazed with everything you did and how you decorated your rooftop dining room I love it I wish I can have a little bit of your talent.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HGTV Decorating, Alexi Panos, Hugh, Chane Realty, Grand Homes and others. Grand Homes said: Designing for Myself: Two years ago, I bought my first house just a few months after re-designing … http://bit.ly/egrte0 #design @hgtv [...]

  3. I love the green and white door! Now I'm thinking about doing something like that for my doors throughout the home. Please visit my website <a href="http://www.kolarosedesigns.com” target=”_blank”>www.kolarosedesigns.com

  4. The barn door shutters rock. I love using old reclaimed material. The one problem is that they need to swing open for any light or visibility.

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