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