Inside HGTV star Brian Patrick Flynn’s eclectic Buckhead home

Whether he’s in Antarctica or hunkering down in his Buckhead abode, the charismatic TV personality makes everything an adventure

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Brian Patrick Flynn House
The famously wandering Flynn is catching up on time spent at home this year, but has traveled to the majestic—and hard to reach—Greenland ice sheet four times in recent years, a summer destination with 22 hours of daylight in July.

Photograph by Rustic White

It may come as a surprise to viewers of his HGTV shows or his 130,000 Instagram fans, but exuberant designer Brian Patrick Flynn is truly a homebody. The midcentury house in Atlanta he shares with his husband, Hollis Smith (a costumer with Marvel Studios), may be magazine-chic, but its primary function is as a place to relax. “We both are super busy,” says Brian, who typically travels as much as seven months out of the year. But this year, of course, has been different. “I have projects I’d be working on in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. Those will all push back most likely until fall, and when that time comes, I’ll just play calendar Tetris and make it all work.” Until then, find them cozied up in their favorite place.

Brian Patrick Flynn House
TV producer–turned–interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn and his husband, Hollis Smith, enjoy their fifth home together, spurred often by the love of a great project. Brian, who is known for HGTV’s Urban Oasis and HGTV’s Dream Home, is working on a book that combines travel, interior design, and humor. “I wanted to make the kind of book that I could never find,” he says. This house, a 15-minute walk to Lenox Square, is convenient for Hollis, who works as a costumer for film and TV. “The house has me centrally located to costume houses and several filming studios so that I have a light commute,” says Hollis. Their dog is named Gidget.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
After Brian worked on a design project for the original owner of this 1965-built house, the owner declared that she would sell the home to him and only him when it came time. Sure enough, five years later, he and Hollis signed the deed for it. The designer replaced small windows with these large-scale steel frames from Atlanta-based Forge Fine Steel, then painted the front Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black.” “I love the extreme contrast between the house itself and the lush green surrounding it.” Brian says.

Photograph by Rustic White

This ’60s house in a woodsy setting joins a recognizable list of Flynn-Smith homes, starting in 2004 with a Castleberry Hill loft, then an East Lake midcentury—featured in this magazine—and their vacation homes: a mountain house in Ellijay, Georgia (shown in Magnolia Journal and Country Living) and an attic apartment in the improbable location of Reykjavik, Iceland, which was on the cover of House Beautiful. (Google their wedding, a beyond dramatic affair in Antarctica on giant icebergs featured by People and Harper’s Bazaar, as proof the pair doesn’t do things halfway.)

Brian Patrick Flynn House

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The planet-like light fixture in the entryway is “Truax” from Brian’s own line of lighting for Crystorama, and the rug is from Moattar. Metal doors and arctic-white floors and walls create a dramatic setting in the foyer, yet the amusing mix of art on the gallery wall fits the couple’s personalities. Art includes vintage pieces picked up at City Issue and an ebony coconut shell mirror from R.Hughes.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian is known for an eclectic dynamic. “I like to mix the midcentury look with other styles,” the designer says. “In this case, the industrial-steel windows are a bit unexpected, and the white painted floors are a little more ‘NYC loft.’” He decided to paint the exterior black. “It just looks more current, like the house belongs to someone who pushes the envelope,” he says, and a lot of the rooms are cozy and dark, too. The glossy white floors and reflective white cabinets in the kitchen lighten things up.

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The carport is tricked out to serve double-duty as an entertaining space, with Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black” on the walls.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
The glossy white Ikea kitchen and matching floors epitomize cool. The floors will need to be repainted every few years, but the light and airy effect is worth it, says Brian. “Most people flip out seeing the pure white floors, but the truth of the matter is that dark floors are a nightmare,” he says. “They work as a mirror and show all of the flaws. White painted floors, especially glossy ones, are surprisingly easy to care for.” Pendant lights from Design Within Reach and chairs from Room & Board continue the contemporary chic.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Wood veneer wallpaper from Thibaut captures the woodsy vibe of the house. This cozy family room is outfitted with a large-scale sectional from Stock & Trade and side chairs from Norwalk Furniture.

Photograph by Rustic White

A love of contrasts and quirky combinations is most evident in the entryway, where the Florida-born designer channels his affinity for Scandinavian style with an oversized contemporary light fixture, all-white surfaces, and an entertaining mix of art collected by the couple over the years. “The gallery wall is such a conversation starter,” he says. “It’s super unpretentious because we’ve got found objects I picked up for free mixed in with remarkably pricey high art.” Op Art by Gina Julian out of Nashville hangs near a lithograph of a 1970s printer used as set decoration on one of Hollis’s TV shows. Pop culture is a recurring theme. 

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Thibaut wallpaper resembling agate in the master bedroom reinforces the couple’s love of nature. The chests are from Dwell Studio and the lamps are from City Issue.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
Brian found this vivid blue solid-surface countertop and backsplash from Cambria and thought, “Why not?” Cabinetry from Design Galleria and sconces by Jonathan Adler round out the mod look.

Photograph by Rustic White

Brian Patrick Flynn House
A painting by Atlanta artist Blayne McCauley livens up the guest bedroom, with a four-poster bed from Room & Board.

Photograph by Rustic White

Every home he and Hollis have created is different, and Brian doesn’t hesitate to change things out, admitting that each design “mistake” ultimately sends him in the direction of his true style. There’s a sense of permanence with this home that makes it more than a design lab, however. “We’re gone a lot,” he admits, “but as long as we’re in Atlanta, this is our forever house.”

RESOURCES | Interior designer: Brian Patrick Flynn, flynnsideout.com. Contractor: Walter Hope, Architectural Wood (now retired). On the cover (photo 4 – gallery wall) Mustache man art, ’70s analog printer art, and vintage portrait in yellow baseball cap: City Issue, cityissue.com. Custom Iceland watercolor: Blush & Honey Paper, blushandhoneypaper.com. Ebony coconut shell mirror: R.Hughes, ADAC, r-hughes.com. “Willie”: Karen Musgraves, karenmusgraves.com. Kacey Musgraves poster: kaceymusgraves.com. Text art: Leanne Ford, leanneford.com. Plaid blanket: Geysir, Reykjavik, geysir.com. Globe chandelier: Truax, Brian Patrick Flynn for Crystorama, crystorama.com. Rug: Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Home and Loloi, shop.magnolia.com. Runner: Moattar, ADAC, moattar.com. White floor paint: Sherwin-Williams “Extra White,” sherwin-williams.com. Sofas: Classic Home, classichome.com. Metal windows and doors: Forge Fine Steel, forgefinesteel.com. Kitchen Cabinetry: Ikea, ikea.com. Countertops: Caesarstone, caesarstone.com. Lighting: Design Within Reach, dwr.com. Chairs: Room & Board, roomandboard.com. Table: Wayfair, wayfair.com. Dining room Table and chairs: Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com. Pendants: Brian Patrick Flynn for Crystorama. Wallpaper: Thibaut, thibautdesign.com. Photography artwork: Rustic White, rusticwhite.com. Family room Wall covering: Thibaut. Sectional: Stock & Trade Design Co., stockandtrade.com. Coffee table: Duralee, robertallendesign.com. Rug: Wayfair. Chairs: Norwalk Furniture, norwalkfurniture.com. Guest bedroom Wallpaper: Thibaut. Artwork: Blayne McCauley, blayneart.com. Bed: Room & Board. Lamps: Aerin, aerin.com. Guest bathroom Design: Design Galleria, designgalleria.net. Solid surface: Cambria, cambria.com. Sconces: Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com. Master bedroom Wallpaper: Thibaut. Bed: Room & Board. Bedside chests: Dwell Studio, dwellstudio.com. Lamps: City Issue.

This article appears in our Summer 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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