The best way to keep houseguests self-sufficient is to give them their own enticing space, says Brian Patrick Flynn. The quippy designer for HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2015 lives in Atlanta but regularly escapes to a wooded home in Ellijay that he shares with partner Hollis Smith, who has his own challenging schedule as part of the costume department for The Walking Dead. A 500-square-foot deck runs along the entire guest floor. “It allows anyone who’s staying over to have a spot for lounging,” says Flynn. “I like when people can tend to themselves so I can watch Netflix, check Instagram, or both.”
The two accent tables are made from reclaimed painted steel and offer more versatility than one big coffee table. Guests can each have their own surface for wineglasses or magazines, plus these double as stools for additional seating.
More seating per square foot
Sectionals are rock stars for outdoor lounging. “They can help shape a small outdoor space and make it feel larger,” Flynn says. He prefers darker woven-resin versions, like this one by Hayneedle, over light-toned furniture, which can feel like old-fashioned wicker.
Lanterns and small mounted lights supplement the nighttime stars. “I love to pack outdoor rooms with overhead lighting and sconces,” Flynn says. “At night, the glow from above and the sides creates great ambience.”
Flynn was drawn to this weather-resistant Safavieh rug in a bold pattern because it defies the taxidermy-and-tartan cliches of mountain cabin decorating. “This rug can gel with any type of design style, from traditional to modern to eclectic,” he says. Accent pillows don’t necessarily need to match or even have the same colors.
No, he’s not a University of Florida fan (though he grew up in South Florida). But the designer likes combining complementary colors, and orange and blue are bright hues that feel appropriate for the summer months when he and Hollis entertain.
Flynn starts every project by picking his fabrics. He is a big fan of outdoor draperies, which frame a view and soften the edges of a deck. Flynn hangs the window treatments (in outdoor-friendly Sunbrella fabric) as high as possible on a metal conduit to make the space feel grander.
This article originally appeared in our August 2015 issue.