Monday, December 14, 2009

DWR In the Chair: A Night with John Gidding and Brian Patrick Flynn

Friday evening I had the pleasure of attending Design Within Reach's "In the Chair" series, which features panel interviews with designers. This session, "Design on TV" introduced the group to Brian Patrick Flynn, of "Movie and a Makeover" on TBS and John Gidding, host of "Designed to Sell" on HGTV.

I freely admit I felt as if I were way out of my element. Many of the attendees seemed to know each other and surprise(!) were in the design field. I kept an eye out for any recognizable fellow Atlanta bloggers but didn't spy any. All in all, I really enjoyed the panel discussion. And found I was more up-to-speed on design media (magazines- and the demise of many of them, blogs, Lonny) than many of the attendees and the moderator. Brian Patrick Flynn and I shared a moment of mutual love for Lonny, which totally endeared him to me.

We learned about their take on interior design and captured a few key phrases. My favorites- "Design is something you live and breathe." (John Gidding) and "My style is 'handsome glamour.'" (Brian Patrick Flynn) Also, while y'all likely knew this- both talked about the differences of designing on TV. For example, one can't use tiny prints because the camera cannot interpret it correctly. Certain flowers are "off limits" either because of the color (pale purple and pink don't read well on camera) or because of the petal size (camera cannot differentiate well the little petals).

Thus, in an effort to show you some of their "real" work, I set about scouring the Internet. Both gentlemen's websites show "under construction" so it was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. Also, I admit I got a little click-crazy and did not attribute many of the following photographs. I apologize! If you have information, please let me know and I will fix.

First up, John Gidding. Here's the dressing room he designed for Carrie Fisher for her Wishful Drinking set. Not my favorite (but what do I know about dressing rooms?) but I love the Ghost chairs and the rug.

via Point Click Home

John has been identified as an "Ikea Hacker" and apparently has largely Ikea furniture in his Atlanta home. In fact, many of the Ikea employees at Atlantic Station recognize him on site.
Below, a bookcase he designed for one of the shows taking 2 Ikea bookcases and completely redoing them. (here is where his architecture background shows).

via Ikea Hacker

For all his work on HGTV, I really expected to see more rooms. Here's the one that pops up most often- his work on the study for the 2009 HGTV Dream Home.

This next room is undoubtedly my favorite image I found- the Artefacto Style House, Atlanta Homes. I love the gray with the pops of orange.

via Atlanta Homes Magazine

And, we'll end on John's modern take of the Christmas Tree.

via HGTV

Next up, Brian Patrick Flynn, who is a self-taught designer. You can really see how "Handsome Glamour" applies and see bits of his design idols- David Hicks and Dorothy Draper.

I believe that this is his living room. Lots of neutral- but with gray and purple accents.

I love the combination of the gray and brown, nailhead trim, and pops of orange.

Modern kitchen and dining space in a Loft.

I adore the Tiffany Blue with black and white, shown here.

Photographer Sarah Dario via Seattle Times

I believe during his Green phase? I love the green and the white (shocker).

via Daylife

Outdoor loft space in Atlanta... what a view!
Sarah Dario photographer

A set (I think) he did illustrating living with pets. Brian recommends tough fabrics, like Sunbrella, when living with dogs and cats- to withstand the wear and tear. This room still looks glamourous!
via Tampa Day

And we'll end with Brian's take on the Christmas tree.

via Daylife

Hope you enjoyed!



  1. Emmie, it looks as if you had a fabulous time! And I love the images you found. The grey with pops of orange are my absolute favorite-they're just so gorgeous.

    What a great experience for you! I'm glad you had the chance to go and enjoy the panel.

  2. This was so interesting, I loved reading everything. I did not know a lot that either. Great post!

  3. Looks like a great night! You were so lucky to have gone. Thank you for the beautiful pictures, the green bathroom is probably my favorite!

  4. Great post. So wish I lived in Atlanta to be able to go to events like this. Every time I get something from ADAC with a fabulous speaker or seminar I always think, "if only I lived there". Thanks for the info.

    Ragland Hill Social

  5. I'm not familiar with Brian Patrick Flynn (or his TV show) but I love those rooms of his -- the gray & purple is a particular favorite. I'm not sure I'd call his style "handsome glamour", but it's definitely something my husband would love!

  6. What a neat, neat evening! I bet that was so cool to hear them both talk about designing for TV. I didn't know pink flowers were a no go either. Both men are so talented and we are lucky to have them in Atlanta. I have been up to the roof top Brian Patrick Flynn designed with the red chandelier and photographed it for my blog, its amazing! Thanks for sharing-how cool!

  7. Lucky you! What a fun evening and fabulous way of networking. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Loving: purple and gray, ghost chairs (which really almost disappear in this space!), and the intro to IKEA hacker!
    I totally sympathize on the fish out of water syndrome at designer (rather than blogger) intensive events. But I've also just been blown out of the water by how eager to talk and share some designers can be (delightfully). Thanks for spying for the rest of us! :)

  9. I had no idea designers had to edit their ideas for TV! How interesting. I am absolutely in love with the first picture of the vanity. You can tell the photographer used "HDR" because of the vivid colors and "other-worldly" feeling. Sometimes those effects bother me, but in this photo it absolutely works!

  10. I love the bedroom - very cute. interesting story!!!

    thanks for your comment today too!

  11. That was fun! Thanks for this!

  12. Good grief. I've been in the loft with the green door in October, 2008.

    Here is more of the loft as it looked that day. See the green chair backs?

  13. Hey there - someone just sent me a link to this! that WAS a fun event ya? I wished it could be more open-table, but I think it was a useful night.
    Meanwhile, my website has some images, and if you ever need any, please feel free to contact me through there I'm happy to help!
    See you around!

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