Banishing the Beige

Brian Patrick Flynn gives color, texture and pattern free reign in his friend's Virginia-Highland condominium.

Home design TV guru Brian Patrick Flynn—formerly of TBS Movie & A Makeover, and currently the design producer of HGTV Design Star—doesn’t just play a designer and producer on reality TV, he is one in real life. When his real-life friend, Meredith Repp, visited his corporate apartment in Manhattan, she admired it so much that she asked him to work the same magic on her 800-square-foot 1960s Virginia-Highland condominium.

Since Repp was instantly drawn to the flamestitch FLOR tile in Flynn’s New York living room, it became the inspiration for her own space and provided the perfect palette to cure her condo of its beige-ness. “The entire place was beige,” explains Flynn. “Beige makes me want to stab myself in the face with a dull fork,” he adds, subtly.

Repp used the same FLOR tiles in her dining room, echoing their teal and seafoam hues on the ceiling and walls. The terracotta tone from the same tiles was used for the living room’s walls and ceiling.

Flynn’s bravery doesn’t end with color. Also fearless in the face of pattern and texture, he had the wall behind the sofa upholstered in quatrefoil fabric. The condominium is also full of polka dots, zig-zag stripes and paisley patterns that not only peacefully coexist, but also manage to complement each other. Natural woven textures are worked in through the sofa, woven pendant and custom sisal rug.

Since space is at a premium in the small abode, Repp parted with all unessential furnishings. She and Flynn found a small console at a favorite local flea market-style shop, Scarlett Loves Rhettro, and painted it turquoise. The console’s interior is used as storage for “clutterables” (remotes, DVDs, books and magazines), while the exterior is now a flat-panel TV stand. At Repp’s monthly cocktail parties, she simply moves a weathered wooden bench in the living room to the table for extra seating.

In the dining room, Flynn—always resourceful and budget conscious—found a table on Craigslist and applied a coral lacquer finish to it. He and Repp bought the dining room chairs at Kudzu Antiques and painted them metallic gold.

His background in TV production and set design has trained Flynn to keep things graphic and uncluttered. “I think of residential spaces as livable sets,” Flynn says. “My real-life spaces are much more warm and forgiving than the sets, though. That’s a big thing for me, warmth.” And it shows. There is, undeniably, a big warmth in this small space.

INTERIOR DESIGN Brian Patrick Flynn;