Designer Brian Patrick Flynn and husband Hollis Smith celebrate the birth of their daughter at the baby shower of the year

Guests gather to celebrate the latest addition to the family of popular Atlanta designer

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles: Congratulations on your latest addition! Tell us how you’re feeling as a new family of three.

Brian Patrick Flynn: It’s been a remarkably complex road to get here, mostly since the entire process has been a massive education in reproductive science paired with lessons in how to design a house that’s baby-proof and comfy for little ones, yet also aesthetically pleasing. But the intense three years of planning to get to this point were worth the payoff. This all feels like act
two for me; the idea of a whole new life and perspective at 48 is mind-blowing.

AH&L: From tasty treats to thoughtful party favors and other dainty details, your baby shower had all of the sweetest moments. Tell us about the event and what the inspiration behind the design was?

BPF: This sounds insane because most designers are control freaks, but I gave 100% of the creative control to my three closest girlfriends Meghann (publicist), Ashley (graphic designer), and Charlotte (set decorator). The only directive I gave was for pastels to be involved and for paper crafts to be involved. Charlotte’s massive paper flowers were next level. They adorned the disco lounge inside and also added tons of graphic impact to the springtime brunch deck out front.

AH&L: Great parties are hard to pull off without awesome partnerships. Tell us more about who you worked with on your baby shower?

BPF: I left it all up to Charlotte, Meghann, and Ashley for the aesthetic, and also to executive chef Mat Kowal who tackled all of the food and beverage design. We had Atlanta artist Blayne Macauley create an original piece for Clover’s playroom that all of our guests signed as part of the actual composition on the front.

AH&L: I’m sure the love was radiating the day of your shower. What was your favorite moment from the day?

BPF: The best moment was the brunch setup on the front deck with all of the springtime colors starting to appear in the trees. So many guests brought adorable woven toys and playsets that we ended up working them into the decor. I figured why not?

AH&L: You and your husband renovated your home office into the most charming nursery. Tell us about the design process and what your vision was for this space. Any special elements?

BPF: The most special moment about the entire nursery remodel was a promise we made in 2015 to the home’s original owner, Ruth, who built it in 1965 with her husband, Jack. She raised her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids in this house, and would only sell it to me if I kept its formal floor plan and loved it as much as she did, especially if we started our own family in it. A few weeks into our third trimester we started our nursery, and soon thereafter we got word that Ruth left this world 10 days shy of her 100th birthday, and the timing could not have been more beautiful—we made good on our promise. My home office was, hands down, my favorite room in our house. I needed to love it in its new form as much as in its previous life, so I went all the way with custom design for everything. My graphic designer, Ashley Bothwell Chapman, and I designed the Nordic Explorer wallpaper together; it’s made of industrial-grade vinyl which is, more or less, kid-proof. The palette is a layering of pine greens and pinks ranging from washed-out blush (background of the wallpaper) to a vibrant cotton candy (ripple fold drapery from Drapes & More). The one thing I knew I wanted from the get-go was a custom Campaign Crib in Fern from ducduc. It’s so architectural and unique, and that was what kick-started it all. And then there are the polished chrome escutcheons from Rejuvenation. Our house is a 1965 midcentury modern, and I needed to honor its architecture somehow—that’s where the hardware came into play.

AH&L: As new dads, what have you learned are the must-haves for a nursery?

BPF: Blackout drapery panels are not negotiable; no way to confirm sleepy time with any sunlight coming in. So bizarre for me, because I’m such a natural light person that I often leave windows bare. Aside from that, performance fabrics. I could not find a glider I liked, so instead I bought the most simplistic silhouetted one I could find online. Then, I had my workroom give it a custom look with forest green performance fabric from Pindler. So many people ask if I designed it myself, and the truth is I found it online and gave it a Brian Patrick Flynn facelift, so in essence, I guess I did, kind of?

AH&L: Clover is a lucky little girl to have you as parents, and what a sweet name. How did you decide on the name Clover?

BPF: Hollis and I are both from Irish families, going back two generations or so; his mom’s maiden name is Kelly. If we had a boy, we knew he’d be named Sebastian Kelly. Girls? Yikes. Phonetically speaking, Irish names are really tough. After tossing around so many, we stopped and thought, “Four-leaf clovers are super Irish. Why not just go with Clover? Who says Clover isn’t a name?” and the rest is history. Her middle name is Greer which also was a contender for a first name.

AH&L: What an exciting time as you enter your “baby bliss” stage! What are you most looking forward to in this next phase of life?

BPF: Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to feeling like a kid again myself. The magic of Christmases, Halloweens, and birthdays disappeared once I became an adult, and I think seeing these things through a little kid’s eyes and imagination is going to give me a whole new appreciation for things I started to find mundane. Oh, and daily walks through Chastain Park—I can’t stop thinking about those, which are absolutely going to happen hopefully every day of the week.