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Re-purpose a vintage suitcase into a designer dog bed…in a single afternoon
To keep my sneaky Terrier, Gidget, off my spill-anything-on-it-and-I-will-sue-your-ass-off sofa, I challenged myself to some designer DIY. The project? Transform a vintage suitcase into a one-of-a-kind dog bed. Although I’d like to claim I came up with the idea myself, the original inspiration came from clever artisans on etsy. If the words “screwdriver” and “drill” intimidate the hell outta you, take the easy route by popping out the credit card and tossing some dollars etsy’s way. On the other hand, if you’ve got a full afternoon to kill and a dog eager to slobber on your Schumacher-upholstered sofa, you should get on top of this project pronto. It’s pretty easy, not to mention uber-cheap—I’ll even pinky swear on it. Altogether, it set me back about $55. That’s a small price to pay for a pee-free sofa. Not to mention a house void of cliche, dog-themed fabric—which may, in fact, be a secret portal straight to pet furniture hell.
Decking the halls in one day for under $250 using an unexpected holiday hue
Produced, designed, written and directed by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Christina Wedge
When it comes to guys and holiday decorating, I envision spaces more in sync with A Charlie Brown Christmas than The White House Holiday Special. Although I’m a practicing decorator, I’m certainly no exception to the rule. In fact, just a few years ago, my own dark, sparse apartment suggested that Halloween, not Christmas, took place on December 25th. But this year, I did kinda get into Christmas; however, taking more than a day to plan and execute it, notsomuch.
Always up for a challenge, I decided to conceptualize and bring to life my own holiday décor in a single day—on a teeny, tiny budget. To make the entire situation even more difficult, I declared red, green, silver and gold totally off limits. Instead I stuck with violet, brown, white and bronze, hitting up only three checkbook-friendly stores to find it all: Wal-Mart, Target and Big Lots. Now that my halls are decked in a less cliché manner, am I in the Christmas spirit? Kinda. Am I more focused on the six-foot, ultra-white tree in the corner throwing off the balance of my living room’s year-round look than the gifts below it? Bah humbug, yes.
Two designers help a trashy triad of furniture shed its curbside past to inspire an economy-friendly outdoor lounge
Produced, designed, styled and written by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
Lately I’ve been street hustling with hardcore garbage. It’s not my fault, I’m blaming the economy. Nowadays doing the design showroom mambo with deep-pocketed, Prada-clad clients is more fantasy than nine-to-five routine. To make a buck as a decorator in 2010, you’ve gotta strap on the knee pads, prepare to suck it [up] and hope that everyone else is putting out. The trash, that is.
Dumpster dives, curbside castaways and remnant rooms are now substitutes for occupational terms such as memo runs, borrowed floor models and sample sales. Since I’m known for vintage heavy spaces, my X-ray vision for hidden potential is a great fit for hounding trash [and cleaning it up]. As 70 degree no-chance-of-rain days set in, I kicked it into high gear and hired myself to design my own freecycled, trash-to-treasure outdoor lounge with a little help from my fellow DIY-challenged spatial planner friend, Sarah. We put together a bold, budget-minded gathering space just in time for friends—and yellow layers of Atlanta pollen—to christen it.
Produced, designed, written and directed by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
Five years into my interior design career, I’ve tackled some seriously “yeah, good luck with that” projects: fraternity house, two animal rescue spaces, three-story-high rooftop dining room with no elevator, mid-century garden shed, two non-profit children’s art studios, lounge space for teen girls, non-profit dining room for the homeless and an 8,500 square foot two-story restaurant on a shoestring budget and blink-and-you-missed-it timeline. So, of course, a room inspired by a two-time Academy Award winning Hollywood icon would be the next step, right? What the $%#@?
Jane Fonda founded GCAPP [Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention] in 1994 when the state of Georgia had the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy. This year, to raise funds for the cause, she hosted World Fitness Day, a nod to her Spandex-clad exercise videos of the 1980′s. When asked to create something relevant to the event for its live VIP auction, I jumped at the chance to whip up something over-the-top, legwarmer-centric and totally Barbarella…but didn’t. Huh? While fur-upholstered, zero-gravity, spaceship style rooms are totally awesome, high society patrons dropping thousands of dollars to take them home seem rather unlikely. Oscars and Emmys aside, the Fondalicious auction deserved its own award. Jane and her friends raised thousands of dollars for GCAPP, the winning bidder got the deal of a lifetime, my high-strung upholsterer drowned himself in free top-shelf liquor and I got to turn legwarmers into pillows.
Lifestyle expert Annette Joseph’s impressive culinary creations from basic pantry items
Shelter magazine producer. Chef. Prop stylist. Florist. Food stylist. M.I.L.F. Writer. Decorator. Athlete. Morning show expert. Gardener. To assign Annette Joseph just one title is to set yourself up for failure. She’s that Little Miss Good-at-Everything you want to hate but can’t: student body president, track star, cheerleading captain, philanthropist and comedienne. Producing a web-based feature on her is tricky as a b&$%@. How do we choose just ONE role for such a multi-faceted design star?
My photographer and I approached our first Annette Joseph feature as though we were culinary students. Our combined cooking expertise: toasted pop tarts, water in a glass with ice and re-heated soup. We asked Annette to walk us through so-easy-a-trained-monkey-could-do-it recipes certain to have friends and taste buds smiling. To further drive home how user-friendly this all was, the gracious hostess enlisted a quartet of [gasp!] teenage boys to execute it all under her direction. The outcome? An afternoon of jar opening, cheese sprinkling, X-box playing, oven pre-heating and the best $&%@ flatbread creations in history.
New York City designer Brad Ford‘s basket of tricks for an impromptu picnic in the Hollywood Hills
Business travel can sometimes totally suck it hard. Imagine getting to Hawaii for a three day conference only to find out it’s all indoors…three miles from the beach. How about finishing a day long seminar in Las Vegas only to receive an areola surprise from a showgirl……over cocktails with your boss? No thanks.
If I’m in a great city, I prefer to see less of my Inbox and more of the locale. Decor Demon was recently part of a keynote presentation panel at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Fellow panelist/designer Brad Ford and I made a pact to see the California sun between meetings, albeit it 45 minutes or two hours. Determined to experience the Hollywood Hills, relax al fresco AND dine in style, Mr. Ford worked in a mid-afternoon picnic before heading to a networking event. After feverishly raiding the aisles of Target and Whole Foods Market, the New York tastemaker created a place in the sun as well-edited and executed as his flawless body of work.
How five misfit chairs and a clashing table band together to create a beautiful, budget-friendly dining space
For decorators, both chairs and flea markets are kinda like porn. Regardless of what it is you’re into, there’s something for everyone. While a traditional ladder back is comparable to the missionary position, a 1960′s leather-clad chrome chair has more in common with an orgy. Similar to DVDs at the XXX video shop, flea markets are ripe with fresh new methods of self-discovery.
Clients are clasping their wallets tighter than ever, making splurges on designer dining rooms out of the question. Dining spaces are quick, fun and simple to create; I refuse to let this economy banish them to decorating purgatory. My team hypothesized a four-legged design strategy — create a chic dining space for less than what we’d spend on a custom tablecloth before the economic downturn. We would group mismatched pieces together, then Tim Gunn it [make it work]. Clever choices mixing do-it-yourself tricks with professional tailoring allowed us to affordably create a dining room in which to have our cake and eat it too.
The Food Map Container leaves both blizzards and droughts green with envy
Produced, written and styled by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
Is your green thumb more Toxic Avenger than Jolly Green Giant? Under your supervision are plants more likely to become six feet under than six feet tall? Me too! Mother nature will take no more excuses since the design of the Food Map Container. Chief designer Jon L. Wilson (Assoc. AIA, LEED AP) heads up California-based Food Map design, a young multi-disciplinary firm committed to residential food cultivation. Wilson’s industrial-chic containers arm green-space-lacking urbanites with a tool to grow their own food. Read More