Bryan Kirkland creates classic interiors with twist


Bryan Kirkland creates classic interiors with twist

Bryan Kirkland has never had any formal training in interior design, but the Atlanta native and owner of BAK Designs has a natural talent for using color and pattern to create classic interiors with a twist.

Background: Grew up in south Atlanta and bought my first house in Virginia Highland in 1979. It cost $25,000. I thought I had hit the big time when I had a pool installed two years later. In 1985, I moved to Washington, D.C., and worked in interior design with Bloomingdales. In 1991, I moved to Miami, but headed back to Atlanta 10 years later.

How I got started: I have always been creative. I loved rearranging my room as a child and probably drove my mother up a wall with “I wants.” I started working in furniture sales. My second job was with Rich’s at Lenox Square. I was in visual merchandising and had lots of freedom to be creative. I realized I had a flair for the unexpected. And that continues today.

My company: Atlanta-based BAK Designs Inc. started in 2008. I have gone from being a designer to having a showroom to now owning an architectural and interior design firm.

My design style: Classic interiors with a twist. I like to introduce the unexpected. I love “Hollywood Regency meets Hollywood Glam” with transitional furnishings. My palettes run from neutral to vibrant, but my true talents appear when I use color and patterns. In the end, my style and colors reflect each and every client’s personal taste.

As seen in: Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, the Men’s Book (Atlanta), Atlanta Symphony Decorators Show House and the Cathedral (of St. Philip) Antiques Show and Tour of Homes in Atlanta.

Claim to fame: 2013 Top 25 Designers in Atlanta by Veranda magazine and nominated as 2013 designer of the year by the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC).

Best thing about my job: Changing people’s lives through the art of interior design. I have been told numerous times by clients how the transformation of their homes has renewed their spirit.

Biggest design mistake I have ever made: Opening my showroom in 2009 at the beginning of a financial crisis.

Design pet peeves: That I can’t use all of the beautiful fabrics I find.

A designer’s challenges: Working with family heirlooms when they do not fit the design aesthetic.

Common mistake homeowners make: Choosing items that don’t fit the size and scale of a room.

Favorite design sources:

Stores: ADAC showrooms: Grizzel & Mann; Ainsworth Noah; Travis & Company; Jim Thompson; Logan Gardens; Moattar; Kravet; and Ernest Gaspard

Designers: Wayne Breeden, Mary Drysdale and Kelly Wearstler

Unexpected finds: Scott’s Antiques, Antiques and Beyond and the Westside Market

Household issue I am particular about: I am an organizational freak. Everything has its place. I have everything in my drawers and closets color-coordinated.

Favorite household objects: My cast iron skillet and my pressure cooker

Latest project: An estate home in Chastain Park

Up next: A luxury cosmetic surgery center

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