Atlanta interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn didn’t shy away from color or oversized art and fixtures in his recent major project: the 20th annual HGTV Dream Home.
The home’s waterfront setting in Merritt Island, Fla., inspired the decor of this first-ever dream home remodel. Previous HGTV Dream Home properties have been new construction. The 3,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home on Florida’s east coast, near Cocoa Beach, was built in the mid-1990s. It was an ill-conceived design with small windows and different wall and ceiling heights, said Flynn, who practices private residential interior design in the greater Atlanta area.
“They let light in, but didn’t capitalize on the view,” he said. “Walls went up only three quarters of the way … to display baskets. We made it way more up to date.”
The custom renovated home (HGTV.com/HGTVDreamHome) was designed by a Florida team — architect Michael Stauffer and Steven Price of Steven W. Price Construction. Major features, such as a kitchen island, are new. The island, with striped bar stools, gives the home a casual dining space.
Perimeter cabinets made of dark brown wood ground the space and are paired with white, shaker-style upper cabinets. The result makes the kitchen feel more open and not so top heavy, Flynn said. A mosaic Carrera marble tile laid out in a basket weave runs from the countertop to the ceiling to tie together the cabinet choices.
Flooring from Lumber Liquidators in the kitchen and other rooms has a bleached finish that also helps the dark cabinets and island base stand out. Flynn used Bellawood Carriage House White Ash for those floors with a whitewashed look; Bellawood Natural American Walnut also is in the home.
“I usually like to have mix of different wood tones,” he said.
When people decorate homes on the water, they often give into stereotypes, such as endless shell accessories and artwork of images like boats. This home’s interiors represents a classic, transitional spin on coastal, said Flynn, who does production design for HGTV through his firm, Flynnside Out. People can enter to win the 2016 Dream Home — part of a grand prize package valued at $1.5 million — through Feb. 18.
Flynn offers new ideas for decorating with a coastal theme by using cool colors, such as blue, blue gray, sea green, white and dove gray, throughout the home. Then he used a bold teal (Thai Teal from Glidden) for the walls and ceiling of the master bedroom, located on the second floor.
“The other rooms where I went very subtle with the color had to do with having to work cohesively with other spaces adjacent to them. The master bedroom … has an unobstructed view of the river and an incredible view across the window. It’s a private room,” he said. “If I was going to play with bold color, I wanted to do it in a room that would be a lot more personal.”
For unusual art, he suggests using an unexpected image in an unusual way. A living room wallcovering came from a high-resolution scan of an image of surfers on Cocoa Beach in the 1970s. The image, purchased from a local historical society, was printed on vinyl.
Flynn selected most of the furniture, upholstery, window treatments and accessories from Ethan Allan, a Dream Home sponsor. He mixed tailored and slipcovered chairs around a weathered farmhouse table in dining area, which is painted a blue gray (Glidden’s Quiet Rain). He picked up a few smaller pieces, such as primitive-style wood chairs, at flea markets and thrift shops.
Accessories include a turtle sculpture made out of seashells and placed on the metal and glass coffee table in the living room. It’s the “comic relief,” Flynn said.