Creating cool spaces for bachelors and bachelorettes (part 2)
By Brian Patrick Flynn
From color palettes to labor costs, Brian Patrick Flynn has helped single, first-time home buyers turn their condos and houses into homes. Here’s the second installment of his tips and tricks:
Permanent VS. Removable
Although I’m a designer who likes to take chances, I’m also realistic when it comes to spending wisely. If you decide to go with a textured wallpaper such as seagrass, raffia or grasscloth, consider sticking with neutral tones, then introduce color with more removable items—drapery or accessories. This way you won’t have to incur the expense of wall covering prep and installation should you get bored with the color quickly.
One thing you can never go wrong with when decorating for the first time is sticking with vintage. It’s fun, often more affordable than new or custom, and can make a space feel personal. This bedroom I did in the Hollywood Hills for a bachelor is made up 100 percent of vintage finds from different areas including Americana, midcentury modern and even bohemian. To tie it all together, I stuck with new neutral tones of greige and charcoal seen on the walls and in the bedding and rug.
One of the biggest mistakes I run into is the lack of a solid space plan. Nine times out of 10 I think the best way to lay out a room is to float furniture around a focal point, or if there is no focal point, to arrange the furniture in a way that encourages fluid conversation. In this living room, I collected many of my bachelor client’s favorite things and arranged them as a gallery wall, then flanked it with a three-seater sofa and a pair of Ikat-upholstered arm chairs.
Maximize Outdoor Spaces
Above all else, I say make sure to save some money in your budget to maximize any outdoor space your first place has. Even if it’s a simple 8’x 8′ slab of concrete, encourage yourself to use the exterior area by treating it like a room: add outdoor rugs, weather-resistant furniture, shade items like umbrellas or sail shades and try to color coordinate it with whatever room in the house that connects.
No kids? No significant other? Well then, it’s time to use those bold colors that no one can object to! My trick for decorating with bright colors is to simply use them with paint, something quick, easy and affordable to change out, and then keep the bigger ticket items such as upholstery and rugs neutral.
Brian Patrick Flynn is an interior designer, production designer and set decorator based in Atlanta, Ga. Flynn designs residential properties for private clients as well as sets for television networks, ad campaigns and major online retailers. He designs spaces locally as well as in New York and Los Angeles. Check out his residential and production work on his production company’s website flynnsideout.com.