Brian Patrick Flynn

Guest Editor's Letter

Apr 30, 2018

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Brian Patrick Flynn, and I'm an Atlanta-based interior designer who speaks in remarkably intense run-on sentences and is known for being the opposite of chill (I have no chill). Basically, if you mixed the personality and energy of Shoshanna from Girls with the physical characteristics of Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, that's me…kinda. When Good Grit reached out to me about guest editing its Heirloom issue, my immediate response was something like, "The only way I was able to pay my way through college was by hosting monthly garage sales featuring heirlooms I'd find in the trash and refinish myself. So... yes!"

To put this issue together, the design team from my production company Flynnside Out worked hand in hand with the editorial team at Good Grit. Why do I have a production company? Well, my background is actually in TV production, but in 2010, I married my residential interior design career (which I kinda considered just a hobby) with my set decorating and writing/directing career. And it worked. Like, it really worked. And, as it turns out, one of the very first video series we produced at Flynnside Out was all about heirlooms and antiques. Everything has come full circle.

In addition to my private residential interior design world, I'm also the designer of two home-giveaway franchises on HGTV: HGTV Dream Home and HGTV Urban Oasis. Each of these takes place in different cities every year; therefore, more than 70 percent of my year is spent traveling for work, and you'll see exactly how extreme my travel gets when you read my “5 Things to Do.”

Guest editing this issue was a fish-out-of-water experience, mostly because I have never really considered my life to be all that interesting, let alone interesting enough to be woven through an entire magazine. But, as it turns out, it's really about the people and places that excite me and inspire me—all fellow Southerners, of course. Whether it's Sally King Benedict's talents as an artist and decorator; the entrepreneurial skills of my former TV-producer colleague, Krystee Spencer, who successfully made the leap into the food and beverage industry; the gorgeous photography work of two of my best friends on the planet, Robert Peterson and Sarah Dorio; or the selfless non-profit work of my friend Kate Atwood, all of these people are interesting, inspiring, and also really, really good souls.

So enjoy this issue. We've put in a lot of work to bringing you something fresh and, at many times, totally outside the box. From a house I designed in Knoxville, Tennessee, packed with one-of-a-kind keepsakes and handed-down furniture, to a group of TV and film costume designers well-versed in all things vintage, this issue truly is all about the heirlooms.

Words by Brian Patrick Flynn
Photo by Rustic White