After months spent ripping rooms apart and putting them back together, a very nice and smart interior designer’s mountain house scores a holiday magazine spread.
Written, produced, designed, directed and styled by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.
Sometimes I fantasize about opening up a car dealership and naming it Harrison Ford. But that’s kinda unrealistic because [a] I think cars are unjustifiably expensive and would want to sell them to everyone for half-price, and [b] I drive a Jeep. So I’ll just settle for designing and decorating sets, posting to Instagram three times a day, and stuff like that.
Just this past August when I was sitting by myself in the dark with my dogs feeling sad because I’ve never seen a flying squirrel in real life, I started to think about hosting the 2014 holidays at my mountain house. And then, in true decorator fashion, I fixated on how it would look all decked out with Christmas trees, free-standing deer made out of bark, and lots of wreaths…specifically ones made from chunky yarn in several shades of green, maybe some black and charcoal, and then perhaps a few different neutral tones for good measure.
KAZAM!, ten days later my carpenter Trevor (brand-new, once wore mustard-toned pants), stylist-friend Alaidriale (spellcheck hates her) and I installed it for the December issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. This is kind of a big deal to me because when I first started out as a self-taught designer, I’d buy the hell out of this magazine to sit and salivate over the work of design icons like Susan Ferrier, John Oetgen, Bill Ingram, Barbara Westbrook, Lee Kleinhelter, William Peace, Beth Webb and Phoebe Howard. So, needless to say, being in the same publication as these folks [a] is super awesome [b] gives me a little bit of that Milli Vanilli feeling like someone is going to come and take away my Grammys for being an imposter.
Something I find fascinating in the world of shelter magazines is seeing which images make it to print, which ones don’t and why. I’m referring to alternative angles and/or prop styling options which change the mood or focus of each photo, resulting in how they fit together to tell a solid, visually cohesive story. This doesn’t really have as much to do with the featured design as it does with the layout, flow and relevance of the issue as a whole. It’s kinda like seeing the director’s cut of a movie on DVD and finding out about entire scenes being deleted because they just didn’t work. There’s usually a ton of beautiful stuff created, but it’s just not all needed when all is said and done.
Below is a look at some alternative shots that didn’t make it into the magazine as well as others that did. And now I’m gonna go look up guided flying squirrel tours of Yosemite Valley. If they don’t exist, I’m gonna be pissed.
First up is the outdoor living room. Although Trevor and I both worked our asses off to make the scroll art work, the elements caused its sides to curl up and look all ugly and stupid and stuff. And because of this, we submitted one version of the space with the scroll and another without. As you can see, the editor and art director (both named Elizabeth) preferred the shot without the soul-sucking curly scroll of broken dreams.
And then there’s the outdoor dining space. “OUTDOOR DINING IN THE FRIGID COLD OF DECEMBER? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF OPERATION ARE YOU EVEN RUNNING HERE?” you ask. WILL EVERYBODY JUST CALM THE F@#$ DOWN, PLEASE? The dining deck works year-round because we’ve got good looking space heaters to stick in every corner to keep it warm, okay? But I digress. We shot this from two different angles with slightly different styling options. You can see those below and you will know they are the styling options because they are marked like this, “STYLING OPTION.”
Although the styling options totally worked, the Elizabeths chose the alternative angle (below) which was a good call because it looks more wintry. The cloudy skies here are way more on par with winter weather than the lush green trees seen in the other angle (above).
As far as the interior goes, here are the shots we took which didn’t end up making the cut.
Okay, that’s all I have to say about this entire experience. Scroll down to check out a few more images from the magazine spread, then link over to the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles site for the entire issue. If you don’t, a baby reindeer will be eaten by a family of hippopotamuses.
Now stop looking at my sweater and go HERE. And also tell your friends that I ended a blog post with the word hippopotamuses.