Brian Patrick Flynn on His Journey from Aspiring Filmmaker to Magnolia Network Design Star

The TV talent has his own show, Mind for Design, on Chip and Joanna Gaines's network

Brian Patrick flynn 2022
Photo: Zeke Ruelas

Brian Patrick Flynn is a favorite of Chip and Joanna Gaines, but the Mind for Design host on their Magnolia Network never planned on a career in front of the camera. "I wanted to be a director," says Flynn, 46.

Despite his dream to become "the next Wes Anderson," design always came naturally. In his early 20s, the self-taught decorator paid his way through film school by refinishing old furniture left for trash and selling the pieces at a monthly yard sale. "People bought every single thing," he says. "At that point a lot of my friends were like, 'We know you're passionate about the filmmaking thing, but you've got something here.' It turns out they were right."

Brian Patrick Flynn rooms
Robert Peterson

Flynn began documenting his work and later landed hosting gigs on HGTV's Dream Home and Urban Oasis. In 2015 he caught the eye of Joanna Gaines on Instagram. Eventually, they met for lunch. "We just hit it off," he says. "A few weeks later we developed the show together, and we've been friends ever since. I feel super lucky."

Flynn adds that his style has evolved over the years.

Brian Patrick Flynn Dream Home
Robert Peterson

"When I first started working as an interior designer, especially being self-taught, all of my experience with sourcing and materials was basically through flea markets and thrift stores," says Flynn. "It's all I had the money for. And it's all anybody wanted to trust a 29-year-old guy without a portfolio to do."

Flynn continues, "As the budgets got bigger and I started to do higher profile gigs. What's happened is the more experience I've had, the more I know about materials. So, my early work, a lot of it is fun, and playful, and packed with color and pattern, but I didn't necessarily have the money for interior architecture or beautiful windows. Now I design almost everything."

Brian Patrick Flynn rooms
Robert Peterson

Flynn also has some advice for people who want to make a design change in their space, but don't know where to start.

"A lot of people get paralyzed when it comes to actually spending money and making decisions that are permanent," he says. "The first thing that I always tell people is first, play with paint that you'd never think you'd be comfortable with. Because [it's less costly or permanent than] upholstery or architecture or putting in a fireplace or a light fixture, where once it goes up, it stays up, and you have to hire a professional to change it out. With paint, you can do it yourself. It doesn't cost much. And on top of that, you can test your limits!"

Mind for Design is currently available to watch on Magnolia Network and discovery+.

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