Brian Patrick Flynn
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"Behind the Design” with HGTV 2018 Urban Oasis Designer Brian Patrick Flynn

Garage Doors Garage Door Makeovers

Sep 2018

If you’re not familiar with Brian Patrick Flynn, surely you know his work. He’s the designer behind many HGTV Dream Home and Urban Oasis Giveaways, including the 2018 project in Cincinnati.

Bryan Patrick Flynn Interior Designer
Interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

We had the chance to chat with him recently to get the lowdown on how he combines strong colors, playful patterns, and a gamut of textures in a way that soothes your senses from room to room. 

Brian says he consciously chooses and uses a theme color to connect every space he designs – indoors and out. So naturally our first question was, “How about those red Clopay doors?” Here’s what he had to say.

Image of Urban Oasis 2018 home – Front Door
Clopay doors painted “Heartthrob Red” make a memorable first impression on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018 in Cincinnati.

  1. The first thing you notice about the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018 are the fire engine red doors. How did you come up with that color?

    I want to make sure each of the houses I design have something super memorable about them in regard to their curb appeal. While an entire home exterior painted red may stand out a little bit too much, red doors are a conversation starter, and also an amazing way for locals to remember the house -- “We live two blocks up from the house with the bright red doors.”

    Urban Oasis 2018 home, yard and garage with Clopay garage doors closedBrian Patrick Flynn uses color to bring a house together in a wow-worthy way.

  2. Did Cincinnati’s sports teams have anything to do with the exterior color palette?

    Since we’re in Cincinnati and sports are a big thing here, I liked the idea of working red into the house in an artful way. It’s just a simple little nod to the vernacular. I also consider red to be a bold neutral; it works with almost any other color in the spectrum.

    Urban Oasis 2018 home backyard couches and dining area
    Flynn used shiny red gooseneck lights and dining chairs to create a cheerful outdoor gathering space on the back deck.

  3. Picking out exterior paint colors is a big, scary deal for a lot of homeowners. You aren’t afraid to use the ones most people skip right over in a swatch book. Do you paint a bunch of sample colors on the exterior and stare at them for days before making a decision like the rest of us do?

    Front of Urban Oasis 2018 home with red door
    The striking color scheme highlights the charming architectural details of the 1920s Dutch Colonial including the gambrel roof, the large and inviting front porch, and the carriage style garage doors.

    Most of the time I have someone from my design team use Photoshop to mock-up options on a picture of the house. When I can see it first, it takes away any apprehension, and then I know that the end result is going to have a little edge to it, but also stay sophisticated and not be too over the top.

    As far as testing swatches, I wait a few days to see how each color looks at different times of the day. If the color shifts too much between sunrise and sunset, I’ll choose something else that stays more consistent.

  4. Had you spent time in Cincinnati prior to it being picked as the location for the Urban Oasis?

    I had never been to Cincinnati before, ever. And from the moment I saw the houses up on the hills from the plane as I was landing, I knew I was going to love it.

    Cincinnati is almost like a little secret. It has so much culture and history, and until I got here I had no idea. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the country.

  5. Is there anything about Cincinnati’s architecture or the city’s rich cultural history that you knew you wanted to incorporate into the house renovation?

    My favorite downtown neighborhood is Over-the-Rhine. There are tons of historic buildings painted dramatic colors and many have gorgeous murals on the exterior walls. I used those colors as inspiration and included them in the powder room, master bedroom, and in the second guest bedroom.

    Urban Oasis 2018 home colors

  6. Describe the style of the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018.

    It’s a Dutch Colonial revival furnished mostly in a classic, transitional style using unexpected colors almost everywhere from the kitchen cabinetry to a lacquered bedroom and even a wallpapered parlor.

    HGTV book on bed in Urban Oasis 2018 home 

  7. One thing we’ve noticed after working with you on a couple of these projects is that the garage is never just a place to park the car or store “stuff.”

    The reason I pay extra attention to the garages for the HGTV Urban Oasis has to do with the way most millennials are living. Many prefer to live in town and be able to walk everywhere or take public transportation, and also work from a creative studio space on a sofa rather than in a formal home office.

    When I see a detached garage, I see it as an opportunity to create an additional hang out space that feels like a little getaway but happens be in your own backyard.

    Interior of Urban Oasis 2018 garage
    Urban living is about maximizing every bit of living space, including the garage. Tables, chairs, and overhead lighting turn it into a bonus room for entertaining. The windows in the garage doors and a skylight overhead fill the space with daylight, even when the doors are closed. The garage is air-conditioned and the Clopay doors are insulated, so it won’t get stuffy.

  8. The garages you design are nicer than most interior family rooms. You do the whole bit: wallpaper, artwork, hanging light fixtures, leather chairs, stained paneling (not the 70s kind). What inspires you to treat it as a real living space instead of just a really clean organized space with plenty of cabinets to hide the clutter?

    Interior Garage Image Urban Oasis 2018

    There’s something about an empty garage that makes me want to turn it into a happy escape, albeit one that’s elevated and versatile for tons of different uses. There is a gardening table, places to store bikes and kayaks, a spot for tools.

    When I was little, we had this pass through space in our house my mom called “The Dumb Room”.  It was just off the garage and a spot to drop your stuff before reaching the living room.

    I remember always wishing I could have torn out the useless contractor grade shelving in there, and instead filled it with bean bags and books to create a special little spot to just hang out and chill.

  9. You designed the HGTV Urban Oasis 2016, a Craftsman bungalow in Ann Arbor, which also featured Clopay doors. You used the same entry door and garage door model for the Cincinnati Dutch Colonial, only now the doors are painted instead of stained. Do you have a preference between paint or stain finishes?

    Urban Oasis 2016 home exterior

    Ninety-nine percent of the time I prefer painted doors, but in the case of the 2016 Craftsman reno, the exterior color scheme was dark green with brown trim, so it didn’t really need a jolt of color on the doors.

    Urban Oasis 2016 living room
    A stained Clopay Craftsman Collection fiberglass entry door welcomes guests to the HGTV Urban Oasis 2016 in Ann Arbor.

    If the color of the house is more neutral, I prefer a painted door. If the exterior color is the main star, I like the doors to be a little more understated. It’s all a game of balance.

    Urban Oasis 2016 with Clopay garage doors
    The Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection faux wood carriage house style garage door was stained a dark stain finish. The doors are made from a durable composite material that looks like real wood but requires less upkeep.

    Urban Oasis 2018 Garage Doors by Clopay – Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series Design 12 with REC14 windows
    Brian Patrick Flynn used the same style Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection garage doors factory-painted Sherwin Williams “Heartthrob Red” for the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018. Model shown: Design 12 with REC13 windows.

  10. One of our favorite spaces on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2016 was the screened porch connected to the garage by a Clopay Avante Collection glass garage door. Was that the first time you’ve used a garage door in that way?

    The Ann Arbor house was the first time I’d used a glass garage door. As a designer, I always splurge on two things: doors and lighting. And that glass garage door transformed a space in the back of the garage into the most spectacular and unforgettable part of the house.

    Urban Oasis 2016 Clopay Avante Glass Overhead Garage Door
    The clear glass panels on the Avante Collection door flood the garage with natural light even when it’s closed. 

    Urban Oasis 2016 Clopay Avante Glass Overhead Garage DoorThe overhead garage door can be opened to create more room for game-day parties.

    Inside screened porch at Urban Oasis 2016
    The screened porch has comfy couches and chairs for reading, visiting with friends, or watching TV.

  11. When you aren’t designing houses for HGTV, you have your own business and work with your client’s style preferences. The winner of this house is yet to be determined. Do you ever hold back on doing something bold and unique because you aren’t sure it will have broad appeal?

    I more or less have a formula: keep it 75% classic and 25% experimental. I don’t know that I would ever paint an entire living room hot pink or use lime green tile in a master bathroom, nor would I opt to do graffiti in an entryway, but I do like the idea of playing up color in spaces that don’t get as much foot traffic as others, and introducing unique art and wall covering wherever I see it to be a good fit.

    I feel like as long as the majority of the house is approached in a classic, timeless way that turns up the edge factor just a little bit, it will be appealing to a wide range of design lovers’ tastes.


    I also have to check my own personal aesthetic at the door mostly because the house needs to have a mix of styles to ensure there’s a little something for everyone.

    If I did each house in my signature aesthetic of dark colors, tons of menswear prints and vintage-industrial furniture, it wouldn't be the right fit.

    Urban Oasis 2018

    Plaid wallpaper gives the inside of the garage on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2016 a preppy college feel. A Clopay modern glass garage door and complementing smooth fiberglass entry door adds urban industrial edge.

  12. Is there any particular item in the house that you included as your personal signature piece – kind of like saying Brian Patrick Flynn was here?

    The abstract king art in the living room. It’s a playful piece with tons of personality that was commissioned literally to pull together every single color used in the house. The aesthetic is very much me as are all of the high energy colors. 

  13. Some fans may not know that the adorable white terrier who stole the show during the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018 photo shoot is your dog, Gidget. People may be disappointed to find out that she isn’t part of the prize package.

    Man, my dog has definitely built her own fan base. She has been a major gift on photo shoots; dogs in images instantly make a space feel more inviting and just really convey a sense of home.

    Does she like traveling for photo shoots?

    I adopted her when she was a year old, and she is constantly around photo shoots and knows how they work. She knows exactly where to sit and how long to stay for, and the faster she gets it done and listens to commands, the faster she’ll get a carrot, and then the sooner she’ll get to go for a walk outside.

  14. HGTV bought the original Brady Bunch house.  As a designer, would you update it or put it in a time capsule representing all things 1970s?

    Since I was a teenager, the Brady Bunch house has always been my dream project. In a perfect world, I would stay as true to the house’s roots as possible, but update for life in the age of digital. I’d probably really play up 1970s colors and textures, but also bring in lots of high-tech touches and mix super classic art with graphic pieces. Unfortunately, I am not working on that project.

  15. Have you tried Cincinnati-style Chili?

    My uncle is from Cincinnati and took us out for Skyline Chili back in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So, I’ve definitely had my fair share of it. My main obsession in Cincinnati is their famous ice cream. That has been a major part of my life here.

    Skyline Chili Painting in Urban Oasis 2018 Home
    A colorful homage to Cincinnati-style Chili hangs in the stairwell. The dish uses a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce as a topping for spaghetti hot dogs ("coneys") and is served in restaurants throughout Cincinnati. The recipe was developed by Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s.

I like spending time in Over-the-Rhine to check out shops and cafes and architecture. On weekends, I like lunches in Hyde Park Square because of its sense of community.

Learn more about the Clopay doors used on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018.

Revisit the HGTV Urban Oasis 2016 (link to landing page 2016 gallery) and check out the awesome courtyard patio and screened porch addition with the glass garage door.

Want more design details from Brian Patrick Flynn and the HGTV team? Visit

Photos copyright 2018 Scripps Networks, LLC. Used with permission; all rights reserved.