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In Like Flynn

A Custom Home To Fit Their Family

 

In 2017, when Kristine and Joey Flynn of Flynn Designs built a new home for their family of four, the 6-month process was swift and smooth. Not surprising when you consider their level of experience. The couple worked on more than 100 other residential projects last year as well.

“Word of mouth has really been building our business,” said Joey. ‘We recommend the contractors we work well with and they recommend a lot of business to us.”

The couple met while both attending design school at University of Louisiana in Lafayette, married and began separate practices – she in interior design, he in architecture. Then in 2011, they joined forces as Flynn Designs (flynndesignsnola.com).

A huge island topped with quartzite is the focal point of the kitchen. Kristine whitewashed the pecky cypress boards for the ceiling of the breakfast area and Joey installed them. Bar stools by Gabby Home.

 

By making the house one and a half stories with dormers instead of two full stories, the Flynns kept the house in scale with the lot and the surrounding houses.

 

“She can envision the design before anyone else can,” said Joey. “The space planning, layout and flow are my strong suit.”

The Flynn’s own home - the fourth they’ve designed for themselves, but the first new construction - is a prime example of their strengths. The couple learned of the Harahan location when a developer-friend asked them to partner on the building of a spec house. Instead, they purchased the property and built a house that would suit the needs of a young family (their son and daughter are six and five, respectively) and showcase their design talents. In fact, they often take clients through the house, which was built by RMC Construction.

 

The landing at the top of the stairs is used as a homework area with built-in desk and storage space.

 

The lot, 50 by 120 feet, was a good standard size with which to work, so the couple used the project as a way to see what they could do. The idea was to build a 3,000 square-foot house that wouldn’t look out of scale in the neighborhood and to get as much as possible out of the square footage.

 

Joey, Paxton, Norah and Kristine Flynn in front of the rock-climbing wall and nook in Paxton’s room.

 

By designing a one and a half story house with dormers rather than a two-story house, they were able to save on building costs while still incorporating four bedrooms, three and a half baths, laundry and mud rooms, a work area, a playroom, a butler’s pantry and plenty of closets in an informal, light-filled interior. The one traditional piece that’s missing is a formal dining room.

 

By making the house one and a half stories with dormers instead of two full stories, the Flynns kept the house in scale with the lot and the surrounding houses.

 

The Flynns also designed the house to be versatile and employed creative alternatives to box-shaped rooms, storage areas and common design problems. The playroom, which shares a bath with the guest room, could be used as a fifth bedroom or office and is handicap accessible.

“Anyone can draw a box,” said Kristine, who finds unusually shaped rooms to be more interesting.

 

Daughter Norah’s room is pretty-in-pink with velvet, ruched-top curtains, a whimsical tent and a porcelain-flowered drum shade light fixture.

 

Inspiration for the house came from both “the comfortable beach feel” of the homes along Florida’s 30A and from New Orleans’ rich architecture.

“It’s an eclectic mix of all the things we’re exposed to,” said Joey.

 

Five second story dormers make space for the upstairs rooms, which have sloped ceilings that follow the pitched roof-lines of the dormers.

 

A decade of working with clients helped Kristine know where to spend and save the budget. She outfitted the entire house with striking light fixtures without breaking the bank, but insisted on custom cabinetry, which allows for greater flexibility with colors and finishes, and splurged on details like hardware.

 

“We did a custom house on a spec house budget,” she said.

The interior’s white palette is warmed with natural woods, distressed touches, and faux finishes. The floors are engineered white oak, there is a white-washed pecky cypress ceiling over the breakfast room and the painted doors leading to the playroom have the weathered look of salvaged antiques.

 

The downstairs playroom features a contemporary light fixture and doors with a distressed faux finish that imparts the look of age.

 

The cool canvas of white reads as simple, clean, and understated, while the custom touches relay both the patina of age and the designer signature that the Flynns are known for. Kristine’s transitional mix of modern and traditional furnishings is in perfect sync with the architecture’s thoughtful origins.

 

A pair of matching sofas and contemporary wing-back chairs with a Greek key pattern provide seating in the living room. Rug by Loloi.

 

The Flynn’s style and expertise have engendered such trust among clients that several have allowed them carte blanche with all design choices. Video reveals of those clients happily viewing their remodeled spaces are posted on Flynn Designs’ website. Each time they’ve moved, their own homes have sold within 48 hours.

“We definitely pride ourselves on being custom home designers,” said Kristine. “We try very hard to go through all the details and figure out how people live.”


 

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