Brian Patrick Flynn Is Going to Be a Dad! HGTV Dream Home Designer Expecting First Baby with Husband (Exclusive)

"The whole story is just total magic," Flynn shares with PEOPLE

<p>Kelly Christine Sutton</p> Brian Patrick Flynn, his husband Hollis and their surrogate Marissa

Kelly Christine Sutton

Brian Patrick Flynn, his husband Hollis and their surrogate Marissa

Brian Patrick Flynn is going to be a dad!

The interior designer, best known for being the HGTV Dream Home Designer, is welcoming his first baby with husband Hollis Smith via surrogate. The couple, who wed in 2018, exclusively shared photos of their baby announcement with PEOPLE and chatted about adding another member to their family as they enjoyed their baby moon in Japan.

"We've been together for 18 years and we've done really epic things together," Flynn tells PEOPLE, describing how they both enjoy doing "really unique" activities and that having a baby was "always on the table."

"But then one thing led to another and I would say as we were approaching 40, we were both like, okay, tick tock, it's time to decide. And then both of our careers totally took off in our late thirties."

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<p>Joseph Bradshaw</p> Brian Patrick Flynn and husband Hollis Smith

Joseph Bradshaw

Brian Patrick Flynn and husband Hollis Smith

Related: Who's Due Next? Celebs Who Are Expecting

It wasn't until the pandemic, when Flynn, 47, and Smith noticed that their friends were having to educate their kids and work from home, that they realized that the timing had always been right.

As soon as they got vaccinated and got back to their normal lives at the end of 2021, they decided to start the surrogacy process. "We were super nervous about the amount of stress that would come from surrogacy because for years there's been a global shortage," Flynn tells PEOPLE.

<p>Joseph Bradshaw</p> Brian Patrick Flynn is currently working on baby-proofing his home

Joseph Bradshaw

Brian Patrick Flynn is currently working on baby-proofing his home

Luckily, the couple was able to use their friend Taylor Frey's surrogacy agency Elevate, which "specifically caters to same-sex families or single same-sex people in the LGBT community," Flynn says.

"And they've managed to put together this incredible roster of egg donors and surrogates who just desperately want to help people who can never have [kids] on their own," the designer shares. "So the easiest part was finding the agency."

Soon after, Flynn and his husband made a profile on the website in October 2021, so that a potential surrogate could choose their family. While they thought they'd be waiting until the end of 2023 or 2024 to find a surrogate, they were happily surprised when their surrogate Marissa entered the picture.

<p>Kelly Christine Sutton</p> Flynn and his husband worked with their surrogate to design an extra special wallpaper

Kelly Christine Sutton

Flynn and his husband worked with their surrogate to design an extra special wallpaper

"Magically our surrogate Marissa, who lives in the Midwest in the States, which is an hour and 20-minute flight from us, was like that couple's perfect," he explains. "She chose us. It was so magical and it was just totally meant to be. It turns out she's also a graphic designer, which is the type of person I work with all the time in my career, Hollis as well."

"The whole story is just total magic because now she's absolutely a forever family member. So is her husband and so are her kids. They will be Uncle Nathan and Aunt Marissa and her kids will basically be cousins to our kid."

Flynn and Smith have a very special relationship with their surrogate. The designer says that they speak every day and that their bond has turned into one of brother and sister.

"She fits right in with our senses of humor, all of our views on life and our views on family and upbringing and careers," Flynn says. "It was almost like she also would fit perfectly into my friend circle."

<p>Kelly Christine Sutton</p> Bonding with their surrogate Marissa

Kelly Christine Sutton

Bonding with their surrogate Marissa

As he gets ready to welcome his little one, Flynn has been busy baby-proofing his space. "My favorite thing in the entire world is an all-white house," he says. "And that might not be the smartest choice for somebody who's about to have a little one who's going to have sticky fingers and lots of food."

"The hardest thing is finding something that is super comfortable but also pretty and durable," he says. "And I've noticed my whole life, I love the beautiful, uncomfortable furniture because I never sit down, I never nest. But what's going to happen now is Hollis and I are going to be laying down, napping, rocking, cradling."

While preparing their baby girl's space, they wanted to tap their surrogate Marissa to help design the wallpaper for the playroom nursery. The three of them were inspired by the It's A Small World ride at Disneyland, which was originally designed by Mary Blair.

<p>Joseph Bradshaw</p> Flynn's baby announcement

Joseph Bradshaw

Flynn's baby announcement

"We just took that kids from every single continent and culture look and mixed it with the idea of our little girl growing up to be a famous hockey player or an astronaut or a doctor or a pop star or an equestrian," Flynn says.

"We wanted all of these usually male-dominated worlds. We wanted to create a wallpaper where she grows up to be anything she wants to be," he continues. "So Marissa loved that idea. It's going to be really unique because as [our daughter] grows up, she'll even know that her Aunt Marissa created the wallpaper in that room. And to me, that's a core memory that will just always be there."

With only six weeks away from their daughter's birth, Flynn says the couple already has a name picked out.

<p>Kelly Christine Sutton</p> Flynn at work

Kelly Christine Sutton

Flynn at work

"We're naming her Clover because we both have Irish backgrounds and we didn't want a name that anybody else really knew about," he explains. "It's not a super popular name and it's not necessarily a word that's used as a name."

"And as a designer, I love the idea of going with a color," Flynn adds.

As for what they're most excited about? Flynn says a change of pace.

"We probably wanted to do this closer to 40, 42, but we both have really demanding careers and we've let those be number one for so long," he explains. "But I feel like we've got them on lock now. We want a life now that's more about being home and that really has almost 20 years together."

"We've traveled to the bottom and the top of the planet, but we've never really traveled home," Flynn says.

"It's just going to be really nice to start nesting and have this new pace of life and just a little one who can experience the world with us," he continues. "I mean, we're even getting excited about school drop-offs.

"Years ago, if you would have asked me about school drop-offs or play-dates, I would've rolled my eyes and now I'm counting down the minutes till I'm waiting in that school line to pick her up in five years."

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