Dive Into Color With David Bromstad
David Bromstad, host of HGTV Color Splash, shares his painting tips and inspiration for creating a world of color at home.
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David Bromstad is making a splash, and it's not just his smile that's got people excited. The Season 2 winner of HGTV's Design Star has his own series, Color Splash that's chock full of color dos, don'ts and inspiration. Bromstad left his own fine arts business in Miami to travel to San Francisco to do the show. We caught up with him while he was shopping for furniture.
You're an accidental designer?
Oh yes, I'm an artist grad from Ringling with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Illustration. Becoming a designer wasn't what I had in mind, but it's great! After I graduated, I moved to Orlando and worked with Disney as a kind of a private artist on contract. When Disney was having troubles after 9-11, my contract wasn't renewed so I started working with an interior design friend of mine. He didn't like doing kids' rooms so that became my thing. And I loved it.
Until Design Star you'd never worked on adult rooms?
No, and some people look down on kids' rooms, but I love working on them. They're a lot of fun because you can think outside the box. There are no boundaries when it comes to children; imagination is the only thing that limits you so you can really take it to another place. In all of my rooms I try to create a fun and engaging environment. For adults, too. Every room starts as a blank canvas.
And now you're an HGTV host of your own show. Why a show on color?
People are afraid, very afraid of color. So Color Splash is focusing on how to get people comfortable with color so that they can actually use it. It's a cool show because it's very cinematic; we shoot all over San Francisco and there are some really sweeping shots. And there's a shopping segment, a sketching segment. It's really personality driven, which I love.
What inspires you?
Disney was very inspiring. They are the only company in the world that knows how to create an environment and do it right. You walk in and you're transported, which is not a bad goal for a well-designed room. Because I'm a warm-weather dude I also love nature and the beach and try to bring natural elements into the mix. I love the ocean — just the energy and smell of it is unlike anything else. You can look at everything with a design eye, it's all design: a plate of food, cars, clothes in the mall, what you see walking down the sidewalk, the colors in Miami — it's all inspiring.
What's the biggest color mistake people make?
They just don't know what they're doing because of their fear. So they often go too matchy-matchy. They'll have red walls and then think they need a red comforter. That's definitely a look, but not necessarily a good one. I try to help them keep things simple. Mixing colors is a particular challenge for people. I like to pull from a piece of inspiration, such as a rug or pillow art or duvet cover — that's where I come up with my color combos.
What do you tell folks who are afraid of color?
I tell them that color is a challenge even for designers for whom it might come naturally. But if they start small, it's really simple. One of my main design tips is to keep all of your big pieces neutral. The couches and chairs — anything that's expensive and an investment — should be neutral. Then you can pop in the trendy or current colors in with paint and accessories that you can change from season to season without breaking the bank. The worst thing is if you've invested in a red couch and — eeeuuw — you realize that in a few years that's going to be really out or you'll be really tired of it. I'd rather have that color in a pillow. It's all about shopping smart.
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