HGTV’s David Bromstad creates a splash
By Anita Thompson
CAN YOU TOO be a design star?
According to David Bromstad, Costco
member and winner of HGTV’s ;rst season
of the reality show Design Star, you can. How?
Be bold, be passionate, be yourself.
;is was his message to fans who packed
the Seattle Design Center in April to meet and
be inspired by Bromstad, who, due to his
Design Star win, was given the opportunity to
host his own show, Color Splash, also on
HGTV. On the show, Bromstad and his team
make over a room, creating an environment
with a strong focus on color and dramatic elements. But it’s his enthusiastic and engaging
style that helps Color Splash stand out among
the plethora of home-design shows.
With the same exuberance and informality he demonstrates on TV, Bromstad described
The Costco Connection
To make a splash in your own home, look
for accessories, décor items, accent
furniture and more at Costco warehouses
to the Design Center audience his journey
from small-town Minnesota to attending art
school with the dream of being a Disney animator (drawing animation cels was boring, he
discovered). Next came an eclectic career with
both Disney and Universal Studios, where he
honed his talents in art, design, carpentry,
painting, creating murals and more. Out of
work a;er 9/11, he began designing children’s
rooms for model homes, and auditioned for
Design Star on a whim. “I’d never [designed] an
adult space. What was I thinking?” he says.
“;en I thought, ‘Take a chance, be myself’ ...
and I won the thing. It gave me a brand-new
life, a brand-new start, and I could not be
“Design Star was incredible, and I didn’t
think it could get any better, and then Color
Splash happened,” he continues.
Bromstad’s approach to the design challenges on Color Splash can be adapted by anyone tackling a room makeover project.
First, he takes his cues from the homeowners whose rooms he redesigns, asking for
their favorite colors and the style of room
they’re a;er. “I ask my homeowners, ‘Please
David Bromstad’s take
on the world of design
On choosing colors: I just don’t think
there are any rules to color. You have a
small space with no windows? Put lamps
in there, make it dramatic, paint the ceiling black. Do something with it. If it’s
dark, accentuate the darkness.
On white: I’ve been told white is cold
and empty; it’s what you pair it with—
the color makes an impact, it really tells
On big-screen TVs: I have a TV literally in every room—in my bedroom, my
bathroom, my dining room.... I’m an interior designer’s worst nightmare. It’s all
in how you hide it or display it. I have a
63-inch TV. I’m having a custom frame
built for it. You can make your TV look
like a piece of art or a mirror. You can
have ever-changing art on your TV.
On leather furniture: There’s some
beautiful leather out there. It’s super comfortable, easy to care for and good for the
kids. You can accessorize it with pillows
and fur throws. Dress it up with great
lighting. Contradict that casualness with
something that looks pricy and luxurious.
On decorating lofts: Spend the
money on curtains. They’re expensive,
but they’re going to give you that really
beautiful, well-designed look.
On children’s rooms that grow
with the child: Think about thoughtful
pieces: the bed, the dresser. Use accessories to introduce playful qualities. You can
get a bed and nightstands that look very
cool for a teenager and will also work for
a younger child. Go for clean, playful
ROB SUMNER RED BOX PICTURES
On what’s happening in design:
Two different things. One is eco-friendly:
soft colors, browns, taupes—even the
brighter colors within the genre are
muted tones. You can find in the stores
[things that are natural] that look like
they’ve been collected. It’s not just a
trend, but how things are going.
Technology is making design more
exciting, with color, wallpaper, textures,
fabrics that could never have been created without the technology.
On trends: I love design trends; I
think they’re fun. Trends tell a story of
what’s happening in the world, what
the economy is like. We’ve been in a
war and a recession. That’s why accent
colors like yellow and purple are popular.
They’re optimistic and flirty and happy
colors. Once the economy [improves],
things will change.
On hiring a design pro: If you’ve got
the cash and don’t have the time, [hire
one]. They’re not cheap, but very talented
and have amazing resources. C