He was the original HGTV Design Star winner, and he has gone on to become a gay icon and a HGTV top personality, so it was a pleasure to conduct an interview and photo-shoot with David Bromstad for our first annual Interior Design issue. By the way, he is as nice in person as he comes across on TV.
At what age did you realize design would be a part of your future?
Design has always been a part of my life whether I knew it or not. I was always drawing, painting, etc. I started out being an animator, but realized soon that animation wasn’t my passion. After many years of doing different things, being a designer crept up on me. When I got on Design Star, [that’s] when I realized design would be my future.
How and why did you go about becoming a contestant on Design Star?
I was fabricating kids’ rooms and barely making ends meet. One of the interior designers I was working for convinced me to enter a contest on HGTV. After I was cast, I found out the contest was actually a reality show.
When you won, by the way, you were the clear winner by far. How did it change your career?
It changed it 180 degrees. I was starving before, barely making the bills, and now I have more work than I could ever have imagined.
Was it a hard decision to be open about your sexuality from the very beginning of your fame?
My boyfriend advised me against it, but I figured the gays would see right through me so I was just myself. HGTV has been amazing to me and I was the first openly gay man on the network. I am still with my boyfriend; we just celebrated 10 years together.
You are now a bonafide HGTV star with three of your own shows, and you’re appearing in and hosting many others. Do people treat you differently now?
I think they try to and want to, but I don’t let them. I am still the same nerdy, crazy, goofy, strange guy.
How did it feel to be named to Out Magazine’s Out 100 list?
You have appeared on many talk shows. Which one was your favorite and why?
My favorite is by far Oprah; she is just freaking fabulous. In person it is intoxicating to watch her speak. It’s an hourlong shoot, but Oprah stays for another hour or so just to talk to the audience and take pictures. She is a real person. To be on stage with her alone is fabulous. She is a lovely woman and deserves every bit of the success she has.
What’s the difference for you between your design and your artwork?
My design is all-encompassing: interior, exterior and product design. My artwork is the signature to my design.
Do you have a favorite design, and what is it?
You opened David Bromstad Designs in Miami. Is this only for the rich or can the average person afford it?
If you want me for your own personal interior designer, it is expensive. However, I do have a complete collection of furniture accessories that are very affordable. They are sold at GrandinRoad.com.
What’s the hottest new trend or secret in design?
Metallics are the new trend right now. People are loving gold, silver, copper and brass.
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.
I love to lay on my couch with my puppies and partner, watching TV.
What’s ahead for David Bromstad?
I am developing a women’s shoe line that should be available soon. Attention drag queens…LOL!