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Interview with David Bromstad of "Design Star"
MEREDITH CORPORATION: HGTV Q&A with David Bromstad
June 20, 2011/3:00 p.m. EDT
Cathy Choe Ė New Media Strategies
David Bromstad Ė HGTV Design Star
Moderator Welcome to the HGTV Q&A with David Bromstad Conference call.
At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will
conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at
that time. As a reminder, this conference is going to be recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. Cathy Choe.
C. Choe Good afternoon. This is Cathy Choe from New Media Strategies.
Iíd like to thank everyone for joining us for todayís HGTV Q&A session
and start things off by thanking David Bromstad for being with us today
to answer questions. As you know, David is back to join the new season
of Design Star which premieres Monday, July 11th at 9/8 Central on HGTV.
In a moment, weíll begin the Q&A session. Iíd like to remind all
participants that you will receive a transcript of the session within
the next 24 to 48 hours. I would also like to remind everyone to please
limit yourselves to one question and one follow-up at a time and then
reenter the question queue for any additional questions. This will
ensure that we field as many questions as possible within the allotted
I would now like to turn the call back over to our Moderator to begin
the formal Q&A session.
Moderator We have a question in queue from Nancy Harrington.
N. Harrington Hi David. Thanks so much for talking to us today. Weíre
D. Bromstad Oh my gosh, my pleasure.
N. Harrington So, I guess we wanted to start off by finding out more
about what your role is going to be on this season of Design Star.
D. Bromstad Well, I am going to be doing the mentoring role, and Iím
really focusing on really honing their skills as on-camera talent and
doing camera challenges. Iím there to assist them, and Iíve been there.
Iíve done it. I know how nerve wracking it is. I know what craziness is
going through those brains and so what better person then to mentor them
N. Harrington If you were competing on Design Star again, would you
approach it differently than you did the first time you were actually on
D. Bromstad I am sure I would have. When I entered the competition, I
was like, sure, Iíll do this, whatever. Host, what does that mean? And
when it came down to the hosting challenges, I was a mess. And you know,
if I would have had somebody like myself who had already been through
the process or just taught me how to enunciate and just say things
correctly in really short bursts, it would have helped tremendously
because that was the hardest part for me in Design Star. The design was
fun. It was great, but it was the hosting challenge is where I really
N. Harrington Well, it sounds like a great ... we look forward to seeing
D. Bromstad No problem. Thanks.
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Troy Rogers.
T. Rogers Hi David.
D. Bromstad Hi.
T. Rogers Thanks for taking the time.
D. Bromstad My gosh, pleasures.
T. Rogers I was wondering, what were your initial thoughts going into
Season Six as a mentor after winning Season One?
D. Bromstad It was like everythingís just been full circle. I was
thinking wow, this is pretty amazing. Iíve been watching Design Star
since I won and just in awe of the talent that has come through there,
and now to be a part of it is just, it feels right. It feels amazing,
and I had so much fun. Itís a true honor. It really is.
T. Rogers Excellent. Good to hear. What kind of advice will you have for
the Season Six contestants, including things that youíve learned while
doing Color Splash?
D. Bromstad You know, I think the biggest advice is to not lose yourself
in the competition, is just to stick with who you are and be that
vibrant personality that brought you onto the show in the first place.
And, you know, whether youíre great at camera challenges or horrible at
it, you can always be taught to be great on camera, but you canít be
taught to have a great personality.
T. Rogers True. Alright, thanks.
D. Bromstad No problem.
Moderator Okay, we now have a question in queue from Sarah Fulghum from
S. Fulghum Hi David. Thanks for taking the time today.
D. Bromstad Oh my gosh, my pleasure.
S. Fulghum Oh no, the pleasureís mine. Iíd like to know, do you think
the competition to find the design show host leads to a better end
result, such as a stronger fan base when the winner show does premiere?
D. Bromstad Iím sorry. My brain blanked on the first part of the
S. Fulghum Well, having the competition to find the next host for the
design show, do you think like the end result is better, you know, is
there stronger fan base? Does it work out better this way?
D. Bromstad I think it brings in a stronger sense of the camera
challenges when, you know, now that Iím in there. Before, these
contestants were just going for it not knowing what to do, and my role
is now to guide them and tell them what to do and guide them and just be
that mentor that they didnít have in the past.
S. Fulghum Yes. Having a mentor makes all of the difference.
D. Bromstad It really does. It really does.
S. Fulghum Speaking of which, how did you become the mentor? Did HGTV
call you up out of the blue or was this in the works for a while?
D. Bromstad Well, I donít know how in the works it was for a while, but
I mean theyíve been talking about it for almost close to a year, so
theyíve been talking about it, mulling it over, and of course, I am
gung-ho on the whole process because Iím a Design Star junkie of course.
Thatís how I got my beginning. So I was more than honored to be a part
S. Fulghum Well, thatís great. Thanks for answering my questions today.
D. Bromstad No problem. Thank you.
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Layla Palmer with
L. Palmer David!
D. Bromstad Hi.
L. Palmer So pumped to be talking to you.
D. Bromstad Yay! That is so good to hear.
L. Palmer So proud of you. So, so proud of you.
D. Bromstad Thank you so much. Thank you.
L. Palmer No problem. We actually have a mutual friend in Patrick Jager.
D. Bromstad HGTV Patrick, love him.
L. Palmer Yes. Weíre going to be shooting a pilot with him pretty soon,
and Iím kind of nervous though. I kind of wanted, while you were on the
phone, I wanted to ask your advice about just the whole process,
especially when mentoring these people. How do you suggest they go into
this to keep calm and to have a goal and keep focused on that?
D. Bromstad You know, itís so much easier said than done because when
youíre in a competition setting, itís just intense, and I remember when
I was doing it, there was even the producers like just relax ..., but at
that point, as an artist and as a designer I did things because it looks
great. I didnít know how to express those things in clear terms, and now
that Iím able to do that and give advice to these contestants, itís just
fantastic. I feel like itís just one less stress that they have to worry
about. Itís like, Iím their buddy and their mentor, and they can ask me
anything about design and ask me anything about the camera challenges,
and I will be 100% honest.
L. Palmer And youíre like, why didnít I have this when I was on Design
D. Bromstad Exactly, because I was a hot mess.
L. Palmer Well, no you werenít, but I mean, Iím sure it was stressful.
You didnít have that mentor and it was all new to everybody.
D. Bromstad Absolutely and personality can reallyó You have to have an
amazing personality, but you have to also, beingóhaving your own show on
HGTV, you have to know how to talk about design and how to make sense
and how to be exciting at the same time.
L. Palmer Yes, articulation.
D. Bromstad Articulation, exactly.
L. Palmer Well, and then, the other questionówe have tons of readers.
Our blog is getting read by all these people, and so of course, weíve
been talking about the new season and that youíre going to mentor. So a
lot of them wrote in and kind of the main question was how do you mentor
without diminishing their style while still letting them do their thing?
D. Bromstad You know, itís Iím not giving so much design advice. Iím
definitely there checking if theyíre on their design and being
intriguing asking them questions, but youíve got to keep it pretty
neutral because it is a competition. And yes, I have to have very strong
opinions about certain designs, but if Iím going to give those opinions,
then thatís an unfair thing to the other contestants. So, Iíve just
stayed very neutral, ask challenging questions. Iím there as basically
America. Iím representing America going Iím going to ask you a question
that everyone else out there wants to know. Why are you doing this? Are
you scared about this because what happened last time? Whatís going to
happen this time? Iím that person.
L. Palmer Got it. Okay. So, less on the helping them with their style,
more helping them just be the design star.
D. Bromstad Exactly. Thereís so many facets of being a design star. You
know, design is just one of those facets. Iím not thereówe already have
judges giving advice on their designs, and they already have that. Iím
there to kind of wrap up the package.
L. Palmer Awesome. Youíre the big bow.
D. Bromstad Iím the bow. I love it.
L. Palmer Well, thank you.
D. Bromstad I Ö helping them tie their bow.
L. Palmer Yes. There we go. Well, I canít wait to watch. Itís going to
D. Bromstad Well, thank you. Itís going to beóIím really excited. This
is really, really incredible.
L. Palmer Yay!
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Dawn Clark with So a
Blonde Walks In.
D. Clark Hi David. Thanks for your time.
D. Bromstad My gosh, thank you. No problem.
D. Clark My question was actually sort of personal. I have moved from a
home into a rental townhome, and Iím finding it challenging to make it
feel like a homeówith such a smaller space, not being able to paint. Iím
wondering what your advice in the design would be to someone like me who
wants to make it feel like home.
D. Bromstad How long are you going to be there? Whatís your lease terms?
D. Clark Good question. I have six more months on that lease, but it may
be renewed after that. So, it could be a very short time. It could be
D. Bromstad Well, Iím probably going to give horrible advice right now
because Iím sure everyone out there is going to be like, what? But, I
think in every lease, every rental agreement that I was in before I
bought my place, it always says donít paint, but I always did. It was
the first thing I did before I even moved in just because that is one
way that you can just put your stamp on it and make it feel cozy. And
all they want to do is have it look nice and have it be painted white
when you leave.
So, if youíre willing to paint it white when you leave, thatís just
fine. So, I was always willing and you know what? Every time that I did
paint it, the landlord would come in and would be like, ďYouíre not
supposed to paint, but it looks really great.Ē And Iím like well do you
want me to paint it back, and theyíre like no.
D. Clark Yes. Thatís what I was thinking too, yes.
D. Bromstad And if you donít want to take the time to paint, just
bringing in personal effects and just hang things on the wallóhang
pieces of art, hang mirrors, make sure that it looks lived in. My house,
honestly, is all white. So, youóand itís very comfortable and itís very
cozy, and Iíve done a lot of homes that are all white with all white
walls. You can still make it look sheik and still make it look amazing.
Donít let the white walls fool you.
D. Clark Thatís wondrous. So would you say that paint though, is the
D. Bromstad Yes. I think itís the easiest and the fastest and the
cheapest way to transform your house for sure.
D. Clark Okay. Alright. Thatís all I have. Thank you so much.
D. Bromstad No problem. Good luck.
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Pattye Grippo with Pazsaz
P. Grippo Hi David. Thanks for talking with us today.
D. Bromstad My pleasure. Thank you.
P. Grippo So, let me ask you, thinking back to when you were a
contestant on the show, what advice do you wish a mentor had given you
at that time?
D. Bromstad Thereís a lot of advice I wish I could have gotten, and it
was all with the camera challenges. You know, design wise I was fine. I
could do that. I was enjoying that process, but it was the camera
challenges that I really struggled on, and I just wish someone would
have told me just break it down, slowdown, relax and, you know, but
continue to be yourself. Itís just someone there to hold my hand, even
if they didnít tell me the best advice, but if I was there coaching them
or someone I mean someone was there coaching me, that would have been
nice. So, just a little handholding would have been good.
P. Grippo I can imagine, yes.
D. Bromstad I was on my own momma.
P. Grippo See, thatís why I love you. So let me ask you; all the time
now youíve spent on the camera between different shows, what has been
the most surprising thing thatís ever happened to you?
D. Bromstad Surprising thing thatís ever happened to me? Oh, Lord. That
I got comfortable in front of the camera. After doing Design Star and
winning it, I was like, oh my gosh, now I have to do this on a daily
basis, be in front of the camera, articulate, talk about things. I was
honestly really scared, and, you know, even a few short months after I
got into Color Splash, I was like, wow, weíre not in a competitive
setting any more. I donít have to do it in one or two takes or three
takes, I can do it in 50 takes if I want, and the ease of kind of being
a host has been, itís been a lot easier than I thought it was. I think
thatís probably the most surprising because when I first thought, I was
like, what? Iím in trouble.
P. Grippo Okay. Well, thank you very much.
D. Bromstad My pleasure.
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Troy Rogers with
T. Rogers Hello again, David.
D. Bromstad Hi.
T. Rogers I was just wondering, since you will see the contestants
weekly, how do you stay impartial and not fall into the trap of having
favorites or things like that?
D. Bromstad You know, you have to be professional, and even though
thereís definitely people that you like and thereís peopleís design
styles that you like more, get in the competition, and Iím not there to
infuse my opinion in their designs and how they are and how they act. I
can give them certain pieces of advice, little pieces of nuggets, but
they have to take those nuggets and run with it. Iím not there to say,
you know, going hereís what you need to do to win. Iím there to just
guide them to give better Design Star if they by chance happen to win.
T. Rogers Okay. Thanks then. And, I also wanted to know, whatís your
first inspiration for a space? Like when you first walk in, is it paint,
furniture, art? How does that work?
D. Bromstad My inspiration is my homeowners. If it wasnít for them, then
I wouldnít be inspired because I can walk into a room that looks
terrible and needs to be redone, and I have a lot of opinions, but I
need to be inspired by my homeowners and what theyíre inspired by and
the colors they want, and that is where I get my inspiration.
T. Rogers Okay, excellent. Thanks again.
D. Bromstad No problem.
Moderator I have a question in queue from Layla Palmer with
L. Palmer Okay, me again.
D. Bromstad Hi.
L. Palmer One of the things that I thought was really cute that people
wrote in when I mentioned that we were going to be talking today, was
they loved your lightheartedness. And one of them actually mentioned a
moment when you were skipping in a field, and you hear, it says you hear
him say, ďI think I stepped in something squishy.Ē I donít know if you
remember that, but do you remember that?
D. Bromstad I think I have an idea of which episode that was.
L. Palmer That is funny. That is so funny, but then, the word
lightheartedness came up a lot. And the main thing is, is they love your
fun, lightheartedness, and they want to know what you think of the more
serious format now of the show.
D. Bromstad I happen to really like the serious format of the show. I
think my lightheartedness and easy going comes across just as good as it
did before, but, itís we have bigger designs now that weíre in Miami.
Weíre spending more money. Weíre more invested. And so, I donít mind it
being a little bit more on the serious side, but I have to make sure
that weíre always keeping it fun, always keeping it light because then
L. Palmer Yes, right. Thatís what itís for.
D. Bromstad Absolutely.
L. Palmer And then, I think what Susanna said, Iíd also love to know
what he likes and doesnít like from the format he starred in to the new
format. So what did you like that was in your format thatís gone now but
maybe something that they added that you didnít have?
D. Bromstad Well actually, I think more the Miami show, this is more my
speed. I mean I loved the San Francisco show, but it was, I didnít know
myself as a designer. I was still so fresh and so green and just
learning and now that Iím in Miami, this is itís great to build a room
with my clients. Itís great to be inspired by a space, and the whole
inspiration part of the show was my idea, and because thereís so many
amazing places and locations in Miami. And I was like well thereís so
many people that go around everywhere in the country, everywhere in the
world and go, ahh, this hotelís amazing. I want my house to look like
this or to feel like this. And that was my idea to say like the, okay
you can go to a hotel or a club or a restaurant or an outdoor space,
hereís how weíre going to bring it inside into your own home.
L. Palmer Right. And you know what though? I think theyíre actually
talking about the serious format of Design Star.
D. Bromstad Oh, the serious format of Design Star. Design Star is
L. Palmer This ladyís like, I kind of miss when the judges smiled more.
Theyíre saying things like that, and so theyíre like what does David
D. Bromstad You know what, I agree with that. Last year, I think it was
a new production company, it was someone who has never done Design Star
before, and I donít feel they had the HGTV aesthetic. We have a new
production company doing Design Star this year. They do Food Network
site. Theyíre amazing. Itís a very lighthearted show. Itís not as
serious. Itís not The Apprentice. Theyíre laughing. Theyíre giving
compliments. Itís a love fest. Itís going to be a little bit of poking
and prodding, but itís a competition, but itís going to be a much more
fun show to watch. I can guarantee you that. And you know what, itís
because Iím on it.
L. Palmer Well, that sounds amazing. These people are saying that their
kids would be in big trouble if they acted like the judges. And Iím
like, whoa, okay.
D. Bromstad Theyíre much more smiley this year.
L. Palmer Okay awesome. It was a little scary at times, but you know,
itís TV. Well, thank you. I will let them know that it will be a little
more lighthearted and a little more stepping in squishy things.
D. Bromstad It will be. It will be a lot of squishy things.
L. Palmer Okay, good.
D. Bromstad Thank you.
Moderator I have a question in queue from Kat Tierney with Blissfully
K. Tierney Hi David. Itís so nice to talk to you.
D. Bromstad Nice to talk to you too. Thanks
K. Tierney I too am going to go down a more personal route. Iím curious
what your favorite type of room to design is.
D. Bromstad Thatís unfair. What a hard question.
K. Tierney Okay, then Iím going to go the challenging route.
D. Bromstad Iíll do both. I think that my favorite room to design is the
bedroom. Thereís just something about it thatís really personal, really
dramatic. It can be elegant. Thereís just so many things you can do, and
the great thing about a bed is that your bed is the feature piece of
furniture, and you can really go fantastic with it.
Like with the living room, you have a lot more pieces to deal with. You
have the couches. You have your feature wall behind the couches. You
have your TV area. Thereís a lot more things for you to focus on, and I
think the bedroom is like one focus, the bed. Letís make it fabulous.
K. Tierney Do you have a favorite bedroom that you have done? Youíve
done a lot of fabulous ones.
D. Bromstad I know, my gosh. I canít even wrap my head around how many
K. Tierney How about kidsí bedrooms because youíveó
D. Bromstad Iíve done tons of kidsí bedrooms and thatís how I got
started in this business and the interior design world was in fantasy
kidsí room, and oh my gosh, I have so many good ones that I love because
theyíre all inspired by Disney and themes. You know what it is? Itís my
Little Mermaid bedroom. This huge clamshell bed, and it looked like it
was open and I did a pink velvet comforter with a big, I painted a
silver beach ball to make it look like a pearl. It was fun. It was one
of my favorite bedrooms ever.
K. Tierney Thank you. It was so nice to talk to you.
D. Bromstad No problem.
K. Tierney Good luck in the next season.
D. Bromstad Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Moderator We now have a question in queue from Gina Luker from
G. Luker Hi David.
D. Bromstad Hi.
G. Luker Thanks for talking to me like everybody else. I have a question
more about will you be talking to the judges about your experiences
D. Bromstad The judges and I have very little contact with each other.
So, basically when the judges are on, I am in a different place and vice
versa. So, weíre constantly missing each other. I think I actually used
to see the judges very often. This year, only in passing, which is kind
of a little bit of a bummer, but no. I donít chat with them. They
simplyóIím mentoring the designers, the contestants and whatever comes
out on their mentoring, whatever comes out on their camera challenge
will come through to the judges. And then, the contestants can argue
with the judges as much as they want.
G. Luker Thatís really all I had. Thank you so much.
D. Bromstad Thanks.
Moderator We have a question in queue from Layla Palmer with
L. Palmer First of all, hi to Gina. I know Gina. So, I just wanted to
say that. And second, Dawn is asking, how do you keep from getting into
a color rut? She tends to circle around the same colors. She does warm
colors in the main rooms and then greens and blues in the bedrooms
always, and she canít break from that. So she wants to know how you do
D. Bromstad Well, I love color. So, I love when a homeowner comes to me
with anything but blues and greens. I love blues and greens. Theyíre my
favorite colors, but everyone wants blues and greens because when you
design for couples, what are the two colors that go with boys and girls?
Blues and greens. So, anytime someoneís like Iíll do pink, Iíll do
purple, Iíll do fusia, Iíll do yellow, Iím like, what? To me, itís
great. I love color, and Iím never in a color rut because if Iíve never
used a color, I want to use it and use it in a really fun, interesting
and unique way that hasnít been done before.
L. Palmer Right. So, itís mainly just hoping that you get a client
thatís open to whatever because youíll do whatever.
D. Bromstad Absolutely. Yes. When someone goes do whatever you want, and
I go you donít want to know what Iím going to do to your room if you say
L. Palmer Yes.
D. Bromstad ... up in your house.
L. Palmer Well, yes, you know, if you get the green light, youíll see
where you would just be like alright itís on.
D. Bromstad Itís on. Itís on like Donkey Kong for the show.
L. Palmer Awesome. I will tell Dawn, and hopefully she will be inspired
to just break free.
D. Bromstad Fantastic. Just tell her to take some of the one colors and
put them and start mixing and matching, so yes, just so she has pillows,
just bring them into the other room and see what it looks like with the
one colors and vice versa and just have her just break free of heró
L. Palmer Yes. Because she may be surprised if she brings whatever
different colored pillow into the green and blue bedroom, then she might
be like whoa, I can do this.
D. Bromstad Absolutely. And you know and another piece of advice that I
have for Gina, whatís her name, Iím sorry?
L. Palmer This is Dawn.
D. Bromstad Another piece I have for Dawn is, go out to the store, buy
pillows that you probably never would buy again, bring them into your
house, play with them, whatever ones you like, you keep and the other
ones you take back.
L. Palmer Keep the receipt. Exactly. Alright. Thatís the ticket. Itís
all about keeping the receipt and not removing the tags.
D. Bromstad Absolutely.
L. Palmer Okay, I will pass that little nugget on, and Iím sure she will
be super glad and hopefully braver.
D. Bromstad I hope so too.
L. Palmer Thank you.
D. Bromstad Thank you.
Moderator Okay, we have no questions in queue at this time.
C. Choe Ladies and gentlemen, that will conclude todayís session. Iíd
like to once again thank David for joining us and remind everyone to
tune into the premiere of Design Star on Monday, July 11th at 9/8
Central on HGTV. Thanks for participating and enjoy the rest of your
D. Bromstad Awesome. Thanks guys.
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude todayís conference
call. You may now disconnect.
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