"My dad has always encouraged me to be an artist, but he really wanted me to be a teacher. And I was like, 'although they're very valuable — it's not me,'" says the tattooed interior designer who was crowned winner of the reality show "Design Star" this fall. "Now I think he's really happy I never followed his advice."
Since his TV win, Bromstad's entire life has changed. He's closing up shop on his Miami art business, where he was doing fine artwork for hotels, clubs and restaurants, and he's ready to receive his prize: his very own TV show, which will air on HGTV in the spring.
"Making Of An HGTV Design Star" an HGTV show that chronicles the making of his new show, premieres Nov. 2. The show begins with Bromstad flying to San Francisco, where he meets with HGTV executives and producers to pitch ideas for his new series.
His vision for the show, he says, is simple. "I want to create unique style rooms like I've been doing on the show, always inspired by some movement, or some other country — Moroccan or African — but very, very much my style: very clean, very simple, easy to do at home. But very different, not typical," he says. "It should be cool, hopefully it will be something very different from what's on HGTV now."
In the meantime, this artist needs to learn the ropes of hosting a television show. "I'm going to take classes, I'm going to get advice from other on-air talents from HGTV," says Bromstad. "It should be interesting, I'm curious what they're going to put me through. It's like boot camp for a TV host!"
Bromstad, who had only done design for children's rooms in the past, has learned a lot over the past few months.
"Since this is the first time I've actually done interior design for adults, I learned that I have a style — and a very distinct one at that," he says. "Just learning your style in such a short period of time was really cool to see. Watching the episodes now, I'm like 'wow, I really have developed a unique cool style.' I'm really happy about that."
Bromstad beat out 10 other designers on the TV competition. Throughout the season there were several daunting design challenges, such as designing a room with items purchased at automotive, beauty, camping or pet stores.
"I think my biggest competition was (runner-up) Alice, I think the final two we're definitely the people that should have been in the final two," he says. "We're so different — she's a little bit country; I'm a little bit rock and roll. But we complimented each other, we're like best friends. We talk almost everyday. She's a friend I'll have forever, which is awesome."
So far, Bromstad jokes that he's "not mad" at the attention he's gotten since the September finale. Fans have been running up to him at airports asking for autographs. "I didn't think I was going to be famous, or somewhat famous, pseudo famous," he says with a laugh. "I never thought I would be where I'm at. It's such a great blessing."
By Amy Bonawitz