Upgrade Your Pad: Tips from David Bromstad
Written by: Geo Hagan

The first days of Fall are the perfect time for stepping back, taking a look around your condo/apartment and sprucing up your surroundings for the colder days ahead. Especially in NYC where space is a very limited quantity, it’s important to get rid of all the clutter and unneeded ephemera that tends to amass during the summer season. To help you start the autumn on the right footing, we reached out to interior designer extraordinaire David Bromstad to share some very useful design tips. He was the original winner of HGTV’s Design Star, and he also hosts his own show on the channel called Color Splash. Get educated below …

“Think minimal in every way and make sure your furniture gives you a freeing traffic flow …”

In David’s own words: 

We all love to personalize our rooms with a wide array of objects that represent us in some way. Personalizing a room is both self-satisfactory and makes your guests feel like they’re a part of your special room when they enter. However, too many prized possessions in a small space might make one feel like they’re at a yard sale, not your home. Knick-knacks make it hard to contain a space, so keeping your countertops and floors clear of unneeded objects is vital. Guests aren’t at your house to compliment your 8th grade swim team trophies, so try to find a place less galling to discreetly organize your trophy collection. Instead, choose aesthetically pleasing key pieces of your personality to display to your beloved guests.

While bright neutrals like white or tan have the ability to open up a space, if you make the mistake of using the wrong neutral, the desired open space will be a failure. A dullish white in a flat finish doesn’t suggest warm and welcoming at all! In fact, it will constrict and confine your space. Use bright airy colors, or warm (but not dark) tones if you aren’t as bold, to open up your space in the most inviting way possible. Paint your ceiling and trim with a high gloss white; the reflecting light will give your room such an airy, voluminous feel! Remember—high gloss and satin finish paints need to be applied perfectly, because any imperfections will be visible to the eye.

Does a light color on a light color wall create more space or less? It all just depends! Many houses I have decorated in Miami have gorgeous white floors and glistening white walls. The secret to making a room appear more spacious isn’t just in the paint choices—but the layout of your furnishings, the size of your rugs and the accents of the your art collection. Personally, an elegant dark floor with a light colored wall brings out the best in your space. Balance is key!

When moving into your NYC studio, many feel the need to maximize space by squeezing everything you can fit into it. Please don’t! Your mind has no choice than to be stressed and crowded when the physical space around you is stressed and crowded. Think minimal in every way and make sure your furniture gives you a freeing traffic flow. That way your guests aren’t bumping into things and your mind can think stress-free!

Let’s be real, double duty furniture was made for us living in New York City! Incorporating multi-purpose pieces is the simplest way to take advantage of what little free space you have. We live in a world where coffee tables transform into dinner tables, beds convert to desks and couches become bunk beds. So why not take advantage of this? But don’t settle for anything just because it doubles down; at the end of the day it has to match your room’s style and color palette or it’s no use! Be smart about your sizes—if your apartment is 500 sq/ft, then you can probably say no to that clunky 7×5 ft armoire. 

For more information and to learn more about David Bromstad, visit www.bromstad.com

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