David Bromstad, one of the hosts of HGTV’s new renovation competition series “Beach Flip” — where four amateur design teams compete for a $50,000 prize by revamping rundown beachfront properties — just loves a good home makeover. But what’s his favorite part?

“The transformation — that’s the most fun,” he says. “I’m a designer at heart, and going in there and seeing a really crappy place and then starting to have a vision and seeing it come through is kind of magic.”

Need a tiny bit of that transformative design magic for your own home projects? Bromstad offers four simple decor and renovation tips.

Between tenant rules and labor, painting can be a hassle. So why take the plunge?


“Because paint is the most inexpensive and most fabulous thing to do to really change the look of your entire space,” insists Bromstad. “It’s the most work, but it’s totally worth it.”

To transform your home without doing a total overhaul, consider Bromstad’s favorite trick: swapping out decorative pillows.

“I am a pillow fanatic. I’m not kidding, I probably have, like, 400 pillows in storage,” confesses the designer.

And unlike painting, it’s a whole lot less work.

“For me it’s all about changing the accessories. That is the easiest and most fun way to change your apartment. I do it once a week,” says Bromstad.

“You can go into Target and grab a ton of them to figure out what works and then just take the others back. The great thing is that everyone has return policies.”

If you’re looking to drastically change the look of a room, consider adding faux ceiling beams for a rustic touch.

“I love, love, love creating architecture,” says Bromstad.

His favorite idea from “Beach Flip” was when one of the contestants put up beams in their space.

“[Putting] beams on the ceiling costs almost nothing, and it’s so easy to do. It doesn’t have to be perfect to make great impact, and it doesn’t have to be great quality wood, either,” Bromstad says.

While it’s important for the elements in a room to complement one another, incorporating furniture pieces that completely match each other is an outdated concept.

“The whole matchy-matchy thing, nuh-uh, not working for me,” says Bromstad. “Even matching the coffee table and side table in your living room — give me a break. It just makes it look like you’re in a department store.”

Instead, to create a look that’s both eclectic and cohesive, the designer says to look for distinctive pieces that have an element in common, like colors that complement each other or similar fabric textures.

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