Oscar Bravo Says Your Home Can be Stylish on a Budget
Written By: Sarah Hood
Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran
Expert: Oscar Bravo
Credentials: Owner and Interior Decorator for Oscar Bravo Homes
Q: Tell me about how you became an interior decorator. What drew you to this enterprise?
Oscar Bravo: I’ve always had a passion for visual design. When I was growing up, my mom kept our house well-decorated while sticking to a budget. But I really started to get involved with interior decorating when I bought my first house and I found new ways to express myself through its décor.
Q: From where do you draw inspiration and ideas for the various projects on your blog?
OB: I find inspiration everywhere—at local flea markets, from other decorators and even on social media like Pinterest and Instagram. But most of my inspiration comes from nature, and you can see that reflected in the rooms I work on for myself and for clients. I love natural finishes and earth tones.
Q: How would you describe your own decorating style?
OB: It’s a mix of different styles. I’d best describe it as eclectic with a coastal vibe. I love creating a beach-like atmosphere with elements like palm trees and shades of coral. I’m also fond of British colonialism, and I enjoy combining different design eras in my projects. For example, I’ll craft a midcentury modern style and throw in some classic features.
Q: What are you passionate about, and how does it affect your creative process?
OB: I’m super passionate about showing people how to make their space reflect their personalities. The way someone’s living spaces are decorated can change the way they feel and how comfortable they are in their own home. I like to show my clients that when you respect your surroundings, you can come home at the end of the day to a place where you feel safe. It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your own home, or how much money you have
Q: You work closely with your clients to match their unique tastes and needs, as well as their budgets. In what ways has this positively affected your clients and your relationships with them?
OB: The more I get to know my clients, the more I understand what makes them feel happy and comfortable and how I can tailor my services to their individual needs. I’m able to show them how to add elements of style to their décor that are functional and that accommodate their lifestyles. And because many of my clients have younger children, I get to show them that they can enjoy stylish living spaces that are still kid-friendly.
Q: How do you want your future projects to impact in the San Diego area for the better?
OB: I want people to realize that interior design is not just for the elite and wealthy. I decorate for people who have realistic budgets, and I want to be the person that middle-class America can come to for help. I also want to show future clients that a home can look just as nice with products from places like second-hand stores, Target, and Etsy as it can with designer goods.
Q: With winter here, what seasonal DIYs do you recommend for homeowners who want to spice up their décor but have little experience in decorating?
OB: I suggest starting at the dinner table. You can make your own centerpiece with 99 cent wreaths and surround them with candles and Christmas ornaments. It’s super easy and inexpensive; in fact, you probably can find all the pieces in your home already. You can also make your own stockings without using a sewing machine. All you have to do is cut out the shape on some craft fabric, glue the sides together, turn it inside out, and attach some fake fur at the top.
Booksmart: Oscar Bravo attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, where he studied the history of fashion design.
Let’s Get Virtual: His blog features custom e-designs for clients to shop at their own leisure.