Monthly Archives: January 2013

Top Ten Gay Houses To Live In Before You Die

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

Remember that one time you banned gays from your organization, even though like half of everyone that was ever a Boy Scout is gay? Think about it, anyone who wants to run around in the woods, make crafts (pinewood derby anyone?), wear tiny navy blue shorts, and do role playing games where you pretend to be Paul Bunyon is probably a homosexual. As a former Scout myself, I was offended when you decided to make the ban on gays official.

As a Boyscout, you learn to be resourceful, inventive, and to make a tent out of your old clothing and some sticks you find in the woods. Boy Scouts are taught to survive in the harsh wilds of the forest, scavenging for food and making comfortable forts out of found objects. With just a few items, they can make a comfortable living environment in the middle of the woods.

You know who else can take a bunch of junk and turn it into a glamorous house? The Gays. Which is why it’s so rude that you banned us. Below are some examples of Gays that have created beautiful, comfortable homes you’d be proud to camp out in. So, take that, Boy Scouts! You may have kicked us out but we sought solace in these gorgeous interiors. (Or at least this list of rich people did).

Oh, but wait, before we get to the rich people, check out my (Gay) apartment on Refinery 29!

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Photo by Erin Yamagata, see full article here.

Ok, not onto rich people…

1. Elton John and David Furnish in Architectural Digest

The design of this place, in a high-rise on the West Hollywood, Beverly Hills border, is ultra Gay. But super fun. Just like Elton and David!

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2. Ricky Martin in Home Bunch

Like Ricky Martin himself, his Golden Beach, Florida home is cheesy, big, and a little bit sexy. Here is Ricky Martin’s beautiful body:

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And here is his ugly house:

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3. Randolph Duke in Architectural Digest

Like you, I wasn’t really sure who Randolph Duke was.

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But his (former) house, designed by famed architecture firm XTEN, is pretty awesome, full of angles sharper than Victoria Beckham’s cheekbones.

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I have no idea what is going on in this crazy space, but I like how it feels like “The Jetsons.”

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4. Gore Vidal in Luxist

Oh Gore Vidal, how I envy every aspect of your life. Except the whole self-loathing, biting critic part. Here you are with JFK:

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And here’s your glamourous Hollywood Hills home. Spanish and filled with art and objects. It’s classic Gay Man at its best.

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5. Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi in Architectural Digest

Just when you thought this blonde power couple couldn’t get any cuter, here is their ridiculously awesome house. Oh that I could die and come back to have two mommies. And that those two mommies were these ladies. And that I could live in this dope house. Dreams…

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ellen-degeneres-house-16 6. Tom Ford in Hooked On Houses

Tom Ford’s obnoxiously immaculate aesthetic translates well into fashion:

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It also translates well into interiors. Check out his totally perfect London Townhouse. I get the feeling that dating Tom would be totally annoying. Like he wouldn’t let you sleep in the bed because he didn’t want you to wrinkle the sheets. So he’d make you sleep on the floor. Which would be worth it I guess because then the bedroom would always look like this:

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7. Fashion photographer Steven Meisel in Architectural Digest

Famed (and openly gay) photographer Steven Meisel lives in this mid-century/regency wonder redesigned by Marmol Radziner.

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I die for this library. So many books to ogle and caress and love.

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8. Brad Goreski in Paper Magazine.

Sometimes I see this guy at the gym and I get really excited and scared. You know what else makes me excited and scared? The fact that he’s like 30 years old and lives in this CRAZY Hollywood Hills home. I hate him. But I love him. But mostly I hate him.

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Can you imagine how many adorkable baths he takes in here? Wearing nerd glasses and a bow tie?

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Those leather sling chairs. Come to me my darlings.

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9. Nate Berkus in Architectural Digest.

Another person to hate out of jealousy, Nate Berkus “lives” in this awesome Manhattan apartment. I say “lives” because I see him with his equally adorable boyfriend Jeremiah Brent in LA all the time (most recently at Rose Bowl Flea Market a few weeks ago). Anyway, Nate, if you’re reading this, do you mind just giving me your New York apartment? I’m super clean and that way you can hang out with Jeremiah, like, every day. Everyone wins!

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10. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita in The Coveteur.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his boyfriend Justin Mikita are kind of the cutest couple ever. And their home is full of character.

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How much do you love this illustration? I want. By Dazel Todd.

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That sofa and rug are a lot of pattern, but somehow it works. Well done!

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So, there you have it. Ten examples of why Gays are good at setting up camp (in their own homes). Thus, Boy Scouts of America, as you consider whether or not to lift your ban on Gays, think about all the luxurious houses you’ll be invited to if you do so. Because if there’s one faction of our society who knows how to take a dump and turn it into a palace, it’s the Gays. And yes I know that was a terrible stereotype that just set us back 50 years, but it’s true. It’s true because I said so.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Don’t forget to read my interview on Refinery 29!

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Alt Summit: How I Survived A Conference For Girls

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Check out my post on Emily’s Blog about Alt Summit, how I survived, and how it felt to be surrounded by 650 adorable hipster ladybloggers.

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Be Still My Art

Dear Santa Monica,

I resent you. Not because you’re not appealing and I don’t appreciate your pretty coastal views and your superior coffee shops. But mostly because you’re so far away. When someone moves West from the central part of Los Angeles (West Hollywood, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, etc), we all pretty much say goodbye to them. People who live on the West Side are pretty much dead to everyone else. This is why I found it so hard to work up the motivation to drive all the way to Santa Monica on Sunday to enjoy the Art Los Angeles Contemporary at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Despite having a totally awkward name (doesn’t it seem like “Art” and “Los Angeles” should switch places?), the event was a ton of fun, filled with art that I coveted which filled me both with delight at how beautiful it was and overwhelmed me with sadness that I could not own each and every piece. Someday I want to be an art thief and just steal all the art I want and have the most glamorous house filled with art and everyone will be jealous. Except for Donny Deutsch, who already has an amazing art collection (details to follow).

This is the Barker Hangar, which at some point had airplanes in it and now just houses glamourous art events.

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And onto the art, which speaks for itself:

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Alexander Kroll

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Alexander Kroll

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Thomas Dozol

Gay Sidenote: Thomas Dozol is dating Michael Stipe (REM) and they live in a glamorous apartment in Lower Manhattan. Read the article about and see proof here:

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Jon Pylypchuk

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Shirana Shahbazi

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Sarah Cain

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Mark Flood

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Thomas Jeppe

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ACE Gallery

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Yunhee Min

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Yunhee Min

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Denis Darzacq

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Matthew Stone

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Lee Materazzi

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Mel Bochner

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Adam Belt

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Kelsey Brookes

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Luka Finiesen

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This is actually a beach towel, but they displayed it as a painting and I thought it was genius:

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 Rirkrit Tiravanija

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Alyssa Phoebus Mumtaz

The Art Los Angeles Contemporary was a beautiful event, full of amazing art and stylish men in ironic, wide-legged capri pants (don’t even ask me what that is, I’m still processing). The sky was dark and tumultuous, much like the storm of art-desire that brewed within my heart.

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Someday, I want to live in a place like Donny Deutsch’s Crazy Manhattan Townhouse. I don’t even know if I like the style, but you really can get away with a lot stylistically when you have Warhols hanging on the wall:

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Oh yeah, that’s just my Damien Hirst above the sofa. Glamour.

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Barbara Kruger. I’ve always loved her. GIMME.architectural-digest-donny-deutsch-4 architectural-digest-donny-deutsch-5 architectural-digest-donny-deutsch-6

So, there we have it. If I don’t buy millions of dollars worth of art, get a giant house to put it in, and spend the rest of my life staring at it I will consider my life a complete failure.

Love,

Orlando

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That One Time I Almost Single White Female’d My Client

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Dear Diary,

Remember that movie Single White Female? Where Bridget Fonda was all “Hay I’m Bridget Fonda I’m pretty and Jane Fonda is my auntie” and then Jennifer Jason Leigh is all “Hay Bridget Fonda I want to steal your boyfriend and stab you with a high heel.” I saw that movie when I was ten and it enriched my life forever. It’s just so good. Pretty girls running around an apartment trying to escape being murdered by high heels? It reminds me of a typical Saturday in West Hollywood. Anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty Single White Femaley recently, upon finishing up at my client Jon’s place. I’ve realized that, like the crazed maniac played by Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female, I’d like to steal my client’s identity just so I can live in his apartment.

As an interior decorator, you know you’ve done a good job if you secretly want to steal your client’s identity just so you can also live in the home you so lovingly decorated for them. I had a lot of fun doing Jon’s house, mainly because I got to buy him all the stuff I want for myself and he was cool with it. He was maybe the world’s easiest client. And part of me wanted to keep working on his house forever and ever just so that I could continue going to his house to talk to him about life, love, and success. One thing I’ve realized about myself is that I am one of the most co-dependant people in the whole world, so clients who want to talk about their feelings and hang out with me are my favorite.

Because Jon just moved from New York and his new Los Angeles home had such a classic stately design, I chose to decorate it as if it were a New York brownstone owned by a crazy art dealer. In all honesty, all I’ve ever wanted in life is to live in an apartment that looked like it belonged to a crazy New York artist, but I realize that’s a bit much for most people’s taste, so I held back a little bit.

Here is the living room. My favorite find was those Ikea shelves. $70 each is NOT bad. Every other shelving option I found was, like, $70,000.

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Desk: $450 from Pepe’s Furniture, Chair: $239 from Blueprint Furniture, Sisal Rug: Rugs USA, Graphic Rug: Vintage Ikea, Sofa: Blueprint, Media Credenza: ModCrib LA, Drapery: $49.95 Werna Drape from Ikea

The desk was also a total barg. From a vintage store in Silverlake called Pepes.

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Desk Lamp: Forsa Lamp, $29.99 from Ikea

If I had to spend the rest of my life loving and canoodling any piece of furniture, it would be these luscious chairs I had reupholstered in rich blue velvet. I want to stick them on my face. And then eat them. And then throw them up so I can eat them again. I love them that much.

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Shelves: Vittsjo, $70 from Ikea, Pig Bookends: $29.95 from CB2, Chair: ModCrib LA, Basket Accessories: Ikea, Noguchi Lamps: OK Store, Vase: $24 from West Elm

I also love this grey chair. It’s squatty, wide, and inviting. Like your mom. And it used to be the ugliest chair known to man (see here). Like a contestant on that terrifying (and cancelled) television series “The Swan” this chair underwent a complete facelift that left it looking perky and cartoon-like.

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Chair: $20 from St. Vincent de Paul, Sidetable: $45 from TINI, Throw: $29 from West Elm, Standing Lamp: $50 from Rose Bowl Flea Market

Jon is a writer so he wanted a transform this awkward nook into a little writing room where he could stand, write, and think about the future. I was more than happy to oblige, bestowing him with one of my favorite props, my hobo suitcase (beneath desk). It’s a well known fact that all writers need a hobo suitcase.

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Desk: $449 from CB2, Stool: No Long Availale from West Elm, Lamp: $49 from Pottery Barn, Trunk and “O” Letter: $20 from Rose Bowl Flea Market

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Because I believe it is imperative for all my clients to have perfect style down to the magazines they read, I bestowed Jon with some Mark Magazines and bulletin board full of inspiration (which he’s hopefully taken down by now).

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Plants and planters: Mickey Hartigay Plants, Glass Vase: $10 from Rose Bowl Flea Market, Mark Magazine

If I had to crawl inside any piece of furniture and hide there for the rest of my life until the man of my dreams comes and finds me and asks me to marry him, I’d choose this crazy dresser. I painted it green and added that sassy hardware, which took it from barfy to beautiful in, like, 3 hours. (See before pics here).

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Dresser: $150 from Wertz Brothers Furniture, Lamps: $20 each from St. Vincent de Paul, Art: $100, Emily’s Vintage Find at Rose Bowl Flea Market

These delightful and strangely-scaled lamps came out of an old hotel and were the perfect height for lighting the vintage architectural drawing Emily found at the flea market. And that sphere sculpture by Suzanne French goes everywhere with me (I took it home after the shoot). I’ve known that lady since I was a baby and I love everything she makes.

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Sphere sculpture $100 by Suzanne French

Another fun find was this crazy inexpensive chandelier from West Elm. I mean, are you kidding me? $249 for that thing is like thievery. If you’ve ever shopped for a chandelier you know they cost millions of dollars. This one is a great scale and an even better price. Holler.

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Chandelier: Staggered Chandelier $249 from West Elm, Table: $995 from HD Buttercup, King Chairs: Preben Chair, $119 from Ikea, Rug: Avine Ruta Rug, $249 from Ikea

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Fiddle Leaf Fig: $60 from Mickey Hartigay Plants, Boat: $45 from Rose Bowl Flea Market

I made this Ruscha-esque piece by finding a nasty old print at the flea market for $10 and adding somber vinyl lettering to it. And there you go, flab to fab in ten minutes!

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Art: DIY Lettering art by Orlando Soria, Rug: Soften Rug, $24.99 from Ikea, Basket: No Longer Available from West Elm, Plant and Planter: $60 from Mickey Hartigay Plants

Have you ever dreamed your headboard was a giant painting? I have. Actually, I wish everything was a giant painting. I wish I lived in a giant painting. I wish my car was a giant painting. I wish my boyfriend was a giant painting. So I made this headboard.

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Headboard: DIY Headboard by Orlando Soria, Lamps: Arod Lamp from Ikea, Trunk: $250 from Wertz Brothers, Bedding: Nyponros Duvet set, $39.99 from Ikea, Drapes: Werna, $49.99 from Ikea

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Like Ricky Martin revealing his homosexuality, these navy blackout drapes from Ikea are a welcome revelation. It’s very difficult to find blackout drapes at such a good price. But, hey girl hey, $49.99 for these babies. The rods and rings are also Ikea and pretty easy to install. Unless your walls are made out of concrete like Jon’s are. In which case installing anything takes the world’s biggest drill and, like, all the brute strength in your gay body.

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Lamp: $255 from Lamps Plus, Chair: $359 from Urban Outfitters

Anyone who knows me knows the only thing I like to talk about (besides guys, shopping, and the mall) are “O” mirrors. This is because my name starts with “O” and I love circles. I found this bad boy at Wertz Brothers, a place where many of my dreams come true.

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Highboy: $200 from Pepe’s Furniture, Lamp: Mia Table Lamp, $129 from West Elm, Mirror: $159 from Wertz Brothers

With a budget of $15,000, some elbow grease, and a good amount of pluck, I completely decorated and furnished the entire apartment. In the end, I realized I shouldn’t try to steal my client’s identity because that didn’t work out so well for Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female (hint: she dies in the end). I guess I’ll have to find another home to stab with a high heel. I mean, decorate.

Love,
Orlando

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Some Drawings That Came Out of the Closet

Dear Diary,

I have these neighbors that live upstairs and sometimes my boyfriend and I sneak up to their deck to water their plants, luxuriate in the sun, and pretend we live there (they live in the penthouse right above us so this is very convenient). Yesterday, after a major succulent repotting session, we wandered into their apartment (invited in, sort of) and snooped around in their closets. I’m not a nosy person. Actually, scratch that, yes I am and I love looking at other people’s closets. This particular closet snoop was particularly fruitful because I found a bag filled with drawings I made  in 2010. This made sense because I’d lived in that apartment for a short stint while looking for my current apartment. Finding the drawings was exciting because I kind of forgot they existed so I thought I’d share them with you. So, here you go. Some illustrations of beheaded boys and men with moustaches. Happy Monday!

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Ink and gouache on paper.

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Graphite and gouache on paper.

All drawings are 11″ x 14.”

If I learned anything this weekend it was that snooping in other people’s closets is the best use of a Sunday. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some weird drawings of men that you can post on the internet!

Love,
Orlando

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Five Things I Need For My Extreme Makeover: Homme Edition

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Dear Helen Frankenthaler,

Remember when you sat in this room full of your paintings and it was like ‘Oh, my god’? Me neither, but this image shows me everything I’ve ever wanted in a living space: giant art, the color blue, and girl wearing a hairband. Because it is the dead of winter and we just did all that New Years resoluting, I have change on my mind. Which means that it’s time to maniacally makeover my apartment. I lucked out with my glamourous gay Melrose Place apartment building, but there are a few little things missing from my living space.

Here, in no particular order, are the elements I want to add to my apartment, Orlodgedo:

1. Black and White

Is it wrong that I liked the Beetlejuice house more after the crazy artist mom redecorated it? I loved how contrasty it was. And how awesome was that deck she added to the outside. And, if you’ll notice, it’s all black and white with pops of yellow. LOVE!

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America’s beloved 80z Interior Design Barbie Kelly Weartsler also loves black and white and her use of it is just genius:

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I love the graphic contrast black and white provide, so I bought this rug at Ikea. It’s called Rand and it was $299. I’ve seen these all over the place and that doesn’t really bother me because it’s such a good option for bringing some 80z contrast into your home. It pairs black and white in a playful, inventive, and thrilling way that hasn’t been seen since Michael Jackson’s Black or White video.

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Nate Berkus (who I see at the gym sometimes because all Gays know each other) used this rug in his delightful New York apartment. It looks kind of like my rug, except his is richpeopletimez and mine is poorpeopletimez (his is by Madeline Weinrib, $2800). And, like Berkus’ perplexingly youthful hunkface, it looks oh so good:

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2. Gold, Gold, and More Gold

Remember that time in history when all those people in pioneer costumes came to California in buggies and ran around fiending for gold and acting like the drunk robots on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? Well thank god they did, because gold is the best compliment to black and white.

Currently, my apartment is filled with grey and blue and is in need of more gold and other warm tones. Thus, I need these three things:

Sconces to flank the Japanese screen above the sofa.

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Sonneman Palo Satin Brass Adjustable Sconce, $211.

An exciting new chandelier to liven up 2013 dinner parties (sidenote: this is the year of dinner parties, going to restaurants is so 2000′s).

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Ridiculous Jonathan Adler chandelier for the dining room. $895.

The world’s best tray.

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Amazing Tray That Rocks My World. $432.

3. A Japanese Screen

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I were sitting quietly, minding our own business, when we came to a shocking, terrifying, and exhilerating conclusion that we both love Japanese screens. Naturally, this lead to us trolling all over Craigslist until we found one, driving three hours, and then quickly putting it up before we had to run to dinner (as a rule Gays run to dinner, it helps them burn off some of the calories they plan on eating later). Here is the screen we found for $90. It’s 4′ x 6′ and it gleams in the morning light because it’s painted on gold silk.

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I plan on framing it and then flanking it with the aforementioned sconces. Here is a detail of how awesome the print is:

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Someday, when I feel like spending one gazillion dollars, I am going to buy an uberglamourous screen that looks like this:

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Or this one:

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4. A New Coffee Table

My coffee table (below) is starting to annoy me.

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 Apparently putting your dirty shoes all over ivory upholstery gets it dirty, who knew? So now I want to replace it with something that doesn’t mind having coffee poured all over it. Like this one:

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Zuo Sojourn Coffee Table, $499.

Or this one?

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Zuo Modern Novel Steel Coffee Table, $1520.

Or this one?

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Antique Mirror Top Coffee Table, $937.

5. More Color

In an apartment full of neutral and cool tones, it never hurts to add pops of color. Thus, I am obsessed with this circle painting and I want to make my own. Right now.

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I still have this painting and I want to put it somewhere, but despite how normal-sized it looks in this photograph, it’s enormous and I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit it anywhere.

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Because I love water, spheres, and the color aqua, I need these prints by Carl Van de Roer.

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You too can buy them on 20×200. And you should. Then send them to me.

So there you go. These are the things I need in my lifespace or I will DIE. Because if watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition taught me anything, it’s that material things solve all of life’s issues, and if you have kids who are allergic to mold, you should pray that an attractive man with a tan leatherface shows up at your door with a loudspeaker and forces your neighbors to build you a new home for which you can’t afford the property taxes. So get to work, America! Let’s switch things up!

Love,
Orlando

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Orlando’s Obsession: Vintage Interview Magazines

tumblr_m069widkYn1qaza14o1_500Dear Andy Warhol,

I have been obsessed with you since I read your Diaries when I was 14. I started reading your Interview Magazine around the same time. This magazine epitomized (and still does) everything glamorous about living in New York: fashion, music, art, and the bohemian lifestyle of the city’s creative community.

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I still subscribe to Interview after all theses years (yes, I still read magazines made out of paper) and receiving it always makes me happy. While the new issues of Interview are always great, I’ve developed a passion for the vintage ones. This passion began a few years ago when I was at a weird antique store with my mom in Wine Country and I came across this beautiful issue featuring Sylvester Stallone on the cover:

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I’ve decided that vintage issues of Interview are THE coffee table accessory of 2013. Many of these vintage covers feature the amazing illustrative work of Richard Bernstein, a genius who arguably created the bright, poppy, graphic illustration style that defined the 80s. You can find vintage back issues of Interview on EBay and Etsy. I must insist you go online and find one for yourself immediately. I promise it will improve your life by at least 19%. Just check out these gorgeous covers:

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33-Grace-Jones

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My most recent acquisition is this amazing issue featuring Isabella Rossellini, another one of my obsessions. I was reading it this morning, snuggled in bed:

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But something so beautiful shouldn’t be hidden in the bedroom, so I brought it out to display in the living room.

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I love how stunning it looks on my ottoman/coffee table. Staring at it makes me happy. Go out and find yourself an old Interview. Right now. They are filled with awesome vintage advertisements, great celebrity interviews, and beautiful photographs and illustrations. Happy Hunting!

Love,
Orlando

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