Author Archives: Orblogdo

About Orblogdo

Hommemaker.com creator, writer, interior decorator, and artist who resides in Los Angeles.

Gray’s Gardens

 Photography by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane

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Dear Gray Malin,

I’m pretty jealous of your outdoor space. The glamorous, enormous back yard you have behind your West Hollywood home is green and lush and inviting. I want to go to like 500 gardenparties there. Designing this outdoor space in conjunction with One Kings Lane was a dream because I basically had the best outdoor stuff at my fingertips.

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We began our design by selecting this wonderful outdoor sectional from One Kings Lane (where all the furnishings came from). Like most type-A LA Gays, Gray and his husband Jeff have 500 million friends and like the have them over all the time at parties that are so perfectly composed that it makes you want to scream and tear out all your hair. Being so obsessed with hosting, they wanted as much seating as possible. Which is why all the glamorous upholstered outdoor seating we found was just what the doctor ordered.

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Gray designed this gorgeous series of surfboards and I want ALL of them. The plant is from Mickey Hartigay’s Plants, where Gray and I went crazy and bought everything.

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I’m a huge fan of these large outdoor rugs. Since the deck is long, we created two distinct seating areas using the rugs to corral the furniture. We kept the color palette pretty monochromatic. Since we both love navy it wasn’t difficult to figure out what color to choose.

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These succulents make me want to drown myself. So that I can come back as a succulent. So that my life will actually be worth something.

So Gray, if you’re reading this, I’m coming over right now to luxuriate in your back yard. Forever.

Love,
Orlando

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Styling Emily’s New Dining Room

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Dear Diary,

I had some fun styling with Emily at her new house the other day. Check out what we did with her dining room. Using awesome art from Tappan Collective, vintage accessories, and some cool lamps, we transformed the dining console from grotesque to gorgeous. Happy Monday!

Click here for full story!

Love,

Orlando

PS: Click here for a chance to win the beautiful Molly Berman photo we used in Emily’s dining room.

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Homepolish & One Kings Lane Give Gray Malin a Home Makeover

Photos by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane

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Dear Reader,

By now, you’ve probably heard of Gray Malin (pictured above with his hubz Jeff and my scaryface), the brilliant photographer who took these gorgeous photographs:

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As you can see, these photos are right up my alley. We both love Miami colors, tropical locations, and the coastal aesthetic. You can check out the rest of his beautiful portfolio online.

Homepolish hooked me up with the opportunity to design Gray’s home, starting with the living room and outdoor spaces. In collaboration with One Kings Lane (who sponsored the project and donated their lovely home furnishings), we created a preppy space with the color and sophistication Gray and his husband Jeff wanted (Sidenote: they are the cutest couple in the world. I ogled their wedding book and literally wanted to die because it was so sweet).

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We selected this elegant sofa because Gray wanted something that was both comfortable and sophisticated. Quick tip: if you’re looking for a comfy sofa make sure you seek one out with lots of down in the cushions. This will mean you will have to reshape the cushions every day but will make it way softer and more inviting. The sofa we chose is called the Dunsmuir (all products in this post are sourced from One Kings Lane).

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The crazy gorgeous Geometric Étagères were a game-changer and immediately made the space look more beautiful, the ceilings higher. I styled them using Gray’s collection of family photos, art, and objects, and trays and accessories from One Kings Lane.

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I love that dog portrait, kinda wanted to steal it.

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One of the challenges of this project was keeping it colorful while not making it look like a rainbow exploded all over the house. Gray loves color. I love color. But his main goal was a sophisticated, grown up space so I had to keep the color intentional and well-curated. Luckily, these beautiful nightstands served as the perfect console tables flanking the bay window AND they echoed the gorgeous colors in Gray’s Swimmer Photo Series, which we placed above (Sidenote: decorating for an artist is the BEST because you don’t have to worry about finding art, which is normally totally annoying and hard and no one wants to spend any money on it).

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I’d by lying if I said these chairs weren’t my favorite part of this project. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan, so these Baughman-inspired pieces speak directly to my tender, needy heart. I love how modern and out-of-control chic these are (I totally want them for my own home).

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See??? I told you those chairs were the best thing in the world! Also, those roman shades. I had them custom made for Gray by The Shade Shoppe and they are so lux that I just want to tear them down and wear them as a tuxedo to a royal wedding.

You can check out a detailed behind-the-scenes story about the makeover on Gray’s Blog. Also, check out these links:

To get design services: Homepolish

To source the items seen at Gray’s House: One Kings Lane Gray Malin Homepolish Sale

To see more of Gray’s beautiful work: Gray Malin

Enjoy!

Love,
Orlando

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D.I.Why? Making A Frame for Your Large-Scale Art in 10 Easy Steps

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear My Client Tiffany That Asked How To Make Your Own Frame,

Do you have a giant painting sitting in your house? Is it naked? Afraid? Frameless? If so keep reading, if not spare yourself. I devised this super-simple/cheap solution to framing large paintings a while back when I made a big painting for a client. And now I’m going to share this amazing money saving secret with you.

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I made the above painting a few weeks ago while I was frantically cleaning my apartment. I’ve nixed my gallery wall in favor of one large piece. Mainly because I got tired of my gallery wall and I rearrange my apartment every weekend. Rearranging my apartment is my new boyfriend. Below are some of the materials you’ll need to make your own frame:

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What You’ll Need:

1. A large paintng
2. 4 pieces of 1″ x 2″ pine wood cut to the exterior size of the painting
3. Medium-grit sandpaper
4. A neon green power drill
5. 12 2″ wood screws
6. Satin finish paint
7. Wood filler/moldable epoxy

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1. Cut the wood to size, while frowning.

I don’t have a chopsaw or a proper workspace, so to make things easier and save time, I have the wood cut to size at Anawalt Lumber in West Hollywood. I like to go to smaller hardware stores for stuff like this because they’re far more helpful than giant hardware stores where you have to walk a mile to find the right kind/size of wood. Sidenote: have you ever cried because you’ve been in Home Depot for over an hour and you’re ready to leave and then you remember that you forgot to get sandpaper but the sandpaper is 3/4 miles away? I have.

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2. Pre-drill holes to screw the pieces together.

Using the painting as a template, pre-drill holes to screw it together. Do this on the ground so you can make sure everything is flat/even. At this point, it’s very important to make sure the edges match up perfectly so that your finished frame looks as flawless and expertly executed as everything else in your life. Make sure to sink your screws at least 1/16″ so you can patch them up later without unsightly bumps.

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3. Fill in gaps/screw holes with epoxy wood repair.

I used a great product that fills in gaps to cover all the seams and screw holes. Because I am a barbarian, I just used my fingers. Also, it’s pliable like clay so it kind of makes sense to use your hands. Fill in all gaps and holes and let sit for an hour. While you wait for the epoxy in the gaps to dry, think about all the gaps in your life and how nice it would be if you could just buy a product to fill them.

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4. Sand out any bumps.

Sand out any bumps or splinters to prep the wood for painting. If you don’t know how to sand, imagine you’re a sexy lady in a bikini washing a car in front of a bunch of gross straight guys eating messy hamburgers. Just rub that sandpaper all over that wood whilst making a smoldering, sexy face, pretending not to be disgusted.

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5. Paint it white! 

Or another color. White and black are great options. But the frame color totally depends on the art itself so consider your options before you commit to anything. You can also try staining it, but disguising them screw holes might prove more trouble than it’s worth. Let dry for 2 hours, unless it’s super hot where you are then you probably only need like 40 minutes.

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6. Place the painting back in the frame.

If it fits, you’re a genius and deserve *so* many hugs. Go and find a friend or loved one and ask him or her for the hugs you deserve. If you can’t find anyone you know, ask a meter maid or a beggar woman!

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7. Stare at the succulents on your terrace and think about how much you love them, life, and California.

This actually isn’t even my terrace. It belongs to my neighbors. Sometimes I break in when I need to do a big project that requires being outdoors. Let this be a lesson to all of us to break-and-enter if we don’t have enough workspace in our apartments.

8. Using four screws, affix the frame to the painting.

Using one screw per side, drill through the side of the frame into the painting. It’s kind of a bummer to damage the painting slightly, but it’s worth it when you see how glamorous it looks in its frame.

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9. Patch your screw holes. Again.

This patching is way easier because it’s just small screw holes. After you’ve patched them wait an hour. Sand and paint them and *BOOM* your frame is done.

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10. Hang your painting, then hang out with it!

Now that my painting is framed everyone who comes into my apartment assumes I’m a millionaire. I sit with my painting every night and tell it about my day, all the crazy people that yelled at me and the palm trees I saw and liked. Art really does make your life better.

Total Rough Cost:

Wood: $20
Screws: $1.50
Epoxy: $3
Sanpaper: $0.50
Paint: $5

Total: $30

Go make a frame!

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Glamour: The Dual Worlds of Matin Zad

Dear Tappan Collective,

I love your site which features affordable art by emerging artists. I was especially taken with the work of Matin Zad, a New York fashion photographer whose work is just captivating. He’s done some great collaborations with brands I love (Levi’s, etc). His original works are also lovely. Just quiet and simple and evocative. Basically what my dreams look like. The world he creates has an interesting duality to it. It’s a combination of beauty/elegance/glamour with awkward/uncomfortable/weird. The combination works, making it hard to look away from these images.

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You can see more of Matin’s work on his website and on the Tappan Collective Website.

Love,
Orlando

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How To Plant a Succulent Garden Without Making a Giant Mess in Your Apartment

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Other People Who Live in Urban Apartments,

Do you ever feel sad about the fact you have no outdoor space? Like no yard with a hose to water your plants, a space to run around in? That you can’t just go outside and dig your hands in the dirt and feel SO connected to nature just like you did in your forest upbringing? I do. As someone who was raised in a land where I could stick my hand in dirt whenever I felt like it, without the risk of getting a lethal strain of face-eating virus from the city-germs in the soil, I feel sad whenever I have to buy dirt at a nursery. Also, I don’t understand how people who live in urban apartments pot their plants. I tried one time, and I totally clogged the sink and my landlord told me I’d have to buy a new sink if I ever did that again. So I’ve decided to share a few of my tips for living in a big city AND potting plants without getting kicked out of your apartment.

Plant nurseries are one of my favorite places to hang out. I find it so relaxing to be around all those plants growing, birds chirping, pesticides brimming from the potted succulents. One of my favorite nurseries in Los Angeles is Mickey Hartigay Plants, where I went this week to search for plants for Rumi Neely, a wonderful fashion blogger whose house I’m designing for Homepolish. The nursery is in the middle of Hollywood and feels kind of like it belongs in another time. I can be totally pissed off and crazy and high on caffeine and as soon as I step into this place I feel better. Perhaps it has something to do with the big-ass Buddha head:

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So here we go…

Five Tips For Potting Plants If You Live In An Apartment

1. Force the dude who runs the nursery to pot your plants for you.

This is a trick I learned a few years ago. Normally I feel badly asking anyone to do anything for me. Like at a restaurant if the waiter brings me a meal I totally didn’t order, I’ll just pretend it’s what I wanted so I don’t cause a fuss. I wont ask him to exchange it for the right one because that makes me feel like a jerk. But I’ve noticed a lot of people who work at nurseries (I’m talking about mom ‘n’ pop nurseries not big box places) tend to be really friendly and willing to help. If they won’t pot your plants for free they will normally charge you a small fee (usually around $5). Which is totally worth it not to make a big mess in your apartment. If you’d rather plant your own plants (like I did), you can ask them if it’s okay for you to use their facilities. Most will be fine with this, especially if you are doing something interesting like potting a succulent collection. They might stand there and ogle you, but the attention will give you energy and make you feel important.

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2. Choose your pot wisely. And make sure to look very concerned while you do so. 

Choose a pot that looks like it actually belongs indoors. If you choose a terra cotta pot or something that looks too rustic people will feel like they’ve stepped into a terrifying outdoor farmland when they enter your space and they will never want to talk to you again. Also, most plants need drainage so keep that in mind. Or be very careful with how frequently you water (I actually chose a pot with no drainage, but I’ve figured out how to  make sure the soil gets dry enough between waterings).

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3. Use the variety of plants available to your advantage.

I like to compose my succulent arrangements while looking at all the options available. Thus, I tend to arrange them right in front of the succulents on display. As a genius plant artist, you need to be surrounded by all your most essential art supplies. I like to have a few statement plants, a few clusters, and a pop of color. It’s good to vary the scale and texture to keep the eye moving around the arrangement. Really it’s not rocket science. Just play with plants until they look pretty and then you’ve got your composition. Watch this video Emily made if you want more info on composition.

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4. Ask boring and sciency plant questions.

Nurseries are a great place to ask a lot of questions about your plants that no one else would know how to answer. Keep in mind these people spend all day watering plants and trying to make sure they don’t die, so if there’s anyone who can tell you how not to kill your fiddle leaf fig, it’s them. You can show them pictures of spaces in your apartment, describe lighting situations, and ask them what plants would survive there, ask them what type of plant food to feed your plants, how big the pot needs to be, etc. The kind man at Mickey Hartigay referred me to the correct soil for succulents, which hopefully means the plants I buy for Rumi will live forever. Like I plan to.

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5. Make sure they wrap/box up your plants so dirt doesn’t get all over your car/everyone on the subway/however you get home.

Nurseries are great at figuring out how to wrap plants so dirt doesn’t go flying all over the place on your trip home. Usually this means they wrap them in newspaper and tape to hold in the dirt and keep the plants in place. Make sure they package your plants adequately so they don’t get murdered on the way home. I’ve had one too many fast stops where the plant goes flying and my car turns into a succulent graveyard FILLED with dirt. Don’t let that be you.

So there you go. Mainly the moral of the story is that if you live in an apartment with no yard and hose, you should never try to pot anything inside. It’s just a recipe for disappointment and misery and fear. Kind of like eating a giant burrito right before going to a fancy gay pool party.

Love,
Orlando

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Fashion Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: 70s Bird Shirt

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Fashion Diary,

One of the most exciting pieces of clothing I’ve taken from my father’s closet is this ridiculously awesome bird shirt my mom made for him when they were in their twenties. Shown are my parents, my father in the glamourshirt:

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It’s not something that you’d wear to, like, a job interview or anywhere fancy. But every once in a while, when you want to wear something luxuriously 70z, it’s great to put on. I love that it looks like a gorgeous Japanese watercolor painting.

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I remember in high school, like freshman year, all the cool kids were into 70z stuff. Like seriously bellbottoms, etcetera. And I just saw a little spread in LA Magazine about how bellbottoms and 70z nonsense are coming back again. Don’t you kind of feel like everything is aways coming back all the time? Like as soon as something falls out of popularity someone is like “oh my god ironic 90z Tommy Hillfiger jeans are SO cool” and then you look at them and you’re like “wait, that is kind of cool.” Maybe fashion is just an endless cycle of getting sick of stuff, forgetting about it, and then remembering it again and getting excited. Which basically means we’re all idiots with the brain capacity of goldfish but whatever. Anyway, all this is to say that I’m into this shirt, even though it’s so 70z.

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If you’re my mother, you can make this thing by hand, otherwise, check out the similar pieces I found online:

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1. Chambray Shirt, $139 from Scotch & Soda
2. Slim-Fit Emerald Chino, $115 from Scotch & Soda
3. Brogue Leather Boots, $95 from ASOS

Now go buy this stuff and dress up like me dressing up like my dad.

Love,
Orlando

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Style Tips From The Desk of Kelly Oxford

Photo via Domaine

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Dear Reader,

Do you ever fantasize about trapping Kelly Oxford in a human-size birdcage so you can force her to talk to you and be your friend? Me too. That has nothing to do with the piece I wrote for Refinery29, but make sure you read it anyway. Some good tips on how to make your office as cozy and comfortable as the cage I designed for Kelly. I mean office. Whatever. Go read!

Love,
Orlando

LINK: Kelly Oxford Office Decor Ideas on Refinery29

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Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent Have Gone Bananas

Photographs by Mikael Jansson

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Dear Gay Diary,

This isn’t exactly hot-off-the-press news, but I discovered recently that everyone’s favorite design powercouple Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are part of a new Banana Republic ad campaign. Thus, I had to share the totally cute pics of them canoodling, cuddling, and just generally making every other couple on earth look like moldy dog food. Thanks guys! Of course these images fill me with the normal amount of jealousy, bewilderment, and outrage. But they also just kind of made me glad to see a cute gay couple in an ad like it ain’t no thang. The images were shot by Mikael Jansson and are beautifully done. It appears that they were shot at their totally ugly house, which I would love to break into and live in until I am dramatically removed by violent police force.

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They’re so cute, right? Someday, when they die, I plan to taxidermy their dead bodies and put them in my living room as the ULTIMATE interior design accessories. That’ll teach them to keep their out-of-control dimples and get-lost-in-me eyes to themselves.

Love,
Orlando

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Dreamhouse: Coastal Living In Connecticut Cove

Photographs Courtesy Joeb Moore & Partners

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Dear College Diary,

I took a class called Desire senior year in which one of my favorite professors taught us about the culture history of human desire. My friend Matt and I used to sit in the back and spend the whole class figuring out our post-collegiate lives. Like all the people I went to school with, we were planning on moving to New York (“The next trendy place to move is going to be Roosevelt Island!”). Our plans for our lives involved living in New York for 20 years, finding husbands, then moving to Connecticut and buying babies. For this reason, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Connecticut. It’s glamorous in such an old-school, unattainable, alienating way.

I recently discovered the work of architecture/interior design firm Joeb Moore & Partners and I’m totally enthralled with everything they do. My very favorite project they’ve completed is the Harbor Residence. It’s on the coast of the Long Island Sound in Connecticut Cove. The home is modern and streamlined without feeling cold and terrifying. I messed up the New York part of my life plan, but perhaps there’s still time for me to move to Connecticut if someone buys me this house (and some children)…

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I love the Japanese-inspired wood cladding on parts of the house. I don’t normally go for that but it’s so streamlined and it lets in the perfect amount of light/beauty.

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And I love the big heavy front door and the romantic little pathway that leads to it.

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Inside, the house is white, gleaming, and art-filled. It looks kind of like an art museum. And it’s pretty much my dream to live inside an art museum.

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Those views of Long Island Sound are crazy, right? Like how happy would you be to wake up and ogle all that waterfront glamour?

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I love those modern stools. And how everything is white. And that glamourous chandelier.

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I also love that whoever styled this shoot put tropical fronds all over the place. Gives this Northeastern house a bit of tropical flavor.

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If you can look at this photo without dying you’re probably and alien. Like that is the prettiest bedroom I have ever seen in my life. Imagine all the contemplating you’d do whilst looking out that window, appreciating your beautiful life.

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The crazy infinity pool isn’t bad, either. I always feel weird about East Coast pools, since they are frozen ponds for 6 months out of the year, but this one certainly is huge and pretty. Gimme!

Love,
Orlando

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