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Behind-The-Scenes at Park Studio

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish, With Additional Photography by Zeke Ruelas and Orlando Soria

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Dear Readers,

Do you remember that one time I used the above lighting fixture at on my Beach House project?

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Also remember that one time I used a similar one in my dining room?

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And remember when my dining room looked like that?

… ME NEITHER! But I have had a thing for these modern, industrial fixtures for a while now. But they can be hard to find, especially at a non-crazy price. But that’s where these adorable human beings come in:

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This is Jolene and Ben Kraus. This wife-and-husband run Park Studio, which manufactures a bunch of my favorite types of lighting.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from them:

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Novato, $150 (this one is going in the entry of Orcondo)

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Templeton, $450

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Berkeley, $430 (currently in my dining room, going in the guest room at Orcondo)

Cotati+3

Cotati, $290

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Olema, $80

Petaluma+2

Petaluma, $600

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I stopped by their studio a few weeks ago because I’m nosy and was curious what type of space all these gorgeous fixtures were created in. Also, I wanted to chat with them about the pieces they’re making for Orcondopark-studio-lighting-1

Ben, who was wearing rubber gloves while he worked to avoid electrification, showed me how he joins metal pieces to create these sculptural masterpieces.

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Since the pieces Jolene and Ben are creating are part a larger lighting scheme at Orcondo, I went through the entire plan with them to give them an idea of the look/feel I’m going for. Basically, I want the whole thing to feel fresh and airy, so I want the lighting to be light in form, meaning that I want thin, elegant chandeliers, not bold, chunky ones.

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This is the initial sketch we came up with. I love how light and open it is. Obviously, it’s going to be on a dimmer so we don’t get blinded by all those individual lights burning our little retinas.

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That’s a render of the living room with the fixture. I just found out the Silver Lake Reservoir (which is right outside the window) is going to be empty for a year so all my “after” photos are going to look like they were shot during The Apocalypse.

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Speaking of Apocalypse, these fun fixtures look kind of like alien life forms come to Earth to fix our lighting situation. In a good way. Also, I love that they sit on those fancy mid-century chairs.

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Jolene and Ben have a mega brass addiction. Even their razorblades are brass.

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Ben explained the specifics of how their fixtures are made so I could fully understand what silhouettes were possible and which were never going to work. The sketch I made above probably won’t work because there’s not enough space for the wiring and there’s too many intersections, so the final product will likely be a lot different. But that just makes the whole thing even more exciting because I literally have no idea at this point what it’s going to look like.

To see more of Jolene and Ben’s work (along with some amazing shots of their interior design work), check out their site and their Etsy page.

Love,
Orlando

PS: I thought it might be interesting to share my Lighting Plan for Orcondo. If you’re moving into a new place, renovating, or buying a whole lot of lighting at once I find creating a document like this can help you figure out how it’s all going to work together. The goal is to create a lighting story that works throughout the home, and since the materials of lighting are going to be contrasting with each other and other elements in the space, it’s important to be mindful of how they look together.

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I Entered A Design Challenge And If I Don’t Win Everyone Will Die

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Dear Reader,

Do you have a big outdoor space that is just DYING for a makeover? Me neither. Because I am a poor, apartment-dwelling fool and the closest thing I have to an outdoor space is the window ledge I sometimes stand upon because I am so upset about not having an outdoor space. Thus, you can imagine my confused outrage when I was approached by Del Mar to enter into their outdoor space design challenge. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re all “GAG ME WITH A SPEWN THIS IS A TOTALLY LAME SPONSORED POST” but it’s totally not. I am not getting paid anything to do this challenge. I actually lost money on it so DEAL WITH IT LADIEZ. Del Mar furnished me (and two other Glamourbloggers) with a fan and $800 to buy stuff for the makeover. I ended up spending more because the space I chose to makeover is at my parents’ house and I am a REALLY GOOD SON (after you see the transformation you’ll wish you’d birthed me).

Okay so I lied. I am getting paid. PAID IN LOVE. There is nothing more fun than taking your mom shopping and buying her stuff so I guess that counts as payment.

The only rule in the challenge was that I had to use the fan outdoors. Which at first sounded difficult then I realized that outdoor fans are actually kind of glamorous and fun. This is what the fan looks like:

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And here’s what my parents’ deck looks like. Before you get all grossed out by that wall color don’t blame them for it. They moved in recently to a flipped house and the flipper made some interesting (read: cheap ass and tacky) design decisions that they are slowly fixing. One of them was painting the outside of the house the color of really ugly Maybelline foundation.

IMG_0434And now I’d like to go on a little rant about flippers. You know, people who take cheap ugly foreclosures, fill them with builder grade garbage, and then finish everything off with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and TRICK EVERYONE into thinking they did something sophisticated? Those people. I wish they would all die in a fire.

IMG_0430The outdoor space in question is right outside the kitchen. Previously, it was super dark and depressing because the flipper painted everything brown. The paint, mixed with the corrugated metal roofing, made the whole thing look trailery and gross.

My goal with the space was to make it look more unified with the bright, happy interior of the house.  The house itself has great lines, tall ceilings, and a ton of natural light. It sits up on a hill on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, in glorious Sonoma County and has a 1970s modern vibe (though some obnoxious neo traditional accents have been added to it over the years, slowly being removed).

INSPIRATION PHOTOS

3d3ca14276eb994f2277dc8cf3166ccbI love the casual, eclectic vibe of this image. Totally up my parents’ alley.

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My mom probably would have liked something with this crazy color situation, but I hate orange so that was out of the question.

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I liked this space because it seems to have the same “Wait are we inside or outside?” kind of conundrum my parents’ deck has.

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This was my color inspiration. I just love how sophisticated and spare it is.

So yeah, that’s the situation. I have that ugly ass brown deck, a fan, and $800. Can I save my parents deck from being all dark and trailery? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

Don’t be a deck. Come back next Friday to find out.

Love,
Orlando

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE DESIGN CHALLENGE

Inspiration Images Via: Whatever Forever, Toast & Nutella, Decor Com Gosto, The Colored Door, Paper Blog.

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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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My Week in Instagramz

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Dear Diary,

I’ve had a renewed interest in exploring California lately and it’s kind of funny. Funny because it’s making me feel way more dumb than normal. Like I’ll drive to Malibu and be like “Oh wow I totally forgot this was here!” I have this weird thing with California where it feels like home but also whenever I go anywhere lately I’m like “Oh this is so magical” like a maniac and it makes me feel like I just moved here or something. There’s slightly too much wonder. Like I kind of want to slap myself for being so amazed.

Whenever I start to feel stressed/annoyed/like like is pointless, I know a trip to the beach will always make me feel more grounded. Thus, I woke up last Sunday itching to go to Malibu. So I dragged a few of my friends there and we took a hike and went to a place called Paradise Cove Cafe, which is in fact the most amazing place I have ever been in my life. It’s like a Disneyland on the beach. The food is terrible, they serve drinks in ridiculous containers (like pineapples and coconuts), and everyone who is there just wants to pretend they are in the tropics. It’s basically my idea of heaven. Also, any place that uses the word “paradise” in its name is my favorite. Or “coconut.”

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There was a weird optical illusion at the CB2 pickup zone in Santa Monica.

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I love this Yoshitomo Nara clock I got as a gift years ago. I stare at it every day and it makes me happy.

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Homepolish sent me to San Francisco this week. I drove up because I needed my car to visit with family in Sonoma County all weekend. It’s a super boring drive, but it’s gorgeous and filled with golden California hills.

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Every time I am on the Bay Bridge, I have this fear that there is going to be some sort of enormous earthquake and I’m going to fall into the ocean and die.

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Chrissy Field is my favorite place in San Francisco. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and it allows you to stare at the Golden Gate Bridge and think about the future.

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I ran into a dog walker who had a bunch of dogs and insisted on posing them with me, which is most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life.

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I also ogled the Golden Gate from Vista point, which was lovely because it was all foggy and beautiful.

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I forced my sister’s dog Olive to pose with me for a Valentine’s Day pic. Is it rude that I think she looks a little bit like Julia Roberts in this photo?

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This is me and my siblings on my first day of kindergarten. I kind of wish I had that outfit today in my size. Actually, I found a shirt the other day online that I wanted that kind of reminds me of the one I’m wearing…

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I had to document this wonderful drawing in the home of a friend-of-a-friend. It’s so simple but so good.

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A few more shots of good old San Francisco. I have a special place in my heart for this city because I grew up coming here all the time. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the United States and I’m always happy to come here.

Love,
Orlando

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Birthday Cake…Not for you, Rihanna

By Contributing Food Editor Jared Levan

To All the Cake Lovers,

Yes–that was a Kylie reference.

It’s been quite a long time since my last post, but in honor of an upcoming Hommemaker birthday (July 5th), I decided Orlando needed a post dedicated entire to cake. There are probably some of you who would prefer something on pie, pastry or pudding…but we’ll get to you and yours another time.

For the big 3-0, Orlando has decided on a “rustic/woodland” themed extravaganza. Now you may be asking yourself, what does a rustic/woodland cake look like? That’s a good question. I had to do a little bit of digging, but I managed to find some awesome examples of manly, rough-around-the-edges (yet still delicious and fun to look at) cakes that would be perfect for the occasion.


Apple Lumberjack Cake by Manna From Heaven (Sydney, Australia)

It should come as no surprise that the words “rustic” and “woodland” invoke thoughts of lumberjacks, chopping down trees all day long. Now there’s a mental image–all your guests in flannel and real or marker-drawn beards. This cake may look anything but special for an event like a 30th birthday, but it looks (and sounds) delicious, doesn’t it?


Woodland Cake Pops by Cristy Cross

I mean, could a cake pop look any more woodland? Maybe. The fact that these guys look like edible (and far less hallucinogenic) “Fly agaric” mushrooms that grow near pine trees makes them even cooler. The bed of moss in which they are mounted is just icing on the cake pop.


Forest Faux Cake by Brookelynn Morris

This one’s not edible, I just thought it was really cool. Tablescape for the party maybe?

In closing, I’d like to with Orlando a happy 30th birthday party! Cheers!

Love,
Jared

Jared Levan

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