Styling Emily’s New Dining Room

bright-dining-room-8

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Decor

Homepolish & One Kings Lane Give Gray Malin a Home Makeover

Photos by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane

gray-malin-11

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:

Icebergs_Bondi_Beach_9

The_Swimmers_Triptych_4

Poolside_Palm_Trees_4

Pink_Umbrellas_Vintage_4

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).

gray-malin-13

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).

gray-malin-12

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.

gray-malin-10

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

gray-malin-8

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).

gray-malin-9

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).

gray-malin-7

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

9 Comments

Filed under Decor

Homepolishing in La Habra Heights

Photos by Bethany Nauert courtesy of Homepolish. Portrait by Matt Lara.

orlando-soria-12

Dear Diary,

One of my first projects post-Emily is also one of my very favorites. I was called upon to decorate this glamourous house in La Habra Heights, a beautiful little town about 40 minutes east of Downtown Los Angeles. The home is located on a huge lot on top of a hill and has an amazing view. The family that lives there (who wish to remain anonymous because they are already, like, way too famous) is a young couple with two kids. They recently remodeled this 1930s Spanish home and added an extension that was in perfect keeping with the gorgeous Spanish Revival style of the original house.

THE KITCHEN

Their lovely kitchen. I didn’t want to over accessorize in here because it was already so pretty and white and open. I sourced a few table top items from the Los Angeles Flower Market, but otherwise allowed the beautiful cabinetry and subway tile to speak for itself.

kitchen-cabinet

I love that little geometric cloche. I found it at some weird store in Beverly Hills that was going out of business. A fun fact about me is that I am really good at killing air plants like the one above. I water and water them, but they are still dry and sad and die.

THE SUNROOM

This is one of the brightest rooms in the house. It overlooks the pool area and serves as the entry to the outdoor area when the family has people over for pool parties and/or glamourous BBQs. The pool has a lovely dark blue finish, so I brought that color indoors in the chairs and rug. The family found that amazing Jeffrey Pallidini painting while on a trip to London and it finished the room off perfectly.

The space next to the television was a bit awkward, so I made that graphic trianglepainting to engage the space and make sure that wall wasn’t all about the television.

Sofa from Room Service. Man in pool painting by Jeffrey Pallidini. Coffee table from Blu Dot. Rug from West Elm. Gold stools from West Elm. Blue deco chairs are vintage. Pillows from Ikea and West Elm. Tray from Crate & Barrel. Accessories from Shopclass. Geometric painting by Orlando Soria.

tray-1

sunroom-2

I love both of these classic pieces. The parson’s bookcases added some beautiful, open display space while that barcart, in all its Milo Baughman-inspired goodness, gives a nod to the couple’s love of hosting.

Parsons bookcases from West Elm. Bar cart from Crate & Barrel. Accessories and art from Shopclass.

THE MUSIC ROOM

This room is part of the original portion of the home. It is also where the kids play and practice piano and talk about how they want to be like me someday. I kept a lot of the furniture the family had already while updating it with a few pieces to give it a fresher, younger feel. The beautiful coffee table from Empiric was a game changer, making the space feel as young and cool as the couple that owns the home.

Sofa from Pottery Barn. Coffee table from Empiric. Chair, bench, side tables, armoire and stump accent table all vintage. Rug from West Elm.

Ceramic tray from Nickey Kehoe. Pierre Cardin chess set and brass die from Lawson Fenning.

music-room-1

Bench and mirror vintage. Pillow Nate Berkus for Target. Pillows on sofa from West Elm, Ikea, and Nickey Kehoe. Throw from Ikea.

Gallery wall sourced from Shopclass. Standing lamp from West Elm.

MASTER BATHROOM

Bathmat from West Elm. Turkish Towel from Poketo. Garden stool from Wisteria. Burl accent table from HD Buttercup. Accessories from Shopclass.

MASTER BEDROOM

The master bedroom is on the second floor and overlooks the gorgeous backyard and hillside vistas of La Habra Heights. The bed is the room’s most exciting feature and I wanted it to feel effortless. I achieved this look by using a collection of bedding from five different sources. I think this helped make it look a lot more nuanced and natural, less like someone just went in to a big box store and grabbed a boring bedding set.

Bed from Restoration Hardware. Side tables from Cisco Home. Lamp from Empiric. Rug from West Elm. Gold mirrors vintage. Accessories from West Elm and Shopclass. Duvet from Serena & Lily. Throw and blue pillow from Nickey Kehoe. White pillows from Ikea. Gold pillows from West Elm.

All art and accessories vintage. Drapery from Pottery Barn.

THE GREAT ROOM

The palatial living room was one of the biggest challenges of the home, mainly because the space was so grand. I combined a lot of vintage furniture with some new pieces to give the space some character. The sofa, in custom navy velvet, is a vintage piece from the 1960s. That and the ottoman are my favorite pieces in the room. A Ben Medansky sculpture and a great collection of art books gave the coffee table an art-centered appeal.

Left: Sofa, side tables, and ottoman are vintage. Leather chairs and mirrored coffee table from Restoration Hardware. Rug from Madeleine Weinrib. Chandelier from Cisco Home. Round mirror from Organic Modernism. Right: Art vintage, gilded by Orlando Soria. Green console table from Mix Furniture. Extraction sphere sculpture by Ben Medansky. Accessories from Shopclass.

THE PLAYROOM

The playroom was a chance to have a little fun. I wanted it to be colorful and exciting so I painted the built-in shelving Hague Blue and created a cork board wall with a hand-painted pattern on it (I drew the design small and then blew it up wall size with a projector).

Organizational supplies from Land of Nod. Desk and shelving by Land of Nod. Rug from RugsUSA.

THE GUEST BEDROOM

I’m all about updating a traditional space with a piece of contemporary art, so I made this glamorous circle painting for above the bed. I think it added the needed pop to this room, allowing everything else to be calm and relaxing.

Bed from Cisco Home. Bedding by Serena & Lily. Gold blanket from West Elm. Art by Orlando Soria. Drapery from Pottery Barn. Side tables from Cisco Home. Lamps from Ikea. Accessories and art from Shopclass.

THE OFFICE

I kind of died for these chairs the moment I saw them at Lawson Fenning. Since they are so open, I paired them with a graphic table. I liked this side table from Crate & Barrel because it reminded me of an Ellsworth Kelly drawing.

Chairs from Lawson Fenning. Side table from Crate & Barrel. Art and accessories from Shopclass.

Desk from Wertz Brothers. Lamp from Lawson Fenning. Desk chair vintage reupholstered in leather. Rug from Rugs USA. Accessories from Shopclass.

Sometimes, you work with clients that are so special that you end up falling in love with them and wanting them to adopt you so that you can just continue to decorate their home for the rest of time. I felt this way about this family, who would constantly supply me with champagne and glamour hors d’ oeuvres every time I came over. Luckily, the family keeps adding on to the house (you should see the adorable tree house they built for their kids!) so I don’t think my job there will be done any time soon.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Interested in making your house La Habra Heights Haute? Contact Homepolish!

8 Comments

Filed under Decor

My Weekend in Instagramz: Miami

Dear Diary,

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Like crazy good. First, my very very close friend Erika (above) got married. Then, I installed at Gray Malin’s house and Rumi Neely’s house in one week and had back to back photo shoots for three days. Then, a brand new member of my family was born (a little handsome nephew named Celio) and I jaunted up to Sonoma County to check him out. I’ll be writing more about all that in the future, but for now I want to concentrate on Miami, because it’s one of the most incredible places on earth and I can’t think of a place that speaks more directly to my color sensibility or my love of all things tropical.

wardrobe

If you’ve ever looked in my closet you know there’s probably no one on earth more well-equipped to go to the homeland of the Golden Girls. Above you’ll see the mess I made trying to figure out which pink, aqua, and tropical print clothing to bring with me.

The pool at the lovely house I stayed in. This is Erika’s parents house in Coral Gables. It’s kind of the prototypical South Florida home. Kinda mid-century, kinda contemporary, 100% awesome. Also, it’s the same color as my building in LA and I think all buildings should be this color.

Erika’s parents still have all the awesome 90s beach towels Erika grew up pooling with. I want all of them.

The library in the house. This house is filled with books and art and objects from the family’s travels around the world. It’s really an inspirational, wonderful place.

This is one of my favorite pieces by Erika (we studied art together at Cornell, once I called her a Barbie in the photo darkroom and she NEVER forgave me).

I am obsessed with this hat from Akomplice. I want to wear it all the time. Like to business meetings and weddings.

And onto some gratuitous beach pics…

If you’re not obsessed with these crazycolor lifeguard towers, you should kill yourself. Sorry.

All the deco architecture makes me want to rip my face off and replace it with the facade of this building so that I would be the most gorgeous thing that ever existed.

These were the wedding favors. A limited edition letterpress print by Erika. I love them.

Erika’s wedding flowers. I want to go back in time and stick my entire face in there and never ever come out.

fairchild-botanical

The wedding venue. The Fairchild Botanical Gardens. Except you’re not allowed to say “THE Fairchild.” It’s just “Fairchild.” This makes no sense to me as someone who lives in Southern California. We put “THE” in front of everything.

The Maid of Honor and me. Her glam suit kinda won the fashion component of the wedding. Well, aside from the bride of course.

The bride. She couldn’t have looked more lovely.

It was a great trip filled with love, family, tropical wildness, and the most beautiful colors on earth. I want to go back, like, right now.

Love,
Orlando

5 Comments

Filed under Life

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

Photographs by Sean Gin

painting-diy-17

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.

frame-diy-12

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:

frame-diy-6

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

frame-diy-1

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.

frame-diy-4

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.

frame-diy-13

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.

frame-diy-5

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.

frame-diy-7

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.

painting-diy-16

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!

frame-diy-9

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.

frame-diy-10

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.

frame-diy-11

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

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

matin-zad-3

matin-zad-8

matin-zad-9

matin-zad-10

matin-zad-4

matin-zad-5

matin-zad-6

matin-zad-7

matin-zad-11

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

Love,
Orlando

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

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

Photographs by Sean Gin

garden-1

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:

garden-12

garden-8

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.

garden-4

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).

garden-2

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.

garden-6

garden-7

garden-13

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.

garden-10

garden-9

garden-11

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

10 Comments

Filed under Decor