Predicting the Future of Design on Architectural Digest

Photograph by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish

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Dear Crystal Ball,

Are you curious what the future holds for the world of interior design? Will shibori take over where ikat left off? Will people get tired of all these white walls and go crazy painting everything in bold, saturated color? And will everyone finally get rid of those “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters? Find out the answers to these questions and more in my latest collaboration with Architectural Digest.

Love,
Orlando

READ FULL STORY HERE >>>

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Dream Come True: New Hommemaker Editor is an Insanely Talented Ceramist!

Photography by Jess Diab

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Dear Working Momz,

Between shuttling the kids I don’t have to nonexistent soccer practice, preparing an imagined dinner for the husband I don’t have, and balancing all that all with the actual job I actually have, I’ve been spread a little too thin to work as much on this site as I’d like. One of my favorite things about Homepolish is how engaging and exciting my job is. But the problem with something being engaging and exciting is that it doesn’t leave you much time to do other stuff. This is why I came to the conclusion recently that I needed some help keeping this blog running. So I interviewed about a million people to be my new blog assistant and Hommemaker editor. And this is how I met Jess Diab.

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This Week At Homepolish

A Bold, Patterned New York Pied-à-terre

Dear Reader,

I kinda feel like the apocalypse has arrived. Over the weekend I went camping with some friends. We awoke in the morning to beautiful flakes falling from the sky. It was magical, but also terrifying. The flakes were ashes from a nearby wildfire. Since the air was thick with smoke and we couldn’t breathe, we hightailed it out of there and headed back to Los Angeles. In a non-shocking turn of events the skies above Los Angeles were orange and filled with wildfire pollutants. The smoke from the fire (in the Angeles Forest, where we had been camping) had blown over the city.

Like the rest of the country, LA is in the middle of a huge heatwave. This combined with the smokey skies has basically convinced me that the world is ending. Because the air is so gross from the fires, I’ve been avoiding going outside. And while that may sound oppressive and depressing, it’s actually been kind of luxurious to hang out inside with the AC and not feel guilty about it (I grew up in a non-AC environment and have lots of guilt about ever using air conditioning, unless there is a fire outside which makes it impossible to keep the windows open).

If, like me, you are trapped inside due to too-hot weather or air-polluting fires, you should drown your misery in the wonderful collection of stories coming out of Homepolish this week. Below are a few of my faves.

A Bold, Patterned New York Pied-à-terre

This insanely creative New York apartment designed by Louisa Roeder is a refreshing drink for anyone getting tired of the white walls/wood floors/gallery wall eclectic look that is so popular right now (that I’m totally guilty of doing all the time for clients and myself).

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The wallpaper makes me want to gouge my eyes out. In a good way.

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Talk about making the best of a stupid situation. I love how Louisa wrapped these support columns with custom shelving. And those white wire stools make me wish I were a bird so I could put two of them facing each other and be trapped inside them like a birdcage.

Click here to see the full story!

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Are you remodeling your kitchen or giving it a light refresh? This article will teach you everything you need to know about making your space functional, beautiful, and practical. Also it has lots of pics of kitchens I designed, like this one:

A Chef’s Kitchen for a Kitchen Rookie

Ugh. I wish it were societally acceptable to drink rosé at 11 AM on a Wednesday. Alone. At home. This week is so stupid.

A Chef’s Kitchen for a Kitchen Rookie

Click here to see the full story!

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Speaking of being stuck indoors, this article gives you some TIPS n TRICKS on hosting the best get togethers (inside, away from the apocalypse!).

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Click here to see the full story!

Bright Ideas for Choosing the Right Lighting

Lame lighting making you feel like you want to stab yourself in the face with a dull fork? Why not read this great piece on choosing the best lighting for your space!

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This arc floor lamp in a New York apartment makes me want to move back there, get gender reassignment surgery, and become a high powered business woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, just so I can live in this powerful businesslady apartment.

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Click here to see the full story!

Mixing Highs and Lows in Your Home

There are good ways and bad ways to mix furnitures styles. In this piece we tell you how to create an eclectic space that doesn’t look like it was designed by a drunk clown.

Click here to see the full story!

A Studio Redo for Our Designer

Who doesn’t love a summer makeover? Check out the transformation of this Homepolish designer’s Chelsea studio.

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Did you know that Hillary Clinton named Chelsea Clinton after the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning”? ME NEITHER! I just found out last night. So if you think about it she really named her daughter after Chelsea the neighborhood, since that’s what the song is about, and thus she basically named Chelsea after this very apartment, since it’s in Chelsea. I know my logic might seem sketchy here but just trust me on this.

Click here to see the full story!

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What do you do with a giant, open-plan, brick loft? THIS! Homepolish star Casey DeBois filled this space (owned by the founder of Uprise Art) with color and character.

A Gallery-Like Loft for Uprise Art’s Founder

Click here to see the full story!

See? Aren’t you feeling better now? Just make sure not to go outside until it cools off and/or the apocalypse is over.

Love,

Orlando

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What’s Up at Homepolish

Repurposing Old Furniture for a New Space

Dear Design Diary,

It seems sometimes like the internet is a never-ending hole of content. People are posting links on Facebook that come from sites I’ve never heard of. Like political stories that seem important but come from sites with names like rawstory.com (is that a legit site? How would I know? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ACTUAL EDITORIAL INTEGRITY?). Even sites like the New York times are using clickbait titles for their articles. EVERYONE HAS LOST THEIR MINDS.

If finding pertinent political information is this hard, finding quality design content can be equally challenging. This is why I’ve decided to start highlighting some of my favorite Homepolish Magazine stories. Homepolish has a huge network of designers and we are constantly photographing their work, so we have a steady stream of pretty design imagery coming in on a daily basis. So if you’re in need of a break from people yelling at each other online, citing articles from websites you’ve never heard of, why not enjoy these glamorous house tours instead?

Repurposing Old Furniture for a New Space

My friend and fellow Homepolisher Haley Weidenbaum recently moved into an adorable Miracle Mile home and filled it with beautiful things. I’m especially obsessed with her minty chesterfield sofa.

Repurposing Old Furniture for a New Space

Her cushy dining chairs make me mad she’s never invited me to dinner. THANKS FOR NOTHING, HALEY. Click here to see the full story!

A Multifunctional and Personal Brooklyn Studio

I’ve been waiting for years to get a client that would let me paint a room this beautiful color of pale pink. But sadly NO ONE HAS EVER SAID YES. Luckily, these Homepolish clients in Brooklyn were cool with it and let designer Marissa Bero go to town sloshing pink everywhere like a madwoman. Click here to see the full story!

A Colorful Home Office for YouTube’s Joey Graceffa

I recently designed AN EXTREMELY COLORFUL office for an adorable YouTube celeb. I didn’t want his boyfriend to feel left out of the situation so we created an outdoor yoga sanctuary just for him. Click here to see the full story!

A Cozy and Modern San Francisco Home

I grew up going to San Francisco all the time but I’ve never thought about living there because it’s too expensive. BUT THEN I SAW THIS AMAZING PROJECT BY HOMEPOLISH SF DESIGNER CARISSE LYNELLE. I want to dine in that dining room so bad.

A Cozy and Modern San Francisco Home

Those tiles also make me feel things. Sexual things. Click here to see the full story!

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I’ve never met a campaign dresser I didn’t like. Especially when it’s also a changing table. This glamorous New York penthouse (designed by Homepolish’s Megan Grehl) makes me mad that I’m not the baby that lives in this crib:

Refining a Penthouse in Manhattan

Click here to see the full story!

So that’s what we’re up to at Homepolish this week! You can find even more stories by obsessively checking our Magazine every day. Or just come back here and I’ll tell you what you need to know.

Love,
Orlando

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A Personal Art Moment in My Master Bedroom

Photographs by Orlando Soria

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Dear Diary,

For some reason last night, I started thinking about my first apartment in LA. So I did some self-googling and found an old picture of it on this blog:

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I moved into that place in 2007. What I love about looking at this picture is how creative and thrifty everything is. At this point in my life I had literally zero dollars. Everything in in the photograph is either a hand-me-down, handmade, or from Ikea. But I took pride in that space and I think it was really cozy and happy and homey. One of my core beliefs as a designer is that even if you don’t have a lot of money, creativity can get you a long way.

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This was my next LA apartment, after a year where I moved to New York and then came back again, months being technically homeless and just staying with friends and family, and a few apartments that ended up being totally weird/unihabitable. That bedroom served me well, but after a breakup it felt weird that I was sleeping in the same bedroom I shared with my ex, so I gave it a little refresh in an attempt to it feel like a new place for me to start again:

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I really loved that apartment, but when it came time to move in with Edouard, I jumped at the chance to redo his crazy 80s condo and turn it into the home of my dreams. The master bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in the condo because it is features the most saturated wall color (the rest of the condo is bright white). The bedroom obviously has a much more sophisticated flavor than my first place in LA, but I’d like to think the creativity that made my first grown up home so welcoming is still alive in my current bedroom.

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The wall opposite the bed had a long, horizontal hole in it that was just begging for a panoramic piece of art. So I came up with the idea to create a large scale photograph of Yosemite (my hometown), so I could see it every morning when I woke up. I actually had to visit Yosemite a few times before the weather cooperated with me. The first time I went, Yosemite Falls was dry, my photo attempt was foiled, and everything was sad and depressing.

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The biggest barrier was figuring out how I was going to print and frame this giant series. Luckily, I came across Livestock, which is an amazing online service the prints your large-scale (and small-scale) photographs, frames them, and then delivers them right to your door.

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A strange-but-true fact about me is that I actually majored in photography in college. But I haven’t used my skills since then, aside from figuring out how to compose Instagram photos. So I didn’t have any local resources for printing large photos and I had no idea how the quality of these prints from Livestock would turn out. When the photos arrived, I was extremely pleased with the quality of the prints. No weird digital noise or fuzziness. They’re art quality prints and they look great.

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The five prints each got a one inch mat, a decision I kind of regretted when they arrived. Part of me thinks they look a but more formal with the mat, another part of me thinks it chops up the continuity of the series, too many vertical lines. Thoughts?

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West Elm made and sold these lamps for a while, but they stopped selling them. I kind of love and hate when big retailers stop making items after I buy them. I love it because then it means that I have something kind of special not a lot of people have. But I hate it as a blogger because it makes it harder for readers to find the items I’m sharing. West Elm has subsequently come out with another version of this lamp which I also love (and am considering for the living room).

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The pottery is from my family friend Susanne French, who I’ve known my whole life. The Acoma Pueblo pottery was purchased from the gift shop at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite (a corporate takeover renamed the historic hotel “The Majestic” recently, but I’ll never call it that).

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If you’ve been reading me a long time, you probably know I grew up in Yosemite National Park. If you’re new, the above photo shows the approximate location of the house I grew up in. You can’t actually see it in this picture, but it is nestled amongst those trees at the base of Yosemite Falls. People are often weirded out by this fact, because people living in National Parks is pretty rare, but it is a true fact about my past. I miss that place like crazy. My parents retired to Sonoma County (California’s wine region) and so now going home is more about waterfalls of wine than actual waterfalls.

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This is the whole series together. Editing these bad boys was actually pretty challenging because each of these files is huge and kept crashing Photoshop (I know I probably should have been using another program, but that’s all I had on my computer). Luckily, Homepolish’s photo director Claire helped me figure out how to balance them all so they matched and looked their best. This is what each photo looks like on their own:

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My parents left Yosemite about two years ago, and the first time I went back it was January. It was seventy degrees and there was no snow in sight. That was the first time I attempted to take this photo, but it came out as sad and depressing as the visit itself (Yosemite in winter without snow feels post-apocalyptic). So you can imagine my joy when I went back and there was snow everywhere.

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An added benefit of the winter photographs is that the snow helps brighten up my dark and moody master bedroom (the wall color is Ralph Lauren Iron Blue btw). The series is purposefully disjointed, you’ll see certain elements repeat or be cut off. I wanted to add some rhythm to it by chopping up the image. I found that disjointedness a bit more exciting than just a straight up panoramic.

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Having these photos in my room was a great way for me to bring a bit of my history into my home. I miss being able to go to Yosemite like I used to (it’s just not the same going there and staying in a hotel), so it’s nice to have a daily reminder that it’s still there. And it gets back to lessons I learned with my first LA bedroom, that making things yourself can be a great way to make your space beautiful, personal, and interesting.

Love,
Orlando

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A Colorful Makeover for a Bright Youtube Star

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish

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Dear Diary,

Wanna see the craziest, most colorful design I’ve done for a Homepolish influencer yet? Check out my makeover of Joey Graceffa’s office (and his boyfriends cute outdoor lounge) on Homepolish Mag!

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FULL STORY THIS WAY >>>

Love,
Orlando

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Orcondo Bedrooms & Common Areas

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Dear Renovation Revelers,

My final Orcondo post for Emily Henderson went live today and it features some of my favorite spaces in the condo: the bedrooms. If you love transformations, you need to see this. Here is a preview of the type of before/after action you can expect:

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Enticed? Head on over to Emily’s blog to read the rest.

Love,
Orlando

FULL POST THIS WAY >>>

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Before & After: Orcondo’s Kitchen & Bathrooms

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Dear Lovers of Mega Makeovers,

As you know, Orcondo is all done with her plastic surgery and ready to face the world with her gorgeous new face! We’ve been revealing the condo step by step on Homepolish and Emily Henderson’s blog, so today we have some extra special updates to share with you. It’s time to chat about the kitchens and bathrooms. Which previously were the grossest spaces in the condo and now are the most delectable. Click on through to hear their courageous stories.

Love,
Orlando

FULL STORY HERE FOR EMILY HENDERSON STORY & HERE FOR HOMEPOLISH STORY >>>

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Taking a Hollywood Hills House from Flab to Fab

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish

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Dear Home Renovation Lovers,

One of my favorite projects was covered in some of my favorite publications (Architectural Digest and Homepolish Magazine!). But what you might not have seen in these publications is the SUPER DRAMATIC transformation this house underwent. I have to admit, Donnie and Ryan (the adorable couple featured above) had a great contractor who did the lion’s share of the work. But I was around to wave my Homepolish magic wand, making final decisions on finishes, wall-color, and obviously, furniture. Below is a mouth-watering collection of before and after pictures that will make you so happy to be alive.

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Before, this living room was kinda crazayzay. I mean, normally I’m all for keeping spaces as open and free as possible, but the opening between the two rooms made them hard to layout and organize. Closing up the wall left us with the opportunity to create a cozy sitting space.

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Donnie had this cute little navy blue sofa from a former apartment, along with the coffee table. The prints above the sofa are from Minted (as is much of the art in the home). This particular print is actually the same one repeated three times but rotated so it looks like three different prints. I did this because I loved the piece and I wanted to repeat a dot motif on that wall. The wall color in here is Dunn-Edwards Enchanting Ivy.

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The accessories in the sitting room are mostly from flea markets. Donnie and Ryan are very close with their families and have family photos everywhere. Which made this room feel particularly cozy and homey. The redwood photograph by Kamala Nahas above the fireplace is a breath of fresh air and speaks to the forest green color palette in the room, which speaks to me, and now I’m speaking to you.

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The powder room got a snazzy transformation with a custom vanity and THE WORLD’S MOST AMAZING WALLPAPER. I didn’t want to leave the vanity out of the fun, so I gave her a gorgeous accent color, Parisian Night from Dunn-Edwards.

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Because the wallpaper has such a vintage vibe, I decided to add a modern twist to keep the whole space from feeling too old-timey. This gorgeous abstract print by Juniper Briggs did the trick. AND SO CAN YOU!

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The formerly beige shower got a much-needed marble makeover.

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The living room is my favorite part of this house. Previously, it was a muddy beige color (Also, somewhere an elephant is wandering around looking for his tusks. Not cool). The pretty light grey color used throughout much of the house is Dunn-Edwards Vapor. It’s so soft and beautiful. Like you. The sofa is from Restoration Hardware and the coffee table and console are from HD Buttercup.

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We had beautiful custom drapery made by The Shade Shoppe and added a preppy stripe to make us feel like we’d been magically transported to a lovely Cape Cod cottage.

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This beautiful print by Stephanie Nowotarski adds a little edge to this otherwise classic and cozy living room.

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I kinda went crazy buying flowering branches at the Downtown LA flower market. If you’re ever trying to spruce up your home for guests or want your home to look particularly polished, adding branches will always do the trick. Branches are a surefire way to make people think you’re way more important than you actually are.

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Accessories are a collection of stuff Donnie and Ryan already had, accented with vintage pieces and things I found at West Elm.

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Anna Ullman, one of my favorite LA artists, created these incredible mono prints, which were the inspiration for the living room’s accent color.

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Here’s the other one. I love it so much. I wish I were sitting on those little stools right now, staring at it.

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These ceramic tower lamps from Wisteria add the perfect pop to this neutral wonderland.

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Don’t you just want to smash your face into that sofa and scream into its down cushions about how much you love it?

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The bedroom previously had a very contemporary vibe, with an open closet behind the bed. Closing off the wall and adding wood paneling to the ceiling gave the space a much stronger sense of architectural importance.

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The bedroom also received custom drapery from The Shade Shoppe, as well as this gorgeous rug from Pottery Barn. My favorite thing in the room is this AMAZING CROCODILE from Mix Furniture. We wanted something sculptural and interesting to make the space feel as cool as my clients, and I think this guy fits the bill.

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The striped linen duvet cover is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m so happy they have it. The bird pillows are vintage West Elm, from a photo shoot I did a few years ago. They’re exactly the right amount of dreamy.

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The crescent window above the french doors provided a bit of a window treatment design challenge, so we had custom shutters made to block the bright sunshine.

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The previously-contemporary fireplace got a traditionally-inspired makeover, accented by one of my favorite things on earth: BUILT-IN SHELVING. I accessorized the shelves with their collection of books and photographs, adding in my own flea market finds.

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The beige-on-beige-on-brown-on-beige bathroom got a spectacular marble update. The whole space feels so much brighter and cleaner now.

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The Matthew Sampson print adds come color and serenity to the already-soothing bathroom. Even just looking at it now makes me want to fall asleep. In a good way.

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The upstairs guest bath got a sophisticated update, with a new custom vanity and marble tile throughout. We also added wood panel detailing to the walls to give it some architectural interest while keeping it white and minimal.

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Kitchen styles go in and out, but one thing that seems to be classic is simple white cabinetry. Throughout the kitchen we added gray Caesarstone and white custom cabinetry. The island got a special accent color (Dunn-Edwards Porpoise) and marble countertop.

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A little breakfast nook provides their dog with a cute place to relax whilst drinking a whole bottle of rosé alone, an activity I do most Monday mornings.

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The backsplash tiles, which are from Atlas, add a subtle color that brings in some warmth while allowing the kitchen to stay soothing and neutral.

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In Ryan’s office, we created a large-scale custom wallpaper by enlarging a photograph taken by one of his friends. It gives the otherwise gentlemanly, traditional space a bit of movement and frivolity.

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We’re still working on the dining room, so we don’t have a lot of photos of it yet. But we did manage to install the world’s most lovely indigo grasscloth in there. It’s the kind of wall covering you just want to hug and squeeze forever.

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Artwork by my friend Erika Gragg adds some color and cheer to the entry space. If you need more cheer, you can see more of this project on Homepolish Magazine. Check it out!

Love,
Orlando

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Adding Warmth to a White Kitchen

Photograph by Tessa Neustadt

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Diary Diary,

Are you curious how I got my white kitchen to feel warm and inviting? Just kidding, you’re just a diary, I doubt you’re curious about anything. For those HUMAN readers out there, feel free to check out my latest post for Homepolish Magazine, in which I give some tips on how to make your white kitchen as gorgeous and attractive as you are. Hurry!

Love,
Orlando

FULL POST THIS WAY! >>>

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