Further Proof That Paint is Magic

Photographs Courtesy Kyung Woo Han


Dear Pool Party People,

I came across the work of Kyung Woo Han recently while I was wandering aimlessly around the internet and I just had to share it even though he made this piece in 2009 which is like 500 years ago in internet years. Basically, he used wall paint to transform an indoor space into an optical illusion swimming pool (i.e. my dream home). As you probably know, I am a huge fan of transform a space using just paint and aqua is my favorite color, so this is basically the most important thing I’ve ever seen in my life.




When I first saw this work my brain exploded and I was like “WAIT I DON’T GET IT.” Luckily, then I found this video that kind of explains what’s going on:



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Filed under Art, Decor, Fashonz

The Hommemaker Guide to Getting Over It


Dear Complete Stranger on the Internet,

The year 2013 was not my year. If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you know what happened. A relationship ended, one that was very important to me and a first in a lot of ways. My career was in flux as I stopped working daily with Emily Henderson to break out on my own, a decision that was difficult for both of us as we were (are) best friends and working together every day felt like being with family.  My financial situation was a roller coaster, dire, and stress-filled. Basically I got dog-piled by life. I was at the bottom of a horrible, depressing heap. It happens to a lot of people. If you go through life without having a span of experiences that results in a depression, you’re extremely lucky. Or a sociopath.

It may come as a surprise but I am not a psychiatrist so everything I say here is based on my own experience and understanding of the world, but I hope my year-long depression spell and my escape from it can be inspirational for people experiencing the same thing now, so despite my lack of confidence about whether I actually have the authority to write this kind of advice, I’m going to anyway. Thank you, Internet!

Every calendar milestone that has happened this year, Valentines Day, Memorial Day, my birthday, Halloween, etc, have been a reminder of how absolutely depressed I was last year. My birthday especially. I remember throwing a party at a friend’s house, which I was house sitting for the summer because I couldn’t face living alone in my apartment which I’d shared with my ex. My ex came to the party, it was awkward. And extremely sad. About 100 people attended, it somehow turned into a larger party than I’d anticipated. Maybe I tried to make it into that to somehow feel validated that so many people showed up for me, after months of feeling like nothing. As the night dwindled, and guests tapered off, I finally was left all alone in a large, dark, echoing house in Windsor Square. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as lonely in my life. The candles had all burned out. The music was off. Dim light poured in the windows from street lights. And I was completely alone.

I cleaned up party cups long enough to convince myself that I was substantially sober and drove back to the apartment I’d shared with my ex and tried to sleep. But couldn’t. I just stared at the ceiling thinking. “How am I going to get over this? How am I going to feel better?”

So I guess that’s the reason I’m writing this. Just remembering how awful that feeling was. How incredibly heavy my body felt, as if it might sink through that bed, into the apartment below, until it reached the center of the earth. Not in a funny way like in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” when the mom falls through the ceiling (wait? was that funny? I actually haven’t even seen that movie). In a sort of out of body, terrible way that makes you question if life is ever going to be good again.

The following are things I did that ultimately resulted in me becoming happy again. If you have serious, clinical depression, obviously consult a doctor. If your depression is symptomatic of a series of misfortunate events, perhaps try doing what I did. If you’re not depressed at all and have never been depressed, stop reading this immediately and go watch a cat video or something.

moca011. Get Out of Your House 

It’s important to remind yourself of good things, things to be glad for. So get out and taking advantage of beautiful things around you. I made a pact with myself to go somewhere new every weekend, just on little day trips I took in the car. Often by myself. I went to Ojai, Joshua Tree, Santa Barbara, all over the state. I went back to New York a few times, it’s a place that’s always given me confidence because I spent so much time there, ending up there post college was the realization of one my deepest childhood dreams. Find a place that inspires you and go there. It might not be the outdoors like it is for me, but I’m sure you know of a place you can go that you love. Getting out, appreciating, enjoying places you love (or perhaps discovering some new ones) is such a great way to revitalize your life and remind yourself that you still have an entire life to live.

tumblr_n9i1vgIIzI1rs81xfo1_12802. Randomize Your Routine

Changing your routine on a daily basis is a good way to rip you out of your own life. I switched gyms and would workout at totally different times. I’d eat different stuff every day, try out new recipes, do anything to escape monotony. Being distracted by trying new and exciting things is a good way to distract yourself from your own depression. Monotony and staleness are the enemy here because they allow you to play into the story you tell yourself when you’re depressed. That nothing is new, life is boring, there’s not much to live for. Switching it up, trying new things, making new friends, helps you realize that you still have potential to grow and learn.


3. Look for New Things to Put in Your Brain to Replace Dark Thoughts

If you’ve lost your faith in yourself, humanity, your community, whatever, there are places that will help restore your faith. For me it’s art museums. Looking at all the crazy things that come out of other people’s brains is kind of inspiring. I was particularly taken by one Cy Twombly painting at LACMA (above). It’s so expressive, illogical, and beautiful. Looking at art (or watching films or reading books) is a wonderful way to remind yourself of the potential of human beings. And ultimately of your own potential. It’s a nice way of restoring hope for the future.

Only-A-Little-Scary-An-Interview-With-Jeffery-Self-14. Overshare Everything All The Time Until You Feel Better

I like this tip because it’s actually not what I did at all. My approach to dealing with my breakup, depression, and anxiety was to keep it as quiet as possible, mentioning it here and there on my blog when I thought it might be useful to someone. I kept almost everything to myself. During the same time, my writer/actor/comedian friend Jeffery Self took the opposite tactic. He unleashed a rage upon the internet, calling out his ex for everything from stealing the dog to his dating choices. While his actions were admittedly extreme, they ended up ultimately being productive and led to him being able to have a friendship with his ex – they worked through their issues in public. I admired his approach, because it was one I was too worried about being responsible to my ex to take (I didn’t want to write a one-sided story while he had no voice to respond). Jeffrey definitely experienced backlash, but ultimately he got to say his piece without a filter and that was both cathartic and community building for him. He alienated some of his fans, but many appreciated his candor because it was relatable and genuine.

Sometimes you just have to scream out your feelings, get them out of you, and move on. Those who truly care about you will forgive you for not being diplomatic.

orlando-soria-bedroom-35. Rearrange Your Furniture. Daily If Necessary.

Those who know me know I rearrange my apartment about once a week. I didn’t think about it until recently, but there is something completely therapeutic about it. Moving furniture helps you see your space in a new way, makes your life feel less routine. But it’s not just about keeping the view fresh. Refreshing your space, adding new art, painting the walls, changing out lighting, is a way of showing yourself some respect, reminding yourself that you’re worth having a nice space. Making your place beautiful is the perfect confidence booster. Also, if you’re doing it yourself, the physical labor involved will likely be good for your depressed body (side note: I’m not going to give you the “exercise more” tip even though I think it’s a good one because it’s usually the last thing you want to do when you feel so depressed you want to die).

So there you have it, my tips for getting over whatever you need to get over. From the depths of a depression, it’s hard to imagine things ever feeling better. But I’d like to remind you that I am proof that they will.

Good friends will tell you that you really need time more than anything, which is true. Sometimes you just have to wait it out until you feel better. But that shouldn’t stop you from at least trying to feel better. You’re definitely worth the effort, even if it might not seem like it now.


Images: Manuel Moncayo via Filth & Wisdom, I Am Yours, LACMADesign BoomNils Staffan Liede,


Filed under Life

Get In My Eyeballz: Gray Malin’s ‘Dream’ Series

Photographs Courtesy Gray Malin

Cyan Sheep II

Dear Gray Malin,

You may remember yourself from the glamorous One Kings Lane home makeover we did together months ago, where we first met and became friends. I remember you from all the wonderful photos you take that are like candy for my eyeballz. Your newest body of work is an extremely fun project called The Dream Series. It’s a surreal, beautiful series featuring hypercolor sheep in the gorgeous Australian countryside, waddling around, being themselves, not caring what anyone else thinks. Don’t be scared, the dyes Gray used are totally harmless, vegetable-based pigments that wash off with water. The sheep were all “I didn’t even feel that.”

The series was inspired by a story Gray read several years ago about a Scottish sheep farmer who colored the fleece of his flock in an effort to deter thieves who had been regularly thieving his sheep at night. This practical use of color to maintain the safety of the sheep sparked the idea to use it to turn the flock into a colorful collective of multicolored fuzzballz, representing individuality and freedom. Check out the images:

Double Rainbow_

In the Field II

In the Field III

In the Field

Pink Sheep

Purple Sheep

Rainbow Sheep II

Rainbow Sheep III

Red and Green Sheep

Standing Out from the Crowd

You can check out more of the images from the series and see the adorable video about how it was made on Gray Malin’s Website.

Oh, and 20% of the proceeds of this series is going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (remember Bat Kid?) so buy up!



Filed under Art

Goop + Homepolish Team Up to Decorate a Sunny West Hollywood Bachelor Pad

Photographs by Zeke Ruelas Courtesy Homepolish

Portrait__032Dear Client Kevin,

Did you see the Homepolish miracle that occurred in your apartment after I waddled in and waved my arms all over the place like a deranged octopus? I hope so, because you live there. If not, you have plenty of options. First, you can check out the full story on Goop to see how I took your apartment from “OH NO” to “OOH LA LA” in just a matter of moments. Once you’ve done that, head on over to Hompolish Magazine for more coverage. Then, continue drinking with me like we are in the photo above until we are drunk and disgusting and nobody loves us.

But first, HARK! Here are some preview pics of the space:


The sofa is from Restoration Hardware’s Small Space Collection and the gorgeous overdyed kilim rug is from Rugs USA.


These completely insane chairs are from Chairish and are life changing.


The gorgeous Isaac Zoller Photograph is from Tappan Collective.

Dining_Nook_005The nauseatingly awesome Keith Haring removable wall decal (perfect for renters like me!) is from Blik.


And of course my favorite part of the makeover is all the ceramic pottery by my talented buddy Ben Medansky.

Are you hungry eyeballs burning for more? Head on over to Goop to check out the rest of the images and get all the sources. And don’t forget to check out my piece Homepolish Magazine for even more photos, insights, and bad jokes.




Filed under Decor

My Friends Made This So Now You Have To Watch It: ‘Paragon School for Girls’

Film Stills Courtesty Paragon School for Girls

paragon-7Dear Anyone Who Is Listening,

Hello? Are you still there? It’s me, Orlando, calling you from inside the “Internet.” Anyway, a long time ago my friend Jim showed me this web series he was developing called Paragon School for Girls and I was like YOU HAVE TO PUT THIS ON THE INTERNET IMMEDIATELY. So he finally did. JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN! And now you can enjoy it.

Have you ever fantasized about living in a dollhouse? If so, you’re going to be obsessed wit this. If not, there is something wrong with you. The whole thing takes place in the dollhouse where everything is miniature. My friend Emily freaks out every time she sees something mini, so I have the feeling she is going to totally die when she sees this.

It’s super playful and fun to watch. Check out these ridiculous stills:






The cast is pretty amazing, especially considering they were all shot separately in front of a green screen, alone, by themselves. Lots of my friends are in it: Jeffery Self, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Seth Canterbury, Jack Plotnick, Bryan Safi, and Jim Hanson (who also wrote, directed, and edited the whole thing). If you watched United States of Tara or GBF you’ll also recognize Michael Willet, who is awesome and who I am now obsessed with. (Full cast here).

The series is THE must-watch web series of the fall, so put down your Gardenburger Breakfast Sliders, go into a dark room, and watch the whole series from beginning to end.




Filed under Decor, Style

Whut Glamour: Aandersson Ceramics

Photographs Courtesy Aandersson Ceramics


Dear Diary,

I love my life and everything is perfect! I never see anything I want that I can’t afford and I have all the white ceramic objects a man could ever need. I’m so content!


…Moments later…

Dear REAL Diary,

I hate my life and I want everything all the time and can only afford one expired can of tuna and a half-drunk Diet Mountain Dew in a dented can. Oh Diary, how I long to buy all the white ceramic things in the world, so that I one day when there is a terrifying earthquake in Los Angeles the dishes that I have hoarded over the years will topple on top of me and behead me instantly, so I will no longer have to live with the pain of wanting even more white pottery.

I recently came across this lovely stuff from Aandersson Ceramics, a company so confident they were making the best white pottery in the world that they added two unnecessary letters to their name. It’s all amazing and I want it all right now.

aandersson-ceramics-9Look at all these gems. GET IN MY MOUTH.

andersson-ceramics-7Olov Serving Bowl, $150

andersson-ceramics-8Ottilia Salad Plate, $40

andersson-ceramics-3 Olivia Vase, $130

aanderson-ceramics-11Osvald Mug, $50

andersson-ceramics-1Oscar Planter, $200

andersson-ceramicsOrvar Mug, $50

Notice anything about all the names? THEY ALL START WITH “O”! Which is yet more evidence that I need all of them.


PS: Check out more pieces from Aandersson Ceramics on their Internet Website!


Filed under Decor

Homepolishing Kelly Oxford’s House

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt with Additional Photography by Sean Gin, Courtesy Homepolish


Dear Kelly Oxford’s Weird Looking Cats,

Have you heard the news? Kelly’s new house is finally furnished and ready for scratching! After months of texting and mutual whining to each other about everything, Kelly and I wrapped up the project a few weeks ago and I’m super stoked with the results.


My favorite thing at her house, which I am def getting made for my own place, is this triptych by Erika Gragg. Erika and I have been close friends since college and I’ve always been a huge fan of her work, so I was stoked to be able to commission her to create something for Kelly’s happy, bright space. Bringing original art into a space is the best way to make it personal and unique so if you know any artists, buy stuff from them! (Or, better yet, from Erika).


I’m pretty much obsessed with these chrome and glass coffee tables we snagged from Apt2B. Because Kelly’s great room is so enormous, I needed two to fill the space between the sofas. You might be freaking out that I paired them with brass side tables and brass legs, but I am a huge fan of mixing metals. I believe in diversity and integration. If you disagree with me, you’re a racist.


This root ball table from AllModern really makes me mad. Mad that I don’t own it and made that it’s not 1970, a time when people really knew how to appreciate an organic wood coffee table.


These little cube sculptures made by my friend Ben Medanksy fill my heart with joy and bewilderment. If you don’t know Ben’s work you have to check out his site (also a great place to buy my Christmas gift HINT HINT). You’ll notice his work scattered throughout the rest of the house.


Those banana pillows, RIGHT? They make me so happy. I saw the fabric downtown and instantly knew I had to make them into pillows for Kelly. Those Issey Miyake-inspired pleated throws from West Elm are kind of the bomb, and totally affordable ($29).  Those brass circular side tables are from Revitaliste and every time I go to Kelly’s I say “WHY AREN’T YOU LOSING YOUR MIND OVER THESE???” and she’s all “I AM LOSING MY MIND CAN’T YOU SEE???”


These Copper Barstools from Blu Dot are 100% the bomb.


These rugs from Rugs USA helped make each area (TV/lounge area, sitting area, and dining area) distinct from one another.


That pouf pretty much makes my life complete. Kelly and I found it at the flea market. At first, we weren’t sure about it because it had gross upholstery and needed a mega makeover. But then, some ANNOYING GIRLS started looking at it and both of us were immediately outraged “GET AWAY FROM OUR POUF!” As soon as they left we swooped it up and ran for the border.


The dining nook got some love with a new saarinen table, Eames chairs (in a color called “Pickle” HAY) and an amazing “Les Oiseaux” (The Birds) poster. I wanted to keep it light and airy in there so I added sheer white drapery from Barn & Willow.

You can check out the rest of the images of this project and get all the resources by reading my piece on Homepolish Mag.



You can enter to win this awesome coffee table, courtesy Apt2B and Homepolish!

ENTER HERE (Giveaway ends September 25)


Just kidding! No there isn’t. But make sure to read the whole Homepolish Mag piece (it’s RILLY good!).



Filed under Decor

Six Shocking Facts About Fire Island That Will Change The Way You See Everything


Dear Tell-All Diary,

Did you know there is a Gay Island super close to New York City where lots of gay guys go every summer to wiggle around like Mexican Jumping Beans? It’s called Fire Island and its about 2.5 hours away from Manhattan (via a train, another train, another train, yet one more train, one final train, a bus, and a ferry). I went there this past weekend and I learned a lot of facts about this magical island. If you like facts, keep reading! If you hate them, just look at the pictures! Okay, onto to the facts!

1. All logical rental systems are banned from the island.

Finding a place to stay in Fire Island is probably the most difficult thing in the world. This is because it’s an island full of privately owned homes that landlords sublet to people all summer. Those subletters then sublet them to other subletters who in turn sublet them a few more times until you have no idea who is the owner and who is the hobo that lives underneath the hot tub. Fire Island frequenters call this system “getting a share on Fire Island.” Ridiculously wealthy people have Full Shares (the whole summer), moderately rich people have “half shares” (half the summer), and moderately impoverished people have “quarter shares.” This system of share dividing is necessary because living in New York is stupid expensive and that turns everyone who lives there into a hungry hungry psychopath.

2. The houses on the island are sororities.

As the years pass and rosé goes from cool, to passé, to cool again, to way too cool, groups of gays form and go to Fire Island together over and over and over again. Together. They become like families because they get shares in the same house repeatedly. They create house rules to keep order and thus peace is maintained. The house rules are things like “no guests, you have to do your chores, etc.” And they’re incredibly strict. In Palm Springs if you rent a house with friends and you invite a friend to drive in from LA and sleep on the sofa no one cares. If you invite a friend to sleep on the sofa in Fire Island, both you and the friend will be murdered publicly. People will look on, understanding looks on their faces saying “I can’t believe he invited a guest!”

3. They have tons of tea parties all the time but no one drinks tea ever.

At Fire Island there are about 16 tea parties every day. There’s Tea, Low Tea, High Tea, Middle Tea, Junior Tea, Senior Tea, etc. But there’s never any tea. “Tea” is just code for “circuit party at 4 PM.” (A circuit party is a party with laser lights and electronic music that normally take place at 4 AM, FYI). You go to at least two of these parties before you eat dinner and then you’re supposed to go to one or more after. This is when you realize that dancing in a club with disco balls and laser lights at 4 PM makes you feel not only 100 years old but also like a crystal meth addict. In sort of a fun way and sort of a way that makes you question your life choices.

4. The houses there are either jaw dropping or disgusting.

Fire Island is filled with homes that make you want to slowly poison the owners until they die so you can start squatting in them and never have to leave. There are some incredibly gorgeous homes there. And then there are homes that are falling down and covered with mold and still rent for hundreds of thousands of dollars a summer. It’s confusing, and exciting, because you never know what’s going to happen when you’re invited to a pool party. It could be at a shack or it could be at a mega mansion.

5. There are two sides of the island and they hate each other.

On Fire Island, there’s Fire Island Pines on one side and Cherry Grove on the other. The two sides hate each other. The Pines is supposedly the fancier side and the Grove is the more approachable side. I stayed in the Pines but actually loved Cherry Grove because my boyfriend and I went on an amazing pretend shopping spree over there where he bought pajama bottoms and I bought neon underwear. But if you tell someone from the Pines side that you’re staying in the Cherry Grove side they’ll look at you like you’re a piece of rotting meat.

6. It’s impossible not to use the word “magical” when describing Fire Island.

Yes, it will make everyone want to punch you hard in the mouth, but it’s kind of hard not call this place magical. It’s a tiny little island with nothing else around it and it’s kind of a miracle that it exists. It’s only 1 mile wide (by 14 miles long) so it literally could blow away in the next hurricane. My advice is to get there as soon as you can, ogle some merry Homosexuals, and try your hardest to understand the strange, amazing, and delightfully terrifying place that is Fire Island.

Now that I’ve listed these six things in a way that makes you question whether or not I hate Fire Island and if I’m actually the most boring person on earth because I don’t want to go to a dance party at 4 PM, let’s move onto my actual trip!


We stayed at this cute little hotel. There aren’t regular hotels there, only ones made out of houses. So it was kind of more like a bed and breakfast, but it was fun and we got to meet grizzled people who have been coming here for years and told  us all sorts of crazy tales about the island’s history, the fires that are constantly burning down houses (side note: all the homes here are made from matchsticks), and how the hurricanes changed everything for everyone.


I found myself obsessing over these little zig zag fences everywhere. Like I want a yard made out of sand so I can do this at home.


And look at this little newspaper. Don’t you just want to read this and only this over and over and over until your eyes bleed? I bet it has all sorts of new about local history and other stuff (I didn’t bother to read it while I was there DUH I was busy!).

More stuff I noticed…


There were so amazing buildings on that island. I guess when you take the population of Manhattan and squeeze them onto a tiny island they make cool buildings…


Because all I care about is houses and design and architecture I had no idea when I started taking this picture that a naked dude was staring through his window at me taking this picture. Then my boyfriend screamed “A NAKED DUDE!” and I felt like a sex offender. Lesson: when you’re on Fire Island, just assume there’s always a naked dude peeping out his window at you.


Hi house. I love how open and glassy you are. Touch me.


This was the first house I got really excited about and wanted for myself.


And then I saw this house and I was like BURN ALL THE OTHER HOUSES. It’s so gorgeous and apparently they filmed a movie there called ‘Ghost Writer’ which I’ve never seen but is now my favorite movie in the history of time.


This is the pavilion where all the “tea parties” happen. This building is brand new because the previous tea party space burnt to the ground in an allegedly scandalous money grubbing fraud. Or something. That’s just what people told me while I was there. Sidenote: Fire Island, like most other places in New York, is the type of place where they like to be like “BACK WHEN I STARTED COMING HERE THINGS WERE DIFFERENT THINGS WERE REAL!” and then you’re like “When did you start coming here?” And they’re all “2012.” Eye roll.




I also found myself obsessing with the glamorous system of boardwalks that connects the entire island. The boardwalks allow you to walk around the island without getting gross and disgusting dirt all over brightly colored flip-flops you matched to your outfit.


You can take a boardwalk and hop on a boat…


Or you can take a boardwalk to a MYSTERY LOCATION…


…Or to the ugly ol’ beach!



Oh yeah, and there’s beaches there. Where I yelled at my boyfriend until he did tricks for me.



Sidenote: Do you like his Orlebar Brown swimmiez as much as I do?


I will always believe that, because of the mega pollution, LA has the best sunsets. That being said, these weren’t too shabby. I mean, look at that flamingo pink sky. I just want to eat it like cotton candy. Or a corndog. Or any fair food actually…





See! Here I am smiling that the beach was so pretty!


This is the last sunset I’ll ever see in Fire Island. Just kidding. I think I would go back. But only if I happened to be in New York and my friend was all “hey we got a house on Fire Island come sleep on the sofa!” Oh wait that doesn’t happen. So yeah I’m never going back. I suggest you go though, if only for the anthropological lessons you’ll learn from going there. And the fact that you get to drink “tea” all day and no one will judge you for it.



Filed under Life

A Dining Room That’s Good Enough to Eat!

Photo by Sean Gin Courtesy Homepolish


Dear Internet,

Hi there! It’s me, Orlando, here. And I’m typing directly to you. Anyway, do you have a boring dining room? Do you wish the walls had more personality and stuff or whatever? Do you sometimes stare at the wall hoping a giant shape will show up out of nowhere if you stare hard enough? If you answered “yes” or “no” to any or none of these questions than you simply must read the heartwarming story of my dining room’s transformation from moldy to marvelous today on Emily Henderson’s Glamoursite and Homepolish Magazine.






Filed under Decor

Hello Giggles? I Will Remember You? Will You Remember Me?

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolishc

neustadt-7 copy

Dear Zooey Deschanel,

Remember when you started a website called Hello Giggles? With your friends Sophia and Molly? And then Hello Gigggles moved to downtown LA? And the office was all beige and boring and made everyone want to claw their eyes out? And you wanted it to reflect the fun, happy vibe of the site instead of being sad and depressing? And then me and Homepolish came over to spice things up? Well now you can see what the office looks like now that it’s decorated? By reading posts on Hello Giggles and Homepolish? WHY IS ALL OF LIFE A QUESTION???

And then we made this Hello Giggles Office Makeover Video?

But guess what also? You can win this amazing chair? If you bother to enter our giveaway? Enter by CLICKING THIS LINK? Hurry?


Please read more about this office makeover? See the below links?






Filed under Decor