My So-Called Client: “Jon”

Dear Everyone,

When I meet new people they often ask me what I do. As soon as I start to answer, they regret asking. My response to this question is always long-winded and tiresome. Firstly, I work for TV’s Emily Henderson (and yes, I always insert the “TV’s” in front of her name, even when addressing her directly). We work on TV stuff, blog stuff, and marketing stuff. I also have my own blog, work on film, TV, and photo shoots, and have my own design clients. So I do a lot of different things and I love all of them. If you ask me what I want to do when I grow up, I’ll tell you. All I want to do when I grow up is everything.

That being said, my passion lies in creating beautiful compositions. Whether they be at a client’s house or on a canvas. I am starting to sound like a cheesy brochure for myself. I just want everyone to know why I’m all of the sudden talking about design clients when before I was talking about gay bodies and searching for the perfect shelving unit.

I have this new client that lives in a gorgeous 1920s apartment in Hollywood. I’m going to call him “Jon” for the purpose of this post. He’s a successful writer and a super nice guy. He happens to write for/produce one of my very favorite television shows so I’m always trying my hardest not to quote it to him when we are meeting (I can’t tell you what show because I’ve promised to keep his identity top secret. Anyone who knows me knows that keeping a secret is nearly impossible for me so this might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life).

Jon’s apartment is totally beautiful. It’s full of character and has tons of gorgeous detail in the moulding. Luckily, the apartment is already painted a pretty color.

According to my scientific calculations, it’s Benjamin Moore Oyster Shell, which is a lovely warm grey color:

This is the living room before he moved in, with the previous tenants’ furniture.

How much do you love that detail in the doorway? I love it so much I want to bite it. And then wear it as a hat. And then take it home to meet my parents.

The crown moulding is a little bit ornate, but we are going very simple and clean with furnishings so the contrast will be nice with the building’s traditional flourishes.

Depending on how we are doing on budget, we might change out this chandelier. It’s beautiful, but a little too small. To me it screams, “Gurl, let’s have some tea with the ladiez!” Which isn’t exactly what you want in a cool bachelor pad inhabited by a hip dude.

Again, this is the furniture from the previous tenant. We are going to be doing the same basic layout though, with a chair and reading lamp situation next to the fireplace.

I’m planning on doing a fun decal in the non-functional fireplace. I like these three:

This is the bedroom but we are going to use it as the writing/music studio. Like me, Jon has many interests which vary from writing hit TV shows to composing his own music. Sidenote: why wasn’t I born with any musical talent? I hate everything.

The apartment has a ton of beautiful windows and so much pretty natural light.

Now onto things I want to buy for Jon. Firstly, this thing:

Okay, I didn’t actually buy it. But it’s ridiculous, right? I can’t decide if it’s ridiculous in a good way or ridiculous in a bad way. I found it at Wertz Brothers.

We got this table from HD Buttercup. Jon likes things that are quirky and unique, so this table ($950) fit the bill perfectly.

We paired the dining table with these mid-century dining chairs. $400 for the set of 4 from Modcrib:

The upholstery on the chairs looks great, but we might have them upholstered in a more vibrant color if we can fit it into the budget.

Because Jon just moved from New York and had zero furniture, we also needed to get him a sofa. He wanted a big comfortable sectional. I wanted clean lines. Our needs met with this piece from Blueprint Furniture. It’s called the Garamond Sectional and it’s a steal at $1199.

Jon loves mid-century, so he was attracted to this vintage piece from Modcrib. $375.

We nabbed this piece for $200 at Sunset Bazaar.

We are using it in the dining room, topped with this lamp from West Elm.

I bought him this awesome rug from Rugs USA for $350.

I found these great wingback chairs ($150/pair) at Modcrib. They have a great, classic shape and a few interesting details that make them more exciting than your average wingback.

I had the chair upholstered in glamorous velvet from Home Fabrics in disgusting Downtown Los Angeles. I used to love the idea of downtown LA. But if you go down there to look at fabrics and buy drapery rods, it’s like hell on earth. It always smells like hot dogs and it’s always 145 degrees (even in winter). There are some trendy parts of Downtown, but those are mostly ridiculously overpriced condos surrounded by homeless encampments. [End rant]. Anyway, sometimes you just have to go Downtown. Mainly when you want to get glamourous velvet for $17.95 a yard. And that makes it worth it.

The price breakdown for these chairs was as follows:

Original Price: $75
Fabric (4 yards for each chair): $80
Uphostery labor: $320

Total: $475

I know that doesn’t sound super cheap, but I dare you to find a chair of that quality that will last as long for $475. These will last forever and the shape and color is so classic that they will only get better with age as they get more worn, cozy, and tattered.

I bought this high boy for the bedroom. $200 from Pepe’s Thrift Shop. Sidenote: Sometimes I wear tank tops to work. So what?!? Who cares.

Unfortunately that mirror won’t hang horizontally so I bought this delightful “O” mirror from Wertz Brothers ($60):

I found this coffee table at TINI. $275.

Red is not in our color pallet, so the plan right now is to paint the coffee table Bunker Hill Green from Benjamin Moore:

This is also from TINI. I haven’t bought it yet because it’s expensive but I love it.

I got these bedside tables for the master bedroom. $95 each from TINI.

Finally I found this beautiful old box for $200. It’s super old and aged (just like my face after a weekend of pool parties and margaritas). I found it at Wertz Brothers and immediately knew I had to have it. It’s going to rest at the end of Jon’s bed.

For the hallway, I founds this burl console table. I actually bought this from myself on my Hipswap shop. I was all “Hey Orlando can I buy that burl table?” and then I was all “Hey, Self, sure!” and then I was like “Hey Orlando can I get a good deal?” and I was all “No” and then I realized I was a terrible person.

I’m probably going to hang a big, graphic piece of art above the console. For now we are using that Frank Lloyd Wright print as a placeholder. The basket is from West Elm. The rug is from Ikea, $25.

There’s still a ton of work to do at Jon’s house. But it’s shaping up quite nicely and I’m glad that we are 90% done with the furniture shopping. I’m excited to get to the next step where I get to start styling everything, hanging art, and making the place look as cool as Jon.


10 thoughts on “My So-Called Client: “Jon”

  1. I love everything…separately. Whats throwing me off is the credenza and the coffee table and the rug. I love them, but the color and style just arent doing it for me together. If the rug had an inset navy blue border painted on it, and the coffee table was painted with a gold and white/cream stripe pattern, it would make the look way more cohesive with the credenza. It looks very…heavy.

  2. Orlando, I LOVE Emily. I met her in New York and she’s amazing. I know she only has amazing people around her so I had to check out her tweet that linked to this post and I have to say i LOVE this post. Thanks for sharing all of the details and breakdowns of everything. It really gets in your designer head and even if we TRY to imitate what you do, we can’t. Thanks for sharing all of your secrets. 🙂 x Bianca…a new found reader…thanks Em!

  3. John Wayne would definitely be a conversation piece, but may not go with the decor. I love your blue velvet chair! Blue velvet is so luxurious, there’s even song about it. I love your blog, thanks for writing!

  4. Lucky Jon! Loving EVERYTHING I see.. even the coffee table as it is in red. (but paint it if you must.) Well done, Orlando. I look forward to your progress & a big juicy reveal!

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