Blog

A Covid Comedy of Errors

The Backstory People who have been following me for a while will recognize a pattern to which my life has conformed. Something throws me off my game, I go through a period of travail, and then at some point the work pays off and I am rebooted. This has happened over and over, so much so that I started to feel self-conscious about it, wondering if I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Is there something wrong with me that my life has had this many ups and downs? My first fall was when I went through my first…

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Welcome to Christmas at Londo Lodge!

Photography by Sara Tramp I started decorating my house for Christmas before Halloween. And I’m still not totally done! I’ve been all over the place, in LA, then at my parents’ for Thanksgiving, then back to LA for the past three weeks. I decided to not even bother decorating my LA place for the holidays because I went so overboard at Londo Lodge (also, I’m spending most of December up at the lodge so decorating LA didn’t make much sense). The only thing left to do at Londo Lodge is the outdoor lights, which I didn’t have time to install…

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Quick & Easy Updates for Londo Lodge’s Downstairs Bathroom

Photography by Sara Tramp and Orlando Soria When I moved into Londo Lodge last year, I pretty much took one look at the bathrooms and wrote them off as a lost cause. There are many positive things about the bathrooms, first and foremost that there are four of them. Well, 3.5 (one of them is just a toilet and a sink). Another positive about the bathrooms is the beautiful wood tone on the cabinets. The people who designed and built this house had very good taste in wood tones, they used really nice light toned wood throughout the house, most…

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The LAX Shooting, Eight Years Later

[This post is centered on the recent LAX shooting incident. If you don’t know that story check out the LA Times Coverage] Dear Reader, I had a weird experience a two weeks ago. I showed up at LAX, for my flight to New York. I was a bit late. It turns out I’m getting increasingly bad at showing up sufficiently early to the airport. Like I show up just in time to run through security and run directly onto the plane after my boarding group has been called and I’m sweating and annoyed because I’m dressed simultaneously for New York and…

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Help Save My Town’s Post Office!

IMPORTANT UPDATE! Thanks to a wonderful local computer wizard named Jen, you can now link directly to the form, fill it out online, and send it to: Fish Camp Post Office | 7733 Fish Camp Lane | Fish Camp, CA 93623 FIND THE FORM HERE The PDF automatically calculates your total and allows you to request specific stamps in the notes area (if you don’t specify which stamps you want you may get a call from our Postmaster, Dina). There are many charming things about the small town I’ve called home for the past year. And the Post Office is…

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Londo Lodge Primary Bedroom: Oops I Redid It Again!

From a very young age, I’ve always experimented with the design of my living space. I started decorating my room with the help of my mom around age seven. My first bedroom design featured lavender walls (HI I’M GAY!), Mickey Mouse curtains sewn by orMOMdo, and Mickey Mouse comforters in bold red and yellow. It was definitely NOT understated. I even painted my bathroom myself when I was pretty young (I think seven or eight) so primping my surroundings is something that is innate to my personality. Thus, it’s been a dream of mine for quite a while to buy…

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Londo Lodge’s Bright & Colorful Gym Reveal

Note: This post discusses weight gain and loss, body image, and other diet/fitness related issues so if you’re someone who is negatively affected by reading this type of content just look at the photos or skip altogether. I woke up on January first to a tremendous feeling of relief. I realize that the year changing over to 2021 isn’t going to immediately solve our problems (as is evidenced by the fact that it’s only been a few weeks and we’ve already had a group of domestic terrorists try to overturn our legitimate election, literally threatening democracy in the process) but…

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Mixing High & Low in a Londo Lodge Guest Bedroom

Hark! At short last! The guest bedroom I designed for my parents at Londo Lodge is done! You can read more about the ins and outs of what I did and why over on Emily’s blog, but here I’m gonna concentrate on how I mixed high and low to quickly transform this space. My goal for this first round of rapid makeovers is A) Not to spend too much money – I’m still financially recuperating for having to put a ton of money down to get the house in the first place, B) To renovate in a way that makes…

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Londo Lodge: Planning orMOMdo + orlanDAD’s Guest Bedroom

Things at Londo Lodge have been simultaneously serene and chaotic. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I feel really at peace here while also feeling completely overwhelmed by my daily life. Living here has definitely come with a learning curve and taken some getting used to. I like all the chores involved: tending the fire, cleaning out the ashes, splitting and stacking wood, dealing with the trash and getting rid of construction rubbish, cleaning up the house after every single project I do, figuring out shopping and laundry and bills meanwhile trying to juggle a number of…

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Londo Lodge: Planning The Gym

I’ve been at Londo Lodge officially for a month now and, slowly, I’m getting settled in. Move-in has been a little more involved than I anticipated. This is my first house so I had no idea what to expect. I think part of me just imagined moving in and magically beginning renovations immediately. I had no idea I’d have to repair the septic system before I could use the water, repair the heating system before I could get the heat to turn on (it’s been getting down into the twenties at night here), replace the washer and dryer before I…

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I Bought a House!

I had gotten to the point where I thought it was never going to happen. For us Californians, especially those of us living in large cities, buying a house can seem like an absolute impossibility. In cities like Los Angeles, your typical charming bungalow runs at least a million dollars. And even the humble towns around where I grew up, where homes were probably in the 200K range when I left in 2000, a decent house in need of repair is around $600,000. Add to that the fact that I am a freelancer, single, and have lived through the two…

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Starting Over (Again)

Something I’ve discovered about myself over the years is that if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s reinventing myself. Not really in the sense that my personality changes – I’ve kind of been the same person since I was 14 – but creatively and professionally. So it’s not surprising to me that over the last few months as the entire world has had to press the reset button, I’ve been able adapt to the changes around me. Just a little over three years ago, my life fell apart. My long-term boyfriend dumped me a few weeks before I lost…

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A Midsummer Styling Update with Amazon Home

Photography by Zeke Ruelas People think that once I’ve finished designing a home my work there is done. But something many clients don’t anticipate is that over time their home’s styling can fall off. Accessories get moved, things break, people give stuff away. Unless you live in a museum where no one touches anything, it’s likely that you home needs some styling help from time to time. I tend to do this seasonally, as there are items and accessories I like seeing at some times during the year (such as earthy, seasonal leaves in autumn) that I don’t want to…

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What It Feels Like to Get Your Own TV Show

Something insanely exciting is happening this week. I’m getting my own TV show! Unspouse My House airs this Thursday, June 6th on HGTV! This is something I’ve worked toward my whole life, without really knowing I was doing so. I’ve had a wild, winding career that was at most times scrappy and trying, at rare times glamorous and rewarding. And now I’m on the precipice of this huge benchmark. The number one question I’m getting from friends right now is “Are you excited!?!” And the answer is absolutely YES. But the pre-show emotional journey has been a lot more complicated…

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Decluttering Responsibly In Honor of Earth Month

When I turned 18 and was getting ready to head to college, I did something extreme. I went through my childhood bedroom, put almost everything I owned in garbage bags, and hauled it down the street to a dumpster. I did this for a few reasons. First, because high school was terrible and I was ready to say goodbye. Second, because I have had a life long fear of clutter and disorderliness. The only thing I regret getting rid of that day is my childhood Teddy bear, Tofy (named after Tofu). I do, however, massively regret how I got rid…

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Ormomdo’s Kitchen is Ready for Her Reveal!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear Diary, Remember that one time like ten million years ago when I told you I was renovating my parents’ kitchen? RAISE YOUR HAND IF IT’S BEEN SO LONG THAT YOU FORGET ABOUT IT. ALSO RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU’RE LIKE “DUH I REMEMBER BUT WHY IS HE HIDING THIS KITCHEN FROM US???” Well, a few reasons. The project began almost two years ago during the holidays when I started showing my parents renderings I’d made of what their kitchen could look like if we expanded it onto a deck previously occupied by an awkward deck….

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Grove x Method Laundry Room Makeover Reveal!

Dear Diary, At long last! My super exciting laundry room makeover with Grove Collaborative and Method Home is ready to share! The family that won our glamorous makeover is Ta’Shiba and Dave Brannon, along with their five EXTREMELY CUTE CHILD MODEL children. They live in San Antonio, Texas, where I’d never been before and which was much more hip and cool than I expected. I’m going to fully break down the makeover, but first, check out the cute video we made of it below: The laundry room in question is a small, windowless space next to their kitchen. It doubles…

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You Could Win a New Laundry Room Designed by Orlando!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear Laundry Lovers, One of my very favorite things on earth is freshly cleaned laundry. I love snuggling into bed on freshly laundered linens, thinking about how clean everything is. But for most people, the laundry room is an afterthought. It’s not a room that most people think to spend a lot of time designing. But for people who like doing laundry as much as I do, having a well-designed laundry room is a bonus that can make everyday life more enjoyable. It’s like a little added treat every time you do a load of laundry….

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Gabby Prescod’s Parachute Makeover

Photography by Carly Rudd courtesy Parachute Dear Diary, It’s been a while since I lived in New York, but it’s always fun to head back and waddle around to reconnect with the city I grew up dreaming of. So when Parachute told me they wanted to film the next installment of our makeover series in the City That Never Sleeps, my head exploded with glee. Our first two installments of the series were so much fun to shoot and the third video was basically like taking those first few experiences and mixing them with the iconic film, New York Minute…

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Adding Curb Appeal to Casa Soria with James Hardie

Photography Courtesy James Hardie® Dear Renovation Diary, As you know, I’m currently in the process of renovating my parents’ kitchen and doing a house full of makeover projects for them. Their house is currently a big construction zone and will be so for a few more months. This isn’t the house I grew up in, my parents moved to this area five years ago after retiring and leaving my childhood home in Yosemite. One of the first things I noticed about the area they moved to is that there is a ton of weird siding on houses up there. On…

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Dating Sucks: Wait, Is This a Date?

Photograph by Zeke Ruelas (an outtake from “Get it Together,” available now for pre-order) Editor’s Note: I love this image by Zeke Ruelas. It was taken for a chapter from Get It Together about weight loss and body dysmorphia. I know I look absolutely insane but it makes me laugh so hard. Okay bye. Dear Dating Diary, The other night, I went to dinner with a guy I’ve been “hanging out” with. I say “hanging out” because I have no idea whether the two times we’ve hung out were actual dates or if they were networking. The first time we…

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Casa Soria: Planning the New Deck with Humboldt Redwood Company

Source Dear Construction Diary, It’s become increasingly clear that my parents’ kitchen renovation project has ballooned and is now basically an entire home makeover. One element that I’ve been itching to change on their house since they moved in is the deck the sits outside the kitchen. An interesting thing about their house is that it’s very vertical. There are three levels because it’s on a hillside and the kitchen is on the top level. In order to make sure there’s easily accessible outdoor space, a deck off the kitchen is essential. We’re expanding the new kitchen out onto an…

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Amanda Crew’s Craftsman Bungalow Gets a Bright and Airy Update

Photography by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish Dear Design Diary, After you’ve lived in LA for a while you start to dread meeting actors, especially ones on popular TV shows who are famous. Normally, they are crazy high-maintenance, attention-hungry, and completely insane (like not in a fun way, in a way that makes them irritating and unrelatable). These are vast generalizations, but I’ve made friends with enough COMPLETELY BONKERS actors to know that you should approach them the way you’d approach a mountain lion in the wild, with caution, fear, and a thoroughly-planned escape route. You can imagine my surprise when…

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The Emotional Undercurrent of Interior Design

Dear Renovation Diary, Yesterday I was at Emily’s house shooting some promo stills for Get it Together! when I got news from my mom that the contractor I hired to renovate their kitchen told her it was going to be another two months until it was finished. I was furious. This project started nearly a year ago has taken months longer than expected, cost twice as much as expected, and been filled with compromises I didn’t care to make. I called the contractor to check in on what was going on and completely lost my cool. I tend to be…

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