Blog

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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Dating Sucks: Is Your Prospective Date a Lunatic?

Dear Dating Diary, I recently received this message from a prospective date: Hi Orlando! I hope you’re week has gone well. I want you to do a little exercise for me tonight. Stand in front of the mirror and say this: I’m really just a self-validation whore who’s on dating apps just to get attention with no real intention to meet anyone. Through my profile I mislead people into thinking that I’m looking for something real, when in reality I’m totally unexcitable and disinterested in the whole thing and that makes me a pathetic liar. I don’t care about other…

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Casa Soria: Planning The Guest Bedroom

Photographs by Zeke Ruelas & Tessa Neustadt Dear Makeover Diary, Firstly, let’s discuss the fact that I’ve named my parents’ house Casa Soria. I did this for a few reasons. Firstly, I love naming things (Orcondo, Châteaulando, orMOMdo, orlanDAD, etc). Second, I’m working on a fair amount of projects there (kitchen, sitting room, family room, foyer, and so on) so I thought it would just be easier if it had a name. Casa Soria is where my family tends to get together. I’m making it nice because I think after working hard their whole lives and saving forever so they…

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Why I Painted a Gay Triangle in My Fireplace

Pretty Photograph by Zeke Ruelas Gross Ugly Photographs by Orlando Soria Dear Fireplace Diary, There is a time honored question literally every single person who has a decorative (nonfunctioning) fireplace must ask themselves at some point. “WHAT SHOULD I PUT IN THE FIREPLACE???” It is a question I get from clients all the time. And there are about a million answers. None of them are totally satisfying to be fully honest. Because what you really want in a fireplace is – wait for it – A FIRE. When I stopped by (read: basically broke in) to check out Chateaulando, the first…

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A Year Depressed

On January first, a switched flipped and the heavy feeling of depression I felt for all of 2017 was magically lifted. I don’t fully know how to explain it. I just woke up on the first day of January and was fine. I think it had mostly to do with my outlook and a bit to do with my physical state. I was a bit resigned last year to the fact that I’d be depressed all year, which probably became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I also had an injury and was in pain for the second half of last year, so…

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Seeing My Bedroom in a New Light Thanks to Pratt & Lambert

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear Color Diary, As you may or may not know already, I decided to paint my bedroom blush pink at the beginning of this year. I’ve loved that color, but as a designer I’m constantly using my home to try out new ideas. So when Pratt & Lambert® Paints, the paint company who have been combining quality and beautiful color for over 150 years, reached out to me and wanted to collaborate, I jumped at the chance to re-envision my bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, I loved what the bedroom looked like before. I’ve always wanted…

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Christmas at Chateaulando!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear People Unsure About Whether to Decorate for the Holidays, If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, it’s not major news that I like decorating for Christmas (read posts from last year, 2015, and 2014 for evidence). I’m not sure why, but I’ve maintained the enthusiasm orMOMdo instilled in me for holiday decorating well into my adult life. Growing up, we went totally crazy decorating the cabin/house I grew up in in Yosemite. To this day, I see winter as a fun time of the year when you get to re-imagine your home and…

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Jen Gotch Gets a Super Fun Parachute Makeover!

Photography by Carley Rudd Dear Diary, One of my favorite current projects is the web series I’m working on with Parachute. The videos are a chance to do a fun makeover and play while we shoot the video. I had so much fun on the first one, where I designed a nursery for Foujan. When I got the chance to work with Jen Gotch (founder of Bando) I was stoked because she is A) a friend of mine B) one of my favorite people to follow on Insta and C) my actual friend from real life. It helps that Jen…

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Superior Servingware for Thanksgiving

Dear Diary, This year is the first year in quite a while (since college?) that I’m not doing Thanksgiving with my family. This is for a number of reasons, mainly that we have nowhere to host it. My parents kitchen is aeons away from being finished (due to a series of frustrating delays that have nothing to do with the fire that almost burned their house down), my sister and her wife just had a baby and don’t want that many people in their house, and my brother and his wife always spend Thanksgiving with her family so they can…

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An Epic Place Card for an Everyday Dinner Party

Dear Hosting Diary, As part of my fun partnership with the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card, I’ve had the fun opportunity to add elements of epic to my everyday. If you know me, you know I love a dinner party. I try to have dinner with friends at least a few times a week and I love hosting. I also love making gifts for people, so today’s post was inspired by two of my favorite things: giving people stuff and making them come over to keep me company while we eat together. If you’ve been following my adventures the…

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Hark! A New Webseries with Parachute!

Photography by Nicole Lamotte, Video by Propeller Media Dear Diary, There’s been all sorts of fun developments in my career lately. Work with clients is plugging along (I have about eight right now, including some regular people clients and some celeb/press projects). And all sorts of fun partnerships and brand collaborations have been coming to me. One of the most exciting is my current partnership with Parachute . We’ve started a super fun web series and for the first episode I did an incredibly fun/cute makeover for couple (pictured below) who are about to have a baby. Foujan and Jeremy…

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An Interview with Sculptor Diego Cabezas

Dear Art Diary, My assistant Jess made me aware of the incredible sculpture work of Diego Cabezas a few months ago and I was immediately furious that I’d not heard of him sooner. His work is right up my alley, somehow both simple and beautifully intricate at once. I love that these sculptures look like line drawings come to life. As if little doodles made on the page were magically made three-dimensional. Diego lives and works in Barcelona, which I have been obsessed with since I visited last year. There’s so much great work happening there. You can still feel…

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I Went to Italy to Find a Stove For My Mom

Dear Travel Diary, Spring 2017 was a crazy combination of insanely stressful and overwhelmingly depressing. I was in the depths of a post-break up, post-lay off slump. I dealt with these issues with some old go-to’s: wine and wallowing. I’ve since bypassed that part of the mourning process. I’m not out of the woods, but I’m slightly less of a mess  than I was a few months ago. The sadness still lingers, that feeling of hopelessness about the future combined with a realization, upon turning thirty-five a few weeks ago, that life didn’t end up being anything like I thought…

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