Glamourtimez: At Home With My Design Clients!

Dear Diary,

Every year when fall arrives, I get the sudden urge to stop working for the rest of the year, put on some ugly-yet-cozy sweat pants and woolen socks, and continually eat soup whilst watching Anjelica Houston movies, clutching my heart locket close to my breast as I think about that special someone. Something about the change in weather, the perpetual darkness, and the knowledge that the holidays are coming makes me incredibly lazy. I drink tea and think about the future, drink Diet Hansens soda and think about the past, and spend hours worrying about how I am going to get a decorate for Christmas without seeming too ladylike in front of my boyfriend. Then I come back to reality. Daddy gotz to pay the bills! I have to work. But I’m lucky lately that all my projects are so much fun and that I like my job so much. If I had a boring job I’d definitely spend all day chewing on pencils, reading poorly-written celebrity gossip, and eating Trader Joe’s Seaweed Snack.

(Quick warning: all the photos below are ones I shot myself, I’m having these projects professionally shot by glamourphotographer Stephen Busken soon and I’ll share those superior photographs when I get them).

My client Jon’s place is almost done, so it’s getting to the fun part where I get to fill it with tons of cool-looking stuff he doesn’t need. Here are some shelves I just added. It’s tough to find affordable shelving (I’d rather spend money on stuff to put in them). These are Vittsjö and they’re $70. Not too shabby for all this space. I am thinking of buying them to store all the books I used to be smart enough to read. The fiddle leaf fig is from Mickey’s Plants, which I can’t complement enough. It’s my favorite nursery in Los Angeles, mainly because the service is so good and they replanted all the plants I bought for free and I never had to get my hands dirty.

When decorating, do you ever run into the problem of where to put your Emmy? Jon, who writes and produces TV shows, has like 75 writing awards and I have no idea where to put them that doesn’t seem obnoxious. This is a total LA problem. They are such beautiful sculptures but it seems showy to put them in prominent places. It seems like they should just go in the office or somewhere more discreet. But then it’s like “Hey, he won them fair and square so why can’t we just put them on the mantle?” I tried Jon’s Emmy next to this awesome Noguchi Akari Light Sculpture from OK, but it looked too ridiculous, as if the little gold lady was worshipping the Noguchi Lamp (Sidenote: she should, I’m obsessed with Noguchi).

In other news I love this “Pop Culture” sign I found at Rose Bowl a few months ago.

Jon likes to stand while he writes, so I got him this great tall table from CB2. It’s called the Vice and it’s $449. The Industrial Stool was $179 from West Elm.

And who could forget this gross dresser that was reborn as a green piece of glamour? I paired it with these crazy tall lamps from St. Vincent de Paul ($20 each)

The art is a mid-century architectural drawing Emily and I found at the Long Beach Flea Market.

This is a crazy painted headboard I made. It’s two 4′ x 8′ wood panels, hand-painted with a paint-by-numbers design I customized. I’m not satisfied with the bedding right now, but once I swap it out the whole situation is going to be a lot dreamier.

This is a chair I reupholstered in a chunky grey linen (see the barfy before picture below):

Here is what the chair looked like before. Greowss. It was $19.99 at St. Vincent de Paul.

I replaced Jon’s chandelier with the Staggered Chandelier from West Elm. It’s on sale right now for $243.99 which means you totally should buy it. Put down that hot dog, get in the car, and go buy it. Right now.

The captain chairs are Preben Chairs from Ikea. $119. The grey drapes are Aina from Ikea. $49.99. The mid-century chairs are from ModCrib ($450 set of 4) and the table is from HD Buttercup ($950).

This is Jon’s living room. The sofa is from Blueprint ($1199). The chair is vintage reupholstered. The coffee table is from TINI ($350).

This is the entry way. I made the “The End” art by adding vinyl lettering to a vintage seascape print.

Jon had this cool French Beatles poster. The Morten Table Lamp is from West Elm.

I kind of want to steal this brass console table. It’s from Wertz Brothers for $299.

Meanwhile, in another part of La-La Land, I have another set of clients. I’m going to call them the La Habras, because that’s how my boyfriend and I refer to them. They are a super cute family that live in the hills above a city in the Southland. They live in a tastefully renovated Spanish style home that I secretly want to move into without telling them. And then one day I’d just walk downstairs for breakfast and hope they didn’t notice I was there. They’re great people with great taste so working with them is fun.

Anyhoo, onto the furniture I found for them. Firstly, this gross ottoman:

I got it for $250 at Danish Modern NoHo. I had it upholstered in green velvet from Home Fabrics.

We found this beauty lady for $375 at Danish Modern NoHo as well. I loved it in the gold but it was the same color as the carpet in the room where it lives so we had to change it to a delightful navy blue (see below).

Don’t you want to take this whole sofa and shove it in your mouth? I love it in this vintage floral, but we needed to update it a little for the house (I didn’t want it to look like a set from “Mad Men”) so we changed it to navy blue. Shocker, huh?

The final product is kind of a miracle. Getting rid of the pattern exposed the beautiful architecture of the sofa. The sofa was originally $650 from Danish Modern NoHo and fabric and upholstery added about $1200. About the same price as your run-of-the-mill store-bought sofa, but this one is unique and no one else (in the WORLD) has it.

These chairs are for the sunroom, where the La Habras like to watch television.

The chairs come from Danish Modern NoHo ($450 for the pair) and looked like this before:

This is an awesome captain’s cabinet the family bought previously. I went by their house over the weekend and we tried it out in every possible location before finally settling on the music room. I kind of wanted to hide it under my jacket and run to my car, cackling all the way home. I love how hefty and beautiful it is (it reminds me of myself as a youth).

Finally, a note about my most annoying client. Myself. I found this chandelier at Rose Bowl over the weekend and miraculously installed it myself in my dining room. There is a tutorial at The Brick House about how you can make your own but I got mine for $240 so I figured once I’d bought all the materials I wouldn’t have saved much money. Installation was pretty easy except for the part where I got stressed out and screamed “I COULD DIE!” at my boyfriend, who was diligently trying to work in the next room. Aside from the stress of getting electrocuted, killing yourself, and burning down your entire building, installing your own lighting is relatively simple. I learned how to do it from this Youtube video.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful I get to stare at pretty things all day and deal with nice people. If I didn’t I’d be sitting alone eating Thanksgiving turkey all day, pretending it was the holidays and thus okay to be a lazy disgusting pig.



15 thoughts on “Glamourtimez: At Home With My Design Clients!

  1. Can you glamourtize my life? And… you can’t just leave your readers with, “This is a crazy painted headboard I made. It’s two 4′ x 8′ wood panels, hand-painted with a paint-by-numbers design I customized.” without a little background! That’s AMAZING! Do tell. Also: that entryway. I just fainted a little into my Hansen’s.

  2. Good lord Orlando, *how* did you know I eat hot dogs when I read your blog entries?! PS – I love everything in this post, especially the fact that you didn’t die installing that pretty chandelier.

  3. THIS PAINTED HEADBOARD MAKES ME VERY HAPPY. I’d like to make that and use it even though I don’t have any space for it.

  4. Three things

    1. did not know you are in a show (yet you mention it in your bio and blog all the time, must be the pretty pictures and words)
    2. love the use of color; it does not over power the space.
    3. good design captures the essence of the home owner mixed with the designer creativity, this home captures that. (hate to enter a space where all you can sense is the designer not the owner of the space, in the end they are stuck with the design)

  5. Hey Orlando, you really out did yourself. All of it is looking great. You have a visually voice for sure and it’s strong and so right on the mark. Call me I have a opal blue murano lamp for the Sunland job that would be perfect, plus, we need to have coffee!!

  6. Agh, you kill me! The reupholstered pieces are amazing! I had many other witty things to say, but since I had to go reset my stupid WordPress password, I have forgotten them. *le sigh* Thanks, as always, for sharing your creativity and wit – neither never cease to delight!

  7. Oh God, I laughed so hard at “I COULD DIE!” Really, you are so funny. You and Emily must have the best time together.

  8. Hey, love your style. You should really call out your inspirations… let people know that your “The End” picture is in the vein of Ed Ruscha.

Comments are closed.