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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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Holy Bertazzoni! I’m Renovating My Parent’s Ugly Kitchen!

Dear Design Diary, Literally the best thing ever is happening! Since my parents moved into their house I’ve been itching to redo their kitchen and now it’s finally happening. A little backstory: my parents moved out of my childhood home in Yosemite about three years ago and relocated to an area on the outskirts of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. They found a great house where we can all hang out. An added bonus: my brother, his wife, and their kids live in a neighboring wine town called Windsor. It’s very cute up here and my parents love it. They…

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Eight Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Apartment

Photograph by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish You guys! I’ve started a new series for Architectural Digest! Here’s my first story for them! I just counted on my fingers and I’ve moved 19 times in the 13 years since I graduated from college. I never really thought about it, but I guess I have a thing for moving. Most of my moves were brought on by job changes, going to grad school, because I was staying with friends and family while I had no job, or because I simply was over the place I was living and decided to move. Sometimes…

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Chateaulando Master Bedroom Reveal!

Dear Design Diary, Since we last gabbed, there have been some MAJOR updates in the Haus of Orlando. My master bedroom is done and ready to chat with you guys about what I chose and why. It’s only been a few days since I blabbed about my plans, but if you need to refresh your memory check out my intro post AND check out my even blabbier post on Hommemaker which has before pics and my plan for the space. CONTINUE READING >>>

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My New Guest Bedroom is Finally Done!

Photograph by Zeke Ruelas Dear Self, I kind of freaked out when I finally saw my guest bedroom in its fully finished state. Which was insane, because I’d literately been there the whole time putting it together, sweating my face off and screaming at the ceiling. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s Orlando and today I am revealing my guest bedroom, which I intro’ed last week on the blog. But.. back to the room. It wasn’t until everything was in place that was like “HI WHAT IS THIS CAN I LIVE IN HERE?” Since I moved into Chateaulando, this room…

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Planning my Guest Bedroom

Photography by Tessa Neustadt and Orlando Soria Dear Design Diary, You Guys! So much is happening you are going to FREAK OUT when I tell you. If you haven’t been following my shenanigans on Instagram, you have to start because my life is RIDICULOUS right now. To make a long story short, I’ve skipped town for a few months and am currently living at my parents’ house, writing my book, and running my design business remotely from Sonoma County (about an hour north of San Francisco, think wine, vineyards, and redwoods). I have a strict deadline for my book (which is…

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A Semihandmade Kitchen Makeover

Photographs by Zeke Ruelas Dear Diary, The long, national nightmare that was my kitchen renovation has finally come to a close! If you’ve been reading about it here, you know it was a total comedy of errors. I made a ton of mistakes, wasted way too much money, and ended up feeling taken advantage of by my landlord. But now that it’s done I’m just gonna do my best to move on. Sometimes when I’m stressing about something money-related I ask myself “Take money out of the equation, would you still be stressing about this?” If the answer is “no”…

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Chateualando: Planning the Living Room

Dear Design Diary, Looking for an apartment in LA these days is no simple task. When my ex broke up with me, the first thing I did (after staring into a mirror forever wondering why I’d gotten myself into the pattern of falling for people who would ultimately do nothing but disappoint and hurt me) was look for a new place. There were lots of good options and lots of terrible options and the good options kept getting snagged right before I could get to them. For every apartment there were multiple applications. And there were so many apartments in weird…

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Dating Sucks: On Depression, Loneliness, and Fake Happy Endings

Dear Depressing Diary, WHY U SO DEPRESSING, DIARY? JK I totally know. Read on… I find myself fixating on one element of my previous life with my ex. He used to wake up earlier than me (I hate the morning) and get some international phone calling done (he’s a producer who sometimes works on films in Europe). So every morning I’d wake up to him SCREAMING French into the phone (he’s French). It wasn’t that he was mad or yelling or anything, it was just that his voice is too loud. Like he doesn’t have volume control. When we would go…

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New Dining Chandelier from Park Studio

Dear Judith Light, In your honor, I have named all the lighting in my home Judith. When I wake up, I turn on the Judith in the kitchen and brew myself a nice piping cup of Joe. When I go to bed I turn off the Judith that sits on my nightstand. Recently, a new Judith entered my life. I got a new chandelier from Park Studio for my dining room and it’s rocking my entire world. I’ll be chatting about the overall design of the dining room later, but I wanted to share this light fixture ASAP because she…

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Chateaulando: Planning the Master Bedroom

Dear Design Diary, The description (from the Benjamin Moore website) for the wall color I chose for my new bedroom is “A romantic pink that’s light and luminous, this soft, feminine shade adds a sweet finishing touch to a little girl’s room or a powder room.” Nowhere in there does it say “This butch, masculine color for dudes will make sure you find a new boyfriend in a matter of minutes. The second your suitor sees your bedroom he’ll know you’re the masc bro he wants to spend the rest of his life with.” And I guess that’s kind of why…

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