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before and after

Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own “Orcondo”

by Annie Werbler

If anyone could rescue a dated 80s Los Angeles duplex, Homepolish West Coast Creative Director Orlando Soria is just the guy for the job — he’s one of the talents behind the well-known “New York-based interior design startup working to make interior design more accessible, transparent, and user-friendly.” Orlando’s boyfriend Edouard, a producer for film and television, has lived in their 1,600-square-foot condo for five years, and was originally drawn to its gorgeous light and expansive view of the Silver Lake neighborhood. (The reservoir at its center is currently emptied for infrastructural work, but the couple is looking forward to the day it’s once again filled with water.) Edouard always intended to renovate, but it wasn’t until Orlando pitched in his expertise that they got to work updating the worn finishes and highlighting interesting, period-specific features.

The unusual spatial arrangement proved a worthy foe, even for the experienced designer. “My goal with the whole project was to honor the original architecture while updating it and taking away some of its offenses,” Orlando shares. “Because this building was built so that each condo would have a full view of the reservoir, there are a lot of diagonal angles that were challenging to decorate around.” For example, the triangular living room required a unique furniture layout to function adequately for the couple’s needs. They rearranged the room five times before they settled on the present iteration.

With a deep and abiding love for art and objects, the renovated condo functions as a blank canvas for the couple’s collections of lovely things. Hardwood flooring throughout counterbalances the white walls and provides visual warmth. After eight months in the finished space, Orlando has found that the abundant light streaming through the living room’s double-height windows serves his photo shoots and creative endeavors well. The multipurpose TV loft can function as a bedroom or an office if need be, but also offers an intimate space in which to relax and watch TV. Proudest of all, Orlando worked his magic on the spiral staircase, turning its retro look into a graphic black sculpture within a home gallery of beautiful design. —Annie

Photography by Tessa Neustadt

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In Orlando and Edouard's contemporary LA duplex, the high-contrast spiral staircase adds a sculptural quality to the room.
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Before, the blue staircase was covered with grey carpeting over particleboard stairs. New black-stained treads and a matte-painted metal structure better suit the interesting architectural feature.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Orlando and Edouard splurged on removing the 80s orange peel texture from all the condo walls, most evident on the double-height fireplace feature wall. “The whole space looks much cleaner and more modern now,” Orlando explains.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Dark grey industrial carpet absorbed all the light from the large wall of windows. Natural hardwood floors and a custom Park Studio chandelier brighten the space dramatically.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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An awkward wall opening between the kitchen and living room was enlarged and lowered to create a more useful breakfast bar at counter height.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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The now-functional opening also brings more natural light into the kitchen, brightening the interior space, and a new countertop overhangs a foot into the living room to provide an eating surface under which barstools can nest. The midcentury-inspired Atwood Sofa by Gus Modern in Cabana Hemp was sourced from AllModern, as were many decorative elements throughout the home.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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“The kitchen was one of the worst parts about the old condo,” Orlando remembers. “It had a lowered ceiling (for no reason), brown tile, and tons of bulky cabinets that made it feel tiny and cramped.” Raising the ceiling an entire foot, opening the doorway to the living and dining areas, and relocating new appliances six inches further back toward the walls balances and integrates the space.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Before, the underwhelming dining area was plagued with shiny parquet flooring and inadequate lighting. The couple added a custom built-in shelf, geometric Mary McDonald pendants from Lamps Plus, and replaced the tattered miniblinds with sleek solar shades from Decorview.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Replacing the commercial grey carpet with Canewood flooring from the Royal Oak Collection revamped the guest bedroom. A simple addition of crown molding adds elegance and formality, as does a custom ceiling fixture from Park Studio. The upholstered Dodu Platform Bed by Blu Dot can be found at AllModern.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Throughout the condo, dated miniblinds were replaced with crisp Decorview shades. “Small edits like this can make a HUGE difference,” Orlando advises.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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The guest bathroom received a dramatic facelift by taking out the lowered ceiling and replacing its dated finishes with clean, white, and organic selections.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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A tub was added to the guest bathroom in the space where a dark, walled-off shower previously sat. “We used beautiful handmade Fireclay tile throughout the apartment in a parquet pattern,” Orlando reveals, “Sort of a reference to all those poor, defenseless parquet floor tiles we ripped up.”
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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“The master bedroom lacked any sense of importance,” Orlando explains. Simple crown molding and cool Ralph Lauren Iron Blue walls add elegance to the room. He worked with Empiric Studio to design a dramatic yet comfortable bed and completed the room with vintage furnishings, and his mother made the colorful quilt.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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The master bathroom had previously been sectioned into three different rooms -- a vanity area, walk-in closet, and a wet room with bathtub and toilet. The pair knocked down the unnecessary walls to create one unified space incorporating all the previous functions.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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“The TV loft was previously carpeted and artless,” Orlando admits. New hardwoods, plush seating, and Jaime Derringer wall art transform the space.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Removing a track shade system created the perfect spot for a cozy West Elm velvet sofa. “We also added custom drapery from Decorview which adds softness and blocks out light if we ever feel like watching TV in total darkness like vampires,” Orlando jokes.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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Upstairs off the TV loft, the previous bathroom look was dark and dated. Marble tile floors, Tom Dixon lighting, and gestural artwork by Jaime Derringer render the room unrecognizable.
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Before & After: Designer Orlando Soria Renovates His Very Own
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The 1,600-square-foot loft is spread out on two floors.

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Comments

  • Really love the use of different shades and hues of blue throughout the renovation. It’s subtle, and cool how blue just pops up somewhere everywhere you look.

  • Sigh. Love how the space is so much brighter and more inviting. Could you id the wicker? chairs the in living room please, they’re gorgeous.

  • Thanks for the extra effort that went into the before and after photographs that were placed together so that I could easily see the changes. The bathroom improved so much with the walls down.

  • Wow-not something i would think of as “my style”at all-but an amazing makeover ! The guest bedroom is glorious !

  • Absolutely beautiful! As someone who has been contemplating using Homepolish for interior design work, this has definitely inspired me. What is the average budget for work of this caliber if I may ask?

  • I always look out for the Before and After posts. But this particular one has been my best to date. I felt as if I was taking part in a house tour, enjoyable at that. I must congratulate the Designer for achieving such amazing results, particularly since he was working with a house that had a number of odd angles. His Living room / dining room furniture layout was very clever. There was only one decor element that struck me as odd. I am not too sure if it had more to do with the angle of the photo shot, but it was the first bathroom – that overhead Tom Dixon light fitting seemed a bit too low. But in the bigger scheme of this fabulous interior, that is but a small blip on the radar. Well done!!

  • I’m a lurker not a poster on DS, but this overhaul is phenomenal! I really love seeing something so old fashioned and difficult be transformed into something that’s not over zealous, but livable and beautiful.

  • The change is huge and so incredibly beautiful! I love the new fireplace so much and the room looks so much brighter now!

    Aria

    pandaonavespa.wordpress.com

  • Love the living room. Where are the pedestal side tables from? Specifically the one next to the sofa..

  • As dramatic as some of the changes were, it’s nice seeing how even the small changes made a big difference too. Love this space!

  • This is really inspiring. I’m currently humming and hawing over whether to take on a really ugly sixties house with good bones – this makes me feel like amazing transformations are possible

  • Just gorgeous! I’m really curious about 2 things: Is that a Bertozzoni stove? (If so, do you like it?) & Is that a curbless shower in the beautiful master bath (as in ADA)? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s working out.

  • This whole space is stunning… I find the mirror with rope running the long length of the fireplace particularly brilliant!