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Interiorssneak peeks

An Interior Designer’s Fresh Start in West Hollywood, CA

by Garrett Fleming

One of the things that makes interior design so powerful is its ability to affect how we feel. And no other time is that more evident than when things get a bit sticky. Less than a year ago, interior designer Orlando Soria learned this firsthand after life shook him up and left him out to dry. Not only did he lose his job, but he also had to wrap his head around the dissolution of his longterm relationship. At the height of all this adversity, Orlando, determined to not let life get him down, moved into a new apartment in order to style a space where he could both rest and reset.

By design, the West Hollywood, CA apartment couldn’t be more different than the one Orlando shared with his ex. It’s more colorful, way more ornate and much cozier overall. “When I moved out, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t trying to recreate the life I had with him,” Orlando explains. That being said, he’s aimed to outfit each room with decorations he finds beautiful and pieces that mean something to him. Zero compromise was the name of the game this go ’round.

This freedom has resulted in what more traditional decorators may consider to be too daring. They say a man shouldn’t have a pink bedroom? Orlando did it anyways. Does putting the iconic ACT UP symbol smack dab in the middle of your living room sound too bold? Not for this designer. His newfound voice can’t be silenced, and we can’t stop applauding this brazen approach. His strategy has not only led to a fun, colorful space, but one that’s helping him get his groove back while also serving up some seriously stylish inspiration. Scroll down to check it out. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Zeke Ruelas

Image above: A statement on society’s constructions of masculinity and a rebellion against designing in a way others think is appropriate, the pink walls in Orlando’s bedroom make him smile. Sitting in front of them is his first purchase for this apartment: an upholstered bed frame. He says it “make[s] a bedroom so cozy and inviting;” once you get one you’ll never go back.

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Orlando chose this apartment because it was the polar opposite of the previous home he shared with his ex in Silver Lake, CA. The home has given him a chance to start fresh in a space that's designed exactly to his liking.
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Whenever guests are over, Orlando's coffee table – a Craigslist find – gets major love. Everyone adores its quirky shape and texture.
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“I love the fireplace, though I’m not sure it was ever functioning,” Orlando shares. “The style is so ornate, normally not my thing, but I love that it gives the living room a focal point. Previously, there was a mirror in there and I had it removed before I moved in. But I wasn’t sure what to do with that blank space. Then I watched a documentary about the 80s and was reminded of all the amazing work ACT UP did for AIDS research and prevention, so I decided to paint a pink triangle (the ACT UP symbol) in my fireplace. It’s a great little design flourish and a tiny way of honoring the incredible ACT UP activists.” The triangle is painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Peach Pink.”

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Originally covered in terrible fabric, the living room's vintage sofa has been refreshed through some new upholstery. "People often ask me about reupholstering. My advice is that it's not always cheaper than something from a big box store, but it's a way of getting a really unique, designer piece that's way more accessible than it would be at a high-end showroom," Orlando says.
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A wider shot of Orlando's bedroom.
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Over the years, not a single client Orlando's pitched pink to has been down. When he moved into this new space, however, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to finally use the hue.
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After Orlando's breakup, he knew he would be relying heavily on friends and family for support. That being said, he made sure the special guys and gals who were there for him had a fabulous guest room to stay in when they slept over.
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The guest room doesn't see a ton of sunshine. Instead of trying to brighten it, Orlando leaned into its lack of light by painting the walls a rich blue. The color gives the space a cozy, romantic feel Orlando adores.
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To amplify the space, Orlando combed through his art collection and hung up all of the pieces featuring cooler tones on its walls.
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The dining room – like his bedroom – is decorated in a style Orlando wasn't able to tap into while living with his ex-partner. It's edgier and more modern than his usual designs.
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Semihandmade helped Orlando make his tiny kitchen more functional. The overhaul included the installation of this apartment-sized Bertazonni range and these shaker-style cabinets. The latter complements the overall look of his space nicely.

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Triangles are Orlando's favorite shape and a recurring theme throughout his home.
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Orlando's so in love with the roman shades in his kitchen he's purposefully matched his KitchenAid mixer to their stripe.
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"What I love most about my home is that it's given me space to start over." – Orlando Soria
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The home’s floor plan.

Source List

Living Room
Rug – Rugs USA
Mirror – CB2
Sofa, cactus, dresser, media credenza – Wertz Brothers
Coffee table – Craigslist
Sconces – Park Studio
Roman shade – Loom Decor
Accessories – Vintage
Art – Anna Ullman

Pink Bedroom
Paint – Benjamin Moore “Yours Truly”
Rug – Rugs USA
Bedding – Cultiver
Dresser – Design Within Reach
Pendant lamp – IKEA
Bed, tabletop lamps – West Elm
Roman shades – Loom Decor
Art – Hey Sosi
Bedside tables – Wertz Brothers
Marble trays – Lawson Fenning
Japanese screen, bedside lamps – Flea market

Blue Bedroom
Paint – Benjamin Moore “New Providence Navy”
Bed – IKEA
Bedding – Cultiver
Pendant lamp, other lamps – CB2
Rug – Rugs USA
Tansu – Eastern Classics (Berkeley)
Art – vintage/original framed by Framebridge and Simply Framed
Bedside tables – Target

Dining Room
Paint – Benjamin Moore “North Shore Green”
Table – AllModern
Chandelier – Park Studio
Chairs – Flea market
Rug – Rugs USA
Art – Anna Ullman

Kitchen
Cabinetry – Semihandmade
Countertops – IKEA
Refrigerator – LG
Range – Bertazzoni
Triangle shelf – CB2
Roman shade – Loom Decor
Canisters – West Elm

 

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Comments

  • He seems like such a sweet guy – all the best in starting over in life. I think the floor plan of CHATEAULANDO is a work of art, especially the labelled “ugly cactus”! I’ve been dreaming of painting our bedroom a deep rich teal but that pink bedroom is calling me. Orlando – do what you want and be happy!

  • I have followed Orlando on Instagram for years and he’s the FUNNIEST alive. Why anyone would break up with him is beyond. His style is massively on point too.

  • I love Orlando and his gorgeous apartment! He is a fantastic designer and it is so fun to follow his projects on social media. His hysterical Instastories also make me literally laugh out loud.

  • This looks wonderful! I love the hommage to ACT UP and like how open Orlando is about how a hard time in his life ultimately led to creating a home that looks and feels very much his. Making space for friends, however big or small, feels important to me, too. I look forward to reading this blog!

  • What is the paint color in the dining room? It’s perfection. Once I’m no longer a renter that ‘s going EVERYWHERE.

  • I agree, the dining room paint color is gorgeous! Please share! Also, the pink bedroom is lovely. Great work.

  • The pink bedroom is beautiful – not pretty, not cream-puffy, but BEAUTIFUL. I would sleep like a baby in there! And Orlando is gorgeous. :) Thanks for a wonderful tour!

  • Orlando’s instagram feed is the best thing ever both in terms of design and humor. If I could have dinner with any famous person, it would be him. Walk tall Orlando, we’re cheering for you!

  • Boy oh boy, this is one heck of a beautiful place. I love everything (bar the dining room chairs, I wouldn’t last 30’!), I adore the colours, the style, the set-up, the ideas and Orlando, you are beautiful too! (Says a straight gal…. and then she sighed to her husband: Why are the most gorgeous guys always gay) Congrats on having turned a corner and for being YOUrself in every way. Bravo.

  • I really, really enjoyed this sneak peek. I love what he’s done with his space! As a fellow pink bedroom dweller, I can relate to the warmth and joy it brings. My room is painted Feather White by Sherwin Williams and I wake up every morning loving it. Having gone through a break-up last year, I completely relate to that empowering feeling of starting anew. It’s both terrifying and liberating. <3

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