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
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.