Tag Archives: California

Homepolish & One Kings Lane Give Gray Malin a Home Makeover

Photos by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane

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Dear Reader,

By now, you’ve probably heard of Gray Malin (pictured above with his hubz Jeff and my scaryface), the brilliant photographer who took these gorgeous photographs:

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As you can see, these photos are right up my alley. We both love Miami colors, tropical locations, and the coastal aesthetic. You can check out the rest of his beautiful portfolio online.

Homepolish hooked me up with the opportunity to design Gray’s home, starting with the living room and outdoor spaces. In collaboration with One Kings Lane (who sponsored the project and donated their lovely home furnishings), we created a preppy space with the color and sophistication Gray and his husband Jeff wanted (Sidenote: they are the cutest couple in the world. I ogled their wedding book and literally wanted to die because it was so sweet).

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We selected this elegant sofa because Gray wanted something that was both comfortable and sophisticated. Quick tip: if you’re looking for a comfy sofa make sure you seek one out with lots of down in the cushions. This will mean you will have to reshape the cushions every day but will make it way softer and more inviting. The sofa we chose is called the Dunsmuir (all products in this post are sourced from One Kings Lane).

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The crazy gorgeous Geometric Étagères were a game-changer and immediately made the space look more beautiful, the ceilings higher. I styled them using Gray’s collection of family photos, art, and objects, and trays and accessories from One Kings Lane.

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I love that dog portrait, kinda wanted to steal it.

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One of the challenges of this project was keeping it colorful while not making it look like a rainbow exploded all over the house. Gray loves color. I love color. But his main goal was a sophisticated, grown up space so I had to keep the color intentional and well-curated. Luckily, these beautiful nightstands served as the perfect console tables flanking the bay window AND they echoed the gorgeous colors in Gray’s Swimmer Photo Series, which we placed above (Sidenote: decorating for an artist is the BEST because you don’t have to worry about finding art, which is normally totally annoying and hard and no one wants to spend any money on it).

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I’d by lying if I said these chairs weren’t my favorite part of this project. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan, so these Baughman-inspired pieces speak directly to my tender, needy heart. I love how modern and out-of-control chic these are (I totally want them for my own home).

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See??? I told you those chairs were the best thing in the world! Also, those roman shades. I had them custom made for Gray by The Shade Shoppe and they are so lux that I just want to tear them down and wear them as a tuxedo to a royal wedding.

You can check out a detailed behind-the-scenes story about the makeover on Gray’s Blog. Also, check out these links:

To get design services: Homepolish

To source the items seen at Gray’s House: One Kings Lane Gray Malin Homepolish Sale

To see more of Gray’s beautiful work: Gray Malin

Enjoy!

Love,
Orlando

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Homepolishing in La Habra Heights

Photos by Bethany Nauert courtesy of Homepolish. Portrait by Matt Lara.

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Dear Diary,

One of my first projects post-Emily is also one of my very favorites. I was called upon to decorate this glamourous house in La Habra Heights, a beautiful little town about 40 minutes east of Downtown Los Angeles. The home is located on a huge lot on top of a hill and has an amazing view. The family that lives there (who wish to remain anonymous because they are already, like, way too famous) is a young couple with two kids. They recently remodeled this 1930s Spanish home and added an extension that was in perfect keeping with the gorgeous Spanish Revival style of the original house.

THE KITCHEN

Their lovely kitchen. I didn’t want to over accessorize in here because it was already so pretty and white and open. I sourced a few table top items from the Los Angeles Flower Market, but otherwise allowed the beautiful cabinetry and subway tile to speak for itself.

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I love that little geometric cloche. I found it at some weird store in Beverly Hills that was going out of business. A fun fact about me is that I am really good at killing air plants like the one above. I water and water them, but they are still dry and sad and die.

THE SUNROOM

This is one of the brightest rooms in the house. It overlooks the pool area and serves as the entry to the outdoor area when the family has people over for pool parties and/or glamourous BBQs. The pool has a lovely dark blue finish, so I brought that color indoors in the chairs and rug. The family found that amazing Jeffrey Pallidini painting while on a trip to London and it finished the room off perfectly.

The space next to the television was a bit awkward, so I made that graphic trianglepainting to engage the space and make sure that wall wasn’t all about the television.

Sofa from Room Service. Man in pool painting by Jeffrey Pallidini. Coffee table from Blu Dot. Rug from West Elm. Gold stools from West Elm. Blue deco chairs are vintage. Pillows from Ikea and West Elm. Tray from Crate & Barrel. Accessories from Shopclass. Geometric painting by Orlando Soria.

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I love both of these classic pieces. The parson’s bookcases added some beautiful, open display space while that barcart, in all its Milo Baughman-inspired goodness, gives a nod to the couple’s love of hosting.

Parsons bookcases from West Elm. Bar cart from Crate & Barrel. Accessories and art from Shopclass.

THE MUSIC ROOM

This room is part of the original portion of the home. It is also where the kids play and practice piano and talk about how they want to be like me someday. I kept a lot of the furniture the family had already while updating it with a few pieces to give it a fresher, younger feel. The beautiful coffee table from Empiric was a game changer, making the space feel as young and cool as the couple that owns the home.

Sofa from Pottery Barn. Coffee table from Empiric. Chair, bench, side tables, armoire and stump accent table all vintage. Rug from West Elm.

Ceramic tray from Nickey Kehoe. Pierre Cardin chess set and brass die from Lawson Fenning.

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Bench and mirror vintage. Pillow Nate Berkus for Target. Pillows on sofa from West Elm, Ikea, and Nickey Kehoe. Throw from Ikea.

Gallery wall sourced from Shopclass. Standing lamp from West Elm.

MASTER BATHROOM

Bathmat from West Elm. Turkish Towel from Poketo. Garden stool from Wisteria. Burl accent table from HD Buttercup. Accessories from Shopclass.

MASTER BEDROOM

The master bedroom is on the second floor and overlooks the gorgeous backyard and hillside vistas of La Habra Heights. The bed is the room’s most exciting feature and I wanted it to feel effortless. I achieved this look by using a collection of bedding from five different sources. I think this helped make it look a lot more nuanced and natural, less like someone just went in to a big box store and grabbed a boring bedding set.

Bed from Restoration Hardware. Side tables from Cisco Home. Lamp from Empiric. Rug from West Elm. Gold mirrors vintage. Accessories from West Elm and Shopclass. Duvet from Serena & Lily. Throw and blue pillow from Nickey Kehoe. White pillows from Ikea. Gold pillows from West Elm.

All art and accessories vintage. Drapery from Pottery Barn.

THE GREAT ROOM

The palatial living room was one of the biggest challenges of the home, mainly because the space was so grand. I combined a lot of vintage furniture with some new pieces to give the space some character. The sofa, in custom navy velvet, is a vintage piece from the 1960s. That and the ottoman are my favorite pieces in the room. A Ben Medansky sculpture and a great collection of art books gave the coffee table an art-centered appeal.

Left: Sofa, side tables, and ottoman are vintage. Leather chairs and mirrored coffee table from Restoration Hardware. Rug from Madeleine Weinrib. Chandelier from Cisco Home. Round mirror from Organic Modernism. Right: Art vintage, gilded by Orlando Soria. Green console table from Mix Furniture. Extraction sphere sculpture by Ben Medansky. Accessories from Shopclass.

THE PLAYROOM

The playroom was a chance to have a little fun. I wanted it to be colorful and exciting so I painted the built-in shelving Hague Blue and created a cork board wall with a hand-painted pattern on it (I drew the design small and then blew it up wall size with a projector).

Organizational supplies from Land of Nod. Desk and shelving by Land of Nod. Rug from RugsUSA.

THE GUEST BEDROOM

I’m all about updating a traditional space with a piece of contemporary art, so I made this glamorous circle painting for above the bed. I think it added the needed pop to this room, allowing everything else to be calm and relaxing.

Bed from Cisco Home. Bedding by Serena & Lily. Gold blanket from West Elm. Art by Orlando Soria. Drapery from Pottery Barn. Side tables from Cisco Home. Lamps from Ikea. Accessories and art from Shopclass.

THE OFFICE

I kind of died for these chairs the moment I saw them at Lawson Fenning. Since they are so open, I paired them with a graphic table. I liked this side table from Crate & Barrel because it reminded me of an Ellsworth Kelly drawing.

Chairs from Lawson Fenning. Side table from Crate & Barrel. Art and accessories from Shopclass.

Desk from Wertz Brothers. Lamp from Lawson Fenning. Desk chair vintage reupholstered in leather. Rug from Rugs USA. Accessories from Shopclass.

Sometimes, you work with clients that are so special that you end up falling in love with them and wanting them to adopt you so that you can just continue to decorate their home for the rest of time. I felt this way about this family, who would constantly supply me with champagne and glamour hors d’ oeuvres every time I came over. Luckily, the family keeps adding on to the house (you should see the adorable tree house they built for their kids!) so I don’t think my job there will be done any time soon.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Interested in making your house La Habra Heights Haute? Contact Homepolish!

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How To Plant a Succulent Garden Without Making a Giant Mess in Your Apartment

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Other People Who Live in Urban Apartments,

Do you ever feel sad about the fact you have no outdoor space? Like no yard with a hose to water your plants, a space to run around in? That you can’t just go outside and dig your hands in the dirt and feel SO connected to nature just like you did in your forest upbringing? I do. As someone who was raised in a land where I could stick my hand in dirt whenever I felt like it, without the risk of getting a lethal strain of face-eating virus from the city-germs in the soil, I feel sad whenever I have to buy dirt at a nursery. Also, I don’t understand how people who live in urban apartments pot their plants. I tried one time, and I totally clogged the sink and my landlord told me I’d have to buy a new sink if I ever did that again. So I’ve decided to share a few of my tips for living in a big city AND potting plants without getting kicked out of your apartment.

Plant nurseries are one of my favorite places to hang out. I find it so relaxing to be around all those plants growing, birds chirping, pesticides brimming from the potted succulents. One of my favorite nurseries in Los Angeles is Mickey Hartigay Plants, where I went this week to search for plants for Rumi Neely, a wonderful fashion blogger whose house I’m designing for Homepolish. The nursery is in the middle of Hollywood and feels kind of like it belongs in another time. I can be totally pissed off and crazy and high on caffeine and as soon as I step into this place I feel better. Perhaps it has something to do with the big-ass Buddha head:

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So here we go…

Five Tips For Potting Plants If You Live In An Apartment

1. Force the dude who runs the nursery to pot your plants for you.

This is a trick I learned a few years ago. Normally I feel badly asking anyone to do anything for me. Like at a restaurant if the waiter brings me a meal I totally didn’t order, I’ll just pretend it’s what I wanted so I don’t cause a fuss. I wont ask him to exchange it for the right one because that makes me feel like a jerk. But I’ve noticed a lot of people who work at nurseries (I’m talking about mom ‘n’ pop nurseries not big box places) tend to be really friendly and willing to help. If they won’t pot your plants for free they will normally charge you a small fee (usually around $5). Which is totally worth it not to make a big mess in your apartment. If you’d rather plant your own plants (like I did), you can ask them if it’s okay for you to use their facilities. Most will be fine with this, especially if you are doing something interesting like potting a succulent collection. They might stand there and ogle you, but the attention will give you energy and make you feel important.

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2. Choose your pot wisely. And make sure to look very concerned while you do so. 

Choose a pot that looks like it actually belongs indoors. If you choose a terra cotta pot or something that looks too rustic people will feel like they’ve stepped into a terrifying outdoor farmland when they enter your space and they will never want to talk to you again. Also, most plants need drainage so keep that in mind. Or be very careful with how frequently you water (I actually chose a pot with no drainage, but I’ve figured out how to  make sure the soil gets dry enough between waterings).

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3. Use the variety of plants available to your advantage.

I like to compose my succulent arrangements while looking at all the options available. Thus, I tend to arrange them right in front of the succulents on display. As a genius plant artist, you need to be surrounded by all your most essential art supplies. I like to have a few statement plants, a few clusters, and a pop of color. It’s good to vary the scale and texture to keep the eye moving around the arrangement. Really it’s not rocket science. Just play with plants until they look pretty and then you’ve got your composition. Watch this video Emily made if you want more info on composition.

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4. Ask boring and sciency plant questions.

Nurseries are a great place to ask a lot of questions about your plants that no one else would know how to answer. Keep in mind these people spend all day watering plants and trying to make sure they don’t die, so if there’s anyone who can tell you how not to kill your fiddle leaf fig, it’s them. You can show them pictures of spaces in your apartment, describe lighting situations, and ask them what plants would survive there, ask them what type of plant food to feed your plants, how big the pot needs to be, etc. The kind man at Mickey Hartigay referred me to the correct soil for succulents, which hopefully means the plants I buy for Rumi will live forever. Like I plan to.

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5. Make sure they wrap/box up your plants so dirt doesn’t get all over your car/everyone on the subway/however you get home.

Nurseries are great at figuring out how to wrap plants so dirt doesn’t go flying all over the place on your trip home. Usually this means they wrap them in newspaper and tape to hold in the dirt and keep the plants in place. Make sure they package your plants adequately so they don’t get murdered on the way home. I’ve had one too many fast stops where the plant goes flying and my car turns into a succulent graveyard FILLED with dirt. Don’t let that be you.

So there you go. Mainly the moral of the story is that if you live in an apartment with no yard and hose, you should never try to pot anything inside. It’s just a recipe for disappointment and misery and fear. Kind of like eating a giant burrito right before going to a fancy gay pool party.

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Beauty: The Photo Diary of John Arsenault

Photographs by John Arsenault

Dear John Arsenault,

Say what you will about Facebook, but sometimes it can be such a great tool for discovery. Just the other day, I was sifting through the vast stream of Gay shirtless pics, life-is-glamourous-I’m-somewhere-expensive status updates, and countless Buzzfeed GIF-list posts and I came across, as if by miracle, one of your images. I was immediately entranced. I love how quiet, mysterious, and ravishingly beautiful your work is. The following is a mixup of pieces from your visual diary and photos from your various exhibitions. I love it all so much that I want to bite it. With my mouth.

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Thanks for the lovely work. I certainly will be continually checking the John Arsenault Photography site for updates.

Love,
Orlando

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Homepolishing in Laurel Canyon

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt

Dear Reader,

For a long time, it’s been a dream of mine to live in Laurel Canyon. I just imagine I’d move there, Joni Mitchell would be my neighbor, she would sing to me every morning out her window, and I’d be surrounded by trees and wilderness and I could pretend I lived nowhere near a city. Do you ever notice that the longer you live in a city the more annoying it starts to feel? Like you’ll be walking down the street and you’ll be like “why are there so many people waddling in front of me?!?” (I love to walk fast so this is a particular pet peeve of mine). Or you’ll be at a sandwich shop and you’ll be like “why are there so many other people eating sandwiches!?!” I think it’s good to get out of the city every once in a while so you don’t go totally crazy. Or you can just move to a part of town that feels slightly less like a city.

One of my favorite Homepolish designers decorated this glamour cottage on a mountaintop in Laurel Canyon and I want to move into it, like, yesterday.

Most of the furnishings in this two bedroom home are vintage, sourced at flea markets and local vintage stores.

The whole place has a very casual, old-world feel. The clients are big collectors who love beautiful, unique objects. There’s a ton of character in this place because there is so much to ogle all over the place.

The place gets tons of natural light, so the designer kept the walls white and brought in color in art and objects, which as you probably know is my favorite way of bringing in color.

This rustic sofa table provides a nice contrast with the crisp, white sofa.

We made that poor dog sit outside that window for so long just to get that shot.

The dining nook provides the perfect place for a romantic dinner with your imaginary boyfriend.

A fun fact about me is that I’m terrified of crucifixes. Like when I was little I would go to my friend’s house and his parents had crucifixes everywhere but they were like SUPER GRAPHIC crucifixes with tons of blood and gore and I thought they were the scariest thing ever. At that point in my life I though Gremlins was a horror movie so seeing a bloody dead guy hanging on a piece of wood was pretty much the most terrifying thing imaginable. Anyway, that being said I love this little window moment. And I’m glad the crucifix is gold and not covered with scary realistic blood the way my friend’s were…

Don’t you just wanna get in that tub and live there? Forever? Staring out the window onto that lovely rock-filled back yard, watching baby deer chew on grass?

Note that the designer painted the door the same color as the dog and the totally cool Stussy hat.

Another non-terrifying crucifix helps this dresser-top look casually cool and collected. The whole place feels so comfortable and sophisticated, which should be the goal when designing any interior space.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Want to hire the glamourdesigner that created this beautiful space? Contact Homepolish!

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Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: Mad For Madras

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Jenna von Oÿ,

I loved your work on Blossom, where you played the plucky sidekick to Mayim Bialik’s beloved character. She grew up to be kind of a weirdo, right? Oh well. Anyway, I’m doing this series where I take outfits I found in my father’s closet and show the world how they can buy new versions of them using nothing but their brains, the internet, and, like, tons of money. Below is an outfit I plopped together to go with a madras shirt with which I am in love. Madras is just classic. I feel like every year all different brands are like “we’re bringing back madras!” And everyone is all “you just did that, like, last year.” But to quote a wise band of musicians, “I don’t care, I love it.”

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Now that I’ve forced you to look at me waddling all over the beach in my dad’s clothing, I’d like to tell you how you can get the look yourself. You’re welcome.

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Madras Shirt, $70 from Orvis
Slim Fit Jeans, $43 from Levi’s
White Tank Top, $60 from Sunspel
Skate Shoes, $40 from Vans
Socks, $0 from Nowhere

Go buy something. Tell them I sent you.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Sorry I’m so squinty in these photos. It was really REALLY sunny at the beach.

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What’s Going In My Sunny Bedroom?

Photographs by Sean Gin 

Dear You,

Do you ever wonder what my bedroom looks like? Me neither! Because I live in it! Well your wondering can stop because my glamourphotographer Sean took some great pics which I will share with you now.

My bedding is from West Elm. It’s hard to find something that classic and simple, so I love it. The stripe throw is from NineSpace, the lamps are from the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and the giant cactus is from my childhood.

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My ex founds these awesome nightstands at Pepe’s Thrift Shop. And then he went away forever. And it was kind of like that PJ Harvey song from Basquiat.

I believe in always keeping a carafe with water in it next to the bed in case you get thirsty. And by “always” I mean “when you are taking a photograph of your bedside table and you want to look fancy.”

My mom made that awesome wave pillow out of fabric she found in a cute little wine country town called Healdsburg. Don’t you just want to hug that pillow? Then punch it? Then hug it and apologize for punching it? But then punch it again just to confuse it even more? I do.

Love,
Orlando

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