If the name Orlando Soria doesn’t ring a bell or his face doesn’t look familiar, perhaps you’ve been living under a rock and if that’s the case, you should run immediately to his Instagram (it’s okay, I’ll wait for you to get back) to follow him and watch ALL of his IG Stories. Not only does the Yosemite-raised, Los Angeles-based Soria share really beautiful design and the process behind it, he also reveals a glimpse into his life and personality, which will make you long to have him as your best friend… Trust me. He offers you a look at the beautiful interiors he’s designed, like the bedroom of our founder Jaime, infinite design inspiration, and tangible ideas you can incorporate into your own home that you can actually do without it becoming a DI(wh)Y-did-I-do-that?!? If you need more than the snippets that land on his social media, he takes it further on his life & style blog, Hommemaker, and in the upcoming release (Tuesday, April 17th!) of his book, entitled Get It Together!: An Interior Designer’s Guide to Creating Your Best Life, which includes his design advice and DIY projects shared in his enviable witty tone. Curious to see what he picked for his Friday Five? Read on and you’ll find out which pick might possibly be controversial in the eyes of the sometimes overly opinionated public.
1. A Colorful, Curvy Sofa
I love that curves are coming back. While I am a big fan of the architectural, angled look that’s been the go-to for contemporary design for most of recent history, I love seeing some soft lines coming into home decor. I found my sexy sofa at a local vintage store called Wertz Brothers (check them out if you’re ever in LA) and had it reupholstered in sumptuous velvet. I love not only the softness it brings to my living room but the vibrant peacock blue, which provides a focal point for the room and is so soft and snuggly to lounge on.
2. Ernesto Artillo
Most of my art obsessions lately are Spanish. I’ve been in love with HeySosi and Diego Cabezas for a while now, but when I came across Ernesto Artillo’s beautiful hand-painted suits I was immediately intrigued. He is known for his collage work, but lately has been using mens suiting as a canvas for a feminist message, displacing the female form onto the most masculine of clothing articles. These suits seem to ask the questions “What is gender? Are you afraid of the female form? Do you have the strength to inhabit the female form?” I just love the confusion they cause and the wonderful thought process that results from seeing genders overlaid upon each other.
I grew up less than a half mile away from this waterfall (Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall) and my memories of living in that place will follow me as long as I live. As contrived as it sounds, Yosemite is magic. The granite cliffs that surround Yosemite Valley dwarf the human form, humbling all who visit and reminding them of how tiny they are compared with the gigantic natural monuments that surround them. Yosemite is more than a place for me, it’s a member of my family. It inhabits my imagination, colors my design work, and serves as a constant reminder of why preservation and environmentalism are vitally important.
I added this because I knew it would be controversial. Whenever I post something about Birkenstocks I get some trolling from people who hate them. I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks since I was a kid (see above, raised in Yosemite) and I’ve always thought their German design was classic, no unnecessary design flourishes. I think people underestimate how hard it is to create something this simple and iconic, most product designers end up making their designs far too intricate for my taste. I love that these sandals can be worn with shorts and a tank top or like I’m wearing them here, with patterned pants and a cheerful sweater (from Mr Turk, my favorite go-to for playful, vacation-ready clothing).
5. Los Angeles Union Station
One of the best things about Los Angeles is that it is a huge international city with access to so many idyllic adventures nearby. A favorite pastime is heading downtown to Union Station, grabbing a coffee, and getting on a train to San Juan Capistrano or Santa Barbara. This place was built in 1939 and it just feels glamorous to go there. You can feel the history here and it’s a space that feels SO California, a mixture of Deco and Mission Revival. I hate airports these days because they’re mostly just a bunch of people yelling at you and making you take your clothes off to go through countless checks and metal detectors. I love that you can still walk into this station with your carry on, wander around the beautiful property, board a train and read for a few hours while you travel to your pretty destination.