You Could Win a New Laundry Room Designed by Orlando!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear Laundry Lovers, One of my very favorite things on earth is freshly cleaned laundry. I love snuggling into bed on freshly laundered linens, thinking about how clean everything is. But for most people, the laundry room is an afterthought. It’s not a room that most people think to spend a lot of time designing. But for people who like doing laundry as much as I do, having a well-designed laundry room is a bonus that can make everyday life more enjoyable. It’s like a little added treat every time you do a load of laundry….

Gabby Prescod’s Parachute Makeover

Photography by Carly Rudd courtesy Parachute Dear Diary, It’s been a while since I lived in New York, but it’s always fun to head back and waddle around to reconnect with the city I grew up dreaming of. So when Parachute told me they wanted to film the next installment of our makeover series in the City That Never Sleeps, my head exploded with glee. Our first two installments of the series were so much fun to shoot and the third video was basically like taking those first few experiences and mixing them with the iconic film, New York Minute…

Adding Curb Appeal to Casa Soria with James Hardie

Photography Courtesy James Hardie® Dear Renovation Diary, As you know, I’m currently in the process of renovating my parents’ kitchen and doing a house full of makeover projects for them. Their house is currently a big construction zone and will be so for a few more months. This isn’t the house I grew up in, my parents moved to this area five years ago after retiring and leaving my childhood home in Yosemite. One of the first things I noticed about the area they moved to is that there is a ton of weird siding on houses up there. On…

Dating Sucks: Wait, Is This a Date?

Photograph by Zeke Ruelas (an outtake from “Get it Together,” available now for pre-order) Editor’s Note: I love this image by Zeke Ruelas. It was taken for a chapter from Get It Together about weight loss and body dysmorphia. I know I look absolutely insane but it makes me laugh so hard. Okay bye. Dear Dating Diary, The other night, I went to dinner with a guy I’ve been “hanging out” with. I say “hanging out” because I have no idea whether the two times we’ve hung out were actual dates or if they were networking. The first time we…

Casa Soria: Planning the New Deck with Humboldt Redwood Company

Source Dear Construction Diary, It’s become increasingly clear that my parents’ kitchen renovation project has ballooned and is now basically an entire home makeover. One element that I’ve been itching to change on their house since they moved in is the deck the sits outside the kitchen. An interesting thing about their house is that it’s very vertical. There are three levels because it’s on a hillside and the kitchen is on the top level. In order to make sure there’s easily accessible outdoor space, a deck off the kitchen is essential. We’re expanding the new kitchen out onto an…

The Wacky Wacko World of Seth Bogart

Dear Diary, I first came across Seth Bogart about ten years ago when he was the frontman of the band Hunx and His Punx. I was immediately obsessed with the world he’s created with his music, his performance, and his visual art. The whole thing reads as some sort of fucked up version of 1950s melodramatic teen love drama, mixed with a bit of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and a little bit of Litchenstein/Warhol/Hockey. His work has followed me and remained everpresent in my life for the past ten years and it’s something that makes me happy every time I remember it…

Amanda Crew’s Craftsman Bungalow Gets a Bright and Airy Update

Photography by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish Dear Design Diary, After you’ve lived in LA for a while you start to dread meeting actors, especially ones on popular TV shows who are famous. Normally, they are crazy high-maintenance, attention-hungry, and completely insane (like not in a fun way, in a way that makes them irritating and unrelatable). These are vast generalizations, but I’ve made friends with enough COMPLETELY BONKERS actors to know that you should approach them the way you’d approach a mountain lion in the wild, with caution, fear, and a thoroughly-planned escape route. You can imagine my surprise when…

The Emotional Undercurrent of Interior Design

Dear Renovation Diary, Yesterday I was at Emily’s house shooting some promo stills for Get it Together! when I got news from my mom that the contractor I hired to renovate their kitchen told her it was going to be another two months until it was finished. I was furious. This project started nearly a year ago has taken months longer than expected, cost twice as much as expected, and been filled with compromises I didn’t care to make. I called the contractor to check in on what was going on and completely lost my cool. I tend to be…

Dating Sucks: Is Your Prospective Date a Lunatic?

Dear Dating Diary, I recently received this message from a prospective date: Hi Orlando! I hope you’re week has gone well. I want you to do a little exercise for me tonight. Stand in front of the mirror and say this: I’m really just a self-validation whore who’s on dating apps just to get attention with no real intention to meet anyone. Through my profile I mislead people into thinking that I’m looking for something real, when in reality I’m totally unexcitable and disinterested in the whole thing and that makes me a pathetic liar. I don’t care about other…

Casa Soria: Planning The Guest Bedroom

Photographs by Zeke Ruelas & Tessa Neustadt Dear Makeover Diary, Firstly, let’s discuss the fact that I’ve named my parents’ house Casa Soria. I did this for a few reasons. Firstly, I love naming things (Orcondo, Châteaulando, orMOMdo, orlanDAD, etc). Second, I’m working on a fair amount of projects there (kitchen, sitting room, family room, foyer, and so on) so I thought it would just be easier if it had a name. Casa Soria is where my family tends to get together. I’m making it nice because I think after working hard their whole lives and saving forever so they…