Designer Spotlight // Orlando Soria

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE

To me Orlando Soria is a designer and an artist. Every space he designed felt like he was given a blank canvas and then he painted different personality on them but you can tell that it still has simple and minimalist bones. In an ideal world, I will build my own house and hire Fiona Lynch to design it and Orlando to style it. Did I also mention the latter has a sense of humor from outer space?

A little about Orlando Soria, if you’ve seen Secrets From A Stylist, you would remember him as the good-looking (well, it never hurts) on-camera assistant next to Emily Henderson (HGTV Design Star). Oh, and you will be shocked to learn that I hated Emily (oops!) when I first saw the show on TV (few years back). It wasn’t because Emily looked like Kirsten Dunst (I don’t hate Kirsten Dunst) but I was generally baffled at the thought of people wanting mishmash style that also conveniently has a cool name to it, *clear throats* Eclectic! And somehow Emily was the spokesperson (that’s what I thought).

To spare you the details of my ignorance, fast forward a few years later and I’ve gotten wiser; I started loving mid-century, rustic and bohemian styles which I never thought I would. *gasp* I like so many different styles that I want them all in my home but that’s not possible (or is it?). Thank God for designers like Emily and Orlando, they’ve mastered the wizardry of perfect styling. You see, the more you read, sees and understands the better you’ll come to understand yourself. I’ve stayed an open-mind towards other styles (and never regret doing so), now I want parts of these beauties in my home. And now I’m a firm believer of the Eclectic style. How ironic and true.

Into the Eclectic style like me? See this home.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_SAN CLEMENTE BEACH HOUSE_1

See more from this project – San Clemente Beach House

Arguable, Emily’s style can be more girly (which I know some of her designs I’ll have a hard time persuading my husband to agree with me). Orlando on the other hand feels like the perfect balance of me and my husband’s styles. Jim wants Contemporary and Contemporary style (see how much he insists on Contemporary? *facepalm*). I’ve been secretly sipping in mid-century modern into my home design and adding mid wood tone, natural leather. Just last week, we ended up seeing eye to eye in getting a caramel-toned leather sofa (haven’t pull the trigger yet). It’s an achievement; I can’t help but gave myself a pat on the shoulder. Yaaaay! 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_SAN CLEMENTE BEACH HOUSE_2

Both Emily and Orlando loooove blue. And I can definitely agree with that. Because it’s a cool color, it doesn’t overwhelm a space and it’s timeless and neutral as grey but more interesting. 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_SAN CLEMENTE BEACH HOUSE_3

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really like hanging stuff on walls or just generally not into art, consider doing something like this. The colors on the map is soft enough to add some visual interest on the blank space above the bed. Maps are really easy on the eyes and hard to get sick of when compare to an actual piece of art yet they easily add personality to a room. Also you could probably tell that my own designs are much influenced by Orlando. I love adding a bit of colors on top of a neutral backdrop. It can be seen as stark but in reality it’s much more livable than overcrowding every corner. It’s like your room is able to breathe. I like that.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_SAN CLEMENTE BEACH HOUSE_4

I also love how he did kids bedrooms with the flexibility of changing/adding things as the child grows. A design frame has to be built on good foundation (perks of hiring a talented designer who has good taste, ha). When you have kids bedrooms that make adults think “I wanna live there”, it doesn’t have to be expensive or custom made furniture everywhere. Orlando’s love for blue, aqua and teal colors (and I share his love) adds a fun element to the space. It’s for kids, so you still gotta make it fun but you can still have it classy. I feel that it’s very important for designers to understand this so that whatever got designed doesn’t immediately feel awkward as the family grows and matures. 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_SAN CLEMENTE BEACH HOUSE_5

I love how he designed kitchens and dining spaces that are just functional and yet so pretty. We can all go ahead and install white kitchens but we also agree that not every white kitchen speaks of personality. While a lot of design decisions can make you think that you’re taking your home to the next level, sometimes by doing the generic safe designs it actually make your home look like it took a step back instead. Everytime you go for a safe, neutral choice, always know that you need to layer on your own personality so that you can achieve the goal of enhancing your space.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_WHITNEY PORT

See more from this project – Whitney Port

Color walls can sometimes feel dated; you know like how we know a home was last painted five years ago (or was it ten years) because of the coffee brown walls? Yup, that’s what I’m talking about. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t paint some colors on your wall. Warm or cool tones? Or going for neutral paints? These are some understanding you need to have when choosing wall colors. A color like mint (see above) can still be seen as trendy for years to come as compared to colors like yellow, orange, pink. Whitney (homeowner) is blessed to have Orlando came in to tie her furniture to the wall color so that it turned out perfect. Orlando loves adding ocean and waves art piece in his designs; another love I share.

Technically, warm colors closes a space while cool colors expands it visually. White paint is also not the universal answer. If you like warm colors, choosing one that is more subtle (think white paint mixed with a hint of yellow or pink) is the way to go. These neutral paints (with pigments) also compliment your furniture better than the “in your face bubble pink”. Go for strong colors if you’re 200% sure you can pull if off. 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_LA BEACH HOUSE_1

See more from this project – LA Beach House Part 1 // LA Beach House Part 2

Read how to do the Coastal Glam style.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_LA BEACH HOUSE_2

If you find that office nook familiar, that’s because I’ve already shown it on the blog here. It’s my ideal home office. And that over-sized floor lamp, I recently just took extra notice on them and wouldn’t mind one in my home office or future nursery. The only downside is my space might be too small to pull this off. x.x

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_LA BEACH HOUSE_3

See more from this project – Kelly Oxford

Look at all that empty space, it makes you focus on the wonderful natural light that is pouring in (a good example of why and when you shouldn’t overdecorate your space). Oh, if you have a home that is amazing with natural light like this, I envy you.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_JUSTIN LIVINGSTON & KEVIN GOOP.COM

See more from these projects – Justin Livingston // Kevin (Goop.com)

Orlando didn’t always work on renovation that is a complete gut, he was brought in to these spaces (see above) to revamp them; yes, simply by dabbling his fingers on them (I mean styling them). A home might have good bones but without good styling, it’s a wasted opportunity. I’m not talking about making your home look like it’s styled for magazine 24/7 but rather it’s about tastefully displaying things you love around so that your home constantly makes you feel good. 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_JAIME DERRINGER DESIGN MILK & MEGAN GUSTASHAW THE ZOE REPORT

See more from these projects – Jaime Derringer (Design Milk) // Megan Gustashaw (The Zoe Report)

A serene but personalized bedroom is all we need, isn’t this true for all of us? Something that is restful at the end of the day and fresh to recharge you to begin your life challenges. Bedrooms like these are to die for. Also for folks who love bright colors, consider them on your accessories or furniture (not on your walls) for longevity.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_ORCONDO_1

See more from Orlando’s home – Orlando Soria (@mrorlandosoria)

This is Orlando’s home; where a lot of people might be expecting colors (because he’s a designer?) but it’s simply neutral and calm. My kind of ideal home.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ORLANDO SORIA KATE DWELL IN STYLE_ORCONDO_2

Image Source: Orlando Soria // Homepolish

I know you’re also curious about Orlando’s own bedroom, so here it is (see above). I love homes that are sophisticated and classy like a hotel but still feels homey, comfy and full of the homeowner’s personality. Something I’m trying to achieve in my upcoming new home myself. It won’t be easy but I really want it. Thank God that I told Jim and he’s real supportive (well, as long as he’s getting his Eames lounge chair x.x). Maybe that’s why he’s letting me get my leather sofa? Something to ponder. x.x (We originally wanted a blue fabric tuxedo sofa). Click here if you wanna learn more about different types of sofa. 

Want more? See works from these designers – Grace Castaneda // Jessica Helgerson // Fiona Lynch 

All words by me and images from credited links. This is a non-sponsored post.

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