Orlando Soria; Homepolish West Coast Creative Director
More than just a resource for the best of modern furniture, Modern Resale also wants to be your destination for understanding the importance of these designs in creating contemporary, livable spaces. With that in mind, we’ve tapped into Los Angeles’ vast and varied network of interior designers, asking them for their perspective on modern design, how they integrate these pieces into their work and their thoughts on how to incorporate it into your home.
In the continuation of our series, we introduce Orlando Soria of Homepolish and Hommemaker.
Homepolish West Coast Creative Director Orlando Soria got his start in the design world as Emily Henderson’s on-camera assistant on HGTV’s home makeover series, Secrets From A Stylist. Since then he’s made a name for himself at Homepolish, the New York-based interior design powerhouse created to make interior design more accessible, transparent and user-friendly, with a network of over 500 designers who provide personal design service to clients nationwide.
Soria, a graduate of Cornell and Penn, is also the founder of Hommemaker, a lifestyle blog that celebrates do-it-yourself projects. Bringing two of his many interests together, he’s currently working on a book of do-it-yourself projects and interior design inspiration, slated for a Spring 2018 release. The interior designer recently completed his own home, a 1,600 square foot, two-story condo with a view of Silver Lake’s reservoir, dragging its 80’s style firmly into the 21st century.
Listening to his clients is key for Soria, who creates spaces that are, ultimately, comfortable and livable. “The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, and tailored to the people who live there.” With his background in art, it’s important to him that the homes he creates offer a balance of various textures, colors and finishes. “I think about everything in terms of color, light and balance,” he explains, “What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them.” The trick to making a space work, he believes, is to honor its architectural heritage and history. Referring to his own home, he points out that while he’d love to be living in a Spanish or Craftsman-style home, “you can’t take an 80s modern building and turn it into a Mediterranean oasis. It’ll end up looking crazy.” Taking a cue from a home’s bones, Soria molds spaces that are balanced and beautiful, ultimately making them as wonderful to live in, as they are to look at.
Images of Orlando Soria's home; Photographer: Tessa Neustadt
What role does contemporary/modern design play in the scope of your interior design work?
I love mixing modern/contemporary pieces into projects to give them a high-end edge. When I work with clients, I generally take my first cues from the architectural style of the home. Since I live in Los Angeles, where there is a lot of new construction, the opportunities for modern infusions are plentiful. But even older, more traditional homes can benefit from a modern accent or two. I love mixing styles, so contemporary high design pieces are the perfect compliment to more subtle, conservative pieces.
When you look at current modern design, what gets you excited and why?
I like that most designers these days aren't designing spaces to look too "designer-y." By that I mean that the predominant look seems to be a more natural, collected-over-time type of style combining furniture from different designers. In the 80s there was so much bold design, which I love, but it was more about design, less about comfort and approachability. For example, bedrooms with wallpaper that matched the bedspread that matched the rug. Now designers are more like therapists, trying to incorporate the personality of their clients into their homes. So homes seem to be more unique, more reflective of the people who live there.
What is it about a piece of current design that makes you think it is still going to be good in 20 years?
I think there's a lot of very exciting things happening in sculptural lighting these days. Companies like Apparatus and Lindsey Adelmen are designing light fixtures that are essentially art. Lots of brass, open silhouettes, and movement. Larger companies like West Elm and CB2 have taken hues from these designers to create lighting in a similar aesthetic, so this look has gotten very mainstream. I think in 20 years we'll look back and realize we were having a widespread moment of wonderful innovation in the lighting space.
What furniture designer that is currently producing work inspires you the most?
OR What is your favorite contemporary brand?
I'm a huge fan of Egg Collective, who make incredibly beautiful contemporary pieces that are original and unique while feeling classic and well-thought out. Their aesthetic is very minimal, but they'll add flourishes and details that make their pieces stand out from the rest. My personal style is not very minimal, but seeing their efficiently designed pieces makes me want to live in a huge loft with nothing but Egg Collective furniture.
Any other comments you have on high-end, modern and/or contemporary design in Los Angeles?
LA is a great place to design because the city is all about houses and lifestyle. If I wanted a big bustling city with skyscrapers I'd live in New York. But Los Angeles, since its inception, has been all about this fantasy of combining a large population with a roomy residential lifestyle. So designing homes here is a treat in that they tend to be the type of glamorous spaces I grew up dreaming about. Also, with downtown and Hollywood rapidly urbanizing, we have a huge diversity of styles here so I can design everything from a loft space to a Spanish revival home without leaving the city. This means there are so many different ways to use contemporary pieces, contrasting them against all the different architectural styles that coexist in this city.
Images of homes designed by Orlando Soria; Photographer: Tessa Neustadt
Homepolish: The revolutionary company, created to make interior design more accessible, transparent and user-friendly, now has a network of over 500 designers who provide personal design services to clients nationwide.