Orlando’s New Place: ORCONDO

Hey guys, Its Emily, real quick. In case you are new to the blog and are wondering who the hell is this dude, Orlando, here’s a recap of our relationship: Orlando was my assistant/sidekick on Secrets From a Stylist (RIP) and then became an associate designer that worked with me on design projects for close to 4 wonderful years where we became very close (like sleep in the same bed while traveling, close). He used to write posts on the blog but then HE LEFT ME to become the West Coast Creative Director of Homepolish, a design startup that’s a huge game changer, making design more accessible, streamlined, and enjoyable to clients all over the USA. Anyway, onto his post!


Dear Emily’s Readers,

Something really exciting is happening! So put on your eatin’ dress, have your secretary’s administrative assistant hold all your calls, and tell your boss you can no longer do your job, because this might take a minute. Long story short, I’m moving in with my handsome French boyfriend who looks like a Disney cartoon. I know. If I were anyone else I’d literally want to throw me down the stairs because I’d be so annoyed. As someone who has been single most of my life, it’s weird for me to be doing couple-y things like choosing tile together. But hey, I’ll take it. Short story long, we’re gut renovating the amazingly disgusting condo he bought four years ago before I move in. And it’s pretty much the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my whole life. Or anyone’s life for that matter.

First things first, let me explain “Orcondo.” I know. It’s terrible. But I can’t resist a bad pun. Or rhyme. Or whatever it is. I was conflicted about it because I actually hate the term “condo.” In my mind, it’s just a way for obnoxious rich people to feel better than other people because they own their apartment while everyone else is still renting (everyone else = me currently btw). So a few years ago a snobby friend of mine who’s like always rubbing his wealth in my face bought an apartment and wouldn’t stop calling it a condo and it just seemed SO pretentious to me. So I vowed never to call anything a condo ever. But I didn’t really think about the fact that my name (which is pronounced “Or-LON-do”) rhymes with “Condo” and so it’s pretty much impossible for me not to call this apartment OrCONDO. Oh, and I asked my boyfriend and he doesn’t mind. Even though he totally bought it before he knew I existed.

Click through to see the whole design plan.


‘The New Bohemians’ Book; By Justina Blakeney


As someone who is still finishing up her book, I look at other people’s (namely friends) books longingly, like a puppy in a pet store window, staring at happy dog owners strolling by with their happy pups, thinking ‘Will that ever happen to me? Will I, too, someday have an actual hard copy of my book to hold, cuddle and make every single person I know buy?” (Oh, speaking of which, you can pre-order my book here , just sayin’.) It’s such a long arduous process, that when you reach the end you kinda can’t believe it’s done.

Well, my friend Justina’s book is done and out and it’s soo good. Its 300 pages of crazy bohemian interiors that somehow feels fresh and different each page. You can buy it here. 


What’s so great about boho style is that a lot of it is attainable without being really expensive. It’s thrifted, DIY’d or repurposed and its full of ideas, rather than just perfect furniture. So it’s not like her tips are – save $8500 for your perfect credenza, its more like – quilt together vintage fabric for a unique throw or use a vintage tablecloth as a bedroom curtain. And if you do it right and use the right tablecloth, you get wildly more personality in your home for no more money.

Click through to see more sneak peeks of the book.


Our E-design Service GIVEAWAY


The new website is getting finished – much thanks to Project M Plus for doing some next level design and tech work. One of the things we are doing is expanding our design services to accommodate smaller budget client work. So we are launching our E-design services which basically is where we design your space digitally (see details, below).

But before we figure out how and what to charge we need a guinea pig – someone who we can test out the service with, to figure out exactly how much manpower would go towards making each room beautiful – and how much back and forth there really needs to be. There are many people who do E-design out there – some really good and some really generic, and as you can suspect, the price points are all over the place. While we want to work with smaller furniture budgets, we still want each one to be VERY VERY GOOD; full of personality, unique finishes and just NOT generic. Generic design is easy, I promise. I’ve done it. But pulling together a beautiful, well-rounded room full of texture, depth and function takes a lot of time in the traditional client world – but we have no idea how much time in the digital client world.

So one of you is going to win a free E-design – not the furniture and decor, etc, but our services to design a room of yours – with your style, budget and needs. This way we can test out this service and make sure that we run it properly before we launch it.

For the giveaway, here’s what you need to do: 


So let me walk you through one of our designs, to show you the whole process:


Family Shelter Update

You might remember a few weeks back we started working on a pretty awesome project for the San Fernando Rescue Mission, a family homeless shelter, and with that we launched our indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for the furnishings. Thanks to many of you we are at 78% of the goal which is incredible considering we aren’t even halfway through our timeframe. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. If you haven’t heard of this project read this post which explains why we are doing this and how much help from you would be appreciated.

Since the announcement, the building has changed a ton and we thought it was a good time to give you an update on the progress so far and what we are planning on doing with the interior.

mission shelter_construction site pano


The first floor is the communal area – lobby where they’ll be greeted and counselled, living room for family hang out and activities, dining for, well, eating, and computer lab for homework and job search.

We ideally want the whole building to feel much like its name: ‘Home Again’ so the cozier the better. When we were there last week we finally came up with the right art direction – its gonna be all ‘Country Cabin in the Suburbs’.

It’s a tricky project because we don’t want it to be to precious, or hipster or even too pretty and high-end. It needs to be comfortable, durable and functional but of course we want it to be stylish enough to make all of you donors proud. The living area has no real light source and they chose a pretty slate blue paint color, so I think if we go in this ‘Rustic Mountain Cabin meets Charming Suburbia’ route, it will be all of those things. The general color palette will be neutral tones of gray and taupes and browns with hints of blue and hunter greens with pops of some happier brighter more inspiring colors – like rusts and oranges. That’s right. I’m styling with orange. Deal with it.


This is what it looks like now…  not so warm and inviting, yet, but these guys are working their butts off to transform the space so that we can get in and start futzing around. Wade and his team did a pretty good job of picking out the paint colors. I was so nervous to see the choices because they happened before we were on board, but they are pretty darn good. Slates, taupes and simple warm neutrals.

This is our main inspiration image (which I’ve used before, because I just love it):


The big communal living room will be split up into three different areas that will have big comfy sectionals and loungy armchairs.  As most kids will be in school during the day this area will be for the families to regroup after their day. The sectionals are most likely to be in darker fabrics, so they remain fairly durable, the coffee tables and storage pieces will be in pretty woods and the we’ll bring in color in the pillows, throw blankets, lighting and art.


Spring brunch with Target

spring brunch with target

Something happens to your holidays when you have a kid. You go from being a normal person, someone who might book a brunch with friends at a joint with unlimited mimosas, to the person who is at Target WEEKS in advance who gets all ‘Black Friday’ over the last copper leaf egg decorating kit. All of a sudden the holiday turns into this excuse to create important precious memories for you and your child. Memories that you are sure will shape their future, solidify their love for you and most importantly manipulate them into constantly coming home for said holiday when they are grown.

So Easter is on my brain right now. And a couple weeks ago I hosted a spring blogger brunch with Camila Alves to highlight all the new Spring and Easter Target products. It was such a good excuse to hang out with some bloggers I rarely see and meet some new ladies who have been on my radar.