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.


Take it outside – Target patio makeover


The next Target video is up, folks and we are taking it outside. This one is more about ideas on how to make your outdoor space/furniture more fun and inviting. The basics are kinda easy, it’s that final layer that you want/need for entertaining and once it’s done everybody can enjoy it.

This is why I schedule photo shoots or parties – I need the deadline, the kick in the maternity pants to pull things together or they will simply stay mediocre forever. The earlier you do this in the season (like now) the longer you can enjoy it.

Click through to see the full makeover.


The Master Bedroom – Where We Are Now


The older I get, the more I want my master bedroom to just be super simple. I used to sleep walk really badly – like REALLY, REALLY EMBARRASSINGLY BADLY – imagine the worst; I did that. I often have nightmares where the piles of clothes in the room became monsters that are trying to kill me, etc. I clearly have one of those brains that don’t really shut down well and if I’m stressed it gets my body up and I do weird things in the room. It’s been so much better the last few years, but Brian still finds me rearranging things in the middle of the night – dreaming that I’m in a client’s house or on a photo shoot. Sleep styling, I suppose. Perfectly normal.

Click through to see the whole tour:


Blue and White Sunroom – with Target

Most of you live in places where winter happened this year. I heard about it and even saw it on the news (and by news I mean Facebook and Instagram). At first it looked romantic, then chilly and then just terribly inconvenient what with your coat wearing and all. Well, I think that Spring is finally here and we are styling about it. The newest Target video is up, and it’s all about creating a happy sunroom to celebrate spring. This time we actually transformed the space because nothing is more satisfying than watching something improve right before your eyes – like Matthew Lewis.

Target’s new spring line is very good, as you can see, full of blues, whites, natural materials and whimsical beach-y motifs. We simply mixed in a couple vintage/DIYs to create this very happy, bright and well-rounded sunroom for your viewing pleasure. Click on through …


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.