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Orcondo Update

A Very Orcondo Christmas

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Hey guys, it’s me Orlando. This will be my first official Christmas in Orcondo. I mean, I was actually here a lot last year but it hadn’t been Orcondo’d yet. So this year is my first year decorating this type of space for the holidays. And I have to say, I’ve had so much fun doing it. I don’t consider myself a super modern/minimal type of guy. But the condo has been a great opportunity to explore that side of my personality, and this year presented me with a fun challenge: to make this big ol’ white space feel warm and Christmassy. Below is what I did to transform my home from ho-hum to HO HO HO.

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For the living room the first thing I had to figure out was the color scheme. Since I have a pretty strong gold, grey, and white thing going on in the condo I decided this year I’d go with that. Maybe next year I’ll have a big ol’ pink tree. YOU NEVER KNOW.

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Once I’d figured out my color palette, I somehow came up with the insane idea to make my own giant tree out of cheerleader pom poms. It ended up taking way longer than I thought it would. I always think projects are going to take like 30 minutes and look perfect. And then, after I’ve been working on them for five days, my fingers bleeding, I ask myself WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA???

But part of doing DIY stuff is that sometimes it takes forever and you’re not as obsessed with it when it’s done as you might have expected. I mean, I like the tree. But not as much as I’d expect myself to after spending, like, countless nights making it (you can read the full tutorial on how I made it on Homepolish). Does it sound like I’m just complaining? I’m not trying to be whiney. I guess it’s just when you want something to be perfect and it’s not exactly the vision you had in your head and you’re like WHY CAN’T EVERYTHING I DO BE PERFECT ALL THE TIME? Is this a therapy session? Are you my therapist? Should I be paying you? Is my time up? WHAT IS HAPPENING???

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Something that I’m really thankful for this year is that I’ve had so many fun opportunities come my way. From speaking at different conferences, to taking more of a lead over content creation at Homepolish, to designing my own line of fabrics, wrapping paper, and other printed products for Guildery, I’ve had great luck this year and I’m feeling pretty grateful. All the wrapping paper shown here are my designs. And it magically fit into my color palette! A totally mindblowingly easy way to make your presents look way more exciting is to add these cute little gold letters as name tags. It was basically the easiest thing I did this year and the only thing anyone noticed.

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The one issue with a giant Christmas tree is that I didn’t necessarily have enough ornaments (or budget to buy more) to fill the whole enormous thing. My solution was to make a bunch of cute little fan ornaments and disperse them throughout the tree. I love that they add another texture to the tree and a little pop pf white. And they were practically free!

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I think this is my favorite ornament. Reminds me of the little fawns that lived outside my window in the woods where I grew up.

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Some people are anti-bird, some are pro. Edouard (boyfriend) thinks this bird is the stupidest thing ever. But I feel like it’s super cute and adds a dynamic element to the tree. Plus, he matches the color scheme.

Living room resources: Handmade DIY Tree, Vintage Globe Ornaments, Dewdrop LED Lights, Wrapping Paper from Guildery, Additional Wrapping Paper,  Self-Adhesive Gold Letters

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Moving into the dining room, the dining table got into the festivities with some greenery and some table linens from my line. I kept it pretty simple with a pine branch at the center of the table flanked by candles.

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Like any normal, red-blooded American male, I set a place for Anjelica Huston at my table. This is by no means a groundbreaking idea, but I used pinecones as placecard holders because I am obsessed with pinecones and I like them more than anything else IN THE WORLD.

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I found this cute little white feather tree at a thrift store for $7.99. It was in a DISGUSTING container that looked like a naked candy cane. Wanna see?

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Okay, it wasn’t THAT bad. But in person it was horrible and pearly and annoying. I used a saw to chop it’s base down then I put the tree into a pretty ceramic pot I bought at the little nursery down the street.

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Since there’s no real tree, I thought the condo could use some green. The little tree in our dining room got all the green hand-me-downs from my blue and green theme last year.

Dining Room Resources: Dining Table, Wishbone Chairs, White Dinner Plates, Silver Chargers, Flatware, Table Runner, Champagne Coupe Glass, Wooden Dishes, Vintage White Feather Tree, Sisal Rug.

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I also added green to the condo by putting actual living greenery, like, everywhere. Including on this console in the living room that sits opposite the gold Christmas tree. I topped it off with some cute little mercury glass trees that light up and make me feel warm and cozy inside.

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I like to think of these busts as a couple. The stone one is all “I never knew I could love, until I met Wooden Head With Long Neck.”

Living Room Resources: Grey Dresser, Mercury Glass Christmas Trees, Vintage Lamp, Table Runner, Prints by Cleon Peterson.

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My bedroom is perhaps the coziest Christmas situation in the condo. I made a little peace tree, with doves all over it, and put it on my dresser. I’ve just been feeling so depressed about everything that’s going on. Edouard is from Paris,  so like everyone else, I was pretty sad about the attacks in that city. And then the horrible San Bernadino shooting happened. It’s just sad, everything seems so dark. Making this little Christmas tree with little symbols of peace all over it will do nothing to make anything better, but it just made me feel slightly less hopeless.

OH MY GOD I’M BEING SO DEPRESSING.

Sorry. This stuff just bums me out. Here we are in this totally advanced society where I can basically use my phone to get whatever I need and there’s all these people murdering each other all over the place? To me, regardless of whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is a celebration of birth, and love, and family. So I guess the best we can do when times are as trying as they are right now is to just be thankful for what we have and mindful of the importance of kindness and tolerance.

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I made a tree topper by tracing a famous Pablo Picasso drawing of a bird (which I’ve always loved) onto watercolor paper and inking it in blue.

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The tree is also decorated with frosted gingerbread cookies in the shape of doves. I’ve kind of gone crazy on the cookie front this year. Gingerbread is one of my favorites because it smells good, like, forever.

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These Jaime Derringer for Minted prints aren’t always in my bedroom, but I thought they added a nice modern touch to my otherwise traditional tree.

Bedroom Resources: Wall Color Iron Blue by Ralph Lauren, Vintage Dresser, Jaime Derringer Prints, Vintage Blown Glass Ornaments, Brass “U” Lamps, Selected Pottery is from Ben Medansky.

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I normally have a hate-hate relationship with red. I hate how much I hate it, and then I hate hating myself for hating hating it. Know what I mean? Me neither. Anyway, I decided to add a little merriment to the shelf styling in the guest bedroom by adding a vintage Santa candle I found at a (disgusting) thrift store and some color-coordinated books and objects.

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That little 1950’s Santa candle fills me with joyous rage. HIS LIL’ FACE IS SO CUTE!

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I made this little paper machier daruma doll in grammar school. You’re supposed to fill in one eye when you set your goal, and the other when the goal is achieved. I totally don’t remember what goal I set, so I guess this poor little guy will always just have one eye.

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This is where I’ll sit, probably in like February, months late, and write my holiday cards. My friend Misako designed these lovely snowflake notes, which I’ve been using as thank you cards.

Guest Bedroom Resources: Wall Color Sleigh Bells by Benjamin Moore, Vintage Desk, Desk Chair, Matin Zad Print, Vintage Pinecone Lamp, Snowflake Notecards, Vintage Santa Candle.

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We had a holiday party last weekend and I was stoked at how many people complimented the holiday decor. After weeks of prepping and building and baking and festooning, it felt good to finally share it with everyone. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, and so on to you and yours!

Love,

Orlando

PS: BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Read the rest of my holiday tips n tricks in my Homepolish Holiday series for Homepolish Magazine.

Want more Orcondo? Check out the whole process from the start: Orcondo’s New Place | Let There Be Light | Foundational Elements | Rug Life | Furniture & Accessories | Modern Windows

*Photography by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish | Portrait by Zeke Ruelas

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  1. Orlando, you are a design genius! I loooooove it all!
    Merry Christmas! and Peace on Earth!

  2. Love this!
    But, I always read Orlando’s posts in Billy Eichner’s voice, which makes them even funnier than they already are.

    1. hahah!! i can hear that too.

    2. That’s awesome! I’m gonna do that too from now on!!

  3. It all looks so beautiful! I can tell the pom pom tree process was quite a beating for you, but I honestly think it is one of the most original DIYs I have seen all year. It’s so perfect for that room. A regular tree would have looked miniature with those high ceilings. I also love the peace tree vignette in your bedroom.

    I dislike red too, but somehow half my Christmas stuff is red. I make it work by keeping it in my den (the coziest, most neutral room in my house) while the rest of my house gets all of the blue/green/gold/white/metallic stuff that works with my existing decor. Otherwise you can’t spot any red in my house for the rest of the year, and that is just fine with me!

  4. I love the holiday decor- but did i miss the big Orcondo reveal? Aside from the rug post I think I’m missing the entire post construction reveal. Maybe I’m just not following my blog roll closely enough.

    1. i don’t think there was one…or i missed it too.

    2. It’s coming! Probably early spring! I have to get photos taken once I get all this holiday decor taken down!

  5. I look forward to reading Orlando’s Instagram posts everyday! 🙂

  6. Orlando, I love you so much. Everything about this post is fantastic, but I have to comment on your “I’m so bummed out by everything” take – I feel the same (as do millions of people I’m guessing). One thing I’ve tried to do to keep from getting completely dragged down is to find things to read online that amuse me and put me in a better mood. Your post helped immensely today, so thank you. Truly.

    1. I’m with you, Elise…everything about this post cheered me up and it’s comforting to know so many of us are feeling the same.

  7. “Meta-Tree” is what I thought when I saw the white tree with green, christmas tree ornaments.

  8. Love reading Orlando’s posts! And his Christmas decos are beautiful. If you are reading, Orlando (or if you know, Emily!), where is that wall shelf in your guest bedroom from??? I love it.

    1. It’s an old piece I found at Pottery Barn, not sure if they make it any more. It was actually intended as a closet organizer but I thought it was too pretty to hide in a closet.

  9. Orlando, you know how much I love what you do. Your link On to how I made it on Homepolish just goes right back to the same page. Please, pretty please, fix this so that we can see how much you sweat for this beauty!

    https://www.homepolish.com/mag/making-a-giant-pom-pom-tree

    1. I was having this same struggle, but I realized if you click “View Gallery” at the top it leads to the step by step instructions. They were hilarious and definitely worth reading!

  10. I can’t even decide which, if any, is my favorite which can only mean they all are.
    I’ve missed your posts and hope we’ll see a total reveal in the New Year.
    May you and Edouard have a joyous holiday and may we all see a more sane, peaceful and loving New Year.

  11. Love that bird! You have giraffes and deer on the tree..why not a bird (and it’s a cute and fancy looking bird too!).

    My favorite is your peace tree. What a beautiful reminder and symbolic gesture. We really do need a reminder of peace and love, and you captured that feeling so well! I am definitely going to do the same. Thank you for being you and for sharing your heartfelt inspiration!

  12. Orlando, THIS IS GORGEOUS! ALL OF IT 🙂

  13. Orlando, your writing never ceases to entertain! I love your three VERY different trees. I am so bummed out by my same-old same-old tree this year so I pinned the white and green one to use as inspiration next Christmas!

  14. Loved this post! Orlando’s home is beautiful and he is hilarious. I can see why he is a good friend that is missed. I could totally relate to his riff on projects not turning out quite like your vision, or bringing you the joy in proportion to the effort expended. Glad to hear that the pros have those moments too. But the tree IS a showstopper! I loved the sticker on the gifts idea –brilliant!! and so many cool touches like the vintage Santa (disgusting thrift stores can cough up the best goods) and the wooden box underneath with the upright pillows and throws. The pillows are such a cool touch stored upright. I toss mine in a closet, but that is such a waste of another pop of color. And the traced Picasso bird. . . .I could go on. Thanks for sharing him on the blog! Only suggestion is . . .Orlando, you need to appreciate a touch of red. . . it can be muted and beautiful. .not always like a candy cane! will seek out instagram to follow you. . . .

  15. Orlando (and his Orcondo) forever!! I can never get enough of the inspirational eye candy and your hilarious writing style!

  16. Te ha quedado hermoso, Orlando. Tan, tan lindo.
    Por cierto: Creo que el bureau/dresser de mis padres era igual al tuyo. Verlo debajo del arbolito de tu cuarto me hizo sentir tanta nostalgia…

  17. I love all these pieces! What a gorgeous and modern christmas!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  18. I love all of your Christmas decor! Merry Christmas in your new home!

  19. I swear those project that you always think “well only 30 minutes” take the longest. Perfection ignores time!

    Jess
    http://www.citycomfortsdc.com/the-grind/

  20. This is stunning Orlando! I love these outstanding and original Christmas trees but my favourite is the traditional tree in your bedroom. Putting living greenery on the condo is such a great idea. I am definitely going to do the same in my house.
    http://www.dorisleslieblau.com/blog/

  21. The Christmas tree looks unique and stunning.

    http:://www.bargainarearugs.com

  22. I love all the smaller trees vs. one huge one – definitely an easy way to spread the cheer throughout the house. ALSO that white tree? Total thrift store gold.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent
    http://thekentuckygent.com

  23. I’m so in love with the decorations!

  24. Orlando, you’re Orcondo looks amazing! Your line about the daruma doll had me in stitches. I love your guest posts. I can’t wait for the full reveal.

    Merry Christmas!

  25. Orlando, I love your posts and wish you’d set a place for me at your table (pref. next to Angelica). Your new condo looks amazing, and I’m so happy for you, even though you’re depressed. I get it. Thanks for brightening my afternoon at work with this post. I loved your Christmas post last year, too–one of my faves. You’re the best! XO, Poppy

  26. I feel you on the sadness of the state of the world right now Orlando but I love your little peace tree idea! And your posts always make me laugh…thanks for being a light among the darkness.

  27. Omigosh….am I the only one who noticed the “HEY!” wrapping paper? Amazeballs!

  28. AMAZING. SO creative and gorgeous. JEALOUS of your place! LOVE your wrapping paper collection! Am ordering those gold stickers – GENIUS. And I’ll be laughing about this all day: The stone one is all “I never knew I could love, until I met Wooden Head With Long Neck.”

  29. Orcondo looks SO GOOD. My taste is pretty traditional but you still have me drooling over everything in your house. Job well done and I particularly like your little peace tree. It is a thoughtful touch for your bedroom.

  30. Where is the hanging black and wood shelving unti from?!!!!!!

  31. Your gold tree is SPECTACULAR! It is so original!! I understand that you see the missed perfection of your goal, but it really is truly so unique that you should be so proud of it & your millions of hours spent on its creation.

    I also adore your white w/green tree—soooooo fab!

    Kudos.

    [Wouldn’t dinner with Anjelika be the best?!?]

  32. Yes! With the high (perhaps unrealistic) expectations for the holidays! I’ve been dealing with a lot of that myself–probably related to the fact that I moved from LA less than 2 months ago and the transition has been hard. But I need to stock giving my lovely Christmas tree the stink eye because he really is doing his best.

  33. So so yummy…have a marvelous holiday. Your peace dove tree and the kindness and hope you reveal touched me the most deeply.

    Kindly can you please cite sources for both the white and brass geometric pendants over your dining table as well as the lovely brass double shade table lamps on your sideboard that are mounted on little cubes of marble of white cement?
    Gratitude for all beauty in our lives,
    S

  34. Orlando, you are hilarious and adorable and I loooove you.

  35. I LOVE Orlando’s style. Wow. The combination of sophistication, charm, high-end feel, and livability is just perfect. I want your home!!

  36. Oh my goodness, what a treat! Orlando, you are so fun and funny and your condo and Xmas decor are just stunning. You are a true original and thank you for taking the time to share the process and give us inspiration. PEACE & LOVE.

  37. No comments ever do Orlando posts justice, so thanks again for bringing style, fun, wit, peace and love to the world

  38. So much yay for Orcondo! The guest room shelves are styled ridiculously perfecto. Loving the Santa candle, right up my vintage hoarder alley.

  39. And both your little trees? So beautiful!!!!!!

  40. Orlando- Your space looks drop-dead gorgeous! That gold tree is stunning. I saw it on the Homepolish IG and was swooning. The vintage tree with the green is happy and bright. And the peace tree warms my heart. We have to believe peace is possible. We must never give in to the evil in the world. The Lord bless you and keep you.

  41. Love your peace tree!!! And the sweet sentiments you shared. Merry Christmas!

    Peace on Earth and good will toward all…

  42. I freakin’ LOVE that bird.

  43. I love this! I love the more modern design, especially the bedroom.

  44. The bird topper and cookie ornaments!

  45. Orlando your place looks so festive… love the gold tree & your bird ornament. Nice to hear that I am not the only person who hates red, I am an artist & never use the colour when I paint, I have no red in my wardrobe & certainly pick pink over it for our holiday decor. Your crazy santa candle is pretty fun though. Happy holidays!!

  46. Ok, this is the best Christmas decor ever! I love love love it. I’m jealous I didn’t come up with it!

    http://www.sandrabestdecor.com

  47. Love, love, love Orcondo… exquisite design and great Christmas decor as well. Best wishes!

  48. I love your holiday decor and I love your holiday style!
    I really like the greenery on the console and dresser. Can you tell me what it’s called?

  49. I love the chairs that you settled on for the living room. Do you mind sharing their source? I looked back on the Furniture & Accessories link above and it looks like you changed your mind since that post. I absolutely adore the ones you selected!

  50. Amazing! Every last detail! And you are hilarious.

  51. Orlando, that tree is EVERYTHING! I totally get the let down at the end of a DIY, but you have to know that is the most insanely wonderful, original, clever tree I’ve seen. And it is so perfect in Orcondo! You win all the DIYs. There aren’t words for how much I am looking forward to seeing the big reveal of Orcondo!

    Happy Holidays to you and Edouard (how can there possibly be that many vowels in his name?!). I hope you are making lovely new memories in your gorgeous place 🙂

  52. As always, thoroughly entertaining and full of great ideas!

  53. Orlando…I’ve been following along on Instagram , but it is so nice to see it all in once place. I really like you taste and creativeness.

  54. Wow. Your condo is beautiful. The tree is wonderful. It reminds me of the gold ornaments from the Alessi Shop.

  55. That pom pom tree is the business! And I love the little green and blue ones as well. Hilarious and beautiful as usual!

  56. “Like any normal, red-blooded American male, I set a place for Anjelica Huston at my table.” You’re amazing and so is your place!

  57. Alas Orlando, after countless late nights of really hard work …( been there done that), my favorite trees were the charlie brown feather tree (would love to see THAT one done in pink next year maybe?) and the darling charming peace tree. I

    Isn’t that always the case? At any rate, you took this over the top in a totally cool way.

  58. This is just wonderful Orlando, Heartwarming and Hilarious 🙂 I love your peace tree, it certainly brought me some comfort over the interwebz!

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Check out http://www.jusmodern.com. They have some great furniture.

  59. You may not be in love with the pom pom Christmas tree but serious kudos for the idea and the dedication to try it. Awesome scale for your high ceilings! Love the all green feather tree too. And the santa candle. I also buy old christmas candles from thrift stores. That’s a good one. Thanks so much for sharing your home. Happy holidays.

  60. Birds are AWESOME.

  61. You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends.

  62. Actually high quality content. As a part of discussion about this subject, your contribution is astonished.

  63. I really like the ideas and very interesting to read so much and Please Update and i would love to read more from your site.

  64. Thank you for the informative post. It was thoroughly helpful to me.

  65. The article you have shared here very awesome. I really like and appreciated your work.

  66. What does the art collage over the console in the living room represent?

  67. this post just made my day and it has been weeks since christmas. not only was your decor chic and whimsical all at the same time, you writing just puts me in the best mood. love your posts orlando and so happy to see your condo looking beyond spectacular in style. job well done!

    – jaime

    1. Nice Post..thanks for sharing

  68. how to get ex love back

  69. Loved Orlando’s decorating/therapy post. Like him, I wonder why I get such stunning ideas that take frigging forever. Yes, I have injured myself doing projects, but if mine turned out as jaw droppingly stunning as his, I would weep with happiness. Not cute tears mind you, but really ugly cry.

    Orlando, your goal way back in Daruma days was to become a celebrated designer (I’m guessing here), so paint the other eye in.

  70. I love the holiday decor- but did i miss the big Orcondo reveal? Aside from the rug post I think I’m missing the entire post construction reveal. Maybe I’m just not following my blog roll closely enough.