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