Article Line Long1

Orcondo: Kitchen & Bathrooms + Shop The Look

Oh hey! I didn’t notice you there. I was busy cutting these gorgeous fresh flowers in my kitchen. As a dedicated Emily reader, you know by now that I spent a great deal of last year renovating a condo with my handsome French boyfriend Edouard. Actually, we didn’t really do anything. Our contractor Octavio did everything. We just came over a lot to make decisions in an attempt to seem relevant. This comes naturally to me, as I’ve been attempting to seem relevant my whole life.

You’ve seen how the living and dining room turned out, but some of my favorite transformations happened in the bathrooms and kitchen. I’d like to take credit for this, but the true hero in all of this is the original disgusting condo, because honestly, you don’t often get before pictures as barf-worthy as these. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is really nothing better than looking at gross before pics right next to glamorous after pics. So,  join me, won’t you, as we explore the amazing contrast between the nasty Orcondo kitchen/bath before pics and the rhinoplasty after pics!



This is REALLY satisfying, right? It’s fun seeing how awful it was before and looking at the after and being like, “THANK GOD I EXIST.” Previously, this kitchen had a dropped ceiling which took out about 12″ of height. When the contractor opened it up to see what was inside, guess what? THE DROPPED CEILING WAS TOTALLY EMPTY AND POINTLESS. I have the feeling it was there because they bought cabinets that were a certain size and they just wanted to save money. The flooring in there was previously cheap garbage granite. Like your mom.

We did everything we could to open up this space. You’ll notice that we opened up the entry about 16″ and pushed the lefthand counter back about 6″ to give more space in the middle. Also, since the ceiling is higher the cabinets have a lot more storage. One of the worst things about me is that I’m terrible at sharing the kitchen. Like if I’m cooking and Edouard comes in, I freak out because I feel claustrophobic, like I’m an infant and he’s a cat who just wants to suck the oxygen out of my lungs. Luckily, I’m feeling slightly less claustrophobic these days since our kitchen is less teeny tiny.


While the kitchen has a totally minimal, monochromatic color scheme, I wanted to add something unexpected. I chose these gorgeous tiles from Fireclay, which create interesting movement without being too trendy or “now” (I wanted something that would look good in 30 years, unlike the old brown tile we took out). The lovely white dishes come from Snowe Home, and I love them (I’m a fan of having all white dishes so everything matches for dinner parties).

In order to appreciate the splendor of the gleaming Fireclay tiles, you gotta get a look at the brown tiles that lived here before:



We kept the same basic layout of the previous kitchen, opting for a full-size range instead of a countertop version. In the previous kitchen, the oven had been wall-mounted, which I love, but that was going to be too expensive for us and went against our goal of optimizing counter space.


We were able to gain a large amount of counter space by removing the wall-mounted oven and microwave and moving the refrigerator all the way to the edge of the kitchen. Our integrated refrigerator is one of my favorite things, because I can pretend it’s just a closet and then open it and pretend to be shocked there’s food inside. I’ve done this trick for guests and it gets me every time. My guests, on the other hand, are like “NEXT!”


I hate microwaves and rarely use them, so I hid mine under the counter in a closet specifically designed for it with a power outlet in the back.


The opening from the kitchen into the living room was previously an awkward size that made it too high to be a bar, so we widened the opening and extended the kitchen counter into the living room 12″ to give enough of an overhang for stools. I’m actually sitting right on one of these stools as I write this, staring at the “closet” that’s secretly the refrigerator.


To keep the kitchen from feeling too sterile, I added in some pottery from Ben Medansky and some wooden dough bowls I found at the flea market.




The master bathroom was previously three separate spaces (a walk-in closet, a sink/vanity area, and a bathtub/toilet closet). This made everything feel too tiny and cramped. The walk-in closet was too small to walk in. The sink area was microscopic. The bathtub took up the whole bath closet. Once we found out none of the walls were structural,  I was like, “BURN. DOWN. EVERYTHING.”


The new space is SO different than the previous one. There is enough room in there for dancing and wiggling your arms, which I always do when I get out of the shower to dry off.


While you’d think we lost some storage space because we removed the walk-in closet, we actually gained usable closet space by adding deep closets around the room.


Speaking of the shower, ours got a parquet treatment with some handmade Fireclay tiles. I added some nooks for shampoo and, since it’s so open to the room, now I’m totally obsessed with making sure I only use these cute blue bottles of shampoo from Baxter of California.


The countertops are white Caesarstone and the vanities are all custom made by my cabinet maker, designed by me. I wanted to make sure there was some wood in there to warm everything up and keep it from feeling too much like a hospital.


Previously, there was a bathtub in the master bathroom, which I’d constantly bang my shins on. Getting in and out of it on a daily basis was kind of annoying, so we redesigned the space to be a simple, walk-in shower.


I found this wild and crazy guy at Rose Bowl. Apparently it’s by a Mexican artist named Mario Lopez Torres. Not AC Slater Mario Lopez, but another guy who’s clearly equally as amazing and has a supes similar name.



The guest bathroom was previously filled with pink tile. I actually liked the color of the pink but because the shower was completely walled off it looked really dark in there. We solved the issue by getting rid of as much of the wall as we could and adding in a large-scale parquet pattern Fireclay tile (are you noticing a trend in my tile choices yet?).


I’m gonna be really honest, I actually changed this mirror out already (check in Instagram feed to see what it looks like now). It’s now a round mirror, which looks MUCH more interesting. The awesome Tom Dixon pendant is still there though. The print you can see reflected in the mirror was a gift from Emily and the dude print above the toilet is this guy author Gore Vidal was obsessed with his whole life. I made that one in grad school.


Before, the vanity was smaller and left an awkward nook to the right. After, I extended the length of the vanity to go all the way to the wall and added a full-length mirror to make windowless room feel bigger (it’s not totally windowless, there is a skylight).


We added a bathtub in the guest bathroom to replace the one we took out of the master bathroom. Just in case a family with small, adorable children moves in here someday and they need a bathtub.


We made sure to add a little under counter storage since we took out the medicine cabinet that was in there before. Since this bathroom is so narrow, I didn’t want anything that stuck into the room. Plus, we were on a budget at this point and all the built in medicine cabinets were too expensive.


All the bathrooms had these weird dropped lighting hoods. I actually liked them in theory, they provided some cool lines and a bit of a mid-century Japanese vibe. But they also made the room feel way smaller and the light they provided made everyone look like a rotting corpse.



The loft bathroom is upstairs next to our TV lounge, where we cuddle and argue about what to watch (Edouard likes murdery/scary shows, I pretty much only like comedies or dramas with 100% female casts). Previously, the bathroom had super weird plastic floors that made me question reality. Are we in an arcade? Is it 1984? HAS THE APOCALYPSE SPRUNG UPON US? AM I A HOLOGRAM?


One of my favorite elements in the loft bathroom is the weird mirror Emily gave me a few years ago. It was a leftover from a “Secrets from a Stylist” episode. I think it’s meant to hang the other way, but that made me think of an old school gravestone, so I hung it upside down like a big ol’ “U.” Why? Because I like “U”!


Someone recently asked me “Hey, Orlando! What kinds of theme parties do you plan on having at Orcondo this year?” And I was like “Am I themey? Why are you asking me this? DO I SEEM LIKE SOMEONE WHO IS INTO THEMES?” I guess the answer is yes, because I def kept with the parquet theme in this AND EVERY bathroom in Orcondo. Much to the annoyance of the tile installer, who really just wanted to install these tiles subway style and call it a day.


Just a reminder that succulents hate living inside and this one died just minutes after this photo was taken, screaming “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME I WAS SO YOUNG!?!” Just kidding I took him back outside. I’m not a monster.


These Jaime Derringer prints really make me happy. Partially because I know Jaime and she’s great, but mostly because they’re just really great abstract pieces of art and they thrill my eyeballs.


And there you have it! The loft bathroom! FYI, I kept all the original toilets that were in the condo before (I don’t think they’re original from the 80s, however, because they’re too low flow to be that old). It wasn’t that I as obsessed with them, I just didn’t have the privilege of having Emily’s toilets post to help me out. Toilets are a hard one. These were fine and inoffensive so I just left well enough alone. And that’s where I’m gonna leave you. With this discussion about toilets. I’m sorry. You deserve better than this.


Photographs by Tessa Neustadt courtesy Homepolish
0 0 votes
Article Rating


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

Yeah this is amazing. Maybe I’m missing it, but is there a source for the simple rug in the kitchen? It is exactly what I need for my own home…

7 years ago

This transformation is amazing! Great job, Orlando!

7 years ago

Orlando, I have started following you on Snapchat and you crack me up! This post did not disappoint! And I LOVED seeing the before & afters. Wow.

7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Aaaah, what’s his username?! I’ve searched high and low on the Internet and couldn’t find it; I CANNOT MISS OUT ON THIS!!!!

7 years ago

mrorlandosoria 🙂

7 years ago
Reply to  Mackenzie

Well I feel silly, haha! Thank you, friend!

7 years ago

Words cant even express how amazing I think your space is Orlando, your kitchen is an inspiration and im freaking out over the black hardware in the bathroom, fantastic job!

7 years ago

What did you use on the floors?

7 years ago

Orlando this whole makeover is AWESOME. I love every bit of what you (or your contractor Octavio) has done. Even the mirror you ended up swapping out. Also, you are hilarious, I enjoyed reading this so much.

7 years ago

When you started this project, I could not imagine the condo ever looking this cool and fresh! I mean, I’m not surprised because of how talented you are, I just couldn’t fathom what it would look like! And hiding the microwave is genius!!!

7 years ago

Where are the bathroom vanity cabinets from?!?!

7 years ago
Reply to  Diana

They’re custom. I designed them and my cabinet maker made them!

7 years ago

LOVE everything and the writing on this post was so so so great.

7 years ago

Incredible transformation! I just love the clear lines and how the white, cool bathrooms are
made warm through natural wood and the black fixtures. What a combination!! You’re very

7 years ago

Had to comment! It is so amazing what you did to these spaces. Your vision rocks my little world!

7 years ago

I’m feeling super obsessed with that U shaped mirror, it looks a little devil-ish to me with the flares at the top, and I say that in the most positive of ways. 🙂

7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

I love the mirror too. It reminds me of a cat’s head silhouette though! And I’m obsessed with cats!

7 years ago

Simply stunning! All of it is a thrill for my eyes!

7 years ago

I think every time you post on Emily’s blog I declare how purely delightful you are, and today is no exception! Delightful!! I read a zillion jillion design blogs and your posts make me laugh out loud every time. And all the heart eyes for your space. Beautiful work as always!

7 years ago

Incredible transformation! Love the bathroom faucets so much. I recently ordered the same Brizo faucet for our powder room – nice to see them in action since we don’t have it yet! Where on earth did you find those sleek black soap dispensers? I’ve been looking everywhere…

7 years ago
Reply to  Adriana

These were from CB2, not sure if they’re in stock right now…

7 years ago
Reply to  Orlando

Thanks so much, Orlando. Just called my local CB2 and was able to order 2 of them! (Love that they’re rubber coated b/c I have a kid and soap dispensers always end up on the floor.)

7 years ago

What a beautiful space and fun read. Thanks so much for sharing. Will you talk a bit about your hardwood in the kitchen – what type/width of wood and did you use a stain?

7 years ago
Reply to  Katie

It’s an engineered hardwood called Royal Oak Collection. The color is Canewood. Here’s a link:

It’s a gorgeous color in person. I’m not a fan of the “hand scraping” but the finish is so matte you can barely tell.

7 years ago

Gorgeous and delightful! The rooms are pretty great too 🙂

7 years ago

Stop. This is too gorgeous for words. Also your writing is too hilarious.

7 years ago

I was so impressed with your art choices in your living room and dining room. The art is wonderful even in your kitchen and bathrooms! Those pottery pieces and the woven tiger stool are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

7 years ago

I absolutely cherish reading Orlando’s posts. They make me smirk and giggle and feel happy inside… ALL THE FEELS. But this one really struck a cord because our new condo has a similar layout/overall issues and this is going to get bookmarked for when we upgrade. ♥ LOVE!

7 years ago

Gorgeous! I am confused about the faucets in the kitchen sink though… it may be a result of my insomnia but it looks like 2-3 separate faucets. Am I losing my mind?

7 years ago
Reply to  Sheri

Good eye! I actually originally used a beautiful faucet from Delta but found out too late it didn’t have matching accessories (soap dispenser, water dispenser) so I swapped them all out for Waterstone brass fixtures.

7 years ago

This is amazing.

7 years ago

It all looks so good. That kitchen!

7 years ago

Was the mirror in your master custom made also? That is amazing, I’ve been trying to find something similar, warm wood, simple lines. large, storage. I thought it didn’t exist! If you do have a resource please share, my master bathroom will thank you.

7 years ago
Reply to  amber

Hi Maria! I actually designed the mirror myself using two Robern electrified medicine cabinets, framed in solid wood. You can find the cabinets here:!4215!3!100437840079!!!g!174892159519!

The design of the frame for them was pretty simple and added so much warmth.

7 years ago

Love the blue/white abstract artwork adjacent the kitchen. Can you please tell me where you got it? Thanks!!

7 years ago
Reply to  MARIA

It’s actually an old Matisse print my parents had in their storage and I stole it and had it framed by!

7 years ago

I’m obsessed with your Orcondo…can’t take my eyes off the pix! Those parquet tiles and custom cabinets have me swaying. And the kitchen, I’m speechless!

7 years ago

That besutiful vintage mirror in the loft bathroom looks like a shield to me. The white tile knight’s shield of beauty.

7 years ago

Would you be willing to share your cabinet maker?
I have design plans all ready to go from Homepolish but haven’t been able to find a reliable cabinet maker/contractor that is willing to renovate a small space in LA.

7 years ago

He. is. hilarious. Does he need any new friends?

7 years ago

SO good! Love the consistency throughout the bathrooms. Where is the vanity hardware from?

7 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

They were custom made 🙂

7 years ago

Love this post and your voice. Thanks for being you.

7 years ago

Love all of it! Your writing is entertaining is always. Also, thank you for keeping it real about succulents (and not sentencing yours to early death).

7 years ago

Like your mom. I am at work- and spit water out my nose.

7 years ago

Gorgeous, as always! Please never stop making your mom jokes.

7 years ago

Love Love Love! Where did the kitchen stools come from?

7 years ago
Reply to  James
7 years ago

Please Orlando, make over something else disgusting so we can enjoy another post! Love everything you did. And your witty writing.

Maybe you could do a theme party and photo that? I’d read that post….

7 years ago

As usually…. LOVED this post from Orlando. The Orcondo looks AMAZING!

7 years ago

So who’s the guy in the picture? Guy Vidal’s interest? Howard Austen???

7 years ago

Such great timing as I’m renovating a condo with similar style issues. Love the tile. What white did you use from Fireclay? There are a few!

7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

White Wash 🙂

7 years ago

I saw his feature on FireClay Blog and fell in love! He has such a great eye! Bravo!

7 years ago

incredible job! this is perfect inspiration for my long overdue kitchen reno. quick q – love the hood vent that you have over the stove. was that custom or is there a certain maker of that style? thank you!

7 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

It’s by a company called Best:

You can buy them in the US here:

7 years ago

I love every single thing you did! It’s gorgeous. And I love you. You are hi-lar-i-ous! If this post were 100 pages long I would read it and enjoy every minute.

7 years ago

Can I just ask, WHY WITH THE DROPPED CEILINGS?? Why was it ever considered beautiful to loose space? Thank god for you for saving this condo from itself.

7 years ago

We put the same range in our kitchen – love it. And instead of a microwave – which I also hate- we did a microdrawer. ? can we all get together and ban visible microwaves ?

7 years ago
Reply to  Carly Waters

Ooh microdrawers! How have I not seen these before, what a good idea!

7 years ago

Thanks Orlando: gorgeous reno and hilarious writing; is there any better combo?
I remember reading your posts when you were in not such a great space and I’m so pleased that you’ve found happiness with Edouard and Orcondo. Gives me hope.

Chaya jain
7 years ago
Kate Lim
7 years ago

Orlando, the U mirror always reminds me of a a cheeky tongue..think albert einstein cheeky tongue picture…XD it’s very you BTW.

And I die every time you guys posted links to the beautiful beautiful items but I can’t buy them from Singapore…I die every.single.time. T.T

7 years ago

What are the countertops?

7 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Where are the kitchen countertops from? They look awesome!

7 years ago

Love your work.

Love your HUMOR. Every time. I literally find myself thinking about your text later (like in the car), cracking up. (“Hey there, I didn’t see you. I was in my kitchen cutting up gorgeous flowers.”)

This Bible-totin’ Midwesterner loves you and always will.