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Emily Henderson

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by Orlando Soria
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A question I’ve been getting quite a bit since my HGTV show Unspouse My House was announced is, “How did this come about?” So I thought I’d take a minute and write down how I got here, how the show came into being, and give you some behind-the-scenes goss on what goes into making a TV show. Because we’re creatives that live in LA, Emily and I have been surrounded by “Hollywood” types since before we were on Secrets from a Stylist (which I just found out you can still watch on the HGTV app). It’s kind of hard to escape “The Industry” when you live in this town. And there are a lot of misconceptions about it. I think one of the most common misconceptions is that people in Hollywood are somehow “elites” handed things on silver platters. None of the people I know who have created or starred in successful shows/movies got there without a lot of sacrifice, years of financial struggle, and a ton of worrying and anxiety that they might never get there.

The origin story of “Unspouse My House” started in 2015, when a random lady from the internet (named Jen Rettig) found me on Instagram and DM’d me about working on show ideas together. We met and began working on show concepts back then, but none of them got as fully fleshed out as Unspouse My House. We had some crazy ass ideas. One of them was called “Dear Design Disaster” and was basically a parody show of every design show out there. Just a totally insane version of a design show. That idea never really took off, but a few years later I started doing Insta Stories and that brought in a lot of attention from producers and production companies, who are constantly on the hunt for “talent” to create shows with. At this point, my agent chose a production company from the dozens that had reached out and Jen and I started working with 51 Minds (best known for producing “Below Deck” and a bunch of other fun reality shows).

Jen and I began meeting with 51 Minds to flesh out show ideas and eventually as a group, we came up with a concept for Unspouse My House, a show that’s actually pretty easy to summarize. This is how I generally explain my show: “Every week, I take someone who’s been recently dumped and I give them a home makeover to help them heal.” An even more efficient summary is “It’s basically ‘Revenge Body’ for the home.” In all honesty, I’ve never actually seen “Revenge Body,” but I imagine that it’s about giving yourself a body makeover to regain confidence and reboot your life, which is exactly what we’re doing except with houses.

Once we’d settled on a general concept for a show we wanted to move forward with, the process of creating the show went like this:

  1. August 2018, create a sizzle reel (3 minute “preview” of the show consisting of footage we shot for the sole purpose of selling the show).
  2. September 2018, 51 Minds shops sizzle around to production company.
  3. September 2018, HGTV bites, wants to move forward with pilot (test) episode.
  4. November 2018, HGTV views pilot, decides right away to move forward with series.
  5. March-May 2019, show goes into production.
  6. June 2019, show gets released.

That is a super streamlined summary of what happened, but I didn’t want to bore you with too many details. Basically, HGTV was enthusiastic about our show from the beginning and pushed it forward as quickly as possible at every step along the way. We completed the pilot in October, had a green light from HGTV by November, and spent the next few months preparing for the show and casting our homeowners (an outside team of genius detectives finds the homeowners and I have no idea how they find them to be honest). We shot the show over the course of about four months, which was a really challenging, exhilarating time for me. And then the show was finally released last Thursday (Side note: we got great viewership numbers! So hopefully that’s a good sign!).

So, there you have it! The whole story of how my show came about! The End!

JUST KIDDING THERE IS TOTALLY A WAY LONGER BACKSTORY HERE.

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The original concept for the show came directly out of something that happened in my own life and my desire to take that experience and turn it into something positive.

This story really begins at Orcondo (pictured above, read more about it here and here and here). Orcondo was a home I shared with my ex that I spent a long time renovating and decorating. Doing so was a dream come true and something I’d wanted to do for a long time. It was the first time that I’d really had myself as client for a renovation project (my ex kinda gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted). And it was really fun. Not only because it was creatively really fulfilling, but also because the space itself represented a life we were creating together. I had a (false) feeling that I’d found my person and that we were going to be together moving forward. It felt like a very secure relationship.

So when my ex dumped me, it came as a shock. There hadn’t been many signs before that. It was a painful experience for obvious reasons, missing him, our relationship, having a companion. But it was also a painful experience because it was similar in many ways to the breakup I’d experienced in the previous relationship I’d been in. I felt like I was entering into this pattern of seeking out people who would eventually hurt me, an endless cycle of making myself vulnerable only to have my vulnerability delivered back to me in a trash bag.

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When I left Orcondo and moved into Chateaulando (my West Hollywood apartment, pictured above), I was at an odd crossroads in my life. I turned 35 that year, and while I’ve never been one to be hyper-concerned with age (I’m rebelling against the very LA idea that youth is somehow inherently “better”), turning that age was really hard for me. Not because I felt old (I don’t really believe in that) but because I felt like I’d entered full adulthood. When you’re in your early thirties, it’s kind of like being in your twenties. You’re still kinda like “oh I was just 28 a few years ago!” But when you’re 35 you kinda start to feel like “Wow, I’m fully an adult.” And quite honestly I was pretty disappointed at how adult life had turned out.

I’ve been an overachiever since high school, when I went to school in a rural, very conservative town that wasn’t necessarily the most welcoming place for gay people (or any minorities for that matter). Going to high school was a cultural shock, and I kinda realized that if I wanted to get as far away from this place as possible, I’d have to do well academically. So when I was 14, I started working really hard in school, joining every school club I could and getting all As. I even worked (kids were allowed to start working at 14 where I was raised). So I’ve been working very hard to do well and to be a success since I was a kid, jumping through whatever hoops I had to jump through to get good grades, work, do the summer internships (I had four in college), and the extra credit that’s supposed to lead to a happy, successful life. I ended up gathering four Ivy League degrees and countless honors and awards by the time I’d made it back to the West Coast. And I’m not just saying this to brag, I’m mostly saying it to emphasize the fact that my entire life has been about working hard and striving.

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But somehow, even with all this experience and education under my belt, I couldn’t get a job at a bakery (or any random job) to save my life. My twenties had been mostly worrying about money and what job I’d have next (eventually my production/set design work led to a job on Emily’s show, which was the job that finally turned my employment luck around). Right after my ex-boyfriend dumped me, the startup I was working for laid me off (they’ve since laid off most of the employees I worked there with, so I was just the tip of the iceberg apparently). This is less of a complaint and more so just to explain what a dark place I was in the year after my breakup. I had to write a book (I was on deadline), figure out how to make a huge salary (my living expenses had been based on a pretty high income), and figure out how to heal emotionally.

Furthermore, I was at a crossroads with how I felt about human connection and relationships. Feeling incredibly lonely in the fact that you never really can know what’s going on in someone else’s head, that you never really know if a relationship is permanent or not, that at the end of the day we’re kind of alone in our own thoughts, trying our best to connect ourselves to the people around us. Clearly, I was having an existential crisis. And to be honest it had little to do with the actual person my ex was. He’s oddly replaceable in this story. It wasn’t that I was so sad about him particularly, though I did miss him and the little world we’d created together, the love I had for him. It was mostly that him dumping me made me question everything I’d grown up thinking was a given. That I’d grow up, meet someone, create a family, and we’d build a history together. That hard work was rewarded, that doing all the “things you’re supposed to do” would lead to an at least moderately comfortable life.

I’m not bringing this up to complain, but mostly just to emphasize to people feeling the same way that they’re not alone. It can be really hard, even if you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, to make your career work, to make ends meet. My heart goes out to anyone who is currently struggling with that because I have been there so many times. And my heart also goes out to people dealing with the emotional aftermath of a breakup, which is why I decided to make a show about it.

Don’t give up! This is where the story stops being depressing! It was during my post-breakup, layoff transition that I spent a lot of time trying to set up my new apartment. I’d left most of the furniture I’d selected at Orcondo, so I was moving into an empty space with basically no furniture. I had intentionally chosen an apartment that was much different than Orcondo, which I’d renovated to be organic and minimal (a look I still love). I wanted to try out a new style with my place, so I chose a beautiful two bedroom apartment in a French Chateau-style building on a tree-lined street in West Hollywood (note: I made this semi-stupid and expensive decision before I was blind sighted by being laid off).

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Every room in the apartment got a massive makeover, including the kitchen (you can read that slightly harrowing story here). While I was sad to be off on my own and feeling intensely lonely, I started to notice that the process of choosing furnishings, doing small renovations, and making the space my own was a good distraction from the sadness I was feeling about my breakup and about life in general. While my mind was feeling stuck wondering where things went wrong with my ex, working on my new place had me thinking about the future.

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One of the benefits of interior design, especially during a sad time in your life, is that it grabs your brain, yanks it out of the past, and asks it to think about the future. What will I do in this space? Who will join me here? What will I need to make this space look beautiful and considered? Notice all the questions you’d ask yourself while designing a space are in the future tense. This forward thinking is so beneficial to someone trying to keep their brain from fixating on something painful.

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Another benefit of interior design for someone going through a breakup is that it’s a time where you can be totally selfish, to imprint your identity and only your identity onto your home. Designing for couples always involves so sort of compromise. I’ve never worked with a couple whose taste was fully in alignment. There are always things that one member of the couple likes that the other hates. Which is why it can be so liberating to design post-breakup. Not only are you free from the constricting desires of a partner, you’re also in a discovery zone. This is perfect to try out something you might never have tried had your ex still been around. For me, this was painting my bedroom ballet pink.

I LOVED my pink bedroom (and I kinda regret painting it aqua a year later). There were a number of reasons I painted pink, not least of which I wanted to scare away any guy who might be too insecure in his masculinity to handle dating a man with a ballet pink bedroom. But practically speaking, from a design standpoint, it’s just a really wonderful warm color for a bedroom (especially one like mine that gets a lot of natural light).

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Another thing I did post-breakup was to make sure I had a beautiful guest bedroom. I did this because I wanted to make sure I had a space for people from out of town to stay. I think it’s important when you’re going through a breakup to spend time with the people who matter to you. You need your support system around you.

Designing Chateaulando brought me so many lessons. Firstly, it was an opportunity to design a new style of space. I’d done mid-century, I’d done modern minimalism, and this was an opportunity to do something that looked more like a Parisian flat with some rustic and deco elements. Second, and more importantly, it taught me the therapeutic power of interior design (and yes, I know how cheesy and self-helpy that sounds). Your surroundings have a huge impact on the way you feel about your life. Having a beautiful home can help make you feel more enthusiastic about your life.

Interior design is also a way of showing care for yourself and the people in your life. Taking care to make your home beautiful is a way of expressing self-care, doing something for yourself to proactively make your life more beautiful. It sounds superficial, but it’s a way of taking the reigns in your own life, of making active changes to make it better.

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The post-breakup journey I went on became the basis of Unspouse My House. As I’ve done with my social media, I wanted to take my experience and figure out how I could use it to help other people. The show came from a simple desire to do something nice for people, to take an experience (designing my own place) that helped me get over my breakup and pay it forward to other people. And it’s been amazing to see how it has panned out. Every week, we meet someone at a different point in their healing process (we have breakups as long as eight years ago, some as fresh as six months). And it’s so satisfying to see how much the concept of the show—using interior design to heal from heartache—really works. The homeowners on our show go through amazing transformations that mirror what’s going on in their homes and it’s really amazing and inspirational to see. Freeing their homes from remnants of their past relationships helps set them on a much quicker path to recovery.

The reason I’ve been so open about my breakup and other hardships I’ve faced in my life is that I think we do each other a disservice when all we share about our lives is the good stuff. I believe in being positive, but there’s something kinda gross going on with social media these days. It feels like all anyone shares are their successes, all the happy stuff that goes on in their lives. While I love seeing good things happening to good people, I think over time having all this “MY LIFE IS PERFECT” content shoved into your face on a daily basis can start to make people feel like their lives such in comparison, that somehow they’re not measuring up.

What I’m trying to do with Unspouse My House is the same thing I’ve tried to do with my social media. I’m trying to show a less-than-perfect version of life and how to make the best of it. The show itself is really fun and funny, and we did that on purpose. The point isn’t to bum you out about someone’s breakup. The point is to empower people, to show them how they can get their lives back and be happy. It’s a very feel-good show, essentially you’re just watching me do nice stuff for someone who needs it and watching their emotional state change, going from heartbroken to joyful.

The past few years have been a roller

While having my own TV show comes with a considerable amount of fear (Will people like it? Will they like me? Will it get canceled?), what I am feeling now that it’s out is mostly gratitude. Gratitude for all the people who expressed support for it, gratitude for the incredibly rare opportunity to head up a project like this, and most importantly gratitude that I was able to take one of my least favorite life experiences and turn it into one of my favorites.

Unspouse My House airs Thursdays at 9:30 on HGTV and the HGTV app (you can also access through Amazon, Google Play and Vudu if you don’t have cable). The first episode is available to stream for free (no login required) on HGTV!

  1. Wow I’ve never read anything more transparent and articulate to my own life. Thank you so much Orlando – I cannot wait to watch your show!!

  2. Orlando you went through your breakup the same time as me (it was a under terrible circumstances and the most harrowing experience of my life) and I just want to say how much it meant to me at the time to have your honesty and vulnerability so generously shared. I certainly felt less hopelessly alone – and you even made me laugh (as always). I’m so glad with how things have turned around for you. Your talent, and determined effort to move onwards and upwards, are paying off xxx

  3. <3 Orlando, thank you, this helps so much!
    :-* Ivana

  4. I loved the first episode and I’m so happy for you! I also enjoyed reading your more serious and contemplative writing in this post.

  5. I so enjoy Unspouse My House! Looking forward to more renos. I thought Orlando was thoughtful and considerate while still being playful and creative with the homeowner. More please!

  6. I loved this article! So real. Amazing.

  7. 🥰🥰🥰🥰. Hearts, all hearts for you Orlando. 😍😍😍🥰🥰🥰🥰😊. Keep doing this.

  8. If this post was intended to plug Orlando’s show – he lost me with TMI.

    1. Well, that makes one of us. Sorry you’re so insensitive, I hope your week goes better than this.

    2. This lady is just trolling us. Everyone loves Orlando, or at the very least respects the openness with which he shares.

    3. Ohhh I’ll bet you recently DUMPED someone heartlessly!!! Why else would Orlando’s beautifully written post set you off enough to write a nasty comment!
      We’ve got a dumper here folks!

    4. TMI is what makes this site so great tbh.

    5. Omg do you even go here, Becky?!

      1. ^^^ THIS, LOL.

  9. I’ve loved everything you’ve done for years now Orlando and I feel like I’ve been on this journey with you since I cried with you on Christmas morning when you wrote about your break up. Your honesty and transparency is so refreshing and I wish you every good wish for all the success with your tv show.
    Now if someone can please tell me how I can watch your show in Australia…. HGTV app doesn’t work here, it’s not on our version of Amazon Prime….. anyone?

    1. Same, I’d LOVE to watch this but I’m in Ireland

    2. Look into VPNs. They can spoof or cloak your location so that you can access content from other markets. Or don’t, it might not be within the T&Cs of your phone/smarttv. Or do, because we shouldn’t care so much about geography in a connected world when dealing with digital content.

  10. Thank you Orlando. This post is probably the most honest thing I’ve read in ages–and man it is hitting home for me.

    I’ve been reading along, following your journey for the last couple of years and eagerly watched the first episode of Unspouse My House via On Demand a couple of days ago. You were great! I’m so happy to see things working out so well for you. Kudos!

  11. Orlando you have such a great way of being vulnerable and transparent in your writing. I have been following you on insta and your blog since your breakup and I was amazed how open you were. It is very noble of you that you want your journey to inspire and help others! I am hoping I have time tonight, in between watching my sick toddler, to watch your show!

  12. Wow, this whole process spoke so much to me. When I was going through my divorce, I bought a run-down house with the express purpose of fixing it up and living in it, because I knew I needed to plant roots somewhere to give me a sense of permanency, and I knew I needed a big project to work on to give me something positive to occupy myself with. Two years in and I’m not yet finished with the house, because working a non-design day job and parenting a 5 year old don’t leave as much free time as I’d like, but I am SO SO happy with not only my house, but I’ve never been happier with my adult life. And I think a big part of that is because so much of the labor came from me — I made myself happy and nobody can ever take away the lessons I have learned. _I_did the work, _I_ bought the house, it was _my_friends that helped me and surrounded me with love during the process…and everything that came out of that belongs to me.

  13. Oh Orlando! I’ve been a big fan of your work and blog for a while now and I was SO excited when I saw the add for the show on HGTV Canada. I’m super happy for you and what a catharsistic experience for you and the people on the show, in my opinion. Great concept! Long live Unspouse My House!

  14. Love you, Orlando! I am recently divorced and the first thing I did was “unspouse my house”. It’s been a fun distraction, but I need to do more when I have the budget. I love your show, your honesty and humor, and of course your designs! Thanks for sharing and making the rest of us feel like we’re not alone. Keep on keeping on!!!!!

  15. I love this and needed to hear ‘to people feeling the same way that they’re not alone.’ Orlando you’re awesome.

  16. wow. thanks for sharing all of that — and, for emphasizing that design and space MATTER.
    Also, I love your new show!

  17. Loved the first episode of your show, love how your style has evolved/changed throughout each space you’ve lived in, and loved this post. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable!! Can’t wait to see the rest of your journey, and the rest of this season of your show!!

  18. Every time I see an Orlando post I get ridiculously excited and this time was no exception – I can’t wait to check out the show! While I always love Orlando’s sense of humor, it’s also lovely to see this more vulnerable, deeper side. We’re the same age and I only wish he could come to NY so we could be buds. 🙂 Also, the pink room is BLUE now?? I feel like that lede was a little buried! I loved that pink but am dying to see the blue!!

  19. Orlando, you’re an awesome human being! Your sharing and vulnerability are touching and helpful in so many way. I can’t wait to stream your show after I put my kids to bed tonight! and how did I completely miss your kitchen floor tile before this post??

  20. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing; it is a beautiful story.

  21. Loved how honest your post is and all the behind story to getting your show. I literally read your post and then immediately watched the first episode. It was great! I can’t wait to see more!

  22. Thank you for sharing not only your truth but your humanity as well. I appreciate and identify with working so hard to get somewhere and not having it arrive yet seeing so many others, via social media, living the life you wanted as you walk forward trying to create a new story for yourself. It can feel heartbreaking and very isolating. Best wishes to you as your own journey continues.

  23. <3 Orlando, thank you, this helps so much!
    :-* Ivana

    https://limoo.org/app

  24. Love Orlando!! Thank you for your honesty always…and making me laugh when I watch your stories!

  25. Beautifully said. Congratulations on your new show. Will look for it.

  26. This is my first comment! Your article was written SO well and I have enjoyed all your posts through your transitions – Especially your parents’ house redesign. This piece was stunning and framed your show premise so well. Congrats and looking forward to seeing it.

  27. LOVE LOVE LOVE ORLANDO – there are so many wonderful things about you, funny, talented, artistic, handsome but it’s your heart I love the most.

  28. Bravo to you for being so great at being you.
    Beautiful ,honest,brave ,real and vulnerable.
    Such a gift you shared with us.
    Thank you.

  29. Congratulations Orlando, you’re a genious!

  30. Orlando,
    This is a brilliant and truthful and valuable story. It’s strange, but true, that the more authentic we are the more our work resonates with other people. Remaking an environment makes sense, and what you say conveys the depth that environment has on our identify and psyche. The discomfort of one’s life and transitions: I hear you.
    Maybe that’s part of why your rooms are so beautiful, they come from a real place.
    Thank you.

  31. Thanks for sharing your new perspective! I need to go watch your show asap!

  32. Wow I loved reading this! Orlando has such a great writing voice, and he’s really good at articulating the importance of design in our everyday lives/psyche. I’m not an HGTV person but I really want to watch this show!

  33. I’ve always loved Orlando’s posts, and as for the TMI comment: I feel he carefully chose what to share and did so beautifully. Can’t wait to see the show–tonight!

  34. This is a genius concept! One question – must you be dumped to be eligible for the show? I’m asking because sometimes you have to do the dumping yourself, even though you feel like you’ve been dumped long ago and the other person is just too chicken shit to say it out loud. Hard either way!

  35. I recently turned 35 and I felt the same exact way you did. I started working out, joined a pilates class, going to counseling, and focusing more on myself. I’m married and have two kids, but what you said can relate to anyone I think. I haven’t been through a breakup, but life has been very difficult and my house shows that. My husband and I are about to remodel our house and hopefully this will be the fresh start we need.

  36. This is one of my favorite posts! Thank you for sharing your story, Orlando. The timing couldn’t have been better. I am recently divorced and am in the process of fully renovating my home. The healing you experienced by redesigning your space mirrors my experience. I’ve never commented on here before but wanted you to know what a beautiful piece this was.

  37. Orlando it is SO great to see you on TV again! You’re the best! Good luck with the show!

  38. This is so relatable. Thank you for your honesty and your beautiful voice.

  39. Orlando, keep writing from the heart. You have captured aspects of what I’m going through right now and I feel the same: that decorating, envisioning, and being creative with a new space to call your own is incredibly therapeutic. Thank you again!

  40. This is gorgeously written. You are a treasure and we appreciate your candor and openness. Love the new show and appreciate it even more after following you through the years of hard times.

  41. Wow, so much to comment on here. I’m a SoCal native, so I’m used to all the weird stereotypes people have in their heads about living here. Sure, I know people in “The Industry,” but they’re technical people or, like one of my childhood friend’s dad, a grip (we lived 3 blocks south of the Thalberg Building at MGM). And it is an industry. It’s a business and an economic engine for the region.

    Secondly, I loved what you did with your apartment kitchen. And I have a ballet pink bedroom! Slightly paler than yours was, but it’s a west-facing room, and it glows so beautifully, and the pink doesn’t hit you over the head. Dark wood furniture looks GORGeous against pink, too.

    Thirdly, I loved the first episode of your show. I’m putting it on my dvr schedule!

    1. Heh, meant mention that Linda Gray (Suellen on “Dallas”) grew up down the block from me. But I just knew her as bratty Joey Gray’s big sister. 🙂

  42. What a great “lemons to lemonade” story!

  43. I wish you well! It’s an uplifting story- thanks for sharing and for using your experience to help others.

  44. I <3 Orlando. You are so awesome: you're a fabulous designer and you're an even more fabulous human. You show that life doesn't have to be perfect to be awesome and fun and funny. <3<3<3

  45. Dear Orlando, I have always loved your posts on EHD, but this one has touched me the most. Although I am a straight woman ten years older than you from the other end of the world (Central-Europe) I know exactly what you talk about. When I turned 31 I was dumped in a pretty brutal way that broke me and my life into smithereens. It took me a good three years to fully recover – it actually included a year to the US that revamped my career and made me like myself and other people again. But what finally helped me get out of the depressive black hole I crawled back into was decorating, renovating and finally opening my new apartment (the first apartment I owned on my own) with friends, to friends and family. Interior design is a saving grace, thinking about your place is really a game-changer, just as you wrote, turning your gaze from the past to the future. I wish you luck and success with your show, and can’t wait to hear how you’re doing. Many hugs from across the Globe, Veronika

  46. I LOVE your show! I just watched the first episode yesterday and love it and YOU of course!

  47. Great post, loved the first episode! You are so talented and hilarious!

  48. Love you Orlando! Watched the first episode (premiered last night here in Canada). It was great! Hope you succeed and keep sharing your wonderful self with us.

  49. YASSS. I got divorced last year at 32. I bought my home with my ex, but I owned it. PRAISE be. It made my divorce so dam easy, ( financially that is). My home is my refuge. My ex made me a bed frame for my bday years ago. My mom bought me a new bed frame, it is ALL me, not my ex-husband. Who left me for another woman after my miscarriage. There was a lot of pain in those walls. Lot’s of tears too.

    The first year of my separation was so painful. I couldn’t imagine loving again. Or not crying every day. But now my home is all mine. The walls. My new bed. And the frame TV that I did not need but makes me so fucking happy is my joy. I just wallpapered my stairs last weekend. They are bat shit crazy and beautiful and I asked no one else if they liked them.

    This summer I planted my summer garden again with only veggies I want. I ate my first tomato yesterday. Fuck yes to this show. I wish I could have seen it when I in the deep end of my pain. Thank you.

  50. Thank you Orlando! You are hitting the nail on the head on so many levels in this post – not only in that beautiful spaces heal our souls. I have followed you since just before the “breakup” and have witnessed the pain and challenges you have shared. Thanks for all of that too. Big hugs to you and many many more uplifting successes.

  51. Congratulations Orlando! Loved the show and your post. Hoping that from here on your love life becomes just as successful as your career! Can’t wait for the next episode.

  52. (note: I made this semi-stupid and expensive decision before I was blind sighted by being laid off).

    I think you may mean blindsided.

  53. I haven’t had a chance to see the show yet but it’s on my list for my limited TV time. Orlando, your vulnerability and humour in your Instagram Stories make them one of the best things on the internet, so I expect the show will be one of the best things on TV. I wish you all sorts of happiness, with the show and with life in general.

    This fragment near the end of the post looks like it had more insightful thoughtfulness that got cut or something:
    “The past few years have been a roller”

  54. Orlando,
    I am so sorry for all the pain you have endured in your life. I know it’s not fair. You played by the rules and still got hurt.
    Why does that happen? I think it must be so that you, and all of us, use the pain to create the selves we were always meant to be. Your sorrow has honed you and shaped you and your words touch everyone who reads them.
    Keep on keeping it real. That, along with your tremendous talent, serves the world.

  55. Thanks Orlando for connecting! I’ve always loved following you for your honesty and humor. I get excited every time I see you back “home” at EHD! Best of luck for your show 🙂

  56. I started watching you when you shared Orcondo … so sorry to hear about your relationship disaster (he didn’t deserve your cool furniture you left behind). I next dialed in while you were hiding out at Ormomdo trying to finish your book. As I recall, mom made you fabulous salmon dinners.
    Now you’re on top showing the dumpers of the world where to get off while you go on to live your best life. Go Orlando go!

  57. Orlando and Em,

    I believe in the “therapeutic power of interior design.” My husband is in Cardiac Intensive Care. The other morning, before I left to spend the day and part of night with him, I changed out an area rug for a better one and moved the furniture. I can’t control a lot these days but when I came home, I was at peace in my new surroundings. When my husband finally comes home, I know he will smile.
    I love what you do, dear Orlando.

  58. Dearest Orlando, I just watched the show and liked it a lot. Instead of embarrassing you with my declarations of undying love, I thought I’d just comment on the show.
    1. I wish it were longer! There were so many design details that weren’t pointed out or discussed. For example, I went back a few times trying to catch a better glimpse of the two dining chairs at the pedestal table. Those chairs <3
    2. You didn't change the flooring in the house, but with the brighter countertops and brighter everything the floor ended up looking a million times better–the floor looked more luxe though you didn't change it at all.
    3. I like how you changed the bar. To me the result looked less like a bar, more multi-purpose. If your client wants to put her barware away at some point, she can easily do that.
    4. My fave moments–when you stuck you whole head in the hole. When you said, "…that's just un-American!" When the little girl was on the bar stool, singing, "…Sitting up high!"
    Congratulations and keep up the good work!! Love ya, mean it!

  59. Love your posts Orlando, and your honesty :).

    Also, I just watched the first episode of your show and it’s absolutely fantastic (that kitchen is kinda my dream kitchen btw), so happy to hear things are working out for you.

    For anyone else who’s also in Australia, this link worked for me (it crashed a few times so had to reload and refresh)
    https://watch.hgtv.com/tv-shows/unspouse-my-house/

    Hopefully, we’ll be able to watch the next episodes!!

    Lara

  60. Thanks for telling us your story! That can be difficult. Look forward to seeing your show, and appreciate you telling us where we can catch epidode’s of Emily’s! 🙂

  61. What everyone else said! I’m so happy for you Orlando! I also love your design aesthetic. xoxoxox!

  62. Orlando – thank you for always being so real with us and letting us be a part of your journey! I can definitely relate to quite a bit of it. Loved watching the new show and so happy it did well!

  63. Thank you Orlanfo for your honesty! Can I watch on the app from Australia?

  64. Love you, LOVE the show and I’m so happy for you.

  65. Paint your bedroom pink again pretty please!!

  66. Well said in all aspects! Thank you for sharing all of it and best wishes!

  67. Love this post Orlando. I can’t wait to watch more of your show! And thank you for putting yourself out there. Please lmk if you ever need hardware for yourself or your show. Also, where is that coffee table from in the first image?

  68. Orlando – you are really on to something here – such a great idea! I just realized last month that I had subconsciously done this over the last four years (after my husband of 22 years abandoned ship for an epic mid-life crisis). I realized that there were hardly any furnishings, rugs, decor in our home that were there from before he left and it made me so happy and proud. There is a sense of accomplishment and happiness and peace that I have made the home mine and that I made it better and that I did it all by myself. I love this post (your humor and honesty) and I’m sure the show will be an amazing success!

  69. Orlando, you have such a gift for design, and you are such a gift to this world. I’m going through a hard time right now and this was so validating to read. Thanks for opening up to us and for us. I can’t WAIT to watch the show!

  70. Thank you so much Orlando for sharing this and yourself in your new show! I loved the first episode SOSOSOmuch and will be buying the whole season. Also, sharing your story is truly helpful to all, I can really relate to the career struggles/belief that working hard will get you a comfortable life and am going through a similar existential crisis in that sense. It’s profoundly helpful to hear I’m not the only one, so I send you lots of gratitude and love. Keep doing what you’re doing!!!

  71. I saw and liked the show but think you could also help widows/widowers heal.

  72. I remember the shock of that breakup and when it seemed everything was falling apart. I’m so happy things have turned around. We all love your honesty and vulnerability. Yes, it does make all the difference for many of us to see “real life” portrayed in the media. Here’s to your new show!!!

  73. I so appreciate this thoughtful, heartfelt post, Orlando. I’m a few years out of a divorce (21 years together), and transforming this house to make it mine has been central to transforming myself. These moments of crisis can shape us for the better, if we let them, and you have. Wishing you strength, success, and joy from here out.

  74. Nah postingan kali ini sangat bermanfaat, saya sering berkunjung dan membaca postingan disini. Emang keren-keren kontennya. Salah satu blog yang recommended deh.

  75. I’ve been following Orlando since his days with Emily and he has been THE REALEST about his breakup that I have ever seen. It’s been a beautiful process and sealing it with Unspouse My House is so freaking beautiful.

  76. I love Orlando

  77. Thank you for this honest and excellent story, and especially for your kindness for those experiencing similar transitions. Wishing you HUGE success going forward!!!

  78. You are the best! So happy to watch your show and follow your journey!

  79. Orlando, although we’ve never met I feel like I’ve been on this journey with you as I first started following you when you were remodeling Orcondo. It is super inspirational and warms my heart to see that you have turned that dark time into such a success now. Congratulations!! <3

  80. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul out for us!! You are very brave and I am so happy for you…..your hard work has finally paid off and you landed in a good place with your career!!! Congratulations on a great show!

  81. Just watched the second episode. I love your show and your post. I am 3 yrs out from a breakup and it was so painful. I have a lot of health issues as well which has added to the challenge. At 68 starting over again on one income can be daunting. I did find setting up my condo did help so agree with you on that point. Thx for being so open. I agree that the world can be superficial and no one shares anything that is not perfect. I feel a kindred spirit in you. My two best friends in high school were gay when it was not accepted at all. Thx again for your empowering and empathetic show.
    Wish I could meet u for coffee and say hi. And get help for my condo. Sigh. But onward and upward from one overachiever to another. I will be tuning in to all your programs. Bye from lovely Vancouver Island.

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