When Amanda Crew wanted help honing her eclectic style for her newly-bought Los Angeles bungalow, Orlando Soria was to the rescue.
Photos by Tessa Neustadt.
Amanda Crew is no newcomer to intimidating tasks—she graduated from Manhattan’s oldest acting school, worked alongside Ashley Judd and Ashton Kutcher, and consistently nails the role of girl-disrupting-the-boys-club role of venture capitalist Monica Hall on HBO’s Silicon Valley.
But when Amanda found herself with a newly-purchased, 1923 Craftsman house riff with oddities like dingy, butter-yellow walls, a less-than-desirable kitchen, and overwhelmingly huge light fixtures, she knew she could use a hand. Enter interior designer and author, Orlando Soria.
“I wanted to work with a designer so I could get help focusing my tastes. I know what I like as far as design goes, but I don’t know how to put it all together,” the actress explained. “Also, the task of furnishing and choosing paint color for an entire house seemed overwhelming.”
Thankfully those are the kinds of things Orlando can do with ease. He picked up on approachable vibes and created a home that reflected her affable attitude and the home’s historic lineage.
“Amanda has a classic, yet youthful, style. She’s a natural-born comedian, so she was willing to be playful with decor. She also loves things that are distinctive and unique,” says Orlando. “My goal with the space was to update the color palette and emphasize the craftsman style of the house while bringing in some new pieces that reflect Amanda’s fresh personality.”
Her home is bright and flooded with natural light, but not huge on space. That meant maximizing every inch was a priority for the pair.
“The house is a bungalow, which means the rooms aren’t huge,” Orlando explains. “So in choosing furniture for each room, we selected pieces that were proportionally correct. For the living room, I decided to maximize seating by adding a custom sectional from Clad Home
While Amanda wanted the home to feel more grown-up than the spaces of apartments past, she felt that the home would need a few pieces that reflected her cheerful, relaxed outlook.
“My hope for the space was to make it cozy, yet mature. I’m not a super fancy person so I didn’t want my house to feel like a museum, but I also wanted to graduate from the college stage where I had lots of kitschy, cute things everywhere,” Amanda says.
In order to strike that balance, Orlando played with sophisticated, bold details that worked in tandem with a natural, laid-back backdrop.
Both Orlando and Amanda are both big fans of blue, so the home’s variety of textures are infused with shades of navy, cerulean, midnight, and hints of mint. Patterns like ikat, stripes, and diamond paired with linen and leather pieces add a bohemian touch, staying true to Los Angeles’ bohemian background in a stylishly subtle fashion.
To offset those casual accents, Orlando opted for modern statements like a sleek wood dining table, attention-commanding brass pendant, and dramatic art.
When it came to the kitchen, Amanda wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty—going so far as to spray paint the hardware herself for a total transformation.
“The kitchen was a particularly fun transformation to see. We painted her cabinets fresh white, and it immediately changed the kitchen from dated to doable,” Orlando gushes. “It’s always fun to see what a huge difference paint can make in a space. Amanda spray painted the kitchen hardware herself! The reason we decided not to just buy new hardware is that eventually she wants to completely redo this side of the house so we didn’t want to invest too much money.”
The gleaming finished product looks just a luxe as if she had bought them new, even if Amanda resisted at first.
“I never thought I’d be so into brass but I’m glad Orlando persuaded me into going that direction,” Amanda admits.
After the brass Amanda was still learning to trust Orlando, but even when she doubted him.
“When the leather chair in the living room arrived I HATED IT! I had grown so accustomed to the space and layout in the living room without it that when it arrived I texted Orlando saying that it had to go. It felt too big for the space. I sent photos to Orlando, who was out of town, and he encouraged me to wait a few days and told me, and I quote, ‘You need to get to know Chairy on a more personal level before you reject her.’ And he was right. I now love Chairy so much and can’t imagine my living room without her.”
Sometimes (always) the designer is right.