We've seen sneak peaks of West Coast Creative Director Orlando Soria's Silver Lake renovation, but the wait is finally over! Here, Orlando tours us around the stunning marvel of a home, or as we call it "Orcondo."
Photos by Tessa Neustadt.
My boyfriend, Edouard, bought a condo five years ago when he moved from London to Los Angeles to be a fancy Hollywood producer. We met each other a few years later, and a couple years into our relationship, we decided that it was time to make our long-distance relationship (I lived in West Hollywood, he lived in Silver Lake) more up close and personal. So we decided to move in together. However, one obstacle lay in our way. How could I possibly move into his 80s, un-Instagrammable condo?! (If you wanna see what the place looked like before, check this post from Emily Henderson.)
The building that houses the condo was built in 1984, and you can imagine it was… well, dated. We started by being like “maybe we could just paint this dated tile,” but this quickly turned into “TEAR IT ALL DOWN AND BURN EVERYTHING.” When we realized the renovation would be more involved than just a few minor edits, Edouard moved in with me while we hired an amazing contractor, Octavio Mejia, to gut the condo and turn it into our home from the future. (I have to say, if you plan on renovating and there’s ANY WAY you can avoid living in the property during the work, you should do so at all costs.)
A word to the wise: usually contractors will give you an optimistic timeline for when they think the project will be done, but so much goes into home renovation that is unpredictable. Whatever they tell you, double that. Just do it. When our contractor told us it would take three months to do everything, we assumed six. We were pleasantly surprised when it only took five, and it made the process far more stress free.
I can honestly say I’m very happy with how the condo turned out. So happy that it deserved a new name: ORCONDO. Thanks to glamorous details from Fireclay Tile, Brizo Faucets, and Park Studio Lighting, the space was transformed into something that I hope is a lot more classic than the original 80s iteration. I finished everything off with furnishings from AllModern, where I was able to find everything that I needed to round out the collection of vintage furniture Edouard and I found to fill the space.
The main takeaway I want everyone to get from this renovation is that architecture and history are the most important factors to keep in mind when renovating a space. Is my inherent style minimal and modern? No. Ideally I’d live in a Spanish or Craftsman style home. But you can’t take an 80s modern building and turn it into a Mediterranean oasis. It’ll end up looking crazy. In this makeover I tried my best to honor the 80s heritage of the space while bringing it up to date and getting rid of some of the stuff that made my skin crawl (like 80s track lighting and orange peel walls). Now that it’s done it kind of feels like I’m in one of my childhood dreams, living inside an art museum.