Get it Together! is hands down the funniest, most entertaining design and lifestyle book ever. Anyone who wants to lighten up and live a beautiful life will devour Orlando Soria’s hilarious, conversational style of writing- and likely feel like he is your new best friend. You may already be familiar with his blog Hommemaker – or have seen him on HGTV, or follow him on social media. His fan base is enormous and vocally appreciative of his authenticity. Soria shares the good and bad of his personal and professional journey with an honest transparency- in a relaxed way that makes him seem so familiar and human that readers may feel like they actually know him in real life. His light-hearted approach evokes a page by page LOL, inviting us to rethink how seriously we take ourselves.
The good-looking and personable author sees life through a humorous lens, addressing issues of heart and home with raw wit and honesty that will repeatedly catch you by surprise. Today’s audience both needs and appreciates what Soria has to offer- his vulnerability gives people hope when life isn’t easy. If you check out his social media presence you’ll see gratitude overflowing in the comments. Soria’s advice and pointers make living a beautiful life feel accessible. Get It Together! decodes interior design in a way that will appeal to both designers and those who will never afford a designer.
Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful project images taken by Zeke Ruelas, with a few Soria soundbites, and then a Q&A session with the multi-talented author:
“To those with paralysis when it comes to decorating… if you don’t know what to buy, just buy something cheap/vintage and replace it later when you realize how ugly it is. You gotta rip off the band-aid otherwise you’re going to be sleeping on the floor forever.” -Orlando Soria
DIY enthusiasts, there is an entire section with your name on it.
“Don’t think of your limited budget as an impediment. Think of it as a shortcut to being on the cutting edge of vintage-inspired design. People with unlimited budgets spend a lot of money to make their homes look like they’re filled with leftover garbage looted from a sunken pirate ship. The cool thing about being poor is all that super trendy garbage you find on the street is actually chic.” -Orlando Soria
Soria devotes a chapter to Homme Life, with pointers on how to throw a dinner party for like no money, how to throw a major rager, how to begrudgingly host a guest, how to be a good guest, and housecleaning pointers.
A chapter on Life Advice covers friends, relationships, losing your job, gaining weight, and so much more. Soria is as real as it gets. Get It Together! is so enjoyable that it will leave you wanting more, which is exactly why I interviewed him. So pour yourself a glass of Rose and join me for a chat with the charming Orlando Soria:
CP: Let’s talk about your sense of humor and your way with words. How did you get to be so funny?
OS: That’s a good question! I have no idea. I’ve always been a very playful person. When I was little I think I was just totally annoying. I’m the youngest of three and I always was trying to get a rise out of my siblings so I would chase them around acting crazy. And I think as I got older, an obviously gay kid in a very isolated and conservative place, the humor became armor. Throughout my life I’ve always joked with people as a defense mechanism and a way to get people on my side. Comedy can be a valuable tool to get on people’s good sides.
CP: Books that inspire you:
OS: Probably not what you’d expect. My favorite books are “East of Eden” and “The City and the Pillar.” These kind of epic California stories about love and loss and landscape. For home books, I’m pretty old school. I love any Martha Stewart book (her Christmas book from the early 90s was a favorite of mine growing up). And my very very favorite of home books are the Amy Sedaris ones, which are SOOOO funny and ridiculous and the influence of which you can definitely see in my book.
CP: Who are your favorite lifestyle experts and designers?
OS: Mostly just friends. Obviously Emily Henderson rises to the top of the list because she is someone I love very much and has been present in my design career since its inception. Her ability to be a real person and her incredible ability to write articulately about home life in a way that makes it more than just about pillows and wall colors are inspiring. And obviously Martha. I don’t think you’ll meet many design writers/bloggers who aren’t Martha fans. I guess the thing I love about her is that she’s seen as this kind of cookie cutter, all-American lady but she’s really hardcore. You can tell she’s a strong woman and she doesn’t take shit from anyone and I love that. She reminds me of my mom I guess and I love my mom so I love her.
CP: Which details matter most in your own home:
OS: Smells. I am very smell sensitive so I like everything to smell good all the time. I got introduced to these beautiful candles from Avante candles (my favorite scent is chivalry) and I always have them around the house. I also love fresh cut lavender and keep bundles of it all over. And palo santo, I love a smokey scent. I’m obsessive about things being clean too, so one of my greatest pleasures is when you get into a bed of freshly laundered linens and stick your face into that fresh pillow. So fresh and relaxing.
CP: Something important that money can’t buy:
OS: The freedom to control your own schedule. I have worked from home for years and I love that I can come and go whenever I want, workout when I want, head out of town to hang out with family whenever I want. I’ve been out of a traditional office job for so long I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to clock in and out every day. I don’t think I could go back. Freedom to do what you want when you want is addictive.
CP: With your Ivy education and multiple talents, how did you chose the design path?
OS: I didn’t choose design at all, it chose me. I have had the most meandering, crazy adulthood. I graduated from school into a recession economy and really struggled to keep jobs, experiencing multiple downsized-induced layoffs and years and years of applying jobs I was hugely overqualified for and not getting them. I applied everywhere, from cashier at a bakery (Billy’s Bakery in NYC) to Jonathan Adler’s personal assistant and got nowhere. For years. And then all of the sudden I started doing set design and was magically cast on an HGTV show where I was on camera. That show was Emily Henderson’s show and it launched my design career. I struggled for the entirety of my twenties, despite having been a total overachiever my whole life and a straight A student. But I think my meandering career path prepared me perfectly for what I do now, which is a combination of art, writing, design, collaboration, and communication.
CP: You are young and you have mastered so much: the many disciplines of successful blogging, the tv and book worlds, a successful interior design business- any thoughts on what’s next for you?
OS; I’ve been too busy to stay on top of my blog, so I’m spending the summer revamping it to get it where I want to be (more consistent, high quality content that happens at a more frequent pace). I’m luckily getting a lot of fun hosting gigs for different sponsored videos which I love, and I’m working on a TOP SECRET TV project that I’m keeping my fingers crossed gets picked up (a network has ordered a pilot but we’re not sure if it’ll actually go to series yet).
CP: Describe your perfect partner.
OS: OMG. Good question. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had has been so different than the last one. For me I guess the most important thing is that I want someone who is looking to create a history with someone else. I like the idea of someone who knew me at different points in my life, who knows my family. I tend to be attracted to people who are interested in art, music, and culture because I want someone to explore the world with. So someone who is excitable, who likes finding new places, who gets excited about movies and art exhibits. I’m not big on astrology, but I’m a definite Cancer so someone who can counter-balance that is always good.
CP: Favorite places to shop design in LA.:
OS: For higher end, I love Lawson Fenning and Nickey Kehoe. If I could have a house full of things from those two stores I’d be SOOOOO happy. For vintage furniture finds, I love Wertz Brothers, which is a cute family owned furniture warehouse where I always find something. I’m not a big flea market person (hate waking up that early to shop) so Wertz is a good alternative for good deals on vintage.
CP: You knew you had hit the big time when…
OS: Still waiting for this one to be honest. I’ve had some great moments (like when the TV show I was on aired or when my book sold out on Amazon in a week) but whenever I reach a goal I just set the bar higher. I guess it’s an annoying character trait that I’m never satisfied but it keeps me pushing forward. My ultimate goal is to own a home, so maybe when that happens I’ll feel like a big deal.
CP: Biggest design peeve:
OS: Things on a diagonal. It’s usually a huge waste of space and throws off the rest of the room.
CP: Favorite source of inspiration:
OS: Art museums. My favorite in the US is LACMA. It’s such a serene art space. Seeing how artists represent their thoughts, share them with the world, create imagery out of thoughts in their heads is so inspiring to me. It makes me want to make things. It makes me want to make things beautiful. And it teaches you a ton about composition, color, and how to be expressive.
CP: Little known fact about you
OS: That I grew up in a small cabin underneath Yosemite falls. My parents both worked in Yosemite National Park so we were some of the 800 residents that live within the park boundaries. My parents retired to Sonoma County and while it’s lovely there we all miss Yosemite dearly, it was like a member of our family.
CP: Guiltiest pleasure
OS: Ordering sushi, drinking an entire bottle of pinot noir, and watching a depressing movie alone on a winter night, under a blanket.
Soria gives such an uplifting energy to the world of design books, and I hope to see more like this (so if you are reading this, Orlando, please keep writing). Get It Together! is truly enjoyable, blowing the roof off of the “I can do it but you can’t“ designer attitude… which is quite timely as the design industry evolves.
Order Get It Together! for yourself, for your friends, for mothers day gifts – it is a top seller on Amazon for a reason…
When you finish the book and find yourself wanting more, here’s how to follow MrOrlandoSoria on Instagram.
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