Orlando Soria has quite the résumé: He’s an interior designer, writer, visual artist and HGTV alum, as well as author of the blog Hommemaker and, now, of the tongue-in-cheek tome Get It Together! An Interior Designer’s Guide to Creating Your Best Life.
In the book, photographed by Zeke Ruelas, Soria blends interior design tips, do-it-yourself wisdom and practical life advice gleaned from a career as a celebrity interior designer and an early life spent surrounded by beauty. “I grew up deep within Yosemite National Park, literally feet away from the Lower Yosemite Falls,” Soria says. “This insanely idyllic upbringing may have lacked the shopping malls and urban amenities I wanted as an awful teenager, but it was the perfect place to spend hours alone making things and thinking about design.”
Below, we’ve rounded up our top five quotes from the new book:
1. “As color fades from your hair, add it to your decor.” This gem appears in a hilariously titled subsection called “How to design a young space to distract from your gross disgusting old face” (part of a larger section called “When you have a gay midlife crisis”), where Soria dives into self-deprecating tips about aging—and designing—with grace.
2. “People who know how to make things themselves will be the last to die in the apocalypse.” Soria makes this declaration in a do-it-yourself section in which he shares tips on making a galvanized-wire, large-scale lighting fixture, a coffee table, a door-stopper, a wooden tray, a side table, a wooden bench and more—knowledge rooted in his experience working alongside decorator Emily Henderson on the show Secrets From a Stylist.
3. “A few things to remember when you move into your own place and are completely alone in the world with literally no one to love you.” In this part of his book, Soria urges readers to “Follow your heart but choose wisely.” He explains, “You might love blue rugs, a blue sofa and a purpose vase (gross), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll look great together.”
4. “How to throw a dinner party for like no money.” Telling readers that “the simpler, the better,” Soria’s go-to menu features roasted chicken with carrots and celery, a simple side salad, cauliflower rice, a “simple, stunning country baguette,” and what he calls “a f*ck-ton of cheap-ass wine.” (Bonus tips: Scope out Soria’s entertaining section, titled “Begrudgingly hosting a guest,” for tips on creating a presentable refrigerator, like “Will you ever eat those pickles in that moldy jar?” and “What is the color palette of your refrigerator? Does it say ‘Happy Spring Day’ or ‘Witch’s Funeral’?”)
5. “Interior design isn’t just about practicality and function. It’s also about creating a space which makes you feel that you’re living your best life.” Alongside the witticisms and wonderfully irreverent commentary, Soria offers some heartfelt reflections on the practice of design. Explaining the above statement, he writes, “A good example is a piece of accent furniture you know you’ll never use,” like a bench in the bedroom. Why is it there, then? “It’s about reassurance, showing yourself you have a nice life.”
Soria will serve as a tastemaker for AmericasMart’s “AMC Live” market visits and trend talk this summer.