HGTV's Orlando Soria - Interior Designer/TV Personality


What’s a boy to do when you break up and have to move out ASAP? You become an HGTV star and become a master interior decorator, that’s all!

In the HGTV series Build Me Up, Orlando Soria, a charismatic interior designer, social media influencer and author, works with homeowners as they embrace a big life change to overhaul their home and create the fresh start they deserve. Through beautiful design, humor and a healthy dose of moral support, Orlando helps his clients transition into their next chapter by infusing their homes with uniquely personalized elements that will change their lives for the better.

We chatted about getting through quarantine on a positive note, how to spruce up your space on a budget, moving to Yosemite, love and dating during COVID, and how hot Gus Kenworthy is. Check it out!

This is metro source minis, theofficial podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favoritepersonalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It'smetro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred andninety. Oh my God, hello, hello, allow, this is metrosource minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez. What's the boy to dowhen you break up and have to move out a sap? You become anHGTV start, become a master interior decorator. That's all in the HG TV seriesbuild me up. Orlando Sauria, a charismatic interior designers, social mediainfluencer and author, works with homeowners as they embrace a big life change tooverhaul their home and create the fresh start that they deserve. Don't we alldeserve a fresh start through people, design, humor and a healthy dose of moralsupport? Orlando helped his clients transition into their next chapter of their lifeby infusing their homes with uniquely personalized elements that will change their lives for thebetter and get rid of some other ones. To ORLANDON has been a staple ofthe design industry for years, working with clients such as Whitney, PortOvrey, plaza and Olivia. COPO. His first book get it together.It's a comical design book filled with life advice and tips on how to decorateyour home, which is avail blew on Amazon. Get it. We featuredOrlando in our October November issue of Metro source with some before and after photosof some of his work. Please welcome Orlando. Sorry, whoop, whoop. Hello, welcome to my home. Intro made me excited about myself.You're really good at that. Your biggest fan. You know, I watchhdtv all the time and I've been a fan of yours forever from social mediaand now on TV, and it's always so much fun talking to you becausenot only you know do you do such a great job and you present yourselfwell and represent HDTV so well, but you are so down to earth andso accessible. Like you just tell it how it is. There's no likeentertainment fluff or like Gay Guy, you know, superficiality. You're like,it is what it is and this is who I am. Yeah, Imean I think it serves anybody to pretend like you're perfect, or to youknow, to not just be fully honest about what's going on. So,yeah, well, my filters not fully honest what's going on during quarantine.I'll tell you that much was like. Well so, but quarantine has notbeen a fun time for the LGBT or any community for that matter. Peoplehave lost their jobs, their places to live, they've broken up all duringquarantine. You know, this kind of whole thing started. You were ata pretty low point in your life, broke, just broken up from apretty public relationship. Your big job didn't come through, you had to finda new place to live, and look look what you've done, look whatyou become. Can you tell me what Mos love? Can you tell mewhat motivated you to keep going, and what advice can you give to peoplegoing through a tough time right now? I hell, that's a very goodquestion. Um, yeah, I mean I so this was in two thousandand seventeen that I kind of like went through that big life transition where Iwent through a breakup and was like lost my job and everything all at once. And you know, we're all kind of going through that in a certainsense this year, which just like losing our lives, because you normally isgone. And I actually think that I do well against adversity, like ifthere's something that I'm trying to work against, it actually motivates me to move forward. So I think that's probably why I jumped out of that hole,not easily but quickly. And you know, one thing that I learned in thatsituation is how adaptable I am and how good I am at making,you know, good situations out of bad situations. And the other thing therethat I learned is that, like a... have to ask for help ifyou want help from other people, like people aren't just going to like psychicallyknow that you need emotional or career support and you know, there really isa lot that you can do for yourself. Like I've just kind of gotten alot more confident in my own abilities to to make decisions without asking otherpeople for approval. And that's kind of like what the show was about.It's about like people moving into these spaces where they can design with only themselvesin mind, which is one of the sort of silver linings of going througha breakup. Well, yes, and I think to your point, islike asking for help. I know, you know, up until Covid,you know, live. We're living our best lives on social media, likeI said, with the filters and showing our vacation picks, but we're notnecessarily showing who we are. And there's members of the community that do needto be, you know, talked to, their lonely and it's that kind oflike well, let's let's do away with smoke and mirrors for a littlebit. And and you know, it's okay to ask for help, it'sokay to tell people, Hey, I'm not doing well, and it's okayto feel loss and grief at whatever you're going through, because going through thosesteps, and you can definitely talk about this, you have to go.You know how they put those, I don't know, seven or eight stagesof grief. You actually have to go through each of those stages before youcan come out of it in any way. You can't ignore any of those steps. You're just going to have to go through it, I mean,and the actually that, in terms of how it relates to Covid and socialmedia, I think are really interesting. And you know, we in thegay community have been really, in large part, not great at being goodfor each other on social media. During covid I've seen so many people beinglike here I am on about like, here I am in a Pool Party, here I am in Portever, I art like and what that does toother people is it makes them feel like losers for like quarantining and staying athome and social distancing, and so I've been kind of like on people andon my friends to be like, Hey, I'm not judging for doing that,but do you really need to share that right now? And I've beenable like aware of what I'm sharing to I know that I'm not being perfect. I'm being pretty conservative with what I'm doing and how I'm socializing and whoI'm seeing, but I also if I do something where I'm like here Iam with my friends, I'm not going to be like posting it on Instagram, because that doesn't really do a service to everybody right now. What wouldbe a service to other people is to reassure them that being safe and socialdistancing and kind of being conscientious about keeping everybody protected are are valuable and thatother people are doing and that you're not crazy for doing it, because that'swhat it feels like sometimes when everybody is just pretending like nothing is happening andposting the same stuff that they've been posting for years. It's like we cango to those stupid circuit parties in two thousand and twenty one or two thousandand twenty two. You don't have to like post about that right now.I totally agree, and it is that like fear of missing out or,you know, kind of not being included, and it's like, you know what, everybody needs to take care of themselves right now. And to yourpoint, you know you can do we make your own choices, but youdon't have to broadcast everything, and you have. Some people are not fullin anybody and there's this hypocrisy. People are out of work. I know, and I'm just going to I'm not the name names, but I could. People in the nightlife have literally lost their jobs. The bars are cthey know, the gay nightlife are institutional bars that have been here from dayone, or clothing, and some of these employees are out parting around withoutmask whatever, and it's like, well, you know, I anyway, buthoping your industry if you're doing that, because exactly it's healthy and safe,those can open back up. Yeah, yeah, but one you know,you're always evolving, which I love. You know, the show build meup actually started off as unspoused your house, and so your own showwas evolving. But you, my friend, personally going through different stages. DuringQuarantine. You packed up your beautiful...

La abode, all the work youput into your space and you bought a house near Yosemite and now you liveas a mountain man with twenty cats. Yeah, I'm growing a mustache,if you don't notice. Oh, I know, it's girl. Yeah,now we're verse. I kind of like it's a weird time to be incities, and so I've wanted to buy a country house for a really longtime. I've wanted to own a home for a really long time and itfelt like it was kind of impossible. All the quarantine put me in theposition to do it, because I continued making money, but I wasn't spendingit. I wasn't going on any vacations, I wasn't buying clothes, and soI was able to save up money for a down payment and buy ahouse and I just felt like if there was ever a time to get outof the city, it was right now. Like I think I'll always kind ofbe like an urban person, but I do crave nature and I docrave being the country and I also crave doing things with my hands and beingoutside and having like a project to fixate on. So for me it justwas like a kind of perfect alignment of a time to come back to anarea that really means a lot to me, to leave a city when really therewas nothing there for me right now, like everything that I like. Themuseums are clothes, restaurants are closed, the gym is closed, there's nofun parties, like you can't really socialize with your friends in the waythat you normally do because, like, you're not fully sure how everybody isacting in terms of their own social distancing and their own isolating. So itreally felt meaningless to be spending a ton of money on rent in La whenI could literally, for the same price, buy a giant house in the woodsthat you know will be a project for me. I'll get to renovateit, I'll get to make it into a really beautiful sort of like retreatfor my whole family and then, when things go back to normal, Ican go back to the city and have this as a vacation house that Ishare with my family so it just was kind of the right decision for me. I'm not, you know, saying that I never want to be inthe city again. I'm just saying that, like it, just feel it thoughtlike a time to get out. Now. Do you feel that youhave been able to kind of invest yourself in this? I mean, thishouse is just for you. There's nobody else in your life that you haveto make this decision with, but on the flip side, there's also nobodyelse that's supporting you, like in your abode. This is kind of anaked moment, so to speak. You have to be very okay with yourself, and I was just talking to somebody about this is you know, I'vegone through my breakups as well, and I used to be so codependent.I couldn't go to the movies by myself, I couldn't go to the grocery storeby myself. But now, looking back, I do have this independentkind of nature which I love and I'm able to embrace now. Do youthink you would have been able to make this big kind of choice in yourlife, in this big move, if you haven't gone, if you hadn'tgone through all of that? You know, you're living life for just yourself.Now, yeah, I mean probably not, but it's also just like, yeah, my commidence level and my level of sort of understanding of myown abilities and my ability to take care of myself and to figure things outhas really increased in the last few years. So I definitely wouldn't be biting offthis huge project if I didn't think that I were capable of it,and I don't think that I would have felt like that about myself just afew years ago. Feeling good about yourself and being confident is such an importanttheme to build me up and, like I had mentioned, it was firstcalled on spouse your house and build me up as like a more positive energyto it. creativitily a great creatively, I can't even speak in quarantine.What did you what did you want from season two of your show? Whatdid you want audiences to feel? Um, that is a great question. Ithink more than anything, I wanted people to just enjoy watching somebody dosomething nice for other people. Were in this time where there's such a likeanimosity and a lack of empathy that when you're watching empathy happen on TV,it can just feel really good and just...

...rooting for everyday stories of people goingthrough different things, like whether they be huge life calamities, like a womanwho lost her husband to cancer, or like little happy things like a womanwhose son went off to college. Like everyday stories matter. It doesn't haveto be some like big tragic thing in order for it to be important.You know, I think people sometimes feel a little bit selfconscious about feeling badlyfor themselves if something happens, because they think there's all there's so many otherpeople suffering so much more, and that's especially, you know, pressing inthis year if you think about people feeling like you know, my sister andher wife had a forty birthday and we were all going to go to Hawaiiand they were sad about not getting being able to go and they were like, well, other people like Mr Their weddings and, you know, peoplelost their grandmother's and they couldn't see them. There are so many other tragedies,but that doesn't mean that the things that you've missed out on the orthe things that you're mourning aren't important as well, and I think our showwas, you know, it was a really nice way of just being likeall these little stories about different people matter and caring about other people in theirstories. Is that, you know, a really important element of just beinga human you know. And we got to see families in so many differentways. One of my favorite episodes was the mom that you helped her kidwent off to college, not only because she was like, you know,she wanted to be a party girl again. She wanted to remember that, likeshe loved her alcohol and you didn't want amazing job by pumping out herlike kitchen window became this bar for the outside area. It was such asmart and and unique way of using her space and also bringing back that partylife. By literally one window change, it really changed the whole feel andthe flow of the house. I was one of my favorite episodes. Andanother episode I loved was was the sun who had his mom living with himon his property and he totally read the design the space just for her andit was so nice to see, you know, a son give that backto a mom and see what our responsibilities are and taking care of each otheras family in any way that we can. So many stories just just really touchedme and, like I said, I watch HDTV all the time.I'm upset it's my quarantine binge. It's always on in the background. Andwhat I love about HGTV network is they feature gay designers gay clients, butit's not like, okay, this is the gay show or this is thegay client. It's just like here's the story and here's the host. There'snot this pomp and circumstance and there's it's not this heavy pressure and heavy handof having to be a gay show or inclusive. It just is matter ofthe fact, which I love so much. Did you ever think that growing up, that your sexuality was going to be such an easy part of yourcareer? I don't know if I ever really thought about it in relationship tomy career. So I was raised in a kind of liberal pocket surrounded byvery conservative areas like the one that I moved to, but I was kindof raised to be pretty entitled about the fact that like who I was wasokay. That doesn't mean that I've never felt like I couldn't be, youknow, fully open about myself or that I was always like fully liberated,but I think because I kind of like went off to, you know,liberal schools and then only lived in New York and la I never really thoughtabout my sexuality impeding my career that much? Yeah, I mean, I guessin the entertainment industry, you know, because I am kind of like entertainmentadjacent, like I'm a designer, but I'm somebody who's on TV,you do think about like well, you know, think of all the showsthat are really viable, in the shows that are popular, and most ofthem are straight white couples right Um, and you know there is something tothe universality of that experience that can sell more to for networks. So Iguess I thought about it in that sense of like, you know, amI biable for certain audiences based on what... story is, even like beingsingle versus being a married gay guy with kids? Like how cell that?Because what you're selling when you're kind of like a hybrid, you know,personality. You know, somebody who does a trade, who's a designer,is is your personality in your life. So yeah, I mean it's notfully really about my sexuality. It's more about, like, I guess,my narrative. That goes along with the personality that is presented on TV,for sure, and what I really love is, like I said, weget to see all of you and we get to see, you know,your stylized self. I don't think I've ever seen you wear the same outfitand wearing slim fit, tapered leg Chinos while your demo, you know,demoing something, and we get to see that kind of duality of yes,you know, you can be this charismatic kind of host of the house,if you will, but then you get down and dirty and you're literally,you know, knocking down walls. There's just not this idea of like,okay, I have to be more of the feminine or masculine side to this. This, this is who I am and it doesn't compass so many differentaspects of your personality. Well, that's your styling. By the way,I do all of it. I have no fancy stylists or anything. Iwish I did. Well, those outfits grow. I'm like yes, weare gardening and we look good gardening. Yeah, I love color, Imean because I used to do production design and I've worked at entertainment for awhile. Like, I usually understand that I want there to be some coloron the screen, which is why I normally am wearing such bright clothes because, like, oftentimes you'll show up to a job site and it's like almostlike the background right now, where it's like the walls are all white,the floor is been pulled out, so it's just concrete and you need somecolor, you need some life. They're otherwise the show itself would wouldn't bevery vibrant. So usually I bring that in with my clothes because I knowthat that's one way that I'm going to add some some sort of saturation tothe camera. Well, I love that you add the color and I lovethat you add a touch of alcohol to a lot of the episodes too.Yeah, like before we get started, you know, lots of drinking boot. Oh God, I love so being at home and Quarantine. What whatare some easy ways that we can kind of spruce up our own space?I'm sick of looking at my furniture. I'm sick. I've being home allthe time, but a lot of us are on a restricted budget now becausewe don't know when the next paychecks coming in. What are some easy fixesthat we can do to spruce up our quarantine space? So the number oneI always say to people is paint, because paint costs like thirty dollars fora gallon and you can literally transform an entire room and it's all an excellentworkout which we all need. Drink quarantine because of work impossible. The otherthing that I like to tell people is that, like small things like textiles, these are like you know, whether it be like a tea towel foryour kitchen or, you know, bathtows or new bed linens. Those arethings you notice and the like really make you feel good about your space becauseyou're touching them and you're using them, and then you know art is isa huge thing. Like just you can make the home with the deep cheapest, ugliest furniture look amazing if you have really beautiful, cool art, andthere's a ton of resources online for in expensive reproductions for things that be couldcan be printed, you know, large format, like at a local printshop, and just frame very simply. That will make your house look somuch better. I don't have to tell you I have found some great,kitchy art that adds so much life, even from from thrift stores, especiallya drift store in like West Hollywood or Palm Springs. You find the mostinteresting kind of art that by itself is not the most beautiful, but youadd it to a space and it's alive. Yeah, I love those thrift storesand Palm Springs. They alway because, well, all the Hollywood people gothere to die and so they have these estates full of wonderful God,that's so awful to say. But now, with a successful career, your ownTV show, now a new house, you are, so to speak,set. That being said, when you look back, how do youwhat it's your view on love and dating..., where you're at now,considering everything that you've kind of been through? That's a good question. You know, I actually like am in a mode right now where I'm not activelyseeking a relationship, and that feels really nice. I'm kind of in likea little personal development bubble, you know, like I think that, you know, having to kind of like come out of the last job that Ihad and building my own company and just continuing to grow professionally, I've I'vereached a little mode where I'm like, I kind of just like I'm likingthe relationships that I'm building with my family and my friends right now and Ifeel really good about not being in a relationship. Also, I mean whenquarantine started, I was kind of like on hinge and like tender and grinderand whatever, and I started to be like what is this for? Because, like I actually was like I don't want to meet up with anybody,like I don't feel safe doing that right I kind of was my whole sortof way of processing covid has been okay. The it took me a minute becauseI had like my my travel plans for province down for the fourth ofJuly. I had all these plans of like everything that I was going todo for the rest of that summer and once I was kind of like Oh, this isn't going to be gone into like the middle of two thousand andtwenty one, if even that, then that was like a morning process thatkind of lasted for the first part of the summer and then I was kindof like, well, let's not try to make this into something that it'snot. And that's the thing that's actually bothering me that I'm watching people whoare still trying to cling to like making life normal, like life isn't normal, so what can it be? And for me it was a it wasa chance to make a radical change in my life where I did something totallydifferent. And you know what I've decided for myself is that it doesn't seemlike dating as a thing that can happen in a comfortable, safe way forme during quarantine. So I'm trying to build other aspects of my life.I'm trying to enrich my rammy relationship with my siblings and with my parents.I'm trying to, you know, really create meaningful relationships with my friends whoare kind of like part of my quarantine pod, and just kind of beactively seeking a different life than we will have when things go back to normal, because when things go back to normal, like, if that ever happens,I think it will, but I think we'll kind of look back andbe like well, that was a really missed opportunity if we don't grow andchange in other ways. So my sort of m right now is just like, do everything completely different, do not be clinging to normalcy in any way, and grow and change in ways that would not be possible otherwise. Idon't think I would be sitting in this house if it weren't for Covid nineteen. Yeah, well, and I love I think that's the best advice I'veever heard about the total experience and when you do enter the dating market again, you're going to be confident, no, exactly who you are and exactly whatyou want, and you're not going to settle for less because you've beenthrough it. Right, although when you're not looking, that's usually when somebodypops up, by the way. Yeah, well, I'm sort of hoping thatthis like mountain experience turns into like a hallmark movie where, like Igo down to the little general store and I like drop my books and thensomebody else shops his books. Then like we bumped heads on the way upand then we fall in love and then I find out that he's Santa Clausor royalty. He's Royal Santa Clause, and then we move into this cabinand we name it the Christmas Mansion. Well, you know how mark doeshave its first gay film this next season. So sad about that, watching theeverlasting love out of that. Yeah, well, and for our audience wehave the exclusive whijonathan Bennett, who's starting in that so watch for thatcoming up. Okay, are you ready to play a little rapid fire?I am absolutely okay. What part of your home living would you be mortifiedfor us to see, like something you don't even take your own advice.I'm like a dirty kitchen and messy bathroom. What is it? I would saymostly, and that's actually not true right now, but usually like closets, like I'm like everything is beautiful and then you open like a stork closetand you're like what kind of animal are... I love that and Ican oh, that's up to its where my worst name is? We're ststate. Ever, where's date ever? Oh my God, I had somany. I basically like one where like I was like this after model guyand I'm like he really wanted to go on another date and I was actuallybusy because I was doing my show. And finally he was like fine,I'm never seeing you ever again, and he like basically like blocked me andturned into a psychopath. But just like for some reason when you turn I'mthirty eight and he age over thirty five, like basically like little twenty year oldstart being like hey, Daddy, and you're like I'm not even attractedto you, like can I have somebody my own age? But I justhad so many dates with people who were like that age, that are likeyou gone a date with them and they just like expect you to pay whichis fine, but like I never would have done that when I was twenty. I guess I was like really a young person. But Anyway, peoplemy age once I care about day, give me a call, because Iit's like weird. Once you're over thirty five, nobody your age wants todate. You. Only like it's children. Weird as you're you're like going ondates with people who are like what's a CD and you're like, shutup, get out of here. Why doesn't anybody my only like? Butthey like what you got a prob with me. Yeah, I'd really thing. I hate young people. Celebrity. Would love to work with and redesigntheir home. Oh Um, that's a great question. Like told us whenmaybe. Yes, that is such a good mix of energy and I cantotally see it. And you guys would be having like champagne cocktails and likepainting like florals on the side of her chimnity, like I see, likein a glass cube in a corner, using an innercom to tell me whatto do, and I would love it. I that made me look for real. What would the title of your biography be? I'm all alone theOrlando Story story until there will be typed in the court of okay, finalquestion. How long does it take for you to do your hair? NoticeI had I did my swoop like yours today. Oh, it's cute,I like it. Um Not actually that long, probably like five to sevenminutes. Oh God, I hate you. All right, tell everybody where youwant them to find you, follow you and watch you. Please loveme. Please follow me on Instagram, atmospher or Lawando Storia. Be Mechecking my blog for updates, because I'm going to be blogging again very soon. It's Orlando Storyacom what else I mean? That's basically it. Just Oh,also, watch build me up on HGTV. Go and also be onthe lookout for a new HGTV digital series where I make over the home ofextremely hot celebrity Olympian Skier Gust Kenworthy, which will be out very, verysoon. You're just telling them me about this right now. Yeah, howshort is he in real life? Is he like Super Short? He's shorterthan me. He's actually like also dating a friend of mine, and you'rejust like a so hot. You're like, why are you guys so cute?So you don't like a really big show were we did like photo,like we shot his place like a few months ago and so we had todo like portraits of us together and I'm like, why the do you lookso good in every photo, because you I just basically you look like aold witch. Would like marm scrawling out of your say like don't even tryand look amazing in this, Podo. But he's a sweetheart. I lovehim and that was a really fun project. So I'm excited for people to seethe photos of it and I'm also excited for the little web series.Oh, I'm going to be watching that and I'm gonna be pressing pause afew times. I'm sure you should. He's absolutely adorable and his place turnedout so good. I love it. We thank you for joining us.This has been Orlando Story. You can read my indepth interview with him andsome before and after photos of his work in our October November issue of Metrosource, available nationally on newstands or go online. And that has been ourepisode. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez,...

...lead writer from Metro source. Youcan follow me on Instagram at Alexander's on air. Until next time,stay true, stay you, stay you Bo. That has been another metrosource mini like, share, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check outthe latest issue of Metro Sports magazine on newstands or online at Metro sourcecom.Follow us on Facebook Instagram at metal source and on twitter at Metro Sports Man. Until next time, he fast.

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