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, the official podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favorite personalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It's metro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Oh my God, hello, hello, allow, this is metro source minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez. What's the boy to do when you break up and have to move out a sap? You become an HGTV start, become a master interior decorator. That's all in the HG TV series build me up. Orlando Sauria, a charismatic interior designers, social media influencer and author, works with homeowners as they embrace a big life change to overhaul their home and create the fresh start that they deserve. Don't we all deserve a fresh start through people, design, humor and a healthy dose of moral support? Orlando helped his clients transition into their next chapter of their life by infusing their homes with uniquely personalized elements that will change their lives for the better and get rid of some other ones. To ORLANDON has been a staple of the design industry for years, working with clients such as Whitney, Port Ovrey, 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 decorate your home, which is avail blew on Amazon. Get it. We featured Orlando in our October November issue of Metro source with some before and after photos of 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 watch hdtv all the time and I've been a fan of yours forever from social media and now on TV, and it's always so much fun talking to you because not only you know do you do such a great job and you present yourself well and represent HDTV so well, but you are so down to earth and so accessible. Like you just tell it how it is. There's no like entertainment fluff or like Gay Guy, you know, superficiality. You're like, it is what it is and this is who I am. Yeah, I mean I think it serves anybody to pretend like you're perfect, or to you know, 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 not been a fun time for the LGBT or any community for that matter. People have lost their jobs, their places to live, they've broken up all during quarantine. You know, this kind of whole thing started. You were at a pretty low point in your life, broke, just broken up from a pretty public relationship. Your big job didn't come through, you had to find a new place to live, and look look what you've done, look what you become. Can you tell me what Mos love? Can you tell me what motivated you to keep going, and what advice can you give to people going through a tough time right now? I hell, that's a very good question. Um, yeah, I mean I so this was in two thousand and seventeen that I kind of like went through that big life transition where I went 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 certain sense this year, which just like losing our lives, because you normally is gone. And I actually think that I do well against adversity, like if there'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 that situation is how adaptable I am and how good I am at making, you know, good situations out of bad situations. And the other thing there that I learned is that, like a... have to ask for help if you want help from other people, like people aren't just going to like psychically know that you need emotional or career support and you know, there really is a lot that you can do for yourself. Like I've just kind of gotten a lot more confident in my own abilities to to make decisions without asking other people 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 themselves in mind, which is one of the sort of silver linings of going through a breakup. Well, yes, and I think to your point, is like asking for help. I know, you know, up until Covid, you know, live. We're living our best lives on social media, like I said, with the filters and showing our vacation picks, but we're not necessarily showing who we are. And there's members of the community that do need to be, you know, talked to, their lonely and it's that kind of like well, let's let's do away with smoke and mirrors for a little bit. And and you know, it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to tell people, Hey, I'm not doing well, and it's okay to feel loss and grief at whatever you're going through, because going through those steps, and you can definitely talk about this, you have to go. You know how they put those, I don't know, seven or eight stages of grief. You actually have to go through each of those stages before you can 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 social media, I think are really interesting. And you know, we in the gay community have been really, in large part, not great at being good for each other on social media. During covid I've seen so many people being like 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 to other people is it makes them feel like losers for like quarantining and staying at home and social distancing, and so I've been kind of like on people and on 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 been able 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 who I'm seeing, but I also if I do something where I'm like here I am 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 would be a service to other people is to reassure them that being safe and social distancing and kind of being conscientious about keeping everybody protected are are valuable and that other people are doing and that you're not crazy for doing it, because that's what it feels like sometimes when everybody is just pretending like nothing is happening and posting the same stuff that they've been posting for years. It's like we can go to those stupid circuit parties in two thousand and twenty one or two thousand and 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 your point, you know you can do we make your own choices, but you don't have to broadcast everything, and you have. Some people are not full in 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 c they know, the gay nightlife are institutional bars that have been here from day one, or clothing, and some of these employees are out parting around without mask whatever, and it's like, well, you know, I anyway, but hoping 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 me up actually started off as unspoused your house, and so your own show was evolving. But you, my friend, personally going through different stages. During Quarantine. You packed up your beautiful...

La abode, all the work you put into your space and you bought a house near Yosemite and now you live as 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 in cities, and so I've wanted to buy a country house for a really long time. I've wanted to own a home for a really long time and it felt like it was kind of impossible. All the quarantine put me in the position to do it, because I continued making money, but I wasn't spending it. I wasn't going on any vacations, I wasn't buying clothes, and so I was able to save up money for a down payment and buy a house and I just felt like if there was ever a time to get out of the city, it was right now. Like I think I'll always kind of be like an urban person, but I do crave nature and I do crave being the country and I also crave doing things with my hands and being outside and having like a project to fixate on. So for me it just was like a kind of perfect alignment of a time to come back to an area that really means a lot to me, to leave a city when really there was nothing there for me right now, like everything that I like. The museums are clothes, restaurants are closed, the gym is closed, there's no fun parties, like you can't really socialize with your friends in the way that you normally do because, like, you're not fully sure how everybody is acting in terms of their own social distancing and their own isolating. So it really felt meaningless to be spending a ton of money on rent in La when I could literally, for the same price, buy a giant house in the woods that you know will be a project for me. I'll get to renovate it, I'll get to make it into a really beautiful sort of like retreat for my whole family and then, when things go back to normal, I can go back to the city and have this as a vacation house that I share 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 in the city again. I'm just saying that, like it, just feel it thought like a time to get out. Now. Do you feel that you have been able to kind of invest yourself in this? I mean, this house is just for you. There's nobody else in your life that you have to make this decision with, but on the flip side, there's also nobody else that's supporting you, like in your abode. This is kind of a naked 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've gone 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 store by myself. But now, looking back, I do have this independent kind of nature which I love and I'm able to embrace now. Do you think you would have been able to make this big kind of choice in your life, in this big move, if you haven't gone, if you hadn't gone 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 my own abilities and my ability to take care of myself and to figure things out has really increased in the last few years. So I definitely wouldn't be biting off this 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 a few years ago. Feeling good about yourself and being confident is such an important theme to build me up and, like I had mentioned, it was first called on spouse your house and build me up as like a more positive energy to 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? What did you want audiences to feel? Um, that is a great question. I think more than anything, I wanted people to just enjoy watching somebody do something nice for other people. Were in this time where there's such a like animosity 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 going through different things, like whether they be huge life calamities, like a woman who lost her husband to cancer, or like little happy things like a woman whose son went off to college. Like everyday stories matter. It doesn't have to 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 badly for themselves if something happens, because they think there's all there's so many other people suffering so much more, and that's especially, you know, pressing in this year if you think about people feeling like you know, my sister and her wife had a forty birthday and we were all going to go to Hawaii and they were sad about not getting being able to go and they were like, well, other people like Mr Their weddings and, you know, people lost 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 or the things that you're mourning aren't important as well, and I think our show was, you know, it was a really nice way of just being like all these little stories about different people matter and caring about other people in their stories. Is that, you know, a really important element of just being a human you know. And we got to see families in so many different ways. One of my favorite episodes was the mom that you helped her kid went off to college, not only because she was like, you know, she wanted to be a party girl again. She wanted to remember that, like she loved her alcohol and you didn't want amazing job by pumping out her like kitchen window became this bar for the outside area. It was such a smart and and unique way of using her space and also bringing back that party life. By literally one window change, it really changed the whole feel and the flow of the house. I was one of my favorite episodes. And another episode I loved was was the sun who had his mom living with him on his property and he totally read the design the space just for her and it was so nice to see, you know, a son give that back to a mom and see what our responsibilities are and taking care of each other as family in any way that we can. So many stories just just really touched me 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. And what I love about HGTV network is they feature gay designers gay clients, but it's not like, okay, this is the gay show or this is the gay client. It's just like here's the story and here's the host. There's not this pomp and circumstance and there's it's not this heavy pressure and heavy hand of having to be a gay show or inclusive. It just is matter of the 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 your career? I don't know if I ever really thought about it in relationship to my career. So I was raised in a kind of liberal pocket surrounded by very conservative areas like the one that I moved to, but I was kind of raised to be pretty entitled about the fact that like who I was was okay. That doesn't mean that I've never felt like I couldn't be, you know, 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 thought about my sexuality impeding my career that much? Yeah, I mean, I guess in the entertainment industry, you know, because I am kind of like entertainment adjacent, 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 shows that are really viable, in the shows that are popular, and most of them are straight white couples right Um, and you know there is something to the universality of that experience that can sell more to for networks. So I guess I thought about it in that sense of like, you know, am I biable for certain audiences based on what... story is, even like being single 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 not fully 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, we get 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 outfit and 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 different aspects of your personality. Well, that's your styling. By the way, I do all of it. I have no fancy stylists or anything. I wish I did. Well, those outfits grow. I'm like yes, we are gardening and we look good gardening. Yeah, I love color, I mean because I used to do production design and I've worked at entertainment for a while. Like, I usually understand that I want there to be some color on 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 almost like 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 some color, you need some life. They're otherwise the show itself would wouldn't be very vibrant. So usually I bring that in with my clothes because I know that that's one way that I'm going to add some some sort of saturation to the camera. Well, I love that you add the color and I love that 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 what are 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 all the time, but a lot of us are on a restricted budget now because we don't know when the next paychecks coming in. What are some easy fixes that we can do to spruce up our quarantine space? So the number one I always say to people is paint, because paint costs like thirty dollars for a gallon and you can literally transform an entire room and it's all an excellent workout which we all need. Drink quarantine because of work impossible. The other thing 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 for your kitchen or, you know, bathtows or new bed linens. Those are things you notice and the like really make you feel good about your space because you're touching them and you're using them, and then you know art is is a huge thing. Like just you can make the home with the deep cheapest, ugliest furniture look amazing if you have really beautiful, cool art, and there's a ton of resources online for in expensive reproductions for things that be could can be printed, you know, large format, like at a local print shop, and just frame very simply. That will make your house look so much 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, especially a drift store in like West Hollywood or Palm Springs. You find the most interesting kind of art that by itself is not the most beautiful, but you add it to a space and it's alive. Yeah, I love those thrift stores and Palm Springs. They alway because, well, all the Hollywood people go there 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 own TV show, now a new house, you are, so to speak, set. That being said, when you look back, how do you what 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 actively seeking a relationship, and that feels really nice. I'm kind of in like a little personal development bubble, you know, like I think that, you know, having to kind of like come out of the last job that I had and building my own company and just continuing to grow professionally, I've I've reached a little mode where I'm like, I kind of just like I'm liking the relationships that I'm building with my family and my friends right now and I feel really good about not being in a relationship. Also, I mean when quarantine started, I was kind of like on hinge and like tender and grinder and 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 sort of way of processing covid has been okay. The it took me a minute because I had like my my travel plans for province down for the fourth of July. I had all these plans of like everything that I was going to do 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 and twenty one, if even that, then that was like a morning process that kind of lasted for the first part of the summer and then I was kind of like, well, let's not try to make this into something that it's not. And that's the thing that's actually bothering me that I'm watching people who are 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 was a chance to make a radical change in my life where I did something totally different. And you know what I've decided for myself is that it doesn't seem like dating as a thing that can happen in a comfortable, safe way for me 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 who are kind of like part of my quarantine pod, and just kind of be actively 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 and be like well, that was a really missed opportunity if we don't grow and change 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. I don'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've ever 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 what you want, and you're not going to settle for less because you've been through it. Right, although when you're not looking, that's usually when somebody pops up, by the way. Yeah, well, I'm sort of hoping that this like mountain experience turns into like a hallmark movie where, like I go down to the little general store and I like drop my books and then somebody else shops his books. Then like we bumped heads on the way up and then we fall in love and then I find out that he's Santa Claus or royalty. He's Royal Santa Clause, and then we move into this cabin and we name it the Christmas Mansion. Well, you know how mark does have its first gay film this next season. So sad about that, watching the everlasting love out of that. Yeah, well, and for our audience we have the exclusive whijonathan Bennett, who's starting in that so watch for that coming up. Okay, are you ready to play a little rapid fire? I am absolutely okay. What part of your home living would you be mortified for 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 say mostly, 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 closet and you're like what kind of animal are... I love that and I can oh, that's up to its where my worst name is? We're st state. Ever, where's date ever? Oh my God, I had so many. I basically like one where like I was like this after model guy and I'm like he really wanted to go on another date and I was actually busy 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 and turned into a psychopath. But just like for some reason when you turn I'm thirty eight and he age over thirty five, like basically like little twenty year old start being like hey, Daddy, and you're like I'm not even attracted to you, like can I have somebody my own age? But I just had so many dates with people who were like that age, that are like you gone a date with them and they just like expect you to pay which is fine, but like I never would have done that when I was twenty. I guess I was like really a young person. But Anyway, people my age once I care about day, give me a call, because I it's like weird. Once you're over thirty five, nobody your age wants to date. You. Only like it's children. Weird as you're you're like going on dates with people who are like what's a CD and you're like, shut up, get out of here. Why doesn't anybody my only like? But they like what you got a prob with me. Yeah, I'd really thing. I hate young people. Celebrity. Would love to work with and redesign their home. Oh Um, that's a great question. Like told us when maybe. Yes, that is such a good mix of energy and I can totally see it. And you guys would be having like champagne cocktails and like painting like florals on the side of her chimnity, like I see, like in a glass cube in a corner, using an innercom to tell me what to 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 the Orlando Story story until there will be typed in the court of okay, final question. How long does it take for you to do your hair? Notice I had I did my swoop like yours today. Oh, it's cute, I like it. Um Not actually that long, probably like five to seven minutes. Oh God, I hate you. All right, tell everybody where you want them to find you, follow you and watch you. Please love me. Please follow me on Instagram, atmospher or Lawando Storia. Be Me checking 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 on the lookout for a new HGTV digital series where I make over the home of extremely hot celebrity Olympian Skier Gust Kenworthy, which will be out very, very soon. You're just telling them me about this right now. Yeah, how short is he in real life? Is he like Super Short? He's shorter than me. He's actually like also dating a friend of mine, and you're just 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 to do like portraits of us together and I'm like, why the do you look so good in every photo, because you I just basically you look like a old witch. Would like marm scrawling out of your say like don't even try and look amazing in this, Podo. But he's a sweetheart. I love him and that was a really fun project. So I'm excited for people to see the 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 a few times. I'm sure you should. He's absolutely adorable and his place turned out so good. I love it. We thank you for joining us. This has been Orlando Story. You can read my indepth interview with him and some before and after photos of his work in our October November issue of Metro source, available nationally on newstands or go online. And that has been our episode. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez,...

...lead writer from Metro source. You can follow me on Instagram at Alexander's on air. Until next time, stay true, stay you, stay you Bo. That has been another metro source mini like, share, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the 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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