Home Decorating Secrets of a Great Room with Orlando Soria

Secrets of a Great Room with Orlando Soria

The decorator and host of HGTV’s Build Me Up breaks down the formula for this bedroom he designed for his parents.

What makes a room more than just pretty, what are the elements that make it memorable? In our Secrets of a Great Room series, we ask designers to tell us how they created their signature rooms. From decorating advice to the practical nitty gritty of furnishings, we get their insider advice on crafting rooms to remember, like this charming blue bedroom by Orlandlo Soria.

Orlando Soria is an Instagram darling not just for the pretty rooms he creates, but for his warm personality and straight shooting captions that accompany his photos. Soria’s new makeover show ‘Build Me Up’ debuted on HGTV in July and airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET. He got his big break when Emily Henderson hired him as her assistant on the series ‘Secrets from a Stylist.’ Like his former boss, Soria is known for his accessible, modern design that mixes vintage and contemporary furnishings with ease. The Los Angeles-based designer breaks down this room for us:

This room, which Soria affectionately calls The Japanese Room, was sparsely furnished before Soria made it over, but it was home to the spark for his design: his mother’s collection of Japanese antiques. “She grew up in Japan for most of her childhood,” says Soria of the collection, which he displayed throughout the room.

“You don’t want a room to feel super theme-y,” says Soria, who chose new elements loosely inspired by his mother’s collection of Japanese antiques. The Resist Stripe Indigo Coverlet is reminiscent of antique shibori textiles, which Soria says he likes, because “you have the reference without feeling too token-y or stereotypical.”

“My mom’s favorite color is blue, which I inherited,” says Soria of the cool color scheme. Sticking to blue, white, and touches of warmth from wood and brass helps to keep the room looking collected and designed. You need to “carry the color story around” the room, says Soria, who notes how the blanket complements the blue of the rug.

“The best way to make things feel naturally collected and warm is to mix different surfaces of material,” says Soria, who points to a Japanese cabinet that his mom inherited from her mother. “That piece has a rustic patina. I paired with a high sheen lacquer nightstand, ceramic lamps on the side tables, the woven rug, and the linen bedding: all those elements make it feel more rich and give it more depth.”

“The house itself lacks a lot of architectural detail–it’s basically a seventies McMansion,” jokes Soria. To give the space personality, Soria added elements with texture, in particular, the Kota Indigo woven wool rug, which he layered over the existing carpeting. “That rug brings the room to life and gives it some sense of presence,” he says of the diamond grid pattern dhurrie accented with subtle silver threads.

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Soria has a few rules of thumb for layering rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting. First, opt for flat-woven rugs, “[These] can be one of the more successful things to put over a carpet,” he says. When choosing color and pattern, make sure that you’re using something that has a distinct enough pattern from the carpeting, so that it doesn’t feel like you’re putting the same thing on top of each other. And finally: Go big! Says Soria, “If I’m putting a rug under a bed, I go as large as I can, so that the whole rug isn’t underneath the bed.”

Before the makeover, the room had one of “those boob lights,” says Soria of the ubiquitous round, flush-mount fixtures. “I got rid of that and put in a tiny little chandelier to give the room just a little bit more charm,” says Soria of the updated brass overhead.

“I love linen! All my sheets are linen,” says Soria. “Linen is a really luscious fabric. I love that it has texture and brings an organic presence into a room with its wrinkles and depth.” If you’re tying linen for the first time, he recommends starting with a duvet cover and moving on to the full bed, if you decide you like it.

“You can never go wrong with white bedding–no matter what the color scheme,” says Soria, who notes that you can add a blanket to the end of the bed for texture and character. White is also the hospitality standard, so it’s a great choice for guest rooms.

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For more inspiration, see:

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1 comment

Kathy August 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm

A very beautiful bedroom and rugs! Nothing beats white sheets and pillow cases. They look clean and bright! Love this look!


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