Ask a Designer: Orlando Soria

The L.A.-based designer dishes on sophisticated style by the shore.

By Madeleine Frank

Designer Orlando Soria shares how to master laid-back luxury.

Any tips for DIY projects?
OS: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is not to worry about messing up. I often find that mistakes force me to think of a solution that is even better than the original project. Also, expect any project to take five times as long as you think it will!

You’re setting the table for dinner on the coast. What do you use?
OS: I love mixing bright white ceramics, simple modern glassware, place mats that are fibrous and woven—perhaps jute—and linen napkins in vibrant aqua for color.

What is your advice for creating unique rooms?
OS: Seek out creative friends and commission them to make you things no one else has. My favorite items are pillows my mom sewed from shibori fabrics she bought in Northern California, drawings made by my buddies from art school, and pottery made by my ceramicist friends.

What’s your favorite way to refresh a room?
OS: I go shopping for a new statement piece, like a beautiful piece of art, a luxurious throw blanket, or a bold sculpture for the coffee table. Anything that strikes your eye or inspires you can make you fall in love with a space all over again.

What’s your go-to color palette on the coast?
OS: I’ll start with a set of neutrals, like ivory and khaki, and then bring in a pop of navy or green.

TAKE FIVE
We asked Soria to share the things he’s loving right now.

Seaside Ceramics (pictured above) “Ben Medansky’s pottery is so sculptural and distinctive.” Blue Band Cup, $40

Bright Art (pictured above)“I love using these paintings in beach houses. They remind me of exotic, beautiful places.” Erika Gragg Monstera Series, prints from $175 (22" x 30"); e-mail egragg@gmail.com

Fine Fixture (pictured above) “Lindsey Adelman chandeliers are light, organic, and unique.” Lindsey Adelman Studio for Roll & Hill Knotty Bubbles Chandelier A, $11,200

Seaside slide “These sandals go from the woods to the sand.” Birkenstock Arizona Sandal in Habana Oiled Leather, $125

Hair Care Bumble and bumble Surf Spray makes you feel like you just spent a day at the beach.” $27 (4 oz)