Orlando Soria’s HGTV show “Build Me Up” brings a good mood
There is a touching moment in the Wednesday night episode of HGTV’s Build Me Up when interior designer Orlando Soria Eileen, a Huntington Beach single mother whose son is preparing for college, moved to tears.
“I feel revived,” she said as she looked at her redesigned excavation. “You literally changed my life. I am so excited for the next 20 years. “
After a month of grim COVID-19 headlines for California, Soria’s new home improvement series is an uplifting breath of fresh air, much like John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” and the restart of “Queer Eye”. Soria’s show is less about a quirky host and more about homeowners finding their way through difficult life changes.
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“It’s nice to turn on the TV and see someone doing nice things for someone,” said Soria. “Interior design is fun, but people want to get more out of TV. You want an emotional pull. I’ve always used interior design as a channel to talk about people’s emotional lives. “
In a recent interview, Soria discussed the new reality series filmed several months before the coronavirus outbreak in Southern California and why interior design matters, especially now that we’re all quarantined at home.
What was your inspiration for the show?
Our show is about harnessing the power of interior design to heal, move forward and shed a new light on life. What I’m trying to do for these people is to find out how their personality shapes their homes. It was a result of my previous show “Unspouse My House” which was from my own life. I broke up and got fired from my job. I moved to a new room and the only thing that gave me pleasure was designing my room and thinking about what I would do there in the future. That really helped me. I thought it would be great to do this for other people.
Why is interior design important?
It makes people feel good and shows that they care for themselves and other people.
Homeowner Sarah’s living room before renovation, as seen on HGTV’s Build Me Up.
And after that, Orlando Soria renovated Sarah’s living room so she’s ready to welcome new people into her home and life.
You really open up who these people are. How can homeowners do the same?
The way in which we selected the guests was very extensive. I learned about her trauma, her past, and her goals. Eileen, for example, was very neat and tidy. She told us that she takes out her trash every night. I could tell from her personality that she wanted shimmering tiles; She loved dressing up and wearing jewelry. Sarah is young and trendy and likes modern midcentury design, so I knew we should have a youthful, trendy, fresh vibe for her. That’s one of the harder things – getting your personality right and applying it to your living space.
What would you say to someone who has lost their job due to COVID, is tired of looking at the same four walls and wants an update?
Tip # 1 if you’re fired or stressed out for money: Do it yourself. I went to kindergarten and planted Sarah’s front yard myself. Color works wonders, even if it only removes scratches. You will see a lot of really fun painting tricks on the shows. It’s a great way to be excited about your space and show some pride. I see houses as living organisms that you have to feed like a plant. Maybe it’s a fresh tea towel? Try replacing the closet hardware or buy a new rug. I have just changed my sheets and felt like I had a fresh new bed. Organizing also helps. I’ve been broke for all of my 20s and still had nice things. I was always moving art from one room to another. That has always been one of my goals: how to do things on a budget.
Her show touches on painful memories that we remember in our physical spaces. Any advice for a homeowner who may have suffered a loss and want to freshen up their space?
I think it depends on the type of loss. Sometimes you need some outside energy to get in. There is an episode later in the season where I showed Cory, whose husband has died, her master bedroom. She said she couldn’t see it for herself. She and her husband moved into the house and then he got sick. Her friends were so excited to help her. It is important that you get your friends and family involved and get other people to help you see your home in new ways.
How has the interior changed due to COVID-19?
There is so much you can do virtually. I feel like my time is being used so much more efficiently now. I can connect with customers online and when I have to go into a house we all wear masks.
How do you deal with quarantine?
I went crazy about gardening while quarantined. You can now have whatever you want delivered. You can order plants from Amazon or check them out in Instagram and DM stores, and have them delivered or contactless pickup. I love Greenwood Shop in Valley Village. I bought a lot of pots from AllModern and Amazon. It’s a fun thing to do without leaving your home. My olive tree is very happy and can take full sun. I gave Sarah clippings from a euphorbia that I have grown since I was 16 years old. It got so big I couldn’t pick it up, so I chopped it into a million pieces and gave it one for each member of her family.
“Build Me Up” airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on HGTV.