Oh hey! I didn’t notice you there. I was busy cutting these gorgeous fresh flowers in my kitchen. As a dedicated Emily reader, you know by now that I spent a great deal of last year renovating a condo with my handsome French boyfriend Edouard. Actually, we didn’t really do anything. Our contractor Octavio did everything. We just came over a lot to make decisions in an attempt to seem relevant. This comes naturally to me, as I’ve been attempting to seem relevant my whole life.
You’ve seen how the living and dining room turned out, but some of my favorite transformations happened in the bathrooms and kitchen. I’d like to take credit for this, but the true hero in all of this is the original disgusting condo, because honestly, you don’t often get before pictures as barf-worthy as these. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is really nothing better than looking at gross before pics right next to glamorous after pics. So, join me, won’t you, as we explore the amazing contrast between the nasty Orcondo kitchen/bath before pics and the rhinoplasty after pics!
This is REALLY satisfying, right? It’s fun seeing how awful it was before and looking at the after and being like, “THANK GOD I EXIST.” Previously, this kitchen had a dropped ceiling which took out about 12″ of height. When the contractor opened it up to see what was inside, guess what? THE DROPPED CEILING WAS TOTALLY EMPTY AND POINTLESS. I have the feeling it was there because they bought cabinets that were a certain size and they just wanted to save money. The flooring in there was previously cheap garbage granite. Like your mom.
We did everything we could to open up this space. You’ll notice that we opened up the entry about 16″ and pushed the lefthand counter back about 6″ to give more space in the middle. Also, since the ceiling is higher the cabinets have a lot more storage. One of the worst things about me is that I’m terrible at sharing the kitchen. Like if I’m cooking and Edouard comes in, I freak out because I feel claustrophobic, like I’m an infant and he’s a cat who just wants to suck the oxygen out of my lungs. Luckily, I’m feeling slightly less claustrophobic these days since our kitchen is less teeny tiny.
While the kitchen has a totally minimal, monochromatic color scheme, I wanted to add something unexpected. I chose these gorgeous tiles from Fireclay, which create interesting movement without being too trendy or “now” (I wanted something that would look good in 30 years, unlike the old brown tile we took out). The lovely white dishes come from Snowe Home, and I love them (I’m a fan of having all white dishes so everything matches for dinner parties).
In order to appreciate the splendor of the gleaming Fireclay tiles, you gotta get a look at the brown tiles that lived here before:
We kept the same basic layout of the previous kitchen, opting for a full-size range instead of a countertop version. In the previous kitchen, the oven had been wall-mounted, which I love, but that was going to be too expensive for us and went against our goal of optimizing counter space.
We were able to gain a large amount of counter space by removing the wall-mounted oven and microwave and moving the refrigerator all the way to the edge of the kitchen. Our integrated refrigerator is one of my favorite things, because I can pretend it’s just a closet and then open it and pretend to be shocked there’s food inside. I’ve done this trick for guests and it gets me every time. My guests, on the other hand, are like “NEXT!”
I hate microwaves and rarely use them, so I hid mine under the counter in a closet specifically designed for it with a power outlet in the back.
The opening from the kitchen into the living room was previously an awkward size that made it too high to be a bar, so we widened the opening and extended the kitchen counter into the living room 12″ to give enough of an overhang for stools. I’m actually sitting right on one of these stools as I write this, staring at the “closet” that’s secretly the refrigerator.
To keep the kitchen from feeling too sterile, I added in some pottery from Ben Medansky and some wooden dough bowls I found at the flea market.
The master bathroom was previously three separate spaces (a walk-in closet, a sink/vanity area, and a bathtub/toilet closet). This made everything feel too tiny and cramped. The walk-in closet was too small to walk in. The sink area was microscopic. The bathtub took up the whole bath closet. Once we found out none of the walls were structural, I was like, “BURN. DOWN. EVERYTHING.”
The new space is SO different than the previous one. There is enough room in there for dancing and wiggling your arms, which I always do when I get out of the shower to dry off.
While you’d think we lost some storage space because we removed the walk-in closet, we actually gained usable closet space by adding deep closets around the room.
Speaking of the shower, ours got a parquet treatment with some handmade Fireclay tiles. I added some nooks for shampoo and, since it’s so open to the room, now I’m totally obsessed with making sure I only use these cute blue bottles of shampoo from Baxter of California.
The countertops are white Caesarstone and the vanities are all custom made by my cabinet maker, designed by me. I wanted to make sure there was some wood in there to warm everything up and keep it from feeling too much like a hospital.
Previously, there was a bathtub in the master bathroom, which I’d constantly bang my shins on. Getting in and out of it on a daily basis was kind of annoying, so we redesigned the space to be a simple, walk-in shower.
I found this wild and crazy guy at Rose Bowl. Apparently it’s by a Mexican artist named Mario Lopez Torres. Not AC Slater Mario Lopez, but another guy who’s clearly equally as amazing and has a supes similar name.
The guest bathroom was previously filled with pink tile. I actually liked the color of the pink but because the shower was completely walled off it looked really dark in there. We solved the issue by getting rid of as much of the wall as we could and adding in a large-scale parquet pattern Fireclay tile (are you noticing a trend in my tile choices yet?).
I’m gonna be really honest, I actually changed this mirror out already (check in Instagram feed to see what it looks like now). It’s now a round mirror, which looks MUCH more interesting. The awesome Tom Dixon pendant is still there though. The print you can see reflected in the mirror was a gift from Emily and the dude print above the toilet is this guy author Gore Vidal was obsessed with his whole life. I made that one in grad school.
Before, the vanity was smaller and left an awkward nook to the right. After, I extended the length of the vanity to go all the way to the wall and added a full-length mirror to make windowless room feel bigger (it’s not totally windowless, there is a skylight).
We added a bathtub in the guest bathroom to replace the one we took out of the master bathroom. Just in case a family with small, adorable children moves in here someday and they need a bathtub.
We made sure to add a little under counter storage since we took out the medicine cabinet that was in there before. Since this bathroom is so narrow, I didn’t want anything that stuck into the room. Plus, we were on a budget at this point and all the built in medicine cabinets were too expensive.
All the bathrooms had these weird dropped lighting hoods. I actually liked them in theory, they provided some cool lines and a bit of a mid-century Japanese vibe. But they also made the room feel way smaller and the light they provided made everyone look like a rotting corpse.
The loft bathroom is upstairs next to our TV lounge, where we cuddle and argue about what to watch (Edouard likes murdery/scary shows, I pretty much only like comedies or dramas with 100% female casts). Previously, the bathroom had super weird plastic floors that made me question reality. Are we in an arcade? Is it 1984? HAS THE APOCALYPSE SPRUNG UPON US? AM I A HOLOGRAM?
One of my favorite elements in the loft bathroom is the weird mirror Emily gave me a few years ago. It was a leftover from a “Secrets from a Stylist” episode. I think it’s meant to hang the other way, but that made me think of an old school gravestone, so I hung it upside down like a big ol’ “U.” Why? Because I like “U”!
Someone recently asked me “Hey, Orlando! What kinds of theme parties do you plan on having at Orcondo this year?” And I was like “Am I themey? Why are you asking me this? DO I SEEM LIKE SOMEONE WHO IS INTO THEMES?” I guess the answer is yes, because I def kept with the parquet theme in this AND EVERY bathroom in Orcondo. Much to the annoyance of the tile installer, who really just wanted to install these tiles subway style and call it a day.
Just a reminder that succulents hate living inside and this one died just minutes after this photo was taken, screaming “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME I WAS SO YOUNG!?!” Just kidding I took him back outside. I’m not a monster.
These Jaime Derringer prints really make me happy. Partially because I know Jaime and she’s great, but mostly because they’re just really great abstract pieces of art and they thrill my eyeballs.
And there you have it! The loft bathroom! FYI, I kept all the original toilets that were in the condo before (I don’t think they’re original from the 80s, however, because they’re too low flow to be that old). It wasn’t that I as obsessed with them, I just didn’t have the privilege of having Emily’s toilets post to help me out. Toilets are a hard one. These were fine and inoffensive so I just left well enough alone. And that’s where I’m gonna leave you. With this discussion about toilets. I’m sorry. You deserve better than this.