Airbnb partnered with interior designer Orlando Soria on an exclusive Arts Experience in Los Angeles, where guests got crafty, creating clay tabletop sculptures, while learning about modern art over wine and snacks. Here, Orlando shares his favorite LA destinations. 

INTERIOR DESIGNER, ARTIST and author Orlando Soria says that a career in design found him, not the other way around. “I have literally been painting rooms and choosing furniture since I was seven, but I never really knew it was the right path for me until I lucked into an amazing TV job,” says the founder of lifestyle site Hommemaker, who got his break on HGTV’s “Secrets from a Stylist”. The LA native has MFAs in design and painting, and his affinity for DIY craft is evident in his work. “I love that my education prepared me to show people how they can make their own beautiful things for their homes,” he says. “I want to create spaces that look like they’ve been curated over time by the homeowners themselves.” Soria’s new book Get It Together! is a self-deprecating take on interior design that’s as entertaining as it is informative. 

Equality is a big part of his message. “Women shouldn’t be trapped by the expectation that they take care of everything home-related, and men should take some responsibility and interest in things relating to interiors and domesticity,” he says. Rather than work with a handful of high-profile clients, Soria puts his efforts into projects that embrace diversity and accessibility. “I love that, because of how I’ve chosen to work, concentrating on blogging, social media, and content creation, I get to chat with thousands of everyday people. I’m happy that I am part of a design dialogue that is inclusive.”

THE EXPERIENCE

“Growing up, my best friend’s mom was a potter and we used to get to play with her potter’s wheel or just make things out of slabs of clay. I’ve always loved the earthy nature of pottery and how it looks and feels,” says Soria of the inspiration behind his Airbnb Experience, where guests created tabletop sculptures out of air-dry clay. “I wanted to have a fun event where people could play with clay that doesn’t require a kiln, and make really beautiful, one-of-a-kind things for their homes,” says Soria. It was an opportunity for design and craft lovers to “play, meet new people, and go home with an object that reminds them of a fun night that encouraged their creativity.”  

ORLANDO LOS ANGELES

“I live in West Hollywood, which I love because it’s central and has everything you could need.”

Coffee: Cafe If in West Hollywood.

Cheap Eats: Coolhaus for an ice cream sandwich as a treat (it was founded by a college friend, so I love it because I remember when they were just selling out of a truck—truly an LA story).

Fine Dining: I just love Chateau Marmont. It’s classic and such a perfect place for an out-of-towner to get some old school LA charm.

Shopping: Lawson-Fenning. If I could buy everything in there I would. Abbot Kinney has some cute shops; my favorite is Tortoise General Store, which is filled with a beautiful selection of Japanese textiles, pottery, and home accessories.

Nature: Ojai. I like to drive there alone sometimes for a breath of fresh air and some quiet time. And a hike in Runyon Canyon never gets old.

Workout: Training Mate is an only in LA kind of workout experience, run by an Australian expat who is so charming and cute. It’s just a very fun, positive workout environment that is welcoming to all shapes, sizes, sexual preferences, and colors.

Grooming: I get my haircut at Martinez Samuel salon but I also love Justin Harding Hair.

Galleries: It’s hard to beat spending an afternoon wandering around the LACMA campus, grabbing a bite to eat at their cafe, and checking out the galleries there. Hauser & Wirth in the arts district is a must-see. And it’s close to Wurstküche, where you can grab a beer and a sausage afterward.

Souvenir: I’d snag a piece of my friend Ben Medansky’s pottery (he sells at Lawson-Fenning and other places). It’s the perfect symbol for the type of innovation and creativity that this city fosters. 

DISCOVER MORE WORKSHOP EXPERIENCES IN LA LIKE ORLANDO’S

Experience in the Spotlight highlights visionary Airbnb Experience Hosts in their cities. Featuring experts including award-winning chefs, celebrated musicians, world-class architects, and professional athletes, we view each city through the eyes of local creatives as they share a wealth of insider tips, secret spots, favorite haunts, and the destinations that inspire their creativity.

Airbnb partnered with interior designer Orlando Soria on an exclusive Experience in Los Angeles, where guests crafted a take-home piece of tabletop decor.