Remember back in 4th grade when all your girlfriends would come over to talk about crushes and eat ice cream sundaes? Well, this is just like that. But, you know, with grown-up drinks. From the classiest of crystal stemware to gold and blush accents for the buffet, Crystal Palecek, founder and editor-in-chief of Rue magazine, dishes on her must-haves for those no-men-allowed nights.

Girls' Night Tips

“The arrival of summer is the perfect excuse to get together with your girlfriends. And, if you’re tired of the rushed happy hours after work (I know I am), a thoughtful, feminine fete is easy to throw with a few essentials. First off, take cues from your garden with festive florals that never fade. Deck the table with gold accents. And take your cocktails – mojitos are a must – to professional levels with handblown wineglasses in blush hues. Opt for a sturdier sipping option with vintage-inspired paper straws.

Set your Spotify to play the summer’s top hits. Then send guests off with a flirty tote filled to the brim with basking must-haves, from beach books to coconut water. Let the party commence.”

Our Cocktail Hour with Rue Magazine: Girls’ Night In Boutique opens Friday, June 13, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

June 13, 2014

It’s official. The movers are booked and you have mere days to completely uproot your life. The time frame for settling in, however, is up to you. It could take two weeks or two years. To avoid pulling your hair out? Ensure your first truckful is filled with the absolute essentials.

Here to share her must-bring list is Trulia's Home Buying Pro Jena Beaver. From your bed (necessary for reenergizing) to a frying pan (you can only eat takeout so many nights in a row), keep this list on hand. It may not make moving week effortless, but it will help to avoid the late-night dig for your toothbrush.

Trulia Moving Packing List

Click the checklist to download and print.
Continue reading “It’s Moving Day: A Trulia Expert Shares 10 Essentials for Your First Truckful” »

May 19, 2014

To fans of HGTV, Orlando Soria is best known as Emily Henderson's assistant on the home-makeover series Secrets from a Stylist. But Soria’s design portfolio and talent don’t stop there. The Los Angeles–based interior designer and visual artist is also founder and author of the lighthearted design and lifestyle blog Hommemaker, as well as the West Coast creative director for Homepolish, a website that connects homeowners with professional interior designers in their region. The lucky winner of our sweepstakes with Trulia will welcome Soria into their home for a personal design consultation (and, we’re betting, lots of laughs). Here, Soria chats with Rue Living about clients, consultations, and having fun with it all.

Interview with Interior Designer Orlando Soria
Images courtesy of Orlando Soria

Rue La La: What are some of the most common hang-ups you encounter when consulting or working with clients for the first time?
Orlando Soria: Most often it’s that people don’t know what things are going to cost. For example, rugs and drapery tend to be very expensive, as is quality art. Most clients experience sticker shock with those items because they are pricey investment pieces you’re meant to buy and keep for years, and their prices reflect that.

RLL: Where do clients often go wrong on their own with their interior design?
OS: An issue I see a lot is people choosing items they love without thinking about how they work together. So they’ll paint a wall bright red and then buy maroon chairs and bring in some chrome accents and while all those things might be fine on their own, together they look garbled and chaotic. When designing a space it’s important to think about what story you want to tell, how you want the room to make you feel, and to use furnishings, wall treatments, et cetera, as a means to producing that feeling/story.

RLL: You must see a wide variety of homes and tastes between all of your clients. How do you pull together a unique vision for each?
OS: I don’t like to do anything too themey or fake, so I can find things to love about all styles. The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, tailored to the people who live there. You do this by making sure you’re incorporating the client’s art, books, and other items they’ve collected over the years. What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them. This is why design is so pyschological. You have to really dig deep to find out which furnishings are really going to make people happy, and which things they’re going to hate because they remind them of their grandma or something dated.

RLL: At its core, what are the key elements of successful interior design?
OS: Composition. I come from an art background so I think about everything in terms of color, light, and balance. It’s important to balance a room with color, finishes, and textures. For example, if you have a large, dark sofa on one side of the room, it helps to add something dark/heavy across from it so it doesn’t feel like the room is being sucked into a black hole.

RLL: What do you typically discuss with a new client in your first consultation or meeting?
OS: I like to get a sense of who they are and what their style is by asking them about their job, movies they like, their favorite kinds of clothes, where they have lived, and where they like to vacation.  There are a lot of other indicators besides interior-design tastes that can tell you what people like. Being able to make connections between personal interests, fashion, and everyday activities and home furnishings is what makes a good designer.

RLL: What are your favorite interior design aesthetics?
OS: I’m a big fan of things that are modern and earthy at the same time. My design hero is a New York designer named Robert Stilin. His designs are simple and clean, yet still so warm and welcoming. They feel fresh and new without being hard, cold, and sterile. That’s the line I like to walk. Just modern and fresh enough, yet still comfortable, visually interesting, and inviting.

RLL: Describe your role as creative director for Homepolish L.A.
OS: My job is essentially the combination of everything I love to do: interior design, writing, marketing, team leading, making design more accessible, and promoting young, innovative designers. I do a lot of exciting design collaborations with wonderful brands and media outlets like goop and HelloGiggles, and fun collaborators like writer Kelly Oxford and fashion blogger Rumi Neely. It’s a great job and somehow everything I did before – from being on a TV show to doing graphic design and publicity – prepared me for it.

RLL: Tell us about a project you did for a client that you’re particularly proud of.
OS: I love a project I did with a wonderful family in La Habra Heights, which is a lovely little city about 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Their home is a beautiful Spanish Revival and I had so much fun decorating it with furnishings that both complemented the architecture and reflected the young, hip styles of the homeowners.

RLL: Do you have any signature “moves” when it comes to interior design?
OS: I tend to make my own art and use it to fill spaces I don’t know what to do with. Or put benches in random places that feel empty or weird. Normally, if a space feels empty or awkward, a bench with a great art piece above it can solve the problem.

RLL: What’s your favorite room in a house to design and decorate?
OS: I love decorating guest bedrooms because you can be a little more adventurous with your design. Since no one has to sleep in there every night you can be bolder with color and art, which makes them a really fun opportunity to showcase your design perspective.

RLL: Have you ever done any staging? What are the biggest differences between staging and designing a home that someone intends to live in?
OS: I have not done any staging, but I have advised on it a lot. Basically, the idea with staging is both to give people ideas and inspiration and to show them how they might possibly lay out the space. They need to be aspirational, in a sense, because you want people to want the space, to buy the house. So in a way it’s not that much different than a regular design job. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make the space look as natural and inviting as possible.

RLL: What’s Hommemaker all about? 
OS: Hommemaker is a space for me to be creative just for me. No clients, no company, just share ideas about things I’m making, spaces I’m designing, what I’m thinking about and seeing it. I love doing it and it’s so satisfying to get feedback from readers. I kind of just treat it like a big art project and do whatever I want with it. That people read it is amazing and humbling.

RLL: Your writing style on Hommemaker is very playful. Do you try to work a sense of humor into your relationships with clients?
OS: I tend to joke around with clients and am naturally a playful person. It’s just my personality. I think it’s because I was shy my whole life, so I learned to joke as a way of making myself and others feel comfortable. Thus far all of my clients have been fun and great, so I can joke and laugh with them while also making sure we get everything done and that their home looks how they want it to look.

Want Orlando Soria to come to your home? Enter the sweepstakes in our New Home Know-How: Essentials for Staging & Decorating Boutique, opening Saturday, May 17, at 3PM ET.

Discover selling strategies, search neighborhoods, or contact a real estate professional at Trulia.com.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

Continue reading “Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria” »

May 17, 2014

Have a closetful of bright, boho maxi dresses? Your carefree style shouldn’t have to stop there. From ikat-print throw pillows to fringed place mats, here are three ways to channel that hippie-chic style through your home design.

Bohemian Home Style

 

1. Reinterpret your favorite batik maxi dress as a lightweight throw.

2. Take a hint from your bold accessory stash and pile on decorative embellishments.

3. Create an eclectic tabletop through your love of fringe and natural hues.

Our Dressing Room: Bright & Bohemian Style Boutique opens Friday, May 9, at 3PM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

May 9, 2014

Lover of patio soirees? Us, too. But kicking off your stilettos for bare feet doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a chic spread. From lighting to crack-proof wineglasses, here’s how to take the party outside with style.

Editor's Picks for Outdoor Dining

Moroccan Lantern
Hang these in the backyard trees for ambiance the neighbors will covet.

Raffia Napkin Rings
Dinner party or buffet – don’t let outdoor dining stop you from setting a stylish tabletop.

Melamine Wineglasses
Crack-proof plastic lets guests sip and socialize on your patio until the wee hours.

Take it to the patio with our Outdoor-Dining Checklist: Barware to Serving Sets Boutique on Tuesday, May 6, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

May 6, 2014

Two aesthetics. One unexpected combination. Pair curvy, French-inspired styles with all things linear and utilitarian. Here, items that bring these beloved looks together.

Pair Rustic and Romantic Décor

Rustic Features
Get this simple, utilitarian style with distressed furniture. Then capture that no-fuss feel with natural or reclaimed materials like wicker and wrought iron.

Romantic Features
Soften rustic design with carved frames and mirrors in Louis XV style. Hang vintage-like crystal chandeliers, and decorate with fleur-de-lis or rose motifs.

Our Romantic & Rustic Décor: Looks to Try Together Boutique opens Sunday, May 4, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La LaJoin now.

May 4, 2014

The temptress that is spring is finally showing her face, which means post-office Pilates classes will quickly become post-office martini sessions. Or margaritas. Or sangria. (The options are endless.) Here to help us kick off the cocktailing season? Crystal Palecek, founder and editor-in-chief of Rue magazine. On the lawn, in the kitchen, and on the roof – Crystal shares three fail-safe ways to sip with friends this season.

Cocktail Tips from Rue Magazine

I admit, I thoroughly enjoy hibernating each winter. But even more than curling up with hot cocoa and a good movie, I love the arrival of warmer weather and the entertaining options that come with it. This summer, I’ll be playing hostess and inviting  friends over for happy hour every chance I get – from an alfresco picnic on the lawn to an urban rooftop retreat.

Continue reading “Cocktails with Rue Magazine: 3 Spots to Pop Bottles” »

May 2, 2014

Grandma. Stepmom. Favorite aunt. You know – the lady who packed lunches, let you take the car out, and gave you a pep talk after your first failed relationship. Now, it’s time to show her how much you care. Can’t decide what to pick up? Take cues from a few of our associates.

 Mother's Day Gift Picks from Rue La La

Go for Something Nostalgic
“My mom always said this to me as a kid, but I think it’s true at every age. I know she’ll love to hang this in her home.”
– Kayla S., Assistant Event Producer

Cater to Her Craft
“My mom is always looking for unexpected ways to make her cakes more festive. The bright, unexpected touch of whimsy in this flag set fits the bill.”
– Shannon T., Delivery Project Manager

Guarantee (Happy) Tears
“My mom has stacks and stacks of photo albums, so I’m going to surprise her by framing a few forgotten favorites.”
– Kelly H., Social Media and Site Writer

Our Made for Every Mom: Gifts by Personality Boutique opens Tuesday, April 22, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

April 22, 2014

Spring’s of-the-moment hues have been revealed. Introduce them to every room.

The Best Home Colors for Spring

In the Living Room
Accent with decorative pillows and throws in zigzag prints. Toss, swap out, and store these summer numbers with ease.

In the Bedroom
Fold back a grey duvet to reveal turquoise sheets. They add a surprising pop of color without going overboard.

In the Dining Room
Mix together cloth napkins, plates, and glassware in the two hues. Outdoors or in, this nautical color duo shouts chic tablescape.

Our Grey & Turquoise: Décor Trend to Try Now Boutique opens Tuesday, April 15, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

April 15, 2014

Whether you’re on the couch catching up on Mad Men or hosting brunch for close friends, let one chic porcelain dish be the star of your laid-back day.

How to Use One Bowl in Three Ways

Movie Night
Hello, popcorn bowl. Make it gourmet with drizzled chocolate or mixed-in pretzels.

Cocktails
Hard lemonade or virgin punch, use this chic piece for ladling drinks.

Brunch
Choose a full flower, like sweet pea, then cut the stems short to create a centerpiece for your buffet.

Grab this does-it-all piece and more in our Sundays at Home: Brunch, Movies, & Cocktails Boutique on Sunday, April 13, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

April 13, 2014