“What am I going to do?!” Orlando Soria cries, holding the final note of do to give his usual deadpan a theatrical bent. You see, there was a miscommunication with the contractors, and now the interior designer isn’t quite sure if he’ll be able to go ahead with the fireplace renovation exactly as he pictured it. He’s in the midst of the first of many home remodels he tackles on his brand-new HGTV show, Unspouse My House.
Things have not gone totally according to plan. But that is exactly what the show is about.
Until now, the premise of Unspouse My House had never been explored, especially on HGTV, and Soria is the perfect person to tackle it. Using his expertise as a designer (and self-proclaimed breakup expert), he visits people who have recently separated from their partners—but still live in the same home that they shared. Soria doesn’t just work with a team of contractors to renovate the spaces that his subjects want to change. He also acts the part of a friend: someone who’s down to drink rosé and vent. “This is your kitchen,” he says to the show’s first subject, Michelle. “Tell me why you hate it.”
Soria’s dry humor and ex-bashing antics make Unspouse My House feel more like a juicy reality show than a straightforward renovation series—and that’s a welcome change, in our opinion. Still, breakups are complicated, so the series does sometimes delve into deeper emotions. “The point of the show is to erase bad memories and help people get their heads out of the gutter, in addition to showing them how they can imprint their personalities onto their homes if they’ve never done it before,” Soria says.
Not every episode will be a tearjerker—some splits are fresher than others—but through it all, Soria stays true to his core belief that a bit of redecorating can make you feel better. “Interior design is a lot about aspiration and telling the world, ‘This is who I am; this is what I think my life is; this is what I want my life to be.’ It’s about storytelling,” he says. “It’s cliché, but people aren’t told how amazing they are often enough. Just going in and being the person who does that for a stranger is really rewarding.”
Unspouse My House premieres on HGTV June 6 at 9:30 p.m. EST, 8:30 p.m. CST.
See inspiring renovations:
Before and After: Tour a Kitchen That Hadn’t Been Updated Since the ’60s
Whoa, This Exterior Before and After Cost Less Than $1,000
Before and After: A Canadian Home Gets a Polished Scandinavian Makeover