Youtube Influencers and Designing Part 2 Who You NEED to Follow

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my last blog – the wonderful and crazy world of YouTube. Here is the second half of my review of channels I subscribe to and enjoy.

Arvin Olano is a Las Vegas based influencer. It’s really hard to describe this very colorful personality and do him justice. He is unapologetically honest and takes no prisoners when it comes to his take on fashion and home décor. His scream track is hilarious and he uses it often to instantly throw shade on bad décor ideas. He starts every video with some catchy house music, mad dance moves and “…so, nobody asked, but in today’s video…” Honestly, Arvin has no real discernable talent to garner him his own YouTube channel and thousands of loyal followers. However, I love him for him – his infectious energy and fun attitude. Perhaps his greatest talent isn’t something you can quantify nor is it tangible. He entertains us. It’s such a simple yet really difficult thing to master and sustain. I do love his interior design aesthetic and it’s nice to see what the décor scene looks like in the American desert. 

Continuing our journey west to Los Angeles is YouTuber Drew Scott – AKA Lone Fox. No, he isn’t one of the Property Brothers. He’s a very energetic décor and design enthusiast. I’ve only recently started subscribing to his channel after he did a cross post video pairing with The Sorry Girls. He has been redecorating his rental home room by room, as well as making over rooms in his parents’ home in Arizona and friends’ apartments. He is one of the many talented YouTubers who specializes in reimagining rentals with their typical myriad of restrictions in mind. Drew is a motor mouth who has amazing DIY skills. He also introduces trendy TikTok décor accessories and projects to see if they have any teeth when tried and reproduced on his channel. He has a fresh aesthetic, similar to Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines. But Lone Star’s style is also a bit mid century, boho chic with a dash of Spanish hacienda. 

Moving away from home décor to the kitchen, I’m really surprised to find myself enthralled by some cooking channels. As a self-proclaimed expert in doing take-out, I have come to absolutely love Aaron and Claire. They’re a couple from my homeland Seoul, South Korea. They have done what my mother has not been able to do, which is to inspire me to cook more, especially Korean food. Husband has been a willing guinea pig. And judging by his pleasant reactions, the manageable recipes are big hits! Untraditionally, it’s Aaron who does all the cooking tutorials. Often he does both a more legit and easer version of the same dish, offering up many restaurant tips and tricks. But it’s Claire, who has the best job of being taster. I admire how much she can eat and with gusto. And it’s she who does the dishes! This role reversal couple is so much fun to watch.

Another cooking channel I love is Bon Appétit . Being an avid fan of their scrumptious magazine, I was keen to see what recipes could be conquered without too much difficulty. The problem is that I tend to watch these videos in bed at night, making my mouth water and my tummy to growl. “Bon Appétit is a highly opinionated food brand that wants everyone to love cooking and eating as much as we do. We believe in seasonal produce, properly salted pasta water, and developing recipes that everyone can make at home”. Their channel description gives a really good idea of their fun vibe and passion for cooking for the everyman – or everywoman. The studio is always abuzz with activity. With a heavy dose of joking around, resident chefs take turns at recipe tutorials. My favorite is Molly as she has that perfect blend of snarky personality and mad skills. She and many of her fellow cooks aren’t professionally  trained chefs. But their years of experiences in the kitchen are awesome to behold. They not only go step by step with recipes, they also give great logistical tips such as different chopping methods and of course, continuing to emphasize the importance of well salted pasta water!

Here is one recipe I’ve prepared many times. It’s almost embarrassingly easy with great results every time! This one passes the husband and picky mother test! 

ORECCHIETE WITH SAUSAGE AND BROCCOLI
-1 large broccoli or 1 bag frozen broccoli, cooked until crisp-tender
-3 large spicy Italian sausages
-2T butter
-1.5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
-12 oz Orecchiette noodles
-cup of pasta water
Chop broccoli into small pieces
In a large pot, break up and cook sausages until slightly browned (skins removed)
Add broccoli
Cook noodles in well salted water until al dente (8 minutes)
Add noodles to meat and broccoli mixture
Add pasta water
Stir until liquid is absorbed
Turn off heat, then add butter and stir until glossy
Add Parmesan cheese and stir
Serve right away


“Vogue Paris is the international benchmark for style and fashion trends. Fashion, catwalks, beauty, photos, parties, culture, jewellery…” As an avid Francophile, I was naturally drawn to Vogue Paris. With the touch of a finger, I can be transported to the city of lights anytime a new video is posted. No need to fasten my seatbelts or suffer from jetlag, this Parisian indulgence is like a tonic for a dull day at home. Each video usually focuses on one personality or fashion/beauty tips. There are also interviews with women of interest in the world of fashion, design, beauty or cuisine. My favorites are those which feature chic Parisian apartments. Content is neither vapid nor dull. I admit to perusing occasionally as not all subjects interest me. Like Parisian women and culture appear to outsiders, this channel is breezy, sophisticated and straightforward in its depth.

BUZZFEED NIFTY – “The official Nifty YouTube channel that shares creative money-saving hacks and DIYs to make life easier, wherever you call home”

Apartment Therapy “Décor makes a space. We make it home. Move-ins and Renos. Budgeting and DIYs. Decorating & Decluttering. Apartment Therapy guides you in all that you need to create a home that’s happy, healthy and uniquely yours.”

These 2 channels are definitely geared for a younger and/or transient audience who live in rental spaces. Maybe they’re up-and-coming New Yorkers in their first tiny apartments or an adventurous couple snuggled in their tiny home. I love the easy tips and hacks to an easier way to live life to its fullest. Of course I love the home tours and DIY projects. I always say that it’s so much fun to see how people live and to watch a project in action, rather than read about them in a publication.

In the world of architecture and design, it was surprising to me that cutting edge results can be seen down under, before the rest of the world learns to love it. Australia may be a distant dream destination, a continent so remote; but they seem to be leaders in these fields. Many of the popular designs we see today were first implemented in Australia a couple of years ago.

If you want to know what’s coming to a North American store or magazine near you, check out these YouTube channels for inspirations.

Three Birds Renovation is a company based near Sydney, run by three old friends. They are successfully heading an online renovation school, house flipping projects and client based home designs from the ground up. Their aesthetic is clean, fresh and definitely cutting edge. I first saw the implementation of fluted or dowelled cabinet fronts on their projects. That is now all the rage on social media, design shows and magazines. Having the advantage of space, many of their projects are very large homes with impressive, expansive landscaping. I love how the 3 girls banter and really dig into design concepts with each other, the trades and clients. They leave no stone unturned to ensure breathtaking final results. However, if I’m spilling some tea here, I would say that their designs have become somewhat repetitive and very monochromatic. With so much light, they could take some chances with bold colors and textures. I think that once a company has established itself with a definite brand, it’s that same look clients are looking for, as opposed to wanting to reinvent the wheel. But hang in there, you’ll inevitably see more innovative and creative ideas headed our way. For me, the appeal of this channel is more during the winter months when we are caged in from frightful weather. I can get away virtually to where it’s summer and sunny. Atmosphere and good vibes can really add to the overall enjoyment of a channel.

Hunting For George is such a funny name for a YouTube channel. Researching its organs, I found out that it doesn’t really mean anything and the young couple who run this channel, wanted it that way. They didn’t want us to have any preconceived notions about what they are about and what their uploads should be. Lucy and Jonno are based in Melbourne and yes they are always hunting for the best home designs, architecture, hospitality destinations and the perfect surf. Lucy’s particular shtick is a cute one. She’ll put the kettle on for a cuppa tea, open up a bottle of wine, pour herself some whiskey or pop a champagne cork while she luxuriates during dreamy house tours. She then plops herself down on the comfy seats and explains more in detail many of the significant design and architectural elements. Lucy and Jonno are also fantastic Vloggers as was evident when they recently took us on a road trip tour of Australia. They are breezy, engaging and masters of understanding good editing and content. Having come from marketing, design, styling, branding and video tech backgrounds, this dynamic duo take us on incredible house tours, hotels and sightseeing destinations. They love urban luxury as much as camping in the bush.

Different from Three Birds, Hunting For George videos contain more urban property tours where space isn’t as much a luxury. They also tour different types of hotels and their cuisines. Last year, unable to do much during lockdown, they finally completed an overhaul of their house in Melbourne. It wasn’t just fluffing pillows and a paint brush here and there. They got down and dirty, sometimes revealing rooms to their studs before making them over. I love their personal style, very much influenced by their environment and their local artisanal art scene. 

Finally, I would like to highlight the channel Asian Boss“We are a media company with a mission to bridge social and cultural gaps between Asia and the West. We deliver the most authentic insight on the latest news and trends from Asia and in the process, will challenge you to stay curious think critically, and take action to bring the world closer together.”

‘Stay Curious’ is their tag line, spoken at the end of every video upload. I’m not sure how this channel was introduced to me in the first place as it greatly differs from all the others to which I’m currently subscribed. But I love their content in their variety and insights. On any given day, I could watch an interview with a Korean microbiologist who is a world renowned infectious diseases specialist discussing Covid 19. Or I could watch a provocative interview with an American woman famous for working in JAVs (Japanese adult videos). There are reporters throughout east and south Asia, bringing to light relevant news and human interest stories. They dive deeply into a wide range of topics such as the plight of marginalized demographics and fun, lighthearted topics like ‘why do we love KPOP’? It’s so nice to break away from our local 24 news cycles to see what else is going on around the world. Well, I suppose I could go on and on about YouTube. I have become a successful convert! Perhaps I should give it a rest and read a book or go for a walk?! NO WAY! Good, bad or ugly, YouTube continues to be a compelling video outlet. Watch with a grain of salt. Enjoy responsibly and have fun!

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