We are so happy to introduce you to Lauren Miranda from our tastemaker series. We first stumbled upon Lauren from an apartment tour Youtube video her friend, Christine, shot. We immediately fell in love with her plant collection (not to mention her studio is a dream, too). Let’s meet Lauren in her own words.
Name: Lauren Miranda
Location: Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Studio Manager
Favorite Plant: Monstera Deliciosa
Can you share a little bit of background about yourself? I was born and raised in Southern California, and have lived here in Highland Park, Los Angeles for about 4 years now, with a year in Washington woven in there. That year was very important as it’s where I had the opportunity to work at a plant nursery on the island I lived on. Working with plants is really wonderful, and stressful at the same time. There are precious lives at stake! It was a magical time, I miss it very much. Right now I work nearby as a Studio Manager for a design company called Jesse Kamm, helping out with some production in between. Outside of work, I tend to wander the neighborhood picking fruit while getting lost in my thoughts, thinking about some new recipe to try, attempting to control the urge to want to learn some new skill. I have too much straw in my home. I like to touch plants as I pass by them on my walks. I am most moved by sound and spaces. I laugh often and loud.
Can you share a little bit about your Instagram feed? You’ll find a lot of the same here: Plants and my studio and now cooking. I enjoy sharing bits of all these – because why not? We create these spaces that are our havens, and it’s a way to look back and see what’s changed, a place to store memories since I don’t scrapbook. Plus I’ve met some really wonderful people through it, most recently in Mexico City. I don’t have a business, but when I was selling homewares for a brief time it helped with that. So it’s just for personal use mainly. I try (try) not to take it too seriously–I like to think this shows anytime I reference Linkin Park lyrics or make a terrible pun.
What’s a secret skill you have? I am a very vivid dreamer and can remember them the next morning with incredible detail. And singing. I have a pretty decent voice, I like to think it keeps the plants happy, too. In Spanish is the most fun, but my true love is show tunes. In another life, I would be on Broadway.
What’s the best present you’ve given or received? Oh gosh, that’s difficult. I can’t think of one main thing. But I value most anything made by the hands of my friends and loved ones. A warm meal, a bag, a piece of art for my studio. I am very sentimental when it comes to these things.
What’s on your to-do list today? I’m preparing to bake some conchas for my family tomorrow, clearing the Studio of a few items I don’t use, and if there’s time after, a good jog.
What is your favorite plant and why? This is hard, I have a few. My number one is Monstera Deliciosa. How can you not marvel at those massive leaves? I don’t have one currently, but it was my first baby. Years ago I bought a sad one on clearance with the intent to love and revive it, and it traveled with me to 3 different homes down here, and then up to Washington. By then it grew huge and so handsome. Sadly I wasn’t able to bring him back down, but he was happily adopted by a close friend. My other favorite is Rhipsalis-they’re kind of extraterrestrial looking. I’m crazy for their hair-like growth habit. I’d like to eventually fill the Studio with them. Oh and lastly Kerria Pleniflora Japonica. They grow on Vashon Island, where I lived in Washington. It’s a shrub whose cascading branches bear these beautifully rich, turmeric hued flowers that look like wild pom-poms.
Would you say you have a “green thumb”? I like to think I do. I’m not at all an expert, only just scratched the surface of plant knowledge. I do my best to read up on plants before I take the plunge, to make sure it’ll work in my space. I’m constantly reaching for my plant books for guidance, both in care and in home decor.
Any plant care tips you can share? Do your research on a plant before you buy. Take note of the lighting/exposure your space gets to help with this, too. If you bring home a Maidenhair Fern for your South facing window that gets direct sun 8 hours of the day, you’re asking for heartache. So don’t be afraid to ask questions. All of the questions if you have to. I also view plants to be very much like people, in that you have relationships with each of them. It’s not always about making a set schedule on watering and such. You grow with one another, observe how they are behaving, where they like to be which ones want your attention every day and which ones just want to be left alone for weeks at a time. It’s a gradual process. Another thing I’m big on is touching and loving on your plants. Literally, tell them you love them. I get really amped whenever I see a new sprout, and make it a point to show it. And don’t take on more than you can handle-nothing wrong with only owning one plant that reigns supreme in your house. Lastly, as my former plant mentor would tell me, “It’s better to underwater than overwater”. Always stuck with me.
What tops your houseplant wish list? I am still on the lookout for a towering Ponytail Palm. I find them to be very whimsical and my idea of a real-life Truffula Tree from The Lorax.
Where do you shop for plants? There are a couple of small nurseries in my neighborhood that I frequent, but my favorite is down in Orange, one of the best around there. It acted as a sort of catalyst for my infatuation with plants. I’ve also been known to pup a cactus from the side of the road.
Favorite hobby: Cooking and Baking, a little bit of sewing, just keeping my hands busy in some way. The latest endeavor has been making sourdough bread. I’m hooked. Doing my best to read more as well.
Favorite food: Pozole, forever. Very nostalgic for my childhood. I plan to attempt my Nana’s recipe when the weather cools–who knows when that will be down here though…
Favorite weekend activity: Spending time with my family, we’re all very close. I am one of 6 so it’s like having my own posse.
Favorite home decor store: Well, considering my house is mainly furnished via thrift, I’d say The Salvation Army. There’s always something. My other favorite is Lowell Shop in Portland. It’s an incredible store with an array of objects and adornments, and Dino and Maya are two of the nicest humans you’ll come across. Here in LA, County Ltd is where it’s at–they source some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture you can’t find anywhere else. It’s almost frustrating how amazing the selection is there. General Store in Venice is my other go to because they have so many wonderfully made products, many made by their own employees. It’s a beautiful space to be in.
Thank you so much, Lauren!
P.S: Check out Lauren’s Instagram Story where she makes baking and cooking look so easy and chic at the same time.
P.P.S: Read more from our Tastemaker series including painter, Laura Serventi, who draws inspiration from plants and nature, and @warsawjungle, the couple duo whose home vibe and warm personalities will put a smile on your face immediately.
(All photos by Sergio Neocoechea)