Rachael Lunghi has an admitted need to take care of things. That’s why her cozy two- bedroom home in Normal Heights is overflowing with plants and animals. She has four pets: a cat (named Fox), two dogs (Zoey and Cash), and a chicken (Louisiana, aka "Lou"). But when it comes to decor, her plants rule the roost.
"I’m plant obsessed. It’s crazy how empty it looks without them," she says. "I really don’t have any decor besides the plants."
Of course that’s not entirely true. Her interiors are styled with a mix of found objects and personal mementos: a little of this, a little of that, and voilà!—a really rad vignette.
As the founder of Lace and Likes design studio, which specializes in event and floral styling, she has an obvious knack for making things beautiful. The 29-year-old tastemaker exudes that modern cool-girl vibe—the kind who can throw on a shapeless, flowy dress and wide-brimmed hat and inspire an army of Instagram followers (nearly 33,000 of them, in fact).
Lunghi’s living room is designed around a vintage mustard-hued velvet sofa, which she bought at an LA thrift store. Above it hangs a macramé piece, made by her friend and fellow crafter Renata Stone of Knottery Art. The adjacent wall showcases Lunghi’s favorite treasure, a 1970s black-and-white photo of her mother. With one look, it’s clear that good style runs in the family. The photo shares a space with two small floral paintings and a sketch of a skull. ("It just kind of spoke to me," she says.) They’re all set within a larger gold frame, a photo booth prop Lunghi purchased for one of her wedding clients.
"I liked the idea of framing out little things within a frame to make one composition," she explains.
In the kitchen, Lunghi turned an old workbench into a storage place for dinnerware and cooking utensils. "I love the texture of metal," she says of the workbench, which she unearthed in the junkyard of a now-shuttered Carlsbad antique shop.
Another definitive detail is the bevy of plants that adorn her bathroom, everything from cacti to Monstera deliciosa (aka Swiss cheese plant). People often ask if she really showers with all that greenery in there. The answer is yes: "They love the moisture and humidity."
It’s all perfectly fitting for this accidental horticulturalist, who taught herself the art and science of floral arranging and has created a successful business around it. According to Lunghi, decorating and floral design are the same organic process. "There are just certain stems that are moving in a certain way and have a certain aesthetic and they have to go in a certain place," she says. "And if you make a mistake along the way, you learn from it and grow."