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Blending the best bits of the East and West Coast, this serene apartment nails both form and function.

| By Antonia Day | Home tours

How This West Hollywood Rental Made New Yorker Lauren Caruso Feel at Home

Blending the best bits of the East and West Coast, this serene apartment nails both form and function.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour freelance writer Lauren Caruso’s chic rental in Los Angeles, California.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love freelance writer Lauren Caruso’s elegant Los Angeles rental. The self-made fashionista's effortlessly chic home proves to be a masterclass in combining different interior design styles as it borrows elements from mid-century, wabi-sabi, and minimalism.

While it comes as no surprise that the queen of style and beauty’s home is just as stunning as her flawless grid, Lauren’s space is a perfect representation of her monochromatic and minimal aesthetic. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Lauren in the past on our Journal, where we get to see her passion and writing skills thrive. While Lauren’s got a natural flair for writing and creativity, she didn’t always let it shine the way she does now.

As a child, Lauren thought of being “creative” as something unattainable, believing creativity was only for people who could draw and paint. It wasn’t until Lauren left high school she realised she was a closeted creative all along. Lauren’s natural ability to string together beautifully written sentences began to work in her favour. Originally starting her college journey in medical school, Lauren soon realised her heart lay in a more creative field – journalism.

Lauren built an impressive portfolio in her first years as a journalist writing for Refinery29 and Harper’s BAZAAR, soon she discovered the unattainable dream she had when she was younger was now a tangible reality.

Lauren’s home is a perfect representation of who she is as a person; it’s stunning (of course), organised, and shares elements of both New York and Los Angeles styling. “In NYC, every single item in your home needs to serve a purpose. In Los Angeles, every single item in your home needs to be aesthetic,” she shares with Bed Threads Journal.

This sentiment couldn’t be more true in Lauren’s open-plan living room, where a large window plays the role of a feature wall, while also letting in a sea of natural light. During the day, sunlight illuminates her impressive collection of vintage homewares and furniture pieces she’s meticulously sourced over the years. A Camaleonda Sofa By Mario Bellini is one of the many coveted pieces in Lauren’s living room, along with her vintage Italian marble and glass coffee table which doubles as a pedestal for her smaller cherished items.

And the opulence doesn’t stop in the living quarters. The dining room reflects the same luxurious feel as the rest of the home, where one of Lauren’s favourite pieces – her marble dining table – sits beneath a Fredrick Ramond chrome and smoked glass chandelier, and is surrounded by six Pietro Costantini dining chairs.

Being a lover of black, white, beige, and natural materials, Lauren continues to weave these elements through the rest of her home. Her bedroom and guest room still carry the same understated elegance as the rest of the home, with Charcoal & Oatmeal in the master, and Fog in the guest bedroom.

Lauren's home is a masterclass in how you can effortlessly combine elements of different interior design styles to achieve a cohesive look in your home.

Shop Lauren Caruso’s Edit.

Hi Lauren! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

Hi! I make a lot of things, but I mostly string words and images together as a method of storytelling. Sometimes it’s in the form of articles, and other times it’s in the form of visuals.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

Growing up, I always thought being creative meant you were good at art class, but I was never a stellar painter or drawer. I’m also exceedingly Type A and thrive with structure, so it’s taken me years to identify as creative. To “make up for” not being what I thought was the traditional definition of creativity in that lag time, I made sure I understood the technical side of everything in my field, whether that was grammar, traffic performance, and other hard modes of measuring success. Now, I understand that creativity isn’t the antithesis of structure, and I can have (and nurture) both parts of me.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

To be honest, I had no idea that what I’m doing now was even a job before I started doing it. Unlike the little girls that grew up reading Vogue and Cosmo, we didn’t have enough money for extras like magazines, so I barely even knew that world existed until I was in high school. Even then, it seemed untouchable that I never even let myself think about it, and I instead intended to go to med school. I couldn’t handle the labs and eventually swapped my major to journalism, as I had already been running a side business of ghostwriting college essays for about 4 years, as writing came easily to me. I gravitated toward fashion journalism and eventually got an internship at StyleCaster, which led to my first job at Refinery29.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

If I’m writing something, it usually starts with voice notes – I do a lot of my best thinking in the shower, so I’m constantly voice-recording while I’m in there. Weird, but it works. If it’s something more visual, I’m a huge mood-boarder. I mostly use Instagram for this, as it’s still a great place of inspiration for me. If I’m working with a photographer or brand, I usually share the moodboard, decide on a location, and tweak accordingly.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?

As cliche as it sounds, I think Instagram has been the most useful tool for me, at least in the past five to six years. Not only has it offered a new creative outlet for me for the past decade, but I’ve met so many great friends and clients through the app. I also still use it as a place of discovery for new brands and creators.

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?

I think getting laid off in 2020 was an absolute blessing – as a Type A person who thrives on structure, I would have never made the decision to go freelance on my own, but being thrust into it during a global pandemic showed me how capable and talented I am. I’m not only making more than I was while I was employed full-time, but I get to have even more control of my time and the projects I take on.

From fashion, interior design, to wellness, you’ve written for countless brands on different topics. What’s your favourite type of subject to write about and why?

I think I’ll always have a soft spot for beauty, as I really enjoy the scientific aspect that goes into skincare. Before I switched my major to journalism, I’d taken three years of science classes to prepare for the medical field, and I’ve found that I can still apply a lot of those same concepts to beauty journalism.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems, so be ready to do the grunt work. A lot of people see what I do and think I just happened to stumble upon it, but I spent almost a decade working 60+ hour work weeks for little pay just to prove myself. I’m not of the mindset that “it happened to me, so it should happen to you, too,” but the sentiment of hard work with little immediate reward still holds true.

Los Angeles and New York embrace different design/living styles. Which resonates more closely with you and why?

In NYC, every single item in your home needs to serve a purpose. In Los Angeles, every single item in your home needs to be aesthetic. I wouldn’t say one resonates more, but I do love having more space – as well as being able to open up windows – in Los Angeles.

Now, I understand that creativity isn’t the antithesis of structure, and I can have (and nurture) both parts of me.

- Lauren Caruso

Your incredible fashion sense has translated beautifully into how you style your home. How do you decide if a piece is going to fit with your home’s interior?

Thank you so much! Honestly, it’s a lot of trial and error. I had three different couches and two different coffee tables before I settled on this set-up – sometimes, you just have to get something in your space before you can decide if it actually works. 

What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?

I’m incredibly sensitive to visual clutter, so things like gallery walls or clashing colour stories don’t really work for me. I knew I wanted my home to be a soothing respite from the outside world, and I think mixing neutrals with a warm touch just works. When my partner moved in, he loved how serene it felt and just added some personal touches that made it feel more like home.

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

I love my vintage hand lamp – it’s one of the first vintage pieces I bought myself when I was back in NYC and moving into my first solo apartment after a breakup. I also have a soft spot for my dining table, which is slightly too big for the space but I’m sentimental about it because it’s the first thing I bought in LA. I also love my white Hermes bowl filled with polaroids from all of mine and my partner’s travels.

Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?

I’m still on the hunt for a light fixture for the hallway near the guest room, and I’m always on the hunt for new items for the coffee table.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

I think the living room is my favourite, mostly because it’s the most accurate representation of my aesthetic, but I also love spending time reading or watching TV with my partner in the bedroom.

For more from Laure, follow her @laurencaruso_

Photography by Tina Michelle. Styling by Kate Leonard.

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