Jungle Curators: An Interview with Mila Moraga-Holz
I've been a fan of Mila Moraga-Holz and her blog Jest Cafe for a long time now, and I'm so excited to be able to share a few of her tips and tricks for styling houseplants! She's an interior design and DIY blogger with a knack for balancing vibrant colors, antique pieces, art, and houseplants in her beautiful LA home. Her home is only 900 sq ft, but what she's able to do with that space is a total revelation—which I appreciate since I also live in about 900 sq ft! Enjoy! -- 1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background and interest in design and/or plants: Since I was young, I knew the joy that beautiful things can bring to our lives. My parents were busy building their careers, but our home was always a priority. Our house was cozy, elegant, and beautifully curated. We had art, plants, and designed rooms in a place where there were so few options to have these things. My parents always found a way to bring beauty to our home. I was raised in the very south of Chile, far away from malls, buying choices, and the world, really. I still don’t know how they were able to have such a beautiful home in the middle of nowhere. They were, apparently, very creative people and driven by beauty. 2. Do you have a favorite statement plant to create impact? I like big, tall plants to create an impact, especially if they have big leaves. Lately, I have been digging my Strelitzia Nicolai or White Bird of Paradise. This plant needs a lot of light to thrive, but it looks great with its big leaves. I also love a rubber plant because it grows tall and elegant, with a defined structure that can be molded to have the shape that you want. An olive tree is another good option. 3. How do you recommend styling it for maximum effect? Big plants shine on their own. If I had a bigger house, I would let my focal greens do their thing by not cluttering them with other plants, but my house is small, and I don’t have that option, so I have a lot of plants to style my home but let the big plants be the focal point. 4. Do you have one area of the house that you tend to place more plants in? Why? Most of my plants are placed where I have light. Windows are the driving force behind plant placement in my house. I wish I could have more plants in my bedroom, for example, but the light doesn’t allow for it. 5. When do you integrate plants into a design scheme? Are they a finishing touch or do you plan a space around them? My plants are the finishing touch. Furniture and art are the main pieces, BUT they are an essential finishing touch. 6. How do you pair the perfect pot with a plant? I love fun pots, and I am always on the lookout for beautiful ones. I like when pots are original and stand on their own, but I can’t deny the power of a simple white pot to let the plant do the talking. 7. What are your favorite plant styling tricks? Look for different colors and shapes of plants, don’t just find a plant that you like but look at its context and think of it as a piece of “art.” Also, I love a group of plants better when there is a contrast between shapes and foliage. 8. How do you recommend new plant lovers start using plants in their home decor? If you are a newbie with plants and are worried about your green thumb, I would start with plants that are easy to grow. One of the easiest plants to grow is a snake plant, even easier than a succulent so go for that. Once you feel comfortable taking care of this kind of plant, start adding new ones. 9. Have you seen an increase in the use of plants in home decor? I would say the bohemian style is definitely having a comeback, but I also see all kinds of décor trying to incorporate fun plants into a room. There are so many options and colors that you can find a plant that acts as a kind of