Mara Samuels opened Haven Laguna in December to offer locals and tourists alike a respite from their day. Step inside to feel welcome and relaxed. Browsing the assortment of furniture, home decor, and more, you’ll begin to get a sense of Samuels’ style—what she refers to as a mix of modern coastal, farmhouse, and a bit of boho. The store changes with the seasons, so expect cozy, harvest-themed decorations once fall is in full swing.
Why did you open Haven Laguna?
It was in the back of my mind and then I started doing design for a remodeler, and he had a location right next to where I am now. The person who was here had an old print shop, and they were going to go out of business. I thought, “Oh my gosh, that would be a great place for my store.” It was just one of those things where it all fell into place and it just opened easily. Everyone’s been amazing, and it’s been so fun.
How did you pick the name?
I think because the name haven feels inspiring to me, and I feel like everything that’s in my store inspires me. I wanted to create a store where anyone could walk in and feel good. I’m hoping people will come in and find something that inspires them and take it home and can have that feeling at home.
What kinds of products can customers expect?
I tend to gravitate toward the organic and natural—so lots of natural woods, glass, things made from iron, metal. I do have plants; right now, I have cacti. You never know what you’re going to find here. I like things that feel authentic. I don’t want things that you can find anywhere else.
How do you source your pieces?
I’m always looking. It’s almost like I’m a treasure hunter. I love finding things, so I’ll go to flea markets, or I go online where I have some great vendors. Anywhere I can find things that I think will work well in here and people will find and take home as a treasure. I also have local artists I bring in, and that’s just fun for everybody. I have a great one, Amy Walker. She does these amazing pieces made from resin on wood, and it looks like the waves of the water in Laguna Beach. And she does some paintings for me. I also have a gentleman named Pat Maben who creates driftwood (art) for me. His company is called Saltwater Garage. He goes and finds all the driftwood and creates these darling turtles, fish, and dolphins.
What design services do you offer?
We’re a home design studio and gift boutique, so people can come in and I’ll do interior design for them. I also do home remodeling, which is my favorite. I love to go into a space and look at what the canvas is, find out what they’re looking for in terms of color and if they have pictures, and then (create) a concept for them.
435 N. Coast Highway