Their ‘Sacred Space’

Tujunga couple share their love of the outdoors with clients

Karen Miller was an entertainment industry photographer before the days of DIY promotion and YouTube. 

“The industry really changed drastically when I was in it,” Miller says. “A lot of the big record labels either merged or closed. Personal computers were coming up, so the artists were able to promote themselves.”

A lover of the outdoors, Miller took a leap of faith, reinvented herself and moved to a new, quieter location.

“I really enjoyed that career for almost 20 years, but I decided to go back to school and reinvent myself,” she says. “I went to UCLA’s extension program and studied gardening, horticulture and landscape architecture. Gardening has always been in my family, and I took to it pretty naturally.”

Formerly in a business that was heavy on visuals and spatial relationships, Miller can visit locations and, immediately, improvements come to mind.

Since 2002, Miller has worked with her husband, Omar Huerta Tobon, a master stone mason, as Sacred Space Garden Design.

“I didn’t completely shut the door on photography,” Miller says. “I overlapped the two businesses for a good three to four years until I built up my landscaping business.

“I was really lucky. I started right at the beginning of the housing boom. Money was just easily accessible for so many people. They were using their home equity lines of credit and seeking to refine their surroundings.”

Comfortable with promoting herself, Miller enriches the community’s quality of life, enabled by SoCal’s Mediterranean climate and using organic and sustainable practices.

She, Huerta and their 16 employees focus on conserving water resources through the creation of California-friendly gardens and outdoor rooms.

“My husband is very creative as well,” Miller says. “We work well together.”

Their focus and strength are in reimaging the way space is used and creating harmony and beauty alongside of functionality.

Miller is perfectly happy in her “sacred space.”

“Photography was just a hard way to make a living,” she says. “This is fun, too, especially having so many employees and running a business like we do. I’m the kind of person who always wants to be learning new things, and this satisfies that.”