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Meet Maria Isles of Isles Interiors in Newport Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Isles.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Maria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My passion for interior design began when I was a very little girl. My father owned a construction company and I would go into his workshop and take all the scraps of wood, glass, nuts and bolts and design little homes for my Weeble Wobbles (does anyone even remember what those are?). I would decorate these little homes with whatever scraps of fabric, flowers, cardboard cut outs that I could find and create. I would scour my mom’s Architectural Digest collection, and couldn’t wait until she got her next monthly issue. After getting my BA at UC Santa Barbara, I went to UCLA’s Extension Interior Design program but I was working full time, living in Santa Barbara and driving and hour half to UCLA. I only continued that crazy schedule for a year and got side tracked. For the next 20 years I worked in marketing and advertising then took 12 years off to focus on my family. About 5 years ago I went back to Interior Design Institute and got my degree in Interior Design. Finally I was able to pursue my passion! When I finished school, I found a darling, ramshackled shop in Newport Beach to open my design studio and home boutique. I’m so lucky and grateful that my husband is a skilled woodworker so he and I fixed up the studio/shop and opened in April 2017. Today my husband and I work as a team at Isles Interiors, I do the interior design and my husband project manages and builds custom furniture as needed for each project.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We have been very lucky but the hardest part is the balancing act! As any business owner knows it is very difficult to be everywhere at once. Once you step out of the office and go home, work still continues, you constantly think about work even though you are trying to cook dinner and help your kids with homework. Family, shop, projects, it never ends. It’s crazy but creative and fulfilling! When you start a business there is always a steep learning curve, but I take every mishap as a learning experience.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Isles Interiors – what should we know?
We design and create custom residential interiors that are carefully curated to reflect the personality of our clients. Our shop stocks decorative accessories, homewares and furniture. Our products are sourced from local artisans to support our community as well as one of a kind pieces from our travels abroad. We want our interiors and our products to be unique. We don’t want our clients to have the same thing as everyone else so we spend a lot of time sourcing and creating custom pieces. We have a lot of local designers coming in to source for their own projects and personal homes. These amazing designers whom I look up to come in and like my style that is a huge compliment! People come in and say they want to live in our shop, that comment always makes me super happy and super proud! I believe our style and design is timeless we don’t try to follow what’s the latest trend just what we love and what our client is going to love. Our philosophy is our home should be well designed, well loved, and well lived in.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We have a lot of people to thank and give credit to. Our clients firstly deserve huge credit! We have been super fortunate to work with the nicest people! That makes a project run so much more smoothly when you love your clients! We also are so grateful for our longtime friend and teammate Raul, he does most of the construction side to our projects, he is amazing and we couldn’t do what we do without him.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 367 Old Newport Blvd.
    Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Website: islesinteriors.com
  • Phone: 949.350.8880
  • Email: maria@islesinteriors.com
  • Instagram: isles.interiors


Image Credit:

Lane Dittoe

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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