Designer Spotlight by Layla Grayce


Welcome to our Designer Spotlight series, where we talk with some of our favorite designers and get the scoop on what inspires them, trends they love, and advice on how to design your home.

In today’s installment, we sit down with Manhattan Beach-based principal designer, Noelle Isbell.

What got you interested in interior design? What is your background?

My dad was a builder, so I was around job sites all my life from a very young age. I remember each morning he had his T-square on our kitchen table reviewing his notes and marking blueprints. He loved building, and I think that transpired to me without even knowing it. When it came time to apply for universities, I remember going down the list of majors and just ticking the “Interior Design” box. Turns out it became something I was very good at, and I fell in love with immediately. I’ll never forget my very first class in college, and the professor opened with the textbook definition of interior design as “improving the quality of one’s life through form and function”. I must admit that at the time it didn’t make much sense to me, but I was hooked and couldn’t wait to learn why.

How would you describe your style?

I have a modern interpretation of any style I work with, and a philosophy that each element should be intended with reason to be there whether it is balance, function, or something beautiful you can’t live without!

My personal style I like to call a cross between Australia, Greece, and Southern California. My happy place is light and bright.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Traveling is my number one inspiration. I have a “take the scenic route” kind of mentality, so I don’t have a hard time stopping to smell the roses. I try to take everything in. Even when I’m not traveling I’m an observer.

I also find that I love being around my friends laughing and catching up with them, and that translates to energizing me to be a better designer.

What are some common mistakes you see people make when designing their homes and how can they avoid them?

Overly accessorizing is probably the biggest. If it doesn’t need to be there, then it shouldn’t! We have busy lives. Coming home to a clean palette with intended furnishings that add up to all that you need is everything. Less is more quite often.

What trends or styles do you predict to make a comeback? Which styles are you excited to see coming back around?

I’m seeing shapes and colors come back around that remind me of the 70’s. I am a huge fan of anything 70’s!

What room in a home is your favorite to design and why?

The kitchen/living room is almost always my favorite. These spaces are the heart of the home, so it allows me to dive in with my clients to learn what they love and want to bring to life. It’s a very enjoyable process, and why I love what I do!