For This Newport Beach Husband and Wife Duo, It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts

Isles Interiors Thrives With Creative Collaboration

Written By: Jordan Nishkian
Photography Provided By: Jessica Bodas Photography and Lane Dittoe Isles Interiors

Ever since she was little, Maria Isles wanted nothing more than to be an interior designer and to own her own shop. And while life initially took her off-course from that dream, by the time her son was old enough, she went back to interior design school.

That was eight years ago. Since then, Maria finished school, and she and Max found a space to turn Maria’s business goals into reality. “We found this little space on old Newport Boulevard. It was so cute, so ramshackled…it was perfect!”

“Max is a woodworker and furniture maker,” Maria notes. “He’s awesome at fixing anything. We revamped the whole store; now I do my interior design out of here. We have our style, so customers and other designers can shop our look, and we have a lot of Max’s pieces in here, so they can get an idea of what they can [have] made by him.”

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It’s easy to see why a marriage between an interior designer and a furniture maker seems almost too good to be true. “When I started interior designing, I found that a lot of our clients needed one-of-a-kind pieces or custom furniture,” Maria explains. “[Max] can make anything—I was so lucky. I’d ask, ‘Can you make a coffee table in a week?’ And he’d be able to whip it up! He’s so talented—it was the perfect combination for us to start a business like that.” 

Isles Interiors is not only a culmination of the couple’s talents and skill sets, but of their styles as well. “It’s so nice to design [pieces] together with the client’s input,” she shares. “It all works out really well.”

“It’s fun to bring out a story for the client—whether it’s the room or the whole house, it just really has to flow,” she explains. To achieve that, Isles Interiors’ process relies on finding or creating one-of-a-kind pieces that tie it all together.

From Max’s conscious selection when it comes to materials to Maria’s enthusiasm for antique and reclaimed pieces, the couple is putting an environmentally friendly stamp on a style that is uniquely and completely theirs. 

“We mesh really well together,” Maria says. “It’s fun being creative with him!”


Maria and Max’s Essentials: Isles Interiors

  1. Have a good relationship with your client.
  2. Map out your story and your plan.
  3. Don’t deviate from the plan!
  4. Find unique or custom pieces for that something special.
  5. Make the space look like the client!


Isles Interiors
367 Old Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.


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