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My LA: Interior Designer Erica Islas

The born-and-raised Angeleno shares her favorite LA hangs.

For our next installment of My LA, we’re checking in with Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design. The lifelong Angeleno is currently working on about a dozen projects around the city (and beyond), including a home by Lloyd Wright. “That one’s keeping me on my toes,” she says. “We’ve been working on it for the past two years and making sure its integrity isn’t compromised.” She’s also developing a rug collection with Mehraban Rugs. “They’re an exemplary rug company and some of the nicest, most genuine people you can work with,” she explains. “They take pride in every detail that goes into these rugs, which is why I’m extremely thrilled to be working with them!” The collection debuts in 2020—we can’t wait to see it! Until then, we’ll just happily follow her around the city to see what she loves and recommends.

Arts & Culture

“There’s no shortage of arts and culture in L.A.! Born and raised here, it’s hard to pick just one favorite place as I love the museums and the theater a lot. But, if I have to choose one, okay two, I would say the Getty Center and the Broad. The Getty Center because the grounds, architecture and panoramic views are spectacular and inspiring. The Broad because the art collection is modern and fun. Honestly, LACMA is also one my favorites! I like them all so much. Another favorite place of mine for culture is Placita Olvera downtown. Can never get enough Mexican culture, food and music.

Finding Wellness

“I love the spa! My go-to place is Olympic Spa in Koreatown. I love the spa rituals and spending the whole day there is blissful. I’m also addicted to Pure Barre MDR, where I workout 3 to 4 times a week. And I am a big fan of facials, both at home and at the spa. I’m really good about self-care. It’s what keeps me balanced.”

Favorite Restaurants

“I love Mexican food! Chips and salsa are my weakness. Paco’s is a local favorite with great margaritas to accompany those chips and salsa. Lately, you can also find me at Loqui at Platform. I love their chips and guacamole, and their tortillas are delicious, as are their tacos! Both are favorites for a quick Mexican food fix.”

Where is Home?

Culver City is home—born and raised on the Westside. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Although Culver City is growing fast, it still maintains its small-town vibe with little hideaway restaurants and markets like Dear John’s and Jackson Market. We have a lot of fun neighborhood activities and the local community is very involved. It’s been a great place to raise my children.

On Giving Back

We get involved with charity work when ever possible, from designing carry-on luggage for the A+D Museum’s charity to working on the Pasadena Showcase House, where Snyder Diamond was my big sponsor. I love philanthropic projects! We’ve helped with two transitional homeless shelters in the past, one was for families with children here in Culver City and the other was for a women’s shelter in Los Angeles. As a designer, I know the impact a home can have on a person, so creating an inviting, inspiring space for someone who is trying to get back on their feet was very rewarding. It fulfills me to know I can make a small difference in our community by simply doing what I love to do. But none of it is possible without the donations from our generous vendors and from people who want to come together for a great cause. I’ve been very fortunate to participate in these events and hope to do more in the near future.

Feeds to Follow

@liaigre_official: I have Been a HUGE fan of Christian Liaigre since I was first introduced in 1998 by my Italian design mentor. His work is clean, minimal, textural and has the most beautiful craftsmanship. It’s timeless and I am inspired by like minds .

@thetravelwomen and @wearetravelgirls: I love travel, so these two are always great for seeing posts from all over the world.

@studioko: I LOVE what they post: textures and graphic design, patterns—all things that inspire me. It’s out of the box and thought provoking. My kind of inspiration!

And a Little of Erica’s own Handiwork

Images from top:




Jackson Market

EMI Designs

Feeds, from left to right: @studioko; @thetravelwomen; @liaigre_official; @wearetravelgirls

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