Interior designer Trisha Isabey photographed by Lia Crowe

Interior designer Trisha Isabey photographed by Lia Crowe

Kelowna’s Trisha Isabey has a Passion for Design

Okanagan designer uses her own home as a showcase

  • Sep. 4, 2018 11:10 a.m.

If life was a colour wheel, Trisha Isabey could say she’s found success on both ends of the spectrum.

Trisha is the owner of Trisha Interiors, a luxury Kelowna interior design firm, but before she walked the creative halls of home design, she worked in the very linear world of banking and investment.

“I was an investment advisor for 15 years. I really enjoyed my career, but I was always more of an artistic person than a numbers person,” she explains.

As a women who throws herself fully into whatever she’s doing, Trisha knew the time commitment and pressure that comes with investment banking wouldn’t mix well with her style of mothering. When she was pregnant with her first child, Trisha sold her portion of the business to a partner and focussed solely on being a wife and mother.

“It was great for about five years. Then I got bored to the point where I was almost a professional baby food maker,” Trisha laughs. “My kids had a full menu of organic, pureed foods and I finally said to my husband if I don’t do something soon, I’m going to go crazy.”

Trisha had always harboured passions for fashion and interior design. As she went back and forth trying to determine which one she could build into a successful part-time business, fate stepped in.

“I got asked by a friend, a commercial realtor, to design a space for him,” she recalls. “I said ‘yes’ and it was so much fun that when it was finished I said to my husband, ‘this is what I’m going to do, this is it.’”

The business quickly took on a life of its own.

“It became a word-of-mouth thing through my circles and it didn’t stop.”

The part-time job she had initially envisioned blossomed into a full-time, full-service design firm with five employees.

“I thought I would just do it from home,” chuckles Trisha. “It just kept escalating and then we were nominated for Tommies and Georgies, then I started working for CTV and writing for BC Living and producing a design video.”

None of this is a surprise once you spend a little time with Trisha. It’s clear she’s not one to sit idle.

“I think I’m the type that you just can’t take the business person out of me,” she says. “I started carrying furniture lines right away because I couldn’t find what I wanted here. I started phoning up vendors asking if I could buy from them, then I started attending shows and really getting to know products.”

Kelowna designer Trisha Isabey was photographed by Lia Crowe for Boulevard Magazine.

Today, Trisha has a studio space at 484 Adams Road in Kelowna, but she’s also designed her own home as a showcase for potential clients to get a taste of what she can do and the products she offers.

“I have clients here three to four times a month. They can look at things, feel things. It also lets them see all the pieces together.”

Trisha is invested in her clients. She believes a big part of her success is her commitment to getting to know someone before pulling out a single paint chip.

“I’m very consultative. The first couple of meetings I spend getting to know the clients and their lifestyles — getting to know their tastes, their future plans. Once I get a real feel for what a client likes, I visualize and put it all together,” she explains. “I like to put someone’s personality into a home.”

Throughout the six years she’s spent building her design business, Trisha is consistently amazed at its parallels to her previous career.

“The listening portion is the critical stage as I’m gathering information on so many levels,” she says. “I’m also like a marriage counselor because you don’t always have a couple on the same page, so you have to mediate. When I was in the brokerage industry it was exactly the same thing, we were trained to assess, balance and mitigate.”

Trisha can and will (time permitting) take on clients with a variety of projects and budgets, but now with other trusted designers on staff she can focus on her preferred niche.

“I like luxury; it fits my personal style. My favourite kind of client is someone who’s not afraid to take a little bit of a risk and do things that are outside of the box.”

Trisha is proud of what she calls her “dream team:” a shortlist of trades people and suppliers that she works with and trusts implicitly.

“I’m particular. If I’m going to refer someone who’s going to renovate your home and it doesn’t work out, that’s a reflection on me. There has to be a great relationship between me and whoever I send to a client. I don’t feel comfortable otherwise.”

Even with such a demanding work schedule, Trisha is never too busy for family time with husband Kevin and children Lauren and Matthew.

“If I need to do work in the evening, we’ll all be at the table, the kids doing homework, while I may be working on a quote.”

She picks up her kids from school each day and the family makes time for passions like golf, boating and travel.

Trisha doesn’t see herself ever fully retiring.

“When you do what you love there’s no end date,” she says.

She does, however, see her role transitioning into more of a mentor.

“I want to help build the careers of the girls who are working for me. I’m a big promoter of people with talent. I am the face of the business but I have no problem bringing people up however high they want to rise.”

With a full project calendar and an award-winning business, Trisha is still on the rise. She has a good life built on the solid foundation of a loving family, a trusted team and, ultimately, very satisfied clients.

“There is nothing better than a phone call from a client saying ‘I love what you did.’ That to me is the whole reason I do what I do.”

-Story by Toby Tannas

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

British ColumbiaCanadaCanadianDesignHome designHome styleInterior designKelownaLifestyleLuxuryOkanaganStyleTrisha Isabey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo of Devon Brazeau. (Contributed)
Missing Kelowna man found safe and sound

Devon Brazeau had last been seen on Nov. 20 before being located

McDonald’s at 155 Hollywood Road N in Kelowna. (Contributed)
Rutland McDonald’s reopens after closure due to COVID-19 exposure

The restaurant shut down on Monday for a thorough cleaning and sanitization after a staff member tested positive for the virus

Landmark GRand 10 Cinemas in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
New COVID-19 protocols temporarily close Okanagan theatres

Kelowna Cineplex and Landmark 10 are part of the latest health regulations in limiting events

(City of Kelowna)
Kelowna council quashes welcome sign proposal

Council struck down the proposed sign along Highway 97 after deeming it leaned more artistic than welcoming

This year’s Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk will be virtual. (Santa Shuffle - Facebook)
Annual Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk goes virtual

Participants can walk or run to raise funds between Dec. 5 and Dec. 12

The Animal Food Bank is asking for donations as the pandemic continues and the holidays approach. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Okanagan Animal Food Bank in need of donations as pandemic continues

The Animal Food Bank provides food for any domestic pet in need

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

A colourful inflatable igloo is a new addition to Vernon Winter Carnival 2021, if the multi-day event can proceed amid health regulations. (Vernon Winter Carnival photo)
Vernon Winter Carnival still hoping to light up 2021 amid COVID-19

Event gets support from city in attempts to continue while navigating health regulations

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vernon Towne Theatre and Galaxy Cinemas are closed under the latest pandemic protocols. (File photo)
COVID-19 closes North Okanagan movie theatres, again

Galaxy Cinemas and Towne Theatre part of latest health regulations in limiting events

Most Read