You may know actress Noël Wells from her roles on season one of Netflix's Master of None, a budding little sketch comedy show called SNL, or the recent movie she wrote, directed and starred in, Mr. Roosevelt. But you probably didn't know she is also a plant whisperer, a pillow seamstress, and a wallpaper wizard. Even in the comfort of her own home, this Renaissance woman never seems to stop creating. With the help of her equally talented roommate Giselle Gilbert (Zoe Baker in Resident Evil 7), she's built a beautiful home worthy of acclaim and accolades to match those of her on-screen successes.
Noël and Giselle's home feels youthful and vibrant, with an undeniable old soul. Inside, art of all shapes and sizes lives quietly in the empty spaces between worn hardbacks and a variety of patinated art-making instruments, making the home feel like the culmination of decades of a life well-lived. Both roommates are careful to collect pieces that inspire them (rather than buying based on trends), and it's perhaps this mindfulness that is responsible for creating a warm home that visitors refer to as a "safe space." "Friends say it's welcoming, creative," says Noël. "I want the space to feel conducive to creativity and supportive of other people's creativity."
With a love for creating their own art, Noël and Giselle are constantly painting, building, or cultivating life (by way of indoor plants), which is perhaps why they work so well together as roommates. Not only are the two like-minded in their artistic sensibilities, but they genuinely seem inspired by one another—creatively and personally. Noël insists that no negative words are uttered about oneself under her roof and Giselle admits Noël's "real adult" morning routine has inspired her own—waking up at the same time every morning and getting ready to tackle the day, no matter what's on the agenda.
As a result, Noël and Giselle's art-, plant-, and positivity-filled home creates a joyful life, which, by osmosis, is transferred to visitors as well.
See Noël next in the upcoming Netflix movie, "Happy Anniversary," which starts streaming March 30th. In April, she'll star in "Fire Escape," an interactive VR project premiering at Tribeca. "All I want," a feature she co-produced and acted in will have a small theatrical run in Los Angeles, also in April. In May, you can catch Giselle in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" at the six01 studio warehouse.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Noël: I've never had a place or space that I had the ability or time to decorate, so this is all new for me. My friend who is very good at interiors says the style is very much "me..." and there's a part of me that's like, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing??" But aesthetically I've been trying to keep things feeling "light," in colors and mood as well as literal weight, as in nothing's too heavy for me to not to be able to move around on my own. I try to have a sense of humor and playfulness to counterbalance the control freak perfectionist threatening to cripple me inside.
Giselle: Much like the rest of my life, I'm still trying to figure it out. I've moved about thirty times in my life and have never felt the desire to decorate a place that already had an expiration date. However, I've come to realize how important it is to have a space that inspires creativity, so I've been trying to mindfully collect pieces that reflect different facets of my personality and bring me joy.
Inspiration: Noël: I want the space to feel conducive to creativity and supportive of other people's creativity. I'm really inspired by a lot of artists I follow online, and generally people who are channeling existence their own way.
Giselle: I wanted things to feel light and airy but also have an edge. My friend, Paige (Object & Us), talked to me at length about the importance of collecting mindfully rather than consuming mindlessly, and I really took that to heart. Everything in my room serves a purpose now, even if it's just something that makes me smile.
Favorite Element: Noël: I love my plants and I have a lot of fun shopping for pots for them. I go to thrift stores and search for people's old amateur ceramics they made in art classes and got rid of...I like imagining the drama of someone feeling like they failed at making something and then me rescuing their creation and giving it a new life. Or I find old dishes and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
Giselle: My books! I recently inherited these French books from the 1800s (the books that sit on my desk) that truly are works of art. From their covers, to their spines, to the paper... they are masterpieces. They serve as a constant reminder that the details are just as important as the big picture, as is the process.
Biggest Challenge: Noël: Allowing myself to splurge on decorating and trusting that a space can evolve and grow and it's okay to experiment and also equally okay to get rid of things.
Giselle: Honestly? I've had a hard time figuring out what I like and what I don't! It's been a lot of trial and error.
What Friends Say: Noël: The best compliment I've gotten was when a friend said the apartment feels like a "safe space." Friends say it's welcoming, creative.
Giselle: They really like the art in the apartment. We're constantly switching it up as we create and collect new pieces, and it's interesting to see which pieces friends are drawn to. I've gotten a lot of compliments on the red and yellow sheep near the kitchen, and the portrait of John Berryman in my bedroom.
Proudest DIY: Noël: We recently put up wallpaper ourselves. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to do it, then our friends came to help us put it up in shifts. It's a bit scary investing in something you can't take with you when you move, and it could be potentially disastrous if you don't do it right, but it really transformed our long spooky hallway and the wallpaper in my room makes me so happy every time I walk in.
Giselle: The wallpaper! Noël is the queen of DIY and she's really taught me how to get down and dirty...and let me tell you, wallpaper adhesive gets EVERYWHERE.
Biggest Indulgence: Noël: Over the past seven years I've bought a lot of art from artists online, and I've only just now been able to get some pieces custom framed and hung. It feels so adult.
Giselle: My mattress. Sleep is very, very important to me. My best friend makes jokes that I'm like the Princess and the Pea, but it's true. If I don't have a good mattress, I wake up achey and very angry. I splurged for the sake of everyone.
Best Advice: Noël: I'm still on a big box store budget and have some staples that can be found in a lot of apartments like mine, but I think spending a little more on smaller details like handmade ceramics or something as simple as unique coat hooks goes a long way in making a space more one-of-a-kind. Also, I love supporting local artists and friends' who are creative and it instantly gives you stories to anchor your pieces.
Giselle: Your space is your sanctuary. Don't worry about what other people will think of it, just focus on how it makes you feel.
Dream Sources: Noël: I'm an avid thrift store shopper, and I love shopping ETSY. I love finding low-key vintage stores online or Craigslist deals, and I get a thrill discovering new artists or shop owners clicking around on Instagram. Not above a curb find.
Giselle: I love vintage stores and stealing things from my way-more-stylish friends. Also, Nextdoor is great! I've found a lot of wonderful stuff that people are just giving away for free. It's crazy.
Henry Sofa — West Elm
Pink pillows — IKEA
Acrylic coffee table — Ebay
Slate grey/Embroidered pillow — DIY Noël made from vintage dress
Floor Lamp — West Elm
Gold wire stand — Flea Market
Green Chair — Purchased from friend
Floral illustrated throw blanket — Society 6
Yellow metal stand — IKEA
Wall shelving — Home Depot wall track and wood
Gouche Sketch (near light switch) — Noël made
Portrait of little girl — Flea Market
DINING ROOM AREA
Paul McCobb Dining table and 2 chairs — Craigslist
Green Dining Table Chair — Goodwill
Yellow Dining Table Chair — Found on Curb
Vintage Teak Veneer Bookshelf — Sunbeam Vintage LA
Metal Olive Plant Stand — Flea Market
Red Metal Stand — IKEA
Metal/Wood Rolling cart — Flea Market
Vintage TV Dinner Tray — Flea Market
Tunisian Rug — Gift from friend
Sheep Painting — Flea Market
Women Jumping Print — Leah Goren
"We'll See What Happens" Print — Noah Harmon
"Resist Fear, Assist Love" print — Nathaniel Russell
1960s Baldwin Acrosonic Piano — a random Goodwill in Arizona
Bench for Piano — IKEA
Needlepoint Portrait — Sunbeam Vintage
Hanging Ceramic Female — Ako Castuera
Wallpaper — Book Koi by Seabrook
Vanity and drawers — Out of the Closet Thrift Store
Metal headboard — Craigslist
Floral Wallpaper — Josef Frank Reproduction
Wood Nightstand — Adopted from a friend
Duvet cover — IKEA
Pillows — IKEA
Green wooden side table — Flea Market
Purple Library Cart - Flea Market
"Number 1" Ribbon Painting — Stevie Nelson
Large School Clock — Amazon
Wooden Stool — Flea Market
Metal Step stool — Flea Market
Mid-Century Vintage Desk — gifted by friend
Modern Gold Side Table — stolen from mom (who got it from that "one store" whose name she can't remember...)
Tall White Bookcase — also taken from my mom, probably IKEA
Stool — Home Goods
Fiddle Leaf Tree & Pot — Potted (Atwater Village)
Mirror — Target
Macrame Plant Holder — Mkono via Amazon
Shower Curtain - Society 6 Teal rolling cart — IKEA