More Than Meets the Eye

Interior designer Noelle Parks brings fresh, urbane flavor to South Bay homes.

Most creatives can relate to the phenomenon of stumbling across their most promising ideas while off the clock. It’s the random street scene, a visit to an unfamiliar spot or even going through the motions of an everyday mundane task that can bring forth inspirational gold when one least expects it. For interior designer Noelle Parks, new ideas might spark while flipping through a magazine, traveling or walking down the street with a friend. “Different places we walk, or even something they’ll talk about, will inspire an idea,” she explains, sitting in her sunny, white-washed studio and showroom, Noelle Interiors, located on Manhattan Avenue.

Since starting her design business in 2005, Parks has been called on to bring her creative acumen to a slew of South Bay homes that range in style from wood-filled French Country and sleek Mid-Century Modern to crisp, colorful Beach Cottage and Plantation-style homes. Her versatility and strict fidelity to the aesthetic premise of a given structure are among her strong suits, honed in part from years of working with architects, notably Jim Fasola at Manhattan Beach’s Fasola Architects, where she was in-house designer for over three years.

“It is important to coordinate my designs with the style of the architecture,” she says. “I love walking through spaces where the interior design and architecture are in harmony, down to the finishes and all the little details.” Her tutelage in building, however, began years earlier in small-town West Virginia. “My dad is a contractor, so I grew up on the job site, ever since I was a little kid,” says Parks, who recalls packing her car just a day after graduating from West Virginia University with an interior design degree and heading to California.

Though Parks’ firm tackles projects across the style spectrum, there is a distinct  ribbon that cuts across all their endeavors. “I do have a contemporary spin on any style we do,” she says of her handprint, which is au courant and beach friendly, yet sophisticated by way of studied layers and clean angles, large-format patterns and soft, fresh color. “I’m more about bigger forms and shapes versus little tiny curvilinear details.” It’s an approach that is elemental and holistic, and takes the full territory of a home into account, rather than “design that’s just to fill a space with a bunch of decor and furniture.”

“Every piece is unique and really makes sense and you can’t live without it in the space,” the designer says of the finished product. “Chevron is one of my favorite patterns, so you will see that a lot in my projects. I also love white, and blue and gray, so sometimes it’s hard to pull me away from those.” These and other signatures are well represented in her showroom, which opened in June 2014 and is tastefully equipped with custom pillows and furniture, much of it designed by Parks herself. There are also woven textiles, rolled bolts of rich fabrics and tidy design stations where her associates work away.

The space is situated amidst a row of restaurants and boutiques, a location that encourages people to stop by and take a look. “I just love being right on Manhattan Avenue,” says Parks. And if one is looking for some help with their DIY design project, she offers consultations that include an hour-long visit to the space in question, followed by a presentation board from the designer. With all the moving parts involved in even the most straightforward design projects, Parks insists there are many benefits to getting a pro’s eye on your project, someone who can say, “This is how you can keep moving forward to make it all look good in the end.”

Noelle Interiors
815 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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