Designer Sara Noble Moves Downtown to Live it Up

Lipstick-red curtains with a ruffled detail frame a painting of a blue dress by Cali Hobgood in Noble’s living room. Photos by Aaron Leimkuehler

Local designer Sara Noble has always wanted to be a “big city girl.” As she neared her nest being empty, she decided to take the leap. “My son was a senior and when his classes went online [last year], it seemed like a perfect time to try out city living in my own city.”

Noble had a short, but thoughtful list of her needs. Knowing she had the skills to make the space beautiful, her focus was on good light and enough space to hold her family, which includes her daughter, who was already in college at the time of the move. Good views and a neighborhood with a lot of energy were also on her list.

Left: Noble took the opportunity to turn a narrow hall to the bedrooms into a gallery wall. Right: Sara Noble at her desk. Barbara Cosgrove lamp. The flowers are from Randy Neal Floral Design.

She struck gold. But once she found her new urban dwelling, she had to decide what to bring with her. At the top of her list was her antique armoire. “I think you have to really plan for utilizing all storage when you downsize. I bought the armoire the first month I was out of college,” Noble says. “I used layaway to make the purchase. The piece has moved around—it’s most recent stop was in my parents’ living room.”

Noble reclaimed it to hold her printer, vases, purses, medicine, and anything else that doesn’t have an obvious home. “It’s kind of random what’s in there,” she says. “But it works well for the things I access frequently.”

The Slim Aarons photograph of casual boaters hews to the color palette.

Noble kept a lot of her furniture from her previous house, but she made some bold choices for her new look. “I had red satin drapes made for the living room, as well as new Schumacher pillows,” she says. “The red drapes were going to be either really fantastic or terribly tacky. I’m happy with the outcome.”

Making room for her children was a priority, even as they were moving closer to moving on. “The custom bunk beds were an important part of my planning,” Noble says. “I needed a space where the kids could be comfortable. They are with me less and less, but I want them to love the space, so they want to come home and visit.”

The full-size bunks allowed each of her children to have a comfortable place to sleep and hang out. “It’s worked really well for us,” she says.

Left: From the dining space, a magnificent view of downtown, including the Midland Theater loggia, defines city living. Right: The walnut armoire was Noble’s first major furniture purchase.

Noble notes that she did not completely step off a ledge. She rented her previous home to someone she knew and was able to keep some of her things in the house. “I am currently moving the essentials to a storage unit. There are just some things I’m not ready to part with and I do think someday I’ll be in a house again.”

Noble is enjoying city life.

“I love my new urban environment,” she says. “I’m an extrovert and get my energy from being around people. I love to grab dinner or drinks or both! Now I can walk out my front door and have endless options. Even my walks with the dog in the morning feel special. There is something fun about the quiet of downtown before the business of the day begins. Some days I can’t believe this is my neighborhood.”

Left: Noble tucked storage into every possible nook in the diminutive condo, including a tall, mirrored cabinet bedside in the principal bedroom. Right: In the guest room, the custom-designed bunk beds were constructed by Sergio Herrera.

That said, Noble is not out and about all the time.

“This is such a great place to entertain. My building has the most amazing observation deck with the best views of Kansas City. Also, I discovered Pairings, where I can grab delicious charcuterie boards, and it’s within walking distance. It’s easy to have a dramatic evening. Everyone is invited—come on down.”

The It List

Interior Design
Noble Designs

Randy Neal Floral Design