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The Importance of Design and Living Well

Walk past the giant cedar beams and a custom crafted, oversized door greets you as you step inside Noorish House in Tofino

Walk past the giant cedar beams and a custom crafted, oversized door greets you as you step inside Noorish House in Tofino

Have you ever stepped into a space and felt an immediate sense of well-being? You may have even taken a deep breath, let out a sigh and immersed all of your senses to take in your physical surrounding. Your eyes widen, your jaw relaxed, and you feel happy. The link between aesthetically pleasing spaces and healthy living is well documented, and this philosophy drove a fundamental part in the design and construction of Noorish House.

Exterior and landscaping is a work in progress. We love how our timber frame home fits in with its natural environment and can't wait to get the grounds really lush again.

Exterior and landscaping is a work in progress. We love how our timber frame home fits in with its natural environment and can't wait to get the grounds really lush again.

This idea of design and wellness correlates with ancient principles of feng shui as well as Scandinavian design theories on our mood and health. Feng Shui is all about creating a flow of Chi, or your life force, so that it can freely move about the home. A home free of clutter and with smartly designed pathways encourages this movement. Minimalistic but not barren. It’s as if the Chi moves as freely as the ocean tides, pouring in and out in a rhythmic and cleansing manner.

Crisp dark blue and rugged textured wood cabinets are topped with a white quartz countertop. Brass details such as the hexagon cabinet door pulls and the hanging pendants, both by  CB2 , add a luxe touch. A matte black faucet by Delta plays off the black accented theme that runs through the home.

Crisp dark blue and rugged textured wood cabinets are topped with a white quartz countertop. Brass details such as the hexagon cabinet door pulls and the hanging pendants, both by CB2, add a luxe touch. A matte black faucet by Delta plays off the black accented theme that runs through the home.

High ceilings give us a sense of freedom. Cool colours such as soft blues and greens evoke feelings of calm and serenity while warmer tones can create feelings of excitement, mystery or intimacy. Natural textures such as wood, leather, granite and wool encourages the human touch. And elements such as gold and brass accents, concrete, and glass add sophistication and balance the warm materials with the cool.

When I designed Noorish House, I wanted to create a place that could evoke certain moods and feelings but also be highly functional. My vision was to create a space of great comfort and relaxation with special touches that made the house feel like a home. I employed minimalist lines inspired by Scandinavian design for the structure, but also incorporated different textures and materials throughout for a variety in sensory experience. The exterior aimed to fit in harmony with its surroundings of tall cedar trees. We worked with a terrific pre-fab architectural and design firm named Purcell Timberframe Homes to create our dream, single-story cottage by the sea. We fell in love with the timber frame look which is quintessentially Westcoast, and we kept the shape as a simple rectangle as an ode to the traditional First Nations Longhouse. The dark stain on the exterior siding is a nod to the old style Japanese method of Shou Sugi Ban which preserves wood through fire and creates a dramatic blackened and textured wood. The result is Scandinavian Hygge meets Westcoast Chill meets Asian Zen. 

A leather headboard bed by  CB2  welcomes guests to relax. Area rug is hand crafted in Mexico purchased from local Tofino retailer  Merge , and a hand made tassel blanket from Morocco from  Artizanry  acts as the coverlet. Side tables are cast in concrete from  Sun Pan .

A leather headboard bed by CB2 welcomes guests to relax. Area rug is hand crafted in Mexico purchased from local Tofino retailer Merge, and a hand made tassel blanket from Morocco from Artizanry acts as the coverlet. Side tables are cast in concrete from Sun Pan.

I’m a lover of natural light so large windows and sliding doors were a must to brighten up the home and to invite the feeling of being outside in. The cathedral clapboard ceilings were washed with a diluted white paint to maximize their impact and to reflect the most light possible. The walls are mostly painted in a classic soft white, Benjamin Moore’s Cotton Balls, a shade that is neither too blue or too yellow, to create the seaside cottage mood.

My twins light up seeing the fire stove in use for the first time

My twins light up seeing the fire stove in use for the first time

The centrepiece of the home is a grounding element that reaches up high into the ceiling: a matte black and four sided glass surround fire stove which not only warms the cottage on those damp Tofino nights but provides an essential life force, fire, in the heart of the home. The fire stove sits in the intersection between Noorish House's main living space of media area, kitchen, dining space and a conversation and reading area.

I wanted to display objects that carried special meaning to me so when a guest puts her eyes on it, she too, could wonder about the story behind the item and perhaps bring about a conversation. Being a big fan of local surf and wedding photographer Bryanna Bradley, I couldn’t resist bringing in her fantastic prints which really highlight the strength of the female surfing sisterhood in Tofino.

Part time Noorish House resident finds a beam of sun to doze off in. Leather chairs by  Article.  

Part time Noorish House resident finds a beam of sun to doze off in. Leather chairs by Article. 

It’s no wonder that we often feel more relaxed and happy when we are staying in a spacious and well organized home. 

A big thank you to my wonderful builder Donny in Tofino who has been incredibly patient and understands my vision. 

Come play and relax at one of our Tofino Getaways or Contact Us for private retreat options.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Should You Go On A Women’s Retreat

Before starting Noorish Tofino Retreats, I embarked on many women’s only retreats in my quest for adventure, soul replenishment, and fun. Each trip I took brought me a new perspective on myself and the world around me. Every experience I had, without the comfort of family and my home surroundings, has shaped and driven me to who I am today. I am immensely thankful for these opportunities.

I have girlfriends who never go on women’s retreats, or have never traveled solo without their husbands or kids. I have girlfriends who make it a priority to travel, whether it is yearly or every few years, on a women’s retreat, with their friends or by themselves. Many of those who have never been on a women’s only trip will tell me they have either never thought about it, or didn’t think they would enjoy it, or are afraid things will go sideways at home or at work if they are away. Well my friends, I am here to tell you, if you are on the fence or even if you think it’s not your thing, you might be surprised by the incredible experience a women’s retreat can provide you with.

There are all kinds of womens retreats available out there. Those featuring yoga and meditation, those for artists and photographers, and those for adventurers and nature lovers. Almost always they provide an opportunity to self-reflect through independent travel, to see the world through a new lense via the exploration of a new place, and to build a feeling of support and community through new friendships. Below are the top five reasons I believe, why you should go on a women’s retreat.

Reason #1: Deepen Your Connection

When you take the time to slow down, to listen to your inner thoughts and feelings, you are able to deepen your connection to your inner self. Away from the hustle of everyday life and the noise of everyone else’s needs, you can find that time and space to tune into the heart’s desires. Women’s retreats are the perfect getaways to achieve that deepening connection. At Noorish Tofino Retreats, we provide 1-2 yoga classes each day that provide us that space to deep breathe, recharge and to allow our minds to float and wander. We provide dream making workshops so you can have fun using your creativity to find your vision. As a personal experience, I find the word ‘nourish’, was a theme that kept coming to my mind as I meditated during a retreat to Nicarugua nearly 5 years ago. Although I did not know it at the time, this work kept resonating with me and has led me to the creation of Noorish Tofino Retreats. If you take the time and provide yourself the space to tune in, you too can find clarity in your inner voice.

Reason #2: Push Your Personal Boundaries

Traveling alone and meeting up with a group of strangers can seem daunting. Trying to surf for the first time, or going away from your children for an extended period to a new place can be terrifying. Even being out of your routine means you need to adjust and be flexible. But I truly believe in doing things to scare you once in a while is good for the soul. A challenge that you can overcome, be it through mental toughness o physical strength or deep soul searching, can be a real confidence booster. And you might even find it fun and exhilarating. 

Reason #3: Make Friends With the Most Interesting Women

Why is it that some of the most interesting women travel on women’s only retreats? I don’t have the answer but I do find the real soul sistas I’ve met on retreats, whether they are other traveling guests or retreat hosts or coaches, are some of the most interesting and strong women I’ve never met. A retreat brings together women of many different backgrounds, experiences and cultures, and the playing field is level as everyone is starting on the same page. Doing adventurous things together and providing emotional support for one another is a sure-fire way to create lasting friendships which often span continents and cultures. I met two of my favourite ladies, Liz and Carly, now partners with Noorish Tofino Retreats, through a surf retreat.

Reason #4 Focus On Your Own Needs

Photo by  Mayur Gala

Photo by Mayur Gala

Breaking out of your routine means you are now available to focus in on your needs, FIRST. As women who may have busy careers, or managing households with children and pets, we often put those around us first and we only get to ourselves at the end of the day, when everything is done. By then, we are exhausted. Going on a womens retreat means not just taking an hour here or there for yourself, but actually investing in extended time to nourish your soul. You will come back feeling refreshed and calm; ready to take on the world. 

Reason #5: Revel in the power of Feminine Energy

Photo by  Seth Doyle

Photo by Seth Doyle

Being in a group of all women brings out a soft yet strong female energy. It’s as if being in our own pack, out exploring new places and doing new things together, creates a energetic force field that elevates us all. We believe in the positive energy that this exudes, giving each and every woman confidence and a sense of community.

Here at Noorish Tofino Retreats we provide intimate small-group retreats for a high level of service and customization. So whether it’s your first women's retreat or your 50th, we want to help you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We believe in nourishing the mind, body and soul. Start your retreat planning today with our signature Noorish Your Connection Retreat in Tofino, BC, Canada or check out our Moroccan Moon Surf & Yoga Retreat. Don't see a retreat that fits in with your schedule? Contact us about private groups and retreats.