Fashion, art, and design are at the heart of Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa’s family home in Bahrain. Its contemporary aesthetic echoes that of her womenswear label Noon by Noor.
“I’ve been drawn to fashion for as far back as I can remember,” says Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa, founder and CEO of Bahrain-based womenswear label Noon by Noor. “As a young girl, I was in awe of my mother’s closet – filled with couture gowns, exotic handbags, and jewelry – and would spend hours on end admiring it. My father, Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, is a renowned painter. It was inevitable that art, design, and fashion would become integral to my life.”
Originally printed in the September 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia
Initially launched before Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa even started college, today, Noon by Noor – known for its understated luxury and emphasis on masculine tailoring with feminine accents – can be spotted on celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid, Anna Kendrick, and Katy Perry. Along with her cousin Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa – Noon By Noor co-designer, and COO– she moved to the United States and studied fashion design at Marymount University in Virginia before moving back to Bahrain where Noon by Noor was reborn in 2008.
Ready to settle down, Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa returned to the place she called home: Riffa, the second largest city in Bahrain. “I lived in the same house growing up,” she says. After marrying in 2014, she moved into this home, located on the same compound. “The neighborhood is paved with childhood memories, like at-home birthday parties in the outdoor gardens,” she reminisces. Open and spacious, the French-inspired landscaping is filled with different plants, including jasmine, roses, mango, and lemon trees, as well as water features.
With two floors and seven bedrooms, Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa’s house – depicting French architecture, in particular in the windows and stone details on the exterior and interior moldings – is a family home; she loves spending time here with her children (two-year-old girl and boy twins and a six-month-old baby boy) and friends. “At home, my lifestyle is centered around family and the importance of its union,” she says. “I am also a passionate hostess and I love to entertain guests. I have taken this into account while designing certain spaces, ensuring that they are also conducive to this aspect of my lifestyle.”
Divided into several areas that reflect various environments – formal, casual, family-friendly – the partially open-plan house reveals a grand, floor-to-ceiling window in the main hall that invites an abundance of natural light. “I designed every room in the house, and each one tells its own story,” explains Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa. “My office pays tribute to my love for the ocean and nature, which is captured by a powder blue de Gournay silk wallpaper with hand-painted birds and branches.”
Marble and parquet wood floors and the different color schemes, such as the tonal soft gray elements in the dining room and the monochrome black-and-white theme in one of the family rooms, reflect subtle luxury. This aesthetic also prevails in Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa’s fashion creations. In her home, furniture, lighting (including Baccarat chandeliers), and accessories reflect a combination of classic luxury and modern, simple touches like coffee tables books and crystal sculptures as well as floral accents that she personally designed to add a delicate, romantic finish. Different periods coexist harmoniously, mixing past and present. “It’s not something you would typically see in Bahrain,” she acknowledges.
Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa admits her closet is the part of her home that best represents her personality. “I have a great appreciation for tailored pieces and clean, minimal silhouettes,” she says. “I love wearing something very simple with statement jewelry, shoes, or a bag. I like to vary my style according to my mood. Some days I go for a very sporty casual look and on other days I opt for a dressy ensemble.” Conversation turns to her own label. “Our brand is inspired by our stories, and as our lives evolve and change, Noon by Noor progresses, too,” she explains. “Being a new mom, it felt natural to extend our brand with the introduction of Noon By Noor Mini, a project that we’ve been secretly working on for the past year, and hope to launch in spring/summer 2019.” Looking out onto the lively koi pond and gazebo, the multi-tasking businesswoman smiles, “It’s my absolute favorite outdoor spot to unwind.”