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A floor-to-ceiling bay window frames a large eat-in kitchen. The table is reclaimed wood and the distressed hutch has cabinets faced with chicken wire.
Sarah Greenman: Your home is filled with vintage and unique pieces. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Melanie Paulk Abderrahman: There is the coolest store in St. George called Urban Renewal. It's a fabulous consignment store, and the owner has an unbelievable eye for design.
Wall color: custom from Behr, Home Depot; Kitchen hutch: Urban Renewal, St. George, Utah
SG: What inspires your personal style?
MPA: Color, light and sound are huge inspirations for me. Lighting is soft and warm, with natural lighting being a big focus. Sacred objects play another big role in our living space. A Medicine Buddha from Bali is the main focal point in our great room.
SG: The great room is very spacious. What did you do to make it your own?
MPA: I decided on a faux suede finish from Ralph Lauren for the great room. It brought the overall color of the land inside. So right away there was balance and coziness.
Wall color: Adobe Suede, Ralph Lauren
The den has a very masculine, country western feel. It boasts a deep leather couch, Mexican textiles and denim blue walls. Melanie used red wool blankets — procured during one of her many trips to Mexico — as curtains to divide the great room and the den. Melanie says, “Omar loves country western, as he grew up outside of Dallas, and me, well I'm a rock ’n’ roll Yogi. Our home reflects that in a East meets West fusion.”
Bucking Bronco art: Urban Renewal; wall color: Indigo Denim, Ralph Lauren
The most unexpected area of the home is a fully appointed outdoor kitchen just off the den. With a gas range, grill, refrigerator and bar, it’s perfect for outdoor entertaining. The glass checkerboard bricks above the range create diffused natural light and visual interest.
SG: Tell me about your amazing outdoor kitchen.
MPA: We are planning on installing a tankless water heater and pellet stove in the next couple of months. Then we plan to remodel the indoor kitchen, which is sorely lacking in good appliances. In the meantime, I cook outside in my outdoor kitchen. I can’t resist the panoramic view. The outdoor kitchen is part of the amenities I offer campers who stay overnight during weekend retreats.
The Abderrahmans have 17 campsites on the property that they rent to visitors for overnight stays.
Omar spends much of his time on the road as a production manager for bands and musicians. When at home, he needs his own space to work in. Rock memorabilia, family photos and meaningful travel mementos fill his office.
The master bedroom is a serene space filled with rich silk textiles and soft light. Melanie strongly believes that the bedroom should be a place that promotes intimacy and romance, clear of clutter and outside influences.
SG: Did you work with a designer to create these spaces?
MPA: I don’t have a designer. It’s all from me and was a very intuitive process. My daily meditation and yoga practice creates an eternal flow of creative juices. Omar is a big design influence as well. He likes a free and uncluttered space while I like to fill it up.
Bedding: Bed Bath and Beyond
A small dressing area lies opposite the master bedroom and provides overflow space for Melanie’s closet, which is too small to house her large wardrobe. She admits to being “a clotheshorse” and has created a clever rack to hold her yoga garb and accessories.
A guest room with an adjoining bath just off the front entrance takes inspiration from the couple’s extensive travels. Cultural masks and Haitian art hang above a richly embroidered coverlet from Kashmir, India.
A side entrance welcomes visitors to the Sage Hills Healing Center with a mix of Tibetan prayer flags and twinkle lights, which hang on a wooden pergola. The couple purchased the house in 2005 and, in 2009, broke ground to build their garage. This quickly evolved into a 4,000-square-foot addition that now houses the upstairs yoga studio and downstairs office.
Two whimsical chairs, hands sculpted in the shape of the vitarka mudra, provide seating at the entrance to the yoga center.
Chairs: The Wizz, Cedar City, Utah
A long staircase connects the Sage Hills Healing Center office and yoga studio.
MPA: There is a Saraswati statue at the top of the stairs that greets each person as they ascend the stairs into the yoga studio. She is the goddess of wisdom and music, the perfect inspirational deity for the healing center.
SG: What is your proudest homeowner moment?
MPA: Creating a space for my yoga business. It was actually my husband’s idea. The studio has 360-degree windows that provide a breathtaking view of the valley. The ceiling is blue to reflect the sky, and the window treatments are copper to reflect the desert landscape. The lighting is all indirect, as there is a wonderful natural light from east-west exposure.
Another incredible property feature is a labyrinth with an astounding view of the surrounding mountains. Electricity for the house is underground so that the views are completely unobstructed by power lines.
Melanie’s most recent gardening venture is a beautiful medicine wheel behind her guest cottage. A sitting Buddha is the focal point, and the herb garden hosts four kinds of mint, two kinds of lavender, sage, echinacea, bee balm, thyme and rosemary, among others.
The Abderrahmans are always looking for ways to make their home more energy efficient. They installed solar panels on the roof and a supplemental solar panel near the greenhouse. Melanie says that if they ever need to, their home can go off the grid and be completely self-sustaining.
There is also a Memon transformer in the electrical panel. This German technology creates a force field in which man-made energy waves, such as from wireless cell phones, are neutralized.
Melanie stands under a pergola at her front entrance near a blooming purple clematis.
SG: Do you have any advice for other homeowners?
MPA: Create a sanctuary that reflects your personal identity as a family or individual.
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