Getting access to businesswoman and beauty expert Julie Powell’s new home in the exclusive Al Barari development was a real coup for Ahlan!. Despite having moved into her luxurious new space just a couple of months ago, Julie seems right at home in her seven-bedroom estate, complete with a garden-based standalone guesthouse for lucky visitors. “I was the first person to purchase [the land and the shell of a villa] at The Reserve in May 2013. Two months of planning meetings with the design team and builders followed and work started in July 2013. We spent our first night in the house in February 2014.”
Powell envisioned a South Beach vibe for her home. “I love the Miami style of architecture and interior design. Our weather is similar here, with lots of outdoor living, cool marble floors, wall-sized windows and plenty of natural sunlight.” Inspiration for the home, whose interiors she designed herself, was gleaned from American homes magazines, as well as studying images on Instagram and Tumblr.
The villa features three purple bougainvillea-and-jasmine-bedecked roof terraces (with fully irrigated built-in planter pits), an outdoor kitchen and BBQ, dining pagoda and black marble exterior bar, an air-conditioned garage, and indoor and outdoor water features as well as a pool dotted with five-metre-high palms. The combined effect makes this home worthy of an appearance in an episode of Grand Designs.
The ground floor has white marble floors and is dominated by a three-floor-high atrium with a glass roof that allows the villa to be flooded with natural light. Tall black high-gloss double sliding doors contrast with the neutral colour palette throughout the villa and a seven-metre glass panel soars over the huge front door. “The entire space is monochrome and was inspired by a black lacquered grand piano I’ve owned for some years. This now takes pride of place in the entrance foyer next to a black waterfall and is, I believe, the essence of the house’s unique interior design,” elaborates Julie.
Accessorising is key when bringing the mainly white interiors accented with grey cladding to life. “Books, candles, photos, flowers and art – I collect pieces when I travel and place them around my home. Silver teapots from Turkey, Rosaries from Rome and coffee pots from Morocco are all dotted around on coffee tables and shelves.”
There’s plenty of room for Julie, her husband and four children (who are aged between eight and 21 years old) to all be whisked up their three-storey house in their extravagant, panoramic glass elevator, which opens out at the roof to wonderful views of the Burj Khalifa.
● I’m a huge fan of THE One, Marina Home Interiors and Aati. Take one or two key designer items and blend in more affordable pieces.
● Develop a room over time. I don’t go out and buy everything on the same day from one shop – it’s better to layer in pieces over months or even years.
● Silk is a nice fabric with which to frame a window, but go for simple curtains and blinds and let the view from the window create the impact.