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Star & Strips (Forever)

Stars & Stripes is not only a nickname for the American Flag – it is also a brand of soft drinks, a ballet, the official newspaper of the United States Armed Forces, an album by The Beach Boys, and The National March of the United States of America composed by John Philip Sousa. When I was in high school, I would time my mornings to Sousa marches. The beat always kept me in perfect time. As most marches were only a few minutes long, usually around 5, I would know how to time my shower, teeth brushing, and driving, accordingly. Now, two step, double time, and let’s decorate our home with American flair via both alternating stars and stripes, sometimes each together.

Sixteen mirrored glass panes are skillfully cut, shaped and fitted by hand to create each of these stars. Framed in antiqued brass, the glass has a mottled gilded finish that lends warmth and opulence to the light-catching facets. From Pottery Barn, HERE.

A country style, English inspired, sky blue living room. Image via House to Home UK.

Gunmetal, gilt, and metallic colors make this room feel celestial. Barneby Gates is the brainchild of Vanessa Barneby, Vogue Living Editor and Alice Gates, graduate of London Art School and fashion textile designer.  Pooling their experience, Vanessa and Alice set up Barneby Gates in 2009. With a quintessentially English feel, their inaugral collection gives classical ideas a contemporary twist using subtle metallic finishes and a touch of irony. Image found HERE. 

A slightly more updated take on “your girly bedroom”. Bring classic linear pattern into your home with a striped chair cover in the latest coral shades. Continue the modern feel with a co-ordinating ribbon picture and keep the rest of the colours neutral. Using all natural materials such as woods, cottons, glass, and patinas, this room feels extremely rustic yet traditional. Image found HERE. 

Wary Meyers Decorative Arts, a redone and recreated Brooklyn, NY Brownstone. New paint colors with old world details. Image found HERE.

A tiny 969 sq ft carriage house is in Des Moines, Iowa. The Country Home team transformed it using renewable and recycled products. To see more of the eco friendly images of the home, here HERE.

Imported all the way from Sweden, this very cool wallpaper is perfect for any kids bedroom (or any room, for that matter). Product found HERE.

A mix of lilac, purple and white in layers of pattern create a look that’s fresh and exotic. A pretty block-print coverlet and paisley pillows draw the eye, while gold star patterned wallpaper on the ceiling adds whimsy. Image via Canadian House & Home, HERE.

 Moravian Glass Star Lamp, vases in a Cloche, black color schemes, almost a Victorian yet, Gothic vibe. The wallpaper is a bookshelf!

Create a striking backdrop in the hallway with a glamorous wallpaper such as this striped design! Image via House to Home UK, HERE.

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An Artist’s Dwelling (6)

Roxa Smith was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela (yummy Arepas). She came to the US in her teens and attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, earning a degree in Art History and German in 1984 with a minor in Visual Arts. In 1987, she received a Graduate Certificate in the Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She now lives in and works in New York City and is represented by George Billis Gallery NY and George Billis Gallery LA.. Roxa has exhibited nationally and internationally.  Her painting focus on mostly empty interiors, wherein the remnants of a family or place remain regardless of human portraits. She is currently an English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor at Baruch College- Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS). Her interests include cooking, biking, traveling, education, and India. To buy some of her works and prints directly online, go HERE.

Roxa Smith, Green Couch, 36”x45” oil on canvas, 2009

Roxa Smith, Continuity, 2011, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Smith explains her series, Interiors, “The spaces we inhabit or visit each take on an individual character and sensibility in our minds, a memory of the time we passed there, of the company we shared. These voyeuristic paintings depict actual places, recalling their essence without seeking to faithfully recreate them. The intimate scale in this ongoing series of gouache on wood portraits, often only 5 by 7 inches, invites the viewer to enter the room, to experience the narrative quality within the quiet space, devoid of people, yet evocative and teeming with life.” Her use of light, color, shadow, and angle is extremely unique. Her images are intimate and a little lonely. Don’t you just want to dive in to the realistic depth of the painting and take up residence on her canvases?

Roxa Smith, Pillow Heaven, 30″x40″ oil on canvas, 2010

Roxa Smith, The Piano Room, 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Roxa Smith, La Cocina Azul, 2009, oil on canvas 45 x 36 inches

“In these interiors and exteriors, I strive to capture and then distill fleeting moments in time and seek to illuminate the “spirit” of a space. The images are often devoid of people yet evocative and teeming with life, intended not to purely document a place but rather to portray its essence. I concentrate on the architectural details, source of light, and complex patterns within a composition. The isolation and juxtaposition of these elements creates a picture that is anything but a straightforward view…”, continues Smith in her motivation for another series, Interiors and Landscapes. I love the fact that her images often feature a room within a room. The art on a wall captures and directly reflects a captured moment in space, a moment that is ephemeral. This concept of magic realism reminds me of  another native South American – Argentinian, Jorge Luis Borges, who writes, “You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand.” What is life but an image within an image, a dream within a dream? Borges believed that reality is not always based on probability, and so Smith’s paintings remind me of the weird and fanciful aspects of interiors. Sorry for the esoteric mind bend but, it just goes to show you how deeply Smith’s paintings make me think and feel.

The above paintings are equal parts traditional, eclectic, and culturally inspired. Rooms that remind me of Roxa Smith’s oeuvre, and her use of pattern, juxtaposition, and unexpected color:

Room designed by Vintage Renewal from Idledale, Co., image found HERE.

Back Bay Apartment, Boston by Nirmada Interior Design, image found HERE.
This eclectic, print-filled room from Better Homes & Gardens, HERE. 
Neon pink fridge, Latin American flair, Mosaics, and that yellow wall!  Image via Big Chill, HERE.
The two-room 40 Winks hotel in Stepney Green, London, UK. Images found HERE.
This patterned filled workspace courtesy of Absolutely Beautiful Things, HERE.
Image found via Anthropologie, HERE.
Image of Hotel Thoumieux in Paris, France found HERE.
HOW CAN I LIVE IN A FANTASTICAL AND BRIGHT ROXA SMITH PAINTING?
Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /
I understand that not everyone can live in such a BRIGHT and multifarious room so, like in Smith’s paintings, it is enough to just contemplate the type of people that fill a space. My mind has been attacked and invaded by color and pattern lately; I promise I will calm down the rooms in the next few posts!