By: Janene Rojas
Photos By: Art Moreno, Jr.
Styled By: Ladonna Apodaca
Welcome friends, I invite you to have a gas exploring a whimsical west El Paso abode built in the 1960s. This is a multidimensional home in the sense that here dwell two artists of many styles, who double as collectors of antiques and curiosities of the past.
Immediately upon pulling up to this spot, I see an abundance of desert plants and greenery. I step along the brick walkway and into the courtyard, where a grand aged tree, taller than I can photograph in one shot, greets me. There are brick step stones in the surrounding sand, and in the background, vines crawl the grey walls. Pale brick-art is carved into cats, and I know I’m not in Kansas anymore. With a sharp eye, I spot a metal bird and turtle somewhere, amongst the many outdoor trinkets. The patio is charming, and I wonder what awaits past the two lovely doors.
As a lover of entryways, the front doors lined with glass square cutouts and metal handles, like two wizard staffs, delight me entirely.
Through them into the living room, I spy a crimson floral rug and vibrantly painted portraits. I learn that the paintings adorning the walls are artistic replications of the homeowner’s family photos from the 1950s.
Mexican folk-art figurines and vases sprinkle the open living/dining space. Multiple wooden tables stand in the room and lead into the dining area, each different yet bonded by their vintage character. On one table is a bowl of dried pomegranates from the holy land itself, Jerusalem. On a separate pine table ,purchased from an old hotel in Bakersfield, California, is a glimmering antique tea set.
Lining the entrance to the kitchen are the same Cantera stone blocks carved into cat figures, each face different than the other. The owners reflect on the stone carvings and how they come from a building in Juárez, Mexico, home to folk art from every state in Mexico. After the building’s demolition, they were quick to request the stones they had admired for so long.
As I make my way through the home, I realize how genuinely diverse it is—a consistent mix of religious concepts, masterpiece family portraits and relics of the past. It feels creative, reverent and fun.
Down one of the halls is a painting studio filled with soon-to-be masterpieces and around the corner is the guest restroom which has a strong personality of its own. Here lies one of the home’s most stunning pieces of art; a full Cantera stone sink upon a large chest from Afghanistan, which then sits upon an Indian baby’s wooden crib purchased in south Chihuahua. This surprising combination looks seamlessly appropriate, as if the three individual items were created to stack into a sink. Hanging star-like lanterns ordered from Mexico add a dash of mysticism to the restroom and compliment the art on every wall.
Through the kitchen is a visible sunroom peering into the backyard. In the summer, I’m told the vegetable garden is in full bloom. This is a home I would love to picnic at over story time of the endless artwork and heirlooms. Part creation, part collection, and nearly a museum, this is one of the most unique homes in El Paso.