Dwelling: Art to the Max


This gallery owner loves taking her work home with her.Two years ago, Judy and Nick Smith moved into a Folsom home that offered a blank slate inside and nothing but a pile of dirt out the back door. That was just fine because Judy, owner of Fire And Rain Gallery in El Dorado Hills, is up to her elbows in art and the stuff of home-dec dreams every day—and has been since she opened her gallery in its first location on Folsom’s Sutter Street in 1994. Fine art, along with art you can sit on, gather around, read under or watch as it moves in the breeze, is Smith’s stock in trade, and her own rooms and outdoor spaces are alive with it. She’s a natural at combining color, light, movement and texture. Quirky wood assemblages coexist with iridescent glass plaques, candy-colored lampshades, amusing ceramics, one-of-a-kind tables and sumptuous furniture that might be formal if it weren’t so playfully and irreverently upholstered. Smith had big fun with a settee she had tufted with rhinestone buttons and covered with no fewer than eight knock-your-socks-off fabrics. A curvaceous ottoman outfitted in a faux leopard print is at the center of things in her family room, where lush, lipstick-red roses pop up on a dramatically patterned valance and curlicues on the rug dance before your very eyes. The backyard? It’s art at full throttle. Phill Evans, whose studio is in Fair Oaks, is known for his ingenious and graceful kinetic sculptures. His intricate tiki hut—thatched in copper, bronze and brass—covers the outdoor kitchen, while a hula girl fountain “dances” at the edge of the pool. “He’s brilliant,” Smith says of Evans. “When the wind blows, the glass glints and the metal pieces in her little bra top move and tinkle, and the top piece whirls around. Isn’t it just fabulous?” Absolutely. Fun and fabulous and art to the max.