The Color of Love

Creative couple Gale and Charlie Johnson – both exuberantly artistic – consistently repurpose materials to recreate their Santa Fe-style home as a visual triumph.

Whenever artists come together, the predictable result might be colorful, but when artists as superbly gifted as Gale and Charlie Johnson unite, brace for a kinetic journey across the color spectrum. For almost 15 years, their intensely colorful, Santa Fe-styled home has been the Johnsons’ collective palette, the inspired result of the couple’s artistry in every possible medium.

Built entirely around a set of windows that Gale had rescued from a stockpile, the home is a reflection of the Johnsons’ shared commitment to repurpose resources, rather than buying new. From inception to completion, the Johnsons’ hands have touched every inch of the house that began from those windows and materialized from a floor plan sketched out by Gale. That hands-on approach extends right down to the wiring. “The only thing we don’t do is plumbing,” Charlie confesses.

Upon entering the Johnson home, guests feel transported – specifically, transported to Santa Fe, a home away from home for Gale and Charlie. “We feel drawn to Santa Fe,” Gale says. “And when we can’t be there, we want to bring Santa Fe home.” A palette of terra cotta and pale aqua blue walls, combined with an infusion of carved woods and earth elements throughout the home, makes a convincing argument that the Johnsons have succeeded.