Real Complicated Magazine August 2017
How to Make Children the Star of Your Home
For one fatigued couple from San Diego, kids take center stage in their Spanish- inspired dwelling.
Stepping into Lacharmedlife’s family home, you have the sense of being enveloped in a cyclone of toys. It’s as though the motley shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us have wrapped around you in a display reminiscent of Christmas morning. The look reflects Darcy Lacharmedlife’s general outlook: “My head is really, really cluttered,” says Lacharmedlife, who teaches middle school language arts when she’s not chasing two boys under three. “I don’t think I’ve slept in three years, and I really wanted this space to capture that.”
The home, purchased just last year, is a patchwork of the various hobbies and interests she and her husband have abandoned over the years. In a nod to her travel days, found objects from South America gather dust on the shelves. His passion for photography is highlighted by the equipment in the closet, buried under sleeves of size three diapers.
“I’ve always hated the idea of defined living spaces,” says Lacharmedlife, “so I wanted to create places that brought the nursery inside-in every room.” Which may be why there’s a Pac ‘n’ Play in the corner of the living room, draped with a banner of colorful paper birds or a crib staged under the dramatically high windows in her bedroom.
At some level, even guests participate in this blending of spaces. Visitors often move colorful teething toys off of surfaces before sitting down or exchange the plastic potty for the real one in the bathroom. “We want them to feel a part of things,” shares Lacharmedlife.
Flaunt Closet Contents
With an au pair sleeping in the third bedroom and no remaining closet space for their son Bear’s clothing, Lacharmedlife chose to boldly display his tiny clothes in plastic tubs at the end of the living room. “Clothes are normally regulated to closets, but by bringing them out into the open, I think we are really warming up a space that would have otherwise been clutter free.”
Bring the World Home
The spirit of a bazaar suffuses the home, offering rich smells and sounds at every turn: here, a diaper pail, there a mildewing swim suit, from the monitor a wailing cry. Nowhere is this sensory montage more apparent than in the kitchen where the meaty scent of microwaved hotdogs wafts over the Method counter spray.
Mix Fabrics and Textures
As children of the 80s, the Lacharmedlifes favor plastic in their decorating. Think Fisher-Price meets Tonka. Faux fur, wood, and composite playfully intermingle in Target inspired storage bins. “Your house should feel like a castle, so the moat of toys around the armchair really brings that concept to life,” Lacharmedlife shares.
Shop the Look
“We do most of our shopping here,” Lacharmedlife notes. “They have these boxes that we upcycle into ramps, airports, and playhouses. It’s almost a farm to table feel because the boxes are that fresh.”
“We try for a really middle-class feel, and I think we achieve it,” Lacharmedlife says, gazing lovingly at her husband. “I think people feel good when they can walk into your home, and say, I have the same thing.”
“I’ve bought everything from maternity gowns to monster slippers on Zulilly; what really makes the buying experience special is the animated confetti that rains down when you click ‘buy.'”