Every morning, light filters through the south-facing windows in ’s home, forming a rainbow. A prism of color beams into the living room while June and her five-year-old daughter, Pim, sit on the sofa for “rainbow time.” This, says June, is because the lead glass windows in her 1909 bungalow were made by a craftsman who etched the glass with such artistry that now her family can begin each day with a rainbow. If this sounds a teensy bit magical, then you’ll also appreciate how June and her partner Rattawut Lapcharoensap wound up purchasing a home in Laramie, WY after previously living in England, Brooklyn, Berlin, and Bangkok.
June, an artist and designer, and Rattawut, who teaches in the University of Wyoming’s MFA in Creative Writing program, were renting with no intention of buying a house — let alone settling in Laramie — when June’s mother went for a walk. She turned the corner from their rental and saw a man placing a “For Sale By Owner” sign on a house. Five minutes later, June and Rattawut were walking through a house that very nearly had “a nice little bow on it,” June says. In the three years since, June has filled her family’s home with furniture found at antique stores, flea markets, estate sales, and her own DIY creations (the only brand new exceptions being the two Room and Board sofas, mattresses, and Pim’s bed). Combining her “inner window-dresser” with a desire for comfort, June has created rooms as enchanting as the morning rainbows.
But how, you might ask, does a woman who worked as a window dresser for Bergdorf Goodman end up living as an artist in Wyoming, a place with “a subtle color palette?” It came to pass that just as June’s life was going exactly as she wanted, her back gave out. Between her chronic pain, a workaholic schedule, and the birth of their daughter, June and Rattawut were ready for a different lifestyle. They found it in Laramie, in a backyard full of chickens and aspen trees, in a home filled with the old and the playful, and in a frontier known for its tumbleweed. Here, they’re finding a balance between time spent working and time spent hiking in the mountains or fly-fishing in a nearby lake. As John Muir said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” The path June and her family have taken has led them across the High Plains and Rocky Mountains to a home filled with rainbows and tumbleweeds. And this has made all the difference. —