Vacation Home out in Nature

Vacation Home out in Nature

Vacation Home out in Nature

Mountains, streams, and forest in Phao Mae Rim District embrace the open-air retreat home of a Bangkok lady who has chosen tranquil Chiangmai Province over big-city distraction and confusion.

/// Thailand ///

Story: Monosoda /// Photography: Nanthiya Bussabong /// Design: Sorrasak Chatkul na Ayutthaya, Jamnian Tongma /// Garden Designer: Siriwit Rewbamrung, Little Tree Landscape

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Out front, a beautiful Sri Lankan ironwood tree, also known as a “bunnag.” The left building holds the lobby, with private areas upstairs. To the right is a spacious, open dining hall.

Three years earlier, this was just a holiday home for Lady Ying (Witthiwut Withunwutchai). At that time, Prince Dighambara Yugala was in charge of it, and at his suggestion Lady Ying came to see if she should try living here permanently.

“Before, the house was surrounded by jungle. I explored a little each day, and found a nice view of the mountains. When the brush and grass was cut down, I found the river practically surrounded the house! Right then I fell in love with the place.”

Lady Ying bought the estate for her residence, naming it “Ironwood,” and added a new building for for friends and family as well as a hotel where guests to experience the natural world of northern Thailand.

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The concrete structure, simple walls of brick, perfectly suits the old-style doors and lunette windows.

Three years earlier, this was just a holiday home for Lady Ying (Witthiwut Withunwutchai). At that time, Prince Dighambara Yugala was in charge of it, and at his suggestion Lady Ying came to see if she should try living here permanently.

“Before, the house was surrounded by jungle. I explored a little each day, and found a nice view of the mountains. When the brush and grass was cut down, I found the river practically surrounded the house! Right then I fell in love with the place.”

Lady Ying bought the estate for her residence, naming it “Ironwood,” and added a new building for for friends and family as well as a hotel where guests to experience the natural world of northern Thailand.

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The dining area has a high, open ceiling and opens on all sides so guests can all experience the shady outdoor ambience.

“’Ironwood’ refers to the Sri Lankan Ironwood, or Bunnag tree. This is a monument to my great-grandmother Jamreun (Bunnag) Sanitwong Na Ayutthaya, wife of Suwaphan Sanitwong in the reign of King Rama V. She’s not well-known, but is always in my thoughts.”

One of Lady Ying’s neighbors here is famous sculptor Jamnian Thongma, whose building design talents helped make her dreams come true, with one zone in front and another behind. In front are two buildings: on the left, a reception lobby, with Lady Ying’s private rooms above: on the right, a dining room and catering area. A walkway connects the buildings. The rear zone holds a riverside guest house.

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The hotel has 5 rooms, each with a view of the river Sa and the pleasant shade of big trees.
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The simplicity of the bare concrete wall helps direct guests’ attention to the natural world all about.
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Climbing vines on the outer brick wall adds to a pleasant, shaded look, also reducing heat absorption.

Lady Ying walks us up the white metal spiral stair to her space on the second floor: a comfy, airy little studio with classic décor and a great view of the mountains. The bedroom connects directly to a spacious bathroom; the kitchen is separate, and from there a stairway leads down to a greenhouse garden. The Ironwood grounds are shady and pleasant, landscaped by Wit (Siriwit Riwbamrung) and Bae (Jaturong Khunkong) of Little Tree Landscape.

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White wrought iron spiral stair leads up to the private area.
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Tidy bedroom all in white, even the floor, with lots of natural light from the balcony.

Rooms contain antique decorative items collected over many decades: wooden screens from Burma, handmade chandeliers from Italy, mortared columns from India: many remarkable masterpieces arranged to produce a multicultural atmosphere by interior decorator Pla (Sorasak Chatrakul Na Ayutthaya).

This relaxing home has a remarkable mix of natural setting and cultural atmosphere, with universal narratives everyone can understand. Here are peace and tranquility, just waiting to be experienced.

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Left : The welcome hall features a high ceiling from which hangs a handmade glass chandelier from Murano, Italy Right : Sewing hobby corner in the loft style, furnished with antiques which keep it from looking overly contemporary.
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Drapes separate bedroom and bath for an open, uncluttered look.
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The kitchen leads out to a stairway reaching up to the roof deck and down to the garden.

 

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