Chamnian Thongma’s Classy Studio Home in Chiang Mai

Chamnian Thongma’s Classy Studio Home in Chiang Mai

Chamnian Thongma’s Classy Studio Home in Chiang Mai

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Warapsorn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs:  Sungwan Phratep /

Chamnian Thongma is one of the country’s top artists and sculptors. Many prefer to call him just “Thongma.” The artist is widely known for having produced many life-size figurative sculptures. His works are soft and sweet with a little bit of rawness, the likes of which aplenty at his studio home.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home
His art studio is constructed based on a simple design. The exterior walls are crafted of exposed brickwork. The most charming feature is the door shutter that has a classic antique feel to it.

The artist’s home is on the highway in Chiangmai Province. It is nestled in the heart of an old housing project.  Thongma came across this piece of land while working on a friend’s decoration project, which was right next door.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home
Wide-open living space inside the studio: The relaxed interior has a beautiful set of table and chairs. Some of Thongma’s sculptures are on display here.
His human figures come partly in smooth finishes, while other parts have a raw, rugged look to them.
His human figures come partly in smooth finishes, while other parts have a raw, rugged look to them.

When he first bought it, the one-Rai (1,600 sq.m) land was teeming with long tall grasses. After all the clutter was hacked out, it was a beauty just like it was when the project was born many years back. It took less than four months to build this house from start to finish.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home
The artist’s residence is a simple one-storey home. For the most part the structure is built of reclaimed wood and steel.

Thongma started out with simple design with a work studio occupying the front section facing the highway. The residential section is in the rear and sits on the water’s edge, where flowing sounds of the stream can be heard all day. The finished project comprises of three one-story buildings looking very much alike but serving entirely different functions. They all have simple gable roofs.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home
The studio exterior walls are crafted of steel frames and transparent glass panes. There are plenty of openings to promote natural ventilation.

The studio exterior walls are crafted of exposed brickwork. The entrance doorway sports a different kind of appeal. The shutters come in classic antique design. Next to it stands the residential section, which consists two white buildings.

The fascia is made of reclaimed wood boards to add a country rustic feel to it. The two residential units connect to each other based on an L-shaped floor plan.

Seating area inside the residential building: Ceiling panels underneath the garble roof are made of reclaimed timber. Along the wall, potted Cordyline plants thrive alongside other interior décor, also in bold shades of red.
Seating area inside the residential building: Ceiling panels underneath the garble roof are made of reclaimed timber. Along the wall, potted Cordyline plants thrive alongside other interior décor, also in bold shades of red.

The first unit houses Thongma’s bedroom, while the second is reserved for guest accommodation. Both buildings come complete with plenty of wall openings to let natural light shine through from every angle. Meantime, natural ventilation makes interior living spaces light and airy, and reduces the harsh appearance of building materials.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home
The interior living space is not divided into smaller rooms. Décor materials are mostly of European origins. They are placed at random on purpose.

The house interior is bedecked with décor items from Thongma’s collections. They comprise old, elegant furniture from France. They were arranged and utilized in ways that give the look and feel of a European country home.

The L-shape floor plan keeps the bedroom separate from the seating area without using any kind of room divider. The bed itself is an antique item made of wood and woven rattan.
The L-shape floor plan keeps the bedroom separate from the seating area without using any kind of room divider. The bed itself is an antique item made of wood and woven rattan.

The living spaces are not divided into small rooms, which makes the entire interior feel light and airy. The owner humbly says it is good enough as a shelter protecting him from the elements, but it is warm and enjoyable thanks to plenty of chic décor ideas.

The unpaved center court surfaced with gravel provides easy access to all parts of the property. Houseplants, including cactus, thrive on the edge next to the exterior wall.
The unpaved center court surfaced with gravel provides easy access to all parts of the property. Houseplants, including cactus, thrive on the edge next to the exterior wall.

It came as no surprise that Thongma preferred spending time in the open air to being indoors. The natural beauty of the environment was just irresistible. It has gotten everything to take him straight to nature – the stream, the mellifluous sounds, and the lacy canopy of fully grown trees.

The guest bedroom comes complete with antique French furniture. // A sundeck with rattan furniture is designed for relaxing by the water’s edge. It is surfaced with gravel while the retaining wall is made of brickwork.
[Left] The guest bedroom comes complete with antique French furniture. / [Right] A sundeck with rattan furniture is designed for relaxing by the water’s edge. It is surfaced with gravel while the retaining wall is made of brickwork.
The guest building has huge wall openings to let natural light shine through. They are made of steel and glass panes. Thongma’s home can be seen in full view from here.
The guest building has huge wall openings to let natural light shine through. They are made of steel and glass panes. Thongma’s home can be seen in full view from here.

Nature and our lives are inextricably linked. It is cool to be able to live in a nature-inspired environment in order to create works of art. And that is what Thongma has been doing. The studio home best describes who he is and what he is about.

Chamnian Thongma Studio Home


Owner/Designer: Chamnian Thongma


Visit the original Thai version…

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