A Trendsetting Row House Renovation in Chiang Mai

A Trendsetting Row House Renovation in Chiang Mai

A Trendsetting Row House Renovation in Chiang Mai

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Atta Otto / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sungwan Phratem /

The Plankrich Co., Ltd, led by Kwanchai Suthamsao, is known for being at the forefront of trends in row house design and renovation. Only recently when the firm undertook the restoration of a row house trio in Chiang Mai, many design aficionados were expecting to see exciting new innovations and exquisite materials. As it turns out, the redesigned homes boast a beautiful mix of simplicity and vintage charm with design for practical modern living. Especially for his own end unit, Kwanchai’s main goal is to create a place of abode that best answers his urban lifestyle. The three-unit row house block is conveniently located in a central neighborhood of Chiang Mai.

The newly designed front façade boasts an interesting mix of lightweight materials. Weathered boards in varying shades complement the pastel gray of fine-ribbed, corrugated sheet metal.

On reasons to invest in a row house, Kwanchai said: “A single, detached home is out of the question; land has become very expensive. The only option is a row house. After a survey, I chose this three-unit shophouse block. The size is about right; the price is fair and not too high. This way I am able to give it a complete makeover.”

For good ventilation, the old staircase was removed to make room for a new set of stairs without risers between the treads. It’s supported by an I-shaped steel beam.

Kwanchai had practically everything inside removed, including the old bulky staircase so as to make room for a new flight of stairs without risers between the treads for better ventilation. The only things remaining were pillars and beams.

The floor plans for all three units were completely redesigned. He wanted each one of them to have its own unique character, but space was limited. So, he only focused on making his end unit look different instead, at least for the time being.

A small guest room with a shelf-like bunk is tucked away at the rear of the first floor.

To accommodate visitors from time to time, there’s a compact guest room at the far end of the first floor. Custom-designed double bunks make it suitable for sleeping two guests. In all three units the mezzanines were taken out, while the omnipresence of reclaimed timber beams and long planks making up parts of the wooden floors brings back vintage charms.

A bulky upholstered sofa adds warm, cozy feelings to the interior. Window treatment ideas with wooden slat blinds allow natural light into the home.

The second floor is neatly planned for multiple uses. There’s a sitting room in the front section, dining space in the middle, and the kitchen and bathroom at the rear of the building. The dining area is made a bit small to make room for the stairway.

Overall, the furnishing and decoration of the interior conveys a great deal about the owner’s love for vintage collectables. Oblique-aligned wooden walls and floorboards give a warm, homey feeling.

The second floor holds a dining room. The floorboard and walls are covered in reclaimed wood from the homeowner’s collection.
An L-shaped kitchen counter creates an easy flow workspace. Cabinet doors in light shades of beige make the room look clean and bright.
Microwave and convection ovens are on one side of the aisle, with the washer and dryer on the other. The door at the end opens to the dining room.

The third floor holds a bedroom in the front section that’s kept clean and uncluttered, with the wardrobe and bathroom nearby separated by a sliding door. The overall effect is impressive; the interior boasts a clean neutral shade for relaxation. There’s a minimal amount of decoration while furniture is reduced to bare essentials.

The bedroom is kept clean and uncluttered to provide a balance for limited spaces. The walls are covered in beech boards. Large sliding doors open to the cube-shaped glass enclosure that adorns the front façade.
The changing room-cum-walk-in closet offers wardrobes on both sides of the aisle, which connects to the bathroom at the far end.

Taken as a whole, the secret to success lies in constancy of purpose and using reclaimed wood as the material of choice. The interior living space is cozy and comfortable, thanks to large windows that allow plenty of natural daylight. The result is a bright and breezy place of abode that’s small but has everything for a vibrant city lifestyle.

A glass wall with sliding door allows diffuse light into the sitting room at the rear of the house.

The staircase landing [left] provides access to a neat built-in cabinet made of reclaimed wood. The staircase without risers between the treads [right] offers niches for shoe storage.
Marks on the wall and concrete structural framing tell stories of a recent home makeover. The homeowner intentionally left them as a personal reminder. [right] A rusty sconce attached to the wall adds rustic charm to a bare concrete wall. Beneath it is a wood box storage for home improvement tools.

Owner/Architect: Kwanchai Suthamsao of Plankrich Co.,Ltd. (www.plankrich.com)

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Chiang Mai City วิถีชน (ใน) เมือง

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