Blog : Bangkok

CHOEI: A Contemporary Round-Top Stool Revival by Rumbá Bor

CHOEI: A Contemporary Round-Top Stool Revival by Rumbá Bor

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut, Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Courtesy of Rumbá Bor /

“There is no escape from plastic as long as we can’t decide, once and for all, to stop using it. If a product works great made of plastic, at least we should make it strong and long-lasting. That’s basically where design comes in handy to achieve desired results – good quality products that can be used over and over again.”

choei stool rumba bor

So said Rumpa Paweenpongpat, designer and founder of the Rumbá Bor brand. Rumpa likes to be referred to as a curator rather than designer. Only recently she stumbled across an injection mold used to make plastic stools at a factory manufacturing household goods.

The factory owner who originally created the intricate design had since stopped making the product. But for Rumpa, it was a real treasure, a work of tasteful aesthetic design deserving serious attention.

choei stool rumba bor

Her success was no fluke. Rumpa soon made a refreshing change from what we’ve seen before. By switching to a new material, repacking and rebranding strategies, she turned an ordinary stool into an exciting new experience, a good quality product under brand name “Choei”.

Now it can be found practically everywhere, albeit different in appearance thanks to the new improved material being used. Plus, there’s an artistic flair in the product that allows it to blend perfectly into the circumstances and ideas at the present time.

The first collection of the Choei brand comes in two different colors depending on the materials used in the making. One model is named “Sakoo” for its off-white color resembling the creamy chewy tapioca balls in Thai-style rice pudding. It’s made of a mix containing 50 percent recycled polyethylene plastic, aka PP for short.

choei stool rumba bor
The “Sakoo” model comes in off-whites with a yellowish tinge resembling the creamy tapioca balls in Thai-style rice pudding. – from Choei.

The other model, named “Kathi” for its coconut milk color with a gray tinge, is made of 100 percent recycled polyethylene. It’s the material of choice for obvious reasons. Polyethylene is tough, abrasion-resistant, and capable of withstanding wear and tear over a long period of time.

choei stool rumba bor
The “Kathi” model boasts the calm of coconut milk color, a beautiful white with a gray tinge. – from Choei.

Sharing her inspiration, Rumpa said: “It makes perfect sense to switch to PP for it’s the most common type of recycled plastic. In comparison with other types of plastic, polyethylene requires less energy to recycle and it gives stronger, better quality products.

“The Choei stool is a piece of decoration you can sit on. It might seem self-contradictory to say that from the start it wasn’t meant to be used for sitting. Rather, it represents a revival, an improvement in the condition and strength, which gives it a value that’s original and unique in its own special way.

“You can test it, or give it a twist. But front and center it’s about aesthetic pleasure. From the design point of view, it’s challenging and rewarding to be able to turn a mass-produced good into a product that has found a niche in the market, a specialized segment of the market, so to speak.”

choei stool rumba bor

Choei is the first product line from Rumbá Bor. On one hand, it seems quite a departure from the norm. On the other hand, it’s so ordinary that’s out of the ordinary, a quality that people tend to overlook. It’s exactly the message that the brand is trying to get across, to make people understand.

As Rumpa puts it: “We are interested in ordinary everyday things. Even mundane objects have the power or quality of giving delight. The point is that there is beauty in simplicity and mundaneness, too. There is always kitsch, or sentimentality, about a simple product that most people don’t see.

“It’s run-of-the-mill things we see every day that intrigue us. Examples include breeze blocks, even those balusters on staircase railings in people’s homes, to name but a few. The Choei stool belongs in that same category oftentimes regarded as old-fashioned and out of style.

“But, we can take it out of its humdrum existence simply by applying a new coat of paint and making the intricate design details stand out again. In this way, the improved product will emerge a refreshing change worthy of serious attention.

“Ordinary things can be adapted for a new purpose and made more attractive in ways that people can relate to. The Choei stool has that intricate detail and potential that people seem to have overlooked.”

choei stool rumba bor

In essence, the Choei brand is about appreciating of the good qualities and value of the resources that we have and being able to use them wisely. Original design can be adapted to suit new circumstances. A product can be made tough and long-lasting by using a better quality material.

The Choei brand isn’t about trying to change the world overnight. Rather, it’s taking one baby step at a time. Already, this little round-top stool with flowy design legs has sparked up a conversation about it, apparently a step in the right direction going forward.

choei stool rumba bor

Hush-hush! There’s a currently circulating story that Choei is coming up with a new set of colors soon. So stay tuned.

Designer: Rumbá Bor (

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Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Nantiya Busabong /

It all began with a thoughtful son’s wish to build a new home and be close to his aging father. And Jun Sekino of the atelier JUNSEKINO Architect and Design was on hand to do precisely that.

Jun Sekino, the architect who designed it, said that originally the plan was to put in an add-on to the existing family home. Later there was a change of plan.

The owner preferred to build a new home on the opposite side of the street from his dad instead, so the design was revised in order to fit an entirely different context.

The result was a white geometric home of outstanding beauty – one that’s simple yet attractive and fully functional. It’s the product of a 360-degree turn.

And after making all necessary adjustments, the architect aptly named it “RUPU HOUSE,” a made-up term coined from the Japanese word for the action of rotating around an axis.

Built on 200 square wah of land (roughly 0.20 acre), the new two-story home offers 680 square meters in total.

It stands surrounded by greenery that’s kept further away at appropriate distances to create a well-lit, well-ventilated living space. The first floor contains functional areas including an open contemporary kitchen with dining space at the center.

There’s a sitting room tucked away in a quiet corner for relaxation. Nearby a semi-outdoor space is reserved for entertaining guests. It lies enclosed by the glass walls of the dining room and sitting room. Glass walls enhance visual continuity and the aesthetic appeal of the home.

By design, the semi-outdoor space on the ground floor is the heart of family life, said the architect. It’s easy to get why this cool and airy area has become the homeowner’s favorite niche.

The second-floor deck keeps it in shade for much of the day. It offers ample space perfect for entertaining.

Despite the house’s modern appearance, the semi-outdoor room evokes pleasant memories of comfort provided by the wooden house on stilts of former times. It’s an ideal place for receiving visitors without disturbing the peace in other parts of the house.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to the quiet and secluded second floor that contains three bedrooms. The master bedroom belongs to the homeowner, while two slightly smaller ones are reserved for kids. That’s what the future looks like.

To create a light and airy feel, the spacious master bedroom boasts high standards of comfort with a big bed at the center, a walk-in closet and en-suite bath. But what makes it exceptionally good is the double height ceiling, which gives enough room for a private office on the mezzanine floor.

It’s a layout option inspired by duplex design, a peaceful place in which to work undisrupted. According to Jun Sekino, it’s like having a beautiful office apartment hidden inside the home.

The overall effect is impressive. White geometric design adds interest and a sense of excitement to the house’s external appearance. As Jun Sekino puts it, there is an unadorned beauty plus clean simple lines that fit an easy lifestyle, and that’s exactly the way the homeowner likes it.

Technically, it’s meant to be a simple one-mass unit of construction with a high-pitch shed-style roof, a geometric shape without terra cotta tiles and minimal detailing. And the same treatment applies evenly from top to bottom.

To create a soothing ambience, the concrete exterior home is painted white, a single-color trend toward simplicity in design.

Its shed style roof and external envelope are characterized by regular lines and shapes. This is summed up in the vertical awnings that overhang the walls of the building on all sides.

Together they go to work keeping the sun and rain off the façade, windows and doorway on the ground floor. They also double as a design strategy to break the fall of vertical lines that run from the rooftop to the ground floor.

To improve visual and spatial continuity, the windows, doorway and most of the walls at ground level are glazed using clear glass panels.

The second floor is treated differently. Where appropriate, windows are installed only in the direction that’s not exposed to strong sunlight. Meanwhile, the external walls that face the sun have no wall openings at all.

These solid walls, in turn, make the white geometric home even more noticeable from a distance. As for the interior living spaces, a mix of wood and stone masonry is preferred for its ability to reduce the stiffness of strong geometric shapes.

Looking back over the years, Jun Sekino could still recall that concrete roof construction was the hardest part of the entire project. Steel-reinforced concrete roof building required special skills to ensure the remarkable smoothness of the outer surface and prevent leakage.

Apart from that, other challenges included window fittings, which also needed specialized skills and craftsmanship to make sure they don’t leak when it rains.

All things considered, it’s a home project that brings deep pleasure derived from Jun Sekino’s abilities to accomplish a mission. The concrete exterior is smooth and with no apparent gaps or cracks of any kind. It’s a home carefully thought out to age gracefully.

Like so, the homeowner will be able to repaint the house when necessary without worrying about too many practical details. The new home offers a calm and cozy atmosphere with plenty of room for entertaining and the opportunity to be close to his aging father.

It’s a heartwarming moral story of unbreakable bonds.

Architect: JUNSEKINO Architect and Design

Interior designer: JUNSEKINO Interior Design

Contractor: M.W.K. Construction

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/ Bangkok, Thaialmd /

/ Story: room Books and Living Asean Editorial Staff /

/ English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Baan Lae Suan Fair Press Room /

A collection of inspiring quotes and flashbacks to the room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023,
at the Baan Lae Suan Fair Midyear, BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

The latest architecture event “room X Living Asean Design Talk 2023” took place last Sunday 6 August. Convening a group of well-known experts from three countries, the annual conversation was on the theme of “URBAN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs.”

It’s the star of the show at this year’s Baan Lae Suan (home and garden) Fair Midyear.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

The panel included M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects Ltd., Bangkok; Supawut Boonmahathanakorn of JaiBaan Studio, Chiang Mai; Japanese architect practicing in Vietnam Shunri Nishizawa of Nishizawa Architects, Ho Chi Minh City; and Antonius Richard of the design atelier RAD+ar, Jakarta, Indonesia, with Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon as special guest speaker.

Chana Sampalang, President of ASA (The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage), officiated at the opening of the room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023 on Sunday 6 August at BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok.

The Design Talk centered around the shared interest in design that’s friendly to the environment and conducive to social development in both urban and rural areas.

And the Deputy Governor of Bangkok came in handy to touch upon the subject of official policy tools and collaborations with various efforts at developing public spaces and improving the quality of life for people in Bangkok.

Essentially, the conversation is about building strong networks that will enable us to stay tuned to things happening in the city and communities across the country.

It’s seen as a confluence of ideas between architects and people from different disciplines inspired to create a sustainable future together.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

The conversation event started with Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon, who spoke on “Urban Development Policy: Thoughts on response from and interactions with residents from different backgrounds.”

He shared a great deal of careful thoughts and his vision of a “livable city,” which he defined as one capable of accommodating people from all walks of life.

It’s the place where residents live together in harmony. In other words, it’s the type of surroundings where people participate in creating sufficient open spaces that lead to improved quality of life.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Sanon plays a part in furthering policy objectives and collaborating with multiple agencies working towards common goals. Front and center are projects aimed at improving the public spaces deemed crucial to the quality life of people in the city.

Apart from providing all the conveniences, a good city must offer the opportunity for people to live together happily. A “Livable City” can be defined as one that’s open for everyone to participate in the development process.

When people feels a sense of involvement and affiliation to a place that’s suitable for them, they have high hopes of making it better both for themselves and for others.

The next speaker, M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects, Thailand, touched on the subject of “Public Architecture and solutions to the problems brought on by the gap between people in society.”

He emphasized that architects had an important role to play in helping to reduce social inequality. They had the knowledge and skills in the art and technique of designing and building and they could use them in the best interests of the people.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

M.L. Varudh and Vin Varavarn Architects have won acclaim serving clients across a wide range of industries. Lately his focus has shifted towards designs that help solve problems in the society.

They ranged from schoolhouse planning thoughtfully devised to deal with earthquake risks, to low-cost housing opportunities for overcrowded city neighborhoods.

All of them speak volumes for the principles governing Vin Varavarn Architects’ ideas and design strategies.

Essentially, it’s about creating the right design that’s capable of bringing about a change for the better for the people and the society as a whole.

And then Shunri Nishizawa, of Nishizawa Architects, Vietnam, talked about “Residential Design in Response to the Prevailing Climate and Limitations in Different Contexts.”

He sent a strong message about the need to create living spaces that harmonize with the circumstances that form the setting of a place. Upon reflection, the relationship between man and nature is impossible to disentangle.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Shunri Nishizawa has practiced in Vietnam for over 15 years. He believes that an architect is duty bound to have a complete understanding of the context surrounding a project being developed.

This can be anything from humans and animals, to plants and the natural environment, plus the cultural context and so forth.

All of them must be treated with equal respect if we are to create a piece of architecture that adds a good complement to the surroundings.

Nishizawa Architects’ finest works to date have made living with nature front and center.

Besides harmony with the natural surroundings, the designer group attaches special importance to choosing only materials that are right for the context of a place. That’s the role of an architect the way he sees it.

Sharing similar opinions was Supawut Boonmahathanakorn, architect and founder of Jai Baan Studio, Chiang Mai, who touched upon “Rewilding the built environment: Interweaving urban and rural designs through non-human life.”

He laid greater emphasis on biophilic design that called for rewilding the built environment and the restoration of all aspects of the physical world.

At the very center, the health of the natural environment is as important as that of humans, perhaps even more so.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Supawut and Jai Baan Studio are renowned for their nature-inspired design, effort at environmental conservation and ability to connect with a sizeable proportion of the rural population.

Through multiple collaborations with property owners, Supawut is able to promote a good understanding of the connectedness between man and nature.

He gets his message across to the public that “time” is of the essence when it comes to restoring the natural environment to health.

His outstanding works include a project that transforms unused land into a green oasis in the city. It’s achieved by rewilding, a process of reintroducing native trees and plants, thereby creating natural habitats for birds and other organisms native to the Northern Region.

As “ambassador” speaking on behalf of nature, he proves the point that the relationships between humans, animals, and ecosystems are inextricable.

Last but not least, architect Antonius Richard of RAD+ar, Indonesia, spoke on the topic of Different aspects of design in response to the environment and surrounding circumstances.”

He shared many useful techniques to incorporate natural elements in contemporary design. Plus, it’s a discussion alive with insights into design features unique to Tropical regions.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Mr. Richard spoke on the topic of integrating elements of nature in architectural design with respect to circumstances unique to Indonesia.

For the most part, his works deal with experiments undertaken to test the performance of new design in real life situations.

His experience encompasses a wide range of designs, from small projects such as cafés and restaurants, to homes and offices, to big projects such as commercial spaces and mosques that are designed to accommodate a large number of people.

Regardless of size, they share one common feature – a strict adherence to sustainable living ideas and design that’s compatible with the environment. It’s the quality that has served as the signature of Mr. Richard and his group of architects, designers and thinkers from day one.

More about architecture and design for better living, plus ideas for a sustainable society and conserving the environment, known collectively as the “Betterism” concept, are waiting to be discovered. Follow us and room Books for more!

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

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Low-Cost Micro Dwellings for Klong Toey Community: Housing Opportunities Aimed at Bridging the Gap between Urban Developments

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Low-Cost Micro Dwellings for Klong Toey Community: Housing Opportunities Aimed at Bridging the Gap between Urban Developments

Low-Cost Micro Dwellings for Klong Toey Community: Housing Opportunities Aimed at Bridging the Gap between Urban Developments

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Urawan Rukachaisirikul / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Vin Varavarn Architects /

A low-cost residential project promising 87 micro-houses is “a dream come true” for many low-income households occupying a mid-city neighborhood of Bangkok, Thailand. Officially named the Housing Development Project for Klong Toey Community, it was implemented as part of a wider housing opportunities program for impoverished urban dwellers throughout the capital and 25 provinces in the Central Region.

Klong Toey Community

A collaboration between the 1st Army and respective provincial administrations, the task was carried out in support of the volunteer program Chitr Asa, a royal policy initiative under His Majesty King Rama X.

It also received help from the Charoen Pokphan Foundation. The housing design is the brainchild of the Bangkok-based architectural practice Vin Varavarn Architects (VVA) under the leadership of M.L. Varudh Varavarn, founder and CEO.

Klong Toey Community

For a long time, the mid-town neighborhood of Klong Toey has been home to many of the working classes in the midst of a vibrant commercial district bordering the south bend of the Chao Phraya River. Before becoming Klong Toey Community as we know it, the area was originally the seat of a fortress town named Paknam Phrapadaeng, a fortification designed for the defense of the capital in warfare of olden days.

Over time, urban developments expanded into this part of the city giving rise to overcrowded communities in a way regarded as disorganized and unattractive.

Klong Toey Community

The area being chock-full of tightly compacted makeshift housing became a challenge for even the most experienced architect.

M.L. Varudh Varavarn said that he could still recall facing countless obstacles in performing the task, not to mention juggling limited funds with compelling needs for materials and building techniques.

He had to deal with many limitations occurring on site. And immediately upon receiving the final official briefing, it was a race against time going full blast until the very last day.

Klong Toey Community

Nonetheless, it was a mission accomplished despite limited manpower. As to be expected, on-site training became necessary since construction crews made up of soldiers were a far cry from being skilled builders. Trained right, they were able to get the job done.

That’s not all. Access through and around the site was narrow and couldn’t be widened any further. As a result, building supplies had to be hand carried, plus there was the problem with reclaimed ground filled with waste material and water that had nowhere to go, causing a flood when it rained.

The key to success lies in active public participation, in a sense perceived as a crucial stage in the implementation of the plan.

When members of the Klong Toey Community chipped in, contributing their shares of a joint effort, the project made headway in helping families in need of housing.

Overall it was a project well thought out with the user in mind. Hence, the focus of attention was on safety in family living spaces, the performance of the buildings and their ability to effectively answer user needs.

What gave it a chance to succeed was the concept of free will and the esprit de corps shared by members of Klong Toey Community. There was no forced eviction of residents as was the case with several overcrowded communities in the past.

Aiming for a win-win situation, the 1st Army that spearheaded the campaign was able to liaise with leaders across the community for the purpose of a survey and identifying the households that wished to participate.

Klong Toey Community

The overall effect was impressive. Through active public participation, the project was able to achieve desired results.

It set the scene for joint learning and the social contract that everyone came away happy and satisfied. In the process, it gave the architect the power, skills and techniques to do it right and make work easy.

Meantime, the resident households were free to choose any color they wanted for their home entrance.

Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of Vin Varavarn Architects

With respect to design, it’s good looks that speak to the same appearance standard. Yet, there is plenty of room for customizable features that allow for updates to suit specific user needs.

Plus, it’s a home plan capable of being adapted to fit into different land sizes. This gives families the freedom to choose what’s right for their life and to make plans for future add-ons should the family size increases.

This kind of advance planning helps reduce the problems occurring on site, giving the team of supervising architects more time to concentrate on building strong and durable homes.

Klong Toey Community

To improve thermal comfort in the home, the roof is built of metal sheeting with polyurethane heat insulation measuring one inch thick.

The exterior walls are made of fiber cement board siding. Designed to protect from lightning strikes, the home is light and airy, and can be built within budget. And in future, should a mezzanine be needed, that’s perfectly doable too.

Recognizing the fact that homeowner needs varied from house to house, the team of architects came up with flexible design.

To begin with, they accepted that most households wanted to hang on to the amounts of land they already occupied. And they were determined to build to cover the full extent of the existing plots. This gave rise to an interesting mix of differently-sized homes across the neighborhood.

Klong Toey Community

In the process, the architects were able to produce home plans made up of simple geometric shapes. They were easily adaptable to fit into many different arrangements.

In the big picture, it’s an urban development setting in which a rich variety of shapes and configurations come together to form a coherent whole – a curious amalgam of forms, colors and textures emblematic of the contemporary style. It’s pleasant to look at.

Klong Toey Community

Architect M.L. Varudh Varavarn wraps it up nicely, “The Housing Development Project for Klong Toey Community, may not be perfect due to multiple limitations on site, but it’s very well thought out in view of the circumstances overall.

“More than anything else, it’s one that’s carefully devised to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. All things considered, it contributes to improving the quality of life for a sizable proportion of an urban population.

“In the end the people are happy. That’s what matters.”

Find out more about architectural design in sync with nature, as well as ideas for a possible course of action within the context of nature, climate and culture from M.L. Varudh Varavarn, architect and founder of Vin Varavarn Architects (VVA), Thailand, at the upcoming the “room x Living ASEAN Design Talk 2023.”

Meet up with a panel of experts comprising four distinguished architects from three countries. This year’s conversation event is on the theme of “URBAN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs.” The Talk is scheduled for Sunday August 6 at the room Showcase zone inside Baan Lae Suan Fair Midyear 2023, BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok. It’s an opportunity not to be missed. Mark your calendar!

For more details:

Register to attend at:…/room-x-living-asean-design-talk

Architect: M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects (

Consultancy: Next Engineering Group


Never Too Small: Renovation Gives a Townhouse the Atmosphere of Home

Never Too Small: Renovation Gives a Townhouse the Atmosphere of Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Nattakit Jeerapatmitee /

An old townhouse in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown has been lovingly restored in ways that adapt to changing lifestyle needs. No longer is it a stuffy, overcrowded space lacking fresh air and ventilation. A redesigned open floor plan has given it the feeling of home, a sense of belonging and purpose. Incredibly light and airy, it feels like anything but a townhouse, so to speak.

Inheriting the townhouse from his parents, the new owner has made a firm decision to renovate it to a good state of repair.

It’s the place where he lives when traveling to the city for business. Or it can be available to be rented if need be.

The task of refurbishment was given to a team of architects from the design firm OAAS. Central to their work was the creation of an open concept home plan that’s flexible for multiple uses.



Accordingly, the old second-floor balcony was knocked down and replaced by steel framing for a light and spacious façade.

Upstairs, the entire floor plan was revised, while the ground floor platform was raised slightly to keep it above the edge of the water during a flood.


Never too small to make a difference, the newly refurbished townhouse stands out from the rest in that its building shell is made of air bricks that are great for natural ventilation.

The perforated bricks double as a decorative privacy screen that protects the home from prying eyes. It’s a surefire way to improve air circulation and get rid of stuffy smells, a common problem of townhouse living.


The wooden door opens into a surprisingly peaceful semi-outdoor room aptly named “Sala”, which is Thai for garden pavilion. Albeit situated at the front of the house, it’s a private living space that conveniently connects to the sitting room and dining area lying further inside.

Beautifully designed, it calls to mind an image of a garden sitting area with a side passage for walking along.


The overall effect is impressive. The side passage sets this townhouse apart from the others.

Since it’s often impossible to build a walkway around a townhouse, it makes perfect sense to build one on the inside that connects the garden pavilion at the front with the living room and other functions at the rear.


There is a challenge to overcome. Because the side passage takes away a large chunk of the square footage of the house, the designers have to make a choice from a range of possibilities.

Among them, an open concept floor plan is useful in making the home feel more spacious. There’s no need for room dividers for a home theater or TV lounge since it’s never a desirable lifestyle here.

Plus, by floating furniture, the owner is free to create a more intimate atmosphere and a layout that’s capable of multiple uses.

Owner: Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon

Architect: OAAS

Design team: Sineenart Suptanon, Sirakit Charoenkitpisut, Nattakit Jeerapatmitee, Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon

The article is an excerpt from “Shophouse & Townhome”, a proudly presented publication from the “Best Home Series” under “room Books Publishing.
Available in paperback (Thai Edition) at:
Here’s how to order online.

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A Minimalist House with the Elegance of Wood and Great Greenery Outdoors

A Minimalist House with the Elegance of Wood and Great Greenery Outdoors

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Patsiri / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul / Styling: Worawat /

Here’s a warm wood house that’s an embodiment of superb craftsmanship in the indoors and cool refreshing greenery outdoors. Precisely, it is  the simple design with the deliberate use of texture and clean lines that gives it a sense of youthful exuberance — a minimalist home that blends perfectly with nature.

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Khagee Ketjumpol, the homeowner, said he bought this house about ten years ago having been attracted to an orange jasmine tree (Murraya paniculata) gracing the front yard. After that, he decided to restore it to a good state of repair that was more up to date in style.

It was a home makeover project designed for better living conditions of everyone in the family. A professional builder with more than 30 years of experience, Khagee knew exactly what he wanted to do and how.

The result was a complete renovation that struck the right balance between comfort and a distinctive appearance with the great greenery outdoors.

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The remodeled house plan offers three stories of living spaces with an abundance of natural light canopied by overhanging trees.

The homeowner couple live on the top floor that’s decorated penthouse style, while their daughter occupies the second. The ground floor consists of common areas designed to encourage social interaction and spaces for a range of activities, including home to three pet dogs.

Outside, a Siamese rosewood tree (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) standing three stories tall among the greenery outdoors adds a peaceful detail to the front yard.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

To establish the ideal room temperature for comfortable living, tall-growing trees are preserved and integrated into the house plan and landscape design.

Where appropriate, parts of the ground floor are left unfilled and overhead windows are created to allow the upper branching of trees to thrive.

The result is a spacious, well-lit, and well-ventilated home built around shade trees that provide sun protection all year long.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

As Khagee puts it:

“I like plants for they offer shelter from direct sunlight, increase oxygen, and filter dust that poses a serious threat to environmental quality, plus they help keep the house cool. In line with the minimalist style, open floor plans create a living space that’s pleasant to look at and easy to keep clean.”

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of WoodA Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

The family’s love of nature and everything about wood is clearly seen in home interior design. Much of it is made of reclaimed timber that once served a different function.

Here, Khagee was able to recycle used items from his collection to fit new needs as floor panels, wall coverings, even ceiling planks.

Where possible, steel framing and glass panels are also used.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

“I like the touch of wood. Throughout my career as builder, I have collected many used building materials and reclaimed wood.

“Much of it that went into renovating this home was more than 30 years old and imported from Laos. To me, house building is an investment, much like buying land or gold.

“This way, we’ve come to appreciate the value of wood. It’s the natural vibes of wood that bring positive energy into our home,” said Khagee.

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A few pieces of house furniture are used on an as-needed basis true to the idea of minimalism.

For a spacious interior, even large pieces like the bed and the sofa are made of steel framing that gives them a lightweight look. Because of this, they appear to hover just above the floor.

The light and airy atmosphere is further enhanced by recessed lighting, a nice little collab between the homeowner and a team of architects from the Unknown Surface Studio.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

After many years of building houses for other people, the time is ripe for Khagee to make one for himself and his family.

Not only is it a dream come true, but it’s also a beautiful wooden home ensconced by greenery outdoors.

It’s no surprise that he aptly calls it “Little Paradise”, a home made for the happiness of his loved ones.

Owner/Architect: Khagee Ketjumpol

Lighting design: Unknown Surface Studio

A Modern Tropical House Inspired by Cluster Homes of the Past

A Modern Tropical House Inspired by Cluster Homes of the Past

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham / Styling: Worawat /

Like a journey back in time, here’s a modern Tropical house with the charm of bygone years. It’s a complete renovation project inspired by the cluster homes characteristic of traditional Thai ways of life. Built with the future in mind, the old family home is lovingly restored to answer the lifestyle needs of the three generations who live here. Plus, it blends into a beautiful lush green landscape.

Extended families have long been a pillar of Thai culture. Back in the day, when a couple joined in matrimony, traditionally it was the groom who moved into the home of the bride. As the family grew, it was time to build a new home nearby, usually on the same property.

Likewise, this add-on unit of construction is well suited to the purpose. The result is a building complex that contains separate houses where extended families live together independently of one another.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Prior to being renovated, the two-story home had stood on this 200-square-wah (800 sq. m.) plot of land for almost two decades. Rated structurally sound, it was capable of accomplishing further improvements. Hence, a complete remodeling project was undertaken so that three generations could live together and yet enjoy the privacy and comfort of home.

Extended family living offers several advantages, among them a close support structure and care for the wellbeing of all family members.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The redesigned home plan boasts a peaceful courtyard with swimming pool enclosed by the walls of a large L-shaped building. There’s a passageway that allows access between the two residential units on either side, while parts of the upper floors are reserved for future use.

The connected wings are interactive communities. In fact, they physically exist as two separate houses ready to change hands at some future time, which explains an empty space lying in between.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The ground floor of what was once the original family home now houses a reception area with a gym, dining room and small kitchen. The second floor is a private residential home with Mom and Dad’s bedroom and a sitting area conveniently linked with the other building.

The newly added extension comprises three all-inclusive residential units. Clearly separated from one another, they are accessible by a roofed platform along the outside of the house.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Although the homeowners have a deep affection for cluster homes built the old-fashioned way, it makes perfect sense to opt for new construction materials that are long-lasting and suitable for modern applications. They include building walls with aluminum stud framing and faux wood siding panels, which are more appropriate than real wood for air conditioning.

To protect the home from the dangers of extreme heat, exterior brick walls are decorated with engineered wood cladding products. And for a more natural look, clear protective finishes are preferred over paints, while aluminum trim provides additional decoration along the edges.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

In the same way, doors and windows are made of aluminum that looks and feels like wood. Together they bring a beautiful design element to the project. Plus, aluminum is more durable and functional than real wood.

Overall, it’s an intriguing combination of the modern and the traditional – a modern Tropical house built of steel frames, timber and concrete construction. Together they enhance the home’s contemporary appeal, while the finishing and decoration is typical of Thai residential architecture.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

More than anything else, it’s design that promotes social interactions among family members. While the children enjoy privacy in the comfort of their home, they have places to hang out together, shoot the breeze, exercise and share meals with Mom and Dad.

Plus, open concept floor plans offer many benefits. They keep the house well ventilated, help beat daily stress, and eliminate the need for air conditioning.

To get rid of food smells fast, the kitchen is at the furthest end, where Mom prepares both international dishes and authentic Thai recipes, especially the southern kind that only Mom knows best. All things considered, it’s mealtime socializing that’s the center of family life. It’s something they do together to stay connected.

Architect: Pipol Likanapaisal and Apichart Rojthoranin (Space Story Studio)

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Domestic Alternative Materials: a Revolution of the Imagination

Domestic Alternative Materials: a Revolution of the Imagination

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / Photograph: THINKK Studio /

Taking a closer look at creative industries, we think you will agree that “materials” take priority over any other matter. Hence, a project codenamed “Domestic Alternative Materials” was born to research into the innovation, introduction, and improvement of new products needed for the manufacture of goods and articles. By creating products that are original and unique, it takes design to the next level and helps reduce waste as natural raw materials become scarce and hard to come by.

Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK StudioDomestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio

Domestic Alternative Materials is a nice little collab that turns everyday things into items of higher quality and value. These include empty seashells, crab shells, glass bottles, water hyacinth fibers, coconut husks, coconut shells, betel nut fibers, even fabric scraps from the garment factory.

It’s amazing how a little bit of imagination can give scraps and litters new life. Together, the team transform trash into new products that the industry needs, among them faux metal bars and imitation wood that can be used as alternative materials for furniture making and light fixtures.

Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio

Like the wake-up call to a growing menace to the environment, the project causes us to look back at the trail of garbage left behind by commercial and industrial activities.

Hence to reduce waste, it makes perfect sense to transform those otherwise useless objects into alternative materials that can be put to good use again and in more creative ways.

Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio

The works of Domestic Alternative Materials are on show as part of a greater event known as Bangkok Design Week 2021. It’s a show designed to create an awareness among the people, architects, designers and consumers about the need to reduce waste and conserve the environent.

Despite disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, it provides the opportunity to appreciate a revolution of the imagination that results in a stunning array of unconventional materials for the creative industries.

Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK StudioDomestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio Domestic Alternative Materials a Revolution of the Imagination THINKK Studio

Project: thinkkstudio (

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

BANGKOK / Inspired by pleasant memories of New York’s Central Park, Sarapa Vejpattarasiri converted old row houses in a bustling neighborhood off of Sukhumvit into a boutique hotel and cafe that blended the pretty looks of Tropical motifs with Modern design. Aptly named “GOOSE Living”, the stylish midtown inn was a reflection of her learning and life experiences after graduating in culinary science from the Big Apple.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

It’s been a journey. Sarapa came away impressed with a vision of wild geese naturally living free against the spectacular backdrop of New York City. Hence the two adjoining row houses that had been in her family for over four decades transformed into an intimate little hideaway in the middle of a vibrant urban district.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

The hotel keeps firmly to its concept – “Living a goose life (if you will forgive the pun) is about living happy, wild and free”.

GOOSE Living offers the opportunity to experience the excitement of simple yet chic living spaces. It’s a flexible form of living involving a new and innovative style. Situated on a corner plot, the hotel’s ground floor that houses a resaturant and cafe looks out over two intersecting streets. The result is a beautiful open concept entrance hall that’s warm and welcoming.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

A team of architects from SIM STUDIO undertook the renovation project. Together, they took the five-story row houses out of their humdrum existence turning them into an architectural landmark that clearly enlivens the city’s Phra Khanong neighborhood. Besides the small restaurant and cafe on the ground floor, the 900-sq-m hotel offers 20 rooms and a bar on the top floor. As can be expected of a boutique hotel, each room is decorated in the style and colors that reflect the distinctive character of the wild geese of New York. Plus, all the living spaces are flexible and capable of fulfilling several functions.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

The ground floor contains the hotel front desk that conveniently connects to a small restaurent and café. The interior space is divided without going full-wall, but by using different building materials from one room to the next. This applies to everything from floors to walls to ceilings. The focus of attention is the use of vertical design on the walls to imitate scenic views of trees in the forest.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

To reduce the harshness of the texture of building materials, curving contours are integrated in the overall interior design. They range from curved furniture design to modular chairs that neatly wrap around dining tables. Besides increasing aesthetic appeal, mirror ceiling decor adds an exciting new dimension to the loft space that houses a restaurant and café. The restaurant itself is renowned for its menu with an Asian twist.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

The erstwhile terraced houses come with design limitations, and hence two kinds of guest rooms – ones with a city view and ones without. The rooms with a view are positioned along the exterior wall. Those that stand as part of a continuous row have no access to natural light. To compensate for the shortcomings, the architects put a skylight in the roof that transforms all the back rooms with daylight and fresh air all the way from the fifth down to the second floor.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique HotelGoose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

From the outside looking in, the hotel stands wrapped in a protective layer crafted of steel box tubing. The rigid structure characterized by regular lines and shapes forms a geometric design that’s easily understood. It doubles as privacy screens that make the covered area more peaceful and quiet in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique HotelGoose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique HotelGoose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel Goose Living From Row Houses to Charming Boutique Hotel

Location: GOOSE Living
3/6-7 Sukhumvit 71, Phra Khanong Nua, Wattana District, Bangkok
Tel. +6686 978 6232
FB: Gooseliving
IG: Gooseliving
LINE: @Gooseliving

Owner: Sarapa Vejpattarasiri
Photo: PanoramicStudio
Story: Wannaleela

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

BANGKOK / EasternGlass Manufacturer, the city’s oldest handmade glassware company, has transformed one of its buildings into a café amid the beauty of an industrial loft space. Interestingly, it’s blessed with the power of storytelling. The new coffee destination is located just off of Phet Kasem Road inbound between Soi 76/1 and Soi 76 in Bangkhae District.

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

The coffee shop called EasternGlass Café nestles in the front building that formerly housed factory offices. It’s a complete makeover that strikes the right balance between the chic organic style and the rawness of industrial style décor. The coffee room is connected to a warehouse, so you can shop around for the best deal on glassware made the old-fashioned way by skilled glass masters.

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft SpaceEasternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

For more than 70 years, EasternGlass Manufacturer has excelled in the glassmaking industry mostly for exports to Europe including Scandinavian countries. The company now in the hands of the third generation is widely renowned for its cool and creative products ranging from glass light shades to articles for hotel, restaurant, and home décor. Suddenly faced with disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, it has had to diversify into new business sooner than anticipated.

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

Led by Peter Chongussayakul, the company made remarkable progress by expanding into domestic markets instead, and hence a café on an industrial site where products and other paraphernalia are displayed. He said: “We have seen a new trend in consumer behavior of late. More people have taken an interest in home decorating ideas, while designers are looking for props that are great works of handicraft. So it’s time we presented our products for the Thai people to see. Since there were no new orders coming in, the company temporarily closed the factory to allow for renovation to take place.

“Parts of the factory office have been converted into an industrial style café showcasing miscellaneous tools and equipment. It’s a loft space designed to give information on the glassmaking industry. People who are interested can learn how hand blown glass products are made and what tools are used.”

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

The coffee shop décor includes pumps, cutting tools, tongs for holding the workpiece, blowpipes, and molds used to give shape to hot or molten glass. They are exhibited against bare concrete walls, weathered wood, and exposed building systems characteristic of industrial chic. There’s an entire wall that’s dedicated to a display of all kinds of glassmaking molds. Together, they showcase the factory history and play a part in educating the public.

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft SpaceEasternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

Right next to the industrial style café, a large warehouse is filled with awe-inspiring collections of artisanal articles made from glass. Every single piece is original in its own special way depending on the colors, design, and air bubbles that happen in the process. From an artistic point of view, it’s beauty in the imperfections caused by dust and air flow inside the factory that makes each one of them perfectly unique. Plus, it’s the allure of glass art that’s another determining factor in its value.

Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft SpaceEasternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft SpaceEasternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space Easternglass Café the Beauty of an Industrial Loft Space

The café is on a private road just off of Phet Kasem Road inbound between Soi 76/1 and Soi 76, Khwaeng Bangkhae Nua, Bangkhae District, Bangkok

Open daily from 08.00 to 17.00 Hrs.
Tel. 09-2240-4141
See more:
Story: Phattaraphon Yodnakornjong
Photographs: Nantiya