Blog : Holiday Home

Nong Ho Holiday Home: Tranquility in the Midst of Nature

Nong Ho Holiday Home: Tranquility in the Midst of Nature

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard / Photograph: DOF Sky/Ground, architectural film and photography service /

Nong Ho Holiday Home is a gorgeous tropical home out in the country. An escape from the fast-paced city life, the tranquil abode is intended as a family holiday home during the winter months.

holiday home Chiang Maiholiday home Chiang Mai

Nong Ho Holiday Home stands environed by the pleasant mountain base grounds at Nong Ho only a short drive from downtown Chiang Mai. Strictly speaking, green is the prime color of the surroundings, and the panorama of the mountain landscape is one of breathtaking beauty. Priceless!

Commenting on the design concept, Skarn Chaiyawat, architect and founder of his architectural firm and namesake, said:

“The 300-square-wah, rectangular site on which the house is built is exceptionally good. In the evening, lights blaze in the sky as the sun disappears over Doi Suthep that’s easily seen from a distance.

“It’s really a beautiful sight to see.”

It’s a piece of land with great potential so the main idea driving the design isn’t confined to the house alone. Rather it’s a layout that has the beauty of the natural environment at its core.

On the ground floor, open plan ideas come in handy covering a large area from the sitting room to dining room and pantry, plus a Thai style kitchen at the further end of the interior.

“After careful consideration, I chose the I-shaped house plan. The longer side of the rectangle overlooking the backyard lies facing west, thereby opening every room to the scenic beauty of a mountain landscape,” the architect explained.

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The architect and the homeowners agreed that, to avoid looking harsh or too modern in appearance, it makes perfect sense to blend modern building materials with heritage products in the locality. The result is a modern vernacular home that boasts the richness of natural textures.

It’s built of reclaimed teakwood from old houses in the area and roofed over with clay tiles made the old-fashioned way by local artisans. House floors and parts of the walls are covered in glazed clay tiles made by Mae Rim Ceramics in Chiang Mai.

All told, it’s a beautifully semi-handcrafted home that’s original and unique in its own special way. Plus, it helps reduce impacts on the environment.

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The more open the house plan, the more exposure it gets to sunlight and moisture. Here, the problem is corrected by constructing elegant extended eaves around the house.

Where appropriate, several arrays of retro-inspired bamboo louvres protect the house from the elements, meanwhile providing a delicate aperture to the delightful view.

Together they reduce the heat, allow in gentle breezes along the east and west facades, and offer the benefit of adding decorative privacy screens to the home.

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Here’s what we found. A good home isn’t made for comfortable living alone. It must also be capable of promoting good physical and mental health.

Although it has a street frontage, the family’s right to privacy is jealously guarded. There’s a backyard swimming pool for exercise. Looking out the window, a spectacular mountain view can be seen from a distance. There’s plenty of room left to grow a vegetable garden, too.

In essence, it’s a way of creating an ecology of nature-human interactions.

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The architect wrapped it up nicely:

“Even while indoors we can hear birds sing and gentle breezes rustle in the trees, plus the sweet smell of plants and rain in the yard. No need to turn on air conditioning all the time.

“It’s a beautiful natural setting that brings peace of mind. For us, that’s the definition of a holiday home.”


Skarn Chaiyawat, Krit Chatikavanij, Phuwadol Khummali, Punika Chaiyawat



Time Stands Still on Beautiful Pha-Ngan Island

Time Stands Still on Beautiful Pha-Ngan Island

/ Surat Thani, Thailand / 

/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

Ensconced in a coconut grove by the sea, Baan Somjai is both a vacation destination and private concrete residence located on beautiful Pha-Ngan Island. Time goes by slowly on this part of the island, so slow that it feels like time is standing still.

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island
A water pond running the entire stretch of the building contributes to thermal comfort as the weather heats up.

The holiday destination is the brainchild of Nattawut Piriyaprakob of NPDA Studio, who is the designer and son of property owners Banjob and Somjai Piriyaprakob. This land on Pha-ngan Island is a heritage of Nattawut’s grandmother.

Nattawut traveled back and forth to the property often. Back in the day, it was nothing but coconut trees.

Nowadays travel to Pha-Ngan has become more convenient. It’s reason enough for Nattawut and family to put in a home here.

As he puts it: “Mom and Dad used to work in other provinces. They decided to return to Pha-ngan after retirement and started out here with a homestay called Coconut and Noom Resort.”


Pha-ngan Island
The wide-open seating space comes complete with floating furniture for ease of care and flexible uses of space.

The homestay had welcomed all kinds of tourists from backpackers in the Full Moon Party on Pha-ngan Island to European families, which inspired Banjob and Somjai to build a permanent home here.

They enjoyed getting to know new people every day.

Pha-ngan Island
The bedroom, dining room and kitchen line up alongside the front porch. The exterior walls and the roofs are fixed at a tilted angle that best protects the home from the glare of the sun.

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island
The brick wall boasts diagonal plaster stripes in glossy red contrasting with the brick foundation in matte finishes. 

Nattawut designed the buildings on Pha-ngan Island based on his memories and knowledge of indigenous materials.

“It’s the combination of local materials and local builder expertise that culminates in this house design. Bamboo paneling is easy to find. Walls are crafted of red brick and flooring is made of polished concrete finishes.”

The designer intentionally added vivid colors into the work “As you can see, I chose bold colors for the building, such as bright exterior walls. The shadow cast by coconut trees makes the landscape even more interesting.”

The sundeck that is Banjob’s vantage point offers 360 degrees views of the coconut grove and the sea to the further side.

Benefiting from the sea breeze, every room is well-ventilated. Opaque walls on the west shield the building from the afternoon sun, while the pond helps disperse the heat.

Altogether, the design cools the house down even when the weather is hot.

With generous hospitality and good design, Baan Somjai Seaside Resort on Pha-ngan Island is not only a home to the Piriyaprakob family, but also a dream destination for travelers from across the globe.



Architect: NPDA Studio (