Blog : Home Renovation

Row House in Chiang Mai / Home Renovation

Row House in Chiang Mai / Home Renovation

Plankrich, aka, Kwanchai Suthamsao is known as a trendsetter in row house renovation. He decided to build a home of his own in Chiang Mai.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Atta Otto /// Photo: Sungwan Phratem /// Designer: Kwanchai Suthamsao

1
The newly designed front façade boasts an interesting mix of lightweight materials. Weathered boards in slightly varying shades complement the pastel gray of fine-ribbed, corrugated metal sheet.

His fans and admirers may expected to see exciting construction techniques and exquisite materials, but it turned out the design was kept simple. Kwanchai’s main goal was building a house to meet his urban lifestyle. Thus, the prime location in the inner Chiang Mai city.

“A detached home was out of the question, the land was very expensive. Another option was a row house. After the survey, I chose this three-unit shop house. The size was right, I was able to give it a complete makeover.”

2
The old staircase was removed to make room for a new set of stairs supported by an I-shaped steel beam.

Kwanchai literally removed everything out, including the old stairways. The only remaining were pillars and beams. The floor plans for all three units were completely redesigned. He wanted each unit to have its own characteristic, but the space was limited. So, he only focused on making the right corner look different instead.

3
The small guest room with a bunk-bed is tucked away at the far end of the first floor.

The small guest room is tucked away at the far end of the first floor. Custom designed double bunks make it suitable for sleeping two guests.

The mezzanines were taken out. The omnipresence of reclaimed wood beams and floorboards brings back vintage charms. On the ground floor, sits a compact 2-person guest bedroom and a carport.

4
A chunky upholstered sofa adds warm, cozy feelings to the interior. A window covers with a wooden blind allows natural light to shine through.

The second floor is neatly designed for multiple uses. The sitting room is in the front section, a dining space in the middle, and the kitchen and bathroom in the back. The dining area is a bit narrowed, to make room for the stairway. The décor exposes the owner’s love for vintage collectibles. Oblique-aligned wooden wall and floorboards gives a warm, homey feeling.

5
The second floor features a dining space. The floor and the walls are covered in recycled boards from the homeowner’s collection.
8
L-shaped design turns the small kitchen into a fluent cooking area. Cabinet doors in neutral shades make the room light and bright.
10
Every space is neatly planned. The aisle separates the microwave and convection ovens from the washer and dryer. The door at the far end opens to the dining room.

On the third floor, the bedroom in the front section is kept clean and uncluttered. In-room dressing room and bathroom is separated by a sliding door. The interior continue to a neutral shade for relaxation. The décor is minimal with only few essential furniture.

7
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.
9
The changing room-cum-walk-in closet offers wardrobes on both sides of the aisle, which connects to the bathroom at the far end.

The key to this row house renovation is reclaimed wood. Added for more natural light are wide windows. The result is an airy house, one that is small but has everything for a vibrant city lifestyle.

6
A glass wall with sliding door separates the laid-back sitting room from a compact semi-outdoor space. An opening in the exterior wall allows diffused natural light into the living space and the stairway.
11
The midway landing offers a built-in cabinet made of reclaimed boards. On the way up, shoes are neatly stored here.
12
Marks on the wall and concrete frame tell stories of a recent home makeover project. The owner intentionally left them as a personal reminder. /// A rusty sconce adds vintage charm to the naked concrete wall. Beneath is a wood box storage for home improvement tools.

 

link: http://www.plankrich.com/

Home Renovation / 27 SQ.M. Row House Project in Vietnam

Home Renovation / 27 SQ.M. Row House Project in Vietnam

A lot of work and research were invested to this home renovation project. The big question is; how to make the compact house looks wider.

/// Vietnam /// 

Architect: A21 Studio /// Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul

8-1
Home renovation: The project is accomplished without any concrete construction. The new second floor rests on cylindrical steel posts instead of big cement pillars.

Like most residential buildings in Vietnam, “3 x 9 House” was renovated from an old shophouse. It has only few windows and solid brick walls was making the building look dimmed. A bold move was needed to change both the building and lifted up the mood for the residents.

8-2
The 3×9 meters house has become a point of interest  by integrating natural features.

As land prices in Vietnam continue to rise up every year, finding a new home may seem like a formidable task. So the owner thinks it wise to invest in renovating his existing home. He reaches out to A21 Studio, for their reputations include turning small homes into nice, uncluttered, and environment-friendly living spaces.

8-3

8-9
Clay tiles are placed inversely on the entire interior walls to create stripe pattern and unique touch.

A tree grows up through an opening greets visitor from the entryway. The skylight roof illuminates the interior spaces and enables light to reach to the tree.

8-4
The steel structures roof is equipped with a sliding skylight. This effectively illuminates interior spaces and allows the tree to keep on thriving.

Breezy wind is able to flow through the front door and flow throughout the house, including the rear section, the second floor and the translucent sliding panel on the rooftop. Flanked by three-story houses on both sides, the house is exposed to sunlight only during mid-day. So, no air-conditioning machine is needed.

8-5
A skylight illuminates the bedroom space. Giving it a neat, organic appearance.
8-7
The bedroom has a low-rise platform and a mattress. The absence of room dividers gives the area an open, airy, and uncluttered appearance.
8-10
An open kitchen is designed to eliminate smoke and unpleasant smell via the window on the top.

The interior avoids the use of a divider, the only exception is a bathroom. The ground floor comprises of a sitting area, a dining area and a kitchen; all connected. A bedroom and a leisure area are rested upstairs. Since the owner lives alone, room dividers are of no use. Thus, the main idea of this home renovation is to focus on openings and improving its ventilation system instead.

8-6

8-8
A colorful mix of tiles are reminiscent of vernacular architecture.

link: http://www.a21studio.com.vn/

Home Renovation / The Artist House in Kuala Lumpur

Home Renovation / The Artist House in Kuala Lumpur

The place called “Desa House” belongs to 49-year-old artist Leon Leong. Located in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, the building clearly stands out from the rest in a neighborhood characterized by ubiquitous town-homes.

/// Malaysia /// 

Architect: WHBC Architects, by Wen Hsia /// Story : Panchat Changchan /// Photos : Rithirong Chanthongsuk

1
Newly added on is the sky garden that extends outward from the second-floor façade. 

The most eye-catching feature is the lush sky garden that extends outward from the second floor. The structure also doubles as carport roof. Green foliage adorns the front façade and functions as a privacy curtain. The striking feature reminds us that we have reached our destination.

2
The sky garden platform, which doubles as carport roof, is accessible from the second floor.

The bedroom and the studio are lit by natural light through sliding glass that slides open to access the greenery. The same applies to the rear portion of the house, which opens to a backyard. In the front and back, green foliage forms privacy curtains that effectively set the interior spaces apart from the hustle and bustle of city life.

9
Roof beams are clearly visible after ceilings are removed to make way for the new add-on.
3
There is no need for electric lights as the interior is sufficiently illuminated by natural energy via the second-floor skylight and the main entrance.
4
Lattice skylight crafted of concrete turns the second-floor living spaces into a well-lit place. /// Natural light illuminates the central court that the artist owner uses as his workstation.

The home’s aesthetic is achieved by putting in an add-on and other details to the existing structure. Like other townhomes in the neighborhood, there is a central court that the occupants use for relaxation. But architect Wen Hsia of the WHBC Architects group has a better idea. She transforms this centerpiece into something different. What used to be a seating area now becomes a lush landscape, where tall trees cast shadows on surrounding walls and much of the first floor. It brings in the outdoor, and the atmosphere comes alive every time leaves blow in the wind. All day the light and sound show gives the artist homeowner the inspirations that he needs.

6
The interior spaces double as an art gallery, where Leon displays his beautiful works of art.
7
The artist’s favorite spot is the bookshelves composed of concrete and wood frames.
5
The perfect matches for timeworn kitchen countertops and minimal raw wood furniture.

Leon needs plenty of light to create works of art, and he gets it all in the home studio. To bring in natural light, the architect has tiled roofing replaced by lattice skylight, creating beautiful special effects. Concrete lattice casts striking shadow patterns everywhere. It is cheaper, longer lasting, and easier to maintain than that made of wood. As night falls, the studio is aglow by electric light. Interestingly the studio light alone is enough to illuminate the entire home.

11
The artist’s workstation is nestled underneath the stairway and behind bookshelves.
8
The living room shares space with the kitchen for added convenience.

Finally, the result of all solutions is very contented. The architect can bring the new life to the old building and change it to characteristic artist house.

10
Tall trees provide a crisp, cool canopy to the backyard. Beach pebbles, concrete slabs, and a patch of manicured grass fill up the garden floor.

link: http://www.whbca.com/

Feel The Rustic Touch at a Raw Chic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

Feel The Rustic Touch at a Raw Chic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

Crafted in a plain and simple fashion, the Sekeping Sin Chew Kee is a raw beauty and a way of life in Kuala Lumpur. The rustic chic hotel is part of the Sekeping chain, which is owned by Ng Sek San, of Seksan Design Landscape Architecture and Planning. See beauty in simplicity! Check this out.

/// Malaysia /// 

Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamlich /// Photograghy: Rithirong Chanthongsuk, Soopakorn Srisakul ///

Designer : Seksan Design Landscape Architecture and Planning

 5

The hotel is located within a converted “shophouse,” the terms for vernacular architecture commonly seen in KL. The well-kept, two-story reinforced concrete structure has a rooftop deck. The owner/designer, Ng Sek San, took every precaution to avoid increasing building weights. The only add-on is a mezzanine on the second floor. Both the mezzanine and the upper floor are reserved for guest accommodations. The coffee shop sits on the ground floor.

8

The shophouse-style building has access to the street in front and back. The front entrance features a small garden, enclosed for privacy by a wall of medium height. Inside the hotel, a steel stairway gives access to a lounge with a warm, welcoming atmosphere on the second floor. A bit further inside lies a kitchenette with a bathroom and two guest rooms.

2

There is another set of stairs that connects the second-floor lounge to the mezzanine and on to rooftop deck. The newly added mezzanine was once an open space. Later, a wood plank ceiling was put in to give the area an elegant touch and turn it to a usable room. Elsewhere, custom plasterworks and exposed brick wall in a circular shape contrast with real wood flooring in shades of white. The newly painted surfaces and simple décor make for easy maintenance and an atmosphere that environmentally friendly.

4

3

The choice of contemporary furniture and ornamentation conveys a refreshing change. There is a curious mixture of the traditional and the modern. Steel-frame beds and sofas, comfortable mattresses and cushions blend well with old-fashioned items, ranging from water kettles to wire mesh lounge chairs to antique-style cups and tableware. The most memorable sight is the simple white mosquito nets that unfurl at bedtime.

7

9

In remodeling an old building, it’s important to consider structural integrity, which refers to the building’s ability to hold together under a load without breaking or deforming. As the designer puts it, renovation work differs greatly from building anything from scratch. It goes through the various processes of evaluation, demolition, and pounding to make room for new ideas to take shape.

“Our experience here has meant the opportunity to try out new architectural features and interior decorating techniques in order to give the hotel a raw beauty, one that’s rich in rustic appeal. The design is about creating an intentional lack of orderliness and opposites to the ordinary. This is manifested in industrial-style electrical conduits throughout the building. Instead of concealing them behind walls, the conduits, mountings, and hanging lights are installed in ways that are clearly visible and easy to maintain,” explained Mr. Ng. His well thought-out design results in a chic interior that focuses on truth to materials and a style that reflects well on this part of town.

1

link: http://www.sekeping.com/sck/

Perfect Combination of Classic and Retro Style /Home Renovation

Perfect Combination of Classic and Retro Style /Home Renovation

The classic and retro style of three-story, 750-square-meter home is an awesome makeover from what was once a printing facility owned by the family. Much of the structure is kept intact, except some parts of the wall that are removed to make way for optimal space utilization. In the process, the main entryway is relocated for added convenience.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Ajchara Jeenkram /// Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Interior Designer: Paisal Chongprasobtham

1
Mirrors are used on one side to make the interior seating space seem larger. A plush leather upholstered sofa in dark hues contrasts with an aerial white cutout ceramic stool in Oriental style. The floor is covered with alternating gray and black granite tiles in the herringbone pattern. A rich array of terrarium adds life to the ambiance.

As Worapong and Sukanya Suwatpim put it:

“We built this row house duplex ourselves. The design is based on slightly different dimensions compared to those standard-sized row buildings. Our rectangular-shaped plot happens to be much longer than it is wide. In remodeling the living spaces, the main entrance that used to be on the front is relocated to the long side. It is more convenient that way.”

2
The second-floor living spaces feature open studio design with all amenities for comfortable living. Glass siding on the exterior walls lets natural light pour into space during daytime.

The ground floor offers parking spaces for classic cars that make parts of his collections. There are areas for hobbies and creative workspace surrounded by unadorned concrete finishes and hand-hewn, bare brick walls. Metal detailing is painted black, paired with cool retro-style furniture. The well-conceived combination adorns the interior spaces that obviously speak to retro-Industrial style. The second floor features ample seating spaces, dining area, kitchen and a bedroom, which comes in cool classic style, and yet not too sweet. Plans are afoot to turn the third-floor spaces into a gallery of many antique clocks that the homeowners have collected over many years.

3
The dining space and adjoining pantry boast Classic appeal with a mix-and-match approach to interior decoration. Victorian wood chairs and a crystal chandelier contrast with the black and white tile floor in a diamond pattern, adding even more interest to the room.

The couple has preferences for different interior decorating. This is where the designer, Paisal Chongprasobtham, comes in to create a welcome contrast in the interior living spaces, ones that are aesthetically pleasing despite different natures, luminance and color. Sharing his thoughts, Paisal said:

4
The real kitchen that gets used every day comes with beautiful tile in-laid kitchen cabinets. Antique tile patterns add a unique touch to the atmosphere.
5
The bathroom is perfectly adequate for two users at the same time. Double vanities beneath the granite countertop provide plenty of storage for bathroom supplies. The entire backsplash is covered in glass-bedecked with a pair of exquisite, jewel-like French mirrors

“Worapong prefers the raw rustic look that is the way of men, while Sukanya wants her design simple, and yet appealing by its very nature. So I give the ground floor unsophisticated look by incorporating features that are attractive, and yet unrefined. The interior walls show steel and bare bricks after plaster covering has been removed. I try to make the two interior styles go hand in hand by using dark shades like black and gray as connecting agents. Meantime, wood furniture comes in natural tones with an emphasis on simplicity, and yet cool. The kitchen counter is adorned with classic woodcarving patterns, making the atmosphere highly agreeable. The bedroom is given to luxury, no doubt the most comfortable and relaxing in every sense of the word.”

8
Leather-upholstered headboard and footboard in soft hues serve as statement pieces inside the master bedroom. Adorned with antique brass nail heads, they contrast with the bluish gray tone of decorative beading on the wall.

Being a much-traveled person, Sukanya is the one who chooses all of the decorating items. The job as a flight attendant has taken her to Europe often. And she particularly likes going to the flea market, out outdoor events selling secondhand goods.

6
A walk-in closet offers overhead shelves for rarely used accessories. A full-size mirror at the far end adds depth to the well-styled personal space.

“Both of us want a home with the Western appeal, but not to the extent of Louis style. And it must not be too sweet. With this job, I get to see and stay in nice hotels. I collect décor items that I like and adapt them to best suit our home.

9
A glass front armory features private collections including Fornasetti graphic plates.
7
A handcrafted dresser and rustic mirror find their perfect spots in the space between the bathroom and walk-in closet.

link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/

X