Blog : House Renovation

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

The renovation of this hundred-plus year-old rowhouse in Charoen Krung Soi 44 is more than a home improvement: for Mou Lumwatananont, it’s a homecoming she’d never imagined.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Style: Jeedwonder /// Design: sea.monkey.coconut 

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“My mother was born here, but we moved before I was two. After building it up from 2 storeys to 2½ storeys, my aunt continued to use it as an office. However, that business ended many years ago, and it has been only two years since we began making plans for renovation and conversion to fulfill our long-time dream of a guest house and a café.”

This area’s former prosperity is apparent in traces of European colonial-style architecture and bustling alleys that now welcome international tourists and backpackers to the charm of its storied history. Mou and architect Pok (Wachirasak Maneewatanaperk) from sea.monkey.coconut share views on the value of  preserving history through architecture.

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“Renovating this great old building, I didn’t want to change a lot. But I discovered it had already changed. An upper floor had been added, and it had been expanded out back as far as it could go. The entire second-storey wooden floor had been covered with another material. In line with building preservation guidelines, Mou and I decided to make clear distinctions between old and new. We kept intact the front wall and brick walls all around, chiseling off interior mortar to show weight-bearing structures, including wood wall beams fitted into brick arches, and we kept the charming mortared patterns of the original roof.”

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

For warming the heart, the morning sunshine is no match for fragrant fresh-brewed coffee topped with milk foam and a gold-skinned croissant just out of chef Lolo’s oven, amid a modern-vintage atmosphere with a touch of French and British, Thai and Chinese styles integrated seamlessly into an elegant whole. The lower floor is chic travelers’ café, a wooden stairway stretching up to guest rooms above. Visitors might wonder about the functionality of the steel poles they see set at intervals throughout. AS Pok explained,

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“This area is a walled-in rectangle, and without changing outer walls and structure at all we’ve created a new house within the frame of the old one, sinking micro pilings into the root foundation and installing all new support pillars. It was important to keep the new structure separate. Concrete flooring was poured on the ground level and separated by a foam at the joints where it meets the original walls. These “expansion joints” keep outer and inner structures from being attached, so if the floor subsides, it won’t pull a wall down with it. On the second level, we’d intended to keep the original wood flooring, but found irreparable termite damage, so we had to replace it. Behind the house we changed to steel and drywall construction to install walls and latticework. Building here was difficult because of the limited space. Fronting on a narrow street made delivery difficult. There was nowhere to stack & store materials, so all work had to begin inside. When the inside was done, we brought in the materials stored outside and switched to working on the front. There was a lot of planning involved to make it possible for the craftsmen to be able to work at all.”

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

Row houses lasting more than a hundred years naturally tell stories with marks from sun and wind, just as with marks left on our lives by travel. Leaving to study and live in England for more than twenty years Mou could never have expected the winds would slowly blow her back to her origins with a new feeling, one born of love and dreams.

The word “Chez” is French, meaning “at,” or “at the home of,” hence the name: Mou has opened her home to welcome friends at “Chez Mou,” where stories are told by marks on bricks and sweet smiles. Here is a place full of  feeling of release from travel, and full of a bittersweet, gentle fragrance.

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Modern Style in a Newly Renovated House

Modern Style in a Newly Renovated House

The houses in this subdivision all looked the same when his parents brought him here as a child; now he’s renovated this one into a hip, modern structure with 200 square meters of usable space on a property of 400 square meters.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Foryeah! /// Photography:  Nantiya Busabong /// Owner: Roj Kanjanabanyakhom /// Design: Atom Design Co., Ltd.

Lower floor retains the old “tai thun” space below, a brick wall with angled patterns perforated for ventilation on the floor above.
A staircase up to the hobby room, apparently playfully designed for legs of different lengths.
The old house wall was removed in favor of tall “picture windows”
Leaving open space between the old house and the addition makes for good ventilation and cooling.

“After studying abroad I lived in a condo for years, but modern urban life is too full of needless accessories, so I finally came back to this house for its serenity and privacy. I like peace and quiet, listening to music, watching movies, that’s enough,” said Roj Kanjanabanyakhom.

An architect himself, he was the designer and construction supervisor. Since the house was in an old subdivision there were a lot of problems: leaks and seepage, rusty pipes, etc, even asbestos tile, now recognized as carcinogenic. The structure had to be almost completely torn down to its basic frame: pillars, beams, and a couple of walls.

To suit Roj’s lifestyle, striking improvements were made in both the new building in front and the old house: gray cobblestone contrasting with bright orange brick walls, angle-patterned bricks with ventilation spaces. Formerly an open tai thun area, half the ground floor, became his own bicycle maintenance shop, with the other half a carport. On the second floor is a hobby workshop, and above that a roof deck where support pillars are capped with metal plates in anticipation of future additions.

The 2.4-meter outside wall of the old house was demolished and replaced with tall glass windows all around for a spacious feeling. Bedrooms on the second floor were removed to create a “doublespace” area, and a projector set up behind one wall for full-size movie viewing. For the new addition in back, on the first floor are kitchen, dining room, and living room. Above, the second floor is the private area, with main bedroom, guest bedroom, and dressing room.

A skylight was put in to let sunlight in all day, relieving the stuffy, damp, dark atmosphere, and polycarbonate tile was laid on floor and walls.

“There were some difficult structural and material design limitations in the old house. Parts of the old roof weren’t able to support much weight, so besides replacing the asbestos with double Roman tile we used metal purlin trusses instead of wood. To avoid joint problems where the new roof meets the old gabled one, we used steel-reinforced flat slab concrete, which will be able to hold the weight of future additions.

“Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper just to tear everything out. I renovated because I wanted to preserve the memories here,” said Roj with a smile. And so here’s a home filled with remembrance, ready to bring present and future memories into the mix.

The roof deck, designed to hold weight for future additions and a path connecting the two buildings.

 

Link : https://www.facebook.com/atom.design.bkk/

 


 

 

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Terraced House Renovation

Terraced House Renovation

Terraced houses are ubiquitous throughout Singapore, many of which are well preserved to showcase the country’s rich architectural heritage and history of British Colonial rule. Many of them change to better serve business and residential needs of the modern world. This handsome terraced house is no exception.

/// Singapore /// 

Interior Design: Alan Barr and Phaswan Promphat /// Story : Warapsorn Akkhaneeyut /// Photos : Sitthisak Namkham

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Part of the top floor becomes a small sky garden.

This terraced house belongs to Alan Barr and Phaswan Promphat, both of whom interior designers. Alan has had an experience living in big cities, such as New York, before the job sent him across the globe to settle in Singapore nine years ago. He didn’t arrive empty-handed, but with furniture and other prized possessions. Over time Alan transformed the old townhouse into a trendy residential unit, incorporating a touch of New York in the prevailing climatic conditions of Singapore.

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The spaces between Colonial-style arch windows are filled with bookshelves that stand tall from floor to ceiling.
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Part of the living room is remodeled into a workplace. The table is custom made from discarded materials.

The home has a narrow front façade, but the narrow width is compensated by depth, a design feature typical of Sino-Portuguese architecture. The front part has since been remade to accommodate lattice awnings from floor to ceilings. They serve as privacy curtains while shielding the interior from direct sunlight without limiting air circulation. From the outside in, it looks like any two-story home. Step in and you will find it is actually a three-story design. The ground floor now serves as carport and storage facilities. A set of stairs takes us to the second floor that is the living room and kitchen with a spacious dining area. The home office is here, too. From the living room, there is another set of stairs leading to the bedroom on the third floor.

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An armchair and a round coffee table adorn the relaxed living room in chocolate and cream tones.
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Antique-inspired décor items line the hallway leading to a relaxed living space in the rear of the building.
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A room with corner sofa and the large coffee table has enough space to entertain a circle of friends. The backsplash is covered in ceramic tiles made to look like bricks.
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The living room floor is covered in a patchwork of carpets crafted of donkey hide that is soft to the touch. /// A niche under the staircase has enough room for a mini-bar.

He said: “This home used to be a design studio. The interior was just about right. It looked like a home, but it was not. At the time it was an office and it had no kitchen. So when we got it, we had to put in one. I like the layout of this home very much. I divide it into two simple zones – general, and privacy. The top floor is served by two separate sets of stairs. The attic has since become an office. Space is divided to store decorative works on one side and use as a workstation on the other.”

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Set in gray and black tones, the kitchen comes fully equipped with stainless steel fixtures. Dark colored backsplash adds a nostalgic vibe to the atmosphere.
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The stairway leads to the snug bedroom on one side of the upper floor.
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The staff’s office is located on the opposite side of the upper floor to ensure the residential area is not disturbed.

“The second-floor dining room serves multiple purposes, from eating and entertaining customers, to meetings and project presentations. Personally, I don’t like an office hemmed in by glass walls supported by steel or other metal frames. Offices in much of Singapore are like that. I want a different kind of workplace, in which to impress the customers with different experiences. Most of them like it here, whether it is furniture or decorative items that we have on hand.”

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The conference table and chairs are placed closer to the wall lined with storage shelves.

As a whole, the interior spaces are neatly designed and well-appointed. Décor items from various places are placed in perfect harmony with one another. As he puts it, good furnishings don’t always have to be expensive if you know how. Alan has given this old terraced house a chic modern makeover with a hint of interest and personality.

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link: http://www.grey-matters.com/#contact

Townhouse Makeovers / Home Renovation Ideas

Townhouse Makeovers / Home Renovation Ideas

A good home renovation could turn even a decade-old townhouse into a unique house reflecting the owner’s taste and personality.

/// Thailand /// 

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Renovate the 30-year-old and 3-storey townhouse to the warm industrial home. With its gray and simple exteriors contrasting from the iron gate and black roof, and interior open floor plan, you can do different kinds of hobbies within this area. This stylish design can give you the warm cafe atmosphere, yet harmonize the bold style with the white brick wall.

Design-Decorate: Kirin Chaichana

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A 70-year-old unique stunning home is replaced by a simple and modern home structure with a touch of period wooden home style. With its shiny white marbles over the ground floor, it can give a simple and modern look and feel. While the studio is designed to enhance the vintage style by extending the terrace on the upstairs, installing delicate-line curve steels, reflecting the vintage touch amongst the modern-style.

Design: Thita Kamonnetsawat and Pongsak Kobrattanasuk

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Two townhouses were added by steel structure to the front yard without removing the previous building’s structure. It’s easy to use steel as the main material since it can be easily installed. Insert some trees to the structure to add a soft touch to the bold line. Connect these two houses with the center courtyard with the iron bridge, while decorating the interior with the gray-black color so that it will suit with the house.

Design: Suriya Ampansiriraj

link: http://www.walllasia.com/

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Outside of the commercial buildings near Ratchanaddaram temple is still being preserved its main structure but renovated all interior design by combining the old wood with steel structure and laying with red bricks. This renovation will enhance an industrial-contemporary style hostel with decorative cozy rooms.

Design-Decorate: Arx Architects Co.,Ltd.

link: http://www.arxonline.nl/index.php/nl/

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You can renovate all the old commercial buildings by installing aluminum lath parted with modern plexiglass and combining with the little touch of classic elements. The gray-brown palette will help create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the tiny renovated townhouse.

Design: Kirin Chaichana and Nitcharat Chaisagnuanjirakul

 

link: http://www.roommag.com/home-ideas-1/scoop/12798/daily-idea-renovated-townhouse/

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