Blog : Townhouse

3-Storey Town House That Makes Space for Nature

3-Storey Town House That Makes Space for Nature

Before moving into this 3-storey Chaeng Watthana townhouse, Architect and university instructor Bhradon Kukiatnun really put his heart into the design and décor to bring about a conversation among people, animals, and things, partly intentional, part by impulse. Here are imperfections that are either blemishes or beauty marks, depending on our viewpoint.

Bhradon’s business is booming, but designing his own house raised a tremendous number of new questions, not the least of which was how the new living space would accommodate his eleven cats!

townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun

“Three years ago I bought this place new, and it took 2 years to fix up. First problem: organize storage space to hold the tremendous amount of personal stuff needed in my life while still keeping the house orderly. Then, I didn’t want a typical town house atmosphere, but neither should it be jarringly different. Part of the answer is this new façade, using a type of latticework found elsewhere in the project that fits my personal lifestyle.

townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun

          “There’s more than meets the eye in that front view: a lot of the functions are hidden,” explained Bhradon, as most town houses add a roofed-over carport in front. “To really express myself I had to go back and look at fundamentals with flexibility and an open mind. The space in front is limited. Would I rather have a carport there, or a garden? OK, garden: so I designed a garden where I could park the car! Quite different from having a carport decorated with plants.”

townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnuntownhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun

          The design called for no structural alterations, but space was apportioned differently. The ground floor holds the living room, dining area, and pantry; second floor, a small bedroom and a workroom; third floor, the master bedroom. “Inside you might mistake a door for a wall, or vice versa: my overall concept was to focus on highlighting specific points, making them fit in by hiding some elements. In the living room, the TV wall is highlighted by hiding its functionality in a wall; the use of covering elements gives the feeling of being in a cave.”

townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun

During our conversation Ando, Bhradon’s first adopted cat snuggled up as if  to join the group. “I learned a lot from raising cats,” he said, “they don’t think like people. Sometimes our human knowledge drowns out our instincts. But a cat! It wants to sit, lie wherever, just does what it wants. This allows single things to have more than one function: TV cabinet or sitting place? Or, for us, a storage spot. Think outside the box.”

We urban-dwellers all long for nature. Bhradon answered this with a garden area in the rear of the house: “I think gardens nourish the psyche, so I put a little green in the house, along with a small guppy pond, and it’s a perfect spirit-refresher.

townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnuntownhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun townhouse Architect Bhradon Kukiatnun

“I like the ‘wabi-sabi’ way of design; the beauty of imperfection, of real life. Real life involves rust; it involves injuries. Can’t eliminate these, right? Recently my cat Kuma died, and I miss her every day. But through the sorrow of loss we see the beauty of living. Being natural is to be incomplete, and we have to live with the things that happen.” As Bhradon’s speaking voice gradually softened, an unspoken conversation brought into focus the future of the house, the man, and the cats, and whatever might lie ahead for them.


The Perfect Size Townhouse

The Perfect Size Townhouse

The townhouse is a common type of building in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Home owner and architect Narong Othavorn grew up in one, always thinking of ways it could be better designed. Eventually he and his wife Pim Achariyasilpa decided to create their own home by renovating a 30-year-old townhouse in the Si Phraya neighborhood.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul 

The building combines two adjacent townhouses into one. Narong kept the original wrought-metal façade, modifying the original metal entrance door with a mixed frame of wood and steel, leaving the next-door side the entrance to a fourth-floor warehouse. A picture window in the living room brings in natural light onto washed gravel walls that lead down to a small garden behind the house,  inspiration for the “doublespace” mezzanine.

The doublespace ceiling isn’t only about making the lower level look good: it supports the open plan design. Glass panels in the dining nook of the mezzanine above extend a feeling of comfort to every space in the house. From the mezzanine there’s a continuous view through glass partitions out to the garden behind the house, and there’s steady circulation of air from front to back. Townhouses are apt to feel cramped, but not this one! The light is different in each area, but light is what connects everything.

“These things came from our own personal tastes. Pim likes well-lit spaces. Me, I like indirect light. So with a house for the two of us we had to get the division of space just right, using the light available in each area. The lower floor is bathed in a subdued natural light; upstairs the living room brightly lit through the front window. Moving back to the dining area and bar, the light is dimmer. Go upstairs to the bathroom and dressing areas and it’s lighter again, suiting the specific limitations and characteristics of each space.”

“Small, but spacious” is how both owners refer to this house: better than adequate, the size is really perfect. Not so small as to be cramped. Everywhere some things catch your eyes up close and others at a distance. The home offers a master class on how townhouse renovation can work with limited areas to create special, interesting spaces. Even though adjoining buildings make side windows impossible, careful arrangement of space and windows in higher levels give this house a beauty that is anything but ordinary.

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A Townhouse Oozes Vintage Charm

A Townhouse Oozes Vintage Charm

It has the appearance of an old townhouse, one that’s classy but relaxed. Looks can be deceiving! This townhouse with all the vintage charm and poise was built not long ago. Check this out.

// Thailand ///
Story: Lalitpan Cheumthaisong /// Photography: Ritthirong Chanthongsuk, Soopakorn Srisakul /// Owner/designer: Napaporn Pothirach




The two-story townhouse belongs to an interior designer, who bought it from a property developer while it was under construction. She came in just in time to apply improvement ideas to the original design.

For a well-lit interior, she replaced solid walls with an array of glass doors with transom windows. Stairway walls and ceilings on the upper floor were removed. Some of the original windows deemed to be too small were replaced with bigger ones. The homeowner even found an ingenious way to add an attic for her kids. The result was a light and airy dwelling place, quite an aberration from a typical townhouse.





Inside, the wooden parts, such as window frames, doors, antique decor and crafts bespoke the homeowner’s passion for woodwork. She designed all the built-in furniture, including wooden cupboards with intricate carvings, and bought other furnishings and ornaments herself. She admitted she didn’t have a plan when she bought them. What a nice fluke! They turned out to be a perfect mix and match style with a common hue.

“I once had the opportunity of visiting the house of Geoffrey Bawa, my favorite architect,” said the owner when asked about her inspiration. “I learnt the concept of space management and the art of applying cultural identity to design. These things make the residence feel cozy, charming and timelessly livable.”

Space management as a concept may be simple, yet in practice it’s never easy. This townhouse with all the charm and poise has proved one thing. The homeowner managed to put her newfound knowledge to practice. And it showed in the intelligent use of space and the way she decorated with crafts.


The kitchen-cum-workspace is the most elegantly furnished area of the house.
The kitchen-cum-workspace is the most elegantly furnished area of the house.






Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Wait until you see pictures of the interior. This tiny 80-square-meter townhouse was given a complete makeover. You will be mesmerized; it looks so incredible.

/// Malaysia ///
Story: Ajchara Jeenkram, Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Owner/Designer: David Chan of Design Collective Architects (DCA)

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation


For 40 years this modest, two-story home has stood in a residential neighborhood near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Selangor. Noise pollution has turned many people away, but architect David Chan has grown so acquainted with living in the area that he decided to stay. A frequent flyer, he thinks it wise to live a stone’s throw away from it all.

No need to say renovation came as a challenge for Chan, who usually made a living designing larger houses. Strictly speaking he had a task that required great effort and was hard to accomplish: Create the good life in a space that was far from generous.

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation


He started out with ventilation improvements. To bring in crisp, clean air, solid front doors were removed and replaced with steel wire mesh paneling. Meantime, blowholes were put into the exterior wall to facilitate heat dissipation and increase indoor thermal comfort. Chan did a partial tear-down, turning the upper floor into a mezzanine. The result was a light and airy living space with double high ceilings. Where appropriate he added windows and other wall openings, and painted everything white and soft shades of gray to make the interior appear larger than it was.

Design being so well thought out, who needs air conditioning?
Design being so well thought out, who needs air conditioning?
For security window bars, simply does it.
For security window bars, simply does it.

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation

Despite it being a small townhouse, Chan added some much needed patches of green to the design. He put a hole on the backyard floor and planted a leafy tree that was visible from the living room and bedroom.

The complete makeover went as planned. Chan and his family now live in a beautifully remodeled home on an expedient location that best suits their specific needs. Incredible as it may seem, the tiny home is where life begins again, and love never ends.

Incredible Small Townhouse Renovation



Mash-up: Industrial Design and Green Space

Mash-up: Industrial Design and Green Space

Cold black steel may not seem an obvious pairing for green plants, but one award-winning architect has matched the two in a unique and impressive way.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Monosoda /// Rewrite: Phattaraphon /// Photography: Nantiya, Jirasak /// Owner/Designer: Suriya Umpansirirat


“Steel and the natural world present an interesting conflict to me,” said Suriya Umpansirirat, winner of the Silpathorn Architectural Award and owner of the design studio Walllasia. “My childhood home was a rice mill in Phatthalung. I grew up playing ‘fix this, fix that’ in an industrial plant, but set in the midst of trees my father had planted.”

Adding to his compact two-storey house he used a unique design based on childhood memories. The rawness of the black steel comes across as part and parcel of nature, meshing easily with the green leaves all about. Structural lines here are simple and straightforward, but full of architectural finesse.



When Suriya needed to expand his 64-square-meter townhouse, he bought and annexed the house directly behind, allowing no more width but creating two times the depth. Between the two he created a courtyard where the sun shines in. A metal frame is set like a ring around the courtyard, separating the two structures without physically attaching them to each other.



Every spot in the house has many varieties of plants and trees, looking as though they have sprung up naturally. There is an automatic drip irrigation system which prevents water waste and also saves a lot of gardening time.


A workshop for artifacts and inventions. A big bike sits, waiting for a ride.
A workshop for artifacts and inventions. A big bike sits, waiting for a ride.

Suriya’s passion for nature’s fine details complements another side of him, which has him creating fine crafts in the workshop. His own art works and a plethora of inventions and artifacts have become part of the house.

This award-winning architect has also done a lot of work in many religious sites, and this influence keeps his home a “work in progress”, never entirely finished, and saturated with Buddhist concepts and thought.

“Religion is about how to deal with human life,” he spoke about his inspiration. “Each religion has a philosophy for finding happiness. Architecture grows from that: how can we express our own esthetics without encroaching on others? I tried to design this house to look simple and straightforward, for comfortable living without too many frills. For me practical considerations are what’s important.”

Perhaps for a person of passion, practical living shouldn’t involve hoarding or accumulating, but reduction, or letting go instead, until what is left is the core essence of a home.

His concept: a house like a vase of flowers that’s also a car repair garage.
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 /// 




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





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





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






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.






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