There is a white home tucked away inside a condominium in the heart of Bangkok. It’s luxurious, yet feels as easygoing and welcoming as if we were visiting a single house with a yard. But here, as far as the eye can see, are views of this great city.
Anantapha Thongthawat, who designed the 180-square-meter suite, told us how it came about. “To get the result the owner was looking for, I had to combine distinctly different stylistic concepts: Asian ornamentation, minimalist simplification, and modernity, and give each room a distinct character.”
To the owner, nothing compares to his favorite color. White of many shades was used on floor, ceiling, furniture, and ornamentation, all done for his satisfaction. “I like pure white” he says. “It looks straightforward, clean, comfortable. In a clean, white room I can feel truly relaxed.”
Stepping out of his personal elevator, we walk into the central part of the house passing a parlor/reception area, a desk, and a dining area. All three rooms are directly connected. The concept came from the functionality of the porch in a traditional Thai house. A main walkway connects everything.
From here you can access all the other areas, entering them through sliding doors suspended by rails set above, so that one space flows easily into another. For a practical use, the maid’s quarters are set close to the service area. There’s efficient division of space everywhere.
The large main room with a modern look is arranged with chic finesse. The table and acrylic counter parallel each other, with plenty of space left between for good functionality. Planter boxes filled with white pebbles hold upright large branches resembling trees.
From any perspective, the whites create a sense of deep order and a startling beauty in this home. We can say without reservation that we’ve fallen under their spell. Have the charms of whiteness begun to work their way with you yet?
Not many places make us feel comfortable every time we visit. It’s wonderful when a person’s own home is like that. “House around a tree” at Baan Rai Thaw Si in the fresh mountain air of Pak Chong, Korat.
Pui became attached to Baan Rai Thaw Si when her mother used to come for meditation at nearby Baan Boon with the monk Shaun Jayasaro. “She brought me here and I liked it. She wanted a country house, so here we are!”
Pui’s mother adds, “We built here for a lot of reasons. As Bangkok people, we feel safe living in a project, where neighbors watch out for each other, and this is a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere.” This was certainly clear to our team. Most households are also involved with meditation, adding to the pleasant ambience.
“We wanted a house where we could retire when we got old,” continued Pui, “and Mother is making plans now. Rutjanamphon Ketkasemsuk – known as Tang – is a university designer and architect whose designs we liked, and he created this open, airy house.” Tang’s design includes rooms for overnight guests, access to natural surroundings, and easy maintenance.
From the front we get a wide view of the house, which blends right in with the natural environment. The first floor has floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, and a walkway surrounds it and also serves as a porch. The second-storey angled roof panels makes the house look lighter, and the color combination of white and gray adds to a proper, orderly look, making the tall tree in the center stand out, echoing the beautiful natural surroundings.
Interior décor is simple, partly because this is a vacation home, but also because the owners prefer it that way. Furniture is movable, though there’s a built-in kitchen. Floor and ceiling are dark-colored artificial wood, creating dimensional contrast with the glass frames, reflecting the natural world outside and creating a warm indoor atmosphere, especially in the evening when sun shining in through the trees creates breezy patterns on the white inside walls.
The two wings of the house stand separated by a tall tree in the center. One wing is like a small hostel, with eight guest beds; the other is the family wing, with Pui’s mother downstairs and bedrooms for Pui and Nu and youngsters Poon and Pan on the second storey. This “house around a tree” reflects the living arrangement and the comfort and happiness of living close to nature while coming together as a family.
This home was designed and built in Malaysia by Tony Heneberry of JTJ Design under the concept of a great place to live in. From a former shophouse, the designer has turned the final look into an incredible house. The makeover started when Heneberry bought two buildings. He combined two units together and torn down separating walls to increase usable space.
The 7-meter-wide façade looks much wider when Henebery removed the walls and existing partitions to assign new functions to the space. The living room/ dining area on the second floors is spacious with a lot of open area, following the “open plan” concept.
The house’s main staircase was torn down and rebuilt in a better location. New metal stairways sit in a hallway next to the central courtyard, leading the way to the second floor. The courtyard is filled with tall trees, as a main relaxation area of the house where a glimpse of outdoor experience is bought inside in harmony. The trees also create continuity by naturally drawing the eyes towards the interior.
The stair to the third floor was set in another location. It sits against the outer wall, to preserve the space inside, which is an area for work and rest.
As for the ventilation system, hot air is able to float up through the hallway, then flows out through window louvers and through the roof. Another plus is, this urban home faces south. So, by putting planter boxes on window frames, a simple vertical garden is added to filter sunlight and enhance privacy for residents at the same time.
The house is settled on a tight land of less than an acre. The landscape is hemmed by huge rocks. From afar, it’s hard to tell the shape of the house, as it sits on a lower level than a nearby road.
Boulders across the landscape force the buildings to come in separate units, each is anchored with a rock to secure its place. The design is modern and simple. Overall exterior is clean and neat, highlighted with a shed roof. Different asymmetry shapes are used, while rectangular shapes are avoided to achieve the most nature-blending buildings.
Buildings are set on a slightly different levels. The shed roof on the main villa creates a wide open facade. The diagonal lines are also applied to other exterior walls. The overall wooden materials make the house looks warm and inviting.
The two-storey main villa features a T-shaped floor plan. On the second floor, an ample sitting area is offered along with a panoramic ocean view. Exterior walls are partly covered in timber strips, placed at intervals for ventilation. Bricks wall covered in plaster and glass windows are applied where appropriate. A wide sundeck is served as an alfresco dining room.
The ground floor is also connected to outdoor. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels are installed. A lounge area is equipped with a huge bed. Next to the space is a semi-formal dining room and a contemporary-looking pantry.
The first outbuilding is opposite to the main villa, accessible via a garden pathway. The single-story home offers a small bedroom. The ensuite unit boasts an outdoor bathroom.
The second outbuilding sits slightly lower than the rest. The floor plan is similar to a sundeck on a cruise. The master bedroom sits on a big boulder, the top edge can be seen projecting out from the floorboard.
Where possible, uneven grounds were smooth out to make a lawn. Through time, the weather has washed rock surfaces that they gradually become organic with the house and its landscape.
Safari-inspired décor silhouetted against its modern loft interior. Naked concrete finishes compliment subdued tones of the wood. Free-form furniture at the center works as a colorful contrast. In short, its rocky terrain simply completes this house on the rock.
Located in suburb area, this minimalist house has plenty of ample space for a family. The owner reaches out to A21 Studio group of architects to design the place.
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Architect: A21 Studio /// Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul
The house incorporated many natural features. The ground floor interior appears open, airy and uncluttered, using glass to divide the room area. A green oasis in the center court can be seen in full view from anywhere. The cozy innermost section is a private area designed to accommodate visiting acquaintances.
Double-space design boasts a sense of virtual unity within the first and the second floor. A kids homework room and a sitting room on the second floor can be either connected or separated as needed. On the third floor is where a home gym and a bathtub are located and nicely furnished for a good rest after a long day.
The highlights of the clean-cut interior are gloss finish concrete floors, glass room dividers, and solid walls painted polite colors. Streamlined furniture makes for comfortable living in Minimalist style.
The least disruption of airflow makes it possible to do without turning on air condition. That means saving on electricity and other energy-related expenses.
The ordinary creation to answer the homeowner needs is achieved here. With an environmental consciousness and a minimalist house design, the home gives residents a better living.
This property belongs to Assoc.Prof.Tonkao Panin Ph.D, a teacher at Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University. She revived an old abandoned building into an airy, well-ventilated house.
Flanked by a canal, the long-term problem arises. Floods tend to happen often, this was the main reason to tear the old thing down to start anew.
“We have full-grown trees in the land, which we intended to keep. So, the architects designed the building around them. Because of some limitations, traces from the old connecting building is still remain. The space where tall trees is standing now was made into an atrium.”
“I want a home that is open and airy – a house that breathes. The new design calls for wide corridors and ample spaces underneath the house. The low land is now filled up to street level to create a semi-outdoor multi-purpose area.”
Tonkao chose steel for the main structure. Because they reduced construction periods and enable a flexible construction schedule.
The two-story, L-shaped home splits into two wings located on either side of the warm and lively center court. The canopy of tall trees keeps the entire living spaces cool and comfortable all day long. Exterior walls are made of hollow bricks to block the sun while leaving a space for the wind to flow in. Long overhangs protect the house from heat waves, while stilt floor improves ventilation.
“We sleep soundly in a compact bedroom. A wide corridor helps when we walk pass one another. Semi-outdoor walkways keep us informed of current weather conditions and we don’t need any air-conditioning machine.” Tonkao mentioned her home with content.
Courtesy of the energy efficient home, residents are able co-live happily with the nature.
Little joy with a cool lush green small garden in front of a pretty white house protected in front by a hedge of English banyan. Sukanda and Chaiyanon Mimarayat were inspired to create this beautiful place by the book cover of Small Garden from Baanlaesuan Publishing.
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Story : Warapsorn Akkhaneeyut /// Photos : Sitthisak Namkham /// Landscape : Little Tree
Seeking out the garden designer, Siriwit Riubamrung of Little Tree, they had to wait two and a half years to enlist his help. “When we first went to Little Tree the Designer needed to see the actual site, but the big floods came and we couldn’t continue for another year. Then prices were higher, so we had to wait even longer.”
In the meantime Sukanda redecorated, the space adding on a small cottage in a mixed French country and vintage style and a relaxation room with a porch, walkway, and lawn, all while waiting for the garden to arrive.
“Our old place was a townhouse with retro façade, not like this at all. Then we started getting out more, and thought about copying the look of restaurants and coffee shops we liked, such as Agalico, which Little Tree designed. We gave Siriwit a free hand because we liked his concepts, but of course he discussed everything with us in advance. He made adaptations from the original work plan such as increasing the height of the hedge barrier in front for more privacy.”
Inside the garden is a very private enclosed space, with a chic black lawn table on top of cobblestones set in diagonal lines, fragrant yellow gardenias, and bright flowers scattered here and there for a relaxing, casual mood.
Siriwit helps with color coordination as well as prices and brands. In the mix of plants he inserted Fukien tea and English banyan hedges trimmed into geometric shapes to relieve harshness so the garden looks orderly, but not too formal. He adds, “I played with shapes and forms, the diamond-shaped walkway and yard with checkerboard lines of tile in the front. The central court is trapezoidal, so I took away the unevenness with two lines of banyan plants.
“We used medium-sized plants with beautiful forms placed symmetrically. Golden gardenias. Leafy plants with different shades: neons, silvers, spotted coralberry, evergreen spindle, lime. Put in a pond with a cute rabbit-head fountain.”
A beautiful verdant garden with a vintage feel. A place to walk in and relax with a cup of your favorite coffee. Peaceful, relaxing.Once you’re here, where else would you want to go?
From the outside, the house looks like three-story boxes joining together. The white building sports a simple contemporary house look with a swimming pool as the centerpiece. The main hall is well connected to other rooms around it.
Among the simple contemporary house with a warm welcome by the hostess Thin Thin Lwin, who appreciate showing around her house. She said:
“ Just my husband and I live together here. So when building a new home on a vacant lot, we didn’t want one that was going to be too big for our needs. We wanted just enough functional areas with easy access to other parts of the house, kind of like keeping with long established tradition from the past. By a happy chance, I have a friend, who is an architect, and the rest is history. Stephen Zawmoe Shwe and I have been good friends since we were kids. So we asked him to design it. ”
This Simple Contemporary House looks like the joining of four big boxes. The first-floor interior is light and airy thanks to super high ceilings. They are two stories tall to be exact. There is a sense of interior elegance. The spacious, well-ventilated hall is well connected to other rooms around it. One of them is a living room, which is clearly separated from the dining area and the kitchen.
The second floor has two spacious bedrooms, each with a private balcony to take in the view and cool breezes. The swimming pool below is clearly visible from here. Interior design emphasizes crisp, clean lines and white tones that go together well with shades of gray. Furniture comes in warm earth tones that enhance the charm of natural wood flooring.
The third floor is a penthouse deck with a view and great for stargazing. It is an ideal living space for relaxation as a family. There is a large Buddha room on one side, where the owners come to pray and perform religious rites.
Simple design makes this Western style home stand out in the old town neighborhood. It’s well thought-out plan ensures there are plenty of functional areas and modern amenities for comfortable living. It is energy efficient thanks to passive cooling strategies, such as large windows that open to bring in cool breezes and natural light. Where necessary, lattice awning is installed to minimize the amounts of sun on the exterior wall. That reduces the workload on air conditioning. All things considered, the design scheme is well suited for Asia’s hot and humid climate.
A beachfront home is built based on a simple exterior design, yet it is a perfect hideaway to relax in a tranquil environment.
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Story : Atla Otto /// Photos : Sungwan Phratem
Here is a simple home designed for easy coastal living. It is nestled on the peaceful western shore of Samui Island. The neighborhood is known for envy-inducing outdoor spaces and stunning sea views.
The waterfront home sits on a rectangular plot of land large enough for building a good-sized house. But the property owner is not looking for a design that is twice longer than wide. Because a rectangular floor plan may be lacking in variety, he opts for something else more interesting. The result is a neatly planned vacation home comprising three detached units. All of their front rooms are positioned to take advantage of the waterfront’s views and breezes.
The three shed-roof buildings sit facing one another and come in different sizes. Their floors are raised 50 cm above the ground. The largest unit features a semi-open design to serve multiple purposes, incorporating a seating area, dining room and pantry. Next to it stands the second building with master bedroom with ocean views. An infinity pool, lush greenery and the beach lie between the two buildings and the open sea. The third building, which is set further back, features two en suite bedrooms. It is the first to be accessible from the street. The three-unit home boasts clean line exterior design with an emphasis on relaxing hues, such as white, gray and beige. Wood accents come in natural color and finish design to never go out of style.
Open design allows an abundance of natural light and breezes to flow easily through the three buildings. Genius landscaping ideas help keep the interior spaces cool naturally, while lush foliage provides for comfortable outdoor rooms just steps away from the sparkling blue waters.
These twin houses are a kind of an in-between space that separates them physically. In a subtle way, the center court serves to perpetuate the spiritual bond between the two households. It makes for cordial relations and passion in the form of a shared space that gets used every day. It is obvious they have found the right balance.
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Story : /// Photo : /// Designer: Natasas Jeenphund and Yupayong Chaikachorntat
The owner of appealing twin house are two sisters, Chutima Bunnumkitsawat and Chutimon Siriwithayarat. Now married, They live in separate households that share the same compound. As anyone would expect, the twin residences look amazingly alike. But they are two distinctive entities. So we asked, and they answered.
“Originally They had planned on developing the property, on which we now live, to accommodate an extended family lifestyle. By chance, my husband came across one of the designs by Nat and contacted him right away before the big flood hit. We got down to the business of planning in earnest while the city was inundated in 2011,” Chutima said.
She said that the family has lived on this plot of land for three generations now, meaning those of Mom and Dad, the twin sisters themselves, and now the little ones.
Asked about design inspirations, Chutima said: “We both have kids roughly the same age. So family living spaces have got to be clearly defined. Simply put, we are two separate households now. Nonetheless, the two houses are set in the same compound. Mom and Dad can be with the kids here or there. Bottom line, our children will get to grow up together.”
Chutimon said that despite being two separate entities, the twin houses are subtly tied to each other in so many ways.
Behind the perceived sameness there exist a fair amount of differences. By permission, we take a look around only to find, as is often said, plenty of different details in the find print. First, their lifestyles subtly differ. Chutima’s home features a design with an emphasis on vertical treatments that embrace the value of the family’s intimate living spaces. Patches of greenery in the vertical garden protect the privacy of the living room and nearby patio. Lush foliage makes for comfortable interior living spaces. Now let’s move over to the other side of the center court. Chutimon’s home boasts open and light interior design featuring ample horizontal spaces. Reminiscent of the traditional Thai-style home, the family interior living spaces look out over and connect to the center court. The bedroom comes with an open, spacious balcony that is the family’s favorite hangout spot.
The awesome twin houses complex is the brainchild of designers Natasas Jeenphund and Yupayong Chaikachorntat of Poetic Space Studio. As they put it, “The two homes highlight simple, clean line design. I want them to appear as two distinctive entities. It is like two well-pruned trees thriving side by side. Meantime, it is not about being totally separated. Basically, the plan is based on a design principle that aims to keep the two families very much together.” In a nutshell, the twin houses find the right balance not only in terms of land use but also in architectural style. More importantly, they bear testimony to passion and longing to be together and cherish the relationship made in heaven.