Situated in a prime location on Sukhumvit 39, the apartment of real estate and financial investor Chareeya Prommajuk perfectly captures the essence of an urban retreat. Overlooking the sprawling city, it acts as a weekend getaway for Chareeya and a change of scene from the condominium in Sathorn where she spends the working week to be close to her office. Chareeya’s apartment at The XXXIX offers peace and tranquillity while being close enough to the skytrain and the main road.
As an urbanite, location is key to Chareeya. “When it comes to investing in property and real estate, there are many factors one has to consider. Even though this was a purchase for my personal use and not for re-selling, having a property in a prime residential location is still what I look for. I actually like this area a lot and I would often come here to shop or have a nice meal. There are lots of good stores and restaurants in the neighbourhood, so when I saw this project it was perfect for me.” Location notwithstanding, Chareeya was drawn to the development’s design and positioning. “When this flagship condo was put up in 2016, it was at a time when there weren’t that many luxury high-end properties in the vicinity, so it stood out for me.”
One enters the apartment to discover an open dining-living area. To one side is a kitchenette where Chareeya prepares light, simple meals. “I don’t like cooking here though because the kitchenette is not really designed for preparing large meals, especially not Thai food, which includes a lot of strong-smelling ingredients and often requires frying. I say this from a first-hand experience,” she laughs. “On one occasion I tried cooking in my Sathorn apartment, and because the kitchen there is also very small, my eyes smarted from the chillies and the smell of frying remained in the curtains for weeks.”
The living room area on the other side is relaxed and inviting. Its boundary is subtly marked out by an oversized rug, on which sits a beige sofa set. To maintain consistency, the entire interior uses a palette of various shades of beige artfully decorated with accent pieces of brass and marble that add a touch of style to the setting.
Talking about the décor concept Chareeya says, “Since The XXXIX is marketed as a luxury condominium, I thought that it would be fitting to have a room that shows some elegance. After all, this is where I entertain visitors. I didn’t want a very classic design because it might look a bit too old-fashioned. After some contemplation I realised that a luxurious contemporary style is timeless and would be a perfect middle ground between modern and traditional.”
Chareeya also wanted to ensure that as a second home the place had a different vibe from her Sathorn apartment. “My flat in Sathorn is very different. It is modern with dark panelling and flooring, which looks very edgy but at the same time it can make the room feel quite heavy and claustrophobic. So when I got this apartment, I aimed for a warmer tone to evoke a cosier feel. Despite wanting it to be luxurious, I didn’t want it to look like a hotel suite. It is my comfortable bolt-hole in the city.”
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Chareeya explains the process of finding her own references and selecting the furniture and décor herself. “The great thing here is that it was completely empty when I bought it, which meant that I could decorate it however I wanted—from the right finishing materials and marble cladding to smaller home accessories. Initially, I bought a few design books so I could pick out furniture that I liked, pieces that would fit with the overall concept.” To find those pieces Chareeya would spend her weekends combing through the furniture sections of shopping malls and design stores.
“I was beginning to tire of the process but then I found a retailer called Motif, and it was brilliant because they had catalogues with just the pieces I was looking for, which made the process much easier.” Determined to turn her dream home into a realisation, she waited for almost half a year before moving in. “The condominium was actually completed at the end of 2016, but because I wanted to choose the furniture and décor myself, I moved in around mid-2017 after all the pieces I had ordered were shipped to Thailand.”
Most of the furniture is by Fendi Casa and Chareeya explains it was love at first sight for the brand. “They had exactly what I wanted,” she laughs. “My favourite pieces, however, are the bed and the vanity,” she says as she leads the way to the bedroom. Decorated with ornately framed pictures, the room exudes feminine sophistication. Pointing to the marble panelling on the wall, she explains that she designed it herself.
“Although I didn’t study design, I’ve always loved reading about it and keeping up with new trends. I’ve noticed that in the recent years marble has become very popular and is being used in many high-end properties. I visit a lot of properties as part of my job and I have seen that adding it as an element can be very transformative to the space—a plain room can look very sleek and minimal just by adding marble to it.”
Sitting at her vanity table, she talks about her favourite corner in the house. “I spend most of my time here. I like to read, and ironically it turns out that the best spot for reading is right here at the vanity,” she laughs as she points to the ceiling where a Swarovski chandelier provides an extra source of light.
With its main bedroom and guest room, the apartment is spacious enough to feel like a home yet compact at the same time. “I bought this place because I wanted a relaxing haven without having to get away from the city. I only stay here at the weekends, however, because it’s easier to commute from my Sathorn apartment during the working week.” With both of her properties located on high floors, Chareeya explains why she prefers living in apartments rather than a big house.
“I used to think that houses were a better investment because you get much more space for the price. However, I got used to living in apartments during my university days and after graduating living in an apartment proved to be much more practical.” As a woman, security is also an issue Chareeya takes seriously. “I feel safer living in a condominium. As I live alone, I don’t like the idea of being in an empty house where I don’t know what’s going in the other rooms.”
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