Julalak Ponpipom is a busy woman. The managing director of luxury tailor Button Up as well as Wine Direct, distributor of Piper-Heidsieck, the official champagne supplier of the Cannes Film Festival, has much to do before heading to France to attend the prestigious film fest, but she finds time to give Thailand Tatler a tour of her luxurious abode.
Together with husband Tantawat Ruangsorn and their two-year-old daughter Mika, Julalak has been living at Noble on Pattanakarn since December 2017. The house offers the family a quiet sanctuary, a haven removed from Bangkok’s buzzing city centre. “Living in a condominium is certainly convenient,” she says. “But I grew up in a house with a garden. For me, it’s more relaxing and cosy and when you have a dog, you really want it to have enough space to roam around freely.”
The main entrance of the house makes a bold statement with large floor-to-ceiling glass doors featuring handles formed by an artistic engraving of her and her husband’s initials. The advantage of having such colossal glass doors is that they let in an abundance of natural light. They open onto an elegant living room with a high ceiling and floors adorned with black marble veined with white. The marble tiles, the embodiment of style and sophistication, add character to the space. “I really like marble,” says Julalak. “There is something very classic about it. People have been using this style for hundreds of years, yet it remains a timeless beauty.”
While many opt to purchase sets of matching furniture, Julalak’s preference is to mix and match pieces in different styles and colours, saying that it reflects her character and brings more uniqueness to the space. Moreover, most of the furniture here has been tailored or customised to meet her personal taste. So here a large white sofa, ebony black chairs with carvings of a deer, a navy blue velvet chaise longue and white folding chairs frame a transparent glass table with golden touches. Adding even more contrast to the mix is a zebra skin carpet. An ornate tailor-made chandelier that hangs from the ceiling is the definite statement piece in the room.
It’s not uncommon for couples to have disagreements when it comes to home decorating but Julalak and Tantawat have found common ground. “My husband works in property development,” she says with a wry smile. “He’s very good with all the technology and mechanicals—the water system, electricity, home-automation system, all of which are way too complicated for me. But home decoration is mostly my responsibility.” Even though they used interior designers and architects, much of the input for the residence’s interior came from Julalak, who has invested time and great attention to detail into every corner of her home. It is something she enjoys and has experience of through another of her business concerns, an event furniture rental company.
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On the right of the living room a faux fireplace has pride of place below a large mirror—a deliberate attempt by the homeowner to give an illusion of depth while increasing the perception of space. Opposite, partitioned by built-in shelving housing beautiful artefacts and trinkets from her travels, is a glass dining table and open-floor-plan kitchen. Here too a custom-made chandelier hangs above the entire length of the dining table. “We use this area a lot, particularly the kitchen, which is one of my favourite spots,” says Julalak. “I love to cook and whenever we have friends over I will be in the kitchen.”
At the back of the house behind the living room, a lot of effort has gone into creating a distinctive enclosed swimming pool area that features the added aesthetic touch of three lion fountainheads. In line with the idea of space perception and mirrors, here too are reflective surfaces and three overhead chandeliers above the pool.
“The ceiling here is lower than it should be and that’s why we have added the mirroring,” Julalak explains. “Honestly, it took a few attempts because the mirrors kept cracking and falling.” While the pool is inviting, our attention is drawn to the golden-hued walls, one of which is decorated with intricate hand-painted representations of peacocks amidst flowering branches. “I love peacocks and I knew exactly what kind of design and which colours I wanted,” she says. “It took around two weeks for the painters to find the right waterproof paint in the right shade of gold and complete the task.”
Back indoors, heading up a dark wooden staircase with gold railings which, intended or not, serves as a stylish backdrop to the living room, we arrive on the second floor. Unlike downstairs the flooring here is parquet. The master bedroom and walk-in closet are each located on separate sides of the house and connected through the main bathroom. Contrary to the opulent and glamorous feel the rest of the house evokes, the décor in the bedroom is kept simple with neutral colour schemes and very little furniture.
“My husband works a lot from home and spends most of his time here so it’s better to keep it like this,” laughs Julalak. Indeed, the room has been split into a bedroom and an office area. We walk through a chic bathroom of grey marble to discover a walk-in closet with light grey zebra print wallpaper. Julalak is an organised person and this is immediately noticeable in the way each item is folded, hung and placed by colour and style. This is a his and hers closet, and each has their own side and sets of shelving. Both also have a marble-topped island of draws.
Julalak is an unabashed workaholic but also a full-time mum and it comes as no surprise that she spends much of her time working from home in her own office located on the third floor. “One of my favourite colours is blue,” she says. A reflection of this is the blue walls of the office. There is also a couch that sits in front of a large projection screen, her very own home cinema so to speak. Through glass folding doors, one can see an alluring balcony overlooking a tree and grassy area, adding a touch of greenery to the place. The outdoor seating on the balcony is a zen-like area for relaxation.
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The top-most floor is where little Mika’s bedroom is located and of course, as one would expect of any young child’s room, it is filled with toys and a safety play area. On this floor there is also is a family living room that, according to Julalak, has become a plush classroom for her daughter. All in all, it took four years to complete the house from the ground up and today it represents the residence of a young family who have successfully created a warm and loving home for themselves.