When in search of a new home, many people opt for a location in the heart of the city, in close proximity to all the 21st century conveniences that keep one entertained. But in a place like Bangkok, escaping the buzzing commotion of the city can also be a blessing. Real estate developer Varinborn Chantarojvanich, or Koong, and her son Nodedhanutt, or R-Ta, have found themselves just the perfect spot. Located in The Laken compound in Muang Thong Thani, her newly built home offers a quiet and calm sanctuary for the family of two.
In line with contemporary architecture, the house, which took about three years to build, is a boxy, clean-lined structure wrought out of concrete and glass and with a flat roof. There’s a certain simplicity with regard to the form and design but it’s one that achieves both a high level of comfort and classiness. The house is divided into two sections that are connected by an outdoor seating area and an infinity pool, which overlooks an appealing man-made lake. Between the pool and the lake, a modestly sized garden serves as a beautiful breakfast area for the family. “I really enjoy sitting here and having my bowl of jok in the mornings,” Koong smiles.
We enter the main house on the right through a sliding glass door. As one would expect, the same contemporary feel of the exterior is carried into the interior design of the house. The first thing that strikes us is the view, visible through the floor-toceiling windows. These large windows also bring an abundance of natural light inside while providing a lake-view backdrop for the living room that is located right next to the windows. “This is probably one of my favourite spots in the house,” says Koong while seated comfortably on her cream coloured FlexForm couch. “It’s right next to the water and it gives me a sense of peacefulness and calm. Living here is so relaxing that I often tell my friends I think living here will extend my life span,” she laughs.
This sense of calm is reinforced by the neutral tone of colours that is carried throughout the house. “I like these kinds of tones,” Koong says. “I like things to look simple but classy. I purchased most of the furniture from either Chanintr Living or Grande Armoire.”
At the centre of the first floor is a large dining table and, to the right of it, an allblack kitchen. The mother and son have only recently moved in and the house is yet to be fully decorated. This, however, has not prevented them from properly making it a proper home, or having friends and family over for a nice feast inside or out by the pool. “I recently had about 20-30 friends over for dinner,” she says. “The kitchen wasn’t fully ready so we decided to hire a chef instead.” For her eight-year-old son, the pool is a great way to entertain his many playmates.
We make our way up to the second floor through a wide wooden parquet stairway. There are three bedrooms upstairs, with the king bedroom at the far end of the corridor. Each room offers a splendid view of the lake. The first one, Koong says, is unused, except for when her mother pops over for a visit. “My room in the middle is my favourite,” says R-Ta enthusiastically. His mother adds, “When you wake up there, you get a glimpse of the ducks and birds.” Each room has a minimalist flair and floor-to-ceiling windows. Koong’s room, the largest of them all, has a dark brown walk-in closet which also leads to the bathroom of dark grey stone walls.
Back in the corridor on the second floor, Koong draws our attention to the fact that the entire left wall reflects a canny use of space. “I wanted a clutter-free house,” says Koong. What appear to be ordinary white walls hide a number of storage cupboards. “I can hide almost anything in here, including all our winter clothes for when we travel,” she laughs. Here too there are windows, but unlike the large windows in the rest of the house, these are small and elevated from the ground. “The entire house has large windows but as this window is facing the road, the fact that it is smaller and higher up gives a certain amount of privacy,” she says.
The left flank of the house consists of two rooms, a library and a play room. “I wanted a library as a study space for my son,” Koong says. “The other room he can play games in. I like to spend time there as well, as I find it to be another very relaxing spot right next to the water.”
When Koong isn’t working or taking care of her son, her hobbies, she says, include going furniture shopping. “I really like home decoration so I go out furniture hunting a lot. In fact, right now, that’s what I spend most of my time doing,” she smiles.
This is not a grandiose home by any stretch of the imagination but there is still more than enough space for two. It took a lot of house visits to find the perfect home, even for the single mum who owns two real estate firms. “I wanted a place next to the water but that’s not always easy to find,” she says. “The places I did find didn’t quite fit my criteria.” According to Koong, this location is not as inconvenient as it might seem at first. “It is out of town yes, but it is also right next to the entrance to the highway,” she says. “A new BTS station is about to be constructed nearby. There are also many fresh markets and food courts in the area.” Living here she says, feels like living in a rural area. “Sometimes it doesn’t even feel as though I am living in Muang Thong Thani at all,” she says.