Sukhumvit Soi 39 isn’t short of luxury condominiums, close as it is to a plethora of upmarket shopping centres and uber lifestyle amenities. For someone who previously lived in a house in Thonglor, Chatchai and Kunyarat Pladisai’s new residence at Vittorio Sukhumvit 39 has proven to be a challenging transition but one she does not regret.
“We used to live in my husband’s house in Thonglor. However, the area has become so commercialised that we decided to look for one a bit further out of town. This condo though is the perfect home while we wait for our new house in Pattanakarn to be completed, and it will be a convenient lifestyle asset well into the future,” says Kunyarat, who spent months visiting condominiums in the area before deciding on Vittorio.
Having moved in early in 2018, she explains that the move from a detached home with a garden to an apartment in the sky, albeit luxurious, took some getting used to. “I’ve always lived in a house and I’ve become used to the space of a garden and whatnot. However, since we moved into the condo I can begin to see the benefits of this style of living. It offers lots of freedom and the convenience to come and go.”
She continues, “To be quite frank, I think we were lucky to get this unit. When I contacted the developers, they wouldn’t sell it at first because it was effectively their showroom.” Pointing to an impressive skyline from a large, airy balcony with comfortable lounge chairs, she adds, “This apartment has good views and it was beautifully furnished with quality fixtures and fittings which they didn’t want to sell because it served as the perfect sample residence. I remember thinking that if it was meant to be ours, then we would somehow get it.”
After a few months of waiting, a phone call brought good news. “We were told that it was on the market and that we would be able to have it as seen, fully-furnished, even down to decorative objects.” A good thing it was too, as the construction around her Thonglor home was at a phase where it was starting to become quite disruptive. “I didn’t mind in the least that it was already furnished. Quite the opposite in fact. I liked the style and it was very convenient. Looking back it makes me laugh because we must have surprised the staff when we moved in almost overnight.”
The elevator to the apartment opens on a private foyer. “It’s another thing I like about Vittorio—units can only be accessed by a private lift. It makes me feel safe, especially as I use it often by myself.” Stepping into the foyer, one is greeted by a ceiling-high shoe cupboard, its contents—mostly heels—all very neatly arranged in rows. “I specified the redesign myself after realising that the cupboard’s original configuration wouldn’t allow every pair to fit,” she says. Her penchant for neat and beautiful is evident in the way Kunyarat decorates. “To be honest, that’s the one downside about living here—it doesn’t have a walk-in closet. Then again, I’ve taken over both the wardrobes in the guest room downstairs and in the master bedroom to make room for my clothes.”
Entering the living area, the space opens up into a high-ceiling living room with a kitchen bar, a dining table and comfy furniture. Kunyarat and her husband are Christians and she has decorated the condo for Christmas. A Christmas tree is festooned with festive baubles and bearing gift boxes in shades to gladden the hearts of women across the world: the iconic robin egg blue of a Tiffany box, the orange and chocolate hues of Hermès and the deep red of a Cartier jewellery box. “I love Christmas trees, and this year I wanted to decorate it in my own style,” she smiles.
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It’s not just the Christmas tree that suggests a yuletide feel. The dining table also gives off a warm glow from the gleam of delicate glassware, gold-rimmed plates and burnished cutlery. “This isn’t just for show, Kunyarat explains, as her 14-year-old son Naphat, or Justin, sits himself down for a lunch of mushroom soup and salmon steak. “Justin is currently studying abroad at King Edward’s School, Witley in the UK. He started boarding in September, and since then I have had a lot more space to myself,” she laughs.
Prior to going to the UK, Justin attended the Singapore International School of Bangkok because his father planned for him to continue his higher education overseas. “We want Justin to have a balanced life, a healthy mix between academia and extracurricular activities, and we felt sending him to a boarding school in the UK would provide those things—the British educational system should be beneficial—and it will help to build his character and develop a sense of independence.”
A beautiful lady with feminine charms, Kunyarat enjoys ballroom dancing and has a soft spot for porcelain and chinaware, including various tea sets which she uses whenever friends come over for afternoon tea. A glimpse at her collection reveals an eclectic mix of ornately patterned plates, teacups and napkin rings. “I love Liberty of London. They make such unique and beautiful patterns and I can’t resist visiting them whenever I travel to the UK,” she says.
Kunyarat’s sense of humour is also evident in some of the personal décor she has introduced to the apartment. For example, we are intrigued by two wall hangings on the landing of the staircase. They are the heads of a white feathery swan and a flamingo. “Ah those,” she laughs. “They are actually made of papier-mâché. I wanted something to decorate the wall space. I liked the idea of animal heads in the style of hunting trophies, but I’m against that sort of thing for real. So when I found the swan’s head at Liberty, it was just perfect—exactly what I was looking for. I liked it so much that I asked a good friend to bring another one back for me, hence the flamingo,” she beams.
Upstairs is the master bedroom with a view of the city. “This came fully furnished and I love everything about it.” On the left is a marble-clad bathroom in which one of the walls stands out thanks to its studded decoration of white camellias—they look as if they are growing out of the wall. Normal craft flowers to some, these are the white camellias that come when one makes a purchase from Chanel, and the many blooms stuck on the wall indicate the lady’s love for the brand. “I adore Chanel and with so many of the flowers to choose from I thought it was a great way to decorate in here.” In the main bedroom, the afternoon sun is filtered through thin white curtains. “It can get really hot in here in the afternoon,” she says, “so we draw the curtains to protect the furniture from the sun. The bonus is that at night the views of the city lights are stunning.”
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