Stretching across one rai of land, the Trongkamolthums’ waterfront estate commands a stunning panorama of the Chao Phraya. Located at the bend of the river dominated by Rama III bridge, the house faces one of the widest and calmest parts of the river. While the family bought this piece of land 14 years back, they moved in roughly three years ago after they completed the residence. “Back then, it was just my wife Rungtip and I, so our previous house was much smaller. But as our family started expanding with the addition of our daughters Issaree, Sasipa and Kejmanee, we started thinking about acquiring a more spacious place,” shares business investor Mana.
Their eldest daughter Issaree—a young and budding interior designer—oversaw the creative direction of their new address. “My parents visited our relative’s hotel, Casa de la Flora, and fell in love with its design aesthetics, so I suggested that we hire the same architect, Vasu Virajsilp of VasLab,” shares the Chulalongkorn University and Parsons School of Design graduate. The result is a modern space—a tasteful combination of stripped-down elements of the sort VasLab is known for, jazzed up by eclectic details put together by a team of interior designers, sourced by home stylists or designed by Issaree herself.
Entering the house through a large wooden door, we are greeted on the left by a small living space that is used to host formal gatherings. A set of gold Tom Dixon pendant lights hangs from a high ceiling and complements a royal blue and gold sofa that Issaree designed—an eye-catching surprise amid the monochrome theme. From here, our eyes sweep across the airy flow of the house. Almost entirely surrounded by glass walls, we see how the architecture takes full advantage of the location. “We asked our architect to highlight our most important asset: this beautiful riverscape. So you will find that every single room in our house has a view of the Chao Phraya,” shares Issaree.
On the right, a minimal dining area takes centre stage. “I first pictured a completely raw space, but my mother felt it may be too drab, especially for a home. So we tried adding a subtle touch of luxury to the expanse, which I feel really gives a charming contrast to the room,” she says. Enclosed by glass walls mixed with exposed concrete elements, the room features a Fendi chandelier that floats above a glossy table and leather chairs by Cassina, altogether creating a classy cool effect. A sleek kitchen set by Poggenpohl with appliances by Gaggenau sits on the right-hand side, and there’s a bar matched with pairs of clear crystal and striking red chairs.
Making our way back to the foyer, a hallway adorned with art pieces leads us towards a common area that welcomes close family and friends. It has polished teak floors and warmer hues of beige and brown, plus a massive zebra-print carpet that lends a dash of cheekiness to the space. Across the room, family portraits and collectibles adorn the space. We notice two limited-edition Swarovski crystal-embellished Lamborghini models handsomely on display. “These were special gifts from Niche Cars,” shares Mana, who is also the president of Lamborghini Club Thailand. Further inside is a modest fitness area, equipped with a massage bed and steam room, where Mana and Rungtip spend their mornings with a personal trainer.
Back in the living room, we stop to take in the gorgeous scenery outside. Making our way onto a large swimming pool deck, Rungtip tells us that this is one of her favourite spots in the house. “Doesn’t it feel more like a holiday home?” smiles the businesswoman. “We usually have our morning coffee together out here as it is especially nice at daybreak. Our family also invites friends and relatives here a lot, and we usually host parties by the pool.” A family of music lovers, they’ve installed audio speakers throughout the house, even outdoors. This is one of the many facets of the home that Mana speaks of with enthusiasm. “I had full involvement in setting up our home’s automation systems,” he shares. “That includes working closely with the APLD professional lighting design team, linking all the audio players in the house to our mobile phones as well as other technical aspects. Everything can be controlled with just a few clicks.”
Their second floor is rather homey—a true escape within their private refuge. There’s another roomy living area here. “We do have a lot of common areas,” admits Issaree. “The functional aspects in the design really embrace our concept of bringing out family values—we believe in spending time together as opposed to hiding out in our own rooms.”
She takes us through a hallway that reveals nothing but sleek, structural lines and white walls until we stop in front of her bedroom. Through wooden doors, we see on our right an incredibly minimal all-white space. Apart from a few photo frames, a sleek record player and a collection of indie records, there is not much in the way of decoration; the room looks like it is meant for sleeping (and enjoying the river view). But on the left is a small hallway with walls mounted with concrete-like laminate. At the end of the short walkway, a beautiful three-dimensional wire mesh artwork of a nude lady is elegantly displayed. With a light push on the left wall, Issaree takes us into her disguised dressing room. Completely white with dashes of red, it connects to a tastefully minimal bathroom that glows in warm beige and features accessories imported from Denmark. “We’re obsessed with our bathrooms and restrooms,” she laughs. “You will find that we take each of them quite seriously when it comes to design and function.”
She then leads us to the third floor. This, she tells us, is her favourite space in the house. “It may not be the room our family spends time in the most, but this is where my friends and I like to hang out,” she smiles. Here, a bit of industrial flair mixes with a free-spiritedness. A massive sofa set, each seat featuring a different upholstery fabric that Issaree picked out herself, dominates. Behind is a rustic bar, also designed by the young creative talent, showcasing wood and steel (and lots of wine—they’re avid collectors). Through a swivelling glass door is a vast studio; again this has a theme of concrete walls, bold structures and wood elements. Also a fashion accessory designer with her own brand, Issaree sometimes hosts collection previews here.
As the sun starts to set, we move outside to an extensive balcony on the same floor where lounge chairs face the spectacular view. From above, we spot that the house comes with a private pier, so we ask if they ever use it. “Yes, for taking pictures and during Loy Kratong,” Mana answers before laughing commences. “But in the winter, it really is a nice spot to put out a table, light some candles and indulge in good wine.” The Trongkamolthums’ estate is no textbook family residence, but rather a unique and eclectic modern property that reflects the sophisticated yet fun-loving characters of its inhabitants.