When it comes to making a house a home, Fay Onchuma Durongdej and Pitipat Preedanont—a soon-to-be-wed couple—have done it the right way. Their newly finished pad of 200 square metres is located on the third floor of an office-cum-residence building owned by Pitipat’s family.
We enter through a door emblazoned with the couple’s initials and find ourselves in a small yet luxurious foyer that blends white Greek marble stone, black mirror cupboards and Hermes wallpaper. “I’m a fan of stone. Especially white ones,” says Pitipat. “This imported Polaris marble is beautiful with unique lines particular to this type of stone.” The foyer at first sight looks bigger than it is and that’s because Pitipat carefully designed it to include black mirrors that not only make the room contemporary but also offer a more spacious feel to the entrance. “We added the Hermes wallpaper because Fay is a fan of the brand,” he adds. “But I wanted it to stand out as a showpiece so it’s framed with more mirrors and lifted a few centimetres off the wall.”
Hiring an interior designer is pretty standard these days; what’s harder is to find homeowners who have invested a lot of attention and time to the minutest of details regarding their home. The elaborate and enthusiastic manner in which Pitipat describes every inch and corner of the apartment, including the advanced automation system that allows them to control the lighting and air conditioning throughout the entire house, is a reflection of that. The lighting system of the apartment was meticulously designed to provide a variation of tone and ambience. Although he has worked in real estate development for almost 10 years now, Pitipat admits that rarely has he given quite this much input into each and every detail.
Exiting the foyer, we come across this luxurious pad’s focal point: the living room. It’s contemporary, cosy and full of character. The walls are dark grey, creating a sense of calm, and, at the centre, a brown leather couch and chairs surround a funky trunk coffee table. The main leather Baxter sofa is the couple’s pride and joy and is heavenly to sit on. “We searched everywhere for so long until we found the perfect couch,” says Onchuma. It faces a large, curved 65- inch Samsung TV. “This is probably my favourite spot,” says Pitipat. Indeed, with its dark colour tones, it’s probably the most masculine section of the apartment. Having said that, the pair has managed to each make an impression here and there and it is the finishing, feminine touches by Onchuma that make it feel complete. “I’ve added accents of texture and colour,” she says. “For example the Fendi pillows, the blankets, the velvet curtains and the carpet.”
Opposite the living room, our eyes fall upon an intriguing object against the wall protected by a sliding glass door. It’s a large map of the world that is creatively presented. According to the mastermind behind this piece, Pitipat himself, it consists of a large piece of metal that has been meticulously laser carved so that the contour of each country and continent is depicted as accurately as possible. Blue LED lights represent the ocean. Below, tiny shelves house a large array of small trinkets collected during the pair’s travels. “I have a passion for travelling,” says Onchuma. “We want to have a place where we can keep items that bring back wonderful memories of our travels.”
To the right of the apartment we come across an open European-style kitchen by Poggenpohl and next to it, a dining table stands under a lavish Fendi chandelier. The concept of an open kitchen is not unusual, especially in contemporary homes, but here the lack of separation makes their home feel more spacious and airy, which is exactly what they were aiming for.
“He thinks of everything,” says Onchuma with a laugh. Pitipat shows off an advanced ventilation system that is built in the stone kitchen counter. “A big traditional kitchen hood hanging from the ceiling would have made the place seem much less spacious, which is what we wanted to avoid,” Pitipat says. “Actually we didn’t think we would spend so much time sitting around this kitchen counter,” says Onchuma. “But it’s nice to have a casual place to sit and eat, so most of our mornings and evenings are spent here.”
At the far end of a corridor on the left flank of the apartment sits a funky wall mirror by Christopher Guy, Onchuma’s favourite designer. The room on the left of the corridor is the master bedroom. Unlike the living room, this room has been kept simple, with light coloured walls and parquet flooring. Opposite a king-sized bed stands a light grey Natuzzi sofa with a touch control system. A large flat-screen TV on a console table offers a subtle division between the bed and the sofa. It turns 360 degrees so the couple can watch it from the sofa or the bed. To get to the bathroom, one must first walk through the couple’s L-shaped walk-in closet, which houses a humidity-controlled vitrine showcasing Fay’s Hermes and other high-end handbags.
Back in the corridor, two rooms are located on the right side. The first is a small guest bedroom. The second, located behind a glass door with delicate gold and silver patterns, is Onchuma’s office. This is vintage, cute and classy. Light pink floral wallpaper, cream-coloured curtains, a small green Bunny William couch, white and pink orchids— together they make this room the most feminine section of the house, and very much Onchuma’s own space.
Something else we notice is the refreshing scent that wafts throughout the entire house. “I love candles,” Onchuma laughs. “When I lived with my parents, my dad didn’t really like the idea of candles as he was concerned about the fire risk.” Now, with the freedom to do what she wants, she has placed candles pretty much in every room of the house.
“It’s difficult to pick a favourite spot,” says Onchuma. “Each room has its own character and we poured so much of ourselves into every aspect.” She’s proud of how they’ve handpicked everything themselves. “Point at anything and we will be able to tell you exactly where we bought it. Almost everything here has a story.”
Right now this apartment is set up for two but behind a door hidden in the walls next to the dining room sits a different and untouched section on the third floor. “We plan to enlarge the family one day,” says Pitipat. “When we do, that section will be transformed into an area for our child.”