The Weekend Home Of Charaporn & Chockchai Lertiendumrong
In a city that chokes on a muggy atmosphere of cement dust and exhaust fumes, we’d all love to have an out-of-town home, somewhere we can escape to where the air is cool and clear. Which is exactly what Charasporn Lertiendumrong and her husband Chockchai, CEO of Royal Porcelain Thailand, decided they needed a couple of years ago when they purchased a second home in a verdant area off Bangna-Trat Road.
For Charasporn the property serves a dual purpose. “We bought the house because we are quite a large family—we have five children aged between 15 and 20 and we wanted more space,” she says, but then laughs and adds, “Of course, the irony is that all the children are away now studying in the UK or the States, so for Chockchai and I it really has come to feel more like a private weekend getaway. I’ve always lived in the city and our main home—my husband’s house—is located in the Rajawongse area. Now that the children are only here during school and university holidays—and if I’m honest they prefer being in town because it’s more convenient for meeting up with friends and playing sports at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club—the Bangna house has really become a place for the extended family to gather once in a while.”
Which brings Charasporn to the other reason for choosing the Bangna-Trat area in the first place. “It allowed me to be near my siblings. My sister, Warakorn Ongnithiwat, was already living out this way. I’m not getting younger and I thought it would be a good idea to be closer to her so that we could keep each other company in our dotage,” the 50-year-old laughs. “My brother also lives along the Bangna-Trat Road, so I think it worked out just perfectly. Being near each other means that we can meet up more easily and more often. My father also approves because, as you know, family is a very important part of our culture.”
So it actually comes as a surprise when Charasporn says that she prefers living downtown. “The Bangna place is great for getting together as a large family unit but I’ve always been a city girl. That said, I have to admit that I have developed a love for gardening and I do appreciate the green spaces a suburban home provides. The weather seems better around here too. Both my parents love trees and because my childhood home had a spacious garden, I just naturally enjoy being surrounded by greenery. I find it very refeshing,” she says.
More Tatler Homes: Inside Varinborn Chantarojvanich's Home On The Lake
The Bangna house itself has a small garden sanctuary in which Charasporn likes to potter about. “I loved designing the garden, finding trees and flowers for specific areas, creating a shaded nook where I can enjoy afternoon tea. Just the process of taking care of it—weeding, pruning and planting—is very relaxing,” she says. The interiors of the house were a lot longer in the making she admits. “It took around 10 months. I wanted a light and airy feel, so I asked interior decorator Chananun Theeravanvilai to help. She is one of my best friends. We’ve known each other since our school days and I put my complete trust in her. She’s very good at matching colour and style and has an eye for the contemporary.”
The process of decorating has been an enjoyable one for Charasporn, particularly shopping for items with Chananun. At the same time, it has required a degree of patience. Recalling her search for the perfect sofa, the lady of the house says she had to wait for the new design season to begin. “At one point we thought we had found the ideal sofa for the living room, but the dimensions didn’t work so I had to wait months for the new collection to be released to get one in the right size. In the hunt for various pieces we visited so many different shops—one for the carpets, one for lamps, one for tables etcetera,” she says. “We would go out so often in a week. Looking back, it was great fun but I think I might still be at it if it wasn’t for Chananun. Because we’re friends, it was very easy for us to talk to each other about what would work in the house.”
With her children becoming young adults, Charasporn also wanted them to have a say in the decoration of their own rooms. “We ended up setting up Pinterest boards through which we could share visual ideas. It helped to ensure everything went smoothly, despite the fact that they each had different preferences,” she explains. Having a large brood also necessitated adjustments to the second floor of the home. “The house obviously didn’t come with five bedrooms, so we had to rearrange the floor plan to add more. However, that gave us the opportunity to be creative with the built-ins and storage space. The good thing is that because this is not our first home, we were aware of what we wanted and what we needed in terms of space and function.” As an example of this Charasporn cites her children's dust allergies. “That is one of the reasons I wanted a minimal contemporary design. It doesn’t collect dust and it is easy to clean and maintain. We also wanted more cupboards and cabinets, which are useful for storage and keeping each area tidy, things like that.” This concept can be seen in the living room, which is beautifully decorated with artistic pieces of sculpture but remains sleek and uncluttered with minimal mantle pieces and decorative items neatly arranged inside glass cabinets.
In addition to the bedrooms, the second floor also features a home theatre with sound insulation. “The cinema room, as I call it, is soundproof so that even when we have guests, the children and my husband can still enjoy watching films and sports without disturbing the rest of us,” Charasporn laughs. When asked about her own favourite spot, Charasporn remains firm on her penchant for the fresh air and green surroundings of the garden. “I like the spaciousness of it and when I’m in the house I prefer to open the windows to let the fresh air in. It is why we chose a property that faces south—it provides good ventilation. I try not to use the air-conditioning because I catch a cold easily. I enjoy being in the living room because it connects to garden,” she says.
More Tatler homes: Inside Tapani Kanjanapokin's Suburban Sanctuary