Natcha Thanakitamnuay's Home Is Maiden Heaven
In this day and age, when space in central Bangkok is a rare commodity, owning a house in the heart of the city is a lifestyle boon. Visiting the home of Natcha Thanakitamnuay and her mother Amornpimol Viravan, one is greeted by a sleek, modern oasis tucked away near the old railway on Chua Ploeng Road. The location allows easy access to the city centre whilst providing a secluded sanctuary for residents. “We moved here four years ago from a condominium on Soi Tonson near Chidlom. Before we moved I liked living in a condo because of the easy access to the BTS, but now that I have a dog I prefer living in a house with a garden,” Natcha says.
Slanting rays of sunlight cut sharp shadows across the smooth surface of the home’s external walls. Everything is quiet, the noise of the traffic muffled and far removed from the serene tranquillity of the house itself. Entry to the property is via a spacious corridor. Hidden behind a white panel is a discreet shoe closet and further in one enters a high-ceilinged hallway of wood and smooth grey tiles, which provide a neutral canvas for the accent pieces in the house. The atrium, which serves as a central area connecting to every room in the house, is simply decorated to accentuate the high ceiling. On one side there is an ornate mantelpiece and a vase of flowers on a side table, adding a more welcoming element to the clean-cut space. “We wanted a modern, contemporary style with little built-in furniture. Instead we focused on using loose pieces so that we can easily change the mood and style of the room should we want to. The house is actually designed so that the whole space appears to be seamlessly connected,” says Natcha. “Because of the design, the house feels very spacious, so when you’re inside, you don’t feel in any way confined.”
Floor-to-ceiling glass walls on both sides of the atrium allow for views right through to the back of the building where the sun-washed terrace stretches out into the grass lawn—a luxury that an apartment simply cannot provide. This is particularly important given the latest addition to the household—Kaitoon, Natcha’s corgi puppy. “Around 6am every morning I let him out for a run-around while I have my breakfast. It’s his first of three runs during the day and he has a lot of pent-up energy, so it’s always fun to watch him haring about in excitement.” she laughs. “The good thing about this house is that the front and back garden areas are connected, so Kaitoon can run around pretty freely.” To the left of the hallway is the fitness room. Moderate in size, it is fitted with mirrors along one wall to accommodate Natcha’s yoga practices. Two running machines look out into the back garden, although Natcha admits that the equipment is seldom used now that she has Kaitoon to keep her on her toes.
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Separated by a glass panel from the main building, the terrace, which could be more aptly described as a lounging deck, is equipped with a soft beige sofa and wooden coffee table set. “We already knew what sort of furniture we wanted out back, so while the house was under construction my mother would keep an eye out for things that would suit the space. We like to incorporate both Thai and international brands to create a more eclectic feel. Much of the outdoor furniture is from Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi, picked up by my mother on trips to find statement pieces. The rattan sofa is also made by a Thai brand called Yothaka,” Natcha explains.
The wooden patio cover forms an extension of the main roof, providing a semi-indoor transition between the interior of the house and the open area at the rear. Slightly elevated above the grass lawn, the play on the level helps to create a clear distinction between the two outdoor spaces without the requirement of obtrusive barriers. Rather than using decorations and frivolous ornaments, the shadows created by sunlight streaming through the patio roof help to create a relaxed feel to the space itself. Here too is a long wooden table with matching benches for outdoor dining and occasional work. “If the weather is good I sometimes come out here to work,” says Natcha, adding, “If we have a party or friends over for dinner, this is a great spot in which to gather.”
From the deck, one is able to see that the portion of the house that faces the rear is almost entirely covered with large windows, which allow an abundance of natural light to filter into the interior and help to create the sense of a larger space. The windows are fitted with drawdown blinds that filter the sunlight to leave the airy room bathed in a warm afternoon glow. The neutral palette of the rest of the house is evident here too, although fixtures such as a large wall-mounted flat-screen television and furniture with more colour depth give the room a lived-in quality. Behind a Minotti sofa, which has pride of place in the room, are wall cabinets containing framed photographs of family and friends. The kitchen, which sits opposite the living room in the right wing of the house, is perfect for informal gatherings. Here an island counter makes for the easy preparation of meals. “I make simple dishes like pastas and salads,” says Natcha. “When I have friends over, we also put food out here buffet-style so that people can help themselves.”
The wide, smooth wood and glass staircase on one side of the atrium connects to the living quarters, the more private parts of the house. From the stairs one can look down to see a bird-eye view of the lofty atrium and the deck out back. A passageway leads to Natcha’s bedroom, which sits at the end of the wing. Having a major say in its design, this is Natcha’s favourite corner and where she spends most of her time at home. Decorated in a neutral palette of beige and dark brown, the spacious bedroom has it’s own small living area with a comfortable beige sofa and a large, low-lying coffee table. The wooden panel that divides the living area from the bed can be turned around so that a television hanging on the panel can be watched from either side of the room. “Because construction was done during my studies in London, I would send my mum my Pinterest board and asked her to coordinate with the designer for me,” Natcha laughs.
Tranquil and comfortable, this is a residence which mother, daughter and hound can enjoy each other’s company, entertain and work. They won’t be returning to a condominium any
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