Inside Varinborn Chantarojvanich's Home On The Lake
Three years in the making, the suburban home of Varinborn Chantarojvanich, also known as Koong, is a peaceful sanctuary far removed from Bangkok’s buzzing heart. It is the ideal environment for the homeowner and her 10-year-old son Nodedhanutt, or R-Ta.
To enter the property we walk through a stand-alone carport and arrive at a grand slate-grey stairway that leads up to the main entrance. Marble and stone have become an increasingly popular choice for exteriors and these are a dominating feature of this residence. The use of mixed materials such as light beige stone, wooden door frames and shutters and steel balcony railings add interesting natural dimensions to the contemporary façade.
While visionary architect Boonlert Hemvijitraphan ingeniously designed the three-story mansion, the selection of most of the materials, including the furniture and decorative items for the interior, came down to Koong’s personal preferences. “I think the entire process took so long because I had to pick everything,” she says.
Inside, a sophisticated foyer boasting grey-veined white marbled flooring separates the two sides of the house. At the centre, an elegant hexagon shaped coffee table with a golden base and white sofas provide an ideal spot to welcomes guests. The wood-panelled walls of the foyer also feature concealed sliding doors that lead to the living quarters of the house.
To the right we enter a spacious living room. A reflection of Koong’s taste for mixing and matching textures, the room boasts dark hardwood floors, which are a contrast to the gleaming marble in the foyer. Large floor-to-ceiling windows allow for an abundance of natural light. They also look out onto the swimming pool shared with her mother’s adjacent home and the 70 rai man-made lake from which the development takes its name. “I love high ceilings and windows like these,” says Koong. “They accentuate the feeling of spaciousness and bringing nature indoors.”
With a penchant for toned-down and subtle palettes, the colour scheme is kept neutral throughout and is complemented with sleek furniture and decorative items. The focal point of the room is a grey L-shaped sofa set from Flex Form, in front of which a large flat screen television is mounted on an elegant marble panel. The room also features a minimalistic Fritz Hansen dining table and a grand piano. “Really it’s a combination of pieces I find abroad, pieces from the likes of Fritz Hansen and Flex Form and the odd piece from Chatuchak market.”
We traverse the foyer again, this time to visit the living room opposite, which contrasts in style thanks to a more eclectic and vibrant feel. Equipped with a smaller dining table surrounded by colourful chairs, a sofa set decked with Ralph Lauren cushions and a small kitchenette, this is another spot Koong likes to spend time in. On one stone-clad wall there is a set of Bang & Olufsen hexagonal tile speakers, which almost serve as a piece of contemporary art. Behind it is where the main kitchen is located accessible through yet another hidden door.
The property has four bedrooms on the second floor, two of which are for guests. Up here, elegant chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings and refined mouldings on dark grey walls reflect a refined style not unlike that of a luxury hotel. Nodedhanutt’s bedroom is everything a young lad could want and highlights the clever use of space throughout the home. Large built-in steps leading up to his bed are in fact storage cupboards for his collection of toys and trinkets. Here too, like the rest of the house, large floor-to-ceiling windows offer a seductive view of the lake. “Frankly I think this room has the best view,” says Koong.
When R-Ta is away, I sometimes sleep here so that I can wake up with the calming view of the lake.
Featuring a long balcony and a large walk-in closet with see-through wardrobes, Koong’s bedroom is simple yet elegant. It is a contrast to her ensuite bathroom, which features more marble surfaces and wooden accents. Add in the modern shower and black jacuzzi and the space is again reminiscent of a luxury resort. Another chic space here is Koong’s office, which overlooks the lake and provides the perfect environment in which to get work done from home.
Back downstairs we sit at the dining table in the living room that overlooks the swimming pool and Koong says, “This is one of my favourite spots in the house because I can see what is going on everywhere. If my son is swimming in the pool I can watch over him. I have a pleasant view of the lake on one side and the front garden on the other.”
This part of the home is also a multifunctional space, which as we are told, has been used for meditation activities. “I’ve welcome groups of children for their meditation programmes,” she says. “Once we remove most of the furniture, it’s perfect for these things.” And just when we think we’ve taken the complete tour we are guided to the basement level where a small library has been built looking out onto the lake. “The design down here is more Thai-inspired,” says the real estate executive. A small deck over the water lets readers really get in touch with nature.
Although R-Ta is away much of the time at boarding school in England, Koong is more than content with her 260 sqm pad. Albeit admitting that the house can get a bit too quiet in the absence of her son, she also enjoys regular visits from friends who gather on the beautiful balcony. “We have little dinner parties here all the time, my girlfriends and I,” she says. “When the weather is nice, we use the balcony to host barbecues.”
Though our host has managed to successfully combine a myriad of styles and different ambiences in the nooks of her home, she is also a confessed furniture shopaholic who says there is every chance she will be rearranging the interior and adding new pieces. “Wherever I go I can’t seem to stop buying furniture, so I have to do something with it,” she laughs.
(More luxurious homes: Inside Akarat Vanarat's Weekender Home In Khao Yai)