The Satavatin Family's Bangkok Residence Is Place of Plenty
The expansive new home of Artit and Gift Wanwarate Satavatin and their young son and daughter is located on the outskirts of Bangkok in leafy Don Muang district. Centred on a large, predominantly two-storied home with neo-colonial styling designed with the help of Chaleeya Warmsingh, the compound occupies over one rai and includes a big garden area. It is the perfect private semi-urban environment in which to raise a young family.
The Satavatins bought the land in 2012 but only began construction in late 2016. “It took a while in the planning,” Gift admits. “We had to redesign some areas several times.” Artit adds, “The property took around three years to complete but we took a year off when Gift became pregnant with our second child. The couple and Articha and Arthitaya, or Ticha and Taya, who are four-and-a-half and two years old respectively, moved in over a period of months at the back end of last year.
Arrivals enter the property from the garage area and reach the house via a covered paved walkway. Here a small gravel path bisects the large lawn to connect to an adjacent house where Gift once lived with her parents. “It wasn’t until we were married with our first child that we got this adjoining land. I’m glad we did. It ensures a great play area for the kids and they love being out here,” Artit says.
First we stop at what feels like a detached reception annex. “It’s a secondary living area for when we have guests or are hosting a party,” Artit explains. The room is spacious thanks to the Dutch gambrel or mansard roofing, a feature Gift personally chose. Decorated in creamy taupe and lit by a skylight, the space is comfortably furnished to receive guests and includes a compact pantry and dining area and its own restroom. A soft sofa set oriented on a big TV also make it a great location for movie or sports nights with friends and family.
We move on and as we approach the main residence Gift laughingly explains, “The layout came about as a result of feng shui. The idea was for my old house to be the opening of a money pouch and this main residence and the annex to be the receiving end where the money collects inside the pouch.” Hence the compound-like feel to the property. The Satavatin residence also boasts a domed tower-like structure on its western end. “The third floor houses our Buddha room,” says Gift as we enter the home through antique wooden double doors painted green. The foyer, where a dark wooden table is topped with pretty collectibles such as vases and urns, includes a framed portrait of King Chulalongkorn on the pastel green walls, reinforcing the period feel of the home.
To the right the space opens up to the family’s library area and the stairs to the upper levels. “My husband is really enthusiastic about cars so there are quite a few car books. We even have textbooks and printouts from back when we were students,” Gift smiles. A shelved workstation nearby shows the couple’s master’s degree certificates and graduation photos. Both are alumni of The City University in London, which is where they first met and graduated together in 2007. In the far corner of the space is a daybed, much used for taking a break.
See also: Vitra's Live Home Office Speaks To The New Normal Of Work
To the left of the foyer another set of double doors access the dining room, which in turn leads to the family’s living room immediately under the domed tower. The dining area’s walls are blue, providing a fitting contrast to the grand wooden table, and the space opens directly into the kitchen, which features a marble-topped island. Themed white from cabinet to counter, the kitchen is a favourite haunt for family meals. “We eat here a lot more than at the table. It’s just more convenient and the dining table is too big for just the four of us,” Gift says. It is also one of Arthit’s favourite rooms, himself a cooking enthusiast as well as the main cook in the house. As for lady of the house, she admits, “Buying the chinaware and arranging the table, those are my jobs.” Again, here there are urns, vases and pots of various designs and styles, pitched along designer kitchen appliances from Smeg.
We move to the living room where the walls are yellow. A feature the couple asked for were different coloured walls for each room as it helps with the mood. “The first thing our designer thought to put into this room was a piano,” Gift laughs, indicating a certificate from the Trinity International College certifying her advanced skills at solo piano. “I have been playing since I was a child but practised less after university.” A small Essex grand piano sits in one nook of the octagonal structure, the dark polished wood shaped and styled in an elegant French provincial style. “This was my old piano,” she explains. “Now I am trying to teach my children to play too, but my skills have kind of waned.”
We take the stairs to the second floor where the bedrooms are located. The first, son Ticha’s room, is opposite a mini pantry—“mainly used for drinks and snacks,” according to Gift. His room is decorated blue and contains all the four-year-old’s most prized possessions. “It’s a very simple room holding all of his interests,” his mother says. “There’s a bunk bed, a small child’s table, his art on the wall and his toys to play with.” The next room is pink and is to be Tiya’s room when she gets a little older. Currently it functions as a guest room for when relatives come visiting.
The master bedroom actually comprises two rooms with the entrance leading directly into a sitting area where the couple often work. It boasts a big screen television in front of a sofa—handy for when the children want to join mum and dad. “We can also keep a close eye on them while we work this way,” Arthit chuckles. Here a small triangular nook sits under the stairs and accommodates comfortable seating. The area is decorated with pictures of the family and has a cosy, relaxed feel.
The master bedroom itself is spacious and sparingly furnished. “It is rather simple but I like that,” says Gift. The room includes a desk, a dresser and the bed.” Within this simplicity the eyes gravitate towards floral-themed curtains. “I really like floral patterns. These are from Thomas Sanderson,” the lady of the house adds. Closets stand on either side of the bed. “One is a dummy closet,” she says as she pulls the door open to reveal an en-suite bathroom with windows looking out on the room.
On the third floor is the Buddha room. “We haven’t done much to it yet as we are still in the process of moving in,” laughs Gift. “Many of the tables here and around the house we picked up at markets or second-hand shops.” In fact, the couple have been carefully curating furniture for their home for years and with the help of their designer, they have created the perfect family hideaway. “I am very happy with the house but there is more work to be done. As an example, the porch has suffered in the rainy season and needs repainting,” Gift says with a wistful sigh.
Related: Home Tour: Inside Prae Sirisant's Plush Residential Villa