Sansiri Luxury Collection's Latest Guest Designer Is Lorenzo Castillo
We arrive at The Monument Thong Lo to meet world-class Spanish interior designer Lorenzo Castillo, who is also Sansiri’s latest creative collaborator for its Sansiri Luxury Collection. Those invested in the luxury property market are well informed of the Sansiri Luxury Collection as a series of one-of-a-kind high-end housing project for sophisticants who want more than just a suite with a hefty price tag. Chief creative officer of Sansiri and previous Thailand Tatler cover man, Noppadol "Ou" Baholyodhin, joins us in the room Lorenzo is decorating for a lucky future homeowner. There is a jovial, friendly rapport between the two design chiefs as we sit down to discuss interiors and personal tastes and styles:
For our readers who aren’t here with us, what room are we in?
Ou: This is a two-bedroom. It’s actually the smallest unit we have. In Thonglor, projects usually start at 30-40 square metres, but at The Monument, we start at 125 metres and go up to 500.
So what inspired this collaboration between Sansiri and Lorenzo?
Ou: For the Sansiri Luxury Collection and for this property in particular, The Monument Thong Lo, I wanted to find the absolute best interior designer. The perfect thing about Lorenzo is his mix of classicism and modernism. The Monument is intended to be for generations to come. I think future generations will enjoy and cherish a style which looks crisp, modern but has real historical content. All of Lorenzo’s projects have deep roots in classical design and antiquities, but they never feel old.
How would you describe your personal style of interior design, Lorenzo?
Lorenzo: I think the best way to describe my style is timeless. It’s important to me that I’m not following fashion. I’m rooted in classics, but it’s a classicism that’s refreshed and updated by using a new palette of colours and mixing styles. I use a lot of decorative arts in my projects, mixing 18th Century European and continental pieces, for instance, to pieces from the Far East, like China and Japan, and 20th Century contemporary pieces. I think this is the signature of my style. It’s timeless; it works now and will work in 10 and 20 years—which is great because then we don’t have to change fabrics every year! [laughs]
Ou: If I had to describe your style, I would say it’s dangerous.There are two ends of interior decorating: safe, where everything is gray, beige—[Lorenzo: Oh, I can’t stand that.]—and dangerous. You’re dangerous.
Ou: But I really admire [Lorenzo’s] ability of putting all these colours and textures together. If you don’t know what your doing this would be a disaster.
So what is the secret to mixing so many elements together so harmoniously?
Lorenzo: It’s actually quite difficult. You have to educate your eye in beautiful things. You have to be surrounded by beauty. You have to travel. You have to go to museums, art galleries, antique dealers, to educate your eye. And then, you’re going to mix all those things which are beautiful, and it just works.
What has been your favourite part about this collaboration?
Ou: I've seen a lot of show units in this city, and they really look like they’re made for show. But here, I can already imagine the journey of the people who are going to be living here. They’re a glamourous young couple, perhaps. They’re throwing a dinner party in there and having drinks here and on Sundays, they like to stay cozy in bed. This home is not just beautiful, it’s very practical and very livable. That’s what I love most about it.
Lorenzo: What I like about this space is that you know the designer is European or international. You are in Bangkok, but you could be in London or Paris.
There are a lot of elements in this room. Where are they sourced from?
Ou: Everywhere. Europe, the States and local as well. A lot of things are custom made here. Also, Lorenzo is very known for his fabric collections. So you'll see in the bedroom the stunning green, or this sofa’s velvet. The dining chair’s fabric is from Lorenzo’s own collection.
What are your latest design obsessions?
Lorenzo: I’ve been working a lot in Asia—in Hong Kong, Singapore and now Bangkok. I realised that I’ve changed my palette of colours because of these Asian influences. So I guess my latest obsession is Asia.
How about you, Ou? Do you have a latest obsession?
Ou: I love Los Angeles. I’ve been three times already this year. There are a lot of funky things going on there, with celebrities and movie stars, new districts opening up all the time, art districts. LA, in a way, is kind of the birthplace of interior decoration as a profession. In the 1920s, you started getting a lot of film production there. Celebrities and movie stars then all wanted these big show homes and got decorators to do their houses.
Lorenzo, where are three bucket list places in the world fans of your work and your style should definitely visit?
Lorenzo: I have some nice projects in Madrid, like the Santo Mauro Hotel. It’s like a little palace. It’s completely my style. I have some very nice house, apartments in New York. In Paris, I just finished an amazing apartment. It was a great collection of art and really beautiful. I think my favourite project is always my last project.
Ou: My favourite of yours is your home. It’s the most beautiful and technically it’s always the last project because it’s always changing.
Lorenzo: True. Your own home has to be the most beautiful.
Where do you think the future of interior design is heading?
Lorenzo: I think in Europe or in my country, Spain, we are living a really, really successful period. Everyone wants to hire a designer, but that wasn’t the case 20 years ago. I think the future for design is looking good in general.
What about for the Thai market? Do you see people getting more enthusiastic about interior design?
Ou: I would say so. The Thai market is really new to interior design and decoration. I remember when I was small, my family hired an interior designer to decorate the house and people were quite surprised or unfamiliar with the notion. But now, more and more people are hiring decorators. It’s becoming a normal thing that even for small units, like 30 square metres, people can find services without breaking the bank. You can hire an interior designer at every market level now, and there are more blogs and websites making interior design more accessible.
Lorenzo: You don't need a big budget to hire an interior designer. People often think that you have to be very rich to work with a designer, but it's not true.
Ou: I would even argue that it saves money to use an interior designer than to use yourself. You don’t have 20-30 years of experience of where to get the best rug.
To learn more about the Sansiri Luxury Collection or book a visit to The Monument Thong Lo, call 1685.
See also: Sansiri And The Coffee Club Join Forces To Launch New Caffeinated Lifestyle Hub