Pri­jayanat Kalam­pa­sut vis­its a down­town pent­house haven straight from the top draw and dis­cov­ers a home that was very much a labour of love for its own­ers

Thailand Tatler - - CONTENTS -

The pride and joy of its ex­pa­tri­ate own­ers, Pri­jayanat Kalam­pa­sut ad­mires the beau­ti­ful in­te­ri­ors of their spec­tac­u­lar new Bangkok pent­house

he re­lent­less rise of tall build­ings in Bangkok has in­dis­putably in­creased the num­ber of lux­ury res­i­dences with breath­tak­ing views of the city, but few can match this pent­house by in­ter­na­tional prop­erty de­vel­oper Royal Pa­cific in the up­scale Sathorn area. The home’s prime lo­ca­tion of­fers not one but two dif­fer­ent panora­mas of Bangkok—bustling cen­tral down­town dis­tricts in one di­rec­tion and greener sub­ur­bia stretch­ing to the hori­zon in the other.

As we en­ter the res­i­dence we are warmly wel­comed by the own­ers, an ex­pa­tri­ate cou­ple who, for the pur­pose of this ar­ti­cle, wish to re­main anony­mous. It’s one thing to be able to af­ford a lux­u­ri­ous pent­house, quite an­other to be able to trans­form the space into a taste­ful home. And this is not your typ­i­cal glam­orous res­i­dence adorned with im­per­sonal ‘in-trend’ white sur­faces and shiny ob­jects every­where, but rather a home with a dis­tinc­tive rus­tic yet classy style. “I think a lot of res­i­dences now are so fo­cused on look­ing so­phis­ti­cated and con­tem­po­rary that many end up re­sem­bling beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated ho­tel rooms,” says the wife. “I don’t re­ally want to live in a glo­ri­fied ser­viced apart­ment or ho­tel room.” The cou­ple opted for a chic loft con­cept with ex­posed wooden beams and metal­lic pipes on the ceil­ings and red-bricked walls that add not only raw charm to the space but also warm tex­tures and char­ac­ter.

On en­ter­ing the pent­house’s foyer, one’s at­ten­tion is im­me­di­ately drawn to the right and some­thing not usu­ally found in a home: a large beau­ti­fully carved set of wooden doors from Chi­ang Mai, which give ac­cess to a dou­ble-level stone-clad med­i­ta­tion room with a gi­ant Angkor Wat-style bas re­lief. “Orig­i­nally, there was a sec­ond stair­case here,” ex­plains the hus­band. “One stair­case was enough for us though, so we de­cided to build a Kh­mer-style med­i­ta­tion sanc­tu­ary in its place.” While some might con­sider it odd to find this an­tique-look­ing piece of Asian art in the midst of a con­tem­po­rary home, it is a per­fect re­flec­tion of the cou­ple’s pro­found ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Ori­en­tal cul­ture and their fine taste in in­te­rior de­sign.

Through­out the prop­erty there are a num­ber of other sculp­tures and ob­jet d’art with Asian leit­mo­tifs. “Most are copies by bril­liant lo­cal artists. We don’t like the idea of hav­ing orig­i­nal pieces. We pur­chase many of them from River City and Chatuchak,” says the wife. “Hav­ing lived in Thai­land for over 13 years we have learned about Thai and Asian cul­tures. Those in­flu­ences have helped to shape how we have dec­o­rated our home.” It is an in­flu­ence that goes be­yond dec­o­ra­tive items to in­clude much of the fab­ric of the apart­ment— stair­case, walls, doors and pieces of fur­ni­ture—the ma­te­ri­als for which have been lo­cally sourced. “It’s funny be­cause we found many ar­chi­tects here tend to think im­ported ma­te­ri­als from over­seas are bet­ter. So we had to con­vince them we wanted the lo­cal ma­te­ri­als,” the lady of the house adds.

Op­po­site the med­i­ta­tion room are two spa­cious of­fices, his and hers, which are vis­i­ble through large glass doors. “The start­ing point for us was di­vid­ing the space into dif­fer­ent func­tional ar­eas,” the hus­band says. “We man­aged to do this with the help of our ar­chi­tect.” In­deed, al­though their ar­chi­tect worked on floor plans and set-up, it must be said most of in­put came from the cou­ple them­selves and their per­sonal taste is re­flected through­out the apart­ment.

To sep­a­rate the work­ing and med­i­ta­tion ar­eas from the home’s more pri­vate spa­ces, they in­stalled a beau­ti­ful wood-framed pas­sage­way. It leads to a small gym and three bed­rooms with par­quet floors. While dé­cor in the master bed­room is kept sim­ple, floor-to­ceil­ing win­dows make the room seem larger than it ac­tu­ally is. The bath­room also boasts an­other un­com­mon fea­ture—in line with the nat­u­ral elements in­cor­po­rated in the over­all de­sign of the home, the shower area has been

cre­ated be­hind a curved rough stone wall.

De­signed for their two sons, who are cur­rently study­ing abroad, the dé­cor in the other two bed­rooms is mas­cu­line. In each the key colours are black, brown and navy blue. “We got this done at Chatuchak,” says the wife re­fer­ring to an old car­tog­ra­phers map of the world that takes up the en­tire wall of one of the bed­rooms. “You can se­lect any picture and they will make it into wall­pa­per to fit your re­quire­ments.” Aim­ing for a retro look, the tiles in each of the boys’ en-suite bath­rooms were specif­i­cally cho­sen for their old-school subway feel.

Con­tin­u­ing our tour, we head up a wide stair­case to the combined open-plan kitchen­liv­ing area. “We def­i­nitely spend a lot of time re­lax­ing here,” says the wife. And why wouldn’t they. Framed by floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, the room gives spec­tac­u­lar views of the Chao Phraya River and be­yond. To take ad­van­tage of the vis­tas, is­lands of so­fas and comfy chairs have been placed at each end of the room with doors that open on to the apart­ment’s two fur­nished ter­races, one of which is equipped with a jacuzzi.

The ceil­ing here is ac­cented with funky wooden beams, bring­ing even more char­ac­ter to the space. To the right is a modern open kitchen with an is­land sink-and-cup­board unit that ex­tends to a din­ing ta­ble where the cou­ple en­joy host­ing friends. Ad­ja­cent to the kitchen is a Euro­pean-style café-bar com­ple­mented by leather-weave chairs. It’s the per­fect spot to en­joy a cof­fee in the morn­ing and chitchat over wine at night. “For me, the bar alone is a work of art,” says the hus­band with a smile. Fur­ther along from the bar is an­other pair of wooden doors sim­i­lar to the ones down­stairs. They open onto a small in­ter­nal bal­cony from which one can look down into the med­i­ta­tion room below.

A con­sis­tency through the apart­ment is the flow of matt sur­faces and earthy colours and tones, the cou­ple’s chic way of adding nat­u­ral elements to their liv­ing space. “We moved

There are a num­ber of sculp­tures dot­ted through­out the pent­house, but this one is a favourite. The own­ers say it gives them a sense of calm when­ever they lay eyes on it

PILLOW TALk Min­i­mal dé­cor in the spa­cious master bed­room is en­hanced by par­quet floor­ing and light-pro­duc­ing picture win­dows

The tiles in the boys’ en-suite bath­rooms are rem­i­nis­cent of the tiling found in old Lon­don subway sta­tions

IS­LAND LIFE The spa­cious open-plan liv­ing area has a modern kitchen and an invit­ing cafe-bar; (below) com­fort­able fur­ni­ture is­lands that take ad­van­tage of the fan­tas­tic views

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