Thailand Tatler - - CONTENTS -

We visit the Bangkok res­i­dence of in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive Ji­rasak Phrom­saka Na Sakon Nakhon and dis­cover a home that has evolved over time to suit the owner’s own jour­ney to mid­dle age

The sto­ried Bangkok home of Ji­rasak Phrom­saka Na Sakon Nakhon is a phys­i­cal record of the owner’s life—a re­flec­tion of his chang­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics as the years have passed, says Nicha­ree Phati­titThe alley gives way to an airy court­yard, a clean and cen­tral en­clave around which are the build­ings that make up the Phrom­saka Na Sakon Nakhon fam­ily’s Viphavadee home­stead. Like the walls sur­round­ing the prop­erty, the house is all white—its ar­chi­tec­ture rem­i­nis­cent of the sort of modernist dwellings one of­ten sees on the cover of glossy home decor mag­a­zines. And in­deed the home of Ji­rasak Phrom­saka Na Sakon Nakhon, also known as Oh, once graced the cover of such mag­a­zines two decades ago when mod­ernism was the ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign of choice.

Though shar­ing the premise with his par­ent’s house, Ji­rasak’s abode is sep­a­rated from the main group of build­ings. Stand­ing op­po­site the fam­ily’s garage, his home is a

cap­sule per­fect for a gen­tle­man’s life­style. A strip of gar­den wraps it­self around the build­ing and at the front a small cres­cent of a path fol­lows the curve of the liv­ing room, cre­at­ing a gir­dle that closes at a wrought iron gar­den bench near the glass front door. The solid black of the bench and the door it­self cre­ate a con­trast against the clean white walls of the ex­te­rior—the jux­ta­po­si­tion of light and dark, a pre­lude to the colour scheme of the in­te­rior that awaits.

Hav­ing un­der­gone two ma­jor ren­o­va­tions, Ji­rasak—who works for Sa­hamitr Pres­sure Con­tainer man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany—ex­plains

how the meta­mor­pho­sis of the house took place in con­junc­tion with his own mat­u­ra­tion to adult­hood. “I’ve lived here for about 30 years. I moved in when I was in my early 20s. The first ren­o­va­tion hap­pened af­ter I came back from study­ing in the US for a de­gree in mar­ket­ing sci­ence at Wis­con­sin Uni­ver­sity.” With its L-shaped struc­ture, the ground floor of the build­ing was ini­tially an open area used as a park­ing garage, while the sec­ond floor pro­vided Ji­rasak with an apart­ment. “Then I de­cided to move the garage to an out­door area sep­a­rate from the build­ing and turned the ground floor into a liv­ing area,” he re­calls. “Back then the modernist move­ment was very pop­u­lar and so the de­sign sort of fol­lowed that trend.” So much so that the house ended up on the cover of a well-known Thai home decor mag­a­zine.

As time passes peo­ple change and so does a home as the man­i­fes­ta­tion of the owner’s iden­tity. Which is why Ji­rasak un­der­took a sec­ond ren­o­va­tion of the house just last year. “I’ve grown up a bit, so I de­cided to ren­o­vate the house to re­flect my cur­rent life­style and iden­tity. I have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for good liquors and the in­te­ri­ors now have a more lux­u­ri­ous feel us­ing smooth light and dark wood fin­ishes and deeper, more muted colours—it re­minds me of the peace and quiet of the whisky bar at the Grand Hy­att Erawan. As I don’t go out so much any more, it’s a nice en­vi­ron­ment in which to en­joy time at home. I came up with the con­cept my­self, but for the tech­ni­cal stuff I hired a de­sign firm rec­om­mended by a col­league.” En­ter­ing the house, the hall­way pro­vides a panoramic view of the ground floor. Op­po­site the en­trance, an el­e­gant wind­ing stair­case is set against the back­drop of a lush trop­i­cal gar­den seen through the dark framed glass wall. The ef­fect is to cre­ate a still life dis­play and a con­nec­tion to na­ture out­side. “I feel that the ren­o­va­tion this time ac­cu­rately re­flects who I am at this age,” says Ji­rasak with a hint of pride.

To the left a par­lour of­fers a cosy space for loung­ing. The soft sil­very-beige up­hol­stery of the arm­chairs and the white pan­elled walls

help to lighten up the space. A small ta­ble dis­plays a se­lec­tion of bot­tles ready to be en­joyed when the oc­ca­sion arises. “I think this is a nice cor­ner in which to have a whisky or a glass of wine at night,” smiles Ji­rasak. Point­ing to the space with a paint­ing be­hind the arm­chairs, he ex­plains that he is wait­ing for its re­place­ment—a Bang&Olufsen BeoSound Shape speaker. Other dis­tinc­tive fea­tures are the stuffed birds and an­i­mal hides that are care­fully placed around the house. “I do like the vibe of a for­est or a jun­gle—some­thing a bit raw and mys­te­ri­ous,” he says. “When I first ren­o­vated the house 20 years ago, I was more into mod­ern de­sign. But tastes change and now I have come to like some­thing darker and rawer.”

As he is quick to point out, Ji­rasak him­self se­lected ev­ery piece of fur­ni­ture in the house. “The im­age of what I wanted was very clear in my head and all the pieces of fur­ni­ture you see I chose my­self. I started to buy and col­lect from all sorts of places. Some of the pieces were ac­quired a cou­ple of years be­fore the ren­o­va­tion started and were kept in stor­age.” he chuck­les. “But that paid off be­cause once the ren­o­va­tion was com­pleted, we could just move the pieces in straight away with­out hav­ing to go through the fuss of hunt­ing for them anew. I got many of the pieces from

Qu­at­tro De­sign. The pieces on dis­play and the way their show­room is put to­gether re­ally res­onated with my own style. There are also a few pieces from a Bangkok store called In­cred­i­ble, Un­for­get­table & El­i­gi­ble. They im­port beau­ti­ful pieces that have been care­fully se­lected.”

Though not bought or in­stalled col­lec­tively but rather added piece­meal, the fit­tings and the dé­cor and each item of fur­ni­ture matches well to­gether, com­ple­ment­ing each other with­out giv­ing the ap­pear­ance of be­ing over­clut­tered. “I love it. The in­te­rior spa­ces feel cosy and invit­ing, a lit­tle or­ganic, not cold and ster­ile, you know?” says Ji­rasak. “I am def­i­nitely a home per­son these days. I like gar­dens and pri­vate com­fort­able ar­eas in which to re­lax and con­tem­plate life. In fact, I’ve come to dis­like be­ing among crowds. Even on the oc­ca­sional night out for drinks I pre­fer to fre­quent the qui­eter venues. I’m very happy with my house now. A home has to be com­fort­able, cosy and func­tional. It can’t be pho­to­genic but a bit Spar­tan and un­invit­ing, which is how the house came to feel af­ter its first rein­car­na­tion. It’s my home af­ter all, and I have to be able to live in it!”


The stand­ing Bang & Olufsen Beo­play A9 brings au­dio and vis­ual aes­thet­ics to the house

mas­cu­line el­e­gance (From left) The dark pal­ette of the main par­lour pro­vides an at­mo­spheric place for an evening drink; Ji­rasak’s im­pec­ca­ble taste is re­flected in both his house and fash­ion-sense

The up­stairs sit­ting area show­cases beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tions of pat­terned plates and an or­nate trunk

King of the jun­gle (Clock­wise from above) The ze­bra hide and stuffed pea­cock help to cre­ate a jun­gle-like at­mos­phere; nat­u­ral light en­ters through the ad­justible ceil­ing cur­tain; (op­po­site) the ex­tended cir­cu­lar sit­ting room on the sec­ond floor main­tains its former mod­ern in­te­rior de­sign

With the help of Serindia Gallery’s Shane Su­vika­pako­rnkul, Ji­rasak found the paint­ing which fits per­fectly with the din­ing room’s rec­tan­gle wall pan­elling

Shades and hues (Above) The kitchen bar is filled with fresh flow­ers ar­ranged by Ji­rasak him­self, cre­at­ing a vi­brant con­trast against the dark hues of the built-in kitchen area

Guests of hon­our Ji­rasak’s favourite pat­terned plates are not just for dis­play and are al­ways laid out ready to be used when­ever he re­ceives his close friends at home

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