Sweet Lib­erty

The lux­u­ri­ous down­town con­do­minium of avid ball­room dancer Kun­yarat Pladi­sai is a com­fort­able spot in which to en­joy the free­doms of the fes­tive sea­son, as Nicha­ree Phati­tit dis­cov­ers

Thailand Tatler - - LIFE -

ukhumvit soi 39 isn’t short of lux­ury con­do­mini­ums, close as it is to a plethora of up­mar­ket shop­ping cen­tres and uber life­style ameni­ties. For some­one who pre­vi­ously lived in a house in Thon­glor, Chatchai and Kun­yarat Pladi­sai’s new res­i­dence at Vittorio Sukhumvit 39 has proven to be a chal­leng­ing tran­si­tion but one she does not re­gret. “We used to live in my hus­band’s house in Thon­glor. How­ever, the area has be­come so com­mer­cialised that we de­cided to look for one a bit fur­ther out of town. This condo though is the per­fect home while we wait for our new house in Pat­tanakarn to be com­pleted, and it will be a con­ve­nient life­style as­set well into the fu­ture,” says Kun­yarat, who spent months vis­it­ing con­do­mini­ums in the area be­fore de­cid­ing on Vittorio. Hav­ing moved in early in 2018, she ex­plains that the move from a de­tached home with a gar­den to an apart­ment in the sky, al­beit lux­u­ri­ous, took some get­ting used to. “I’ve al­ways lived in a house and I’ve be­come used to the space of a gar­den and what­not. How­ever, since we moved into the condo I can be­gin to see the ben­e­fits of this style of liv­ing. It of­fers lots of free­dom and the

con­ve­nience to come and go.”

She con­tin­ues, “To be quite frank, I think we were lucky to get this unit. When I con­tacted the de­vel­op­ers, they wouldn’t sell it at first be­cause it was ef­fec­tively their show­room.” Point­ing to an im­pres­sive sky­line from a large, airy bal­cony with com­fort­able lounge chairs, she adds, “This apart­ment has good views and it was beau­ti­fully fur­nished with qual­ity fix­tures and fit­tings which they didn’t want to sell be­cause it served as the per­fect sam­ple res­i­dence. I re­mem­ber think­ing that if it was meant to be ours, then we would some­how get it.” Af­ter a few months of wait­ing, a phone call brought good news. “We were told that it was on the mar­ket and that we would be able to have it as seen, fully-fur­nished, even down to dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects.” A good thing it was too, as the con­struc­tion around her Thon­glor home was at a phase where it was start­ing to be­come quite dis­rup­tive. “I didn’t mind in

the least that it was al­ready fur­nished. Quite the op­po­site in fact. I liked the style and it was very con­ve­nient. Look­ing back it makes me laugh be­cause we must have sur­prised the staff when we moved in al­most overnight.”

The el­e­va­tor to the apart­ment opens on a pri­vate foyer. “It’s an­other thing I like about Vittorio—units can only be ac­cessed by a pri­vate lift. It makes me feel safe, es­pe­cially as I use it of­ten by my­self.” Step­ping into the foyer, one is greeted by a ceil­ing-high shoe cup­board, its con­tents—mostly heels—all very neatly ar­ranged in rows. “I spec­i­fied the re­design my­self af­ter re­al­is­ing that the cup­board’s orig­i­nal con­fig­u­ra­tion wouldn’t al­low ev­ery pair to fit,” she says. Her pen­chant for neat and beau­ti­ful is ev­i­dent in the way Kun­yarat dec­o­rates. “To be hon­est, that’s the one down­side about liv­ing here—it doesn’t have a walk-in closet. Then again, I’ve taken over both the wardrobes in the guest room down­stairs and in the master bed­room to make room for my clothes.”

En­ter­ing the liv­ing area, the space opens up into a high-ceil­ing liv­ing room with a kitchen bar, a din­ing ta­ble and comfy fur­ni­ture. Kun­yarat and her hus­band are Chris­tians and she has dec­o­rated the condo for Christ­mas. A Christ­mas tree is fes­tooned with fes­tive baubles and bear­ing gift boxes in shades to glad­den the hearts of women across the world: the iconic robin egg blue of a Tif­fany box, the orange and choco­late hues of Her­mès and the deep red of a Cartier jew­ellery box. “I love Christ­mas trees, and this year I wanted to dec­o­rate it in my own style,” she smiles.

It’s not just the Christ­mas tree that sug­gests a yule­tide feel. The din­ing ta­ble also gives off a warm glow from the gleam of del­i­cate glass­ware, gold-rimmed plates and bur­nished cut­lery. “This isn’t just for show, Kun­yarat ex­plains, as her 14-year-old son Naphat, or Justin, sits him­self down for a lunch of mush­room soup and salmon steak. “Justin is cur­rently study­ing abroad at King Ed­ward’s School, Wit­ley in the UK. He started board­ing in Septem­ber, and since then I have had a lot more space to my­self,” she laughs. Prior to go­ing to the UK, Justin at­tended the Sin­ga­pore In­ter­na­tional School

of Bangkok be­cause his fa­ther planned for him to con­tinue his higher ed­u­ca­tion over­seas. “We want Justin to have a balanced life, a healthy mix be­tween academia and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, and we felt send­ing him to a board­ing school in the UK would pro­vide those things—the Bri­tish ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem should be ben­e­fi­cial—and it will help to build his char­ac­ter and de­velop a sense of in­de­pen­dence.”

A beau­ti­ful lady with fem­i­nine charms, Kun­yarat en­joys ball­room danc­ing and has a soft spot for porce­lain and chi­naware, in­clud­ing var­i­ous tea sets which she uses when­ever friends come over for af­ter­noon tea. A glimpse at her col­lec­tion re­veals an eclec­tic mix of or­nately pat­terned plates, teacups and nap­kin rings. “I love Lib­erty of Lon­don. They make such unique and beau­ti­ful pat­terns and I can’t re­sist vis­it­ing them when­ever I travel to the UK,” she says.

Kun­yarat’s sense of hu­mour is also ev­i­dent in some of the per­sonal dé­cor she has in­tro­duced to the apart­ment. For ex­am­ple,

we are in­trigued by two wall hang­ings on the land­ing of the stair­case. They are the heads of a white feath­ery swan and a flamingo. “Ah those,” she laughs. “They are ac­tu­ally made of pa­pier-mâché. I wanted some­thing to dec­o­rate the wall space. I liked the idea of an­i­mal heads in the style of hunt­ing tro­phies, but I’m against that sort of thing for real. So when I found the swan’s head at Lib­erty, it was just per­fect—ex­actly what I was look­ing for. I liked it so much that I asked a good friend to bring an­other one back for me, hence the flamingo,” she beams.

Up­stairs is the master bed­room with a view of the city. “This came fully fur­nished and I love ev­ery­thing about it.” On the left is a mar­ble-clad bath­room in which one of the walls stands out thanks to its stud­ded dec­o­ra­tion of white camel­lias—they look as if they are grow­ing out of the wall. Nor­mal craft flow­ers to some, these are the white camel­lias that come when one makes a pur­chase from Chanel, and the many blooms stuck on the wall in­di­cate the lady’s love for the brand. “I adore Chanel and with so many of the flow­ers to choose from I thought it was a great way to dec­o­rate in here.” In the main bed­room, the af­ter­noon sun is fil­tered through thin white cur­tains. “It can get re­ally hot in here in the af­ter­noon,” she says, “so we draw the cur­tains to pro­tect the fur­ni­ture from the sun. The bonus is that at night the views of the city lights are stun­ning.”

The pa­pier-mâché swan from Lib­erty Lon­don is one of Kun­yarat’s most favourite decor items

Rooms with a view

(Clock­wise from top) Ev­ery room in Kun­yarat’s home looks out onto the cityscape; the mother is happy when­ever son Justin is back from school abroad; the apart­ment is filled with an air of fes­tiv­ity for the hol­i­day sea­son As clas­si­cal mu­sic is good for in­fants, Kun­yarat started play­ing the vi­o­lin while she was preg­nant with Justin

merry christ­mas to you (Clock­wise from top) A beau­ti­ful set­ting for the fes­tive sea­son; with­out a walk-in closet, Kun­yarat makes do with the ex­ist­ing space and dis­plays her favourite ac­ces­sories by the dress­ing ta­ble; the in­ner cur­tains are drawn dur­ing the day to fil­ter in the sun­light

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