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Getting used to somewhere does take time. And once we get used to it, we will never want to be anywhere else, as it becomes our comfort zone. Today we’re bringing you to a clean, white condominium set in the Thong Lor area, a majestic room that is catered to all functional needs owned by Oh-Aruchit Lertkitja, an interior designer and founder of COQUO STUDIO. Through this room, Oh gives us a clearer picture that how good design can facilitate an urban lifestyle and enhance comfortability. She tells us about the background of this room that “I originally lived in this building. My previous room was 80 sqm, but I felt restricted by the size of the room, especially during the early COVID-19 outbreak when the government required all of us to work from home. I spent more time at home back then. Moreover, my activities and lifestyle shifted, so I felt I was really in need of an office space that I could practically work in, and also a space for exercising as I couldn’t go to gym. Due to those reasons, I think the room I used to live in was short of those usable areas where I could do all the activities. So, I started to look for a larger room within the same property, because I like the atmosphere and how they maintain the place, as well as the location that really suits my lifestyle and my work.”
From an old space to a wowing new one
When the size of the existing room didn’t fit her functional needs, she decided to move to another room which offers the size of 108 sqm. Such a space is enough to serve as a comfortable home office. Based on our talk, Oh has been fond of antiques and in love with minimal styles. When it came to designing the new room, she fused the styles, mixing and matching them seamlessly. That’s why, it isn’t so surprising that she had so much fun with this renovation. Oh says that “When you have to renovate a pre-owned room, there’re always good parts. First, you’ll definitely get a cheaper price with more space, compared to buying a new one. And, as I’m an interior designer, whenever I buy a new room, I always remove everything that I don’t want to recreate a design that matches my taste. But you know the pity is when I need to dispose of them. So, I think it’d be better to get a pre-owned room as it’s ok to remove things that I don’t want to have them, and it’ll also better suit my needs, and even bring me little excitement and some challenges. It’ll totally be wowing with the finish when compared to the unrenovated one.”
“Normally, before we buy a room, we need to walk around and look at its layout plan to arrange things and consider usable areas to see whether they can be improved or are enough to accommodate our needs. Also, I’d consider whether it’s possible to put more cabinets to store my stuff, clothes, and shoes,” says Oh, laughing. It’s undeniable that 100% of women do wish to have a fully-equipped clothes and shoe cabinets. Oh adds that “most of the condo rooms, though spacious, insufficiently offer storage spaces. However, I sketched a plan for this room that could touch every need of mine. Moreover, the layout of this room is wide in its width. There are windows and a long balcony. It’s what I was looking for, because I really love it when there is so much natural light. When I saw this room, I think it won’t be that difficult to refurnish it to suit my needs.”
The dream plan
Passions for design, baking, cooking, planting, or drawing do reflect the identity of the resident through the room plan. Starting from the first step into the room, the front area introduces us to a hidden storage room and washing area. The functions organize the storage and arrange all the cleaning appliances, dry stock, and other items that are irregularly used.
Next is the L-shaped kitchen with an island. The other side is located a full-sized storage cabinet. The interior is functional and easy to the eye. Set next to it is a dining area which is used for multi purposes as it is adjacent to the living room. In order to set a clear boundary, there is a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door to separate the spaces to ensure that cooking will neverbe a problem.
For the living room, Oh focuses mainly on using loose furniture. The beige sofa is a made-to-order piece from Misto Furniture. She adds that “This room is substantially in white tones. The sofa has a slightly darker cream tone. It was a housewarming gift from my kind brother. As for the wall of this room, I left it white to represent a blank canvas. Even the artwork to be put on the wall, I was intended to paint it myself using only the white color, but will probably work on the textures to make sure it offers dimensions when I turn on the light.” At the center of the room, it sits a partition which serves as the main wall. It boasts more details compared to the other parts, decorated with cornices, but reduced in elements, to make it more contemporary rather than classic. It is a panel to keep the sliding door when it’s folded, which is openable to get through the office zone. With this function, you’ll get a panoramic room with plenty of natural light. Another corner that she really likes is the bar cabinet where she can get drinks, coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages. It is designed as a shelf to display books, cookbooks, and lifestyle books that give inspirations for design works. The corner is in the tones that Oh regularly uses, which are indeed her signature – black and white. The room is 80% white and 20% black, which is the exact percentage she uses to balance her tones and design.
Natural light is essential in a small room. Oh designed the room to make sure that natural light can be part of every area within it, with a large window, loopholes, a balcony seating area to enjoy planting and being showered by the morning light. She used prefabricated teak flooring to cover the entire area, softening the atmosphere and making it more comfortable. Moreover, she additionally encase the room with three-layered glass windows to reduce noise disturbances and bustle of the city outside to ensure the room is free from the hassle of inevitable noises.
Not too far is the working room, which was designed to located in the middle of the residence, making it look less like a room, but a space that interconnects an area. It’s what Oh intended. “I made over this corner. Originally, it was the second bedroom. I reduced the size and removed the bathroom of this room as well. Anyway, the washing bowl and toilet bowl are still there, and I switched the layout, allowing it to be entered through the working room and specifically for guests. For the previous bathing area, it was changed into a book storage and storage space for office supplies.
There are also enough spaces in front of the room for exercising, such as body weight and cardio. I’ve added a large mirror to reflect myself during exercising, which, in turn, visually broadens the space. For the working room, there are big sliding doors at both sides of the room. The one installed to the exercising corner is a corrugated glass panel, because I want to make sure that sunlight can come through. I was so happy adjusting the layout of this room. I feel that it offers multi functions that respond to the lifestyle needs of myself.”
For the bedroom, Oh has kept it so simple. She focuses on using made-to-order loose furniture. The bed was ordered from Misto Furniture as usual and the bed table from Perridot Design, both of which are actually partners that always worked with her. This master bedroom is remained at its original place, but the cabinet was changed into a floor-to-ceiling one, with the length of up to 8 meters. The bathroom comes with a new bathtub with stand, making the room look airier and easier to the eye. For the bathroom, it was originally small, but Oh has adjusted it to a size that is practical and comfortable, with also a hidden shelf to place shampoo bottles on the wall.
Serene & Sensibility
Oh likes travelling. When she travels or finds inspiration from a design magazine, she couldn’t normally keep the eyes away and fall in love with apartments in Copenhagen and Paris, whether in terms of color tones, cornices, lighting, or the use of loose furniture which blends in with luxury and simplicity, but still offer warmth and romantic vibes. “This condo room is the third house of mine that I have designed for myself. Each of my houses was designed with a different style, based on different reasons. And with my age and ways of life that have shifted, or more activities I have engaged with, I wanted this room to be soft and relaxing, to give a feeling of chilling after work, cooking and dining under the candle light. Something like this is what I’ve imagined when I designed this room.”
I believe that a good house is formed of several factors that are adds-on to beauty, whether good planning or organization to truly enhance comfortability. And as Oh concludes, she sees herself as a very visual person, which means that she wants everything to be beautiful, organized, and simple. All of these are conveyed through her design work, by attaching to the principles of “Less is More”. Not less, not much, but easy to the eye and to the heart. That is all she needs.
Owner: Aruchit Lertkitja
Interior Designer: COQUO STUDIO
Photographer: Piwat Shevakittekun – bkkgrapher