Renovating an old house allows not only the memories to be kept but its functionality that meet the needs of each family member. It has sentimental value that makes everyone in the family happy. The best part is no one needs to move out during a renovation. A home is always a home regardless of the situation.
Due to a major flood in 2011, a lot of houses in Koo Bon area were severely affected. Even after applying a great protection plan, the house was still under flood waters because the land where the house is located did not get elevated above the main street. It was at the lower point which created a big pool. An effect of this natural disaster was the main reason for this renovation which was decided by Khun Top – Witit Assavavipas, the eldest son of the family and the owner of Kritsanatouch Co., Ltd, a home builder and a contractor for schools and hospitals.
“Our old house was built for many decades and it was built below the lower point of the main street. We can see it clearly during the flood. We first thought about selling the house and moved elsewhere but my parents love this house and want to stay here. So we had to renovate it. The challenge was how we were going to renovate the house without moving to a temporary residence.”
Renovating a house with space limitation while maintaining an existing structure is quite a challenge but Khun Top was able to overcome it using his experience as a home builder and a turnkey project contractor. He designs the interiors, the exteriors and supervises the whole project by himself. He collaborated with a talented architect, Khun Ta – Natee Tamniamjad, who beautifully designed overall picture, did the quality control check very closely throughout the whole project and ensured the end result of this industrial-inspired modern loft home meets everyone’s expectation. More importantly, the house also shows the classical aspects of Thai style specially designed for his parents.
Originally, this 2-story contemporary home featured a garden and a medium sized swimming pool. It is sitting on a 400+ square wah lot. Now the old structure is a part of the newly designed and renovated house with 10-meter high ceilings added to the design. Main materials used are natural stones, concrete, steel, glass and wood which soften the appearance of the industrial design and connect the old and new structures. Some parts of the old concrete structure were removed, some were kept to cherish good family moments happening inside the old house and some were adjusted to be hidden under the new structure which has more than 1,800 square meters. The new design allows each area to be separated from one another. It also features multiple rooms for multipurpose function.
Apart from the new style and functionality, the house also features smart home smart locks using new technology to enhance home security system. There are various energy-saving designs added to the new house. For an example, the skylight over the swimming pool which lessens the humidity and promotes natural light instead of using lighting system or a glass laundry room with installed heat ventilation system to serve multiple purposes such as reducing heat from the air condition units, dry blowing clothes using heating air from the ventilation or allowing natural sunlight to travel through the glass instead of using a clothes dryer which causes the fabric to shrink.
The new interior concept is quite flexible because it is designed to serve the mostly utilized users. For this reason, it is important to have a neutral, practical and non-sophisticated style.
“We mostly use built-in furniture for all interiors. We made everything ourselves, for instance, a dining table, cabinets, beds, a kitchen counter or flooring even. It is our personal preference to use teakwood to make this furniture and floors as it is our favorite material and we also manufacture teakwood for our clients. Because we love spacious, non-crowded home so the process of making of this furniture correctly is really important. We figured it is easy for us to customize corner furniture or made sure the furniture attached nicely against the walls so we can be sure every piece of furniture and detail matches our home design. I design each area to match the characters of the person who mostly use a particular space. For example, our kitchen has a modern classical Thai look because my mother loves cooking and spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Nevertheless, I added some loft detail so it harmonizes with the look and feel of another room.”
“Playroom is the common area for everyone. I use this room the most and it is my favorite room so the design in this room reflects a lot of my personality. It has a clear industrial modern loft style with high ceilings, steel frame, and natural stone. A large horizontal glass panel allows natural sunlight to go through. Every item in this room has a non-polished finish and decorated with minimal furniture. A sofa on an artificial grass by the swimming pool and a dining table across the swimming pool are the only furniture here. It is very relaxing to sit by the swimming pool and have the same feeling as if you were relaxing at a boutique resort in Khao Yai. My parents, however, spend a lot of time on the dining table watching tv and listen to the soothing sound of pool water,” he says with a smile knowing his parents are happy.
He has a picture on his mind when he designs this house that “everyone must be utilizing every space of this house”. He thinks and plans far ahead for his design to be easily adaptable when needed in the future.
“I think it is useless to have a spacious home with many rooms and not putting them to use. I do not want to lose that many spaces for nothing. In my design, everyone is forced to use every space in the house, or at the very least, walk passing by. As you can see, there are not a lot of rooms in this house but it has enough for everyone. Each room has 2 entries and exits for safety purpose. It is separated into private zones in case my brother or myself have our own family, we can still use our private zone without disturbing the other. My bedroom is an example. Even though it is adjacent to the common area but it is soundproof and I will not be disturbed by the activities on the outside because my bedroom is designed to be located inside my room and it is on the upper level of my room.
My parent’s room is the most important one. I am thinking of the situation when they are older. So I have an empty space to install a home lift as well as a wheelchair ramp if needed in the future. Their bedroom is decorated in a classical Thai style. We reformed their old bed into a headboard. It was the bed they use after they got married. Their old closet was upcycled into a new built-in closet as well. All of this old furniture apparently refreshes their long and loving memories.
Apart from bedrooms, a common room, a playroom and a kitchen, there is also a loft-style entertainment room for everyone to enjoy movies, music, and readings. We all use this room quite very often. It is a hidden room with high ceilings under the structure of the old house. There is a wooden ladder to get to the stylish hammock net bed that can be utilized if you want to read. A green yard outside is big enough for everyone to share their favorite activities. If you ask what my favorite room is or which room we use the most, my answer would be every room and we all utilize every space to spend time together.”
It is not a surprise if this house is given a title of “The Best House” as it has every functional space you can think of and is more than just the center point of this family. It has love, pride, and happiness all around. Most importantly, it is undeniable that this house makes everyone’s life an absolutely meaningful and priceless one.