I’ve been an eager observer of contemporary and modern design and architecture in South East Asia over many years. After years of travelling in the region, it was first when I was based in Malaysia and now in Thailand that I became amazed over the variety, in taste, trends and mix-n-match.
Thailand is truly heaven, if you have time and make the efforts to explore outside the most commercial home decoration shopping centers and chains. My first impressions when searching for my new home was a disappointment. Having left a Victorian style apartment in Europe, filled with antique european furniture and chandeliers, i was in search for a tropical contemporary Asian style…Currently the biggest trends for modern Thais at least in Bangkok is European inspired Provençal and ‘shabby chic’ style. Cute, floral, vast selection of replica of French or English country-style furniture. The European style of “home and cottage” is big. The other direction is pure minimalistic modern Italian design inspirations. Including replica of big designer names.
It took me a while to get into the local scene to discover and search (still searching) for unique pieces, a touch of Thai, and most importantly what I suggest is a contemporary Asian/ tropical style.
My first encounter was with the small producer of locally designed rattan furniture in the heart of Thong-Lor. I had seen their work online, and found the showroom just around the corner of my new Bangkok home. Corner43 was my first inspirational source for what I was looking for.
Unique design, a range of items from rattan lounge chairs and outdoor furniture to sophisticated pieces for dining rooms and their tailor-made items for luxury resorts like Six Senses Hidaway and Hotel W at Koh Samui.
We met with Sarut at Corner 43. He was most helpful and we became his customers.
They use Thai designers and have a unique touch to their collections.
Thereafter I have discovered many more. The finish and quality is as good as the best and most expensive imported pieces, but at a very competitive price.
My second love affair was with Kenkoon. I found their outdoor chairs at Hotel de la Paix in Cha-Am (aka Alila), and discovered that they had a showroom at CDC!
After that I have continued my journey, and have visited a few professional furniture fairs as well, and gradually getting there. A lot of what I consider as Asian contemporary style with local producers seems like mostly targeting overseas customers. Meaning customers like myself, from Europe. I will in my blog try to visualize my findings!