Don’t rush into decorating your home too quickly—get some inspiration from getting to know the city, and then innovate.
by Beatrice Martinet
Co-founder and owner at toineinbangkok
If you still haven’t chosen your future home, a few elements are very important: it should have maximum sunlight; inside, it shouldn’t be too busy as a background (it’s difficult to furnish when walls have excessive molding or are covered in busy patterns); air should circulate freely; and, of course, it should have pleasant and convenient surroundings.
Once you’ve found the place you’ll call home, don’t rush into decorating it too quickly. First enjoy the city, walk, wander, and breathe it; look at people, colors, street movements, and landscapes; take photos of surprising situations, quirky circumstances—probably different from your home country’s—and all will become your source of inspiration.
How to Decorate Your New Home
My best tip on furnishing or decorating is to be singular, and not have what everybody has. Avoid common furniture; try to be surprising, and even surprise yourself; look at authenticity. Favor refined or unexpected materials, deep colors, subdued impressions, and charming shapes, even those that are odd or organic. Following all of these tenets will give character to your place, but remember to apply each judiciously; otherwise, it may kill the effect. Also remember that what you come up with may be relocated somewhere else one day, maybe to your home country. Don’t follow some fashion or decoration trend; just follow your emotions and your style. Or, if you dare, create your own trend and call it “your” style.
Don’t buy too many touristy things when you arrive because, after a while, you will see them everywhere. Make your place memorable and charming: give privilege to softness and warmth. Don’t wish to make an ideal selection, but make your selection from things you are comfortable and happy with. Little by little, ideas will come to you.
Likewise, don’t forget your roots, as you will be happy sometimes to remember them. This means you should keep the style and mood you are comfortable with, and add a tweak of the local country. This will make the object or furniture unique and distinctive.
Take your time to purchase, but when you have a crush on something, just buy it! You may never pass by the shop again—that’s almost a rule.
For me, a mix of antique or vintage and modern pieces keeps a room full of charm and personality. Adding accent colors to one or a few walls makes nice backgrounds for some pieces of furniture.
Where to Shop
In Bangkok, Thonglor and Ekamai areas offer lots of big furniture and lighting showrooms and warehouses. Elsewhere in town, there are plenty of décor shops such as Casa Pagoda, Industique, Incredible, and Vinotto.
In big shopping malls, mainly just before the top floor, you will find interesting items at affordable prices. At the top floor of The Emporium (622 Sukhumvit Road) near the food market, the kitchenware section is very diverse and carries nice collections. The fifth floor of Central World (4 Ratchadamri Road) offers a lot of variety, plenty of ideas, and nice leather furniture (at Sesia, for example).
Crystal Design Center (1420/1 Pradist Manudham Road) remains the largest place to find everything, but it’s better to go there with some idea of what to purchase to avoid getting lost in the huge choice of boutiques. Of course, for a variety of goods at inexpensive prices, the best place to shop is Chatutchak Weekend Market (BTS Mochit), especially nearby the JJ Plaza, where all the decoration items can be found.
Also, don’t hesitate to check out antique shops that may have authentic pieces of furniture that will give charm to your place. At TUBA Design Furniture & Restaurant (3 Soi Ekamai 34 Sukhumvit Soi 21) you will be able to find many pieces of furniture, including tables, chairs, artwork for the walls, etc.toineinbangkok (10/4 Convent Road, Silom) is a boutique that offers a different approach to decorative items by creating and sourcing revisited Asian art, limited editions, and objects with a sense of humor.