Siam Future’s latest project, Nawamin Festival Walk, is Bangkok’s newest open-air community mall.

Bewilderment is the initial reaction to Nawamin Festival Walk, located right next to Nawamin City Avenue, with its confounding layout and a design that reeks of some misplaced middle-American outdoor theme park (there’s even a giant windmill at the entrance). But get past the random, off-beat theme, and there’s reason to give it more than a cursory glance, with some old favorites and new finds. Crowds vary from Thonglor’s hip teens and university students to young office workers and hi-so moms. And like the myriad other community malls in the city, it, too, aims to meet all needs, boasting restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, late night drink spots—even a barbershop and skin-care center.

Meal Time

Hungry? Our stomachs started rumbling when we spotted Red Basket, a French-Vietnamese eatery, a rare find in Bangkok. Transport yourself straight to Ho Chi Minh City with recommended dishes like Vietnamese dumplings stuffed with shrimp and pork (B100). Set menus are also available, such as the grilled pork with vermicelli, fresh spring rolls, and fresh fruits (B140). For dessert, try their French apple crepe with vanilla sauce and ice cream (B140). Another restaurant that caught our attention with its familiar name was Cafeinteria by Black Canyon. The first Cafeinteria branch to open in Bangkok, it serves Korean, American, Italian and Thai dishes like Hokkaido Salad (B246) and New Zealand beef steak (B388).

Dessert Time

You’re sweet tooth is bound to start aching with desert shops appearing on almost every corner. You can’t miss the packed Japanese-themed dessert shop Okashi by Pooni. Apart from the dozens of maneki neko (waving cats), what got us forcing our way into this tiny shop were the different flavored Japanese-style desserts. The fruity frosty cake (B165) seems to be the huge hit here; have it with their selection of teas from Earl Grey to Lemon Zinger Herb (B135) or one of several different fruit sodas (B175). If the heat’s got you beat, cool down at 77th Coffee Bar & Dessert Café with their homemade ice creams (B57 per scoop). Drinks like coffee, frappe, fruit smoothies and Italian sodas are also available (B57-117).

Shopping Time

If that itch to shop starts to kick in, try some vintage dresses imported from Japan and Europe at Paris in Love. Dresses start from B2,500, and Japanese skin-care products from Pink and Ichikami are also available in the shop. For those seeking some serious, big-spending retail therapy, the store also houses a great selection of brand-name bags, from Louis Vuitton to limited edition Celine and Hermes. But maybe you’re just looking to get crafty; in that case you can’t miss Paper Mac. Although it looks a tad like a photocopying store, it’s actually a scrap-booking haven, offering pretty much every material you might need. Check out the ring binder maker (B2,000).

Beer O’clock

Still here in the evening? HOBS and Tell Me Wine are both solid choices, but we recommend a new spot called Thirst Day. Wine, beers and whisky are available, but what they really focus on are cocktails. Best sellers include signature cocktails like Die for You, a mix of gin, rum, vodka, tequila, cherry brandy, and sweet and sour mix with grape (B195). Beer deals include Singha and Asahi for B180 per pitcher and B340 per tower. A little tip: don’t spend all your cash or be prepared for a 5-min walk, as ATM machines are available only at Nawamin City Avenue.


77th Coffee Bar & Dessert Café. Room J104-105, open daily from 10am-10:30pm. 083-425-2777.
Cafeinteria by Black Canyon. Room T110, open daily from 10am-10pm. 02-553-1120.
Okashi by Pooni. Room K109, open from 11:30am-9pm on Mon-Fri and closes at 10pm on Sat-Sun. 02-907-1129.
Paper Mac. Room T108, open daily from 11am-10pm. 083-254-1544.
Paris in Love. Room K102-103, open daily from 11am-8pm. 02-907-1770.
Red Basket. Room L103-105, open daily from 11am-10pm. 02-907-1909, 084-109-0271.
Thirst Day. Room J107, open daily from 2pm-12am. 02-907-0456, 087-004-7321.
Nawamin Festival Walk. 299 Prasertmanukit Rd. Sena Intersection Ladprao 10230, 02-660-9020.


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With the 2012 Academy Awards taking place this week, fashionistas have glam dresses on their mind. These scream Hollywood glamor, but without the price tag.

7, 2nd Floor

Calling all city hipsters, this place will give you your Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie fix. Inspired by the owner’s passion for all things vintage, 7, 2nd Floor can completely kit you out from head to toe with products from clothing to accessories and shoes. The store itself is something straight out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. All it’s missing is the indie pop band playing in the corner. Women’s tops and dresses are the focus and have an almost bag-lady-intentionally-mismatched appeal to them—like we said, very hipster. Women’s shirts start from B300 and dresses from B600. Our pick is the velvet, red-wine dress: simple and classic, B1,480.

Again & Again

You may have an urge to watch Titanic and conjure up your inner Kate Winslet after strolling through this store, because Again & Again’s clean, white décor, along with its high-neck lace dresses evoke a distinctly Victorian-vibe. Opened for two-and-a-half years, the store was inspired by the owner’s love of travelling and collecting antiques. The products’ origins are a global affair, coming from Japan, USA, France and the Czech Republic. Dresses vary from simple, everyday items to evening gowns. With its attention mostly on bright, warm colors, tops start from B480 and dresses from B1,480 to B8,900. Our favorite is the dark-chocolate nylon dress covered with gold flowers, B5,980.

Cocue Basics

Think Chatachuck gone posh. The disorganized, flea-market stall look of Cocue Basics, as well as its clothing and accessories, are really one-of-a-kind. The store’s large space, huge glass windows and off-beat décor is enough to draw attention. Carrying both men’s and women’s vintage products (tops, jeans, shoes, hats, and dresses), these unique pieces are from Thailand, Korea and Hong Kong. Dresses vary from light pastel colors to dark tones, especially the evening-wear selections. Tops, jeans and dresses range from B490 to B6,950. What’s eye-catching is the black lace dress balanced with touches of sparkling beads and colorful lines. Packed with sex appeal, you definitely don’t have to worry about bumping into someone wearing the same dress, B4,500.

Back Yard

This recent addition to the Bangkok vintage scene, open for just four months, has an old New York appeal. Its dimly-lit brick store looks like it could be speakeasy in the Prohibition era. And its retro-cut dresses span different decades and would have the likes of female greats from Zelda Fitzgerald to Audrey Hepburn swooning. Back Yard doesn’t only sell vintage clothing, but also decorative art, furniture, food and drinks. The store’s vibe will send you straight into a back alley of SoHo, New York, with most of its products—women’s dresses, men’s shirts and furniture—coming from the Big Apple. Men’s shirts take a lighter tone in color, whereas women’s dresses go for darker tones with touches of lace and vibrant beads. Men’s shirts and furniture pieces start from B1,000, and women’s dresses from B2,000. Most attention grabbing? The dark green minimal vintage velvet dress, B4,800.


7, 2nd Floor. 258/16 Siam Square Soi 3, Lido 2/F, Open daily from 12:30pm-8:30pm, 02-654-6253
Again & Again. Sukhumvit 55 Thonglor 4, Market Place Room B1A, Open Mon 11am-8pm Tue-Sun 11am-9pm, 089-486-5359
Back Yard. 77 Ekkamai Soi 21, Baan Ekkamai 2/F, Open 1pm-12pm Closed on Monday, 02-715-0846
Cocue Basic. 77 Ekkamai Soi 21, Baan Ekkamai 1/F, Open daily from 1pm-9pm, 02-711-4783


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The spring/summer womenswear’s trend from the recent Bangkok Fashion Society (BFS) presentation is all about floral prints, soft colors, graphic arts and bright whites.


Disaya, Greyhound, Playhound, Sretsis: 1/F, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Rd. BTS Siam, 02-690-1000
Kloset: 3/F, Siam Center, 989 Rama 1 Rd. BTS Siam, 02-658-1729
Milin: 2/F, Central Chidlom, 1027 Ploenchit Rd. BTS Chidlom, 02-793-7777
Senada: 3/F, Siam Center, 989 Rama 1 Rd. BTS Siam, 02-252-2757
Vickteerut: 2/F, Central Chidlom, 1027 Ploenchit Rd. BTS Chidlom, 02-793-7777

*Items will be available from March


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He’s done it all, modeling, hosting a television show, performing as a musician, even acting. Billie Ogan, 45, explains his take on life and how he’s different from his stage persona.

I’ve been in love with music ever since I was three. When I was working as a teenage model, I did it to further my career in the entertainment business.

I will always respect P’Ter of GMM Grammy. He isn’t just a man who founded a record label. He has intellect and vision, and I knew that if I had a chance to work with him, I would be in great hands.

The Thai music industry relies too heavily on media exposure. There are lots of great artists in Thailand that just can’t find a channel to distribute their music. In places like the US or the UK, most record labels do not own the radio stations, and that allows musicians to have a better chance of getting their work out to the public. Here, it’s different because radio stations are often owned by networks connected to record labels; this presents obstacles to new musicians.

If I was born today, I probably wouldn’t be famous. My best selling albums were my second and third albums, more than 20 years ago. I don’t really know how I got so huge. Things are so much more competitive in today’s world.

I always have a Plan B. Whenever I do something, I always prepare myself for the “if” part, as in what if this happens, or what if this doesn’t work out. A lot of times people just go all in without thinking about the fact it might not work.

When I’m at home, I’m like an uncle; I’m only a rocker on the outside. I take off my shoes and relax. I don’t live glamorously. A lot of people think that just because I’m in the entertainment business I live luxuriously, which isn’t true.

I love to cook and would love to open a restaurant and cook for others, but cooking only for two people (my wife and I) costs a lot, so I don’t get to cook often.

I don’t like new clothes because I feel that wearing them makes me look like a dork. I love old, used t-shirts. They just fit your body better and look great. I also love used sneakers, I make an exception for leather shoes, but used sneakers just have a better shape than new ones.

As a television host, you give a shit about what people are going to see or how you’re going to look if the camera shoots you from a particular angle; it’s all about timing. But if you’re a musician, it’s completely different. Your voice is the most important thing, so you’ll think about what people are going to hear. You have lots of factors, lots of equipment to control—how to use or adjust them. In music, there’s a lot more going on and it’s all about the tempo.

I’m a sucker for 60s movies. When I’m not working, I love watching the MGM channel. They play these old movies and I’m just hooked. I love the movie stars from those times. Steve McQueen and Barbara Streisand are my favorites. They just don’t make movies like that today.

There just isn’t anything new in the Thai music industry. It hasn’t changed one bit. Of course, you see different things and get to meet different people, but it’s like the same movie with different casts.

If I could go back in time, I would want to be a doctor. Doctors are cool because they have amazing tools that they use to save lives. It’s like a one-of-a-kind profession. If you want to fly a plane, you could just use a flight simulator, but the high-technology equipment that doctors get to use are for doctors only.

I don’t care if people are posing as me on Facebook. There’re dozens of accounts using my name and none of them are me. I don’t use Facebook anymore and haven’t for a while. I don’t really pay much attention to social media.

We need to stop fighting and strive for global standards. We used to say that we should go global, but are we really trying or are we just going to be stuck with political crisis every year?
Our country’s leaders must be able to make the people happy and lead our country towards global standards.

I am thankful for everything that gave me a chance for new love. I’ve always believed in soul mates and that for a person to find their soul mate, their lives must have intertwined in their past lives.

It’s a great feeling to be able to make someone think about love again. This is what the film Ruk (An Ordinary Love Story) is about, which is why I decided to get involved.

I don’t know if I’m successful or not, who knows, only God. When I was younger, I loved the adrenaline rush of doing risky things, but as I grew up, I really started to realize that the world always introduces you to new things.

Originality lives in simplicity. Just keep things simple and not worry about success.

Life doesn’t always have to be exactly as you plan, that’s what makes life interesting. God always has a better plan for you.

My dream job is to open an American fast-food restaurant. It would be called Uncle Billie’s Steak House and would be on the highway on the way to Pattaya. There would be a picture of me on the restaurant sign wearing a bib with lights flashing just like in old Western movies. The kids would love it. I would serve steaks, burgers, fries, milkshakes, and have farm animals and magic shows. I’ve got it all planned out in my head; it would be a really fun place.


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Apartments in decades-old buildings can be much cheaper than buying on plan. Plus, you know what you’re getting and can move in immediately. Now if only they could look as good as a new condo. Well, they can (with a little effort). And here are five pads to prove it.

Resort sky-high

Space: 63 sq meters
Building’s age: 12 years old
Budget spent: Room B1.6million, decoration approx. B1.26 million.
Architect Vinai Vongtapapitak spent six years completing his 63-sq-meter apartment in Bangkok’s Prachachuen area. The National Housing Authority’s two-bedroom apartment has been transformed into a one-bedroom resort-style living space which even incorporates a small pond.
Why revamp an old apartment rather than buy a brand new one?
Despite being a National Housing Authority property, the building structure is strong and it is also in a peaceful residential area. There’s a supermarket just downstairs, and the location is also close to the expressway. I bought it for less than B2 million for a 63-sq-meter space—a price hard to get elsewhere.
What’s your inspiration behind the design?
I try to pull in the environment from the outside to the inside. I love an airy space, so that’s why I eliminated the old layout and created everything from scratch. The floor was raised by 20 centimeters to give better views through the windows. I even have an L-shaped pond next to my bedroom. Many people are worried it will leak. For me, I was just putting a big L-shape bucket on the floor. That’s it!
What’s the most difficult part of the renovation?
The utilities. If you’re not sure you can fix something, build a whole new one. A renovation must make the place easy to maintain, as you need to live there for a long time. That’s why I created a whole new utility plan. So you can’t be rushed. We spent more than six years on this.
What should we keep in mind when renovating?
Having a beautiful room isn’t dependent on being an architect. Anyone can do it. You just need to understand your true needs. Spend time before designing your space and think: first, what do you have to do when you’re at home, like you need a space to sleep and a storage area, and, second, what do you want to do when you’re at home, like if you love to cook, your space must be large enough for a kitchen and a table. Condominiums aren’t limited to compact kitchens, you can have a full-option one if you have good space design. A condominium is not just a place to sleep. Home is where your life is, so think about it carefully.

New York Vintage

Space: 40 sq meters
Building’s age: 2 years old
Budget spent: Room B1.4 million, decoration B300,000.
Stock market investor Chachanicha Vasoontaratorn had always wanted to design a space of her own. After moving in to her condo, she spent more than a year tracking down unique decorations to fufill her passion for a dark, modern-meets-vintage look.
Why choose a secondhand condo?
It’s simple. A secondhand condo gives you an idea of what urban living would be like without you having to rob a bank. You move in and get to live in that space without having to make too big a commitment, like buying a house. You don’t know what a brand new condo is really like because it’s not finished. You don’t actually know if security is good or if the people there are nice or not. With a secondhand condo, you actually see the place first.
What are the pros and cons to consider?
The pro is that secondhand condos tend to have better maintenance than new buildings. New condos tend to have problems with things like electricity, the Internet and other things that are not yet fully functioning due to the condo being new. The bad is that you don’t always get the room you want, some rooms are already heavily decorated and sometimes there are limits on what you are allowed to change.
What’s your style?
Modern vintage. I know it sounds weird, but a lot of the build-ins and furniture in this room are designed to look modern using dark colors, whereas the decorations on walls or in the bedroom aim for a vintage look. That’s what modern vintage is. I love modern design, but too much would make the room look stiff, so small, vintage touches balance things out.
Most people tend to avoid dark colors, why did you use them so much?
I think most people avoid using them because they think it will make their rooms look small. This is true, but I love dark colors, and the trick I use to make it work is simple: I use a warm-colored light-bulb instead of a normal white one, which really makes a huge difference. Orange light makes your room warmer and easier on the eyes, whereas white light makes the room feel plain and boring.
Where did you get your furniture and decorations?
I mostly shopped at Chatuchak Market, Suam Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok Wallpaper and the Royal Ceramic Industry. The most important thing when trying to find furniture or room decorations is to keep your eyes open when you go to places, browse around, visit places that you don’t usually go to because more often than not, there’s something you could use.
What’s the biggest challenge when decorating your condo? Any tips?
The most difficult thing for me is to mix and match. The overall look is everything, so it gets hard when choosing which type of decorations or furniture to pick. Sometimes you choose an object that you really like or you feel represents you, but it doesn’t always work out because it might not match with the tone of your room. My tip would be to start by choosing the color tone that you love, if you love blue, then go with it, look for furniture or decorations that are blue or go well with blue. If it’s what you really love, you won’t get tired of it.

In the wood for love

Space: 115 sq meters,
Building’s age: 7 years old
Budget spent: Room B7.5 million, decoration B400,000.
Real-estate developer Tanimnan Janluan had been renovating condos for years before she finally bought a place of her own, transforming her flat from a plain, modern space into an antique teak wood haven.
Why choose a secondhand condo?
Something old isn’t always bad. Think of it as buying steel: in the past steel was stronger, whereas today, with the current economy, it’s not as durable as before. This is the same for condos. When you buy a secondhand condo, it’s more likely that you’ll get a better location than a new condo, and location is vital.
What are the pros and cons to consider?
The good is that you know that the project is completed, unlike some new condos that claim to have this and that, but end up unfinished. Also with secondhand condos, you can find out whether or not the staff is nice or if there will be more construction taking place nearby. The bad is that the original design of the room might not be as sophisticated or modern as in new condos.
What’s the style of your room?
The theme of this room is wood. I prefer an old look over modern design and I love the warm, detailed style it gives to the room. Modern rooms are a dime a dozen, but old looks are rare and harder to decorate because it’s more difficult to find the furnishings.
Where did you get your furniture?
A lot of them, like the teak wood furniture, were things I’d been collecting since university; other items I got from Chatuchak Market and different places around Bangkok.
What’s the biggest challenge when decorating your condo? Any tips?
The biggest challenge is choosing the right material and choosing what to use. For instance, a lot of people like to use build-ins to save space; personally, I hate them because you can’t move them around and most build-ins are made from cheap materials. That’s something you have to consider. My tip would be to take your time, look at other condos and see which style you like—having something you don’t like in your room is very annoying.

Minimal Sanctuary

Space: 220 sq meters
Building’s age: 22 years old
Budget Spent: Room approx B9 million, decoration B2 million.
Chief operating officer (COO) at Gallothai Co. Ltd. Pierre Metz’s wanted a modern and minimal design. Based on a 75-sq-meter apartment Ekkasit Jaeng-anghin had just completed, Metz comissioned the young architect for this sprawling duplex in downtown Bangkok. Here, we speak to Ekkasit about his design process.
Why choose a secondhand condo?
There are two reasons. First is location. In real estate, location is essential. This condo is close to the BTS, MRT and good restaurants. Second is the architecture of the building. A lot of new condos today have cliché designs mostly trying to go for a modern look. Some look nice, but others are hideous.
What are the pros and cons of secondhand condos?
The good is that a lot of secondhand condos have better architecture and locations than new ones. The bad is that sometimes you’ll get a fully-furnished room or a room that’s partly decorated; this could be problematic if you want to redecorate it in your own style.
What’s your design style?
Modern and minimal. I try to place emphasis on the edges and corners in the room, making them look clean and sharp. There’s no funky design or too many decorations used.
Where did you get your furniture or decorations from?
I designed some of the furniture myself, and other stuff is from shops or previous things the owner had. The antiques are from the current tenant, a diplomat. My favorite place for furniture is Oggi, which is a brand run by a group of Thais making contemporary handcrafted wooden furniture.
Any tips?
The biggest challenge is to define your limits. People usually start by looking at magazines to find out what they like, and then they use all sorts of different decorations from what they see in magazines in their room. The end product is usually a messy room, so my tip would be to ask yourself what kind of room you want in terms of tone, color and style, then set a limit so you don’t over-decorate.

Compact Comfort

Space: 28 sq meters
Building’s age: 10 years old
Budget spent: Room B600,000, decoration B100,000 (including the amount she lost to a contractor who ran off half-way through on the job).
As a stylist for My Home magazine, Boonyawee Boonnark’s taste is impeccable. Boonyawee spent three months looking for her first pad and another three months renovating an old, dull nest into an strikingly pretty, compact room.
Why a secondhand home?
To be honest, secondhand places are cheaper. I had a limited budget for my first home and I didn’t want to be in debt for my entire life. This apartment, despite being compact, is cheap, close to my workplace and big enough to be my personal space. It won’t be my only house.
What’s the inspiration behind your renovation and decoration?
I love the beach and I love to stay in a beach house—but that’s not very realistic for urban living. So I just opted for the beach-house style: simple decor with white and light colors. I don’t really have a single style, I just mix things up as I like. And as a stylist, I get the chance to see nice rooms, beautiful houses and pretty decorative items.
What’s the hardest part of home renovations?
The hardest part is to know what I really love. Because of my job, the more beautiful places I see, the more styles I like. I was sometimes blown away by the sheer choice of pretty things. You just need to match your preference to your space. For example, I’d really love to have a two-seat sofa, but because of my tiny space, I got the same feel with a smaller cushion instead. Utilities are what you must really be careful of. I started seeing some flaws after a year of living here.
What should we keep in mind before starting a renovation?
First, do not think big, do think small. I don’t totally agree with the idea of spending a lot of money on a fancy house where you wish to live forever. We don’t know how long we’re going to live in one place. Even though I’m a Bangkokian, I might move to another province in the future. So start with something you can afford. Second, do sign a contract with your contractor, and split the amount you need to pay them—only pay half upfront. My old contractor ran away with my money without completing even half of the renovations. Buy things (tiles, paints, decorations) by yourself, if you can. Just hire a contractor to do the work. My renovation cost is cheap because I did many things on my own. My pad might not be very large, but that’s all I need for now. Because at the end of the day, a person only needs a space to sleep, cook, eat and work comfortably.



230/1-2 Ekkamai Soi 11, 02-392-2704-5. Open daily 10am-6pm
Randomly arranged, the secondhand furniture here is mostly imported from England, but also comes from other European countries. Apart from the retro home pieces, they also have old vinyl records and collectibles, such as antique figurines and old postal stamps.


11-12 A, 34 Ekkamai Soi 21, 02-711-5500. Open daily 11-1am
This two-story pub, restaurant and art gallery has a retro vibe. You can play pool, listen to some old tunes and buy a couch all in one visit. The place serves Thai-inter food, like foie gras and baked snow fish. Recently opened, another two-unit space just across the street in Soi Cham Chan stocks more vintage furniture for sale.

Shades of Retro

Soi Thararom 2, between Thonglor Soi 18 and 20, 081-824-8011. Open daily 3pm-1am
Here’s another great option, especially if you’re looking for a combined chilling and vintage retail therapy session after dinner around Thonglor. Sip a bottle of beer while listening to world music surrounded by old school surfboards, Vespas and vintage pianos. Most of the collectibles are up for sale, with prices starting from B1,000.


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