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Living on the outside

One of the things we love about where we live now is being able to be outside while at home.

We’ve been lucky in Bangkok as the last two places we’ve lived have had spacious shaded balconies that make sure we spend time outside and not in an air-conditioned box. It definitely makes mornings a little better when you can sit outside with a coffee and listen to the birds before getting ready to sit in front of computer screen all day. Weekend lunches are more pleasant too. And over the past year, when various levels of restriction have been in place, getting outside while ‘inside’ has been a bonus.

Life in the Thai countryside typically happens outside. Few homes have creature comforts like sofas and armchairs in the same way we do in the west, and daytime is mainly spent outside, in out local village anyway. Our place is likely to look a bit alien once we move everything in.

It was important to us that we have plenty of outside space. The total sq m for the house is about 150, and just about 50 of that is outside, and this serves two purposes. It gives family - there’s a lot of local family - and visitors a place to congregate for chats, meals, and lounging about. At first we expect we’ll have a lot of local visitors.

The second purpose is privacy. There should be no need for throngs of people to be inside the house of there’s plenty of space outside.

Our balcony runs down the full length of the sunset facing side of the house, and long two-thirds of the front. There’s also a private balcony directly from the main bedroom, for when we really want to get away from it all.

The sunset balcony is 27 sq m. It’s big. And I think it’s going to be great, and most of our time will be spent there. As well as a few chairs and sofas we’re putting a 3 metre long table here. I can’t wait to eat food from our land watching the sun go down across the rice fields drinking wine from our vineyard. Ok, the last part is a stretch of the imagination but the rest will happen.

Our bedroom balcony faces east, and similarly grabbing a fresh coffee and watching the sun come up will become a habit we’ll enjoy.

So last night when we got photos showing the balconies were being built we couldn’t have been happier :)

Our own little balcony. We could probably have made it a little smaller and extended the bedroom. Never mind, we’ll survive.

A look at the bedroom and living room balconies.

In front of the kitchen we’ve got a little bench. The sunset balcony starts to the left of this picture.

Concrete finishing to the base of the house. We’ll be doing some heavy flower planting around there to make it look less stark. Everything is moving on a some skirting and trim finishes are happening inside too.

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