Treasures of the 'Skog'
It's Swedish for 'forest', and the great furniture on sale is matched by tasty meals
Tucked away in Soi Chaeng Wattana-Pak Kred 19, Skog Studio & Cafe is where Udom Ruangpaisitporn and Kanjanaporn Chaiviriyanont merge their passions - good coffee and furniture design. There is no surprise if a visitor stops by for a cup of coffee and returns home with a chair, a stool or a table.
The first floor is a cafe decorated in a clean and uncluttered look with their own furniture, sold under the brand Skog, which means "forest" in Swedish.
Upstairs is a showroom of their products made from strong oak, teak, ash and rubber wood. There was never any notion of getting funky or fancy with the furnishings. Each piece retains the natural tones to allow the true beauty of the wood to show through.
They both graduated from Silpakorn University. Kanjanaporn was a decorative-arts graduate while Udom studied the fine arts. They used to work in an animation unit of Kantana Studio. Kanjanaporn opened a small cafe next to her home in Worachak area and is a freelance illustrator for children's books.
"I needed furniture with minimalism and natural materials for my cafe and Udom, who at that time was a freelance designer, came to help. He designed a chair, a table and a cabinet for the cafe, but many pieces attracted customers. We came up with the idea to build up our own furniture brand and relocated here six months ago to have a spacious area for both working and the cafe," says Kanjanaporn.
Adorned remarkably in the cafe is a set of wooden stools titled Sho Sho, whose backrests are upholstered with fabrics in exquisite portraits of Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh and Albert Einstein.
"The form of Sho Sho set is inspired by a retro television. The backrest acts like a screen because you can change the pattern of the fabric upholstery to create a look specialised to your own taste, the same way as you change the television channel," says Kanjanaporn. "The possibilities are endless, depending on the style you prefer and ambience you wish to achieve."
Who are your inspirational persons? You can choose among drawn portraits of famous people from hundreds in a catalogue - the Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, Bruce Lee, Frida Kahlo, Michael Jackson, Mr Bean and more. Flora and fauna are also provided to make your space sweet and romantic, while Udom creates patterns of green fields, cloudy skies and black-and-white high-rise buildings in a big city.
"You can have your own portrait or your preferred pictures and photos on the backrests and seats too. We can recommend our illustration-caricature friends, who can tailor the style you need, but we let you deal with them directly to get the desired result and cost. We just charge an extra Bt1,000 for the digital print of your picture," says Udom.
Making the pieces multifunctional is also important when designing for urbanites living in compact spaces. A perfect combination of form and function is needed, and Combi combines a chair and a side table in one piece. Another interesting piece is a table for two titled You & Me - each has its own compact space for working.
With an idea to turn found objects into functional product, the couple uses a sticky rice bamboo basket for the desk lamp Mr Reader. The structure is made from rubber wood while the weaving bamboo basket is a lampshade. You can just the lamp direction in 360 degree and the lampshade is removable.
INTO THE WOODS
Skog Studio & Cafe is on Soi Chaeng Wattana-Pak Kred 19 of Chaeng Wattana Road. It's open daily (except Thursday) from 11am to 7pm. Call (086) 561 9000 or check out "Skog,character furniture" page on Facebook.