August 26, 2012 00:00
By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
Young folks setting up house will love the RoomConceptStore at the Siam Discovery Centre
A shop full of cool gear and a tempting cafe to boot, the RoomConceptStore at the Siam Discovery Centre has an interesting history. It was a success story that got stalled. Now it’s a success again.
Entrepreneur Patinya Kuantrakul and architect Duangrit Bunnag opened Roominteriorproducts in 2001 to sell home furnishing imported from Australia, as the sole franchise in Thailand. It was a hit with high-end shoppers – until the supplier went bust.
That’s when Patinya’s older sister Onnapa Kuantrakul took over and put her own experience to work bringing in goods from many countries. On sale at the 300-square-metre RoomConceptStore, they’re the sort of items that appeal to the younger crowd.
Onnapa’s daughter Amanda Tonavanik, a Chulalongkorn University architecture grad, is in charge, welcoming customers into the minimalist-design shop with
its huge spotlights on the ceiling.
“We set it out so it’s friendly and comfy,” says deputy managing director Tanapon Saereedeelert. “We want to change Thai shoppers’ perception about original-design products. The price might sometimes be high, but that’s because the designers spend a long time on these items.”
The home decor, kitchenware, IT gadgets and stationery are created by new-wave designers for popular brands from Taiwan, Denmark and Spain, as well as Thailand.
“We focus on labels that are popular in Asia, trendy products from more than 10 brands,” managing director Amanda Tonavanik points out. “Everything is quite functional, modern and reasonably priced. We encourage young local designers by giving them a budget to develop their ideas and put them into production.”
Housewives will love the attractive Balvi kitchenware from Spain and Invotis products from Denmark. There are cute glasses
holders that have a moustache and red mouth, plus ashtrays, wine-bottle holders, human-shaped salt and pepper shakers, shot glasses, wine stoppers, coolers and cutlery.
Carbon and Urban Prefer of Taiwan offers eye-catching stationery to pep up the office. Yellow-and-black iPhone cases have slots where you insert a coin
to create an upright stand. And check out the pencil boxes and staplers in geometric forms, the silicone table clocks and the erasable luggage tags.
Thailand’s No Mad and Ardel Gallery also have cases for iPhones, iPads and regular cameras made from genuine leather. M No’s ceramic jars have walnut lids, and Tree Square presents lightweight yet durable fibreglass flowerpots.
Then there’s Be Jeweled, a selection of cute earphone-jack protectors adorned with gems and coated with black rhodium and
pink gold. And Eleph’s foldable tote bags, ceramic mugs and elephant slippers, and Chacolane’s handmade wooden furniture.
The cafe corner serves aromatic coffee and homemade cupcakes.
<< The Roomconceptstore is on the fourth floor of the Siam Discovery Centre and open daily from 10am to 9pm.
<< Find out more at (02) 658 0410-1 and the “RoomConceptStore” page on Facebook.