Tucked away in trendy Thonglor is the luxurious Khun by YOO condominium, where 26-year-old teacher and administrative executive Mingkwan Pookayaporn has a compact but comfortable two-bedroom-two-bathroom unit. At just under 82 square metres, the part home/part studio may be small in terms of footprint but it is big on personality. 

“I bought the apartment from my mother and moved in last May,” Mingkwan says. “I have another property just around the corner in Sukhumvit 49 where my parents are also currently living. I appreciate how I can still be close to them yet have my own space here.”

The front entrance of the apartment opens to reveal a small living room with a lot going on. Looking at the minimalistic furniture, marbled surfaces and colourful canvasses propped up and scattered everywhere, it is clear that Mingkwan is creating an artistic oasis for herself. “I know it’s quite small,” the budding painter laughs, “but I find comfort in the size. It may have something to do with living in confined spaces such as dormitories during my high school years and pokey shared digs at university.” 

Well lit by natural light, the living and dining area have started to morph into a home studio, one with creature comforts immediately to hand. Mingkwan says, “I love the convenience of living in the middle of Thonglor. The location has everything you need and it’s so easily accessible that I sometimes don’t use my car for weeks.” With the area’s slightly bohemian feel reminding of the village-like atmosphere of parts of Paris, she adds, “There are sources of inspiration for an artist everywhere. Not to mention the ease of travelling to my office every day.” The office in question is at her family’s Sripatum University where she has worked as a teacher, director of procurement and assistant to the dean since earning her graduate degree in education from Boston University in 2017. 

Making our way through the living room, it is hard to miss the giant TV sitting atop a marble stand. “A friend at Inhome Furniture customised the stand for me, which is why I was able to design it to my liking and have it double as a mini bookshelf.” And it is clear that Mingkwan is an avid reader judging by the many Thai and English books that occupy the shelves and other surface of the home. In fact, Mingkwan was heavily involved in the design and decoration of the flat from the outset and recalls her enjoyment during the initial stages of decoration. “I can proudly call this space one hundred per cent my own because every piece of furniture, the wallpaper, the pieces of art, were chosen or created by me,” she says. “I moved in while Thailand was in its first lockdown and decorating became my quarantine hobby if you like. I had a good time and was kept well occupied.”