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What Is a Thai Style House?

Thai houses are often placed on stilts to protect them from flooding.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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A Thai style house is a beautiful way to bring Asian architecture into the home. Based on traditional building methods and design aesthetic from Thailand, a Thai style house is often a soothing and beautiful blend of natural materials and extensive decoration. There are several features that help identify a dwelling as a Thai style house, from building materials to the roof line.

Most traditional Thai houses are elevated off the ground on stilts to lower the risk of flooding from the frequent monsoons. During the rest of the year, this space may be used for storage or even sleeping quarters during especially hot months. Constructed almost entirely from wood, the focus of Thai style design is airflow and simplicity throughout. Many Thai houses incorporate open breezeways or rooms with removable walls or windows, in order to maximize the effect of rare breezes on persistent humidity.

In a Thai style house, several separate structures or sections may be connected by ramps and breezeways. Staircases are on the outside of the structure, rather than the internal versions seen in most Western design. The division of rooms helps keep a house organized and simple, in keeping with aesthetic ideals. Some houses may be quite large and perfect for multi-family dwellings, thanks to multiple living spaces and separated structures.

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Construction of a Thai house uses mostly wood, traditionally focusing on teak or other readily available tropical woods. Roofs are steep, to facilitate airflow, and are decorated with curving edges and high, pointed peaks. Highly detailed wood carving is frequent throughout many Thai houses; doors, windows, shutters, and even wall panels may be heavily carved into scenes and motifs.

The interior design of a Thai style house usually features Asian inspired furnishings and ornamentation. Carved wooden furniture is accented by bright, beautiful cushions in jewel tones. Though walls are usually plain dark wood, the incorporation of large windows and open air spaces keeps rooms bright and full of light. A natural environment is accented by the use of stone and greenery; tropical indoor plants are very common and bring even more nature indoors.

Artwork and statuary may be an important part of the interior design of a Thai style house. With several major religions practiced in Thailand, many statues and works of art depict religious figures or scenes from famous myths and stories. Carved wood panels, wooden accented lamps, and even rattan furniture can be used to accent and highlight Thai design.

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Discuss this Article

summing
Post 3

I grew up in a fairly small town in the country in Missouri. The town had about 5,000 people and most of them lived in totally normal wood and brick homes, exactly the kind that you would expect to see in the middle of the country.

There was one guy that was known around town as the local eccentric. He was weird for lots of reasons, but the most visible was that he had a Thai style house built in our town. It was constructed by local builders according to plans that this guy had had special ordered. The house stood out like a sore thumb but the man insisted that it was the most beautiful kind of house and his long time dream to live in one.

He still lives there and people actually go out of their way to stop by and see his house. Its kind of strange but I'm glad that he built it. It gives an otherwise unremarkable place some real character.

Sara007
Post 2

What are the easiest ways to bring elements of a Thai style house into your own home project if you can't go all out and just build a Thai home?

I have been looking at Thai house designs plans and they all seem too involved. The amount of renovation required to get a true Thai home look would be pretty costly. Do you think it might be a good idea to just incorporate something like the teak wood floors, or perhaps go with the large and open style doors and windows? I really want to get the Thai look when I build my own home, but at an affordable cost.

wander
Post 1

Thai style houses are gorgeous in my opinion, and I really love the workmanship that goes into crafting the woodwork. I have been to Thailand quite a few times, and I usually choose hotels that emulate the Thai style houses because I love the clean lines of the wood and arched roofs.

One of the things that I notice about Thai homes as that they generally use a lot of intricate carvings to draw your eye to main features of the home. I love how the bedrooms I have stayed in have had some pretty fantastic elephant carvings over the headboards. It really makes you appreciate the fine details in the homes.

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