Phuket Property: Drifting along the right track

PHUKET: Drift Interiors is an up and coming design company based out of a stylish Sino-Portuguese town house on Krabi Road in Phuket Town.

Creative Director Craig Paterson and his Creative Partner Khun Yoo have worked their
artistic flair on a number of projects ranging from resorts to residential villas on Phuket. Craig spoke to the Phuket Gazette.

Phuket Gazette: What is the main market you design for?

Craig Patterson: After the success of the Village I have had experience in commercial retail and residential. The real difficulty here is getting people to understand what you do. We will design for anything as long as there is a purpose towards it.

When you do a project do you have a recurrent theme?
People on Phuket like to use distressed wood for their projects, but at the end of the day it really comes down to the client, and how they work their own briefs and how they approach me. If they want a modern project, how modern? If they want a traditional Thai project, how traditional? My goal is to help the client with a return on what they come to me with. The brief from the client is very important and that helps me understand what they want. And as you can imagine this differs from project to project.

What is the first thing you consider when a client comes to you?
It is very important that a client understands their expectations and their budget. Everyone asks me about the “wow” factor, but the “wow” factor comes at a cost that some people don’t understand. It helps me a lot if the client has been through the design process before and knows what they are doing. A difficult thing about designing something is that people will make a change to it that has a knock-on effect to the whole package.

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This means one of the most important things to do in a design project is to have a concept that you can go back to. The concept should be bulletproof from the beginning, and the client should understand it. The strength of the concept is very important. The key is weighing up the level of expectation and what the budget is.

Where do you source your materials from?
I spend time traveling around Thailand and Indonesia. Indonesia is a great place to find materials. I like to look for the detail in furniture and the product. Nature is one of the best sources for inspiration. In general, I feel there are good materials in Phuket but they are a bit pricey, which is why I look to Chiang Mai for my furniture.

How do you integrate green design?
Green architecture to me is like organic food. Who is to tell you that this tomato is not organic? Who tells you that this sun lounger is not green? The main idea is to drop the cost of energy.

This can be done by solar power and in a number of other ways. A good example of green design is if you use the correct teak and get it from the right plantation and you understand they are replanting and not using young plants. In order to know this, you have to do the research. But the need for the materials comes from the client.

Do you have a signature style of design?
What I like to do is an amalgamation of old meets new, which allows me to add a rustic and modern touch. In marrying these things together is where the designer shows his skill.

What projects are you working on now?
Just about to finish a Lebanese bakery called Bread in Patong; Bangkok Burger Company in Bangla Road; we have done a lot of work with Absolute World and we continue to work with the Village.

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— Andrew Scott

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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