Jim Thompson's Thai Silk & Mystery

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

While in Bangkok we were able to visit the beautiful home of Jim Thompson. The American born businessman, merchant, one-time spy, antiques collector, gardener, and designer was born in 1906 and worked as an architect in New York before heading to South East Asia during WWII. His fascination with Thai silk brought the material to the forefront of fashion and interior design in the 1950s and 1960s and his legacy continues with the lovely fabrics and furniture at Jim Thompson showrooms all over the country. 

He is credited with reviving the vibrant jewel toned colors so associated with Thai silk today and was an advocate for cottage industry as a way to help local communities thrive. His disappearance while on a walk in the Malaysian jungle in 1967 only adds to the mystique and drama of his amazing life! 

Thompson designed his home by combining six traditional teak Thai style houses into one complex and added elegant touches like Italian marble floors and Belgian crystal chandeliers - the fusion is so beautiful and I just loved the tropical breeziness and old world elegance his interiors captured! 

The gardens, also designed by Thompson were so lush and lovely! 

Thompson at work with local craftsmen {via}

Three fabrics from the modern Jim Thompson line - such rich color and pattern! From top: Eclipse silk-cotton blend; Solar silk-linen blend; and Crystalline silk fabric.

A Michel Smith living room featuring deep sofas in berry colored Jim Thompson silk {via Elle Decor} The slight sheen of the silk adds just enough glamour to the informal space.

Designer Miles Redd chose a vibrant aqua Jim Thompson silk for the curtains - I adore the combination of vibrancy and tradition here! {via Elle Decor}

Jim Thompson at home {via}

xo Allison

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