From now on, you can find me in The Dog House. Working from home has its challenges. So for the past few months I’ve had the builders down on Anarchy Farm, where the lush landscapes of Thailand meet innovative Nordic design in a unique fusion of work, relaxation, and nature.

Nestled behind the main farmhouse, ‘The Dog House’ is not your average office space—it’s a two-story marvel that doubles as a man cave and boasts an independent access point right off the public road.

Tropical Gardening - Thinglish Lifestyle

In this post, I’m excited to take you on a virtual tour of The Dog House, highlighting not just its functional and stylish interior but also the breath-taking new tropical garden that envelops it, or at least it will be when it grows and fills out.

Whether you’re a fan of sleek design, need some inspiration for blending work and leisure, you’re simply curious about tropical gardening, or what follies expats in rural Thailand get up to, there’s something here for everyone.

Join me as we explore every nook and cranny of this special spot on Anarchy Farm. Grab a cuppa tea, settle in, and let’s get started!

The Inspiration Behind The Dog House

When I first envisioned The Dog House, I were drawn to the simplicity and functionality of Nordic design—a style that blends seamlessly with nature while maintaining a sleek, modern, minimalist aesthetic. This was the perfect choice for a space that had to serve dual purposes: a productive office area by day and a relaxing retreat by night.

Why call it ‘The Dog House?’ Well, in a playful nod to its dual nature, the name reflects a place where I can escape the daily grind, maybe hide away when in trouble (just kidding!), or simply kick back in style.

My wife Katae wasn’t aware of the phrase “in the doghouse‘, and thought I’d lost the plot and was actually building an oversized kennel for our hounds. But no, it’s a spot that’s as serious about work as it is about relaxation, embodying the spirit of ‘work hard, play hard’.

Designing The Dog House was an adventure from the start. I aimed to create a space that felt both inviting and functional, drawing inspiration from the breath-taking views of our farm and incorporating elements that would make guests feel right at home. This meant selecting materials that were not only beautiful but also durable and suited to the Thai climate.

The large windows are a standout feature, flooding the space with natural light and making every day inside as bright as the lush greenery outside.

The process wasn’t without its challenges, of course. Balancing aesthetics with functionality, especially in Thailand’s tropical climate, required some clever tweaks and compromises. However, every step of the journey was worth it as we watched The Dog House transform from a concept on paper into the awesome reality it is today.

A Detailed Tour of the Ground Floor

Lazy boy reclining chair

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Welcome to the ground floor of The Dog House—where every element is designed with productivity and comfort in mind.

As soon as you kick of your flip-flops and step inside, you’re greeted by a spacious office area that doubles as a creative sanctuary. Whether I’m drafting this blog post, planning my next big project, or just catching up on emails, the environment is set to keep my creative juices flowing without interruptions.

The office space is thoughtfully laid out to maximise both function and style. I’ve chosen quality furniishings that not only look good, but feels great to work at for hours.

Ergonomic office desk and chair

The ergonomic chair and spacious levelling desk ensure comfort, while the custom shelving/cupboard keeps essential books and gadgets within easy reach, reducing clutter and maintaining a sense of Nordic minimalism. I also got a local craftsman to make an infinity cube table and another fine fellow to make leather handles for the wet room sliding barn door. Both came out great and add a little originality to the interior.

Leather craft door handle

I also invested in a lazy-boy reclining chair where I can relax and plan my next moves quietly and comfortably.

Just off the main workspace, there’s a cosy kitchenette. It’s equipped with wine storage, a compact fridge, a kettle, and more than enough counter space to fix a quick lunch or a refreshing drink. The convenience of having a kitchenette within the office means no more interruptions to my workflow when my big dog, Cobain and I need refreshments.

Adjacent to the kitchenette, you’ll find the wet-room, an absolute necessity here in the tropics. It’s not just functional but also a little oasis where I can refresh myself after a stint in the tropical garden or before heading home after a long day’s work on the farm.

I made sure it’s equipped with a powerful shower and Japanese style toilet that incorporates a hand bowl to recycle water. This also saves on space and is easy to clean, keeping everything practical yet stylish.

The entire ground floor is about blending utility with aesthetics. With high ceilings and floor dimension of 7.2m x 3.6m, we’ve managed to create a space that feels open yet intimate, perfect for both concentrated work sessions and entertaining.

Large windows to the front invite the outside in, offering serene views of the surrounding garden and filling the room with natural light, which energises the space throughout the day. Smaller windows allow good airflow in and also double as a hide to observe the wildlife in the garden at close quarters.

Next, we’ll take the stairs up to the mezzanine level, where relaxation and leisure take centre stage. Prepare to be transported to a lounge area designed for unwinding and soaking in the beauty of Anarchy Farm’s orchards canopy.

Discovering the Upper Floor Mezzanine

Cobain in the Dog House

As we ascend to the upper floor of The Dog House by the staircase constructed using local hard wood, you’ll notice a distinct shift in ambiance. Here, the mezzanine level serves as the ultimate lounge area, designed for relaxation and soaking in the spectacular views of the fruit orchard that stretch out beneath us to the horizon.

This loft-style space is all about comfort and leisure. Furnished with plush sofas and soft, inviting throw pillows, it’s the perfect spot to recline with a good book, cuppa tea or engage in quiet contemplation.

The open layout encourages a sense of freedom and creativity, making it an ideal place to crash or for casual meetups that don’t feel like meetings at all.

What really sets this area apart are the large floor to ceiling windows that frame the lush scenery outside. Whether it’s the golden hues of a sunset or the vibrant greens of the midday, the changing views are always a focal point and provide a beautiful backdrop to every activity up here. It’s not just visually appealing; the connection to nature can be incredibly rejuvenating, especially after hours spent working downstairs.

In addition to relaxation, this space is equipped with a few entertainment options. A compact sound system allows for music to fill the air, creating whatever mood suits the moment, from classic rock to calming lo-fi beats.

It’s a space that adapts to your needs, whether you’re up here to unwind alone or host friends for a laid-back evening.

Next, let’s step outside and take a stroll through the newly landscaped garden that surrounds The Dog House. Prepare to be enveloped in a tropical paradise that complements the indoor tranquillity with its vibrant plant life and meandering paths.

The Lush Exterior and Garden Design

Tropical gardening ideas

Stepping outside The Dog House, you’ll enter a world where lush greenery and tropical splendour take centre stage. The tropical garden surrounding this Nordic-style retreat is not just a visual treat but a carefully crafted space that complements the structure’s minimalist aesthetics while embracing the wild beauty of Thailand.

As you wander through the newly created tropical garden, the first thing you’ll notice is the array of winding paths that invite exploration.

These paths are not only functional but are designed to guide you through diverse landscaping elements, each turn and corner presenting a delightful surprise. Whether it’s a secluded seat under the shade of a mango tree or a vibrant splash of tropical flowers, each element is positioned to enhance the experience of connection with nature.

Central to the garden’s design are the raised vegetable beds. These are not just practical for our sustainable living goals but also add a structured, yet organic feel to the garden. You can see a variety of vegetables and herbs thriving, all of which contribute to the farmhouse beside The Dog House and Thinglish Kitchen restaurant close by.

Among the highlights are the rare tropical fruit trees dotted around the property. These aren’t just chosen for their yield but for their exotic presence, adding both aesthetic and functional value to the garden.

From the intriguing shapes of dragon fruit cacti, the lush foliage of banana plants, and the rare chocolate pudding fruit – black sapote, each tree is a testament to the farm’s commitment to biodiversity and ecological beauty.

The garden also features several spots designed for relaxation and contemplation. Imagine sitting by a small water feature, listening to the gentle splash of water, or reclining in a hammock strung between two trees, swaying gently as you breathe in the fragrant air filled with the scent of blooming flowers and earth after rain.

This tropical paradise is not just a feast for the eyes but also a sanctuary for the soul, offering peace and a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It reflects our philosophy at Anarchy Farm—blending functionality with beauty, and work with nature.

Integrating Work, Leisure, and Nature

Tiny House Kitchenette

At The Dog House on Anarchy Farm, we’ve embraced a philosophy that intertwines work, leisure, and nature into a harmonious lifestyle. This unique blend is not just about physical space but also about how these elements influence our daily activities and overall well-being.

The seamless integration starts with the structural design of The Dog House. The ground floor, dedicated to work, is crafted to maximise productivity in a comfortable environment.

It’s a place where creativity can flourish, supported by the tranquil views and easy access to the kitchenette and wet-room, which streamline the day and minimise distractions.

Moving upstairs, the leisure space on the mezzanine invites relaxation and provides a change of pace and scenery. It’s here that the boundary between indoors and outdoors begins to blur, with large windows pulling the outside in.

This level is not only a spot for unwinding but also serves as a creative retreat where ideas can simmer and gestate away from the more structured work environment below. It’s also perfect for an afternoon nap!

Outside, the garden is a testament to the integration of work and leisure with nature.

The winding paths from the farmhouse and into the farm with varied plantings and micro-climates encourage spontaneous breaks and walks, offering a physical detachment from work that refreshes the mind and spirit.

The raised beds and fruit trees not only beautify the space but also provide practical outputs that contribute back to the farm’s needs.

Here at The Dog House, it’s all about balance. Work does not feel burdensome when you can look out over a tropical garden or take a tea break surrounded by nature.

Leisure is all the more satisfying when it’s earned and can be enjoyed in such inspiring surroundings. This setup fosters a cycle of productivity and relaxation that feeds back into itself, enhancing both mental and physical health.

The feedback from visitors and our own experiences continue to shape how we evolve this space. Each addition or modification is aimed at strengthening this integration, ensuring that The Dog House remains a beacon of balanced living.

The Dog House was designed primarily as a man-cave but also with the option to easily change it to an Airbnb in the future if needed to provide an additional rental income for the farm.

In our concluding section, we will reflect on the journey of creating The Dog House and how it stands as a symbol of our values at Anarchy Farm. We’ll also look ahead to future projects and enhancements that will continue to build on this foundation of integrated living.

Future Enhancements and Community Engagement

Eaves Pattern

As we continue to evolve and grow here at Anarchy Farm, The Dog House remains at the heart of our journey, symbolising our commitment to a lifestyle that harmoniously blends work, leisure, and nature.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the potential to further enhance this unique space, ensuring it continues to inspire and serve as a model for sustainable living.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are considering several enhancements to The Dog House and its surroundings. These include expanding the garden to include more native plants and sustainable agriculture practices, thus enriching our local ecosystem even further.

Additionally, we’re exploring the possibility of adding more eco-friendly features to the building itself, such as solar panels (a new system is being installed as I write this article) and drip irrigation systems for the garden, to minimise our environmental footprint and save time watering.

Community engagement is also a cornerstone of our future plans. We believe that sharing knowledge and experiences can magnify the impact of our efforts.

To this end, we are planning to host workshops and events focused on sustainable living and organic farming, inviting both local residents and international visitors to learn, share, and grow together. These interactions not only enrich our community but also provide invaluable feedback that shapes our future projects.

Your thoughts and suggestions are vital to us. We encourage you to share your ideas or experiences with similar projects in the comments below. Whether it’s feedback about our current setup or ideas for future initiatives, like Noddy’s best friend, we’re all ears.

Engaging with a community of like-minded individuals not only broadens our perspective but also strengthens the bonds within our community.

In conclusion, The Dog House is more than just a folly or another building on the farm; it’s a dynamic space that reflects our ideals and aspirations.

It stands as a testament to what can be achieved when we strive to integrate our work and personal lives with the natural world. We hope this journey inspires you as much as it continues to inspire us every day at Anarchy Farm.

Infinity Cube Table and Ponytail Palm in a red pot

 

How Much Did The Dog House Cost to Build?

This is the question everybody wants the answer too. To find out how much I spent building The Dog House in Thailand you’ll have to watch our video here (coming soon). I break down all the costs and much more on the Thinglish Lifestyle YouTube channel. Subscribe and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss it when it drops.

Thank you for joining us on this literary tour of The Dog House. We look forward to your insights, and the opportunity to grow together in this beautiful, shared environment.

In The Dog House

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