Calm, Cool & Classic Style in Central Vietnam

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Many folks are moving out of Manhattan, NY these days, so I’ve heard. Some retreat to Brooklyn or Philadelphia, some escape all the way to the West Coast. Last year, Linh Nguyen and Craig Theisen decided to head for the coast, too — the coast of Vietnam!

The two first met at Columbia University, where Linh was studying under a Fulbright scholarship and Craig was completing a Master’s program in social work. Linh, a native Vietnamese from a small town outside Hanoi, had always known she’d return to Vietnam one day. Craig, who had traveled to more than 40 countries with the U.S. Air Force, was happy to join her. After eight years together in Manhattan, they packed their things and settled in Hoi An, a small gem on the central coast, famous for its picturesque streets lined with trees, lanterns, and artisanal shops.

The transition from Manhattan to Hoi An took some getting used to, especially without central air conditioning (the average high temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit!). Their home, built in 2014, includes traditional Vietnamese interior elements designed to beat the heat. Marble floors are always cold to the touch and a great place for a midday nap. During the day, bamboo blinds block out the sun, but in the evening, the oversize windows and doors are thrown open to let in the cool ocean breeze. Solid wooden chairs in the living room are easy to clean, and stay cool against sweat and humidity.

To break up the swaths of hard surfaces, Linh and Craig introduced tropical plants, woven floor mats, and colorful wall hangings and seat cushions. The result is an oasis that feels relaxed and refreshing. —Hanh

Photography by Linh Nguyen

  1. Amanda says:

    Bali is the closest I’ve been to Vietnam, and the styles look so similar to my eye. Just flipping through the photos I could hear the distant sound of Balinese music and smell the flowers that were everywhere. Ah, thank you for that moment.

  2. Caroline says:

    Hey ladies, Hoi An is outside Danang. Or if you are looking for a bigger city, an over night train ride from Ho Chi Min City/Saigon. Definitely not a small town outside Hanoi.

    1. Lu says:

      Hi Caroline. The article says that Hoi An is a small gem on the central coast and Linh, not Hoi An, is from a small town outside Hanoi.

    2. Esme says:

      Caroline, I don’t believe they were claiming Hoi An is near Hanoi, but that one of the homeowners was originally from a town near Hanoi

  3. madlyn says:

    Beautiful home and life style. I hope to visit Vietmam and perhaps learn to make one of those beautiful mats!

  4. lyndsay says:

    Beautiful! I love to see the different homesteads and styles from other countries. This clean natural vibe is so inspiring!

  5. Beautiful home in a nice setting. I love Vietnamese food so yummy with lots of fresh ingredients!

  6. Dean Sig says:

    i always thought of Vietnam being shanty houses which i admit is a bit silly but anyway that looks like a very impressive home – my boss has an apartment out there and its so much cheaper for a glamorous lifestyle than in the UK!

  7. Carlita says:

    Lovely + serene. Now I must visit Vietnam.

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