Traditional Laotian Homes Get a Second Life

Plans for some land beside the Mekong River changed when Steven Schipani of Bay Shore, New York, and his fiancée, Veomanee, decided to get married. For some time Ms. Veomanee, who, like many in Laos, just uses one name, had intended to use the land for a hotel and spa. But in 2006, with their wedding on the horizon, the couple decided to build a house on the 1.2 acres in the village of Xang Khong in northern Laos.
They both felt that their home should have modern comforts but also reflect local architectural styles. The couple looked around for traditional building materials, and discovered that three families in two nearby villages were planning to discard old homes made from ……

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