Staying at home the past few months may have highlighted the different space decor you need to update. Lately, our go-to source of interior design inspiration has been Korean apartment tours. South Korea’s officetels or studio flats push people to maximise their storage space, making their tips handy for those living in similar home situations. Those who live in loft apartments or one-bedroom flats also have their own space issues to tackle that you could probably relate to. So ahead, we’ve curated some refreshing Korean spaces you can get inspiration from for your home redecorating.
Korean apartments vary in the way the flats are arranged. The living room, for example, can be a dining-slash-living area. In other apartments, it could be this big spacious area that comfortably fits a couch and a centre table. American YouTuber Adrienne Hill, a former hagwon teacher, lucked out on this loft apartment in Busan. Her living room area is situated against huge windows that let sunlight stream through and brighten up her living room.
Decorating tip: Adjust your living room decor according to your interests and purposes. Adrienne, who prefers to work from her living area, kept the space minimally decorated with a plush blush pink sofa, a white centre table, her television, and some plants. If you’re using the living room/area as an entertainment and leisure space, then your couch and gaming systems will be the focal point of the room.
Kitchen and dining
Speaking of multi-purpose areas, the kitchen and dining area are often lumped into one nook of a Korean apartment. Counter space and cupboards are a luxury but some flats are quite generous. Ondo, a South Korean YouTuber, documents her days in a series of vlogs — including cooking her meals. Since this area of her home is frequently featured, she has her kitchen organised to a tee. She uses her dining table as her main working space when at home as well, since she has a lot of hobbies.
Decorating tip: When working with limited space, organisation and multi-purpose items are your saving grace. Use organisers and a movable cabinet to store your utensils if your cabinets aren’t enough. The cabinet can be another surface you can use to lessen the clutter on your kitchen counter.
Another unique feature of Korean apartments is the way the bathrooms are designed. Also called a “wet room”, you usually wouldn’t find a divider to separate the shower area from the rest of the bathroom. To address this, Nancy of Fancy Nancy TV keeps most of her items stored away, out of sight, so her officetel bathroom looks more spacious than it really is.
Decorating tip: Keep your bathroom essentials tidy inside the medicine cabinet. If you don’t have enough storage space, get some self-adhering shelves that you can stick on your wall. This leaves the bathroom floor clear and easy to clean.
Bedrooms in South Korea are quite endearing in their cosiness. For officetels, the limited space requires a single bed with storage underneath. Those with separate bedrooms are comfortably sized to allow for a mattress and closet. In loft apartments, like you could see in Suna Jung’s Korean apartment tour, the ceilings are often very low so you need to crouch down to move around. This encourages you to spend more time in the living area, where you can work, while the bedroom is left for sleeping at night.
Decorating tip: Also have low ceilings? Instead of a bedframe, use a lower frame or some wood slats to elevate your mattress. Then amp up the cosy vibe with soft bedding and pillows for a good night’s sleep.
For more home decor inspiration, here’s how Team Clozette’s desks are like while working from home.