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10 Korean Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures)

red sofa on a pink room

In the states, Korean design isn’t terribly popular. However, as minimalism evolves and grows, more and more people are turning to Korean interior design to make their homes feel unique and an extension of their personality.

There are tons of different Korean design ideas that you can add to your home’s current design. Of course, you can also go all-in with this style, though that is harder to do if you are already living in your home.

Either way, here are our favorite design tips from the Korean world.

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The Top 10 Korean Interior Design Ideas

1. Retro Objects

While you don’t typically think of retro items as Korean design, it isn’t odd to see older pieces in a Korean-designed home. For instance, older radios with turning knobs and vinyl record players all work well in this regard. You want to draw a connection to the past.

Of course, the best pieces are those that are retro and practical. Therefore, we don’t recommend just grabbing whatever old, broken item you can find. Instead, choose something that you’ll use that also works well with the space.

If you have antiques that were passed down to you, these work well. However, you can also purchase new pieces. It is no longer all that difficult to find many antique pieces.


2. Plants

There are many design styles that utilize plants, including Korean. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what plants you choose. Just use them to add tons of green to your home. Use the plants as spotlight pieces or to cover up parts of your home that you just don’t like.

If you’re renting, plants are an easy way to decorate your home without making any significant changes.

If you are new to house plants, choose larger succulents that don’t require much care. You may also want to download a plant app that helps you remember to water and care for your plants.

Be sure to layer plants, as well. You can use a few tall plants and several smaller plants to make the space feel alive and lived in. This is a version of maximalism, which works great if you tend to have a cluttered space (as what often happens in small apartments or homes with kids).


3. Floor Tables

Asian-style furniture tends to be very close to the floor, unlike most Western-style furniture. One common piece of Korean furniture you may want to consider is floor tables. These little tables are designed to be used while sitting on your floor. They work well when paired with a floor chair.

We particularly like these tables for smaller areas. They don’t take as much room as larger tables, making them a good choice for apartments. Plus, they tend to be cheaper than full-sized tables, as well.


4. Exposed Lightbulbs

Exposed lightbulbs provide a homey feel that the Korean style is attempting to create. When paired with the other ideas we’ve mentioned, they can make your space feel light and simple. There are also tons of options in this style, as it is becoming more popular.

Simple, exposed bulbs are often very cheap when compared to other lighting options. They also produce more mood lighting, as they don’t have a cover to help disperse the light. Choose warm-light bulbs for this purpose.

You can use blubs to create an interesting, industrial vibe, as well. You can hang lights from the ceiling above eye level for extra décor. Use string lights in apartments for extra lighting.


5. Odd Mirrors

Furthermore, you can also use odd-shaped mirrors to add some interest to the space while also remaining minimalist. Mirrors work very well in small spaces, as the reflected light can make the room appear bigger. Think of wavy mirrors, pentagons, and other wacky shapes.

Use these mirrors carefully across your home to add another dimension to your style.


6. Origami

Origami can be used to decorate your space and give it a Korean vibe. Origami lamps and wall hangings are the most common. However, you can find a huge range of options out there. While you don’t necessarily want to go too wacky or huge, small Origami decorations here and there can add some character to the Korean style, which can get a bit sterile if you aren’t careful.


7. Faux Fireplaces

For one reason or another, faux fireplaces are extremely common in Korean styles. You don’t even have to pretend like it is a real fireplace. Many people in Korea stack books and pictures inside these fake fireplaces, making them appear obviously not real.

This is a very unique piece of Korean décor that you’ll probably want to use if you’re heading all-in with this style. However, you can also use the idea to add some extra style to just about any home.


8. Camping

Strangely enough, many Korean-style rooms feature a lot of camping décor. You’ll find camping-like chairs, picnic baskets, and similar camping décor inside many Korean homes. During the COVID pandemic, this became even more popular, as outdoor activities became discouraged. Therefore, home camping set-ups are quite common.

While you probably don’t want to set up a whole tent inside your home, you may want to add an interesting picnic basket or some camping-style chairs. Nicer camping furniture works well, too, especially considering that it is often easier to clean and take care of.


9. Wicker Furniture

While indoor wicker furniture isn’t all that common in the western world, it is very common in Korea. Most homes have at least one piece of wicker furniture or lighting fixture. Luckily, these furniture styles are becoming more popular in the states, so you can now find lots of different options to choose from.

Plus, rattan furniture is extremely durable and easier to take care of. It also works well with many of the other design features we’ve mentioned thus far. The earthly brown color often complements the white décor style that many Korean homes have.


10. Neutral and Pastel Colors

Usually, Korean-style homes use neutral color palettes. You don’t find a lot of color in these homes. When you do, it is usually pastel and very dull, as they aren’t known for having very colorful designs. Often, the only large amounts of colors come from plants, which is why we particularly recommend investing in a few solid plants.

This neutral color theme works well with many of the other design elements we’ve mentioned, which is why we recommend it for those going all-in with Korean décor.

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Conclusion

Korean-style décor isn’t terribly popular in the United States. However, this simple style works great in smaller spaces and for those in apartments. It also creates a very laidback space that is easier to take care of than other décor styles.

Plus, this style is a mix between minimalism and maximalism, which fits most people’s sensibilities. It usually features very few design elements and clutter. However, many Korean homes use lots of plants. Therefore, you can easily adapt the style to fit your needs.


Featured Image Credit: Stephanie Hau, Unsplash

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