10 minimalist and sophisticated Korean-style home decor inspirations

12 October 2016


When it comes to home decorating, in addition to the notable and ever trendy theme of minimalism, South Korean home décor tends to pay more homage to its traditions in comparison to their European and North American counterparts.

While certain Asian cultures tend to emphasis on furniture arrangement to encourage the flow of ‘energy’, based on the Chinese philosophical system of feng shui, we note in some of our home design shows that South Koreans tend to incorporate their traditions by drawing inspiration from traditional aesthetics as well as the theory of sophisticated and contemporary design to achieve utmost comfort and tidiness for their homes.

The Koreans’ major take on minimalism and sophistication is a celebration of natural light, minimal use of colour and furniture, optimal use of small space, use of traditional Korean architectural as well as the use of natural wood.

This kind of approach is especially perfect for those with small spaces, as the minimal use of colours and visible objects makes the space appear bigger than it actually is. Take a cue from these 10 spaces for your home, whether you live in a small apartment or a big house:

Living room


Include only the necessary furniture in your living room to achieve the minimalist look with no more than 10 pieces of item for decoration. Stay with cool and neutral colours, and make sure the room has plenty of natural light, ideally coming through large windows, softened by sheer curtains.

See also: Home tour - Ramesh Subramaniam, global design director, M Moser



Again, aim for natural light through large windows. Use a combination of cool and neutral colours for your kitchen with a minimum number of wall lights. Stow away your kitchen accessories and leave only a few pieces for decoration.

Laundry room


To achieve the minimalist look, try to stick to five things or less in your laundry room: laundry basket, washing machine, cabinet, ironing board and sink. As always, the room should be in a neutral or cool colour and opt for as much natural light as possible. Just like your laundry, keep the room neat and tidy.

Dining room


A minimal use of furniture and lighting as well as the use of wood flooring is at play here, with stunning injection of the traditional Korean architectural element, the Korean sliding doors that grace the entire dining room. Take it up a notch by adding paper lanterns and scenery wallpaper.

Storeroom / Attic


Transform your storeroom or attic into a cool hiding place by adding a few accessories like pillows and a small rack.

Home office / Study room


Your desk should be near the windows to get natural light. Throw in a few necessary furniture and decorations.

Related: 10 inspiring home office spaces



Make sure your stairs (whether tiled or wooden — in neutral or cool colours, of course) serve its basic purpose: for people to conveniently going up and down the house. In short, keep it neat and don’t place any decoration on the stairs — no matter how trendy that item may be!



A corridor or hallway with the most amount of natural light is the best. To keep a minimalist look, stick to three items or less for decoration. Try opting for a small wall frame or medium-sized potted plants.

Note: Can you spot the “It” plant of the year?



Include only the necessary furniture, such as bed, dressing table, and several items for decoration. Your bedroom should also be in neutral or cool colours such as greys, blues and purples.



The perfect minimalist and sophisticated look can easily be achieved through the use of white tiles.

Related: 5 ways to get started on minimalism

See also: 5 Korean beauty tips for flawless skin

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Written by Dayana Sobri

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