For those seeking to primp up their living spaces in time for spring, inspiration could be found at the 21st Seoul Living Design Fair recently held at Seoul’s Coex Convention Center.
Certain decorating trends stood out at the fair, which is currently Korea’s largest exhibition for interior and household-related brands.
“Scandinavian patterns, industrial vintage and French antique are among the most popular styles in Korea today,” said Kim Hyung-rak, manager of home interior store Urban In.
French-style interior at Grange (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)
Indeed, Swedish brand IKEA and Danish brand Hay were among the most crowded booths, with swarms of people admiring textiles, mugs and bowls with signature Nordic geometric shapes and clean-cut furniture. Others stood in long lines to order customized industrial-style steel cabinets. Eco-friendly materials were fused with digital devices for those seeking a modernized return to nature.
Here are some emerging designer brands that offer a range of creative, multifunctional items with distinct styles:
Affordable silkscreen artwork
At Zero per Zero Design, enlarged subway maps of worldwide cities were framed and hung on the wall as decorative pieces.
Silkscreen posters by Zero per Zero (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)
“We redesigned each subway map to represent the symbolic icon of each city,” said designer Kim Han-na. “For example, the Seoul map is shaped like the taegeuk mark on the Korean flag, and the Paris map is shaped like the Eiffel Tower.”
Colorful silkscreen posters were also popular among those wishing to incorporate art into their home at a budget.
“They’re more affordable than your average artwork, but they liven up the wall,” Kim said. “We get many sales requests from people who have seen our designs trending on social media.”
Compilation shop NNN also presented a series of silkscreen artwork ranging from 6,000 won to 150,000 won.
Wooden horns toot digital tunes
Wood studio MiW brought together the digital and the natural in its “Wood Horn,” a wooden speaker that plays music from smartphones. The phone’s music becomes amplified through the wooden hollows of each handcrafted horn, providing a “nostalgic experience” for those who “appreciate the analog sentiment” and “the sound of music reverberating through wood,” the pamphlet explained.
Wooden horn speakers by MiW woodworks (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)
Leestone displayed stone mattresses made of 10-millimeter-thin, lightweight rock, complete with a heating and cooling system and various health benefits.
“Unlike regular mattresses, stone mattresses eliminate the mess of dust or house mites,” said director Lee In-jae. “They may also help with sleep disorders, maintain body temperature and have chiropractic effects.”
Fashionable, functional fabrics
Inspired by Scandinavian designs, Little Scandi presented a range of “colorful, multifunctional fabrics that can be used both indoors and outdoors as towels, blankets, robes or decorative throws,” said CEO Uhm Sun-mee.
The fabrics are made of antibacterial and ultra-micro fiber material, making them much lighter than the average towel, nonirritating for the skin, and able to absorb a greater amount of liquid.
Those who favor the industrial look may opt for bare brick walls and exposed piping over your more polished embellishments.
Specializing in interior lighting, Gongan provides lights with rusty vintage piping and texturized metal, adding a stylish factory-like ambience to the home environment.
Industrial-style lighting at Gongan (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)
Furniture brand Rareraw adds a splash of fun to the average industrial look by encasing its tin chairs, cabinets and bins in colorful varnish, making for modern but playful decor.
By Rumy Doo (email@example.com)