When you think of houses in Seoul, the first thing you think about are skyscrapers. That is not always the case for houses. There are many different types of houses in Korea. This is because the different areas of the city (if we talk about Seoul) developed in different moments during Korea’s economic boom. I noticed this very clearly while watching the Korean TV series “My Mister”.
If you’ve watched this kdrama, these are the houses that you can keep an eye out for.
“도준영 Do Jun-yeong’s” Home has lots of designer funiture which is becoming very popular among Korean.
“박동훈 Park Dong-hoon’s” Home has normal and common Korean family house.
“ 박상훈,박기훈 Park Sang-hoon and Park Gì-hoon’s” Home, an old style apartment in Korea.
“최유라 Chui Yu-ra’s” Home, which is the studio also common for 1 person in Seoul.
“이지안 Lee Ji-an’s” Home, which is sadly a poor person’s house.
That said, what are 5 things that never miss in a korean home?
These 5 things are common in korean homes, however are very difficult to spot in the average western house.
1.The Kimchi refrigerator
If you have friends or family in Korea, and you’ve visited them I’m sure you’ve seen this before. At first I’m sure you found yourself asking why do they have 2 fridges? Well that’s simple, one of them is for kimchi of course!
Kimchi fridges come in an vast array of sizes. You’ll see small ones but also full sized ones that look just like an ordinary fridge. Kimchi is a key ingredient in Korean cuisine and it is used as a pickle when served as a side dish to the main serving but it is also the main ingredient for many stews or stir fried rice dishes. To be preserved to perfection it need a different type of cooling compared with ordinary fridges. Probably it’s Korea’s most famous food.
Kimchi refrigerators are advantageous for storing ingredients because they have better temperature stability than general refrigerators. Unlike a refrigerator (indirect cooling) that maintains temperature through cold air, it uses a direct cooling method that keeps the storage room itself cold.
In my parents-in-law’s house, It’s easy to see not only kimchi in this fridge, but also beer, beverages, and watermelon are stored in the Kimchi refrigerator.
2. Rice cooker
Just as bread is the basic food in the West, rice is the equivalent food in Asia. In Korea, rice is essential for every meal and it never, ever, misses on the dining table on the side of the main dish be it stew or grilled meat.
After cooking the rice in the morning with rice cooker, the cooker keeps it warm throughout the day so it’s ready anytime you need it. It’ll stay warm even till dinner time so that a part of the cooking is already done. Comfort and convenience is everything in Korean culture!
3. Wireless vacuum cleaner
Dyson was stunned by how Successful they were in the Korean market. The theory Dyson’s chairman laid out is very interesting. Koreans have a different style of living compared to most western countries, It’s not uncommon to see them laying on the floor at home or reading books on the floor. Which means that there is the upmost attention to keeping it clean and dust free.
My in-laws of course have a bedroom in their home but, during hot summer nights they often sleep on a blanket placed on the living room floor enjoying the cool air from the air conditioning.
So you can imagine that the cleanliness of the floor is essential in Korea.
Koreans clean their home floor very often so, going back to the convenience point, the most comfortable way to do this is with a cordless vacuum cleaner or even better with a robot cleaner. And of course, my in-laws have both a robot cleaner and a cordless cleaner.
4.Low living room table
Europe usually has a high “tea” table, which makes it comfortable to use while sitting on the sofa.
However, when visiting a Korean house, you can often see a low tea table about 30cm high. And this is the right height to use it comfortably while sitting floor. It is also used to have dinner on for a change of setting compared to the dining table. This is one of my favorite objects in a Korean house.
When not used for dinner, korean families go to the living room, and while sitting on the floor, they finish off their meal with some fruit and Korean dramas all together.
5.Korean Home Entrances
In Korean dramas, as soon as any character enters a house you can see them take off their shoes. However, them doing that takes place in a very specific place in the Korean house. A place that is very uncommon in European and western homes.
Every home in Korea has an entrance area which is on a slightly lower level than the rest of the house. Right next to the door where you’ll see a large section for shoe racks. Koreans never wear shoes in their home and to avoid bringing dirt or dust in their home they have created this space in every house. This is, of course, connected to point 3.
Here’s a bonus element to this list. Because Koreans never wear shoes at home it means that there is an endless variety of sock designs and drawing. Why? Simply because when you take your shoes off you can show off these flashy or funny designs. No need to say all my socks are now proudly 100% Korean because of this!