Korea is considered one of the most fashionable countries in the world, with its fashion week and Kpop stars catching the eyes of millions around the globe. One aspect that is often overlooked except by those who have actually visited Korea is its interior design style. Many cafes, restaurants and even shopping centers in Korea are immaculately decorated in bright bold colors as well as soft, subdued Scandi tones. Living in Korea and looking for inspiration? Here are the top Korean home decor shops you need to visit today.
Today’s Home | 오늘의 집
Available only as an app in Korean, “Today’s Home” is one of the newest options on our list. After making a splash in 2019, Today’s Home is a must-visit for younger crowds looking to decorate their new pad. The app works with interior partners including small designers and big brands like IKEA, meaning you can shop at a wide price and quality range. You can also buy very unique items such as a pack of 20 book pages from old copies that Koreans use to decorate their walls in an artsy-fartsy boho manner.
The other biggest charm is its blog section where you can see photos of real customers’ homes and click on the items you’d like to save in your virtual scrapbook. Come here for inspiration, as one does on Pinterest, or post pics of your own crib to brag about your personal style!
The app is only available in Korean. The community is constantly growing and you can always expect a plethora of honest reviews on each item.
Coupang | 쿠팡
Coupang is the Amazon of Korea. The app and website offer everything from German pasta noodles to traditional Korean window frames. A wide variety of sellers work with Coupang, so just like Today’s Home, you can shop at various price ranges.
The only difference is that Coupang is there to be the biggest and the best. The curation of genuinely good products is not their concern and most of the time you can’t find many reviews on an item. That being said, just about everything you could ever need can be found here, including larger pieces of furniture like bed frames, rugs, tables, etc. The biggest draw of Coupang is its “Rocket Delivery” options offering next-day delivery.
Be sure to check the price of shipping before purchasing large or overseas items. An assembly fee is often included, meaning the courier will come inside your house and build it for you. While it’s great for us couch potatoes, it could come at a $60+ price tag.
While Coupang’s base website is in Korean only, many sellers post in English. Most English posts mean that the item is coming from abroad, which is inherently more expensive. We recommend searching for the Korean term first. A list of website terminology will be available at the bottom of this post.
Deco View | 데코뷰
An independent store, the first of its kind on our list, is one of my top choices for home decor. The flagship store is based in the trendy neighborhood of Sangsu but the company recently opened an app (still in beta mode) to help you shop from the comfort of your own home.
What I love about Deco View is its distinct, feminine and boho style. It’s fantastic for both men and women and I often find my boyfriend roaming their website. The shop itself is incredibly curated with each floor representing a type of home decor.
Deco View is for decorative items, hence their name, NOT peices of furniture. You can find curtains, bedding, candles, wall art, pillows, kitchenware and more. Prices are quite reasonable and higher prices generally mean a higher quality of materials such as silk. The shop also has frequent sales, unlike the previous options, meaning that customers can get their hands on truly gorgeous items for the price of a cup of coffee.
If you’re planning on visiting the shop, make an afternoon of it. There is a LOT to take in.
Flagship Address: 133 Tojeong-ro, Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 11AM – 8PM
Ikea | 아이케아
Does it need much of an introduction? IKEA in Korea is exactly the same as your home country and YES that includes Swedish meatballs. There are several in person branches in Korea, which I will link below. It’s best to find a friend with a car to take you shopping in-person, as the delivery fees are outrageous and the store’s increasing popularity means that many items in the shipping warehouse sell out faster than the branches.
Ikea Branches in Korea: Click here
Modern House | 모던하우스
Modern House is a Korean interior store and website that you can find in most shopping complexes and department stores around the country. The prices are usually in the mid-high range and most of their style can be described as “practical” and “familiar” in comparison to places like Deco View. They’re a bit like IKEA in that sense, but it’s always good to support local brands too.
Modern House is famous for the comfort of its furniture, especially its seating options. I recently visited a café and found myself half-asleep in a large, plush lounge chair (see above photo). When I checked the tag, I wasn’t surprised that it was from Modern House.
One of the best parts of Modern House, for me, is its affiliation with the shop Butter. Butter is a lifestyle shop that has a small section of homeware with fun, colorful designs. It is also incredibly cheap but the quality is actually quite good. Butter is a great stop to make your house a bit more fun and to add a bit more flair to daily living. Butter shops can also be found in most shopping malls around Korea.
Beautiful Store | 아름다운가게
Literally translated to “Beautiful Store”, we have reached an interesting turn in our home decor hunt. That’s because this is the Goodwill or Oxfam of Korea, offering pennies-worth goods donated by locals. Customers can buy secondhand clothing, books, purses, and home decor that are looking for a bit of TLC.
I’ve always been a fan of charity shops because you can find one-of-a-kind items at an insanely cheap price. Not every visit will be a winner, but when you hit the jackpot, it motivates you to keep coming back.
For those looking go donate their belongings, you can look for residental donation boxes (most only accept clothes, accessories and shoes) or take your donations to the local Beautiful Store near you.
Carrot | 당근
A hidden gem in Korean home shopping is Carrot Market, available only as an app. Like Beautiful Store, this app may not suit everyone’s tastes as it’s only for secondhand items. You can enter the neighborhood you live in and find what locals are selling near you. It’s gained a huge following over the past year, meaning you can find all kinds of vintage and modern goodies just outside your door. I have bought so much of my furniture from here, it’s hard to list.
The app is only available in Korean. However, some of the sellers may be happy to converse with you in English. It’s polite to at least question their language skills before you go sending them a message, so I’ll put a list of key phrases below that may help you.
There is one more aspect to Carrot Market that you need to know, and that’s that you must meet the seller in person usually closer to their house. That means if you order a large piece of furniture, you’re responsible for finding a delivery company or moving van to help you carry it. I have a guy in my contacts who charges me about $40-60 per trip. Additionally, safety could be a concern, so try to meet in a public space rather than at their house. You could also go with a friend or meet in the brighter hours of the day.
Department Stores | 백화점
One that may seem obvious but also offputting to those with a smaller wallet are the department stores. Lotte and Shinsaegae are the two biggest in Korea, and while they are famous for their luxury goods at the mall, their warehouses hold more budget-friendly options.
I purchased my beloved mustard couch on the Shinsaegae application for about $200. The price is incredibly low for what can normally be found in the shops, so I was pleasantly surprised. Department store applications or websites are also a good way to go because they have reasonable shipping fees and fast delivery with guaranteed protection.
Don’t be put off by the “department store” title and give these websites a try if you’re looking for more sleek and fresh furniture!
Second-hand Country | 중고나라
Last but not least is actually a forum on Naver, the Korean Google. Naver has a forum called Secondhand Country. It’s essentially the same as Carrot, where people post furniture and goods they want to sell, but it’s more accessible because you can search all over the country as opposed to your single neighborhood. It’s a bit tricky to navigate and appears like a website from the late 90s, but if you have a Korean friend who is willing to help, there’s nothing Secondhand Country won’t have (including pets).
We hope that this is a great guide to help you get started in making your dream home in Korea. For more infromation on life in Seoul and Korea, check out our blog posts here. Or maybe you’re still looking for your dream home? Don’t worry; we have a guide for that too.
Home Decor Glossary
Rocket Delivery – 로켓배송
Is this item still available? – 이 제품 아직 구매 가능한가요?
Is shipping possible? – 배송이 가능한가요?
Can you lower the price? – 혹시 가격을 좀 낮출 수 있을까요?
Delivery fee – 배송비
Assembly Fee – 설치비/절입비
New – 새
Second-hand – 중고
Sofa – 소파
Rug – 러그
Chair – 의자
Table – 테이블
Bookshelf – 책장
Desk – 책상
Bed frame – 프레임
Wardrobe – 옷장
Blankets – 이불