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5 Tips To Get A Korean-Style HDB Flat, For Those Who Want To Live In A Real Life K-Drama

12 November 2021 | BY

From warm lighting to pastel hues, here are 5 tips on how you can get the perfect Korean-style HDB flat.

Korean-styled HDB homes - Cover image

With more time on our hands and endless titles to choose from (thank you, Netflix), 2021 is looking to be the year for Korean dramas. One of the rising trends in Korean culture that we are absolutely obsessed with these days is Korean-inspired homes. This warm and welcoming aesthetic can be seen in most K-dramas, which are full of warm lighting, indoor plants, and pastel hues. 

Want to get a slice of Korean living right in your home? Here’s how you can get the perfect Korean-style HDB flat with just five simple tips:

Tip 1: Embrace minimalist living 

Korean-style home hdb
Image credit:
Pexels – Leah Kelley

For most Koreans, minimalism is not just a style but also a way of living. They have always embraced the concept of living with less and only what they need, and make it a point to incorporate this idea into their homes. 

Considering that most HDB flats are now smaller than before, adopting this design concept makes perfect sense for us here in Singapore. 

One of the ways you can embody minimalism in your flat is by purchasing multi-functional furniture and using creative storage solutions. Instead of getting a simple sofa set, purchase one with hidden storage space underneath to help keep colour out of sight. Don’t have enough room for a full-length dining table? Go for a drop-leaf, wall-mounted table as an alternative. 

Korean-style home hdb
Image credit:

There’s an abundance of ways to explore minimalism and find out what works for you. Time to put on your thinking caps and get creative!

Tip 2: Stick to low-seating furniture 

Korean-styled HDB homes - low-seating furniture
Image credit: @gowoonal

From seat cushions to bedding options, low-seating furniture is a staple in most Korean households and is deeply rooted in their culture. If you’ve watched the heartwarming classic K-Drama, Reply 1988’, you’ll know what we’re talking about. 

Since most homes in Korea come with an underfloor heating system, or ondol’, they are accustomed to sitting, eating, and even sleeping on the floor to directly feel the warmth. While function is one thing, low-seating furniture also gives homes a cosier feel and the illusion of a bigger space at the same time. 

Go for classic furniture such as floor-level bed frames for your bedroom, knee-high tables for studying or eating, and cushioned floor chairs in the living room. 

Tip 3: Include elements of nature

Korean-styled HDB homes - Plant decor
Image credit:
Unsplash – Prudence Earl

With many of us confined in urban spaces and lacking the time to head out into the great outdoors, why not bring a slice of nature right into your space? Contemporary biophilic trends like indoor plants, wicker furniture, wooden floors and natural light are all elements we know and love about Korean-style homes. 

If you’ve just finished watching ‘Hometown Cha Cha Cha’, which is the healing drama that we all needed this year, Yoon Hye-Jin’s apartment in the seaside town of Gongjin screams ‘nature’ at every turn — from the indoor plants to wooden sliding doors. 

Not only does this add a touch of cosiness into your nook, but it’s an inexpensive way to achieve the Korean-style home of your dreams. Even if you’re worried that you may not have a green thumb, there are low maintenance options like cacti and succulents, air plants, snake plants, and pothos that’ll be perfect for you. 

Don’t have the slightest clue on where to buy stylish indoor plants for your home? Skip the nurseries and hit up boutique shops like Potta Planta, Tumbleweed and A Tilly A Day

Tip 4: Include pastel colours in your decor 

Korean-styled HDB homes - pastel decor
Image credit:

Pastel hues are huge in Korean-inspired decor. With its minimalist and clean interiors, you’ll rarely see bold and bright colours in Korean-style homes. While they generally stick to just one colour like white or neutral shades for the walls, they still have a subtle way of incorporating colour to breathe a little more life into the space. 

One of the best ways to do this is making use of quirky accent pieces and small decorative items. Think quaint trinkets, candy-hued ceramics, retro accessories, and oddly-shaped mirrors — the options are endless.

Online shopping platforms like Urban Outfitters, Taobao, and even Shopee are places where you can find homeware accessories to add your own spin and personal touch into your space.

Tip 5: Use minimalist or accent statement lights 

Korean-styled HDB homes - korean-styled lamps
Image credit: @mir_home 

To tie it all together, nailing that warm glow will help you complete the Korean style and feel of your home. In line with including biophilic elements, the key is to still let the natural light shine through your space and use accent statement lights to illuminate sparse areas of your home. 

Instead of bulky floor lamps, go for modern alternatives like exposed hanging light bulbs, fairy string lights, paper or origami lamps, pendant lights, or fairy string lights. However, remember to keep it minimal and clean. You’d want your light sources to act as statement pieces as opposed to stealing the limelight. 

Ready to ride the Korean wave? 

Who said achieving that modern Korean-esque look for your flat had to be a challenge? Not only is it easy and simple to recreate but it’s a timeless interior design style that won’t break the bank. Since apartment living is something both Singapore and the ‘land of the morning calm’ have in common, following these simple tips and bringing your vision to life will be a piece of cake for you. 

Prepare to bring out the interior designer in you and you’ll soon be waking up like you’re in a Korean drama every single day.

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