The buzzword ‘self-interior’ (셀프 인테리어) has flooded the Korean online blogging community as well as other media platforms. While most Koreans used to settle down in cookie cutter apartments, nowadays people are taking their space into their own hands with DIY homestyling. There are many reasons why this trend is likely to stay.
Rising House Prices & Real Estate
The price of owning a home in Seoul is constantly rising – and probably won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Even renting can be a financial burden as a huge deposit (known as key money) must be made at the beginning of the lease. This leaves young professionals and newly weds settling for older or smaller apartments. So, in order to make the best of these homes, changes have to be made.
Transformative ‘before and after’ images of homes go viral online and renovation TV shows known as ‘Jibbang’ (집방), which literally means ‘house-broadcast’ dedicate the hour to refurbishing old homes at a tight budget. With sky high apartment prices, no wonder home-owners want to save as much as they can on the decor.
Freedom & Creative Expression
Being alone has never been more fashionable. From ‘honbab’ (eating alone) to ‘honyeoheng’ (travelling alone), living solo is the ultimate freedom and independence. With single households rising, more people want to reject conformism and have their home a true reflection of their own personality and style.
Creative self-taught amateurs are taking their interior into their own hands, and choosing a 100% original design to express themselves. Afterall, Korean consumers love to invest in looking good, why wouldn’t they want to work on their homes too?
Korean millennials are super internet savvy and eager media consumers. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Naver blogs, internet posts and various home styling shows, are inspiring and giving hope to the masses.
Hashtag ‘bangstagram’ (#방스타그램), which literally means ‘room-stagram’, showcases fantastic and unique photos of real people’s homes. By becoming aware of this trend and observing so many DIY successes, viewers are more likely to take part.
Naver blogs and Youtube channels are brimming with easy to follow instructions and cool designs, so DIY is simple yet hugely satisfactory. Once the project is finished and broadcast on social media channels, it fuels the cycle again by inspiring others.
Access To Cheap & Stylish Goods
Instead of hiring a professional interior designer (which can costs millions of won) to renovate your space, you can give your own home a makeover by making non-permanent micro-changes with decorative accessories.
Houseware mega stores, such as ‘Butter’, offer interior design tools and accessories at popular shopping hotspots. While they may not sell furniture, they do supply goods such as rugs and cushions, as well as wall and tile stickers that can instantly change a home from drab to fab.
In fact, plenty of online stores offer high quality, low prices and huge variety. As these materials are easily accessible and come in a range of styles, DIY is becoming easier than ever.
The practical desire for good looking yet original interior, partnered with the numerous benefits of doing-it-yourself, this naturally created the ‘self-interior’ movement. Although it may seem like a challenge, the results are worth it, so what are you waiting for?