Inside My Korean Apartment

What does the inside of a Korean apartment look like? A few people have been asking, and I finally got around to having the place looking presentable enough to film the grand tour. So come have a look inside, and well, you’ll also hear me ramble about SPAM and U2. Yeah…

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I live in an officetel (office + hotel) which looks the same as a studio apartment. Many of the people in my building are business professionals who use their apartment as a personal office; for me this office sized space is a home. It may be ‘cozy’ by North American standards, but it has exactly everything I need, as well as some added bonuses like heated floors and a heated toilet seat – I’m telling you, this is quite the luxury in the wintertime. I’ve been feeling at home in Korea these days, and I’m sure these little extras have something to do with it.

Studio Apartment, Officetel in Korea

I got pretty lucky with this apartment. All the appliances are modern and the design is very chic; I’d go as far as comparing it to the interior of an IKEA catalogue. I remember searching for videos of Korean apartments on YouTube before coming out here, and the majority of them showed dreadful accommodations – I’m talking wallpaper peeling off the walls, and a rumbling fridge positioned directly across the bed to ensure a peaceful night’s rest… I was ecstatic when I walked into this cute little place instead.

P.S. Did you notice THE automated door lock that caused me this nightmare? πŸ˜‰

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55 Comments

  1. says: Colleen Brynn

    Hahaha… when I was in Korea, I had a bit of an incident with one of those toilets. After I was done (just a #1!), I stood up to flush and looked down to see all those buttons, but all the writing was in Korean. I figured I could just use logic, and went for the button with the water lines on it. After I hit the button, a sound came from the toilet, a little probe descended from the back of the bowl, and a steady stream of water came squirting out of the toilet. It went so far it that it hit the mirror on the other side of the bathroom! I hit a few more buttons and had a fan and everything going before I finally found the right button.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Haha, it would be fun explaining that little accident if you were a guest in someone’s home. I just stay awaaay from all the buttons. πŸ˜‰

  2. says: Zhu

    Looks nice and new! Reminds me of the place I was living in in HK. It was the company’s condo, barely furnished but I wasn’t picky considering real estate is at a premium in Asia. I like the fisheye view!

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Yep, the furniture is very minimal, but I fortunately got lots of hand-me-downs from the previous teacher. I quite like this little place!

  3. says: Jackie D

    Haha you are adorable! You remind me so much of one of my friends from home. And I definitely have those shoes that you took off towards the end of the video. Also: I think your next video should showcase the inevitably delicious feast that results from your massive supply of spam/tuna.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Are yours H&M shoes? πŸ˜‰ That’s the only store I found that carried shoes in my size here, hehe. And that is a GREAT idea for another video, ha! I’ll have to start googling spam recipes. Mmm, that’s going to be such a great day in the kitchen…..

      1. says: Jackie D

        Yes, H&M! I was on the hunt for teal/turquoise shoes for like a year (possibly longer) and then of course fell in love with these super cheap ones. I might go buy backup pairs. In the meantime I shall wait for your live-tweeting of the spam feast πŸ™‚

  4. says: David Trujillo

    Western toilets are stone-age tech compared to this. Koreans do know how to sattisfy a derriere. At least its a lot better when you have a water fountain coming from the toilet and not the toilet in the shower like in some hostels I have stayed in.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Haha, yes, I’ve encountered a few shower heads on top of the toilet (though not in Korea). It certainly makes it quite tricky to take a shower….haha πŸ˜€

  5. says: Michelle

    I love this post! Your Korean apartment is so cute! I just recently moved into a new apartment, and it definitely looks like an Ikea catalogue since everything is from there, haha. It’s funny because everyone buys their furniture from Ikea here, so whenever I visit a friend, half our furniture would be the same!

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      I love Ikea furniture. I’ve always wanted my space to look like the interior from one of their catalogues, so I was very happy with my new digs! πŸ˜€

  6. says: Wendy Irene

    I loved seeing your appartment! It makes you realize we really don’t need all the excess we strive for in North America. Less is more, and better for the planet.

  7. says: leandra / adbenturera

    i love your flat! hope to have a chance to travel to Korea and personally experience the hi-tech toilet… nope, we don’t have them here in Bahrain hehehe πŸ™‚

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      I honestly have no idea about the rent. My school covers the bill, but it can’t be that cheap. Some Korean apartments require that you put down a huge down payment just to be able to rent the space.

  8. says: Sheryll

    Omg your place is so cute! I love my place, but I wish I lived in a taller building so I had a better view. And like you, I looked at people’s places on YouTube and was scared for my life when I arrived, but thankfully I was pleasantly surprised!

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      I am very happy with it – minimalist but chic. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad yours turned out to be a nice space as well. Ha, the youtube videos prepared me for the worst!

  9. says: Andrea

    It all looks so efficient I’m actually a bit jealous because our house in Norway is anything but! Though I would struggle with that tiny kitchen because I love to cook complicated things (and because we cannot afford Norwegian restaurants!)

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      With no oven and no mircrowave I don’t really have to worry about cooking. But it would be so nice to be able to bake a cake every once in a while! I miss my baked goods! πŸ˜€

  10. says: Ceri

    Your apartment’s really awesome! It’s essentially *exactly* the kind of thing I’m looking for here but single person flats here are way too expensive.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      These little flats are very popular over here, hardly anyone lives in a house. I hope you find a cute little place in Mexico!

  11. says: Tom @ Waegook Tom

    You ARE lucky with that apartment. I’ve yet to have one with a sofa. I currently despise mine…it’s boxy, has a SINGLE bed (don’t get me started on that no-no) and, well, the location is absolutely abhorrent.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Yeah, I’m not in the most happening part of town either, but I do have a few bars and restaurants to choose from. And the couch is a nice little extra! Apparently one of the former teachers found it somewhere… πŸ˜‰

  12. says: Rox

    Hi! Where’d you find the officetel? I’ve been searching on craigslist but I can’t seem to find anything decent and not too expensive. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  13. says: Maria

    Thanks for showing me around. Nice to get a peek inside your personal space. Everything you truly need. Fantastic to me but then I’m a fan of minimalism (often to an extreme) and live in about 400 sq ft myself. πŸ™‚

  14. says: The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    Very cute apartment! Similar to ours in China … we could have opted for an apt with one of those toilets … but we didn’t πŸ˜‰

  15. says: 30traveler

    Great apartment tour! It’s funny how the little things like toilets with lots of buttons and different apartment styles are sometimes the funnest bits of travel. They are for me anyway.

  16. says: jennifer

    hey hey im sorryto bother you, but where is your apartment located and is there any vacant ones! i love your apartment and im going crazy searching up apartments in seoul.!

    1. says: Audrey

      I was actually living in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do. If you’re looking to be in the city, this isn’t the best location since it’s about an hour and a half outside of Seoul. My employer took care of the apartment for me, so I don’t actually know much about the apartment hunting process in Korea. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  17. says: Ruth

    Hi Audrey,

    I know your employer took care of providing the apartment, but do you know how much your rent was? I’m here in Korea and I’m wondering what the average range should be consider your place was SO NICE!!

    1. says: Audrey

      Hi Ruth,
      Since I wasn’t the one paying the bill, I never did find out what the rent for my apartment was.
      Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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