I don’t know about you, but I love seeing into people’s homes. Whenever I visit someone’s house, I have to control myself so that I don’t start looking around (unless I’m invited to). Houses around the world are sometimes so different than back home, and I enjoy watching TV shows and YouTube clips where you get to tour different places.
A few years back, I started posting slices about the different homes I lived in, as a way for me to remember the various places I’ve lived. Last year I posted this slice about my Korean home, but this summer I moved to a new place, so I thought I’d give you a peek inside. For those of you who don’t know me, I live on Jeju island in South Korea. It’s a beautiful island south of the Korean mainland, where we have lots of beaches, mountains and oreums (hills), walking trails, and greenery.
I’m fortunate to live in a townhome instead of an apartment, which means I have more space, multiple levels, and a little bit of nature. My home has three stories- the first floor has the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a bathroom; the second floor has two bedrooms and another bathroom; and the third floor is an open space that I use for a reading nook, a place to exercise, and extra storage.
The outside of the house isn’t much to look at, but I love the inside! It has lots of natural light and more than enough space for me. Something that is very common in Korean, but isn’t in the states, is that no one has keys for their homes. We simply have a keypad on the door. It’s so much more convenient, but it does make it harder to remember to take my keys whenever I’m traveling to a different country!
What I love most about my house is the kitchen. In my previous place, the kitchen was small and narrow. I had very little counter space and it was separated from the rest of the house, making it hard to talk to guests when I entertained. My new kitchen is spacious and opens up to the living and dining rooms. I have plenty of counter space and tons of storage. I especially like the separate pantry, where I am able to store everything I need. Most Korean homes do not come with a dishwasher, but I bought a small one, which I keep in the pantry. I’m so much happier now that I have it, as doing dishes is my least favorite activity! Another common appliance often absent in Korean homes is an oven, as most local dishes are made on the stovetop. I keep my large countertop oven in the pantry, as well, since I don’t use it very often.
The view from the living and dining rooms is lovely! In my old place, I looked straight out onto a neighbor’s house, which meant I had little privacy and kept my curtains closed at night, but here, my view is a farmer’s field, just beyond the low Jeju-style stone fence in my small backyard. There are no houses within view, which affords me lots of privacy.
My living room is smaller than my old one, but I’ve managed to make it work for me. I spend lots of time lounging on the couch reading, working, watching TV, or simply watching the birds outside my window. I have a love affair with plants, which I’ve lined up along the large window. The light fixture originally in the living room was really ugly, so I had this new one installed…and I love it!
The downstairs bathroom is functional, but nothing fancy. I love all the storage in this house! I have a Harry Potter room under the stairs, where I store extra supplies (like toilet paper) and items I don’t use very often (like my dehumidifiers). As is custom in all Korean homes, I have a floor to ceiling shoe closet in the entryway, as we do not wear shoes indoors.
My bedroom is nice and big, with a large window that lets in so much light! When the weather’s nice, I can open it to let in some fresh air. I have a large walk-in closet, with wardrobes along one side. I’ve added a full length mirror and a ‘getting ready’ station, where I do my hair and makeup in the mornings. Since I have no counter space in the bathroom, this was an easy solution. My favorite part of my closet is my glasses drawer! I doubt it was actually made for glasses, but it works perfectly!
The upstairs bathroom is small, but I’ve made it work. I like that it has a bathtub, even though it’s small. I’m 5’3″ and my knees are up whenever I take a bath, but when it’s cold outside, it’s nice to be able to relax and warm up. The only built-in storage provided was the medicine cabinets, so I purchased a few wooden shelves from Ikea, which work well.
While the guest room is quite small, just enough room for a twin bed, it has extra storage in the wardrobes along the back wall, where I store my linens, winter coats, and extra toiletries. The enclosed balcony has the washer/dryer combo and some space to hang dry my clothes.
When I first moved in, I was perplexed about what to do with this weird hallway space, which seemed like a waste to me. Too bad the architect didn’t use it to make a larger bathroom or guest room. I decided to fashion an office out of it, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
The last space in my home is the third floor “attic” space. It’s not the same as our attics back home though. It’s heated and cooled and completely finished. It has lots of windows on both sides, as well as a skylight. The attic has an area to exercise, a place to read and store extra books, as well as large built-in storage, where I store larger items, like my suitcases and Christmas decorations. The ceiling is sloped, but I can stand up in most of it. I have hit my head once or twice when putting things away in the built-in storage, so I have to be careful.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of my home! The next time you’re in Jeju, stop by and we’ll have a cup of tea and catch up on life! 🙂