Furniture Trends in Korea
by Daniel Gray
European and Scandinavian Furniture, post-modern furniture and industrial styled-furniture have been popular these days in Korea. It started from the cafe and restaurant trend which emphasized interior design, tableware and exotic furniture. The exotic furni-ture, branding and design would drive customers to the restaurants and cafes to enjoy their time with friends and to take the very important “selfy.”
Emphasis on Style over Function
New overseas furniture stores have entered Korea since 2010. Many of these compa-nies were from all over the world. Koreans would start with one well-made and designed piece of furniture and then buy matching sets. Later they might do a complete redecoration of the rooms and the house.
Hotels and Restaurants Upgrade
Since Koreans are more knowledgeable about styles and brands, hotels and restaurants have had to upgrade their interiors and concepts to compete. These days restaurants have made dining more of a show and open kitchens have become popular. Bartenders are learning new skills and they are using new glasses and cocktail equipment to make drinks. Interiors and lighting have become more important since guests want to feel they are in a sophisticated, hip, and new place. It’s all about the atmosphere and now attention to detail is important. Also, restaurants and hotels are automating tasks via tablets and kiosks. In Korea, there is a “honbap (eating along)” and “honsul (drinking)” movement and restaurants and hotels have had to cater to these groups. At for table settings, some places have put up a partition on four a four person table or made separate booths so diners feel more comfortable.
Keywords for Furniture Growth
Automation, design, single living and health seem to be the major drivers for furniture and technology trends in Korea. The type of material or wood has very little bearing on sales. Koreas do like antiques and they are starting to get into vintage styles, but the limited space makes it difficult fulfill the designs. Custom furniture has also been popular since it can be built for their one space. When targeting the Korean market, the branding, the country of origin, and look seems to be more effective.