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Walk through spaces of interior inspiration

The annual Seoul Living Design Fair is bigger than ever, offering new ways to revitalize a home
Mar 07,2018
The Seoul Living Design Fair 2018 is held from Wednesday through Sunday at COEX in southern Seoul. The displays at the fair are whole environments designed by each brand such as Fritz Hansen, left, and LG Signature Kitchen Suite. Guests look at plates by Zen Hankook, above. [DESIGN HOUSE]
A chair by furniture brand Fritz Hansen [DESIGN HOUSE]
Porcelain plates and dishes by Cheongsong Baekja, top, are available at the fair. Many booths are decorated to look like a whole room, such as the one by project group D633, which is composed of seven different design brands. [DESIGN HOUSE, KIM JIN-HO]

Spring is here, and we all know what that means - time to go shopping for a spring home makeover. If you’re short on ideas on how to re-decorate your room or just want to get your hands on some of the most unique and useful items to put on your shelves and tables, this is the week to get inspired. At the Seoul Living Design Fair 2018, which runs through Sunday at COEX, southern Seoul, visitors can check out ways to add new touches to their living spaces and learn what the latest trends in home design are.

The fair, organized by publishing company Design House and COEX, is not only a market for home decorations for every corner of the house, but also a look at what’s new in the home furnishing and interior design industry. In its 24th year, the fair is the biggest of its kind in the country with over 4 million visitors having attended last year’s event. Even more people are expected to come this year as the fair has expanded from two halls to three for the first time in its history.

Held in Halls A, B and D, this year’s fair revolves around the theme “Connected Home,” and the 350 participating companies and individuals are presenting more than just individual items, but fully designed spaces that combine multiple elements to express distinct aesthetic visions. Among the six main sections of the fair, “Designers’ Choice,” “Living Art” and “Living Trend” are opportunities to see furnishings in fully designed spaces.

In “Designers’ Choice” are four exhibits put together by different teams of designers created around the idea of connectedness and communication. No items are for sale in this section, but inspiration from some of Korea’s top interior designers is worth every penny paid for at the entrance. There are four exhibits: “Archetypal Grid” by architecture group SAAI; “Work” by CraftBro. Company; “Rest: Conversation” by Studio Concrete - a rising artist collective founded by actor Yoo Ah-in; and “Living” by interior styling studio 7doors.

Both the “Living Art” and “Living Trend” sections showcase furniture along with other decorative items in a room to help visitors see where each good can go. What makes the “Living Art” section special is that the brands have collaborated with leading designers to create limited edition goods for the fair, such as the collaboration between furniture maker Fritz Hansen and designer Jaime Hayon. Hayon will also be giving a talk titled “Form Follows Function and then what?” at the “Living Trend Seminar” held during the fair.

The “Living Deco” and “Kitchen & Tableware” sections are where the real fun is for those coming to the fair looking for some good bargains. Take time to look through every corner and aisle to get your hands on some unique items that will brighten the house at a reasonable price. From small stationery, carpets and curtains to cutlery and plates, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

The last section “Organic Style” features suggestions from food brands on how to eat and live healthily with food made out of environmentally-friendly ingredients, such as organic ice cream, organic honey or fresh greens grown by farmers. The “Living Trend Seminar” will be held Wednesday and Thursday.

“This year’s fair is bigger than ever,” said Kim Jin-ho, who runs a joint booth called D633 with six other children’s designer brands. “The children’s home furnishing section hadn’t been that big in the past. But this year it has a lot to offer, including decoration ideas for children’s rooms as well.”

A tip from the organizers: If you want to get your hands on the most unique and popular goods, be there as early as possible when the fair begins on Wednesday and in the morning of Thursday and Friday before the weekend comes. But if you’re looking for bargains, Sunday will be filled with some last minute sales.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]

COEX is connected to Samseong Station, line No. 2, or Bongeunsa Station, line No. 9. Entrance costs 10,000 won ($9.30). The fair is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. with last entrances at 6 p.m. except for Sunday when it will close at 5 p.m. and accept last entrances at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.livingdesignfair.co.kr.