Before and After: A Spectacular Korean Penthouse

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Who doesn't love a great before and after project? It is a transformational experience in which a neglected or underutilised space is given a new lease of life, and a fresh chance to enhance the lives of those who reside within. Today on homify we are travelling to a highly sought-after district near the capital of Korea, Seoul. Eunpyeong-gu is a large region within the greater metropolitan area, and a diverse location popular with families and couples alike. It is here that we will be taking a peek inside a penthouse apartment that boasts sweeping panoramic views of the hills and mountains beyond. 

In its initial state the abode was dull, lacking in style, and undervalued; the dwelling needed an update, and thanks to the astute team at Design A3, was given just that. Replete with two single bedrooms and a grand master suite, the 130 square metre residence has been given the facelift of a lifetime. Utilising high quality finishes, fixtures and a fastidious attention to detail, the architects and designers have created an exquisite, modern and highly liveable home.

A surprising penthouse with stunning views

As we first set eyes on the exterior of the penthouse, it is clear this is no ordinary apartment. In the distance sit snow-capped mountains, offering the residence iconic views of the surrounding region. The home itself provides an outdoor courtyard replete with stepping stones that meander through a Zen-like escape in a highly populated area of the country. 

The dwelling is entertaining-friendly, meaning it is set up for those who wish to host events and make their home a place to socialise with friends, guests, and family. 

Every aspect of this dwelling is considered, from the undercover dining space, to the awning that has been added for the warmer months to protect those who wish to spend some time outdoors. The large glazed windows let in a copious volume of light for the interior, adding to the liveability of the entire residence. 

Before: dull, uninspiring and unexciting

Dingy, dark, and totally uninviting is the only way to describe this kitchen. 

The interior elements although looking relatively new are surprisingly outdated and need replacement. The fittings are uninspiring, and when we set our eyes upon this image, it is clear the room needs a total makeover!

Let's take a peek below to see how the architects and designers have transformed this space.

After: bright, light and full of life!

Wow! The home now feels surprisingly welcoming and liveable. The dull and uninspiring aura is well and truly vanishes, making way for a bright and lively ambience. 

Subtle touches of yellow and amber dot the interior spaces from the light fitting in the kitchen area to the recessed lighting in the hallway. The kitchen is compact but highly practical, with a small informal breakfast bar, perfect for that quick bite in the morning. 

Before: a compact bedroom in need of an update

Small, dark, and completely uninviting, this bedroom screams 'get me outta here' with its lacklustre appearance and ambience. Although empty it is easy to see that this bedroom simply isn't living up to its potential with a closed-in feeling and a sense of tedium. 

The designers are really going to have to work hard to give this room the attention it deserves, let's see what they did below…

After: cosy and warm with alpine view!

The new single bedroom is amazingly cosy and comfortable! Repeating the recessed lighting seen throughout the home, this space is indulgent and warm. The view is maximised and framed with soft curtains that were missing in the before photo. 

The soft light coupled with the neutral yet light colour scheme work wonderfully to create sleeping quarters that are welcoming and well-designed. 

Before: shabby master bedroom with no storage

Next up we move into the master bedroom. This room certainly isn't fit to be listed as the largest and most opulent bedroom within the home. Instead the space is unwelcoming and dull. The exterior courtyard is unfinished and waiting for renovation. 

One of the better elements within the room however are the large glazed sliding doors. Let's check out the after photo below and see how the architects have maximised this stylish and versatile feature.

After: luxurious sleeping space

The new master bedroom is fantastic! Truly luxurious and oozing appeal this space incorporates many new features and elements to ensure it is fit for a king or queen! The mirrored panels that make up the doors to the robes help reflect light into the room and illuminate the darker corners of the space. 

Heavy drapes have been installed to create warmth, while the exterior courtyard is now the ideal place to grab a book, cup of coffee and take in some of the panoramic views. Finally, light timber floorboards are seen in this room, adding a sense of warmth with their light caramel hue, which is wonderfully coordinated along with the subtle mood lighting. 

Before: a standard bathroom with few redeeming features

The existing bathroom was, although practical, highly uninviting. With few redeeming architectural features, the space didn't offer anything other than a perfunctory wash space for the house. 

The new bathroom is below, let's take a look…

After: a sauna-esque luxury space

Light and bright, the new bathroom is somewhere you actually want to spend time, a far cry from the original wash space. The designers have employed a timber floor that works in a sauna-esque fashion imparting a sense of luxury and opulence. 

While appearing lavish, this bathroom is also highly functional with neutral lighting that evokes warmth within the space, rather different than the original harsh fluorescents.  The original layout has been preserved however, maximising space for the entry-level shower. 

One final peek into the living space…

Before we end our tour of this striking home, we are looking at one final room, and possibly the most popular room within a dwelling. The living space is replete with light timber floors, contemporary furniture, and a retro-inspired aesthetic. The mid-century modern coffee table provides a glimpse into the chic ambience within the home, and the French bi-fold doors ensure the room is able to be opened up to the courtyard beyond. 

All in all this is a highly successful project, and definitely one we can imagine ourselves living within! The rooms ooze sleek stylistic features, but maintain warmth and a sense of conviviality. 

If you enjoyed this transformation and would like to see another stylish before and after, check out: Before & After of a Striking Madrid Loft

What features do you like in this Korean penthouse apartment? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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