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688-Square-Meter House Boasts Outdoor Hinoki Bath for Ultimate Relaxation

Hello. I am an ordinary housewife living an enjoyable life on Yeongjong Island with my adorable husband and adolescent son. Our life is a bit like a sitcom, but we enjoy it in our own way.

I started focusing on home cooking based on social media to overcome the daily life that had stagnated for three years due to the pandemic. As a result, I found a new talent in plating, and fortunately, I had an excellent opportunity to work as a Whistler Recipe columnist.

While staying home wisely, I acquired a first-class barista certificate and Korean and Western cooking licenses and eventually built a commercial house on Yeongjong Island.

In February 2020, after researching everywhere to purchase land, with the help of the bank, my husband and I bought a plot for a commercial house, and we moved in this hot summer just one year later.

As I prepared for the construction, I hoped to be a small but definite inspiration to someone, so let’s start the story of building and decorating a house.

1. Construction Process

Feeling the economic crisis due to COVID-19, we even considered selling the land that only paid interest for nearly two years. However, realizing that not much would be left after selling and paying the bank, we bravely prepared for construction, considering the amount of rent that would be matched.

I feel so proud more than ever after building a house, despite the sad reality that the store and rental units are still vacant due to the current economic recession, even though we broke the ground with a dream of profitable real estate.

For the last year and a half, including the design period, I did feel the saying that you age ten years while building a house. I also lost the initial cost because of the disagreement with the first construction company I met, but thanks to that, I met a good designer and went one step at a time. The construction company became difficult during construction, so we even needed to proceed with direct payment construction, and we are finally here. When building a house, don’t forget to check the financial status of the construction company carefully.

2. Blueprints

Architectural Office Seum

Have you heard that design is half the battle? Since building a house starts and ends with the design, I think it’s important to focus on selecting a designer. I recommend choosing an architect who specializes in design rather than a place that does both design and construction. For a few pennies, you would ruin your house and age ten or even more years during the construction.

Architectural Office Seum

Meeting a meticulous architect who can respect the opinions of the building owner and solve the issues professionally made our 2021 a little more hopeful and special.

I still can’t forget the sense of the day when the blue scaffolding was dismantled.*.*

3. Exterior

Architectural Photographer Kim Hyun Soo

Architectural Photographer Kim Hyun Soo

Architectural Photographer Kim Hyun Soo

Architectural Photographer Kim Hyun Soo

This is a picture of our house exterior taken by architectural photographer Kim Hyun Soo. The points we focused on when building the house were the noise between the walls, the refreshing structure, and the openness of the balcony. As a result, an interesting exterior was created as the owner’s house and the rental unit were designed alternately.

The building looks like a gallery and was born with a well-reflected French Modern concept. Depending on the direction, the building appears to be separated. Our family uses the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building as living spaces. Let’s start with the 3rd-floor space with my dream outdoor bathtub.

4. 3rd Floor Veranda

This is our veranda with a splendid outdoor bathtub.

When planning the outdoor bathtub, we installed folding doors and moving glass walls on the veranda. It was deplorable that the glass railing could not be embedded unless planned.

I insisted on a glass railing in the dining room because I wouldn’t say I liked the iron railing blocking the view. If you don’t like iron railings, remember to plan the windows system from the beginning or to check the embedding of glass railings in advance.

We installed a separate pleated mosquito net on the folding door. If you are going to order a pleated mosquito net, I recommend comparing estimates. I remember being surprised because the prices vary greatly depending on the place giving the estimate.

It already feels thrilling, imagining opening the folding door slightly and taking a half-bath in the Hinoki tub on a long, heavily snowing winter night while snowflakes land on my face.

Even though it’s a physically oversized item, and I was worried until the end (will I use it often, won’t it be challenging to manage, etc.), the whole house is full of hinoki scent, and it feels healing just by looking at it. It makes me feel like I’m on a trip every day, so I think it was a good idea to put it in.

And since cypress wood is weak to heat, if you install a boiler on the floor where the bathtub is installed, you must check it when making a bathtub! I learned about it while searching for a cypress bathtub, and when I mentioned it when ordering, they made legs under it.

Gardening supplies and vases are lined up on the embedded shelf and rack on the veranda.

5. 3rd Floor Living Room

This is the living room next to the veranda. From design to construction, we’ve studied a lot and searched for many materials for about a year and a half. Researching and expanding your mind when choosing furniture you can’t change often is essential. If you follow the trend too much, it can easily become stale.

Perhaps it was thanks to a lot of study? The selection and ordering of large furniture proceeded at a rapid pace! The 3rd-floor living room was designed to feel like a resort, and the 2nd-floor kitchen, which I’ll show you later, was intended to be a face-to-face kitchen for a slightly elegant presentation.

I ordered storage units of Eames for the plant wall. I don’t know if it will arrive this year. I plan to create an excellent home cafe and have tea time, taking a view of the forest.

I chose this sofa, considering the overall mood of the living room. I contracted at once, fascinated by a line that would suit a resort, my dream of the fabric, and uniqueness. The boucle fabric with a prominent texture is a frontline trend these days, and it’s also suitable for durability against fluff.

This is a view of the living room from the balcony. The moving glass wall seems to rejuvenate the space. The frameless glass lets you experience the house in a sensory way. Notice anything different? That’s right. We don’t have a TV in our living room.

6. 🛋 Decorating a living room without a TV

We have basic living room furniture like sofas and tables, but we don’t have a TV. Instead, we use a screen. Not that I think of. I don’t think we’ve ever had a TV in the living room.

Let me show you some old pictures. When our child was young, we turned the living room into a library. It’s an interior design trend from a decade ago. Looking at this picture, I can see how much our son has grown.

During the renovation, we asked the contractor to install an electric screen. We occasionally watch movies or listen to music. We were looking for a speaker because the sound quality of the beam projector wasn’t good, so we decided to get a Geneva. But, the connection with the beam projector isn’t smooth. Even after receiving after-sales service, it didn’t improve, so we’re just using it as is.

Nevertheless, the speaker is working hard every day. We don’t have any neighbors nearby yet, so we can turn up the volume like in a theater without worrying about noise complaints (of course, there’s no problem connecting it to a cell phone.

This looks like when we turn on the screen at night. The days are getting shorter. It gets dark as soon as 6 o’clock. We usually have dinner around 8 o’clock, so we boost our mood by listening to movie music or “Myeongdong Calling” by Car, the Garden. Since moving in, I’ve been bored with cooking. I need an excellent motivational warm-up before cooking every meal.

7. 🌱 A living room with plants

As you may have noticed, we have a lot of plants in our house. Due to my husband’s frequent opening of businesses, I became a plant keeper somewhat forcefully.

Recently, I’ve become so interested in plants that I’ve even taken gardening classes. These days, I spend my time repotting plants whenever I can.

Plant interior brings life into the house and can provide a cost-effective interior effect, so why not start with a small plant?

One thing to note when growing plants is to avoid overwatering. It’s more important to check the condition of the plant (the drying of the leaves and the degree of wilting) and water it generously at once rather than watering it regularly. Excessive attention can be toxic.

8. 3rd floor bedroom

The next space I will introduce is the bedroom. At first, I was worried about the smaller rooms compared to the apartment we used to live in, but it’s a space that has everything we need. After living here, I don’t think the room size is that important. Our bedroom has become much more settled.

And I can’t leave out the story about our bedding. It’s a goose-down comforter we’ve been using for over ten years after reforming. It’s light and cozy. We usually take care of it with the fluffing function of the laundry machine. We wash it and store it in the summer when we switch to a summer goose down. We’ve reformed it twice in about 15 years. If you sterilize, refill the goose down, and change the lining, you can use it like a new one.

The Boyd bed frame, which I chose for its color, is simple but striking. I was worried that I might get tired of the intense color, but it adds a point to our white house, and above all, the harmony with the EOS feather light is the best!

The beige USM Haller adds to the vibe while the prominent items shine each other.

Succulents (cacti) are suitable for growing in the bedroom, and foliage plants are ideal for growing in the living room. Foliage plants photosynthesize during the day and release oxygen, while succulents store sunlight during the day and release oxygen at night. That’s why we have a finger tree and a pencil cactus side by side in our bedroom.

Of course, since they are plants that I planted myself, I have more affection for them, but as they are succulent plants, I stay indifferent consistently until their leaves are crinkled.

Fortunately, we could make a vanity and a makeshift sink top with the remaining ceramic top from the kitchen. We chose a table mirror instead of a wall mirror because there’s a small window above the spacious vanity, but it’s not too inconvenient.

We also ordered Brabantia’s bread bin to put on the island table, but it was bigger than we thought, so we’re using it as a cosmetic storage unit. The pattern on the bottom disturbs me a little, but it looks neat, so it’s all forgiven.

9. 3rd floor master bathroom

This is the main bathroom. Do you know that as the size of the tile increases, the space looks more sophisticated but becomes more expensive, and the construction becomes more complicated? Despite the discouragement from people around us, we stuck to 23.6×23.6 inch tiles, and we’re delighted with them.

Also, finishing the walls and floor with the same tile can make them look broader and more luxurious. We regret not including an over-the-sink shelf in the design. We could have completed a more luxurious bathroom if we had included a built-in shelf and an over-the-sink shelf in the shower booth.

When building a house, like raising a child, there is a lot of advice. You need to be prepared with knowledge to pick the right one among those. I realized that building a house is not easy, and I struggled for a while because I had to prove my knowledge.

I also realized later that when choosing toilets and sinks, it’s good to keep in mind whether you’re looking for a low-end imported line or a mid-range domestic line.

Let’s go down to the second floor and showcase the dining room and other spaces.

10. 2nd Floor Dining Room – Before

I’m serious about cooking, and that’s precisely what I had planned for my dining room: a face-to-face kitchen and minus shelving. It’s a more efficient and simple way to utilize the space, and I think the key to a face-to-face kitchen is the cleanliness and flow that comes from family interaction and efficient storage.

2nd Floor Dining Room – After

I had planned only a built-in refrigerator under the stairs, but it was a waste of space on the left, so I decided to build a chest of drawers after giving my opinion on-site. It’s a handy chest of drawers, so I almost regretted it.

Only steady interest and communication in building a house are the best ways to make a wonderful home. Thank you again to the representative of Hinge & Rule Furniture.

It’s my first time using induction, but it’s so comfortable. The heating speed is fast, so the ramen water boils fast. Above all, it’s a whole new world of care. Just wipe it with a dishcloth, and you’re done. If there are stubborn stains, you can immediately use the cleaning pads to wipe them.

The ceramic top was the last thing on my mind because of the cost. But the more I use it, the better off I’m for it. It’s easy to care for if you’re careful about impact, heat resistance, and, most importantly, luxury.

I cannot stop talking about food waste disposal. The traditional method of grinding food waste and sending it down the drain felt uneasy, even with the microbial decomposition. Accepting my acquaintance’s advice, I changed to the current one.

It runs with a principle of natural decomposition from the microbial. If you put the food in the machine, it turns into a soil-like material. I liked its convenience and eco-friendly procedure, but it kept breaking down when my acquaintance’s one ran without an issue. In any case, I keep using it after two times of after-services. If you are interested in a food disposer, I recommend checking it.

I bought the Brabantia’s Bo Touch Bin because I love the design of it, and it feels great to touch when you open it. I’m delighted that it blocks odors well and has a large capacity.

Next to the sink is the dining table. The Ottawa dining table was a no-brainer for me because it extends into the large dining room, and I love the white color. The plates shine against the white backdrop. It’s a perfect dining table that needs some care.

Our home, which values communication, also did not install a TV in the dining room. So I chose StandbyMe for occasional music listening or a glimpse while cooking.

My husband grumbles every time he turns it on because the sound quality is not suitable for the price, but I, who am used to a very low volume, have no significant discomfort.

And the daybed next to the table seems to have become almost exclusively for my son. It’s a place where he takes a nap or checks his phone while waiting for food. Because it is white boucle fabric, you can use it neatly for a long time with a proper seasonal blanket change.

And this one is a white fairy of the western orchid I first encountered while taking a gardening class. I planted it using bark or sod instead of soil. The flowers bloomed in September and are still showing flowers now that October is almost over.

I deliberately planted it tilted to one side. Doesn’t it look like the white fairy is dancing? It’s an exquisite one that adds charm by emitting a subtle scent.

The Solanum lyratum continuously blooms various petals, such as white, purple, and pink,

This is the morning view of our house. I turned on the music quietly and opened the window; it got colder.

This is the view from the window. The kitchen lighting pops, right? It’s not an exaggeration to say that the completion of the interior is lighting. So, it was the part that I cared about the most when I built a house. The first thing I worried about and ordered was lighting. As expected, the direct purchase was the cheapest for lighting. I compared the sites for each lighting and ordered.

I was worried because I usually had to wait more than six months, but it came faster than I thought. The Verpan Fun lighting, beaming its elegance above the dining table, is the largest 0DM size. Now that I hung it after assembling the parts individually, it goes well with our house, as I expected. The sound of the seashell discs bumping into each other in the wind is healing.

11. Second floor study

My husband’s study is next to the dining room. I gave an accent with the Artemide Tolomeo wall light. I was worried about the size, but I don’t feel the mini size is small.

My husband was pleased with my taste, seeing I put up the cactus that his grandmother had raised.

12. Second-floor portable sink

This is a portable sink on the second floor. It is located next to the dining room, study room, and stairs. It’s great for lightly washing your hands and looking in the mirror.

As soon as I opened my eyes, I gathered the plants on the second floor to water them. The watering cycle has become faster in the fall. Usually, it would be best to water in the morning for good photosynthesis and vigorous mitosis. If evaporation does not occur well, it can become over-moisturized and damage the roots. I think it would be good to pay more attention to watering.

13. Third-floor son’s room

I’ll introduce the rest of the space briefly. First, I bought the son’s bed as a bunker storage bed because of the space to put clothes boxes. I think it can hold about eight clothes boxes. It seems like a custom bed for our house that lacks the space for the big luggage.

The son’s room also used goose pads and bedding to create a cozy and pleasant environment, like a hotel. Is it because of that? I am so worried because my son sleeps late every morning. Sigh.

And the deer head that has been with us since we were babies. He says he will take it when he gets married. I think it will be meaningful to pass it on to my grandchildren later. Wink.

14. Third-floor laundry room

The place where our house mascot, Lumibear, stands is the laundry room. The entrance to the left is the laundry room, and the right is the pantry.

If you set the Lumibear lamp to automatic mode, as the color changes, the mood is enhanced, and the home atmosphere vives. It’s no secret that he greets me when my husband gets off work. Haha. Lumibear is working hard all day long.

In the previous apartment where I used to live, the laundry room was so narrow that I barely opened the door because I had to put a dryer in it. It’s so lovely to have a laundry room where you can freely come and go after building a house. This time, I bought a new styler, which reminds me of when I first bought a dryer. I just experienced this new world now.

Our house embracing nature

This is a picture of the balcony before the bathtub came in the middle of summer. The view outside the window is so pretty and green, right? When I contracted the land, the mountain in front had only dry branches, so I had no expectations for the view. But as the construction went on, spring came, and summer came… My mouth was wide open at the increasingly green scenery outside the window.

Having a sea view in the distance and a forest view nearby means bringing nature into the house. Feeling the change of weather with all five senses is the charm of living in a home.

All kinds of birds fly around, especially the busy movements of birds on the eve of a storm, the sound of insects that pierce the ears on a midsummer night, and the vibration of leaves shaking in the wind and rain are enough to touch thou heartstrings which are just entering menopause.

Autumn is deepening. It’s a pity I can’t fully capture this beautiful scenery in a photo.

I’m sorry that autumn is leaving. I’m looking forward to winter because I can face the snow scene up close.

Based on my experience of living in a townhouse, I know that the use period for the rooftop is only one year, so this is still a neglected space, but even with just an old fireplace and three camping chairs, it’s a romantic part of living in a house. Mainly, I can’t miss the fire on a rainy day.

In conclusion

The laptop has been sprawled out on the kitchen table for days now. The wine from the night before and my son’s breakfast from this morning are pushed aside as if I haven’t seen them. The hours that went into building the house passed by like a flashlight. It’s all so precious in hindsight.

Because of the housewarming, I have been so excited these past few days. We’ve only been in the house for a few months, so there’s still some furniture that hasn’t arrived yet, and as I’m taking pictures, I’m noticing things that need to be done. Thank you for following this long post, which might be insufficient. Stay healthy and happy!

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