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Cho Hee-sun, Interior Designer to the Stars

2010/09/05 | Permalink | Source

"I like houses that are convenient for living. Pragmatism first, then beauty", says interior designer Cho Hee-sun, whose list of clients includes celebrities like actors Song Yoon-ah, Lee Beom-soo, Kim Myung-min and Lee Seung-yeon.

Cho has her own interior design firm, CCUMIM, one of about 50 to 60 in Korea. "The homes of celebrities are not that different from others", she explains. "In fact, celebrities who lead a flamboyant life on the outside prefer comfortable houses that can last a long time".

Her style is characterized by a simple and clean look based on a single color such as black or beige. "Because I tend to choose one color for the entire house, it may make the house look dull. But then I liven it up with furniture, carpets and photo frames", she says.

Cho has no formal training in interior design, having majored in media studies at university. But after her marriage, she uploaded pictures of her house, which she decorated herself, on the Internet, and they were spotted by a magazine. That led her to the world of interior styling 10 years ago.

Cho initially took a job designing the interior of smaller apartments focusing on making efficient use of space. "That experience probably defined my pragmatic approach", she says.

In Korea, builders tend to do the interior styling as well, which means that many homes look the same. But the trend is changing. "An increasing number of people in Korea commission stylists to design the interior rather than blindly placing expensive furniture and material. With input from both the house owner and the stylist, we can make a much nicer home".

Cho has been living in the same apartment for 13 years but made it feel new by changing the interior three times. "If the interior is well designed, regardless of where you live, there isn't that much difference in the value of the home. What is most important is how well suited the house is to your lifestyle", she says.

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