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Welcome to Our Home

Posted by on June 3, 2011

I thought I would share the living situation for Laurel and me with you in this post. You may be wondering, what the heck is a house or apartment like in Korea? You should know one thing going into this, we live in a mansion!! For Korean standards that is. Come on in and we’ll take you on a tour of our humble abode.

Let me set up the scene for our first reaction coming to Paju-si, Korea. As Laurel and I are being taxied from Seoul to Paju by a driver who doesn’t speak any English, we’re eagerly anticipating what and where our home will be? We look left as the driver pulls off the freeway and spread out before our eyes are more high rise buildings than one can even count. I look at Laurel and say, “You don’t think we live in one of those things, do you?” She gives me a very unsure look back and says, “I have no idea!”

High Rise ville in Paju Korea

"You don't think we live in one of those things, do you?"

And sure enough, the buildings got bigger as we got closer, and eventually we were dropped off right outside of one. We both craned our necks looking around at the enormity that was before us, and beginning to really question what we got ourselves into.

the building where we live in Paju

You'll find us at 110-404


Now a typical Korean home is very small. They sleep in the same space they live in by setting down mats every night. There is usually one big room and maybe another side room. Well we were very shocked when we entered to find a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom castle that we jokingly say could sleep a Korean family of 15. The size paired with the filth present when we first laid eyes on it was more then a person could handle. Every wall was covered with grime, the railings for the windows were black, a weird funky mold slime was growing under our bed, the bathrooms looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in months.

Simply put, it was just nasty!

But I’m not here to harp on how disgusting our apartment was. Through the past 7 months of pulling out the mop and broom, sundays spent using our creative ingenuity for decorating, and really personalizing the space, it is in fine condition to have you over and take you around.

So welcome to our home! Please take your shoes off as you come in.

take your shoes off at the door

take your shoes off at the door

The first room that you see as you walk in is our yoga room. There is a book shelf in one corner and a table in another corner. I cut out a circle, square, and triangle from asian paper and placed them on one wall (you can’t see these). These basic geometric shape give the room a primeval feeling. It is in this room we practice mindfulness, awareness, and living in the present. Some serious energy is spent performing the art of Power Yoga, or Astanga Yoga. Distractions need not apply for the yoga room.

The yoga room in our home

Now let me take you into the living room. Here we gather with friends around a table overflowing with food brought from our guests and eat, socialize, play games, and become better friends. Laurel and I host a pot luck about once a month. We have 3 times as much space as any of our friends and like to share it with them. This is also a good place for the two of us to read or watch movies. And if one person wants to sleep late (ahem…Laurel) it gives the other a place to go and not disturb.

living room

After walking through the living room, you enter the place where all things cooked and eaten happen. Laurel and I both cook, sometimes together, sometimes for each other if one is tired. But no matter who is chef for the evening, we both are equally adept at the magical disappearing act of the nights main course.


And here’s a shot of both our living room and the kitchen.

living room and kitchen

Into our bedroom where we rejuvenate and recharge our bodies each night in preparation for the next days activities. The room is plain, and we don’t spend much time in there other then to sleep and get ready for school each day.


When I mentioned it was a mansion, I was not joking. Next we have an entire space dedicated to storing our suitcases, backpacks, sleeping bags, and costco food that won’t fit in the cupboard. We don’t need this room but its there so hey, what the heck.

spare room

Behind the kitchen you will find the traditional Korean washing machine. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to wash a fairly large load. Then we hoof all the clothes through the house and place them on the line outside of our bedroom. Standard drying time is approximately 1.5 days so we must always make sure we’re thinking ahead, just by a little bit at least.

korean washing machinehang our clothes to dry

I was going to put in some photos about the bathroom. But I’ll make that a whole another post later on. Look for it.

And finally the view outside our window.

view outside our window

All the photos were taken with the lights off and no flash. I wanted to give you a feel of how well sunshine floods into every corner and crevice of our home to brighten our day.

I hope that you enjoyed the tour. We started big with a shot of the neighborhood, zoomed in to our building, and took a walk from the front door through each room our house has to offer.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood. Please feel free to stop by any time. Our door is always open!!!!


  • At 2011.06.03 04:58, LaurelNo Gravatar said:

    Nice photos! I want to live in that place, oh wait, I DO!

    • At 2011.06.03 05:17, Aunti DebNo Gravatar said:

      WOW…wOw!! I’m coming over with a blow up bed and taking the room with the suitcases! I will be your clean up lady and serve cocktails!! Thanks so much for sharing!! xoxoxo – Aunti

      • At 2011.06.06 17:58, UncNo Gravatar said:

        Well you know what they say, ” home is wherever you lay your head “. Looks like you guys have made the space quite comfortable. It’s great that your home has become the hangout and that you share your roominess with others.
        Love, Unc

        • At 2011.06.07 15:52, PattyNo Gravatar said:

          Thanks for sharing Jamie! It’s no surprise that you two have managed to turn the place into a warm and inviting home. And boy do those floors shine! :) Love you guys!!!! Mom

          • At 2011.06.13 05:18, JamesonNo Gravatar said:

            Yes I really do enjoy sharing my space with others. It’s kind of like the end of the year party at G mas and G pas they had every year. I’m just getting my practice in to be as great as they were at em.

            • At 2011.06.13 05:19, JamesonNo Gravatar said:

              Ohhhh sounds awesome. I’ll make you pancakes too!!

              (Required, will not be published)