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Beyond Topiary

Janice Feldman Pays Tribute to a Stunning, Korean Hanok that Balances Tradition With a Modernist’s Eye


I have always believed that the greatest design honors the past while giving a nod to the future. This idea is realized brilliantly within the unique home of my dear friend and talented colleague, Teo Yang.

Teo Yang’s traditional Korean wooden house, or hanok, is located in the heart of Seoul in the neighborhood of Bukchon. I am honored to have been able to visit… It is truly a place of magic! Of course, Bukchon is famous for its feng-shui and is surrounded by nature, beautiful pine trees and cherry blossoms. Its beauty has been revered for hundreds of years, and some of its traditional hanoks date back to the Joseon dynasty in 1392.

The original structure of Teo Yang’s hundred-year-old property is impeccably preserved. I believe there is nowhere else quite like it… The serenity of the courtyard and the peaceful presence of wood, stone, and earth will be with my soul forever.

While minimal restoration has been done on the exterior, the interior has been remodeled through Teo Yang’s expert aesthetic, which offers a modern translation of the traditional Korean house. Clean white walls give way to the subtle beauty of its natural wooden structures. Simple, modern furniture allows the property’s history to speak for itself.

It is a sensational home, and a thoughtful ode to the beauty of tradition, time and timelessness.






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