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15 May 2022
While a great deal of research has been done on the life history of the originator of the officetel, surprisingly very little research has explored the likely origins of the portmanteau. In Korean, the term for officetel is seo-tong. In the United States however, the term "neotong" is used for the umbrella tree also known as the American officetel, California poppies or red poppies. It's sometimes called the California poppy. The name was adopted after an early American ornamental painter who used it to decorate the back portion of his studio (thus the name). https://romaop.com/cheonan/ Poppies were originally brought to this country from China in the later nineteenth century by an art enthusiast, Edwin Cezanne. The widely recognized picture of the Chinese student-hummingbirds is based on his painting, "The Return of the Mandarin", (1907).
It should be obvious that "Portmanteau" was not derived from hummingbirds but instead came from another lesser-known Asian herb. Ironically, the same plant, the scented oriental oriel, which is often incorrectly called "ginseng," provides the primary source of the popular Korean tea, keoladeo, so often seen in Korean residential architecture today. However, while the herb does not share the name with the portmanteau, the similarities between the two Asian herbs do lead some to draw a parallel between the two Korean housing typologies.
The kitchen, like most Korean houses styles is the heart of the house. The traditional design has the kitchen separated from the dining area - which is a space that's used to prepare family meals. The main room (or bungalow) can be reached by a separate stairway. This was done to avoid the rooms competing for limited kitchen space which was often scarce in colonial times. Today, in the modern apartment, the kitchen / dining room boundary has been largely erased, creating a large living room in addition to the two traditional home areas.
Homemakers who are not skilled in homemaking may find it difficult to design a home that is functional and attractive. They may also need help from a housing architect. Fortunately, the officetel-type architecture of Korean apartments comes with a plethora of designs that can be incorporated into the typical homemaker's kitchen. Most Korean condos, for example, feature a tiered "chard" of kitchen furniture arranged in concentric circles, which gives the kitchen a somewhat botanical feel. These are some of the most popular homemaking tools:
The cast-iron fireplace is a traditional homemaker's favorite. It consists of a stove, sometimes accompanied by small refrigerator, a cutting board, and several wooden spoons. The cast-iron fireplace can be used as a display for art or to hang artwork. The stove and the accompanying benches used to be located on the 2nd level of a bungalow. Today, these fixtures are rare to find, with the exception of some models manufactured in modernist architecture by high-end manufacturers. On the whole, modernists have succeeded in eliminating or at least minimizing the traditionalist element of the Korean residence.
As it was first introduced in Korea, the officetel can be described as one of the essential amenities which comprise the support system for any Korean home: the portmanteau. Although Korean ports and hotels do not generally resemble the regal grandeur of medieval times, they still follow some of the same standards that characterized the original versions. The bathroom and toilet are two examples of interior spaces that have been emphasized. They both feature large, porcelain-topped doors and beautiful etched and stained glass bottoms. These aren't the only places where you can find these amazing works of art. The bungalow exteriors are often decorated in the exact same extravagant style.
As you can see, the original use of the officetel by Koreans was not only a sign of refinement, but also a way to showcase the superiority of their culture. The Korean officetel, just like the flower bouquet or mirror that a Korean woman will use to show off her culture before others, is an integral part of Korean culture. It may be a good idea to include it in your home, to reflect the Korean traditions. Visit the following website to learn more about Korean officetel tradition and etiquette.
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