A Nod To The Australian Aesthetic In South Korea

As far as we’re concerned, Melbourne’s Flack Studio can do no wrong. This vibrant, energetic Melbourne design studio are responsible for some of the most original interiors we’ve seen over the past few years.

Today, we tour one of the studio’s benchmark projects – Caravan Hapejong, in South Korea.

Lucy Feagins

Inside Caravan Hapejong an eatery in Seoul, South Korea, with interiors by Melbourne’s Flack Studio. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

The acclaimed project was praised for its bold use of colour. Artworks picture are by Sean Bailey, represented by Daine Singer Gallery, with Featherstone Scape chairs from Grazia & Co. Photo – Sharyn Carins.


Flack Studio prides itself on ‘making the everyday, exceptional’. Photo – Sharyn Carins.


When the first call came through, the team knew it was a ‘Flack’ project, and David was in Korea meeting with he clients just 72 hours later! Custom lighting by Flack Studio. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

Sweet treats on display at the all-day café/restaurant flanked by Ettore Sottsass ‘Tahiti’ Lamp from Memphis. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

Caravan wanted the space to reflect their feelings and experiences of Australia, so sought out an Australian design team. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

To facilitate this off-shore project, Flack Studio had an awesome Project manager on the ground and made sure the key decision makers were fluent in English to avoid any miscommunication. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

The eatery occupies a space of 95-square-metres. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

‘We were given music as one of our only references, surprisingly this really assisted with the tome we had to create,’ tells David Flack. Artworks on wall by Matthew Allen. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

The bold space brings together blood-red chairs, red Venetian blinds, jade green feature walls, a soft grey ceiling, and pink marble and velvet accents. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

Floor details – swoooooon! Photo – Sharyn Carins.

”The idea of a Caravan kept reappearing as a metaphor for the Australian migration experience.’ tells David. Lamp from Memphis. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

Caravan Hapejong is the client’s first hospitality venture, they are now in final stages of completing Caravan 2:0 and a bakery – both designed by Flack Studio. Artworks picture are by Sean Bailey, represented by Daine Singer Gallery. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

Lucy Feagins
8th of February 2018

When it comes to interiors trends, there are followers, and there are leaders. David Flack and his team at Flack Studio fall squarely into the second category. Despite having only launched in late 2014, the ‘Flack look’ is well and truly established, and is driving a bold return to unapologetically maximalist interiors, full of rich colour and luxe textures.

Whilst they specialise mostly in residential homes, last year Flack Studio completed a benchmark project – Caravan Hapejong, in South Korea. This inspired restaurant design was the first international project for David and his team… and boy, did they nail it!

So, how does a fledgling Melbourne design studio even GET a job in Korea… let alone deliver such an exceptional result? Well, one thing helped; after the first enquiry, David got straight on a plane.

‘When the first call came through, we knew it was a ‘Flack’ project, so David was in Korea meeting the clients within 72 hours,’ says Mark Robinson (David’s business partner, and fiancé).

‘The original brief was more about feelings and memories,’ recalls David. Their clients, Adam and Jess, are Australian ex-pats (Jess is Koreanborn and Australian raised), and the design of the restaurant was informed by childhood memories about what Australia meant to them. ‘It was very much about the positive effects of immigration on the local design and food scene. From the classic milk bars to the influences of the Italian and Greek cafes/providores. The idea of a Caravan kept reappearing as a metaphor for the Australian migration experience.’

Interestingly, Jess and Adam also provided a selection of music to guide the design process! Again referencing nostalgic memories, the playlist included: Steely Dan’s ‘Do It Again’, Roxy Music’s ‘Love Is The Drug’, and the Steve Miller Band’s ‘Fly Like an Eagle’. ‘These songs were very much the feel of the space they wanted to create,’ says David.

As we’ve come to expect from Flack Studio, this is a project with countless layers, and a distinct sense of design ‘control-freakery’, right down to the art selection, and custom-made cake stands!

Combining a velvety palette of jade green and red with pink marble, plush velvet and brass accents, the studio were keen to feature key Australian artists and furniture within the space. The Featherston Scape dining chair from Grazia & Co was specified in blood red, alongside artworks by Australian artists Sean Bailey (from Melbourne’s Daine Singer Gallery), and Matthew Allen (from Sydney’s Sullivan + Strumpf).

The local community in Hapejong has really embraced Caravan, and Jess and Adam are now are now in final stages of completing Caravan 2:0 and a bakery, both designed by Flack Studio. GO FLACK GO!

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