In the vibrant and provocative world of cinema, the 2019 South Korean film “Parasite” not only garnered global acclaim for its gripping narrative and exceptional storytelling but subtly etched a strong influence on modern interior design trends. 


When the South Korean film, “Parasite,” won several awards at the Oscars 2020, many people were fascinated by its stunning visuals and cinematography. But aside from its storytelling, the film’s production design also caught the attention of many audiences. Specifically, the intricate and elaborate furniture used in the film’s settings became the talk of the town.


The film’s unique and creative use of furniture struck a chord with audiences globally, inspiring an aesthetic shift in today’s living spaces. As a profound admirer of cinema and interior design, you may be intrigued by how the evocative furniture in “Parasite” became a silent character in the narrative, subtly augmenting the plot while setting new design trends.


This article delves into the influence of this cinematic masterpiece on the evolution of contemporary interior design trends, illuminating how art and life intertwine in the most unexpected ways.


The Minimalist Aesthetic

One of the primary motifs of “Parasite” was the depiction of class disparity between the rich and the poor. In the film, the wealthy family’s house was a stunning architectural marvel, with clean lines, open spaces, and minimalistic designs, such as what you can see in the innovative new home builders by Hotondo Homes.


The film’s production design team chose to use modern and contemporary furniture with simple shapes, monochromatic color schemes, and neutral materials like wood, steel, and glass. This minimalist aesthetic has become one of the hottest interior design trends today, as many homeowners prefer a clean, uncluttered, and elegant look for their homes.


Japanese-Inspired Furniture

In the movie, the Kim family’s living room and bedrooms were furnished with low-lying and minimalist seating. The Japanese-inspired furniture is sleek, modern, and eye-catching.


As a result, modern-day interior designers have been drawn to such simplistic styles, emphasizing lines and form over intricate details. Additionally, the Japanese-inspired furniture has a purpose behind its design. It enables functionality, creativity, and a sense of calmness to its users.


The Use of Vintage Pieces

On the other hand, the poor family’s house in “Parasite” was cluttered, cramped, and chaotic. However, vintage and eclectic pieces of furniture highlighted and added character and charm to the setting. The use of vintage pieces is a trend that has been around for quite some time, but the film’s portrayal has spurred a resurgence of interest in antique and retro styles.


Nowadays, many homeowners prefer to incorporate vintage pieces like mid-century modern chairs, Victorian mirrors, and Art Deco light fixtures to add a touch of nostalgia and personality to their homes.


Small Furniture

The Kim family’s house in the lower depths of Seoul had limited space. It led to the use of modular and multifunctional furniture that complimented the small size of the house.


Modern interior design trends have now started to emphasize the use of modular and space-saving furniture. Modular furniture is in high demand as it can be moved, reconfigured, and repurposed to accommodate different uses and spaces.


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Indoor Plants

In “Parasite,” the sets showed off the lavish architectural details of the Park family’s house, which contains indoor plants. The lush greenery gave the place an ethereal and calming vibe.


As a result, indoor gardening has become a dominant trend in modern interior design. Homeowners opt for greenery inside their homes as it provides numerous mental and physical health benefits.

Statement Lighting

Lighting is often overlooked in interior design, but “Parasite” showed how it can be the perfect accessory to complete a stylish space. The movie utilized various statement lighting fixtures, such as cove lighting, pendant lights, lampshades, and chandeliers.


Statement lighting can add dimension to any room and create a focal point. In modern interior design, unique lighting fixtures have become essential to any prominent space.

Natural Materials

The furniture in the Kim family’s house was predominantly made of natural materials, including wood, rattan, and bamboo.


Natural materials return in style, providing a more sustainable and eco-friendly living experience. Items such as wooden tables, chairs, and shelves are becoming popular again in modern interior design trends.


The Sustainability Movement

“Parasite” also tackled environmental issues and sustainable living. Despite their poverty, the film depicted the poor family’s house as resourceful and eco-friendly. For instance, the family installed a folding table that they can use as a dining table, a workstation, or a board game table.


The film’s focus on sustainability has also influenced the current trend towards eco-friendly and sustainable furniture. Many homeowners are now choosing furniture made from sustainable materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood, and recycled plastic to reduce their carbon footprint.



The furniture and interior design used in “Parasite” has been influential and eye-opening in many ways. The movie beautifully incorporated sustainability, minimalism, and functionality with art to portray socio-economic satire. The movie’s style trends, including low-lying Japanese-inspired furniture, small and multifunctional furniture, indoor plants, statement lighting, and natural materials, have now become a staple in modern interior design.


Furniture has always been an essential component in design, but “Parasite” demonstrated that it could also be a means of storytelling. The movie impressed the audience with its narrative and visual appeal and managed to inspire and influence modern design trends.


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