Mountain in the Back, River in the Front - Knok Store


Deciding to change residency to a foreign country has its ups and downs – mine surely did for the years I spent in Bavaria. This is an immeasurable adjustment for anyone, and for several weeks, if not months, your head is spinning. Especially those prone and receptive to details, like myself – your world is turned to mush and you slightly lose control. Blame it on my architecture and art historical background, but my excitement was mostly assigned to noticing the contrast between Bavarian homes and those from my childhood. New construction demonstrated a preference for cinder, rather than typical American wood framing and heating was centralized to a giant furnace, normally located in the living room or dining room – and of course, the alpine usage of timber was mesmerizing, enchanting – even cozy.

The power of architecture and the inescapable influence it has on our lives is undeniable. Mostly, it goes unnoticed – but perhaps its inconspicuous nature holds the key to its remarkable impact. It is nearly impossible to step foot in any type of constructed architecture without noticing the use of raw materials, yet some areas of the world have playfully, if not successfully, displayed a tradition of an understanding and appreciation of nature.

Berlin is a rather “new” city considering most of it was reconstructed after the atrocities of a war that are still visible (mostly by choice) throughout the metropolis we call home. As balconies, courtyards and altbau design have saturated the market and become the norm for housing in Berlin, there are still those seeking the minimal and traditional aspects of other architectural and interior components. Knok Store, by sourcing Korean imports to Berlin for everything from fashion to stationary and home accessories, is pushing for strong Korean influences to be felt in industries other than the culinary arts.

In Berlin, your front balcony faces the street and your back balcony will normally reveal an amalgamation of courtyards, bike racks and children’s play areas. It’s as simple as that. In Korea, according to the concept of  baesanimsu, the ideal home has a mountain in the back, and a river in the front. Both the architecture of a home and the interior layout are situated thoughtfully to relate to nature, land and the seasons.  Similar to German building practices, one will recognize soil, timber and stone as the major building components - and the interior similarities are uncanny as well – minimalism.

Knok Store features luxury home goods from Korean labels such as MOTE, MM_BKID and Better Mix Design Studio. From Better Mix Design Studio, Knok offers their sleek, minimalist lamps that are hand-molded using eco-friendly cement and fitted with energy efficient LED modules. By illuminating the shape of a classic bulb with a warm and ultramodern glow and a concrete body, the molded lamps are an unusual accent that adds a bit of quirkiness to the traditional landscape of a traditional Berlin altbau.

Frightful of nearly nothing, Berliners typically don’t find it too necessary to cower indoors for the entire winter – yet, dinner parties, movie marathons and late-night cooking sessions are typical weekend traditions and with interior socializing comes strategic interior choices. Plants, herbs, candles, an eclectic mix of both old and new furnishings and a rare movie collection are seemingly enough for Berliners of all generations to enjoy themselves and with the exception of a rare movie collection, rest assured, Knok Store provides everything to get you started. Since the conception of De Stijl in The Netherlands and ultramodern Danish design to the North, minimalism and design have gravitated upwards and outwards with these two locales remaining as the epicenters. Now, South Korea is establishing itself as the new force in design to be reckoned with - one with humble beginnings and a ferociously avant-garde future. A future that Knok is bringing right to our doors.