In their quest for sustainability, designers are going all in with the creation of new eco-friendly fabrics and materials. Marine debris bakelite, mushroom mycelium and Chip[s] Board, for instance, are just a few of the green alternatives we’ve covered on the site already. But what if the answer to all our problems was right in front of us all along? While we’re excited to see what the innovations of the future bring, it seems there may be a case for utilizing what we already have – cork. Keep reading to find out more about cork home decor.
The Promise of Cork
While cork may be more synonymous with bottle stoppers and bulletin boards, its functionality and dappled kinfolk aesthetic makes it a great candidate for design projects.
At its core, cork has a unique elastic cellular structure which gives it great strength and inherent durability. It’s also thermal regulating and soundproof, in addition to being noncorrosive and fire-resistant. For these reasons, cork is a natural fit for the demands of enduring eco-friendly design.
What’s more, cork is a renewable material. Though it does come from a cork tree, harvesting the raw material involves only the bark. In short, cork harvesting avoids the damage typically associated with logging, allowing the tree to carry on living and growing, cleaning our air and providing even more cork for us to use. Finally, as it’s 100% natural, cork is also fully biodegradable, bringing the product cycle full circle.
Cork Home Decor
From walls to flooring and accessories, cork is more versatile than you think. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate cork home decor.
Wood panel walls receive an eco-update at the Calile Hotel in Brisbane. Here, the speckled cork aesthetic adds texture to the blush pink walls. Brushed brass and rosy marble accents work with cork’s naturally warm undertones. Overall, this suite highlights the wonderfully minimalist character of cork.
There’s something inherently chic about the juxtaposition of sturdy cork and delicate glass. The haphazard contrast of textures speaks to a make-do and mend quality, playing into the season’s ever-popular rustic aesthetic. Fill this Scandi-inspired bottle with homemade lemonade or kombucha to complete the look.
Although traditionally thought of as a cheap material, when combined with contemporary design, cork can more than hold its own in the world of high end luxury. Case in point, Nova Obiecta’s COLUM(N) stool meets side table. Geometric abstraction of form modernizes the simplicity of the cork aesthetic. Meanwhile, hand-polished brass and copper alloys add polish to the design.
Given the durable qualities of cork, cork flooring is a design no-brainer, regardless of your personal interior style. Of course, cork is right at home with the natural Scandinavian vibes of a white minimalist space. But the mottled cork texture can also work in a contemporary or modern classical setting. In this traditional kitchen, cork is a cooler alternative to marble, literally and figuratively grounding the room.