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There always seems to be a point in the year where, while we enjoy our furniture and decor for the most part, it’s missing a little extra “something.” Now and then you need to try out a new material, pattern or color to give your space the pop and update it deserves. This year cork has sneakily made its way into our homes and hearts; we are swooning over the understated texture it adds to any space. A chameleon in any decor, cork eases its way into almost any style of room or color scheme.
The soft consistency of cork makes it a virtually worry-free furniture material for parents, as there are no sharp edges for little ones to to run into. It’s also easy to clean in the event of any spills or crumbs. The soft look of it adds a feeling of ease and effortlessness to any space you adorn it with.
The texture of the cork mixed in with the textures of the rug and couch is a great example of the modern way to mix patterns and textures. Image: Design Within Reach
Ottoman or footstool
Adding a cork ottoman or footstool to your family room or TV room is something you’ll thank yourself for later. It provides a comfortable place to rest your feet or a glass of wine while you lounge. It also adds a subtle but unconventional piece to the room that both draws the eye and ties the room together. Try additional accents to play off the color, such as a beige throw or rug.
Cork lighting fixtures are a sustainable way to indulge in the material. Image: Luiz Pendants
Perhaps one of our favorite ways to indulge in the material of the moment, cork lighting fixtures are your home’s subtle statement pieces that can withstand time and decoration changes. We love this idea because it’s a welcome change from the usual path of metal light fixtures. Cork adds a softness to the light and the appearance of the bulb, and it all comes together to be extremely flattering.
A cork-top desk blends right in with minimalist and industrial styles. Image: Design Attractor
This use of cork as a desk top has us reaching for our toolboxes. Not only does a cork desktop provide a semi-cushioned area for your wrists to rest while you type, but it also offers the utility of a standard cork board to post reminders and photos. Utilizing cork in your office area is especially suited for those with industrial or minimalist style overtones in their homes.
An interest piece perfect for an office, dorm room or children’s room, this cork board is equally classic and modern. Image: Urban Outfitters
A fresh take on the traditional cork board
Channeling traditional methods with new tweaks, this cork map wall art from Urban Outfitters hits all of the marks. Getting a cut-out cork board for your plain walls eliminates the need for art and doubles as a cork board. This provides room for your photos, memos or magazine cutouts to help showcase your self expression. For a cork board like this, try adding small or simple items to avoid covering up the entire cork map.
IKEA’s collaboration with Ilse Crawford produced pieces like this table and stools set that make us want to swoon and splurge. Image: IKEA
Cork table and stools
Choosing to take a risk with one of the main pieces of any room is always a bit nerve wracking. However, if you invest in quality, well-made pieces then it will be a decision you will not soon regret. Given that cork is such an understated-but-interesting material, using it as such a focal point of your room runs a low risk but high reward. Not to mention that cork is sustainable, soft, easy to clean and fun to look at. It’ll feel right at home whether you’re slicing watermelon in the summer months or setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner.
Cork place mats with gold flecks are an easy way to change your style with less commitment. Image: Spicer Bags on Etsy
Not ready to take the full plunge and commit to a full-sized cork table? Change your style frequently? We hear you. If you want to subtly add cork to your dining area or kitchen, try place mats. They are every bit as chic and cleaning-efficient as a dining table would be without the price tag and permanence of a dining table.
A material that has the interest and texture of a statement piece as well as the simplicity of a staple, cork is 2017’s interior decorating material of the moment that will easily carry over into next year. Try using cork as an accent piece in the form of wall or table pieces for just a touch of simplistic chic. Or if you are as gaga over this trend as we are and want to go all in, try larger furniture pieces to transform entire rooms.
Cork is such a versatile material and we just love how it enhances everyday products. Here are some of our favorite cork products to add to your own home.