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18 Sep 2019

How To Use Cork In Interior Design

There’s an increasing desire for homeowners all over the UK - and, indeed, the world - to be more eco-friendly and sustainable in their approach to interior design and home improvements… and luckily, there are lots of ways in which this can be achieved, ways that could even potentially save you lots of money into the bargain as well.

Back in the 70s, cork was a hugely popular material for homeowners, driven in large part no doubt by the political uncertainty of the time over in the US with the Vietnam war and government issues - making people retreat and look to the glory days of the past. Where interiors were concerned, this meant a resurgence of certain natural materials like cork, cane, bamboo, rattan and wood.

Cork is now big news once again, as are other 70s trends - perhaps in large part again because of the politically uncertain times that we find ourselves in once more. But how can you go about introducing this material at home in a stylish and trendy way?

Firstly, what about using it to bring a sense of warmth to the walls at home? These days, you can buy cork wallpaper in a wide variety of finishes so you’re sure to be able to find a design you love that ties in well with the rest of your home decor decisions.

One part of the house that would benefit particularly from the introduction of cork is, of course, the bathroom. You can invest in cork flooring that is lovely and soft beneath your feet (and it would also work well in the kitchen for this reason, as well), and it’s non-slip so you’re less likely to fall after a bath or shower.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that it is quite susceptible to damage since it’s so soft and don’t forget that water can be something of an issue. Even though the finishing process on cork flooring means it is properly sealed to offer protection against damage and stains, the seal isn’t perfect and if your bathroom floods, cork will warp and discolour. Humidity can also have a similar impact if you’re not careful.

You might well decide, therefore, that Italian polished porcelain tiles may be a better choice for some parts of the house than cork - but it’s entirely up to you and the overall look you’re trying to achieve room by room.

Wherever you decide to use cork as a material at home, if sustainability is a top priority then it really is a good choice. Cork is a naturally harvested material, found in the cork oak forests in the likes of Portugal and Spain. It’s harvested from the bark of the tree, so the tree is able to carry on living and helping to clean our air - making cork one of the most renewable and environmentally friendly materials you can go for.