Shop the trend: cork

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  • The 70s favourite is back in fashion

    Much-loved in the seventies – think floor tiles, place mats and platform wedges – cork is making a comeback. Designers have recognized the versatility of this tactile, durable material and are combining it beautifully with ceramics, glass and wood. Add to that it’s eco-friendly credentials – it’s extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree, which reforms after nine years – and it’s easy to see why cork is the material of the moment.

    Ikea has collaborated with designer Ilse Crawford on a range of cork-based furniture and accessories which has just hit stores. The SINNERLIG collection includes more than 30 pieces, including tables, seating, glassware and tableware in simple designs that look great and feel wonderfully tactile too.

    SINNERLIG dining table, £250; bench, £100; stools, £50 each; all Ikea

    SINNERLIG bench,
    £100, Ikea

    SINNERLIG glassware, from £4.50 for a bottle, Ikea

    SINNERLIG jar with lid, £8.50, Ikea

    Aside from its good looks and tactile qualities, cork is an easy-to-work-with material that designers are using in innovative and unexpected ways – contrasting it with smooth ceramics and glasswares, shaping it into 3D forms and surface printing with weird and wonderful designs.

    Whistler teapot,
    £19.95; coffee cup set, £18; E-Side

    Vitra Cork stools by Jasper Morrison, £324 each, Heal’s

    Drifted chair with cork seat, £209, Discipline

    Giant champagne cork stool/side table, £170, The Chelsea Gardener

    Soft, durable, waterproof and easy to clean, cork is also a natural when it comes to tableware – from mats, coasters and table runners, to shapely candlesticks, drinking vessels and serveware.

    Bloomingville cork placemats with white triangles, £11 each, Amara

    Bloomingville cork placemat with black print, £15 each, Amara

    Dip dye coasters, 14.95 euros, DaWanda

    Warm underfoot and soft to the touch, we’re used to seeing cork used as flooring but its sound-proofing qualities mean that it’s also being used as a wallcovering too in the form of cork tiles and panels.

    Cork floor tiles (used on the wall), £9.99 per 0.84 sq m pack, Homebase; painted in Wood Smoke eggshell paint, £28 for 2.5ltr, Earthborn

    Hat and Moustache personalized cork pinboard, £29.95, Seashorse at

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