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 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.
£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.
Hat and Moustache personalized cork pinboard, £29.95, Seashorse at
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Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.
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