Cork is one of those materials that designers love (a bit like cardboard) but others still have a bit of a hang up about. Reminiscent of chilly 1960s bathroom floors, it’s now having a renaissance in the home, with a selection of truly sustainable, beautiful and highly functional products. It’s warm-to-the-touch, has a little bounce and is really, really floaty. What more could you ask for from a material?
Cork production is widely considered to be environmentally friendly. It’s harvested roughly every 25 years, without destroying the tree. And with the average tree living to be 200-years-old, cork becomes an even more appealing design material.
It’s also incredibly versatile. If you don’t believe me, then check out this range of different products.
First up is Corque Design. Cork seats and chairs that are both elegant and look really comfortable. In fact, take a closer look at the extent of their range of cork products. It’s really quite something.
Swedish design studio, Note Design, have created the ‘Boet’ stool. ‘Boet’ means ‘nest’ in Swedish and the stool takes its design cues from that idea.Â You’re high up, supported by strong branches and in a comfortable, secure position. It’s the lush cork seat that really tops off this elegant design.
Moving away from seating, ‘Float’ by Benjamin Hubert for Unique Copenhagen are lamps made from agglomerate cork blocks (essentially the waste bits from wine bottle corks). Any waste created making the lamps can also be reconfigured as cork blocks for further use. Now that’s what (and how) I like to see. His ‘Labware’ lamps made from mouth-blown glass and Portuguese cork light up like a radioactive chemistry lab. Very illuminating.
Moving towards the more niche end of cork design,Â we arrive at The Home Project. Classic plant pots and stereo speakers aren’t your everyday cork products but you can see for yourselves how well they work.
‘Appo’ by Carlo Trevisani takes the original purpose of the cork and turns it on its head. Any empty bottle (the versatile cork strikes again) is transformed into a stunning centrepiece.
But perhaps the most unusual cork item is this washbasin by Simple Forms Design. It’s not something you would perhaps naturally associate with cork but this works really well.
So as you can see, cork is so much more than something that stands between you and a nice glass of wine. Next time you think you have an empty space in your home, put a cork in it. If you know what I mean.