Renewable, durable, mold-resistant, and modern, cork is the interior decorating material that’s all the rage for 2017. Typically, cork has been chosen for homes because of its anti-microbial and eco-friendly properties, making it great for the kitchen, bathrooms, and the laundry room, where moisture is most commonly found. But lately, it has been making waves in home design for its stylish appearance, in addition to its utility.
Wood, tile, and poured concrete have nothing on the bounce-back feel of cork.
Here are our four favorite ways to incorporate cork into any room.
“It’s so easy to walk on, and nice for babies to crawl over,” says interior design expert Jeffrey Weldler, of VÄNT Wall Panels. Cork gives your kitchen flooring a comfortable layer under your feet, so, as a home cook, you’ll notice the difference in your back and knees.
This material will last for years in your kitchen or home office, resisting cracks and scratches. And if you dent it with that huge Sub-Zero, all is not lost. Cork will spring back and regain its form, so those marks won’t last. It can also be used as a primary layer under hardwood, laminate and tiles for comfort and to reduce noise.
“If you always grab your slippers when you get up in the morning to avoid an icy cold floor, you’ll love cork’s ability to maintain room temperature,” notes Dan Moyer, of Closet Factory.
Cork has made a colorful comeback.
“Traditionally, you’d think of cork as being beige and bland, but the paneling that’s made today comes in a vast selection of styles and colors, including ebony, dark brown, gray, or white,” says Weldler. This assortment of colors make incorporating cork in your home easier than ever. Apply gray cork paneling to the walls of your dining room as an alternative to wallpaper.
Like a giant bulletin board, a cork wall is ideal for a home office or child’s bedroom.
“Cork walls are not only trendy, they’re practical,” says Weldler. All of your mementos, reminder notes, and works of art can be pinned up and organized. Expand your wall space in any room that sees a lot of foot traffic.
Want to dip a toe in the cork trend without making a permanent commitment? Try hanging a piece of art made from cork. If you’re dying to DIY, there are plenty of cork art projects you can try your hand at. Just remember to save the corks after you pop bottles of bubbly or wine.
“Mount memorable corks in a frame and then write something about each one underneath,” says Weldler.
This article was originally published at Realtor.com.