Uncorking a Natural Look

Although cork is in no danger of losing its day job as a home for pushpins and a plug for wine bottles, its form and function has certainly evolved in recent years. New versatile uses for cork in daily life include a prominent role in a design trend that spills into every area of the home and provides a natural, eco-friendly solution.

Warming Up a High-Tech World

Current design trends are dominated by sleek — sometimes cold — looks, such as stainless steel counters, glass backsplashes, and concrete floors. Cork provides a way to both soften and warm the feel of a space without sacrificing a modern look.

As a natural, renewable material that’s harvested from cork oak trees, cork is remarkably easy to care for. Waterproof, stain resistant, and available in many different colors and finishes, it’s a versatile material that can reinvent the look of any room.


When used as flooring, cork is more durable than you might think. It’s crack resistant, fire resistant, and has fewer toxins than vinyl flooring. It’s also anti-microbial and repels mold and mildew, a valuable characteristic for flooring.

  • Tip: Use cork tiles in coordinating hues to create striking patterns for a sophisticated, dramatic look.

Walls and Ceilings

Don’t worry; your finished space won’t look at all like a giant bulletin board. Like flooring, cork wall and ceiling tiles come in many different looks, making it easy for you to find one that works for your design aesthetic. This includes cork mosaics, decorative wall tiles, and even wallpaper.

  • Tip: Cork is a natural insulator, both from temperature and sound, so it makes the perfect wall covering for the bedroom of the aspiring drummer in your home.


Cork’s durability lends itself to an array of furniture. Stools and benches made from cork fit well with a modern theme and are both tough and lightweight.

  • Tip: Choose resilient cork furniture for a playroom, family room, or any other room where furniture doesn’t get much TLC.


Using cork as an artistic option is another way to add a bit of warmth to a cool, modern space. Place cork circles or other shapes on the wall in whatever pattern appeals to you. Multi-dimensional acoustic tiles can also be grouped artistically for interest on either the wall or ceiling.

  • Tip: There’s no shortage of ready-made cork art available for purchase, from tabletop décor to wall art — a great option for those who aren’t artistically inclined.

DIY Heaven

If you’re not quite ready to invest in a complete reinvention of your space using cork, try dabbling in it with some DIY projects. From personalized, homemade art to chandeliers and a new backsplash, there’s no shortage of ideas for incorporating more cork into your home.

As you change the look of your space, remember that CORT Furniture Clearance Centers can help you easily change the look of any room.