Everyone covets magnificent and alluring interiors for their respective residential and commercial spaces. Simultaneously, the rising concern of the depletion and degradation of the environment is creating awareness among the people to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly material. 

Corkboard is the perfect solution in exaggerating the beauty of the interior along with maintaining a low ecological footprint. It is a renewable material that has numerous advantages.  It is durable, aesthetically versatile, safe to use, and easy to install and to maintain. It is implemented in various practices due to its multifaceted features and esthetical properties. This article will throw light on a few different methods of using this environmentally friendly material.

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Use of Corkboard_bobvila.com

01) Wall Covering

Space is more interactive and welcoming with the application of textured material and warmth hue of corkboard. In general, there is the use of contrast or splash of bright colour on the wall to bring rejuvenation to space. This is also achieved by covering the wall with cork material. Cork has a natural appearance as it is an organic material harvested from the bark of the oak tree. This natural impression of the material harmonizes easily with the use of vegetation as the foreground. 

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Wall Covering ©hm.com

02) Guiding Wall

Research shows that visually impaired people prefer to touch textiles to move from one corner of the building to another. Corkboard can be the perfect alternative material to replace fabrics to guide the path for differently-abled people with visual impairments. This material is installed on the partition wall or the guiding/ navigation wall in public buildings. It is a naturally textured surface that acts as a navigator for dim-sighted people. This example can be observed at Hazelwood School in Glasgow, designed by Alan Dunlop Architects. 

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Guiding Wall_alandunloparchitect.com

03) Corkboard Ceiling

An elegant and modish interior is achieved by eradicating the use of the monotonous white coloured ceiling. This can be replaced by the aesthetical valued and sustainable corkboard.  This energy-efficient material is also known for its thermal insulation as it traps the heat and creates a cosy and comfortable ambience. It also has the sound dampening property that absorbs the unwanted sound dramatically and makes a gentle surrounding. 

On referring to the chick room of McGrath II, we can observe the simple use of this eco-friendly material on the ceiling gives a sophisticated and fashionable impression of the room. 

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Cork Ceiling_mcgrath2.com

04) Cork-lined Walls of Bathroom

Corkboard is a waterproof resistant material although it is obtained from the bark of the cork oak tree. This eco-friendly material is implemented in the bathrooms because of this feature. This example is seen by referring to the bathroom of the summer retreat on New York’s Upper Saranac Lake. 

The use of rustic metal fixtures and concrete slab gracefully blends with the earthen looking cork-lined walls of the bathroom designed by Thom Filicia. This interior revitalizes the natural surroundings of nature. 

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Cork-Lined Walls of Bathroom ©architecturaldigest.com

05) Corkboard Flooring

The soft surface of the corkboard acts as a cushion and prevents kids and adults from being injured. It is an ideal flooring material as it is durable, installed easily and easy to maintain. This makes the unmitigated reason to implement it in educational institutions like Vanderbilt University in the United States. The naturally textured and neutral colour acts as a blank canvas that highlights the vibrant coloured furniture. This creates a warm and vibrant environment for teachers to teach and students to learn. 

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Cork Flooring_duro-design.com

06) Kitchen Countertop

Corkboard is an ultimate material for the kitchen interior because of its fire-resistant and durable properties. It is a strong substance that can withstand cracks and abrasions and is also easy to repair the damaged region. This example is seen by referring to the kitchen countertop design by Studio Richards and Spence; we could observe the smart use of this sustainable material on the countertop and flooring of the kitchen. The beige coloured stool harmonizes with the natural warm coloured cork material. This highlights the classic appearance of the kitchen. 

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Kitchen Countertop_bloglovin.com

07) Corkboard Furniture

Furniture designers also prefer to use corkboard as it is an economical, non-toxic, and durable material. Furniture like stools, sofas, chairs, benches and tabletops are all created by using this renewable and flexible material. The natural textured and warm coloured surface creates a fascinating ambience that brings pleasure to the users. 

On referring to the image below, we can notice the smart use of the cork tabletop and stool with a black metal frame. This narrates the tale of a natural surrounding blending with the modern world. 

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Cork Furniture_mywarehousehome.com

08) Lighting Fixtures 

Corkboard is a flexible substance that can be easily used in making lighting fixtures. The variants in these fixtures such as outdoor lighting, pendant lighting, table lamp and floor lamp provide an interesting selection for the users. The cork is mainly used as a light shade that is supported by the metal frame. This shows the stylish and modern product design that accentuates the beauty and elegance of the interior. Such a paradigm of the splendid design is seen in the showroom of ‘Cork Lighting and Interiors’ in Ireland. 

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Lighting Fixtures_corklighting.com

09) Kid’s Room

Corkboard is the most ideal and preferred material for the kid’s room as it is a soft material to prevent injuries. The eco-friendly material is implemented in a creative design approach such as a smaller picture frame for displaying children’s colourful artwork. This creates a bright and cheerful impression from the psychological aspect of kids. 

This innovative approach of cork is seen in the reference image; where the bright coloured fixtures and artefacts are being highlighted because of the warm neutral coloured environment-friendly material. 

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Kids Room_hometalk.com

10) Bulletin Board

Bulletin board is an immensely common design idea for the corkboard. There is an ingenious approach made by architect Sebastian Quinn and designer Brad Dunning. The sheet of cork lines in the niche of the desk wall in the bedroom of a glasshouse in New York whose architect was Roy O. Allen. On referring to the image; we can observe the minimalistic method implemented in the interior of the study corner. This creates an elegant appearance and a warm atmosphere. 

Bulletin Board_architecturaldigest.com

On referring to the versatile use of the corkboard, we get to know about the advantageous properties. This is a vital reason for the use of this sustainable material in different interiors and spatial designs. There are also a few disadvantages which should be considered while implementing this material into the design ideas. These could be damaged by a sharp object, it is hard to remove the liquid stain, and it expands and contracts due to change in temperature and humidity. 

If it is installed and maintained carefully then such devastations are avoided. The use of this environment-friendly material became evident after its use in the ‘Falling Water’ as a natural theme by Frank Lloyd Wright. Since there have always been innovative uses of this in interior design. 

References

01) Online Source: Cork Board: A Sustainable Material for Your Interiors! (gharpedia.com)

02) Online Source: 8 Unique Ways to Decorate With Cork in Your Home (thespruce.com)

03) Online Source: CREATIVE USES OF CORK IN DESIGN AND INTERIORS – RE-SOURCE design (re-sourcedesign.com)

04) Online Source: How to Incorporate Cork into Home Decor | Architectural Digest

05) Online Source: Home of Lighting, Furniture, & Interiors | Cork Lighting & Interiors

Author

An architect and interior designer by profession. A passionate traveller who developed inquisitiveness on expanding her knowledge and gathering information on different styles of designs and architecture around the world. She strongly believes that nature and history plays a key role in the field of architecture.

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