by Marisa Marcantonio

Long favored for its durability as a floor covering and to hold memos on the wall, cork is having a bit of a comeback. I love it for its versatility, texture, and natural, renewable and sustainable properties it possesses. Tree-harvested mainly in Portugal, cork has been valued for its acoustic qualities and fire resistance, often lining the walls of recording studios, not to mention retaining Champagne and wine in their bottles, since it can compress and expand making it well-suited to preserving precious contents. Add a little pop with the lightweight material, to bring the variegated surface appeal home.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Young

Jamie Young's cork pendant light fixture brings textural appeal to a classic design stalwart, the pendant fixture. Over a breakfast nook or in a home office, this fixture is an understated classic.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Serve in style with C. Wonder's gold-flecked cork tray that has a hint of shimmer. Stacked books and accessories really stand out against the neutral surface.

Photo courtesy of Vitra

Jasper Morrison-designed the Cork Stool B, in the "new simplicity" style in 2004. It continues to look great today. Available at Design Within Reach, it is the perfect spot to place a drink.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Beveled edges add a refined element to C. Wonder's picture frame in cork. Try re-framing all your photos in matching frames for design cohesion. It puts the focus on whats inside them, and doesn't distract.

Photo courtesy of Schoolhouse Electric

It is buoyant and not absorbent, so cork works well as a soap dish material, as seen here from Schoolhouse Electric


Photo courtesy of Robyn Brooks

You CAN take it with you. A simple envelope-closure clutch, the Hailey, ensures an elegant style statement for evening, from Robyn Brooks New York.