There always seems to be a point in the year where, while we enjoy our furniture and decor for the most part, it’s missing a little extra “something.” Now and then you need to try out a new material, pattern or color to give your space the pop and update it deserves. This year cork has sneakily made its way into our homes and hearts; we are swooning over the understated texture it adds to any space. A chameleon in any decor, cork eases its way into almost any style of room or color scheme.

The soft consistency of cork makes it a virtually worry-free furniture material for parents, as there are no sharp edges for little ones to to run into. It’s also easy to clean in the event of any spills or crumbs. The soft look of it adds a feeling of ease and effortlessness to any space you adorn it with.

Ottoman or footstool

Adding a cork ottoman or footstool to your family room or TV room is something you’ll thank yourself for later. It provides a comfortable place to rest your feet or a glass of wine while you lounge. It also adds a subtle but unconventional piece to the room that both draws the eye and ties the room together. Try additional accents to play off the color, such as a beige throw or rug.

Lighting fixtures

Perhaps one of our favorite ways to indulge in the material of the moment, cork lighting fixtures are your home’s subtle statement pieces that can withstand time and decoration changes. We love this idea because it’s a welcome change from the usual path of metal light fixtures. Cork adds a softness to the light and the appearance of the bulb, and it all comes together to be extremely flattering.

Desk area

This use of cork as a desk top has us reaching for our toolboxes. Not only does a cork desktop provide a semi-cushioned area for your wrists to rest while you type, but it also offers the utility of a standard cork board to post reminders and photos. Utilizing cork in your office area is especially suited for those with industrial or minimalist style overtones in their homes.

A fresh take on the traditional cork board

Channeling traditional methods with new tweaks, this cork map wall art from Urban Outfitters hits all of the marks. Getting a cut-out cork board for your plain walls eliminates the need for art and doubles as a cork board. This provides room for your photos, memos or magazine cutouts to help showcase your self expression. For a cork board like this, try adding small or simple items to avoid covering up the entire cork map.