Experts reveal the one material that will make your kitchen feel instantly more Scandinavian

The secret to Scandi-cool comes down to a simple material that pays homage to Nordid charisma and celebrates the biophilia trend

Secret scandinavian kitchen tip, cork in a shelving unit
(Image credit: string furniture)

The ambiance of Scandinavian design is one that interior lovers worldwide often attempt to replicate. However, the secret to its unrivaled allure may be more simple than we ever thought. 

When planning your Scandi-modern kitchen ideas, follow the advice from the figures at the top of the industry who are in agreement that cork is the simplest, most effective way of injecting this painfully cool aesthetic into the heart of interiors. 

Plus, this minimalistic material pays homage to several of the season's biggest trends – including the Japandi craze and the desire to bring the organic beauty of biophilia into our homes. 

Secret scandinavian kitchen tip, cork walls

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Here, designers explain what makes this material so very Scandi and how you can embrace this look at a time when it has never looked quite so current. 

Why cork is a Scandi-staple in modern kitchens  

If anybody knows about the fundamentals of Nordid design, it is Bo Hellberg, Chief Marketing Officer at the Swedish home decor label, string furniture. Bo notes that cork is becoming increasingly stylish this year, as it exhibits the best of biophilia through its organic materials. 

'It is obviously inherently sustainable and brings warmth and texture to any surface or space, but it's also ideal for insulating, which makes it great for kitchens,' he adds. 

Cork is the secret to a Scandinavian kitchen

(Image credit: string furniture)

How to bring cork into our kitchens – the stylish way 

Sure, we have corks filling our wine rack, but as Bo explains, there are even more ways to bring this material into our space. He suggests using cork underlay alongside your shelves, using the example of strings metal shelving system to combine a 'Scandi kitchen interior with a softer, organic material.' 

'And the cork underlays look great with any pots and pans,' Bo adds. 

Bo is not alone in his adoration for cork, as Emmie Brookman, Interiors Expert from Silver Mushroom, also praises its subtle aura whilst emphasizing its cool qualities.  

Cork is the secret to a Scandinavian kitchen

(Image credit: string furniture)

'Scandinavian style homes are certainly becoming more popular in interiors, perhaps in contrast to the ever-growing technology we use in our homes. If you're looking to add soft, suitable hints of this into your design, then cork can be a great way to do this. We would also warn you not to go overboard as you may begin to feel like you're living inside a cardboard box,' she explains.

To make cork work in your kitchen, Emmie suggests investing in cork' coasters, placemats, jars, lids, and bowls.'

'Using just a few of these items will add a simple, rustic feel to the kitchen that complements the often metallic, hard electricals and surfaces,' she adds.

Cork is the secret to a Scandinavian kitchen

(Image credit: string furniture)

The secret to a chic kitchen is beautifully simple, and we think it's time to toast this discovery with a few champagnes for the cork, naturally. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.