Design by Kirsten Armour 4 minutes

A Natural, Textural Living Room Makeover with the Design Files

This article was originally posted on The Design Files.

Right now, we’re seeing a huge emphasis on sustainable, natural materials in home interiors – that means soft furnishings in cotton and pure wool, sustainably harvested uncoated timbers… and, what about a cork sofa!?

Yes, you read that right. The latest addition to Koala’s line up is a cork sofa. With its stream-lined, mid-century inspired profile, and a uniquely textural finish, this piece really wowed us!

Starting with the cork as our muse, we have styled this living space with a collection of natural, textural pieces that bring both comfort and sustainability to this country weekender.

Koala Cork Sofa in Yarra

Natural Materials

Natural materials are having a moment. Now more than ever, we’re seeking tactile, breathable fibres that feel great to touch, and connect us to nature.

For this room makeover, we started with a pure wool, super thick and luscious Moroccan Beni rug (we went oversized, to really take the chill out of the concrete floor).

Next up, of course, came the Koala cork sofa. Cork has impressive sustainability credentials because cork trees are not cut down in the harvesting process. Instead, only the bark is stripped, allowing cork trees to live and grow for many years, even whilst being harvested for their bark year after year. Once the tree has been stripped of its bark, and the cork harvesting process is complete, the tree is also able to absorb five times more CO2!

Layering of textures

When styling any space, it’s worth thinking of ‘layering’ a room in stages. Start with floor coverings, moving on to large furniture items, and then layering occasional furniture, soft furnishings, and accessories over the top.

In this space, a smattering of textural cushions in a variety of shapes (love that bolster!) really add character to the room, whilst a cosy recycled woollen blanket lends an extra layer of comfort.

Drapes + Curtains

We’re really into ultra-long, skim-the-floor curtains right now. Not only do long curtains tend to insulate far better than blinds or shutters, they’re also a great way to bring an extra layer of comfort and texture into a space. Here, we selected a beautiful semi-sheer fabric with a boucle-like texture to enhance the soft, tactile feel of this room.

Our number one tip when selecting curtains, is to always go higher and wider than your windows. Curtains should always fall past the window and right down to touch the floor – no exceptions!

Always add plants

Bringing plants and foliage into any interior is a no-brainer. Plants bring a little bit of nature inside, they add texture and movement, and they’re also such an easy, affordable addition to any space.

When choosing vessels for indoor plants, try and cluster vessels of 2-3 varying heights together. Always consider how the vessel will hold water – it’s so important for house plants to come with a saucer or dish to catch excess water, ESPECIALLY if you’ve taken our advice and layered your space with a beautiful rug and floor-skimming curtains!

Tactile Artwork

Texture isn’t limited only to soft furnishings. Tactile artwork brings an incredible dimension to any space. We love this sculptural wall-mounted piece carved from Australian Limestone, by Melbourne artist Lucas Wearne. Alternatively, consider fibre art, such as a woven wall hanging, as a textural focal point.


Lighting is so important in any space – it really can make or break the ambience of a room. If you’ve created a soft, cosy, textural space like this one – you really don’t want light fittings with hard, shiny surfaces like glass and metal. Instead, look for lamps and overhead pendant lighting with paper shades, for a delicate, perfectly translucent glow.

Koala’s new Cork Sofa (an Australia first!) is a contemporary, versatile sofa designed to complement a variety of spaces. It comes in Yarra Cork and Jenolan Black, view the complete range here.

Koala’s Cork Sofa is animal-free and uses only natural and sustainable cork, designed to keep both you and the planet comfy.

Like all Koala products, the Cork Sofa comes with their famous, fast and free delivery and risk-free 120-night trial! With every Koala lounging sofa sold, Koala Furniture adopts a turtle, through their ongoing partnership with WWF-Australia.

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