Bamboo decor might conjure up memories of your family’s 1950s room divider, or that cheap, lightweight furniture that filled every room of your college frat house. But it’s time to forget everything you know!
Bamboo is making a comeback in a big way—but with a modern touch—from woven wallpaper to flooring to bathroom accessories. Builders and designers alike love working with the lightweight but sturdy grass, and luckily there’s plenty of it to go around.
“Bamboo is extremely fast-growing, making it one of the more sustainable materials for furniture construction,” says Annabelle Joy, an interior designer and co-founder of Trim Design Co. in Boston. “And since it’s hollow, it’s even lighter than rattan. This makes it easy to move, which is appealing to renters, inexpensive to ship, and a family-friendly choice.”
If this decor idea is growing on you (sorry, we had to), then just take a look at these trendy ways to incorporate bamboo into your home.
Photo by Mark English Architects, AIA
Put a twist on traditional hardwood floors with a bamboo option instead, says Drew Henry, stylist and founder of Design Dudes. It’s more eco-friendly, costs less, and quite durable.
“Bamboo is trending as a material because it offers a minimalist, spalike feel that people are gravitating to,” Henry says. “It is very light and airy, and makes the room have a more lifting feel.”
Bamboo wallpaper and fabric
Photo by JMA INTERIOR DESIGN
The bamboo trend isn’t limited to furniture and flooring; this eco-chic look is becoming more popular on wallpaper and other fabrics around the home. The top reason: It’s incredibly versatile, Joy says.
“Bamboo wallpaper is a bit of a chameleon: It works equally well in traditional or bohemian aesthetics,” she says. “For traditional styles, it tends to show up most often as part of the chinoiserie-print look, while woven bamboo’s beachy and tropical vibe make it the perfect match for the boho look, too.”
Indoor bamboo plants
Photo by METROPOLIS STUDIO
For years, bamboo has been a popular landscaping tool. Just ask Pablo Solomon, a designer and artist in Austin, TX, who says his clients often wanted to use giant Chinese bamboo as privacy fencing, or as a design element in their Japanese gardens.
But as homeowners focus more on bringing plants inside, bamboo is finding a new place to grow, Solomon says. Small stalks are a good way to infuse your home with some much-needed green.
“The small, dwarf varieties are popular for indoor planting,” he says. “It grows well indoors if you have some sunlight.”
Bamboo furniture and accents
Photo by GIL WALSH INTERIORS
Of course, this isn’t the first time bamboo has been in the decor spotlight. The woody grass was everywhere in the mid-20th century, when Tiki culture was at its height and bamboo furniture took over our homes.
Today, designers say it only makes sense that bamboo furniture and accessories would make a comeback more than a half-century later.
“Bamboo furniture is a natural companion to the midcentury modern furniture trend, which has been going strong for nearly a decade now, ” Joy says.
Don’t worry—bamboo furniture won’t make your house look like a Tiki bar (unless that’s the vibe you’re going for, and we have zero problem with that). But you’ll want to use faux and real bamboo pieces sparingly, as accents that mesh well with the look you already have. Add a bamboo bench to your entryway, bamboo chair in the living room, or bamboo headboard in your bedroom.
“If your style is more of an eclectic blend of bohemian and traditional, then bamboo is the perfect choice since it hits notes of both,” Joy says.
Bamboo bathroom accents
Photo by modern house architects
If you want to create a spalike bathroom (and who wouldn’t want to wake up to such a luxurious space each day?) add some bamboo elements. Put down a bamboo bathmat, place a bamboo tray on the vanity, and even add a bamboo basket. Don’t forget the bamboo plant, too!
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