Classic or Craze: Bamboo Materials

Is it a classic or is it a craze?

By Melissa Mauzy
Photography courtesy of Just Around the Corner


For our May Earth issue, we asked local design professionals if bamboo materials in the house are a classic or a craze. Here is what they had to say.

"Bamboo furniture has been around throughout the world for a long time. It is generally considered a tropical furniture, but it also has been used in countless homes of both traditional and contemporary design. Bamboo flooring is a more recent design choice because of its durability and attractive features, and I feel it will remain a classic for quite some time." Tom Manche, Tom Manche Interiors.

“Bamboo is here to stay; the style of it, however, will likely keep evolving with changing tastes. Most recently, bamboo is almost unrecognizable, as new styles can mimic the look of exotic hardwoods. Bamboo is renewable and strong: those two qualities will make it a standout material for years to come, no matter what style it embodies.” Dana King, NEXT Project Studio.

“CLASSIC - I don’t think bamboo has quite made it to the classic category yet here in the Midwest, but it is on its way.  Bamboo is a very versatile material used for a wide variety of products.  Bamboo floors are a wonderful alternative to hardwood, and sheets made from bamboo are very soft and long lasting.  The sustainability of bamboo will continue to enhance its popularity.” Marcia Moore, Marcia Moore Design.

“I believe bamboo is a unique product that is used in many applications from flooring and cabinets to walls and furniture. It’s durable and takes stain well, which works with in many styles. I feel it will be around for the test of time.” Pamela Calvert, Pamela Calvert Interiors.

“Bamboo has been sourced in interior design for many years, from flooring to furniture. For those who are eco-friendly, bamboo is a perfect choice. It is a sustainable and a renewable source taking three to five years to reach maturity. Bamboo is a classic choice from Chippendale designs in furniture, to textiles with bamboo fibers, to durable hard surfaces such as flooring and cabinets. Bamboo will continue to play a vital role in residential and commercial design in years to come!”  Kathleen Matthews, Savvy Surrounding Style.

“I don't see the bamboo craze ending because of the sustainable aspect of the product. However, the material will need to evolve into longer, wider boards from more mature (older) stock. The way the majority of the material is made currently involves a great deal of glues and binders, which are problematic environmentally and pose concerns for how these materials impact indoor air quality.  Some of the largest manufacturers have very specific humidity parameters that must be maintained to prevent warping and other problems. Until these issues are no longer a concern, bamboo will remain in the category of a craze.  Classics like solid oak and other hardwoods are classics because they do not come with these concerns.” David Schneider, Schneider Kennedy Design.