For years, I’ve been obsessing over the organic visual texture that burlwood brings to a space. I can’t get enough of the natural pattern and love that while it’s become trendy (so, it’s more easily sourced), it still hasn’t reached Homegoods levels of full-blown trendiness.
And if you have ever wondered ‘what is burlwood‘? It’s actually made from the burls (the large lumps) that grow on the trunks of trees when they’re under a lot of stress. The burls are cut off the tree, but the tree doesn’t need to be cut down to use the burlwood. Typically burlwood is applied as a veneer to the outside planes of a piece of furniture.
I love that burlwood adds an edge to any space, but is also quiet enough that it’s easy to mix in. For instance, in this vignette, it adds a heavy dose of organic warmth, but the rounded shape of the burl stool contrasts nicely with the very graphic painting.
This console table is everything in Noe Dewitt’s NYC apartment.
In this entryway, the burlwood console table brings depth to a high-contrast neutral space. The vintage rugs also add to the layered look.
I’ve been obsessed with this dining room by Pencil and Paper Co. for months – while there’s a lot of pattern going on in this room, the lines of all the furniture are actually very simple.
On a more traditional piece of furniture, the burlwood complements the rounded curves of this vanity without adding other ornate carvings to the wood.
In my house, I have a mix of vintage and new burlwood pieces, and I love that each one feels unique because the pattern of the burlwood is never the same. Below are some of my favourites that are available in stores right now (several of which I own, namely the trays in both sizes and the boxes).
- Trays 2. Nightstand 3. Dining Table 4. Boxes 5. Coffee Table 6. Side Table 7. Mirror
5 thoughts on “Trending: Burl”
I seem to remember expensive cars having burlwood on the dashboard & other trim.
Burl is beautiful, but I don’t think it is any more sustainable than any other wood, perhaps less since we don’t yet know how to cause burls. Harvesting burl from a tree usually involves cutting the whole tree down. If you saw off only the burl itself, you’re removing a large part of the protective bark, opening the tree up to infection or disease.
In addition, burl is almost always a veneer, so the wood underneath also needs to be taken into consideration.
I’m not trying to attack, and I’m certainly not saying to avoid buying burl pieces, if you can follow all the negatives in that sentence. Those burl pieces you show are gorgeous, and I personally would much rather have wood furniture than plastic!
That’s really valid, thanks for bringing it to my attention, and it totally makes sense. The research I did was on burlwood before it’s turned into a veneer, so that didn’t account for the addition of plastic (or the cause of the burls themselves). Some of the vintage pieces that I have don’t seem to have a plastic finish, but that’s definitely something I’ve noticed on the new pieces I’ve picked up.
Sorry, my auto fill put in my last name before I caught it, not enough sleep lately. If possible, could you remove it from the comment and just leave me Jennifer?
You’ve got it!