What Is Burl Wood and Why Is It Making a Comeback?
For most people, design isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of situation, even if you share the same style as your best friend. Much like finding a life partner, settling on your own unique aesthetic is all about trial and error, making mistakes and finding beauty in the imperfections, since (of course) no two homes are exactly alike. So it should come as no surprise that this is the exact sentiment behind the latest home trend: burl wood.
What is burl wood, you ask? An incredibly popular look in the 1970s, burl wood is essentially formed on the outgrowth of a tree trunk due to some kind of stress. It has a very distinct grain, creating an almost Rorschach-like pattern. While some consider it a deformity, there’s a distinct beauty in its imperfection that draws people to it. No two pieces are alike, and they can instantly transform your home with their rustic yet modern feel. (And as a result, these pieces are more of an investment than, say, a mass-produced table or mirror you’d find at a big-box store.)
Below, check out our favorite perfectly imperfect burl wood designs. If committing to an entire set of furniture seems like too much, you can always opt for a smaller accessory to try the trend on for size—not to mention, it’s way more affordable that way. Try layering these pieces with several cozy accents to balance things out.
1. Orwell Wall Mirror
This stunning wall mirror combines dark, textured burl with a double border of off-white and black stripes, giving a contemporary look to your entryway or corridor.
2. Burlwood Oversize Gallery Frames
Upgrade your gallery wall with this oversized burl wood frame, punctuated by uniquely patterned striations that make each frame as individual as the pieces of art you plan to put inside.
3. Marisa Burl Wood Desk
Trust CB2 to come up with a statement piece that won’t break the bank. This desk screams sophistication, thanks to its solid, half-moon shaped legs and stunning neutral color tones.
4. Lazaro Burl Wood Sideboard
The ultimate storage piece, this unique burl wood comes with a high-gloss finish to polish it up a bit. Three interior shelves allow for ample storage, and the white lacquer edge makes it pop.
5. Zelda Burl Desk
Taking inspiration from a traditional writer’s desk, this option also boasts gorgeous brushed-metallic hardware, a stunning walnut sheen, and drawers and shelves for keeping your personal belongings safe.
6. Hand-Sculpted Wooden Vase
Sculpted by hand using dyed elder burl, this one-of-a-kind piece is just the accessory your dining table has been missing. Its complex patterns and subtly cracked interior mimic the exact conditions of the tree the wood was sourced from.
7. Bond Dining Table
This sleek dining table offers a more understated, minimalist take on the burl wood trend. A polished-nickel base serves as a modern twist on traditional rustic, while the honey-hued wood is sleek and smooth to allow for comfortable dining.
8. Burl Headboard by Lane
This vintage headboard allows you to experience the burl wood trend the way it was intended—with some wear and tear, a lot of dizzying patterns and a cheeky honey tone.
9. Burl Veneer Coasters
The easiest way to add some burl to your home, these coasters are polished for shine, but each individual piece has its own unique design thanks to the carefully chosen wood.
10. Light Milpa Coffee Table
Crafted by hand from a piece of milpa wood, this exclusive piece comes in several different sizes and textures for true customization. The pure white, beige and yellow undertones give it a multifaceted, edgy look.