What Is Burl Wood and Why Is It Making a Comeback?

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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.

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burl wood mirror
One Kings Lane

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.

BUY IT ($1,545)

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.

burl wood marisa desk cb2

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.

BUY IT ($799)

burl wood lazaro sideboard

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.

BUY IT ($1,499)

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.

burl wood headboard coming soon
Coming Soon New York

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.

BUY IT ($1,200)

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.

burl wood coffee table abchome
ABC Home

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.

BUY IT (Starting at $1,565)

purewow author

Freelance Writer

Nikhita Mahtani is a freelance food, home and wellness journalist based in NYC. She has been writing about everything from viral wellness trends to trendy homes since she...