The Edgy Design Trend That's Making a Serious Comeback

Burl wood furniture in a bedroom
Elizabeth Roberts

Many of the world's greatest artists have shown us the brilliance and beauty in flaws. Author Leonard Koren writes about wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic and art form, roughly translated as "the beauty of things imperfect." And singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen reminds us to "forget your perfect offering/There's a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in." When it comes to interior design trends, there's no better proof of this perspective than with burl wood furniture.

What Is Burl Wood?

On a tree, a burl is a deformed growth on a trunk or branch that creates intricate growth ring patterns that can look like swirls or multiple eyes.

This grain of wood gets its intriguing, kaleidoscopic swirls from a mutation, which usually manifests as an outgrowth of a tree trunk after some form of stress. While burl wood is born out of imperfection and mutation, the marbled twists of wood exude a striking, meditative warmth, bringing more depth to any space they enter. Because this type of wood is rare and difficult to work with, it carries a unique blend of rustic vibes and modern elegance. If you find inspiration in nature and love layering rich materials to create a textured space, this interior design trend belongs in your home. Shop our collection of burl wood furniture and décor we're loving right now.

Walnut Burl Dresser
Brass & Burl Walnut Burl Dresser $4315

This rich walnut burl wood veneer paired against antique brass hardware gives this dresser a classic and regal look. It belongs in a room where people will be able to admire its beauty. 

Turquoise Burl Wood Display Bowl
Wormwood Decor Turquoise Burl Wood Display Bowl $175

If you like the burl wood trend but prefer more raw and rustic pieces as opposed to the common glossy look, this one is for you. Use it as coffee table décor or a catch-all for your odds and ends. 

Exotic Burl Wood Gallery Picture Frame
Williams-Sonoma Exotic Burl Wood Gallery Picture Frame $65 to $100

Update your average wood frames to a burl wood option for some extra quirk and texture. 

EBONY & ELM BURL mirror frame
JayStrattonWood EBONY & ELM BURL mirror frame $730

Propped up by a burl wood block, this is easily the chicest makeup mirror we've ever seen. In fact, it's more like a work of art made all the more beautiful by the jagged, natural asymmetry. 

Burly End Table
Safavieh Couture Burly End Table $1015 $550

The contrast between the black lacquer and burl wood drawers creates an interesting juxtaposition. It also has a nice retro vibe. 

Large Elm Burl Poppy Accent Table
World Market Large Elm Burl Poppy Accent Table $220

Use this minimalist handmade piece by World Market as a side table, laptop table, or as a stylishly perched console table in an entryway.

Fraiser Table Lamp Burl Wood and Nickel
Clayton Gray Home Fraiser Table Lamp Burl Wood and Nickel $537 $300

This is not your average lamp. Inspired by burl wood design, this bronze table lamp boasts a sophisticated, moody feel. 

Mid Century Retro Cube End Table
3 Eleven Decor Mid Century Retro Cube End Table $326—$383

Bold yet timeless, this burled cube coffee table will complement a variety of living rooms. 

Olive Wood Rustic Cutting Board
West Elm Olive Wood Rustic Cutting Board $60

Why use a regular old cutting board when you can have one like this? 

Aqua virgo burl dining table
CB2 Aqua Virgo Burl Dining Table $699

Spacious yet slim, this dark burl wood dining table manages to be both understated and bold. 

CB2 Marq Square Burl Wood Tray, Large $50

Breakfast in bed or bathroom organization solution, at your service. 

CB2 Amati Burl Wood Entryway Cabinet $999

Speaking of smart storage solutions, this is the perfect cabinet to tuck away odds and ends in the bedroom and living room.

CB2 Marisa Burl Wood Desk $799

This rounded edge burl desk is going to be the most show-stopping piece in sight wherever it goes. Its half-moon legs paired against the clean lines and neutral tones make this desk the perfect vintage-meets-modern centerpiece for offices to entryways.

Putnam Waterfall Edge Two Tier Side Table in Dark Burl Wood
Burke Decor Putnam Waterfall Edge Two Tier Side Table in Dark Burl Wood $1323

Minimalist, sleek, and clean-lined, dark burl wood strikes a nice balance between intensity and gentleness. It would look perfect as a bedside table. 

Jonathan Adler Bond Desk $2950

Here's another stylish desk that makes a case for the lucite and burl wood duo. 

Epps Live Edge Reclaimed Acacia Wood Accent Mirror
Foundry Select Gorgias Live Edge Reclaimed Acacia Wood Accent Mirror $410

This organic burl wood mirror would look beautiful in a nature-inspired home or beach house—see how it feels when you mount it above the console table or the sink in a powder room. 

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