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 type 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. Here's what we're loving right now.

Walnut Burl Dresser
Brass & Burl Walnut Burl Dresser $4574
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The rich walnut burl wood veneer paired with 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
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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
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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
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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. 

Large Elm Burl Poppy Accent Table
World Market Large Elm Burl Poppy Accent Table $250
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Use this minimalist handmade piece by World Market as a side table, a laptop table, or a stylishly perched console table in an entryway.

worlds away renata table lamp
Clayton Gray Home Worlds Away Renata Table Lamp $699
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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 Midcentury Retro Cube End Table $336—$490
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Bold, yet timeless, this burled cube end table will complement a variety of living rooms. 

Aqua virgo burl dining table
CB2 Aqua Virgo Burl Dining Table $799
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Spacious yet slim, this dark burl wood dining table manages to be both understated and bold. 

MARQ SQUARE BURL WOOD TRAY LARGE
CB2 Marq Square Burl Wood Tray, Large $50
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Breakfast in bed or bathroom organization solution, at your service. 

AMATI BURL WOOD ENTRYWAY CABINET
CB2 Amati Burl Wood Entryway Cabinet $999
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Speaking of smart storage solutions, this is the perfect cabinet to tuck away odds and ends in the bedroom and living room.

MARISA BURL WOOD DESK
CB2 Marisa Burl Wood Desk $799
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This burl desk with rounded edges is going to be the most show-stopping piece in sight wherever it goes. The half-moon legs paired with the clean lines and neutral tones make this desk the perfect vintage-meets-modern centerpiece for anywhere from 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 $1439
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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
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Here's another stylish desk that makes a case for the lucite and burl wood duo. 

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