The Rise of Live Edge Furniture
Live edge furniture is nothing new. It has just become more mainstream in the last several years.
Trees are being taken down across cities all over the US and people are finding creative ways to work with this natural material.
Origins of Live Edge Furniture
Live edge furniture is furniture that utilizes the natural edges of the tree. With little to no machining, the edges are left raw and visible. Much care is taken in removing the bark from the tree as this will fall off.
Recently, many furniture makers and craftsmen are acquiring a better taste and understanding of the origin of wood. Great attention and effort revolves around the use of lumber and sustainable materials today. More so than ever before!
The careful examination of topics like deforestation and renewable materials has provided insight and great attention to how furniture makers use their most precious resource- wood.
The latest design trends across the building and interior design industries are moving towards more eco-conscious options. But also, there is an even larger shift towards pieces that have story and history and meaning to them.
People are moving away from big box furniture stores that mass produce meaningless items. And customers are wanting to invest into pieces that they’ll have forever. Pieces that mean something and support their ideals.
Whether it’s buying local to support economy close to home or shopping with a friend who is just starting out, the intentional effort around what we bring into our home is at an all time importance to us.
Without getting into an extensive history lesson here, live edge furniture has slowly made its way from eastern culture to western US.
Nakashima inspired furniture can be seen across many woodworking shops. He brings both the use of natural wood left in its original state and combines it carefully designed elements. The result is an organic but thought out piece that cannot be replicated.
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How Live Edge Furniture Has Become Mainstream
Live edge furniture fits the bill!
For a long time, furniture was made to fit such a rigid and unique set of style guides that furniture required extensive machining and right angles and joinery.
Furniture sold in a big box retail stores has to fit a variety of spaces and home styles.
But a lot of people are beginning to understand the direct correlation in bringing the outdoors indoors. This has certainly become more mainstream in the last 15-20 years. And every year more and more furniture stores are rolling out pieces with this design element.
There’s nothing like the organic feeling of bringing nature into your home.
The use of natural light. The use of organic and safe home cleaners. The use of non toxic building materials. You can see this idea across many facets of home ownership and building a meaningful life.
Live edge furniture is really unique and fun way to bring nature inside your home.
The edge of a piece of wood is often times machined to square and 90°. But with the natural edge of a piece of wood, there’s a lot more color variation and unique grain patterns.
Each piece is really one of a kind.
The different types of live edge furniture
There are many different styles and shapes of live edge furniture. You may of heard the term “wood cookies”. This is when a piece of wood is cut in a horizontal fashion instead of a vertical direction.Cookies are very fun, in their own right. They really are one of a kind statement piece for your home. There is truly nothing else like it. “Burls” are another type of live edge wood furniture. Burls are wild and unique. And crazy. They tend to not have any growth rings, as common in wood. They used to be popular in the ultra high end custom furniture market. They went through a decline in popularity because of how difficult they are to bring to market. Only certain types of growth across certain types of trees lend to this type of live edge furniture. They certainly are not common. But are fun and unique in their own way.
Live edge furniture ranges from dining tables to coffee tables. As well as live edge headboards. Live edge coffee tables and nightstands have also been on the rise of popularity in the last number of years.
The main thing is to really examine what it is your trying to achieve. Live edge furniture isn’t for home or for every homeowner. Live edge furniture is truly a piece of artwork for your home. The point is to work with the wood instead of heavy and extensive use of machining. The humidity level needs to be around 6% to minimize movement. This is the one area where I see a lot of furniture makers cut corners on. It’s easy to get with a local tree company and have them drop off their logs that they are cutting down.
A properly cured and dried piece of wood Will take close to 2 to 3 years of time. Of course there are kilns that speed up this process in as little as three months. The downside to a manufactured drying process is a more adult piece of wood. Live edge pieces of furniture that have been aired dried have a richness and warmth and glow that cannot be replicated any other way.
If you’re after an organic feel and creating a space that really has its roots to nature, this is certainly your ticket. At Mahogany house what works, we can make your dream a reality and create something that is truly unique and one-of-a-kind. Your home is a place where you should feel safety and peace. Reach out to us and see how we can make your dream become a reality.Contact us today