Live edge is also known as the natural outside edge of a tree. In interior design, it refers to furniture that is a unique piece of art made from wood scoured from clear cut areas and beaches.

Designers and Architects are embracing the trend and with thoughtful balance and elegant juxtaposition of the imperfect and irregular outer edge of the tree against sleek and engineered surroundings to create a dynamic contrast of rough and smooth.

The Japanese furniture maker George Nakashima is an early influence of this style.

Some of the most popular BC woods used are, douglas fir, cedar and maple.
Coast ECO Timber Inc. supplies reclaimed wood of walnut, oak, cherry and canal zapatero, a dark wood from the harvested from the bottom of the Panama Canal.

Warm up the space with natural elements to contrast with slick and sleek.


The square edges of this modern home gets a strong contrast with the wavy lines generated by the massive live edge dining table.


Going along with the ever-prominent hipster design trends, these live edge shelves have beautiful contrast with the hard edges of this loft apartment corner.

web cascade live edge coffee table torrie copy

Over use of the live edge can look as old as a 1970’s rec room . In my opinion it works best in clean contemporary environments. The table in this photo is very thoughtfully selected to work with the other oval shapes in the room and therefore it does work in this more transitional style room.

RWilson Live Edge Dining Table 1

This beautiful dining room table has a stunning outline that makes for great contrast in an otherwise boring dining room. Work by Marty Poirier @

The beauty of the wood can create a very strong centerpiece. 

Getting a good piece of live edge wood for the right room can be a magnificent focal point. The grain is usually quite beautiful when it has burls and cracks and can create a positive emotional reaction.

Every piece is unique and different.

Choosing the wood may require wearing gum boots and going to the barns and right into the workshops of the woodworkers. Alex McLeod, Carver and Furniture Maker will take you right to the suppliers to choose your own tree slab. Cutting open the slab is like opening an oyster to find a pearl inside.


Live edge pieces can  be a challenge for the woodworker to make into a usable piece of furniture! Each piece usually has a great story behind it, and deserves to be put on a “pedestal” at center of focus in the room.Ril_fullxfull

Here the the designer created innovative supports for the table. This peice has a beautiful light outer edge called sapwood, is rarely used in wood furniture making but can be used in live edge design to introduce contrast to the heartwood in the center of the piece .

It’s a celebration of nature; salvaged wood can be found rotting in the woods and given new life.

Having live edge is just that, it feels alive. Usually live edge pieces are salvaged from trees from construction sites that would normally be sent to the chipper. Spalted driftwood is also highly sought after by wood workers (wood that changes colour from fungi growing in the tree). Bringing such an alive entity into a home, reclaimed and re-purposed, not only feels good, it gives a deep connection to nature.


This scene is a hunting ground for the best slab or log, pieces like these could end up as beautiful centerpiece in your home!


When done right, live edge can be a beautiful addition to a contemporary home. It’s a beautiful way of introducing natural elements into an otherwise hard lined environment, and is a welcomed addition to my design repetoire.


Shelley is on!