Living On The Edge: Breaking Down Live Edge Tables
Given its natural form, the term live-edge table might materialize an image of an entire ecosystem on the side of a table. Though imaginative as that is, it’s not entirely correct, nor false for that matter. One thing, however, is for certain - these tables are incredibly chic and display an equal passion for both craftsmanship and the natural world. Following, Nest Casa explores the live edge tables that are equal parts natural gift and a product of man’s ingenuity.
WHAT IS A LIVE EDGE TABLE?
While the name might be confusing to some, live-edge tables are a result of the manner in which large swaths of wood are treated and sanded. Perhaps raw edge makes more sense? In any case, the wood hasn’t been cut and sliced into a perfectly symmetrical shape. On the contrary, the sides are left as they are found in nature. Usually, this means no more than two sides possess the natural look, though it’s not unheard of for all sides to hold this raw edge finish.
For several reasons, these tables have recently surged in popularity, especially when made from walnut wood. First, if this isn’t obvious, the live edge table wastes much less of the tree when cut into lumber. In general, typical woodcuts produce 20-25 percent of tree waste, where live-edge cuts only discard 5-8 percent. Obviously, this should appeal to anyone with an eco-conscious sensibility. Secondly, given the unique combination of smooth-finished wood grains combined with an organically shaped edge, these tables are the most modern thing nature can produce. It’s also important to note that these tables have meaningful historical context as some of the earliest tables on record featured a live edge in their design.
SOLID VERSUS MULTI-SLAB LIVE EDGE TABLES?
Given the nature of things, no pun intended, these tables lend themselves to being custom-wrought, though they can occasionally be mass produced as well. Whether a live edge table is constructed as a solid or multi--slab version, largely depends on cost. A fully planed single slab of wood is much more expensive than its multi-slabbed counterpart. It is because the piece must come from a single, huge tree and requires using a hand planer, according to this ModernDigs article, which attributes a discernible cost differential between these two live edge table constructions.
However, today’s commercial furniture production uses multiple wood planks and doesn’t make them inferior furniture pieces. The wood used for these tables can be put through typical planers machines, thus making it simpler to construct more of them. Although mass-production may streamline the construction process, this isn’t to say live edge tables are inexpensive. Solid pieces can range from $4,000 to $12,000 while the pieced tables generally run from $2,500 to $6,000, in average price.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIVE EDGE TABLES
Chiefly, there are two kinds of live-edge tables. Typically, you find them utilized as either an oversized dining table or a statement coffee table. Commonly, you will find that no more than two edges are rendered in the natural state for a large dining table or a console table. Whereas coffee tables and side tables are made with live-edges that tend to encircle the entire table due to their smaller relative circumference. As a result, these tables can sometimes resemble small works of art on their own. They especially lend themselves to a Boho vibe.
HOW TO STYLE LIVE EDGE TABLES
Once one decides to engage this luxe organic look in their own home, there are few pointers to keep in mind when styling a live edge table to modern effect. For instance, no one wants their house to look overly natural, a la the Keebler elves treehouse. Instead, the natural raw edges of the table are best combined with graphic metals or sleek Industrial elements. Poured cement, patina-effect irons, and handcrafted unfinished ceramics give these tables a contemporary finishing touch.
Occasional or Coffee Table:
Golden Nugget - Hudson Furniture's Mayson occasional table gives natural beauty a shine up with its gold veneer.
Lay It On - This slick slab of chic maple from BDDW is chock full of rich lines and texture.
Nature's Gift - Elevated from function to art, this coffee table from Chairish brings outdoors indoors.
Opposing Views - Definitely, this Luxe Decor console explores the shared space between natural and manmade by juxtaposing sleek iron against a slice of wood.
Square Off - The playful graphic square pattern base of this Hudson Furniture table offers the raw edge of the top to emphasize its organic stature.
Weathering Height - Rather than a raw edge, this wood slab is weathered and mounted table height for a rustic yet elegant dining experience from BDDW.
Twice As Nice - Chris Lehrecke offers not one but two upscale takes on natural wood as high design with this raw edge dining table on metallic base and gilded branch foot rest.
Simplicity Matters - To demonstrate, this walnut slab table from Petersen Antiques allows the natural lines of the wood to be highlighted by its mounting on two simple rectangular slab bases.