Live edge furniture as a recognized design motif has been around for some 70 years. The style incorporates a natural or “live” edge into the design that runs contrary to traditional furniture standards. The style was incredibly influential in sparking a movement toward more rustic furniture and also played an important role in the rise of the crafts movement in North America. Live edge is not for everyone but if you’re drawn to this particular type of woodworking there are things you’ll want to keep in mind and/or look for when buying this kind of furniture. In this post we’ll cover 5 of them.
The Secret to Picking the Right Live Edge Furniture
Just as with other types of woodworking there is good live edge and then there is live edge you might want to take a pass on. Below are 5 tips to keep in mind before spending your hard-earned on a piece of live edge:
- Stick with an established live edge artisan: One of the most important aspects of creating live edge is giving the wood adequate time to dry. However, the drying process can take up to 5 years in some cases and so you can understand why some Toronto furniture makers get impatient. It’s nearly impossible for the untrained eye to tell if a piece of wood is properly dried. The only real way to be sure is to buy from a furniture maker with a proven record.
- Ask questions: Take some time to read up on live edge furniture before you start shopping. It will help you select both the right artisan and the right piece of furniture for your home. You’ll want to know what type of wood is used in a particular piece, the right way to care for it and the right environment in which it is best displayed. If the furniture maker is disinclined to answer questions consider taking your money elsewhere.
- Beware large planks: While single large planks of wood can be very evocative looking and seem like they’ll last a lifetime they can in fact warp if they haven’t been cut or otherwise used in a way that promotes their stability. If you’re contemplating buying a piece of live edge furniture that incorporates a large plank or planks ask the furniture maker what they did to ensure the long term stability of the planks.
- Protect the environment: Responsible woodworkers will know where the wood they’re working has been harvested from. They won’t accept pieces that were cut illegally or were gleaned from endangered or protected tree species. Truly professional woodworkers are dedicated to ensuring the viability of the forest both for the good of their business and because it’s the right thing to do for future generations. Ask where the wood came from.
- Will I need to protect my rugs? Sometimes the end of a leg or legs will display tree rings. If the wood is not completely dry and you set this leg end onto your carpet it’s possible the carpet will draw sap out of the leg. The result will be a nice circular sap stain on your carpet that’s practically impossible to remove. Check out the end of the legs and if you see rings, ask the furniture maker about capping the legs for you in some fashion to protect your rugs.
Gil Avivi has been working with leading architects and designers in Toronto for nearly 30 years crafting elegant, exciting woodworking solutions for homes and businesses. Our reclaimed and live edge furniture offerings reflect the absolute state-of-the-art and will be a prized addition to your interior decor.