Design questions answered: what is a live edge?

I have recently been asked by several different people what “live edge” means, so I thought it might be time to discuss this current trend.

Live edge refers to the natural edge of a table or shelf as opposed to an edge that has been smoothed out, sanded down and/or re-shaped.  This idea is most commonly found on table tops, counters and mantels.  Woods with a naturally gnarly design or reclaimed wood are often the best choices for this detail.

Live edge (sometimes referred to as natural edge) items are versatile enough to be right at home in both a rustic or a contemporary interior.  Take a look at these items and see if this is a look you might want to add to your home’s decor.

Incorporate a trend with small items like this dough bowl from Pottery Barn. Fill it with natural items like pine cones or green clippings or leave it empty to enjoy the beauty of the wood and the shape of the bowl.  And because it is a natural edge, each bowl will be unique.


Live edge dough bowl from Pottery Barn

Coffee and dining tables provide the perfect opportunity to display the natural edge of a slab of wood, as seen here.


Live edge dining table from West Elm

or for those who want something “lighter” in appearance, a live edge slab of stone or marble can become a beautiful and functional accent table:

And how stunning is this live edge coffee table in this contemporary setting?!  The wood warms up all those colder surfaces and the edge of the table adds some softness to the straight edges found in other pieces in the room.

2007 ASO Decorators Showhouse & Gardens


So what do you think?  Is this a look you could use in your home?

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
This entry was posted in Decorating and remodeling tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Design questions answered: what is a live edge?

  1. hayniedi says:

    Wish I had been on your Christmas list! And right back at ya–love your blog as well.


  2. Hello friend! Love your blog! I actually gave live edge cutting boards this year for Christmas! It’s one of the prettiest design trends!

    Happy day!


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