Natural Wood: What is ‘Live Edge’ Wood?

Natural elements connect you to your interiors, at home and at work, in a way that harnesses energy from your preferences and personal style. Using reclaimed wood reflects ecological awareness and respect for nature. House of Whitley wood slabs are cut from fallen trees that originate on private reserves in South America, selected for their outstanding quality and beauty.

“Live edge” refers to the outer rings of the tree, its living part. The felled tree is cut into slabs, and each entire slab is used to create a magnificent piece, leaving the natural edge to flow together, on every side and around each corner.

Instead of creating perfect shapes, we leave each piece’s original contours undisturbed: the way nature and the elements have crafted each slab, to let you fully experience the remarkable texture and details. The live edge ethos embraces nature, craftsmanship, and simplicity.

In live edge, the woodworker incorporates the wood’s natural edge into the design of a piece. Live edge furniture incorporates natural holes and cracks, markings from natural occurrences such as lightning strikes, or wood that has been chosen for its burrs, knots, and figured grain.

This prestigious and recognized style was employed to acclaim by George Nakashima, who captured the Institute of Architects’ Gold Craftsmanship Medal for his furniture designs for Knoll and Widdicomb-Mueller in the 1940s.

In nature, form and function come together as one, in perfect integration. The woodworker’s connection to felled trees as once-living things goes far past the edges.  The wood is a partner in the creative process. House of Whitley wood slabs leave the rough, thick texture of the tree’s surface visible and intact, so you can see and feel the natural origins of the wood.

Our woodworkers stabilize the natural split in the wood with exceptional workmanship: rather than altering or removing a perceived imperfection, they restore something of beauty to nature’s discards. Wood is one of the warmest natural materials, and maintains its life and sustainability for years to come.

Our selection of wood slabs range in size and shape—including round, oval, square, rectangular, and freeform—that can be transformed into a stunning piece to last for generations. Wood slabs from House of Whitley are balance and partnership with the world around you, chosen with purpose and intent.

View Collection Request more information and pricing