Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Once you put a high-gloss coat of veneer over burl wood, there's nothing burly about it. It's silky smooth and it creates that addictive sensation where you just want to keep running your hand over it. But underneath, it's a complex, interesting design of wood swirls.

Mid-century legendary furniture designer, Milo Baughman, produced many of today's vintage pieces from the 50s through the 70s, which other designers of the time emulated and today modern furniture designers are still reiventing his ideas.

Here's some wood burl pieces, which are timeless due to how they can fit with both forward-thinking spaces and more classic settings-- and then of course, where to find them for less:

Instead of chrome legs in typical Baughman style, Jonathan Adler's "bond desk" (above) is mixing in the material of the moment -- lucite. To get it for less, check out this Ebay posting for a burl wood glass writing table. It's going for $650, but start at a lower offer.

The burl coffee table (above) -- a Baughman original-- is listed at $2400. If that's a budget buster even for a collectible piece (for many of us, "yes"), then check out this 70s vintage burl coffee table (below) with chrome inset designs listed on Ebay for $499. There's no guarantee, but the chrome base may have been designed by Baughman or another reputable mid-century designer, Paul Evans.

The dining room tables, like the Baughman 114-inch long one (below) is so versatile. Pair it with elegant high back nailhead trimmed chairs? Or match with the mod lines of an Eames-style chair? (Many of the dining tables are also sensible for small spaces because they come with two leaves allowing it to expand to an 8-person table.)But don't give up on finding an original if that's what you want. It just takes more patience and a little more digging. An estate service is auctioning this Baughman designed olivewood burled Parsons dining table (below) for $495.

Nobody will be laughing -- just envying-- your apartment's burl-esque addition.

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