The homeowners expressed early in the project that they would like to incorporate live edge wood into their space. Live edge wood is a piece of wood in its most natural state. To create live edge wood, trees are sliced and kiln dried, similar to normal lumber treatment. After the wood is dried a sandblasting technique is used to remove the bark back to the lumber core. This treatment leaves a softened undulating edge. The slabs or pieces of wood are usually finished after they're selected.
Donna incorporated several live edge elements into the home design including a tabletop and a mantel façade. With the home renovation construction in full swing, the time had come to select the live edge pieces.
Selecting Live Edge Wood Slabs
Donna and the homeowners went on a day trip to Collector Specialty Woods in Denver. Collector Specialty Woods is a craftsmen lumber company focusing on live edge wood slabs and furniture. Live edge pieces can be ordered online but each piece of wood has its own unique natural elements which may not show up in online pictures. Therefore, Donna and the homeowners felt it was important to see the pieces in person.
Citrus oil is applied to a small area of the slab to show how they'll look once they are finished. Donna and the homeowners saw many types of wood options and slabs before finally finding the perfect pieces for their project. They chose one slab for the table and range hood and another piece for the powder bathroom vanity.
The first slab they selected was a large center cut slab of a Claro Walnut tree. The piece had a unique notch and they knew it would be perfect for the table and hood. Claro Walnut trees are native to the upper Sacramento River basin. The trees are no longer planted which makes the lumber hard to obtain. Claro Walnut has a rich dark coloration that is brought out in the finishing process.
The second slab they selected was a Spalted Maple and it would be used for the floating vanity in the powder bathroom. The slab had an interesting burl projection they knew would enhance the appearance of the vessel lavatory bowl mounted on the counter.
Live Edge Treatment & Installation
After the pieces were selected, Collector Specialty Woods cut the slabs of wood to the specified sizes. Once the pieces were cut, multiple coats of oil were applied to the wood until the wood was fully penetrated. Following the oil application, the knots were sealed with a colored epoxy and the wood pieces were sealed with a natural matte finish. Finally, the hand-selected pieces were shipped to Kansas City for installation.
The homeowner built custom legs for the live edge table and the slab was placed on top. The live edge slab was cleated to the cabinets for stability. The powder bathroom vanity live edge piece with a bowl sink was installed. Last but not least a live edge wood was installed over the vanity.
Check back in next week as the team puts on the finishing touches before the big reveal!
Donna Kirsopp has been with the SDR team since 1999 and in the industry since 1982. Donna has been recognized by NARI and KCH&G as an award-winning designer for 15 consecutive years. “I am so fortunate to get up every morning loving what I do.” Donna, a native of Pittsburgh PA, has one grown daughter. “In my spare time, you can find me in my garden or on the golf course.”
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