Out of the woods and into your house: Arhaus live-edge tables

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Arhaus' live edge slab table collection features one-of-a-kind slabs of alder, maple, cherry, sapele, sycamore, walnut and redwood harvested sustainably in the U.S.

There’s arguably no custom builder as skilled as Mother Nature, which is why live-edge wood slabs — those with textural, often gnarled natural edges left intact — never seem to fall out of fashion. Once associated with rustic or Western interior design, live-edge furniture now pops up in even the most refined and minimalist of spaces. Some may write it off as trendy, but we think of a beautiful live-edge piece as a worthy investment. Is there anything as timeless as the story of a tree?

Furniture retailer Arhaus is currently offering such one-of-a-kind tables, harvested sustainably in the U.S. and finished by an Amish sawmill in Cleveland, where the company is headquartered. The live-edge slab table collection is available exclusively online — the idea being that customers can browse the entire inventory in one fell swoop.

We must admit: Shopping the slabs feels a little like adopting a puppy. What "breed" is right for you? Alder, maple (ambrosia, curly ambrosia and spalted), cherry, sapele, sycamore, walnut, redwood? And size? The Arhaus selection includes everything from smaller desks to large dining and console tables. As for the "grooming," the natural grains of each unique slab are enhanced by a clear lacquer and come with hand-forged iron bases (T- or L-shaped) available in finishes of brass and pewter.

From wood selection to cutting, drying and prepping each piece, the entire process takes about two years per table. So, suffice it to say, these puppies ain’t cheap. They retail anywhere from $1,499 to $15,999. Still — a solid purchase, if you can cut it. Info: http://www.arhaus.com