My burl bathroom vanity is one of the most asked about items in our home… and for good reason- it’s really pretty, and a piece I’m very proud of. Today, I wanted to share a look at how we built it, along with similar readymade options. Burl has steadily been increasing in popularity, and there are lots of beautiful parsons table options available. Click through to check them out!
When designing our guest bathroom, I knew I wanted to incorporate a wood element to add warmth, interest, customization, and functionality- a space to sit and get ready. When looking for ways to customize a readymade vanity, a vanity or table also made perfect sense for closing in the gap between the sink and tiled wall. I’m all for using every square inch while making a design statement. Here’s how we achieved this look, a peek into our burl table building process, as well as similar options (for any budget) to achieve the same aesthetic.
My Burl Vanity
Here’s a closer look at my burl vanity table. It’s a 90 degree parsons style table that dead-ends into the back wall. It’s also lower than our sink vanity- perfect sitting height. I like that it adds dimension, warmth, and another functional surface, while filling negative space.
Most of all, I love the burl pattern. I had been toying with the idea of integrating burl in the bathroom during my design process. All of my wood options felt basic, and burl seemed like a unique and interesting material to add. I sketched out the floor plan, table, and reviewed my idea with Emmett. He was excited to try building something new at work, and we were able to use his resources at the cabinetry shop.
Here’s how we did it…
DIY Burl Table
First, we purchased the core material (a 4’x8′ sheet of MDF)… and built the center part of the table that the burl wraps around. Then, I sourced the burl veneer- which comes on a roll. I flipped through lots of swatches, finally landing on the burl pattern I wanted. Then we laid up a sample to find the right stain or coating color. Since I sourced a pretty maple burl, I liked the natural color and opted for clear coat only. This is what my sample looked like…
Given Emmett works for a cabinetry shop, we were able to use their resources and equipment- which was super handy and convenient. If you’re looking for a professional outcome, I’d recommend finding a local cabinetry or furniture maker to lay up the burl on your core.
Burl veneer is quite expensive (starting at $300 a sheet), so it’s a material you really don’t want to chance messing up. Here’s what it looked like in the shop… everything is perfectly grain matched (notice how the pattern wraps around)!
Once the clear coat had cured in the shop, we brought it home to install in the guest bathroom. We had just finished tiling, so things were still looking pretty incomplete and messy…
To Buy or DIY?
The blog post request I’m often asked for is the burl table DIY, and while this is my first time sharing our process… I wouldn’t say this is a beginner DIY project. It required trade resources, specialized equipment, and some fine tuned carpentry skills. That begs the question…
Should you just buy a burl parsons table to achieve this look?
I would honestly say yes. Unless you have access to cabinetry and furniture making tools & equipment, it’s actually going to be more economical to buy a burl table. Since they’ve gained popularity in the recent years, it’s actually much easier to find readymade options… and at more affordable prices.
We would take the DIY route again simply because we needed a custom size to fit as a vanity in our bathroom. Given Emmett’s access to equipment at his workplace… this made the most sense for us. We still spent over $500 in material on this table, so this wasn’t necessarily a DIY for the sake of savings, but rather for a beautiful & professional customized piece of furniture.
Similar Parsons Style Burl Tables
If you’re trying to search for a similar readymade option, try using the search terms “burl console table” or “burl parsons table”… that should yield some close results. I’ve also curated some really close options for you below. Click each table to browse…
These tables range from $300 to $3,000… the vintage options being most expensive. Burl is still a premium material, but you can find some pretty reasonable options.
Is Burl Timeless or a Trend?
Another question I’m often asked is if burl will go out of style? Like all home decor trends, materials ebb and flow. Wood will always be a classic and timeless material, but finishes, colors & patterns come and go. Burl was popular in the 20’s art deco era, then peaked in the 70’s appearing in Hollywood regency style, and we’ve been seeing a resurgence these past few years. Like I always say, anything works in moderation and if you truly love something- bringing it into your home is never a bad idea. I enjoy burl and will probably never tire of this interesting material.
It’s doing great! It looks exactly like it did the day we installed it, despite having heavily used this bathroom since then.
It was actually another fun DIY project… check out my double sconce easy shade upgrade here. Its an affordable fixture… $125.
We ordered ours through Emmett’s work, but you can find veneer sheets on eBay. The tricky part is finding the species and size you need.
If you’d like to see more of my guest bath or read additional posts about burl, I’ve got some good ones to share with you below…
- Guest Bathroom Sources
- Guest Bathroom Renovation Recap
- Guest Bathroom Reveal
- Best of Etsy : Burl
- How to Plan and Design a Shower Niche
- Stocking a Guest Bathroom for Visitors
- DIY Bath Caddy Tray
- Our Guest Bathroom Design Plan & Before Images
- How to Choose Cohesive Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures
- Look for Less : Our Guest Bath
- How to Make Subway Tile Look Classic, Not Basic
- Ways to Upgrade Your Toilet
- How to Install Mosaic Floor Tile
I hope this post shared a fun glimpse into our process for this project! It’s hard to believe we renovated this bathroom over four years ago. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comment section below…