Let me just throw it out there. I love burlwood tables. Rough, tough and raw, I have always thought them sexy and sculptural. They skirt that fine line between awesome and bad taste that I find particularly appealing. With their straight-from-the-late-70s feeling right in line with what's going on in design right this minute, here's how to bring their hunka chunka burning love into your home.
Pair them with items that can hold their own: While you don't want to go full on giant black leather couch (actually, that is exactly where you shouldn't go unless you want your place to vibe sleazy bachelor pad), any furniture you pair with them should be solid, simple and strong. Delicate, ladylike pieces can get trampled on
Balance their solid profile with something lighter: Don't confuse solid simple and strong to mean that this furniture can't work with a light colored or Knoll-style couch on legs. In fact, the contrast of the organic table with a clean-lined couch is a look that's both visually appealing and practical.
Be judicious with pattern: With so much going on in the natural design of the table, err on the side of less when it comes to pairing this table with patterns. That being said, don't be afraid to experiment: a burlwood table on top of an intricate kilim rug might be bold and unusual but it will also be interesting.
Give 'em room to breathe and stretch: Don't crowd your furniture around these tables and don't crowd their tops with stuff. Consider the table as a piece of sculpture in the room. What you put on top of them is as important as what you put around them. Either way, no crowding.
Clear and simple: If you've found your table or tabletop at a flea market or charity shop, chances are it'll need a top or a base. Stay away from heavy carved wood and wrought iron bases. Think clear, light, airy. We like round or oval tops to echo the table's swooping shape; for a base, try hairpin legs or a lucite base.
Images: The Brick House; Jackie Takes Innovation to New Heights; Heather & Josh's Los Feliz Charm