Behind the Sugarberry Wood at Room & Board

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We love the new Sugarberry wood option from Room & Board found in its Chilton line, so we dug a bit further to find out exactly what Sugarberry is. With the help of Michael Brotman, Room & Board Merchandise Manager for Casegoods, we learned that Sugarberry is a tree species that is native to the South Eastern portion of the U.S. While the Sugarberry wood may be new to most of us it, has been used sparingly in furniture for many years.

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What differentiates Room & Board Sugarberry from anyone else’s is that it’s spalted, which creates one-of-a-kind patterning throughout the material. Spalting is a naturally occurring process—when the tree dies, it often pulls minerals from the soil and those minerals create these patterns in the wood. “The reason you never see spalted material used in furniture is because the process is random and rare to catch a tree right at the perfect moment of decline when the wood is still in usable condition,” said Brotman. “Our partners have discovered a way to introduce these minerals to the tree at just the right time and know exactly when to harvest it to achieve the amazing material that we are able to use.”

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So why this wood for this particular line? “Chilton is all about the wood,” said Brotman. “The grain, the color, the live edge, the butterfly joints … it is a table that celebrates how beautiful wood can be all on its own. No adornment, no color, just the natural wood as it existed inside the tree. The cracks, splits, and marks in the wood are all revered as part of the history of the tree.”

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The Chilton line is a collection of 11 unique tables, and every Chilton table is as unique as the tree from which it came. The tabletops are created with solid slabs of wood and showcase natural markings like knots, splits, and distinct grain patterns. “I love knowing that each table is completely unique and that they are a product of nature,” said Brotman. “We take great pride in our materials and the honesty with which we utilize them. The natural table form and beautiful markings combine to make it a truly functional piece of art.”