Turned Wood Is the Old-School Home Trend Making a Comeback

This ancient technique turns basic furnishings into works of art. Learn the history behind the interior design trend and shop our favorite turned wood picks.

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Shaping wood into sculptural curves and grooves dates back centuries, but this decorative detailing is back in a big way. Often sporting candy colors and unexpected finishes, today's turned wood furniture and accessories put a modern spin on this ancient technique.

The term refers to wood that was historically carved and shaped using a lathe. Similar to a potter's wheel, this tool continuously rotates the piece of wood, allowing it to be cut into sculptural forms using hand-held tools. The earliest wood lathes were used in ancient Egypt and Rome, and the technique later spread throughout Europe and across the globe. Today, woodturning is typically done completely by machine instead of by hand, but the results are similarly impressive.

pink girls room with traditional spindle-spool bed and blush walls
Joyelle West

Turned wood often appears on furniture legs and accessories like candleholders, but perhaps the most famous example is the Jenny Lind bed. Featuring a curved headboard, footboard, and turned wood spindles, this spool bed became associated with the Swedish opera singer and stylemaker in the late 19th century. Lind's sold-out performances during her 1850s American tour caused such a stir that towns, soups, and her preferred bed style were all named after her. If you're lucky, you might be able to snag a vintage Jenny Lind bed at flea markets or antique shops, but modern reproductions also abound. Here are some ways to try the turned wood trend at home (including a gorgeous Jenny Lind bed!).

Turned Wood Table

turned wood side table with book and vase on top in neutral living room
Courtesy of West Elm

Stacked shapes add geometric appeal to this turned wood side table. Made of sustainably sourced mango wood, it measures 19 inches tall. Use it as a plant stand, entryway pedestal, or tubside perch.

Buy It: Chase Side Table ($50, West Elm)

Turned Table Lamp

teal turned accent lamp base
Jason Donnelly

Light up any room with this turned table lamp. The shiny teal base, which recreates the look of turned wood in plastic, measures 13.5 inches tall. When picking a lampshade (sold separately), look for one that is wider than the base and about a third of the total height, including bulb and harp.

Buy It: Better Homes and Gardens Turned Accent Lamp Base ($17, Walmart)

Turned Wood Candleholder

blue turned wood candleholder with blue candle
Courtesy of Etsy

These elegant candleholders feature a sleek turned shape and a shiny painted finish. Sold individually, they come in a rainbow of colors and measure about 6 inches in height. You can also get them in a larger 10-inch size.

Buy It: Medium Wooden Candle Holder ($32, Etsy)

Turned Wood Cake Stand

cake stand with turned wood base and marble top
Courtesy of Amazon

Elevate your favorite baked goods with the elegant combination of wood and marble. The sturdy base on this cake stand is crafted from turned mango wood. The marble stand measures just under 12 inches wide.

Buy It: IMAX Lissa Marble Cake Stand ($65, Amazon)

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