Tan France's Entryway Features a Retro Material That Designers Say is Making a Comeback in 2024

The distinctive wood finish instantly elevates a room and adds warmth to Tan's expansive entryway

A headshot of Tan France on a red carpet smiling off camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When on the hunt for impeccable style inspiration, we can always count on Tan France to deliver. The Queer Eye star might be best known for his fashion credentials but he’s fast becoming one of our favorite celebrities to follow for his chic interior design style, too.

Since building his Salt Lake City home from the ground up, Tan's shared many a lust-worthy space on his Instagram to satisfy our cravings for beautiful homes, and one of the more recent of those offered a glimpse of his impressive entryway. The statement room features a sweeping staircase and a delicate watercolor-inspired mural, but it was the majestic credenzas that caught our eye on this occasion.

Perfectly positioned and expertly styled, these statement furniture pieces feature a retro material that exudes elegance and virtually glows in Tan's calming entryway, putting a contemporary spin on a 70s classic. And, in true Tan style, designers predict it’s a trend we can expect to see plenty more of in 2024.

The material in question? Burledwood - a wooden finish with intricate grain patterns that add richness and charm to any space. Its distinctive patterning adds warmth, color, and texture, and - when sealed with a high varnish - the shiny surface almost seems to glow, especially when used with light woods such as cedar or maple. Designers love using the material for a high-end look, using it for large furniture items to make a real statement, just as Tan has done in his entryway.

'Step into Tan France's thoughtfully curated abode, and you'll be greeted by an enchanting entryway that creatively blends chic modernity with classic elegance,' explains interior designer Nina Lichtenstein. 'What immediately captivates is the striking contrast between the sleek, polished surfaces of the credenzas and the fluid, organic lines of the surrounding décor, which exudes a restrained elegance. The intricate patterns and rich tones of the burledwood create a visual depth that contrasts beautifully with the minimalist surroundings.’

While the two pieces - one a two-door credenza, and the other a double drawer console with open storage - make a large enough impression on their own, it's the detailed curation surrounding them that really makes them sing. 'The rounded edges of the burled wood credenzas beautifully complement the arched recessed area and doorways, as well as an arched mirror and banister, creating a cohesive flow of soft curves throughout the space,' notes Nina. And of course, a large gilt picture frame hung above elevates Tan's entryway to regal heights.

A burled wood credenza

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

As with almost all interior design trends, materials are cyclical. The 70s have been enjoying a real moment of late, from rattan furniture to brightly patterned wallpaper, so it seems only natural that this 1970s classic is making a comeback.

‘Interior design trends often circle back to reinvent classic aesthetics,’ explains Nina. ‘In the case of burledwood, the answer lies in its nostalgic appeal and adaptable nature. Often associated with mid-century aesthetics, it brings to mind vintage charm and craftsmanship - qualities that resonate with a growing appreciation for artisanal, handcrafted pieces in interior design. Moreover, its unique grain patterns and warm hues offer a refreshing departure from ubiquitous minimalist trends, allowing designers to inject personality and warmth into spaces.'

According to Nina, Tan's use of burledwood exemplifies this trend, demonstrating how a classic material can be reimagined for the modern day. 'As the allure of burlwood continues to captivate designers and homeowners alike, we anticipate seeing more innovative applications of this timeless material, enriching living spaces with its undeniable charm and character,' she says.

How should you decorate with burledwood?

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Introducing retro trends into your modern home has to be done with thoughtful intention. Ignore the details and you risk an incongruous-looking piece of furniture or an unbalanced space that blends one too many styles. Instead, for a harmonious space, look to Tan’s entryway for inspiration. Dial it down and opt for plain white walls to allow the wood grain to do the talking, and pepper the space with gold accents for a majestic Midas touch.

'Tan skillfully pairs the credenzas with complementary elements - crisp white walls, a nature-inspired mural, modern artwork, and metallic accents - to strike a balance between opulence and contemporary elegance,’ Nina notes. 'In his world, every element - from the burlwood credenzas to the nature-inspired mural - serves a purpose, inviting us to appreciate the beauty of thoughtful design and the enduring appeal of classic materials like burlwood.'

Our top burled wood furniture picks

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.