The One Thing I Shy Away From When Buying Furniture

Gabrielle Savoie
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Courtesy of Studio McGee

One question we hear often in the design world is How do I make sure this piece of wood furniture will match my wooden floors/table/chairs? Sure, it's no secret that wood is at the core of furniture building and very much needed for a number of reasons, but here's the thing: It can also overwhelm a room if there's too much of it. Consider this: a room with medium-toned wood floors, a medium-toned table and chairs, and a matching console table or buffet—all of a sudden, there isn't much left in the room to break up the monotony. They may match each other, but they do little to enhance the overall character of the room.

The solution is twofold. First, instead of asking yourself if a piece will match the other wood finishes in your room, look for items that are at least three shades lighter or darker—as explained by designer Katie Hodges: "By mixing wood and color tones, you allow each item to be distinguished and keep the space feeling light," she says. The second solution: Break up all your wood furniture with pieces in any other material or finish; think brass, metal, marble, concrete, even leather. Ahead, discover our favorite pieces of furniture that are anything but wood. 

Next up: all the cool little-known décor shops we didn't know about (until now).

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