The One Thing I Shy Away From When Buying Furniture

Updated 05/06/19
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a gray kitchen with open shelves
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. 

IKEA Gladom Tray Table
IKEA Gladom Tray Table $30
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At only $30, this powder-coated metal table packs a punch.

West Elm Marble Oval Coffee Table
West Elm Marble Oval Coffee Table $899
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Don't want a wood coffee table? Pick a moody marble piece instead.

Blu Dot Dang TV Stand
Blu Dot Dang TV Stand $1439
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This white painted TV stand also features a perforated front, steel legs, and brass handles.

Modern By Dwell Magazine Side Table
Modern By Dwell Magazine Side Table $85
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Not all wood finishes are bad—this black table from Dwell Magazine for Target is sleek and chic.

&Tradition Palette Desk
&Tradition Palette Desk $3750
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Opt for mixed materials with this &Tradition desk featuring a green stained top, brass shelf, and steel legs.

Menu Cage Side Table
Menu Cage Side Table $370
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Marble is always a good idea. Swap a wood side table for this cute number.

Muuto Fiber Armchair
Muuto Fiber Armchair $389
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Don't want wood or upholstered chairs? This Muuto design comes in a variety of colors.

Blu Dot Note Side Table
Blu Dot Note Side Table $299
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Add a pop of color to your room with this sleek table from Blu Dot.

IKEA Sandhaug
IKEA Sandhaug $80
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Not a fan of wood? Rattan is another great material that's perfect to add summer vibes to your space.

West Elm Sculpted Concrete Drum Side Table
West Elm Sculpted Concrete Drum Side Table $149
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Add a touch of concrete to your space with this drum side table from West Elm.

McGee & Co Moore Bar Stool
McGee & Co Moore Bar Stool $428
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Leather and metal bar stool? Yes, please. This number from McGee & Co is a departure from classic bar stools.

Umbra Shift Tiered Coffee Table
Umbra Shift Tiered Coffee Table $598
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Why be boring with your coffee table? This blue option by Umbra Shift is both functional and eye-catching.

CB2 Perforated Black Marble Side Table
CB2 Perforated Black Marble Side Table $399
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Go glam with a combination of perforated brass and black marble, courtesy of CB2.

Urban Outfitters Fulton Metal Storage Cabinet
Urban Outfitters Fulton Metal Storage Cabinet $329
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Even cabinets don't have to be wood—try this green piece from Urban Outfitters instead.

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

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