In furnishing a home, wood seems to be the de facto material of choice. Readily available, durable, and timeless, it’s no wonder popular stores like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware have made an industry around this material. But as the Mile High Style aesthetic maintains, too much of any one thing is overkill, uninspired and boring. A room full of wood looks heavy, feels overbearing, and lacks style and imagination. So switch it up. There are many fabulous materials that, in addition to serving as the perfect complement to wood, are style superstars in their own right.
*Lucite – embodying a modern sensibility, these tables, consoles, and desks are perfect for small or cluttered spaces because they carry no visual weight. Accessories such as mirrors, lamps, and trays have become the emblem of chic décor with manufacturer Kartell leading the way. The mainstream retail market has steadily warmed to lucite as it can now be found in the catalogues and showrooms of America’s favorite stores. Not bad for plastic!
*Metal – characteristic of the Industrial look of the 20s and 30s, furniture made of materials such as brass, chrome, brushed aluminum, steel and iron embodies real presence and personality and adds a masculine feel to any room. Typically reclaimed and repurposed from factories, these pieces are now being reproduced by Restoration Hardware in their first departure from an inventory that was exclusively wood. Bravo.
*Marble - utilized in furniture both antique and modern, marble is elegant, beautiful, and classic. It also needs to be incorporated into any room with thoughtful moderation, as marble is opulent, and too much opulence is tacky. Ideal as a side table or the top of a demilune console, a little goes a long way.
*Lacquer/Mirror – Definitely my personal favorite, these two materials create the same glamorous aesthetic and provide a feminine feel to any space. A mirrored chest works beautifully in a bedroom, and tabletop accessories like coasters and boxes contrast perfectly with any wood beneath.
Mile High Style Tip: The best wood furniture is antique, and the most beautiful antique wood is of the Biedermeier style. If you’re looking for something splurge-worthy for your home, a chest of drawers from this period can’t be beat.