Mahogany and oak are the best materials for furniture. The former is cleverly imitated in a mahoganized birch, which presents a pleasing appearance and sometimes deceives those who are not familiar with the beautiful rich tones of the genuine article. Mahogany adapts itself to almost any sensible style of interior decoration, is likely to be of careful manufacture, and is almost invariably cherished for its beauty. Like other highly finished woods it takes on a bluish tint in damp weather, and if not well protected, will demand attention more frequently than other materials. But if its purchase can be afforded the care given it will scarcely be begrudged. The eggshell (dull) finish requires less attention than the higher polish.

Next in degree to mahogany, oak in the golden, weathered, or fumed effect is handsome and durable, while it is somewhat less expensive. The moment one drops below genuine mahogany, however, a wary eye must be kept upon construction. There are shifts innumerable to make cheap furniture that has an alluring appearance, and the variety of design in the moderate-priced materials will lead to confusion for those who do not exert a Spartan discrimination.