If you follow my design work, you know that I never use just one type of furniture in a room. I find it much more interesting to mix finishes and materials. If the entire room is done with painted furniture, the beauty of the painted finish seems to fade – the overall effect is a bit boring. I find rooms where all the finishes match rather dull. When you place a painted surface next to a dark wood one, the idiosyncrasies of both finishes are revealed.

One finish that I particularly enjoy is tetra negra. You should never paint something totally black from the can . . . always add some brown. The mixing of black and brown is where the term tetra negra stems from. Tetra negra is achieved by layering a dark wood stain. Unlike a painted finish, it is never flat. The layers give depth and variation. The color of the finish can even change depending on the light. BeeLine’s Ebony Anglo Coffee Table and Tambour Side Table are both beautiful examples of tetra negra. The finish on the coffee table allows for streaks of warm brown to come through, while the finish on the Tambour Table is a rich ebony that has been beautifully hand-waxed and rubbed.

What I love about furniture with a tetra negra finish is that the furniture tends to be incredibly versatile. Both of these pieces, for instance, would work in traditional or more modern rooms. In my office, I love the way the Ebony Anglo Coffee Table looks, paired with the painted Eclipse and Regale chairs. And, turned sideways, I think the Tambour Side Table would make a great TV stand for a small flat screen. It even has a drawer to stash the remotes! So, be bold… don’t be afraid of dark furniture!

Images from Top to Bottom:
Tambour Side Table
Ebony Anglo Coffee Table
Sitting area in my office


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