Terry Ledford, the owner of the painted-and-refinished-vintage-furniture shop White Attic, strips a lot a furniture. At some point, he noticed a pattern with mid-20th-century pieces: Often, a credenza or dresser would have been built with multiple types of wood (a walnut frame with maple trim, for example), then stained entirely in the same dark hue. Ledford decided to celebrate the difference in grains by giving stripped pieces a clear finish—and thereby weighing in on a long-standing decorating dilemma: Should the woods in a room match? Ledford’s answer: a definite no. The beauty of having two tones in the same piece, he says, is that it allows you to “coordinate with other woods, without matching.” White Attic, 5225 N. Clark St., 773-907-9800; 1842 N. Damen Ave., 773-252-8844; thewhiteattic.com.


Photography: Tate Gunnerson