Metals, cane or rattan, and plastics have their place, particularly for outdoor and patio furniture. However, none of these has the look of high quality solid wood furniture. For accent pieces, yes, metals and even ceramics and glass can look great. A smoked glass top on a coffee table can be very attractive in the correct setting, but for a main dining table you cannot beat solid wood.
None of these new materials has lasted been proved a good alternative to wood. They offered artists and designers an opportunity to move away from wood for high quality furniture. Many designs were popular in their day, but did they ever take the place of solid wood furniture? Never! With the development of corrosion-proof metals and new plastics, wood became no longer a cool material to use for the modern furniture of the day. For most of history, wood and stone have been the construction materials of choice - for homes and the furniture used in them. Stone was popular in the old civilizations, or perhaps we only think so because all wooden furniture is long gone.
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