When purchasing a ready-made piece of furniture or engaging a furniture maker to create a new one we look at functionality, aesthetic appeal, materials, colors and finally the finishing on the surface: matt or gloss.
The answer to this varies depending on what is fashionable however the choice of it tends to span trends and be more a cultural thing.
In this sense matt finishes have been predominantly out there from the beginning of the XX century being the glossy options either on the cheaper side or on the most expensive one with the immense difference in between that exceptional quality provides.
Two of the most desirable adjectives in the world of interiors are elegance and luxurious.
Depending on your life style and how you see and experience beauty matt finishes can provide a very serene, tamed, beautifully constrained look where the care for the materials and colors are easily identifiable meanwhile keeping their identity. This is elegance.
Whereas when you have glossy surfaces the immediate effect is that of receiving a shock on your eyes, the shining effect obliterates everything at least for the first seconds. After that you consciously or not will check if behind those glossy surfaces quality is present. If found we can talk about luxury.
The option of matt surfaces needs to be in tune with the style you are considering for your interiors. A 50 or 60’s look or a Scandinavian one won’t look real if matt is not the unspoken connector among the objects in the room.
The other aspect that we need to consider is that nowadays we are more aware of what is connected to nature and what is not, so from that perspective shinny finishes are excluded in general. There is a strong stand in reference to too much of synthetic materials or finishes.
There are exceptions of course.
And those are stone, some metals and precious stones. Even when they can be glossy in appearance they are not, they have a polished surface which is very different; their look is natural which makes them a very attractive source of inspiration for luxurious spaces.
My preference as designer is a matt look with touches of polished or glossy ones which offers, when well balanced, a very sophisticated look serene and timeless.
When writing about this the image of the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies Van Der Rohe in 1929 came to my mind.
An exceptionally beautiful and serene space: sophisticated and unpretentious.
Before you buy all your furniture and decide on the surfaces imagine the final effect and how it translates to the image you have of yourself and the enjoyment of life being surrounded by them.
If you feel great, that is the right decision for you.