Among that last group of items are some pieces we received from Ben's Grandparents' estate. This is where the debate begins.... I'm not a big fan of natural wood - I do appreciate fine wood grain, I just don't like a lot of it - too many pieces of the look I call "oaky-oaky" (regardless of wood type) seems dull and depressing to me. Soooo....we got this furniture, and it's ALL got the wood-grain thing going on - some of it in better condition than the other. Ben, on the other hand, doesn't really mind the all-wood look - plus, he's much more sentimental about keeping things the same as they were in his Grandparent's home...and I understand this.
He also argues that "according to Antiques Roadshow," refinishing, painting, or otherwise altering wood finishes can ruin their value - true, but that generally only applies to finer woods or higher-quality pieces of furniture - things that don't really apply to this decision. So, as oft happens in a marriage - we're splitting the difference!