What is the rest of the furniture in the room made from ? A good quality ply may help save you money then trim it out in hardwood. Are you working from a set of plans or you own design ? There are lots of woods to chose from and ways to finish them. If the furniture in the room is oak, I would stay with that and stain and finish to match. I like oak, maple and cherry personally. But in my house, if I doing a piece I do my best to match the other pieces so it blends in better.
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