The actual color is much lighter than pictured, at first I thought it was unfinished. The wood is pretty soft, be careful when assembling not to screw hardware in too tightly. Have a power drill ready, you'll need it to attach the back piece since there are no pre-drilled holes there. My shipment must have come straight from the factory since the wood was so freshly cut the smell was almost overpowering. I washed inside and out with Murphy's Oil Soap, let it dry all day, then applied lemon oil. Much better.