Have you ever heard someone say their animals would ruin a leather sofa? This, and when a person says, "I want my table to be real wood, good hard wood."
I have owned leather furniture (not vinyl), and I know something about real wood.
Let's talk about leather first. I have two dogs that run around our family room, chasing each other, jumping on and off the leather sofa and wrestling on it. They are like children on a playground. Our leather sofa is still as good as new. Granted it is a dark burgundy so it does not show much, neither do they dig their claws into it.
Good leather is very sturdy and difficult to puncture a hole into. We once had a creamy white leather sofa and a crazy cat. The cat never came near the sofa, but our daughter has had her cats tear up her leather love seat (perhaps, cats and leather might not go together).
Fabric furniture can be ruined much quicker than any leather piece, so if you are wondering, I say give it a try. And of course, don't buy off white, unless only adults are going to sit on your furniture. That goes the same for off white or beige carpeting. We will talk about that later.
Let's talk now about real wood. I can begin with what I instantly know about people who say they want real wood. They haven't got a clue, and they probably grew up around solid oak furniture (maybe even cheap laminated coffee tables - remember those?). As for solid wood, I wonder what 'they' thought when they saw a crack go down the middle or the side of a table.
The fact is this. Really fine furniture is never solid wood, the reason - wood is a very unstable element. That is why bad laminating jobs came into practice in the 1950's. The laminate peeled away and gave the process a bad name. Expensive furniture has layer upon layer of thin sheets of shaved wood, glued together in a process that is exquisite, that is how and why the grain is so beautiful on these pieces of fine furniture.
Pick up a magazine that advertises fine furniture, i.e. Baker furniture. It is extremely expensive and very beautiful. So when you walk into a furniture store, don't say to the salesman, "I want solid wood for my table." You will be sorry, and you'll know what he knows about you.