Stylistically, Biedermeier furniture softened the rigidity of the Empire style and added weight to Directoire; it made the elevation of Empire realistic and the delicacy of Directoire durable. While Empire was grandiose and usually of dark woods with ormolu mounts, Biedermeier—identifying more closely with Directoire in this sense—was executed in light, native woods and avoided the use of metal ornamentation. Surfaces were modulated with natural grains, knotholes, or ebonized accents for contrast; though modest, inlay was occasionally used. An identifying feature of Biedermeier furniture is its extremely restrained geometric appearance. Some furniture took on new roles; for example, the table à milieu, rather than an isolated centrepiece, became the family table, around which chairs were set for evening activities.