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Glossary Of Terms
- Aquarium furniture: Aquarium furniture refers to the various ornaments and functional items in an aquarium. Ornamental aquarium furniture is often kitsch: popular examples include ceramic mermaids, 'sunken' ships and castles, and the ever-popular (but curiously misplaced) "No Fishing" sign. Another strange piece of decor is the ubiquitous plastic corals found often in freshwater tanks. Examples of functional aquarium furniture would include devices for removing algae from the glass (either a razor or a scouring pad, attached to the glass by a magnet), airstones, water filters, water heaters, and food dispensers. Aquarium furniture may also refer to an item of (regular) furniture that features an aquarium in its design. A stand or cabinet that supports the aquarium may be considered aquarium furniture. Also, many home reef aquariums canopies containing metal halide lights. The canopies are often constructed to the same standards as high quality cabinetry.
- Bean bag: A bean bag is a sealed bag containing dried beans or PVC pellets, with various applications.
- Bed: is a piece of furniture or location primarily used as a place to sleep, but can serve other functions, such as providing a place for sexual intercourse or for relaxation. Beds come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Early beds were little more than piles of straw or some other natural materials. An important change was raising them off the ground, to avoid drafts, dirt, and pests. To make beds more comfortable, the top layer is frequently a mattress. Originally these were bags of straw for most people and filled with feathers for the wealthy. Eventually new fillings such as cotton and artificial fillers became common. In modern times most mattresses use springs, solid foam, latex, water, or air. The second layer is the box spring. The box spring or "divan" is a large mattress-sized box containing wood and springs that provide additional support and suspension for the mattress. The third layer is the bed frame. The bed frame lifts the mattress/mattress-box spring off the ground. A dust ruffle, bed skirt, or valance sheet may be used to make the bed frame match the rest of the bedding. At the top of the mattress, to provide greater support for the head, most people use a pillow. Also used is some form of covering blanket to provide warmth to the sleeper, often bed sheets, a quilt, or a duvet.
- Bedroom set: is a group of furniture sold as a unit, typically comprising a bed, nightstand, and wardrobe, sometimes also including a chest of drawers, dresser, mirror and/or chair.
- Bench: is a piece of furniture, which mostly offers several persons seating. As a rule, benches are made of wood, but one can also find stone benches and benches made of synthetic materials. Many benches have arm rests. In public areas, benches are often donated by persons or associations, which may then be indicated on it, e.g. by a small copper plaque.
- Bergere: is a type of upholstered chair, commonly found in the Regence/Rococo period in France in the 17th century. It includes a loose, but tailored, cushion, upholstered back, upholstered seat, exposed wooden frame; arms may be exposed, manchette style or upholstered. The frame of the chair is exposed wood but the seat apron is upholstered also. Cabriole legs were also a common characteristic of this piece of furniture. Types of Bergere Chairs include: Bergere en gondole and Bergere Confessionale. The Bergere en gondole has a horse-shaped back, whereas the Bergere Confessionale is much more square with stronger shoulders and usually made of mahogany. In contemporary times this chair design is associated with the Country French decorating style. An all-upholstered low armchair that usually has an exposed wood frame and enclosed sides. The upholstered arms are shorter than the length of the seat, and a soft loose pillow rests on a fabric-covered seat platform. It was introduced in the Louis XV period and was also popular in the Louis XVI period.---The Dictionary of Interior Design by Martin Pegler An armchair with closed arms.
- Bookcase: is a piece of furniture, almost always with horizontal shelves, used to store books.
- Cabinet (furniture): is usually a box-shaped form, either standing alone as a piece of furniture or built into or attached to a wall (such as a medicine cabinet) typically made of wood but now often made of synthetic materials, and used for storage of miscellaneous items. Cabinets usually have one or more doors on the front that are mounted with door hardware and occasionally a lock; they may also contain drawers. Short cabinets often have a finished surface on top that can be used for display, or as a working surface such as the countertops found in kitchens. Many draws in the modern kitchen offer a soft close mechanism, reducing the risk of accidents like trapped fingers A cabinet intended for clothing storage is usually called a wardrobe in English, or an armoire in French. In previous centuries, such a cabinet was also known as a linen-press. In British usage, a wardrobe occasionally was referred to as an oakley, because of the oak wood used in its construction.
- Chair: is a piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a seat, a back, and sometimes arm rests, commonly for use by one person. Chairs also often have four legs to support the seat raised above the floor. Without back and arm rests it is called a stool. A chair for more than one person is a couch, sofa, settee, loveseat, recliner (two-seater without arm rest in between) or bench. A separate footrest for a chair is known as an ottoman, hassock or poof. A chair mounted in a vehicle or in a theater is simply called a seat. Chairs as furniture typically can be moved. The back often does not extend all the way to the seat to allow for ventilation. Likewise, the back and sometimes the seat are made of porous materials or have holes drilled in them for decoration and ventilation. The back may extend above the height of the head. There may be separate headrests. Headrests for seats in vehicles are important for preventing whiplash injuries to the neck when the vehicle is involved in a rear-end collision.
- Chest: is one of the oldest forms of furniture. It is typically a rectangular structure with four walls and a liftable lid, for storage. The interior space may be subdivided. The early uses of an Antique chest or coffer included storage of fine cloth, weapons, foods and valuable items. A cassone is a kind of carved or painted chest associated with late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Cassones were often used to carry the dowry goods in a marriage ceremony. In Medieval and early Renaissance times in Europe low chests were often used as benches while taller chests were used as side tables. By placing a chest on the side on any kind of rough table, the inner surface of its lid could be used as a proper writing surface while the interior could house writing implements and related materials, as was the case with the Bargueno desk of Spain. Many early Portable desks were stacked chests, with the top one having its lid on the side, to serve as a writing surface when opened. In ancient Chinese history, chests were often also used as medicinal chests, which could be transported at will to prevent discovery by ancient emperors, who had banned the usage of medicinal chests, due to the superstitious belief that they were indecent to the human body. In fantasy, fables, and games, chests frequently contain treasure.
- Coffee table: A coffee table is a style of long, low table which is designed to be placed in front of a couch, to support beverages (hence the name), magazines, books (especially coffee table books), and other small items to be used while sitting, such as coasters. Coffee tables are usually found in the living room or sitting room. They are available in many different variations and prices vary from style to style. Coffee tables may also incorporate cabinets for storage. The idiom "Gather round the coffee table" is derived from the furniture piece and its proclivity for encouraging conviviality and light conversation.
- Couch: A couch, loveseat, sofa, settee, lounge, davenport or chesterfield are items of furniture for the comfortable seating of more than one person. Compare the joiner's settle, with its separate seat cushions. Couches are usually to be found in the living room, den or the lounge. They come in a variety of textiles and in leather. A typical couch seats two to three people and has an armrest on either side. Many different types of couches exist; popular types include the divan. the chaise longue, the canap%uFFFD or the ottoman. Also, to conserve space, some sofas double as beds (sofa-bed, daybed, or futon). There are other types, including two-seater, three-seater, corner and chaise longue. A sectional sofa (often just referred to as a "sectional") is formed from multiple sections (typically 2 to 4) and usually includes at least two pieces that join at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater. A three-piece suite is composed of three couch pieces (generally, a two- or three-seater and two armchairs).
- Cupboard: is a type of cabinet, often made of wood, used indoors to store household objects such as food and crockery, and protect them from dust and dirt. As the name suggests, this piece of furniture was originally a simple board or table on which to place cups or mugs - recorded use of such a name dates back to at least the Middle Ages. For the last few centuries, "cupboard" has referred to a storage area enclosed by doors. An airing cupboard is a domestic room more usually resembling a wardrobe in size and proportion, although sometimes large enough to be considered a small room, and which houses the boiler in a central heating installation. Shelves (usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat) are positioned above the boiler to provide storage for clothing, typically linen and towelling. The purpose is to prevent damp rather than to dry wet clothing. It may also be called simply a 'boiler cupboard' and by certain regional names. In Ireland, for example, a common term is hot press, see the article there.
- Desk: is a furniture form and a class of table. It is often used in a work or office setting to read or write on, using simple implements like a pencil and paper or complex ones like a computer. Desks often have one or more drawers. Unlike a regular table, only one side of a desk is suitable to sit on, except for some unusual desks like a partners desk. Not all desks have the form of a table. For instance, an Armoire desk is a desk built within a large wardrobe-like cabinet usually having the height of an adult person. To many the ideal or generic concept of a desk is the pedestal desk, which is often called an executive desk. At one extreme in size one finds the Armoire desk, encased in a very large cabinet looking like a traditional wardrobe from the exterior, when the doors are closed. At the other end one finds the portable desk, which, in its smallest forms, is light enough to be placed on a lap or on small supports on a bed.
- Door furniture: Door furniture (British and Australian English) or Door hardware (North American English) refers to any of the items that are attached to a door or a drawer to enhance its functionality or appearance. Decorative door in Florence, Italy. Design of door furniture is an issue to disabled persons who might have difficulty opening or using some kinds of door, and to specialists in Interior design as well as those usability professionals which often take their didactic examples from door furniture design and use. Items of door furniture or door hardware include:fingerplate ,keyhole, lock ,doorknob (or doorhandle) ,door knocker ,thumb latch ,hinge ,pull handle ,letter plate (or letter box) ,peephole or wide-angle door viewer ,door stop ,escutcheon ,bell push ,espagnolette ,rim lock
- Dresser (Chest of drawers): is a piece of furniture which has multiple parallel, horizontal drawers stacked one above each other. A chifforobe (from chiffonier + wardrobe) is a combination of a wardrobe and chest of drawers. Dressers have traditionally been made and used for storing clothing, especially underwear, socks, and other items not normally hung in or otherwise stored in a closet. Dressers are often placed in a bedroom for this purpose, but can actually be used to store anything that will fit inside and can be placed anywhere in a house or another place. Various personal sundry items are also often stored in a dresser. It has a long history as one of the stand-bys of a carpenter's workshop. A typical dresser is approximately rectangular in overall shape and often has short legs at the bottom corners for placement on the floor. Chests of drawers often come in 5-, 6-, and 7-drawer varieties, with either a single or a split top drawer. Dressers are commonly made of wood, similar to many other kinds of furniture, but of course can be made of other materials. The inside of the drawers can be accessed by pulling them out at the front side of the dresser. A dresser is often placed so that the back side faces a wall since access to the back is not necessary. The lateral sides of the dressers are also usually made such that they can be placed against a wall; for example, for placement in a room corner. Although dressers can be made plain in appearance, they can also be made with a fancy or ornamental appearance, including finishes and various external color tones. Most dressers fall into one of two types: those which are about waist-high or bench-high and dressers (usually with more drawers) which are about shoulder-high. Both types typically have a flat surface on top; of course, items can be placed on top. Waist-high dressers often have a mirror placed vertically on top; the mirror is often bought with the dresser. While a user is getting dressed or otherwise preparing their grooming, he/she can look at themselves in the mirror to check their appearance. Some users may keep lamps for lighting on top of either kind of dresser, and decorative items or photos are sometimes added for appearance.
- Fauteuil: is a style of open-arm chair with a primarily exposed wooden frame originating in France in the early eighteenth century. A fauteuil is made of wood, and frequently with carved relief ornament. It is typically upholstered on the seat, the seat back and on the arms (manchettes). Some fauteuils have a valenced front seat rail which is padding that extends slightly over the apron. The exposed wooden elements are often gilded or otherwise painted.
- Filing cabinet: is a piece of office equipment that is useful for temporary and permanent storage. It is usually used for the storage of paper in a file folder. The two most common forms of filing cabinets are lateral files and vertical files. A lateral file is used to store folders in a sideways fashion. They are standard in government and legal offices. They also permit variety in office design. These are also called side filers in Great Britain.
- Folding Screen: is a piece of furniture which consists of at least two frames connected by hinges. These frames are covered with paper, cloth, wood or other materials. Screens are used to provide shelter, partition off a space, and as decoration. The earliest folding screens originated in China as early as the fourth century BC.
- Footstool: is a piece of furniture, the purpose of which is to provide comfort to a person seated in, for example, a chair or sofa. It is typically a short, wide, four-legged stool with a padded upholstered top, in fabric, leather or sheepskin. It allows the seated person to rest their feet upon it, supporting their legs at a mostly horizontal level, thus giving rise to use of the term footrest, for this item. A shorter form of footstool may be used for support when a person's (usually a child's) feet do not reach the floor while seated. In this case, the person's lower legs are not outstretched horizontally; the footstool is simply placed under the feet. A piano footstool used in conjunction with a piano bench does just this. There appears to be no distinction between the two forms in terms of naming. The main distinction in terms of function is that in the first form, the lower legs are usually held straight (perhaps one crossed over the other) while in the second form, the knees are bent as is expected. Generally, any object of suitable elevation may be employed as a makeshift footrest. Another seat, a desk, or a table may serve. These options are usually considered inconsiderate since feet, and especially shoes (by their nature) tend to collect more dirt than a person's working area or pants. The term footstool may also be applied to shorter stepladders, but this usage isn't as common. A heavily upholstered footstool of the first described form is called an ottoman. The Streit Slumber Chair featured a two-part footstool having a removable seat high upholstered top which revealed a hidden "slipper-compartment". Footstool may also refer to the act of a man resting his feet on his man-slaves.
- Garden furniture: is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather resistant materials. The oldest surviving examples of garden furniture were found in the gardens of Pompeii.
- Gateleg table: is a type of furniture first introduced in England in the 16th century. The table top has a fixed section and one or two hinged leaves, which, when not in use, folded down below the fixed section to hang vertically. The hinged section, or flap, was supported on pivoted legs joined at the top and bottom by stretchers constituting a gate. Large flaps had two supports, which had the advantage of providing freer leg space in the centre. Typically the table legs are supported by stretchers. The earliest gateleg tables of the 16th and 17th century were typically made of oak.
- Hall Tree: is a piece of furniture, usually found in hallways or near the entryway of homes, on which people hang items such as hats, coats, or other clothing. They often have mirrors and drawers to store personal items such as wallets, sunglasses, money, etc. Many incorporate a bench to sit upon while putting on or taking off footware. The bench seat is often hinged with a storage space underneath often used for shoes, hats and gloves. Most Hall Trees are made of wood. In Victorian times some of the better quality hall trees were made of walnut or oak.
- Hatstand: is a device used to store hats and often coats on, and umbrellas within. The front hall was the introduction to the house, and as such was an important part of the Victorian home. Furnishings were selected not only to make it a useful place to hang a hat and coat, store an umbrella and leave a calling card, but also to show family wealth, social position and knowledge of current styles. A hall stand or a hatrack was the most important piece of furniture. These were new forms that appeared about 1840, as homes became larger and social visits became more structured. Usually made of wood and standing at least five foot tall, they have a single pole making up most of the height, wih a sturdy base to prevent toppling, and an array of lengthy pegs at the top for placement of hats. Smaller houses had smaller front halls, so a hanging hatrack was the answer to the problem of storing visitors' coats and hats. The complicated shapes of the spindles and hooks of both varieties created an interesting pattern on the wall . By the 1920s, houses had become smaller, and hall furnishings were usually just a chair, a table and perhaps a mirror - a closet or cupboard held hats and coats. The Viz character, Roger Irrelevant, was considered to be "completely hatstand".
- Headboard (furniture): is a piece of furniture that attaches to the head of a bed. Its most basic function is to retain the pillow(s) and other bed linens. A headboard may be strictly utilitarian, but frequently has aesthetic value and may be a decorative focus for a bedroom. A headboard may also be utilized to provide a wide variety of other functions, such as providing simple storage, various sexual conveniences, or incorporation into the critical care functions of a hospital bed.
- Hutch: is a type of furniture that usually consists of a set of shelves or cabinets placed on top of a lower unit with a counter and either drawers or cabinets. Hutches are often seen in the form of desks or kitchen furniture.
- Knoll sofa: is a classic English furniture design that originated in England in the seventeenth century. This form of soft furnishing design features adjustable side arms and considerable depth of seating. The classic design was continued to be manufactured by the Knoll company and imitative brands until the nineteenth century in England. Currently these sofas are prized by collectors and those seeking period furnishings; they are available principally through antique dealers and auction houses. The classic Knoll sofa often has exposed wooden knobs at the rear corner tops, and some exposed wood may be present on the otherwise upholstered arms. Characteristically the side arms are tied to the sofa back by means of heavy decorative braid, often with an elaborate tassel.
- Love seat: A couch, loveseat, sofa, settee, lounge, davenport or chesterfield are items of furniture for the comfortable seating of more than one person. Compare the joiner's settle, with its separate seat cushions. Couches are usually to be found in the living room, den or the lounge. They come in a variety of textiles and in leather. A typical couch seats two to three people and has an armrest on either side. Many different types of couches exist; popular types include the divan. the chaise longue, the canap%uFFFD or the ottoman. Also, to conserve space, some sofas double as beds (sofa-bed, daybed, or futon). There are other types, including two-seater, three-seater, corner and chaise longue. A sectional sofa (often just referred to as a "sectional") is formed from multiple sections (typically 2 to 4) and usually includes at least two pieces that join at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater. A three-piece suite is composed of three couch pieces (generally, a two- or three-seater and two armchairs).
- Ottoman: is a piece of furniture, a padded, upholstered seat or bench having neither back nor arms, often used as a stool or footstool. An ottoman can also be known as a footstool, tuffet, hassock or pouf. Some ottomans are hollow, in which case they are often used as blanket boxes.
- Park furniture: is similar to street furniture but located in a park or garden. Examples include: Benches, Lights, Bandstands, Statues, Fountains, Picnic tables, garden furniture.
- Recliner: is an armchair that reclines when the sitter lowers the chair's back and raises its front. It has a backrest that can be tilted back, causing a footrest to extend from the front.
- Sideboard: is an item of furniture traditionally used in the dining room for serving food, for displaying serving dishes such as silver, and for storage. It usually consists of a set of cabinets, or cupboards, and one or more drawers, all topped by a flat display surface for conveniently holding food, serving dishes, and even lighting devices. The overall height of the tops of most sideboards is approximately waist level. The earliest versions of the sideboard familiar today made their appearance in the 18th century, but they gained most of their popularity during the 19th century as households became prosperous enough to dedicate a room solely to dining. Sideboards were made in a range of decorative styles and were frequently ornamented with costly veneers and inlays. In later years, sideboards have been placed in living rooms or other areas where household items might be displayed. In traditional, formal dining rooms today, an antique sideboard is a desirable and fashionable accessory, and finely styled versions from the late-18th or early-19th centuries are the most sought after and costly today. Among its counterparts in modern furniture styles, the form is often referred to as a server. Some of the earliest production of sideboards arose in England, France, Belgium and Scotland. Later, American designs arose. Characteristic materials used in historic sideboard manufacture include oak, pine and walnut.
- Sofa (couch): A piece of furniture
- Stadium seating: is a technique used in performing-arts venues and movie theaters to allow more guests to see the event with less blockage than traditional seating. Like seating in a football or baseball stadium, stadium seating in theaters is usually a 30 degree slope stepped upwards from the bottom of the theater, as opposed to the approximately 15 degree gentle slope in traditional theaters. This slope improves sightlines for visitors and reduces the chance that a tall person will block the view of a short person behind them. Sometimes the sloping floor is not stepped, with the disadvantage that items can roll down. There has been some criticism of stadium seating because it usually isn't possible for disabled people in wheelchairs to climb them. To reduce the problem, theaters with stadium seating generally mark the row at walk-in level for disabled patrons. This row is more open than those above or below it and includes empty spaces for wheelchairs. Stadium seating on a roller coaster The trains on some roller coasters are also configured in tiers; this seating configuration is also sometimes called stadium seating. Three prominent examples of roller coasters whose trains use this type of seating are Millennium Force at Cedar Point, which opened in 2000, SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa, which opened in 2005, and Griffon at Busch Gardens Europe, which is scheduled to open in 2007
- Stool (type of chair): A type of chair without back and arm rests.
- Street furniture: is a collective term for objects and pieces of equipment installed on streets and roads for various purposes, including benches, bollards, post boxes, phone boxes, streetlamps, street lighting, traffic lights, traffic signs, bus stops, grit bins, tram stops, taxi stands, public lavatories, fountains and memorials, and waste receptacles. An important consideration in the design of street furniture is how it affects road safety.
- Table: is a form of furniture composed of a surface supported by a base, usually four legs. It is often used to hold objects or food at a convenient or comfortable height when sitting. Generic ts have hinged extensions of the table top called drop leaves, while others can be extended with removable sections called leages.
- Tuffet: Tuffet, pouffe or hassock are all terms for a piece of furniture used as a footstool or low seat. It is distinguished from a stool by being completely covered in fabric so that no legs are visible. It's essentially a large hard cushion that may have an internal wooden frame to give it more rigidity. Wooden feet may be added to the base to give it stability. If the piece is larger, so that storage can take place inside it, then it is generally known as an ottoman. Hassock has special association with churches, as it is used to describe the thick cushions employed by the congregation to kneel on while in prayer. The names tuffet and hassock are both derived from English names for a small grassy hillock or clump of grass, in use since at least the sixteenth century. Pouffe is a nineteenth century French import for "something puffed out". A tuffet is also an English unit of capacity, equal to 2 pecks, or half a bushel. Another connotation of the word tuffet is the description of an inflatable landing area for precision accuracy parachute landings. See www.texair-limited.com
- Wardrobe: is a cabinet used for storing clothes. The earliest wardrobe was a chest, and it was not until some degree of luxury was attained in regal palaces and the castles of powerful nobles that separate accommodation was provided for the sumptuous apparel of the great. The name of wardrobe was then given to a room in which the wall-space was filled with cupboards and lockers, the drawer being a comparatively modern invention. From these cupboards and lockers the modern wardrobe, with its hanging spaces, sliding shelves and drawers, evolved slowly. In its movable form as an oak "hanging cupboard" it dates back to the early 17th century. For probably a hundred years such pieces, massive and cumbrous in form, but often with well-carved fronts, were produced in moderate numbers; then the gradual diminution in the use of oak for cabinet-making produced a change of fashion. Walnut succeeded oak as the favourite material for furniture, but hanging wardrobes in walnut appear to have been made very rarely, although clothes presses, with drawers and sliding trays, were frequent. During a large portion of the 18th century the tallboy was much used for storing clothes. In the nineteenth century the wardrobe began to develop into its modern form, with a hanging cupboard at each side, a press in the upper part of the central portion and drawers below. As a rule it was often of mahogany, but as satinwood and other hitherto scarce finely grained foreign woods began to be obtainable in considerable quantities, many elaborately and even magnificently inlaid wardrobes were made. Where Chippendale and his school had carved, Sheraton, Hepplewhite and their contemporaries achieved their effects by the artistic employment of deftly contrasted and highly polished woods. The first step in the evolution of the wardrobe was taken when the central doors, which had previously enclosed merely the upper part, were carried to the floor, covering the drawers as well as the sliding shelves, and were often fitted with mirrors.
- Watchman's chair: is a design of unupholstered wood construction featuring a slanted seat, such that the watchman could not readily fall asleep, without sliding downward and off the front of the chair. The design was developed in Western Europe, and would have been used from late medieval times well into the 19th century. Currently this antique furniture item is found primarily in the possession of collectors and museums.
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