Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

Search

Loading...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Furniture Terms and What They Mean

My wife and I have decided that we need a new kitchen table and chairs. We went to a local furniture store to begin the hunt and found a few sets that looked good.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the sets of tables and chairs were less expensive than we thought, so we began looking at bedroom sets. We quickly became confused at all the strange names that the sales person began throwing at us. I have to admit to being rather embarrassed at my obvious lack of furniture lingo and am now going to try to save you from the same embarrassment.

Here's a list of furniture terms and what they mean:

  • Armoire: A large cabinet with two doors and shelves used for storing clothes. Or you could also put one in your family room/living room/media room to store electronic equipment.

  • Break front: A bookcase or china cabinet made of three vertical sections, the center one projects forward beyond the two end sections.

  • Buffet: A small cupboard. The French definition of the word is "a small sideboard, a place for keeping dishes".

  • Bureau: In America, a "bureau" is another name for a "dresser" or a bedroom storage piece. In France, the word was used to describe the red cloth covering for a writing desk, and, later, was used to refer to the desk itself.

  • Case goods: Specifically, storage pieces made primarily of wood. More generally, refers to entire collections of wood bedroom and dining room furniture, including some pieces that are not storage, such as headboards and dining tables.

  • Credenza: A sideboard or a buffet in my house.

  • Gate leg table: A table with a folding leaf held in place by a leg that swings out like a gate. It was a popular feature in Colonial American homes.

  • Highboy: A high chest of drawers. Yet another piece of furniture whose name has French origins. In this case: haut bois, which in French means "high wood".

  • Occasional tables: A term applied to small tables, such as coffee tables and lamp tables.

  • Secretary: No, not the person who types memos at an office. Rather, a drop front desk, with bookshelves above and drawers below.

  • Settee: A long seat or bench with arms and a high back.

  • Sideboard: A piece often found in dining rooms. It features a long flat top for serving and is usually equipped with drawers or cabinets for storing china.

  • Wing chair: An upholstered chair with a high back, stuffed arms and wing-shaped projectors at head level.


Fabrics

  • Batik: Any hand-printed material, which gets its color as a result of dipping the fabric into dye.

  • Brocade: Has an embossed appearance and is made of heavy silk with an elaborate pattern in silver or gold threads.

  • Chenille: Derived from the French word for "caterpillar," which is a good way to describe chenille yarn: plush and fuzzy.

  • Chintz: Was once defined as any printed, cotton fabric, but now it refers to fabric with a glazed or "polished" surface.

  • Damask: Gets its name from the ancient city of Damascus where elaborate floral designs were woven in silk. Damask is flatter than brocade and is reversible.

  • Ticking: You'll hear this term used a lot if you are shopping for a new mattress. Ticking is a strong cotton fabric used to cover mattresses.


Other Helpful Terms



  • Bow front: Term used to describe a cabinet front that curves outward to appear convex.

  • Camelback: A curved sofa back characterized by a large central hump.

  • KD: "Knocked down." Term applied to furniture sold unassembled or only partially assembled.

  • Motion upholstery: An upholstered piece with reclining or inclining seating features.

  • RTA: "Ready-to-assemble." Rather straightforward term, which is applied to furniture, sold unassembled or only partially assembled.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.