Furniture Construction & Selection

Furniture Design 1 - INT33A Instructor: IDR Raymond R. Fuentes, FPIID

 Furniture is of major importance to any housing unit.  It is a chief factor in physical comfort and in the design of a home.  Furniture increases the usefulness of an area and expresses the personality of household members.  It can make you feel at ease or uncomfortable in your surroundings.

 Furniture is expensive and should be chosen with much care and thought.  Price and quality of furniture is affected by the materials and methods used in construction;  Materials and construction arc critical factors in the quality of furniture.  Well-built pieces from appropriate materials will provide years of useful service, but if either is shortchanged, the results will be less than satisfactory.

. plastics. and fabrics comprise the primary materials used to make furniture.  Construction techniques are mainly concerned with methods of fastening pieces together to form a sturdy assembly that will hold its shape for a long time. metals. Wood.

WOOD FURNITURE  The most common material used in furniture is wood. 11-1. .  Wood may be the main material used in a piece of furniture. dressers. and desks. includes chests.  Wood also may be used as a structural framework to be covered by other material as in upholstered furniture. tables. headboards.  This type of furniture called case goods.

 11-1 This dresser is an example of case goods. .  It is made from maple in a New England style.

Wood Types  Various species of wood have different qualities that make them more suitable for some uses than others.  Wood finishes also may vary with the type and quality of a piece. . veneers.  Solid woods. and processed woods may be used in furniture of different types and qualities.

and cedars.  1. . spruce. Woods may be classified as hardwoods or softwoods. Hardwood (from anglosperms) ± mostly from flowering and fruit bearing trees they have broader leaves and usually have harder wood. they are all nearly evergreens and grow in cooler regions.  2. Softwood (from gymsosperms) ± include the cone bearing trees such as pine.

less pitch. so they hold nails and screws better and are less likely to dent. .  However. hardwoods are generally more expensive than softwoods. and more durability.Hardwoods  Hardwoods are generally preferred over softwoods for quality furniture because they have greater dimensional stability.  They are usually harder than softwoods.

Softwoods  Softwoods generally develop checks and cracks with changing moisture conditions and have less strength than hardwoods. but they are less expensive.  They are also used to make processed woods. since beauty and strength are not essential.  Softwoods are sometimes used as back panels on case goods. .  Cost may outweigh other considerations depending on how the wood is used.

Wood Veneers  Wood veneers permit the use of rare and expensive woods in furniture that would otherwise be too expensive or impractical.  Veneers are thin slices of wood cut from a log in various ways. .

 Here. variegated. Five basic methods of cutting veneers are used:  rotary cut. quarter slicing. the log is mounted in a lathe and thin layers of wood (veneer) are pulled off as the log is turned producing a bold. half-round slicing riff-cut  Most softwood veneers are cut using the rotary cut method. Flat slicing. . rippled figure pattern.

. wavy figure by slicing parallel to a line through the center of the log.  Quarter slicing produces a series of stripes.  Here the growth rings are approximately at a right angle to the knife. Flat slicing produces a variegated.

 The cut is slightly across the annual growth rings of the log. .  Rift-cut veneer is used for oak and other woods which have ray cells radiating from the center of the log. Half-round slicing has characteristics of both rotary cut and pair sliced veneers.  This method emphasizes these cell patterns.

 The most common patterns are the: book match slip match. Veneer patterns may be obtained by matching piece' of veneer in various ways. special match .

 In book matching. the back of one veneer sheet meet the front of the adjacent veneer. to repeat the same grain pattern.  Therefore. without turning. .  Slip matching results when adjacent sheets are joined side by side.  This produces a matching joint design with a mirrored image look. every other sheet is turned over like leaves of a book.

. "V". Special matching may be used to produce a variety of patterns² diamond. checkerboard. herring bone. reverse diamond. and others.  All of these patterns are used in furniture today.


. burl. and stumps yield rippling patterns with sharp contrasts. some of the most interesting and valuable patterns are cut from the crotch. or stump 11-7. Veneer figure patterns are greatly affected by the par of the tree used.  Burls produce veneers with a pattern of swirls.  Although most veneer is cut from the trunk of the tree.  Veneers cut from a crotch have plume-like designs.

. 77-7 Wood grain cut from different parts of the tree produces different grain patterns.



. of wood to make plywood. five. or seven layers are bonded together.  The outer layer is of a better veneer. and less expensive veneers or pressed wood are used as inner layers. or plies. Veneered furniture is made by gluing together layers.  Usually three.

or too heavy.  Most fine case goods. like rosewood. chests. especially cupboards. . have veneered wood for exterior construction.  Veneers are practical when solid wood would be too expensive. like ebony. and tables. The layers are placed so that the grain of one layer is at right angles to the grain of the layer next to it.

 No veneer is used. .  It is also more expensive than veneer.  Solid wood has a greater tendency to crack. any exposed parts are made from the same wood. warp. and swell than a wellconstructed veneered wood. but the unexposed parts of the piece may be made from different wood.  If a case good is made from solid wood.Solid Wood.

 Maple. cherry. and birch are most commonly used for solid wood furniture. . top. For these reasons. front. and veneered wood is used for side. and back panels. pine. solid woods are more often used for framework.

and heat. composite board is becoming a common material in furniture. various resins.  The two main types of processed woods are hardboard and particle board. pressure.  For these reasons.Composite Board.  These processed woods are less expensive and often more durable than solid woods or veneered plywoods. .  Both are formed by combining wood particles.  New technology has made it possible to make wood boards from wood particles.

splinters.  Hardboard is exceptionally strong. cracks. abrasion. then they are compressed under heat. .  Its surface can be smooth.  The fibers are extracted from wood chips by steam or chemical processes. it is resistant to splits. Hardboard is made from wood fibers into allwood panels. or it can be textured to imitate the look of wood grain. and moisture.

tabletops. and the backs of bookcases. so hardboard may not be suitable for some furniture uses. and chests in less expensive furniture. However. cabinets. surface designs cannot perfectly match the pattern of fine wood.  Hardboard is considered an excellent material for furniture door and drawers parts. .

 Particle board is made from wood shavings that are pressed together with heat and adhesive. several kinds of soft woods are used in the same piece of particle board. and aspen are most commonly used.  Usually. Like hardboard. particle board is sturdy and versatile. pine. poplar. hemlock. .  Fur.

.  Uncovered surfaces can be identified as particle board by an irregular crystallized pattern.  The surface may be covered with laminated plastic or wood veneer. Particle board is often used as the core wood for cabinets and other furniture of low quality.

sanding.Wood Finishes  Fine quality wood furniture should be properly treated and finished. . and rubbing will produce a patina² a mellow glow with richness and depth of tone.  Polishing.  Added color should come from several layers of finishing materials which work with the natural grain of the wood.

and scratches. waxes. moisture. . glazes.  Good finishes will produce a smooth surface and protect wood from heat. oils. or sealers may be used during the finishing process. Stains.

.  Such finishes do not last as long as fine finishes.  The shine will be hard and glossy instead of mellow and rich. Poor quality furniture is often finished with thick. stained varnish or one coat of varnish that is dried quickly.  Brush marks may be evident on the surface.

glazing putty  12. paint thinner  14. finishing oil  11. varnish  10. sanding sealer  8. dead flat lacquer  3. wood filler  7. lacquer thinner  4. tinting color . paint  13.List of Materials for Wood Finishes  1. clear gloss lacquer  2. wood bleach  6. wood stain  9. lacquer flo  5.

."  Assembly or some finishing details are still performed by hand on quality furniture. but no piece is entirely "machine-made.  The techniques used to fasten the various pieces together are just as important as the materials used in the furniture.Wood Furniture Construction  Most furniture today is made using modern-machinery.

 Many different techniques and kinds of joints have been developed over the years to produce quality furniture.  Quality joining is expensive and time consuming and frequently hidden from view.  Several types of joining methods are listed here. A piece of furniture is no stronger than its joints. .

or nails.  The butt joint is a weak joint.  The surfaces being joined should fit closely and be square with each other. screws.  It is made by butting the end or edge of one board against the end or edge of another. 11-8. The butt joint is the most simple type of joint to construct.  The joint is generally held together with glue. .

.Butt Joints  Top: Flat Butt  Bottom: Edge Butt  11-8 Butt joints are considered weak joints.

11-9.  Glue and screws or nails may be used. drawers. and back panels of case goods.  The rabbet joint is stronger than the butt joint. . cases.  The recess may be cut along an edge or on the end.  Rabbet joints are easy to make and are generally used on the corners of boxes. A rabbet joint is formed by cutting a recess in one or both pieces to be joined.

. but it is still relatively weak.Rabbet Joints  11-9 The cutting and fitting of a rabbet joint makes it stronger than a butt joint.

 They form strong joints when properly glued and carefully fitted.  The dado is cut to the width of the piece to be joined and that piece is fitted into the dado. A dado is a rectangular recess cut across the grain of the wood.  These joints are used for installing shelves. and partitions in cabinets. . See 11-10. frames.

Dado Joints  Top: Dado  Bottom: Blind Dado  11-10 Dado joints are very strong when properly fitted and glued .

and middle-lap. half-lap.  They include: end-lap. 11-11.  Lap joints are made by cutting away an equal amount of wood from each piece so that when they are fitted together their surfaces are flush. Several types of lap joints may be used in furniture construction. cross-lap. .

.  Glue and screws (when hidden) may be used to secure the joint for a strong connection. Lap joints may be used for corners of furniture frames. and they are often used to join exterior pieces of wood which cross each other.

Lap Joints  Top: End lap  Middle: Half Lap  Bottom Left: Middle Lap  Bottom Right: Cross Lap .

. 11-12.  They are used when extra strength is desired. Dowels are generally made of birch and range in size from 1/8 to 1 inch in increments of 1/8 inch. or lap joints. rabbet. dado.  Glue is used to secure the dowels. Dowel joints may be used with several other types of joints such as the butt.  Length and diameter depend on the size of the pieces being joined.

.Dowel Joints  11-12 Dowels may be used with several types of joints to improve their strength.

 They may be used to join legs or rails to tables. The mortise-and-tenon joint is a very strong type of joint. benches.  Their construction is shown in 11-13. haunched. and chairs. open.  Three main forms are used: blind. .

.Mortise and Tenon  11-13 Mortise-andtenon joints form very strong joints and are useful in attaching furniture legs and rails.

 More than one tongue and groove joint may be used on a thick piece of material. but usually it is not when used in panel construction. .  The joint may be glued.  The tongue is cut on one board and the matching groove is formed on the edge of the other board.  This joint forms a solid connection between the pieces. 11-14. A tongue and groove joint is used along the common edge of two boards.

.Tongue and Groove  11-14 Tongue and groove joints are used along the common edge of two boards.

 For greater strength. Spline joints may be used along the edges or at the corner of two pieces. . See 11-15.  A spline joint is a simple butt joint with a thin piece of wood inserted in a groove to strengthen the joint. the grain of the spline should be perpendicular to the groove.

.Spline Joints  Top: Edge Spline  Bottom: Corner Spline  11-15 Spline joints are used to increase the strength of other joints.

 Several variations of the dovetail joint are possible such as the lap dovetail.  A high degree of precision is necessary to make a tight-fitting dovetail joint.  A typical dovetail joint is shown in 11-16.  The principle technique is similar. . through dovetail. and half blind dovetail. but it provides maximum strength. in all variations. Dovetail joints are used to fasten corner joints especially those on drawers. however.

Dovetail  Top: Half Blind Dovetail  Bottom: Through Dovetail  7 7-76 Dovetail joints are used on high quality construction to provide maximum strength. .

11-17. Blocking consists of small pieces of wood attached between the adjacent sides of two pieces for added strength.  Blocking may be used where it would not be unsightly and where more strength is required. .  It is used at inside corners such as where a table leg is fastened to a rail and along the rail where it is attached to the table top.  Blocks are usually glued and/or screwed in place.

Blocking  11-17 Blocking is used to enforce other joints. but it should be located in areas which are not visible. .

 All of the joints used in furniture construction may be glued. .  Modern glues develop tremendous strength and generally exceed the strength of the wood.

because so much of the construction is hidden.UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE  Upholstered furniture incorporates some type of frame. . and covering.  Pieces such as sofas and . 11-18. cushioning material.  This furniture must be examined carefully if the quality is to be accurately judged.chairs are frequently upholstered.

The main construction of an upholstered piece is hidden from the view of the consumer. 11-18 Upholstered furniture consists of a wooden frame and spring supports covered with padding and upholstery. .

Materials used for the construction of furniture upholstery  1. Rubber Strap  5.  2. leather. Nail  11. Fabric. Muslim fabric or 'Katcha'  7. Shoe tacks and cut tacks  10. Plastic sack / jute burlap  6. Piping cord  8. uratex)  3. Abaca twine anad cotton twine  9. Sewing thread . leatherette . Rubber foam (urethane. Non-sag spring and coil spring  4.

 How a piece of furniture is to be used will help determine what types of upholstery are most suitable. fabrics should be comfortable.  Consider fabrics that are fire retardant especially for commercial spaces. attractive. durable. . and soil resistant.  Overall.Upholstery Fabrics  Upholstery fabrics should be functional as well as at-tractive.

 Pile weave fabrics such as velvet and corduroy show wear much more quickly.  These fabrics may be more suitable for seldom used living room furniture.  Brocades and tapestry fabrics are beautiful. but the threads of these fabrics catch and snag easily. Plain or twill weaves are recommended for furniture that is used frequently. .

. Both natural and synthetic fibers are used in upholstered furniture. the addition of synthetic fibers such as rayon and nylon may increase a fabric's strength and stain resistance.  While natural fibers arc attractive.

they are less expensive.  Vinyls may be made to resemble leathers. . but it is very expensive.  Leather is durable and attractive.  They are sturdy and easily cleaned. Non-woven fabrics such as leather and vinyl may be used for upholstery.

 The joints should be strengthened with dowels and glue blocks.  Generally.Construction  An upholstered piece will have a frame of some type. . the frame should be made of kiln-dried hard-wood.  Wood that is not properly dried will be more likely to split and buckle.

 The manufacturer's tag or literature should provide useful information about the frame construction. . Padding on the frame is desirable where it would come in contact with a wear surface. durability will be less than satisfactory.  Remember that if the piece has a weak or poorly constructed frame.

 Springs are linked together with tiny coiled springs called helicals.  Several types of springs are used in seat bases. The part of a chair or sofa that serves as the platform for cushioning materials is called the seat base.  This type of construction produces a minimum amount of bulk.  One type is the serpentine or S-type spring. screwed. . 11-19. or stapled to the frame at equidistant points from other flat springs.  This flat spring is nailed.

 11-19 The S-type spring i's used on a seat base when a minimum of bulk is desired. .

.  Several coil springs are attached to webbing or steel bands. See 11-20. Another type of Seat base construction which is fre-quently used is the coil spring type.  An average size chair would generally have nine to twelve springs per seat.  The springs are tied as frequently as eight times per spring in quality pieces.

. 11-20 Coil springs of heavy weight which are properly anchored provide a comfortable. resilient seat base.

 A thick layer of cushioning material should be applied directly over the springs and frame.  Polyurethane foam is used on most furniture today for cushioning.  The most expensive furniture has feathers or down while the least expensive probably has some type of fiberfill. feathers.  Several materials are used such as cellular foams. . and down. fiberfill.

. The outer covering is the most visible part of an upholstered piece.  Welting or cording sewn into the seams adds strength.  The seams should be straight and tight with no loose threads. 11-21.  Buttons and zippers should be secure.

. but it also adds strength to the seams. 11-21 The welting on this couch is attractive.

.  The springs vary in number.Bedding  Innerspring mattresses are similar in construction to upholstered furniture. and gauge (thickness of wire). Sec 11-22.  They contain a series of springs covered with padding. placement. size.

They should be firmly anchored and covered with a tightly woven fabric.FOAM CUSHIONING 11-22 A good mattress consists of heavy gauge coils that are individually pocketed. .

 A good quality mattress should have at least 300 heavy coils that are firmly anchored. good padding and insula-tion placed over the between coils. . and a tightly woven cover with a non-sag border. Coils may or may not be individually pocketed or covered with padding.

 Foam mattresses are made of latex or polyurethane foam. .  They are lightweight and less expensive than innerspring mattresses.  It has holes or cores in it which make the mattress more comfortable.  Foam mattresses are often used by people with allergies.  A good foam mattress is about 6 inches thick.

 Mattresses are usually supported by springs.  The support may be box springs, coil springs, or flat springs, 11-23.  Box springs are the most expensive, but they provide the most support.  They consist of a series of coils attached to a base and covered with padding.

 71 -23 Box springs are coil springs that are padded and covered.  Coil springs are anchored to a frame, but have no padded covering.  Flat springs are attached to a frame and may have metal support strips banded across them.

 Coil springs have the same construction as box springs, but they are not covered or padded.  They are of medium expense and quality.  Flat springs are the least expensive and provide the least support, but they are lightweight and become uncomfortable with time.

METAL FURNITURE  There are many types and styles of metal furniture available today.  Steel.  Several metal coatings or platings are also popular. aluminum. and iron account for the majority of structural metals used. .

 They may be assembled with mechanical fasteners. or they may be welded.  These pieces are strong. 11-24.  It is lighter in weight and less expensive than steel.  However. it is not as strong and lends to bend and dent.  Aluminum tubing is used frequently for lawn furniture. and fairly inexpensive. Many modern furniture pieces are made from steel tubing. . lightweight.


 Since casting is more easily adapted to mass production.  Cast metal is also used for furniture hardware. but cast iron.  Cast iron is heavy and brittle. steel. .  The cast metals use forms in the shape of wrought iron. 11-25. Iron is usually coated or plated to protect it from rust. Wrought iron is used to make decorative and outdoor furniture. and aluminum are more popular. cast furniture is less expensive.

 Some metal furniture is plated. brass. 11-26. nickel. and zinc are common plating materials.  Plating -may be used for added protection or attractiveness. . copper. Chrome. so plating with the metal is more practical. using a solid metal such as copper would produce a weak or heavy piece of furniture.  Sometimes. a less expensive metal is plated with an attractive metal.  Often.

 Brass and copper plating are costly. but they are valued for their appearance.  Some manufacturers place a protective coating of clear lacquer or enamel over these metals to help prevent tarnishing. .  They have a tendency to tarnish and must be polished frequently.

and bathroom cabinets are examples of pieces made of enameled metal. 11-27.  Kitchen cabinets. doors.  A wide variety of colors are available in finishes that can be washed and are weather resistant. outdoor furniture. . Baked enamel coatings have expanded the popularity of metal furniture.

 Plastic furniture is lightweight.  They may be made to imitate almost any other material.PLASTIC FURNITURE  Plastics possess an almost infinite variety of characteristics. inex-pensive. durable. 11-28. . and easily cleaned. or they may display a unique character of their own.

and acrylics.  Plastics will probably replace many traditional materials used in furniture production.  Transparent and translucent plastics have special qualities which enhance some furniture designs. Some of the broad families of plastics that have been used in furniture include vinyls. . cellulosics. nylons. polyurethanes. polycarbonates. polyesters. styrenes.  The ability of plastics to be manufactured in solid shapes or produced as foam further enhances their desirability.

 It is helpful to know the names of furniture pieces and their proper definitions. however. other information will help you make more satisfactory choices. personal taste should be a primary consideration.FURNITURE SELECTION  When selecting furniture. .

 Quality and cost. and maintenance requirements are important points to consider. The glossary of furniture terms will help you to communicate properly when discussing furniture with a dealer. size.  Guidelines provided in this section will help you choose furniture that will provide satisfaction for several years. style. .

so it is important to buy from a dealer who stands by his or her products.  Much of furniture construction is hidden.  Knowledge of furniture materials and construction will help you know what to examine when judging quality. .Quality and Cost  Furniture is expensive. so care must be taken to get the best quality possible for the price paid. however.

. The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) has instituted Trade Practice Rules for the Furniture Industry.  These rules prohibit furniture manufacturers and dealers from providing false or misleading information about their furniture. information about materials and construction cannot be removed by the dealer.  Any manufacturer's tags and labels with .

 These rules also require manufacturers to state what types of outer coverings and stuffings are used on upholstered furniture. or marble. . or marble dust are used in an imitation of leather. other platics.  Manufacturers must indicate if vinyl.  Leather and leather imitations must be marked as such. wood.

 If a label states that a piece is made of one wood. any exposed parts must be made of that wood.  Labels must state that a veneered piece is veneered.  Specific terms used to describe wood must conform to meanings determined by the DTI. Descriptions of wood furniture follow strict guidelines. .

 Solid means that all exposed wood is of the same solid wood through the en-tire thickness of the piece.  No veneers are used.  Genuine means that the exposed parts are of the same wood, but that they are veneered.  If veneered wood is made from plywood, the layers will be placed with the grain at right angles to each other.  Laminated wood refers to plywood where all of the layers have their grain in the same direction.

 Combination is a term used to describe furniture with more than one type of wood used in the exposed parts.  If a piece is of all-wood construction, the wood exposed is the same throughout the entire thickness of the piece.  Labels are helpful in evaluating furniture, but they don't tell you everything.  Before any piece of furniture is taken home, it should be examined carefully by the buyer.

 With case furniture, rub your hand over the surface.  It should be smooth with no rough spots, splinters, or protruding nails.  Check the back and inside surfaces as well.  Stains should be even in color throughout the piece.

 If you hear a dull thud.  Pieces that sound hollow are probably constructed from thin panels of wood attached to wooden frames. the construction is solid. .  Tap the panels of the furniture. Construction should be solid.

 Place firm pressure on the top or side of a piece to see if it wobbles.  Make sure all working parts work. and they should fit squarely into their frame.  Doors should open and shut easily. All furniture should have a sturdy base. .  Hinges should be properly aligned and should not squeak.

 Avoid drawers that jar.  Keep in mind what will be stored in the drawers. or slide without rollers. Drawers should roll smoothly when open and shut. catch.  Dresser drawers must be free of surface flaws which might catch on clothes. .

look to see if upholstery fabric is underlined. sofas. When examining upholstered furniture. and beds.  Sit or lay on all chairs. open and close all zippers to make sure they work smoothly.  Also.  You should not be able to feel an individual spring through the cushioning material. .  Make sure that sitting down and standing up are not awkward or difficult tasks.

 When pricing furniture. solid construction should be a primary consideration. it is wise to choose pieces without these features. but they are not essen-tials.  Your dollars will be invested in solid construction. heavy shaped moldings. deep patinas.  When looking for inexpensive but durable fur-niture. and curved construction all add to the beauty and price of a piece. . Intricate carvings. 1130.

service may be limited or sales may be final. but it will not be possible to buy matching pieces later. . Items that are being discontinued are often good buys. The price of furniture is also affected by the type of retailer that sells the furniture.  Some bargains may be of quality comparable to more expensive pieces.  However.

 When a price is cut. .  These may be in quality or service.  Make sure you know what the disadvantages are and whether or not you can accept them. there are often disadvantages to buying.

but they should blend with the other pieces in a room. paint chips. but it is important for furniture to blend with a room's overall design and mood.  Individual pieces do not have to match.  When shopping for furniture. . or other color samples with which furniture must be coordinated.Style  There are no set rules for choosing a furniture style. 1131. it is helpful to carry swatches of fabrics.

 Items that are particularly displeasing to any one member should be avoided. since all family members will use the room.  Bedrooms and other private rooms allow for a more individualized style choice. . the tastes of all family members should be considered. In common rooms such as a living room.

stairs. and halls may present problems.  An item of the proper color and style is useless to you if you can't get it in the front door.Size  Furniture size is important from two aspects.  The size of these openings should be measured before choosing furniture. the furniture must fit into your house or apartment. .  Doors.  First.

sitting and standing will be difficult. Second.  If a seat is higher.  The seat of a chair or couch should be slightly lower than the back of your knee² around 15 to 18 inches. . furniture should be of the appropriate scale for its use and location.  If it is lower. your feet will not be able to rest on the floor comfortably.

but a longer couch would not be suitable for intimate conversation areas.  A couch should be long enough to allow you to stretch out comfortably. Chairs to be used at tables or desks should be streamlined to fit well and allow free movement. .

into a room will detract from the overall plan and hinder the use of space.  Putting too many pieces of furniture. Furniture should be in proportion to the dimensions of the room in which it will be placed.  There should be ample room for circulation after all the furniture has been arranged in a room. . or furniture that is too big. 11-32.

 Stain removal may be difficult if upholstery fabric is not easily removed from the furniture.Maintenance  How much time and money must be spent in the upkeep of furniture is an important consideration. .  Fine wood furniture requires special cleaners and must be waxed regularly.  Upholstered furniture may be vacuumed. but occasional steam cleaning may be necessary.

 Features that aid in cleanability include smooth surfaces with very little carving or grooving. .  Woods may be treated with special coatings to make them more resistant to stains and easier to clean.  Plastic.  Removable slip covers can be washed by machine and are easily replaced when they wear out. and vinyl furniture surfaces are resistant to stains and are easily cleaned. metal.  Treated fabrics resist stains.

 For instance. a working couple with young children should choose furniture with easily ³cleanable´ upholstery and smooth case goods with protective coatings. . ³Cleanability´ and maintenance requirements should be compatible with your family's lifestyle.  A family with no children may choose furniture with plush upholstery and fine wood case goods with intricate carving.

 Proper names of furniture pieces should be mastered if one is to be able to communicate accurately when referring to furniture. .

curved shapes.  Bentwood Furniture pieces made from wood that has been steam bent into soft. usually of wood. Armoire A large piece. contemporary chair design characterized by a stainless steel frame and upholstered leather back and seat. . with doors and used in place of a closet for storing clothing or household linens.  Barcelona Chair A classic.

 Berge're An upholstered armchair with closed, upholstered sides and visible wood frame.  Bombe Chest A Regency or Louis XV commode with bulg-ing sides, front, or both.  Breakfront A wide, tall cabinet with wood doors and drawers on the bottom and glass doors on the top. This piece is similar to the modern china cabinet.

 Camelback A chair or sofa that has a curved hump along the back.  Campaign Furniture Furnishings with metal corners and handles patterned after military chests.  Chesterfield An overstaffed sofa with upholstered ends.

 Club Chair A comfortable, heavily upholstered chair with a cushioned seat.  Coffee Table A long, low table, generally placed in front of the sofa, used to hold books, magazines, ashtrays, etc.  Commode A low chest of drawers that is generally set against the wall.

May be used in other rooms as well. usually designed for the dining room. Console A versatile table that can be used in most any location. about chair-rail height with doors and drawers. It was originally a shelf attached to the wall.  Credenza (Also called sideboard.) A storage piece.  Couch Synonymous with sofa. but originally referred to as a sofa with a low back and one raised end. .

It offers dual-purpose seating and sleeping.  Director's Chair A folding wooden frame chair with a canvas seat and back. Davenport An upholstered sofa which may be made into a bed. .  Divan The divan bed has a concealed mattress which pulls out from the seat. The divan is generally a living room piece.

 Gateleg Table A space-saving table with hinged leaves and legs that swing out like a gate to support the leaves when raised. dining.  Fauteuil A French open armchair with wooden arms and caned or upholstered. . or bedroom. or closed depending on the design. A very ver-satile piece that may be used singly or in multiples. Etagere Standing set of shelves with sides open. seat and back. May be used to form modular wall units for living.

 Lounge A type of couch with no back but one high end for reclining. roomy chair available in several styles. .  Lounge Chair A comfortable. Hutch A chest or cabinet on legs with an open shelf above.

Usually three or four standard modules are used to form the system.  Modulars Uniform structural components that can be grouped together. ' . or ar-ranged in a variety of combinations.  Morris Chair A large armchair with loose cushions and a movable back. used separately. Loveseat A small sofa for two people.

but generally a little shorter than a lamp table.  Parsons Table A classic square or rectangular table with apron and legs the same width. . Occasional Table A small table usually placed at the end of a sofa which may provide shelves or drawers for additional storage.  Pedestal Table Any table that is supported by a single post rather than four legs. May serve as a lamp table.

. Poster Bed A bed with four decorative posts.  Sawbuck Table Any large table with two X-shaped supports.  Savonarola Chair An Italian Renaissance chair with a carved wood back and a frame composed of in-terlacing curved shapes.

upholstered piece with a back and sometimes arms. with seven drawers. originally French.  Settee A light double seat. or guest rooms. They may be used in small bedrooms. narrow chest. . dens.  Semainier A tall. Sectional A piece of seating furniture made up of sec-tions that can be used separately or together.

 Sofa Bed A sofa with a back that folds back flat to form a bed area. but made of wood. . It requires less space than the divan. It has no regular mattress. Settles A Colonial piece similar to a settee.  Side Chair An armless dining chair.  Sofa A broad inclusive term that refers to a seat for two or more people.

 Trundle Bed A low bed on casters that may be rolled under a full height bed.  Studio Lounge A single sleeper of a slab construction with flat springs and foam rubber padding. Studio Couch A living room sleeper which has an upholstered mattress resting on an upholstered steel unit. Bolsters are used to form the back. .  Wing Chair An overstuffed chair that has projecting sides on the high upholstered back.

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