Popular in Furniture Buying Guides

Furniture Glossary

For other decorating terms, see our General Decorating Glossary.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE
Armoire

Adaptations: Furnishing that capture the flavor of the original but are not authentic.

Antique: An object 100 or more years old.

Armoire: A tall, freestanding wardrobe devised by the French in the 17th century; originally used to store armor.

Banquette: A long benchlike seat, often upholstered, and generally built into a wall.

Barcelona chair: An armless leather chair with an X-shaped chrome base; designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929.

Bergere: An armchair with upholstered back, seat, and sides and an exposed wood frame.

Breakfront: A large cabinet with a protruding center section.

Cabriole: A style of furniture leg where the top curves out, the center curves in, and the foot curves out.

Case goods or case pieces: Furniture industry terms for chests and cabinets.

Chaise lounge: Pronounced shez long; literally, a "long chair," designed for reclining.

Chippendale: Name applied to Thomas Chippendale's 18th-century furniture designs, including the camelback sofa and wing chair.

Commode: French word for a low chest of drawers, often with a bowed front; in Victorian times, it referred to a nightstand that concealed a chamber pot.

Console: A rectangular table usually set against a wall in a foyer or dining room; a bracketed shelf attached to a wall.

Credenza: A sideboard or buffet.

Down: The fine, soft fluff from the breasts of geese or ducks; considered the most luxurious filling for seat cushions and bed pillows.

Drop-leaf table: A table with hinged leaves that can be folded down.

continue reading below
Modular Furniture

Eames chair: A classic lounge chair and ottoman made of molded plywood and fitted with down-filled leather cushions; designed by Charles Eames in 1956.

Etagere: An open-shelved stand used for display of decorative objects.

Fauteuil: A French-style chair with open arms, upholstered back and seat, and small upholstered pads for resting the elbows.

Fiddleback: A chair with a center splat shaped like a fiddle.

Futon: A Japanese-style mattress placed on the floor and used for sleeping or seating.

Gateleg table: A table with legs that swing out like gates to support raised leaves.

Gimp: Decorative braid used to conceal tacks and nails on upholstered furniture.

Grandfather clock: A wood-encased pendulum clock that measures 6-1/2 to 7 feet high; shorter versions are called grandmother cloths.

Highboy: A tall chest of drawers, sometimes mounted on legs.

Hitchcock chair: A black painted chair with a stenciled design on the backrest; named for its creator, an early American cabinetmaker.

Hutch: A two-part case piece that usually has a two-doored cabinet below and open shelves above.

Jardinere: An ornamental plant stand.

Ladder-back: A chair that has horizontal slats between its upright supports.

Modular furniture: Seating or storage units designed to fit many configurations.

Pedestal Table

Occasional furniture: Small items such as coffee tables, lamp tables, or tea carts that are used as accent pieces.

Parsons table: An unadorned square or rectangular straight-legged table in various sizes; named for the Parsons School of Design.

Patina: The natural finish on a wood surface that results from age and polishing.

Pedestal table: A table supported by one central base rather than four legs.

Pembroke table: A versatile table with hinged leaves at the sides; one of Thomas Sheraton's most famous designs.

Pickled finish: The result of rubbing white paint into previously stained and finished wood.

Refectory table: A long, narrow dining table; originally used in monasteries for community dining.

Shoji screens: Japanese-style room partitions or sliding panels usually made of translucent rice paper framed in black lacquered wood.

Slipcovers: Removable fabric covers for upholstered furniture.

Ticking: A striped cotton or linen fabric used for mattress covers, slipcovers, and curtains.

Veneer: A thin layer of wood, usually of fine quality, that is bonded to a heavier surface of lesser quality wood. Most new furniture is made of veneer construction.

Welsh cupboard: A large cupboard with open, wood-backed shelves on top and a cabinet base; generally used in dining rooms for the display of china.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

More Furniture Buying Guides

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close

Add My Photo close