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Furniture glossary

Abacus: In the context of furniture, an abacus refers to a small slab or board located below the topmost part of a column in classical architecture. It serves as a decorative element and is typically carved with various ornamental designs. The abacus helps distribute the load of the entablature or architrave above it and adds visual appeal to the overall structure.

Acacia: Acacia is a type of hardwood commonly used in furniture. It refers to the wood obtained from the Acacia tree, which is native to regions such as Africa, Australia, and Asia. Acacia wood is known for its durability, strength, and attractive grain patterns. It is commonly used in the production of various types of furniture, including tables, chairs, cabinets, and flooring.

Acajou: The furniture term acajou refers to a specific type of wood that is commonly used in furniture making. Acajou, also known as mahogany, is a hardwood that is highly valued for its durability, strength, and attractive reddish-brown color. It is often used in the construction of high-quality furniture due to its aesthetic appeal and ability to withstand wear and tear. The french word for mahogany.

Acanthus: The term Acanthus refers to a type of ornamental motif commonly used in furniture design. It is derived from the leaves of the Acanthus plant, which are characterized by their deeply lobed and decorative appearance. In furniture, the Acanthus motif is often carved or engraved into wood or other materials, particularly on elements such as chair legs, table aprons, or decorative accents.

Acorn: In the context of furniture, the term acorn typically refers to a small decorative element or ornament that resembles the shape of an acorn. Acorns are commonly used as finials, which are decorative and functional end pieces typically found on the top of bed posts, curtain rods, or other types of furniture. The acorn shape is often associated with traditional or vintage styles of furniture design. Turned ornament resembling an acorn, used as finials on chair posts, bedposts, as pendants, and as profile of leg turnings.

Acroterium: An acroterium is a decorative element or ornament that is often found on the top or corners of furniture pieces, particularly on cabinets, desks, or other architectural features. It is typically made of wood, metal, or stone and is used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the furniture. Acroteria can take different forms, such as finials, figurines, or carved motifs, and are often used to add a sense of grandeur or architectural significance to the furniture design. Ornaments applied to the top corners of bookcases, secretaries. Originally an ornament of Greek temples.

Adirondack Chair: An Adirondack chair is a type of outdoor furniture that is characterized by its slanted back, low seat, and wide armrests. It is typically made of wood, commonly cedar or pine, and is designed for relaxation and comfort. The Adirondack chair is named after the Adirondack Mountains in New York where it was first created in the early 20th century. A type of chair used primarily outdoors.

Air Bed: An air bed refers to a type of mattress or portable bed that is inflated or filled with air to provide a sleeping surface. It typically consists of an air chamber made from PVC or similar materials that can be inflated or deflated using an electric pump or manually by blowing air into it. Air beds are often used for camping or temporary sleeping arrangements and can be easily stored when not in use. They are also commonly referred to as air mattresses or blow-up beds. A mattress filled with air, covered with cushioning and ticking.

Alcove: An alcove in furniture refers to a small, recessed area or nook designed to create a cozy and intimate space within a larger room. It is often partially enclosed by walls or decorative elements, such as pillars or arches, and typically features seating or storage options. Alcoves can be utilized for various purposes, such as reading, lounging, or displaying decorative items. Recessed part of a room. Alcoves are used for beds, bookcases, cabinets, and dining groups.

Alpine: The term Alpine in furniture refers to a style or design that is inspired by the Alpine or mountainous regions, such as the Swiss Alps. Alpine furniture often incorporates elements like rustic, natural, or traditional designs. It may feature details like carved wood, distressed finishes, ornate embellishments, or patterns inspired by nature. The term can also be used to describe furniture made from materials commonly found in Alpine regions, such as reclaimed wood, stone, or heavy textiles. The Alps were the meeting place of northern and southern furniture styles.

Amaranth: In the furniture term, Amaranth refers to a type of wood that comes from the flowering plant of the same name. It is known for its reddish-brown color and often used in high-end furniture making. Amaranth wood is valued for its beautiful grain pattern and durability, making it a popular choice for creating elegant and long-lasting furniture pieces. Also called violetwood and purpleheart, amaranth is a purplish wood used for veneering.

Amboyna: Amboyna refers to a type of wood that is commonly used in furniture-making. It comes from the Pterocarpus indicus tree, also known as the amboyna tree or narra tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. Amboyna wood is highly prized for its distinctive reddish-brown color, intricate grain patterns, and natural luster. It is often used to create high-quality, luxury furniture, cabinetry, and decorative veneers. Due to its rarity and beauty, amboyna wood is considered a premium material in the world of furniture design. Amboyna is an East Indian wood, used as veneer and inlay. The burls are mottled and curled, and light reddish brown.

Ambry: The term ambry refers to a type of cupboard or cabinet that is typically used for storing religious items or sacred vessels. Historically, ambries were commonly found in churches, monasteries, or cathedrals, and were used to hold items such as chalices, candles, hosts, or other ceremonial objects used during religious services. Ambries often had ornate designs and were made of durable materials like wood or metal. In modern usage, the term ambry can also refer to a small storage cabinet or niche used for storing items other than religious articles. A large cupboard with doors. The interiors are fitted with shelves for storage. A recess for the storage of goods.

Ambulante: The term ambulante in furniture refers to a specific type of furniture piece that comes with wheels or casters, allowing it to be easily movable or mobile.

Amorini: Amorini is a term used in furniture to refer to small, often decorative sculptures or figurines depicting cherubs or putti. These figures typically portray young children or babies with wings, commonly associated with love and desire in classical art and mythology. Amorini are commonly found on various types of furniture, such as mirrors, clocks, and cabinets, as decorative elements enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the piece. Painted or carved cupids in decoration. Sometimes only the head is used.


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