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Furniture Glossary

Acanthus Leaf – Reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture, the beautiful leaf design may border the edge of a table or chair.
Alder Wood – Part of the Birch family of wood, Alder Wood is often used to make beds and bedroom furniture. This wood is ideal for carving and accent molding is often made out of Alder Wood.
Ash Wood – A lighter color than Oak, Ash Wood is popular because it has visible wood grain and can be finished over to make a beautiful vanity or jewelry box.
Aspen Wood – Aspen Wood has a very light color and is usually finished in a Cherry, Walnut or a Wenge and the natural grain is usually visible.
Ball Foot – Similar to a traditional bun foot, the ball foot is rounder and is very popular in Renaissance Style furniture.
Bamboo Wood – Popular because of its light color, Bamboo Wood is used in a variety of furniture because it’s strong and sturdy. Perfect for the environment conscious shopper, Bamboo is a sustainable resource and is very Eco Friendly.
Baroque Style – A European style of decoration that was developed in the Late Renaissance period and Baroque styled furniture will be curved and have scrolls along the legs and feet and think lacquering.
Beech Wood – Beech Wood is a light to medium colored hardwood that is open used on chairs and tables. The wood grain is small and it is often only accented by a lacquer or clear finish.
Birch Wood – Birch is a hard, strong wood that is very light in color and usually finished in a clear lacquer.
Bombe – French term referring to a curved or swelling shape, a Bombe cabinet, drawer or chest will have a convex front and is often reminiscent of the Rococo Period.
Buffet – Sometimes known as a Sideboard, a buffet is a cabinet for the dining room that is made to store linen, diningware and other dining pieces.
Bunkie Boards – A thin piece of plywood sometimes covered with fabric that can be used for additional support with bunk beds or platform beds. A Bunkie Board is an alternative to Bed Slats.
Cabriole Leg – Originally modeled after an animal leg, this 18th century style includes a soft curve and has a claw or ball padded foot.
Cherry Wood –Cherry Wood has a fine grained look with a light red undertone and can have a wide range of shades from a pinkish red to a dark brown red that appears to be almost black. Cherry wood is almost always seen in 18th Century, formal and traditional styled bedroom and dining room furniture. Cherry darkens with age and exposure to light.
Dovetail – Dovetail is a type of joint that is used to connect the front and sides of a drawer. English Dovetail has a tapered edge and is generally associated with more traditional furniture. French Dovetail has become more popular in recent years; it shows no tapered edges and is solidly locked into place.
Étagère – A 19th Century idea of having hanging, standing or open shelves. An Étagère may be used in a number of different rooms for many purposes.
Finial – A curved or balled ornament that sits on top of a peak or arched structure. A bed with four posts may have ball or flame finials and in modern furniture they may also be on a lamp.
Fleur-de-lis – A design that shows a three-petaled flower with a band around its base. Used in dining, living and some bedroom furniture the Fleur-de-lis is a popular design that originates from Gothic period.
Fluting – Flat vertical grooves along a traditionally Greek Styled column. In contemporary furniture fluting may be on an entertainment center, TV stand or chest.
Hickory – One of the strongest and heaviest woods in North America, Hickory Wood is distinguished by contrasting shades of light and dark. This wood is very popular in Southwestern furniture.
Inlay – A technique where a design is cut out of a piece of furniture and another type of material fills it in for decoration. Commonly found in tables with marble or glass inlay, a bed may also have posts that feature an inlay decoration.
Mahogany Wood – A tropical hardwood is often a favorite in North America, Mahogany has a rich deep color which makes it very popular as a solid hardwood or a hardwood veneer.
Maple Wood – Maple Wood is a popular hardwood that is very durable and takes any stain well. Naturally a very light color
Marquetry – An elaborate decoration technique that uses contrasting materials to make a pattern or design. It is usually seen on dining or living room tables and is very popular in Renaissance inspired furniture.
Mission Style – A common favorite style of furniture, Mission design focuses on rows of vertical and horizontal slats and dark, heavy woods and usually Oak.
Molding – An ornamental strip or section used for decoration or finishing.
Mortise-and-Tenon – A type of construction that joins two pieces of wood together. This is a technique that dates back to ancient times and securely holds a piece together.
MDF – Multi-Density Fiberboard is a furniture grade engineered wood product made mainly from Pine separated into fibers with wax and resin for a strong, affordable alternative to solid hardwood.
Oak Wood – Oak is the most commonly used wood for furniture. It is a very hard, open grained wood that usually is just lacquered or finished to accentuate its natural appeal.
Powder Coating – A surfacing technique where dry paint is applied to iron or other types of metal in layers.
Rattan – Rattan is an Asian Palm where the stems are intertwined to make woven to make chairs, tables or other types of furniture.
Rubber Wood – The name for a generic hardwood farmed in Asia, Rubber Wood comes from the Para Tree and is environmentally friendly because these trees are grown extensively throughout Asia.
Slats – Bed slats provide firm support to a box spring or mattress in a way that evenly distributes the weight that will be applied to the bed frame. Bed slats can come as solid hardwood or as metal.
Settee – A wooden bench with space underneath that has a chest or storage area underneath and sometimes a cushioned seat.
Sideboard – Sometimes called a buffet, a sideboard is a piece of dining room furniture with shelves and drawers designed to hold linen and diningware.
Trundle Bed – A low bed that pulls out from underneath another bed. It is usually on rollers or casters and in a standard twin size.
Veneer – Decorative or colorful shades of wood applied to a basic solid hardwood to give a more interesting appearance.