Trade Resources Industry Knowledge Know More about Your Table

Know More about Your Table

You can probably find a table in any room. They range in size from large dining tables to small accent tables, have multiple uses, come in different sizes and styles, and are probably among the most indispensable pieces of furniture you own.

There are many terms related to tables, and some of them are not easy to understand. Here are some common, and not so common terms related to tables.

Apron: This is a piece of wood placed under the table top. It is usually recessed, and often shaped. An apron is placed on a table to give it a more finished look.

Bale Handle: A bale handle is made up of a pull that is attached to a table or chest with a hinge, allowing it to turn. Bale handles are easy to operate.

Bun Foot: A bun foot is somewhat similar to a ball foot, but the round shape is somewhat flattened. These are usually found on more traditional styled tables.

Cabriole: A cabriole leg curves inward from the foot ending up in a reverse curve on the top. You can find it on French as well Queen Anne designs.

Drop Leaf End: A very useful feature because it gives any table added functionality and versatility. The table's surfaces can be expanded when needed. This feature is often added to dining tables for adding more seating capability. You can find drop leaf ends on end tables as well, and you may find that these end tables are taller than standard end tables.

Sofa Table: This is a narrow, high table that is often used behind a sofa or loveseat that has been placed in the middle of the room. It helps to define the space. However, that is not the only use for it. It can be used against a wall in a room or hallway.

Cocktail Table: Basically the same as a coffee table. Sometimes the words are used interchangeably. Sometimes a cocktail table is defined as a rectangular coffee table.

Butler's Tray Table: This is a utilitarian accent piece that is often used to hold drinks, food, or toiletries, depending on where it is being used. Consists of a tray placed over a stand, that can often be folded and put away when not in use.

Buncher: A buncher is a small square table, and often two or more can be used together instead of a large coffee table.

Nested Tables: A set of two or more tables that can be nested with smaller ones nesting under larger ones. These are especially useful for smaller spaces, and individual tables can be used as serving tables.

Floating Top: A floating top gives the illusion of being separate from the legs and apron, seeming to be suspended in the air over them.

Fluting: Fluting refers to shallow, vertical grooves in the wood. These are created parallel to each other with the purpose of adding visual interest to the piece. It is often used on legs of tables or chairs or to decorate column moldings.

Ogee: This is a set of two elongated  'S' curves that meet to form an arch. Ogee can be used in a foot or base.

Patina: Over time and with use and wear, a surface texture can be created. This smooth and subtle texture gives a sense of depth and richness.

Reeding: This is the opposite of fluting. This method of decoration uses parallel lines formed by beaded mountings that project from the surfaces.

Relief: This type of ornamentation is raised above the surface.

Serpentine Front: This front can be found on a desk or a chest of drawers, and consists of a horizontal compound curve with a convex section placed in the middle.

Oxbow Front: This is the opposite of a serpentine front and has a curve with a concave section placed between two convex ones.

Stretcher: This is used as an under-brace on chairs or tables to strengthen the piece and it also has a decorative purpose. It often takes an H or X form.

Trestle: A trestle is a braced frame which supports a table top. It consists of two or three vertical slabs, often strengthened by using a long stretcher.

Turning: A time honored wood-working technique, the process of turning involves shaping legs or rims on a lathe.

X-Stretcher: This is a type of crossed stretcher that is found at the bottom of a chair or table.

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Know Your Table Terminology
Topics: Furniture