Glossary of Furniture Terms

It is easy to get lost on a internet journey through beautiful interior designs but through all your browsing you may have some questions on what some of the titles and words of the pictures you are drooling over. We have created a glossary of furniture terms to better educate you for when you look at furniture and home decor.

Armoire- Tall wardrobe with doors on the front. May also have drawers and shelves.

Art Deco- Decorating style and type of furniture popular in the 1920s. Often includes rounded or waterfall fronts.

Bachelor’s Chest- Small, low chest, often with a surface that pulls out for writing. First models date back to the 17th century. Think of a nightstand.

Ball and Claw Foot- Carved foot that looks like a bird’s claw holding a ball. Common on tables and chairs.

Banquette- A long, fabric covered bench used in dining spaces. Often built into a wall.

Cabriole Leg- S-shaped leg on a chair or table that curves out at knee and tapers at ankle. Common on Queen Anne and Chippendale pieces.

Camelback Sofa- Characterized by a curved back akin to a camel’s hump. Originated in the 18th century.

Captain’s Chair- A Windsor chair with tall legs and a low rounded back. Rounded back leads into armrests.

Chaise Lounge- Upholstered armchair with a longer back and seat for reclining. Common in a variety of formal and informal style.

Chippendale- Elegant style of furniture featuring cabriole legs and ball and claw feet. Originated in the late 18th century in the eastern U.S.

Futon- Foldable sofa that flattens out into a bed. Great for house guests or small apartments.

Hassock- Large, upholstered ottoman. Can be used as a footrest or as seating.

Loveseat- Small sofa that seats two people. Ideal for dens and guest rooms.

Mission- Furniture style popular in the early 20th century. Style tends to be heavy and dark with simple rectangular lines.

Queen Anne- Graceful and elegant with curved lines. Important furniture style originating in the 18th century.

Slipper Chair- Short upholstered chair with no arms. Often has a skirt.

Wing Back Chair- Armchair with pieces attached to the back. Attached pieces resemble wings.

To learn more about the different styles of upholstered sofas click here

If you want to your own piece of custom furniture please contact us. Barnes Custom Upholstery has been providing professionally hand crafted upholstered furniture for over 40 years. Join us at the table and let's plan your custom piece together! Call us at 336.885.7370 or email us at

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Barnes Custom Upholstery

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