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A 588 SteelThe designation given to steel that rusts only to a certain point and in doing so creates its own rustproof finish.
A LampDesignation for an arbitrary-shaped, standard light globe or lamp bulb.
AaheThe American Association of Housing Educators.
Aalto# Alvar (1899-1976)Important Finnish designer of several modern classic furniture pieces.
AbacusThe slab that forms the uppermost member of a column capital.
AbodeLiving quarters or residence.
Abrasion ResistanceThe ability of a fabric to resist wear from friction, rubbing, or other abrasive action.
Abrasion TestMaterial abrasion test measures the ability of warp and weft yarns to withstand friction from wear.
Abrasion WearDistress or wear marks on fabrics, wood or metal. Created when a furniture or accessory surface experiences friction in use or handling.
Absorption (Light)The light energy (wavelengths) not reflected by an object or substance. The color of a substance depends on the wavelength reflected.
AbstractDesign elements showing general forms instead of a detailed and realistic representation.
Abstract DesignA type of decorative design that may be based on natural or even geometric design, stylized to the point that the source is not recognizable, and the design is therefore open to interpretation.
AbutmentsAbutment is the part of the wall or pier on which the arch resists.
AcanthusOrnamental design motif representing leaves of the acanthus plant, native to the Mediterranean.
Acanthus LeafA leaf decoration often used on furniture, particularly on brackets and legs.
Acanthus LeavesA representation of the lobed leaves of the acanthus plant used as a decorative motif.
Accent ColorsContrast colors used to enhance room color schemes.
Accent LightA type of light that highlights an area to emphasize that aspect of a room's character.
Accent LightingControlled and specifically focused lighting for accenting interior decor elements or architectural details.
Accent RugsSmall rugs, often called scatter or throw rugs, used for art accents, in areas where water may spilt onto the floor (such as kitchens and bathrooms), or to catch dirt where traffic enters the interior.
AccessibleCapable of entering or exiting a building or an area without obstruction.
Accessible DesignInterior and exterior design that meets prescribed requirements for people with disabilities. Guidelines and laws related to accessible design include such issues as standard dimensions and features such as door widths, clear space for wheelchair mobility, countertop heights, audible and visual signals, switch and outlet height, and more.
Accessible DesignsDesigns that accommodate persons with physical disabilities.
AccessoriesSmall objects such as vases, books,lamps, plants and florals,and sculptures used to adorn and personalize a room.
Accordion DoorFolding door, with small vertical panels, that stacks against itself.
AcetateA synthetic fiber made from cellulose, which is a common material in the cell walls of many plants. It is usually combined with other fibers to add a luxurious feel and appearance.
AchromaticColors without hue, namely black, white, and gray.
AcknowledgmentsThe paperwork forms that the supplier sends to the designer to indicate what the supplier interpreted the designer's order to be.
Acorn (Or Acorn Turning)Turned ornament resembling an acorn; common in Jacobean furniture as finials on chair posts and bedposts, as pendants and as the profile of leg turnings in Jacobean tables.
Acoustical PlasterThis is gypsum mixture , which is employed as a final coat to serve the purpose of a sound
Acoustical Tile/PlasterWall and ceiling tiles and plaster that help control noise.
AcousticsAcoustics or sound is a form of wave motion created by a vibrating body and is transmitted in all directions in the form of spherical waves consisting of alternate compressions and rarefactions.
AcrilanA synthetic fiber used in producing Wear-Dated fabrics.
AcroteriumOriginally an ornament on the roof corners of Greek temples. In classical furniture, similar ornaments applied to the top corners of secretaries, bookcases, highboys and other furniture.
AcrylicA water-soluble paint made with pigments and synthetic resin; used as a fast-drying substitute to oil paint.
Acrylic PaintA synthetic resin, water-based paint.
Acrylic Rangoli

Acrylic Rangoli is majorly a form of tradition of Rajasthan and Gujarat art, made using decorative items such as rhinestones, beads, kundans, pearls and threads etched over an acrylic sheet and painted with glass colours and can be made reusable as well.It is usually used for Floor Decoration in India in feastive season.

Acrylic SheetA flat plate or sheet of acrylic (a hard plastic) that can be etched to allow special effects. The most common is the exit sign.
Active BalanceAnother term for asymmetrical balance where objects that are not alike balance each other, or like objects are placed at unequal distances from a central point. It is termed active because it requires some effort or activity of the eye to analyze or discern the balance.
Active Solar SystemA mechanical system of solar heat collection for space and water heating.
Actual DensityThe three-dimensional, literal mass or density of a piece of furniture.
Adam StyleBritish neoclassical style that predominated during the later half of the 1700's. This style developed out of reaction to the more fanciful rococo style of the 1750's, and is characterized by slender, graceful lines, refined shapes and restrained ornamentation.
Adam# Robert (1728-92)The most influential of four Scottish architect/ designer brothers. His English Neoclassic work was influenced by the uncovering of Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples, Italy.
Adaptable DesignsDesigns that can be easily changed to accommodate a person with disabilities.
AdaptationFurniture that captures the feel of an original design or period, but differs in some details.
Adaptive RestorationRestoring older buildings for purposes other than those for which they were constructed.
AddendaCorrections or changes are made to the contract documents by the issuance of addenda. Addenda are written by the person or firm responsible for the original set of contract documents.
AdelphiGreek term meaning brother, which was the trade name of the three brothers Adam. These brothers are famous for the Adam style of the 18th Century.
AditA sloping tunnel or shaft driven through a hill or mountainside to reach beds of rock.
AdobeLarge building brick made of clay, baked in the sun.
AestheticsThe philosophy of art and beauty. The part of art and design that is beautiful and appealing to the senses.
AffinityThe chemical compatibility of fibers to dyestuffs.
AfghanA coverlet or shawl of wool, knitted or crocheted in colorful geometric designs.
AfterimagesWhen the human eye focuses on a strong color for several seconds or minutes, then focuses on a neutral area, the complement of that color will appear in shadow form.
AgaA closed iron range fueled by coke, oil, or gas.
AgeingDecorative technique used to create the effect of wear-and-tear on a wooden, painted, plastic or other surfaces.
AggregatesAggregates are those chemically inert materials which when bonded by cement paste form concrete.
AgrillaceousA fine-grained sedimentary rock with grains less than 1/16mm, e.g. clay.
AidThe American Institute of Interior Designers combined in 1975 with NSID to form ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers.
Air BedA vinyl or rubber mattress core that's filled with air for support. Can be upholstered and covered with cushioning and ticking and be used in combination with a foundation. Find beds and mattresses.
Air Compression PaintingSpray painting powered by an air compression machine that allows paint to be diluted for application.
Airborne SoundAn airborne sound is one, which is transmitted through air, and travels direct to the ear of the person.
Air-Brushprinting Dye sprayed through stencils by pressure ink jet guns.
Air-ConditioningCool air piped into an interior through an air-conditioning unit or through a furnace unit.
Air-Exchange UnitDraws fresh outside air into buildings and expels stale, used air. Necessary in a superinsulated and tight structure with few or no windows.
Airless Paint SprayingMechanical spraying of nondiluted paint.
AisleA passageway separated by an arcade, running parallel to the nave of a church.
AlabasterA fine-textured, regularly white, gypsum that is easily carved and translucent when thin.
Albers, Josef (1888-1976)Color expert in simultaneous and successive contrast. Albers taught at the Bauhaus in Germany and at Yale University.
AlcoveRecessed part of a room. Bed alcoves exist in Pompeian rooms, and such placing of the sleeping quarters was common in northern Europe through the Middle Ages and later. In the 18th Century special beds were designed to fit such recesses. Alcoves are also used for bookcases and cabinets, dining groups, etc.
Alkyds, Alkyd EnamelOil-modified resin paints. Alkyd enamels produce glossy surfaces.
Allied Board Of TradeA national credit agency that specializes in the interior design industry.
Allocate SpaceTo assign space; to determine the location and layout of rooms or areas.
AlloyA substance formed by fusing one or more metals, or a metal and nonmetal.
All-WoodWooden furniture construction where all visible parts arc made of wood.
AlmeryA cupboard for doles of pensioners, family retainers.
AlterationA change in usage of building or a structural change , such as some addition or some deletion or change of the fixtures or equipment.
Alternate ComplementA four-color scheme of a triad with the direct complement of one of the hues.
AlternationA type of rhythm wherein two shapes alternate?one, then the other. A classic example is the egg-and-dart molding seen in chapter 15.
AluminumA lightweight, silver-colored metal used extensively in commercial applications, and occasionally by metal artists.
Ambient General LightingOverall lighting that covers a large area, often in the form of overhead luminaires.
Ambient LightGeneral light that surrounds a room and is not focused.
Ambient LightingGeneral illumination that surrounds a room and is not directional.
AmbryIn medieval churches a recess for the storage of goods. The addition of doors gave it the cupboard form. The English equivalent became a large cupboard with doors; the interiors were fitted with shelves for storage.
AmbulantesA small portable table.
AmbulatoryA place for walking; the aisle in a cathedral.
AmenitiesFacilities shared by condominium owners or available to renters in luxury apartments. These include swimming pools, tennis courts, and entertainment or athletic facilities.
American ColonialTerm loosely applied to all American furniture used by the colonies prior to the American Revolution. This style includes rough handmade pieces of the early American frontier, New England versions of Jacobean and Puritan (Cromwellian), furniture imported by settlers from Europe and Americanized versions of formal English and European designs. There is no clear division of this period but most agree to group it into Early Colonial and Late Colonial (American Provincial).
American CountrySimple designs originating from the earliest settlers in America during the Early Colonial period (see above). These pieces are very simple and often rough in design. This charming style is still very popular today.
American Empire (1820-60)The interior design title of the period concurrent with the antebellum Greek Revival homes. Colors influenced by Napoleonic choices of bold, deep hues.
American Frontier (American Primitive)This style of late 1700's to 1800's was created to meet the demands of the western frontier. Noted pieces include wagon seat twin chairs, sinks without plumbing, cupboards and cobbler's benches. Woods primarily used included ash, hickory, maple, black walnut and pine. Pieces of this period were usually painted black or in primary colors.
American OrientalA machine-made domestic rug with Oriental design and colors to resemble a hand-tied Oriental rug.
AmericanaObjects and decor items that are characteristic of American history or culture.
AmoriniCupid ornaments found on Italian Renaissance furniture.
Ampere Or AmpThe measurement of electrical current in a circuit.
AnaglyptaEmbossed wall or ceiling coverings that resemble plaster, hammered copper, or hand-tooled leather.
AnalogousColors that are next to each other on the standard color wheel or as they occur in a rainbow or prism. An analogous color scheme usually contains three to six adjacent colors.
Analogous ColorHues that are next to one another on the color wheel. Examples would be red and orange or blue and green.
Analogous SchemeSee Harmonious Color Scheme.
AnalysisA part of programming in which information is assessed and priorities established.
Anchor PilesIn foundations, when piles are used to provide anchorage against horizontal pull from sheet piling walls or other pulling forces , they are termed as Anchor piles.
Ancient Greece, The Golden Age (Fifth Century B.C.)Era of the Parthenon and height of philosophical development and architectural excellence.
Angel BedA bed with a canopy but no front support. Find bedroom furniture.
AngoraSoft long hair of the Angora goat, often called mohair. The animal is native to Anatolia in the Angora province of Turkey.
Angular LinesAny straight line used in interior design that is neither horizontal nor vertical. Angular lines may be diagonal lines in one direction or even or uneven zigzag lines. Angular lines suggest movement and action.
Aniline DyeTerm applies to dyes derived from coal tar, which are used to color fabrics and leather.
Aniline-PlusTerm sometimes applied to leather finished with an opaque pigmented dye. Find leather furniture.
Animal Hair Felt PadModerately resilient carpet underlay of 100 percent animal hair felted into padding.
Animal Skin RugsRugs of zebra, bear, sheep, and other animal skins.
AnodizeTo put a protective oxide film on metal through an electrolytic process with chemicals and an electric charge.
AnthemionA honeysuckle design from classical Greek decorative motifs. Term refers to any conventional flower or leaf design.
AnthropometricsThe study and comparison of human body measurements (i.e., anthropometry).
AntimonyA silver-white, crystalline, metallic element used in alloys.
AntiqueCould be anything ranging from a piece of furniture to art. The U.S. government considers any item over 100 years old to be an antique, whereas most collectors use 50 years as a benchmark.
Antique FinishA finish made to appear older by the application of a darker color over the top of a lighter finish.
Antique Finish (Or Antiquing)A paint or stain finish applied to an object to give an aged look.
Antique SatinA drapery fabric that has a lustrous effect, normally made of rayon/acetate blends.
AntiquesFurniture made before 1840 (U.S. Customs definition).
AntiquingThe process in which an object or surface is intentionally distressed or discolored to provide the appearance of age.
Antiscalding Valve (Pressure-Balancing Valve)A fitting that contains a piston that automatically re-sponds to changes in line water pressure to maintain temperature; the valve blocks abrupt drops or rises in temperature.
Antistatic FinishesReduce conduction or static electricity.
AntronA registered Trademark of DuPont for Type 66 nylon fibers, which are used in many applications including fabrics.
ApartmentA home or unit housed with other units that are rented for living spaces.
Apothecary ChestA low chest with small drawers that was originally used to store herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes. Find home accessory items.
Appliance GarageA small cabinet intended for hous-ng a small appliance, such as a standing mixer It is mounted on the countertop below the wall units and typically features a roll-up (tambour) or top-hinged door Appliance garages keep the work surface unob-structed.
AppliquéA technique whereby pieces of fabric are layered on top of one another and joined with decorative stitches.
ApronThe wooden panel connecting the surface and legs of a table or chair.
ApseA semicircular or polygonal projection of a church.
AquatintPrintmaking process used to create areas of solid color, as well as gradations of white through black tones. Usually has the appearance of transparent watercolor.
ArabesqueDecorative scroll work or other intricate ornamentation consisting of foliage, vases, leaves and fruits, or fantastic human and animal figures.
ArcadeA series of arched columns.
ArchAn Arch may be defined as mechanical arrangement of wedge shaped blocks of stones or bricks mutually supporting each other and supported at the end by abutments.
Arch RingIt is a course of stones or bricks having a curve similar to that of the arch.
Arch System ConstructionA building type in existence since antiquity; the arch is held together with a splayed keystone under compression.
ArchitectA professional who plans three-dimensional space and creates floor plans and blueprints.
Architectural ElementsThe walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, fireplaces, cabinetry, and other fixtures or details that are built in to the interior.
Architectural GlazingSee glass.
Architectural Or Structural LightingPermanently installed fixtures or luminaires. The wiring must be in place in advance.
Architectural RodsNonresidential drapery and curtain rods that are usually drawn with wands or batons rather than a traverse cord and pulley.
ArchitraveThe lower horizontal band of an entablature, located below the frieze.
Area RugA small rug or carpet which covers only part of the floor. Find an area rug.
Area RugsDefine a specific area, such as a conversation area.
Arm CapsCoverings, usually crafted from fabric, to protect the top surface of sofa and chair arms.
Arm ChairSeating that has both a backrest and armrests. Find an arm chair for your living room or dining room.
ArmchairA chair with armrests as distinguished from a side chair without arms.
ArmoireA large wardrobe or movable closet for storing clothing. Often also used to hide television and audio/video equipment and computer workstations.
Arrow FootA cylindrical foot that's tapered and separated from the leg by a turned ring.
Art DecoA streamlined, geometric style of home furnishings and architecture popular in the 1920's and 1930's. Characteristics include rounded fronts, wood furniture with chrome hardware and, or, glass tops.
Art Deco (1918-45)A brief period of design between World Wars I and II that has been repeatedly revived in interior design style and color.
Art GlassDecorative glass - includes stained, beveled, fused, blown, etched, leaded and cut.
Art LightingA term for luminaires or fixtures that are in themselves works of art where light is the medium of artistic expression.
Art ModerneThe Paris Expedition of 1925 introduced a fantastically modern design called Art Moderne. This styling is familiar because of its angular and straight shape. Geometric patterns are the main decoration.
Art NouveauDecorative style developed in France between 1890 and 1910. Tiffany lamps are a great example of this styles ornate and flowing lines.
Art Nouveau (1890-1910)A style of design based on natural floral motifs and colors.
Art PrintA print that is a reproduction of an original piece of artwork. Find an art print.
Art RugA rug with a decorative texture or pattern of such interest and quality that it can be considered a piece of art.
Articulation ClassA single-number summation of how effective a ceiling is in absorbing sound reaching it from over low partitions.
Articulation IndexMeasures the performance of all the elements of a particular configuration working together, including ceiling absorption, space dividers, furniture, light fixtures, partitions, background masking systems, and HVAC system sound.
Artificial LightIncandescent and fluorescent light. Amount and direction of artificial lighting affect color hue, value, and intensity.
Artificial StoneA fabricated product that imitates natural stone and is generally used for wall facing.
Artisan StyleA style characterized by fine but not overly ornate workmanship that celebrates the maker's community identity or ethnicity.
Artistic LightingAnother term for accent lighting.
Artist's PaintOil or acrylic paint in small bottles or tubes.
Arts & CraftsAlso commonly known as Mission style. This style was popular from the late 1800's through the 1920's. The Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction against the mass-produced and ornate Victorian furniture of that time.
Arts And CraftsAn architectural and decorative style that began in England during the late nineteenth century, where it was known as the Aesthetic Movement. Lead by William Morris, the movement rejected industrialization and encouraged fine crafts-manship and simplicity in design.
Arts And Crafts MovementA school of thought at the close of the Victorian era that espoused a return to handmade, quality furnishings rather than machine-made items.
Asahi WarePottery made at Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, since the 17th century. Tends to be made of coarse, sandy clay. Kiln is still in making and is well recognized for its modern, computer-controlled technology.
Asbestos ShinglesA fireproof roofing material in several color choices laid in overlapping manner and nailed tight.
AshlarA block of stone with straight edges for use in building.
Asian StyleA general term referring to styles of the Far East. Such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean designs for example. Furniture with Asian characteristics are popular as a subset of contemporary style.
AsidThe American Society of Interior Designers.
Asphalt VarnishThis is made by dissolving melted hard asphalt in linseed oil and thinned with turpentine or petroleum spirit. This varnish is chiefly used to give a black shop coat to fabricated iron and steel products.
Assembly BuildingThese shall include any building or part of a building where group of people gathers for amusement , recreation , social religious or for some other reason.
AstragalSmall, semi-circular molding applied to the glazing bars on cabinets and bookcases.
Asymmetrical BalanceThe placement of different objects on either side of a center point where they balance each other. Also called informal balance, asymmetry requires a discerning eye and sensitivity to achieve the balance.
AtriumThe open entry hall of a Roman house.
Atrium DoorA French-door pair with one fixed side. Also called a patio door.
Attached Back PillowA pillow treatment that can't be removed from the upholstered piece, commonly found on sofas, loveseats and chairs.
Attached DwellingsResidences with shared walls, such as condominiums, town houses, twin houses, and multiplexes.
Attic WindowPivoting window installed in the pitched roof of an attic.
AubussonA scenic tapestry used for wall hangings and upholstery. Named for Aubusson, France. Find a wall tapestry.
Aubusson RugsFlat tapestry French rugs woven in both historic and contemporary colors and patterns.
Austrian Shade (Or Austrian Blind)A decorative window treatment with a scalloped lower edge. When the blind is drawn up it maintains the scalloped edge, creating folds of ruched fabric. Find shades and blinds.
Austrian ShadesScalloped and gathered shades that fold up. They are full and formal looking.
Austrian ValanceValance in the same style as the Austrian shade.
Automatic Sensor DimmerA device that automatically turns on and controls the level of artificial light to supplement natural light in order to keep the light at an even level of brightness.
Auxiliary HeatingA backup heating method needed for solar energy systems when the sun cannot supply all the heating needs of the interior.
AvrilA registered trademark of FMC Corporation for viscose rayon.
Awning WindowA window that is hinged at the top and swings outward when open.
Axminster CarpetA Jacquard-woven carpet where colored yarns are inserted as needed. Used extensively in nonresidential carpeting.