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T LampTubular shaped lamp or bulb.
Tab CurtainsFlat panel curtains with tabs or strips sewn into loops at the top, then threaded over a dowel rod.
Table AmbulanteA French term for a small, portable occasional table. Find living room furniture.
Table LampA freestanding lamp designed to be placed on a surface such as an end table or nightstand. Find table lamps.
Table Runner

A long, narrow, decorative strip of fabric running down the middle of a table.

TabouretA stool or small seat that can also be used as a stand.
Tackless StripThe thin board with recessed-bead tacks or staples protruding toward the wall. The strip is nailed down and the carpet is attached over the top to hold it in place for wall-to-wall installations over padding.
TaffetaA fine plain-woven fabric that's smooth on both sides.
Tailored UpholsteryA furniture frame which has fabric fitted and permanently attached.

See Highboy

Tambour Desk

A roll-top desk's flexible draw-down cover made of "tambours", which is made up of a succession of narrow strips of flat wood glued to a stiff backing such as canvas. Find home office furniture.

Tape EdgeThe cord-like seam that is stitched around the perimeter of a mattress to join its tops and sides. Find a mattress.
Tapered LegA leg that becomes incrementally smaller towards the bottom.

Traditionally a "heavy" woven fabric featuring decorative designs or pictures to be hung on a wall. Today, the term commonly refers to highly decorative fabrics with a woven design. Find a tapestry.

Tar PaperA heavy, black, waterproof paper applied to the roof before the shingles and sometimes on the outside of foundation walls.
Task Lighting

A lighting source directed to a specific purpose within a room. Reading lights in a living room or under-counter lighting in a kitchen are examples of task lighting.


A straw mat covered with woven rush, approximately 6" x 3", used as flooring material.

Tatami MatsWoven sea grass mats in various thicknesses. A traditional Japanese floor material, they will not hold up to heavy traffic.
Tavern TableA small, sturdy rectangular table on four legs, usually braced by stretchers. Generally features a drawer or two in the apron. Commonly used in taverns of the 18th Century.
Tea CaddyMetal container used to import tea during the eighteenth century, often decorated with oriental motifs and designs.
Tea TableA small portable table, which is frequently used in place of a coffee table. Traditionally the top has raised edges like a tray and side pullouts for candles. Find a coffee or tea table.
TeapoyA small piece of freestanding furniture designed for holding tea.
Technical DrawingsFloor plans, elevations, and detailed drawings of architectural detail, cabinetry, storage, and built-in units.
Tee Cushion (Or T-Cushion)A loose seat cushion with the outside front edges extending laterally in front of the arm of an upholstered piece.
Teen BeddingBedding such as comforters and sheets designed in themes that are generally less elegant or as expensive as adult bedding sets, yet not childish like children's bedding. Find teen bedding.
Telephone SystemA network of connected telephones within a building or office.
TemperaPaint made with pigment mixed with egg and thinned with water.
Tempered GlassGlass toughened by heating and rapid cooling.
TemplateBlock of stone or concrete of designed dimensions used under a beam or girder to distribute the concentrated load at the end of the beam or girder over a greater area of bearing surface.
Tenant ImprovementThe designer works with the client who will occupy a nonresidential space. The design work within an established budget is paid for by the developer.
TenderA state of weakness in a fabric wherein it easily can tear.
TenonThe projecting member of a piece of wood, which is inserted into a mortise to create a secure joint.
Tensile System ConstructionA tentlike building system.
Tenure-Track PositionA full-time college or university appointment that offers tenure, or the status of holding one's Position on a permanent basis.
TergalA registered trademark of Rhodiaceta for polyester.
Terra CottaLow-fired ceramic ware that is often reddish and unglazed.
Terra SigillataA thin coating of colored clay or clays applied with a glaze. A terra sigillata solution is composed of fine particles of decanted clay and water.
Terrace HousesMatching row houses that became popular in England during the eighteenth century.
Terra-CottaAn Italian term for cooked earth used to describe hard, durable reddish brown clay products, such as that used to make roof tiles.
TerrazzoA floor or wall finish made by setting marble or other stone chips into a layer of mortar and polishing the surface.
Territorial StyleThe later, more classical version of the Southwest Adobe-style houses of New Mexico.
TerritorialityPersonal kittacbment to a certain territory or space.
Terry ClothA pile fabric with uncut loops, used for towels.
Tertiary ColorColor created by mixing of two secondary colors.
Tertiary HuesSee intermediate hues.
TeryleneA registered trademark of ICI for polyester.
TesseraePieces of colored glass and stone used to make mosaics.
TesterA wooden frame for supporting draperies or a canopy at the top of a poster bed.
Tetrad ComplementA variation of a direct complementary scheme consisting of four colors equidistant (equally spaced) on the color wheel.
TexturaA registered trademark of Hoeschst for polyester.
TextureThe relative smoothness or roughness of a surface read by the eye (visual texture) or with the hand (tactile texture). Texture is produced in several ways: by material, color, line, relief, and finish.
Texture (Fabric)In fabric, is the surface quality of a material.
Texture (Stone)In stone, texture is the characteristics of a rock given by the size and shape of its grains.
Textured FinishIn this finish , ornamental patterns or textured surfaces are produced by working with various tools on the freshly applied final coat.
TexturizingAdding crimp, kink, or waviness to a man-made monofilarnent thread or yarn to increase bulk and loftiness and to add textural interest. An uneven surface applied to drywall or sheetrock by blowing on a thin plaster mixture, then sanding it semismooth.
Texturizing PaintThick paint that can be applied to imitate stucco.
Thatched RoofA roof covered with reeds or straw intended to shed water.
Thematic DesignInterior design based on a theme, such as traditional, country, or ethnic.
Therm LegTerm refers to a square or four cornered tapered leg used on chairs or tables.
Thermal PaneA type of double glazing in which two layers of glass are produced with a pocket of air for insulation.
ThermoplasticsPlastics that change their form by heating.
Thermoset PlasticsPlastic compounds that are hardened by heat.
ThermosiphoningA passive solar system of collecting heat through spaces in the walls or roof, then drawing the heat into ducts and forcing it into the interior through fans and registers.
ThermostatA device that controls the furnace or air-conditioning by maintaining a preset temperature.
Thin Shell Membrane ConstructionA self-supporting membrane of reinforced (mesh) concrete or sprayed foam.
Thonet, Michael (1796-1871)A German craftsman best known for his bentwood furniture designs.
Three-Way SwitchA type of switch commonly found on lamps that allows three different degrees or levels of light.
Through StoneA stone passing through a wall from front to back face and acting as a binder for the two faces of the wall is termed as through stone.

A lightweight fabric item meant to be used as a light blanket or as a decorative element commonly placed at the foot of a bed or draped over the back of a sofa. Throws usually measure about 64" x 72" in size. Find a throw.

Throw PillowA small square or round decorative pillow usually found on sofas, chairs, or beds.
Thrown ChairA chair constructed from turned pieces of wood.
ThumbpieceA flange attached to a hinged lid, which when pressed by the thumb raises the lid.
TiebackA decorative fabric, cord or metal hook used to hold a drapery open.
Tieback DraperiesPanels of pleated or shirred fabric tied back at a soft curve and held with ties (strips of fabric), or cords, or metal holdbacks.
Tieback HoldersConcealed hardware to hold the ties or decorative metal rosettes that hold the draperies in the tieback position.
Tie-DyeA hand process for coloring fabric where a fabric is folded into various shapes, then tied in spots with string and immersed in a dye bath. Where the folds and tied portions arc thick, the dye will not penetrate, creating interesting abstract patterns.
Tiered CurtainsShort curtains layered to overlap vertically.
TightAn interior that is sealed or that has few or no windows for natural ventilation; requires HVAC system or air-exchange units for fresh air.
Tight SeatUpholstered furniture which has the fabric pulled directly over the springs, with layer of padding in between, and padding over the springs.
Tight-Back SofaA sofa with a back that is totally smooth with no indentations. Find a sofa.
TileSmall, flat finishing units made of clay or clay mixtures.
Tilt TopA small occasional table with a hinged top that can stand vertically when not in use. Find living room tables.
Tilt-Down TrayThe hinged, flat panel in front of the sink that tilts down to reveal a small storage pocket.
TimberWood suitable for construction or a finish carpentry.
Timber FrameA frame of heavy timbers used as the structure system for a building.
Timbering Of TrenchesIt is also known as shoring , consists of a temporary arrangement of boardings or poling boards, wailings and struts provided to give support to the sides of trench.

Any color mixed with white (i.e. all pastel colors are tints).

To Finished Floor

The phrase "to finished floor" is often used in the beginning stages of construction before the final surface is placed as the flooring. This is to insure that the measurements taken for other items in the space will be the correct dimensions when the final flooring is installed.

Toe KickA toe kick is a 3-4' space or recessed panel on the front of a piece of furniture that allows room to stand as well as protect the furniture from being scratched or marked.
Toe-Kick Or Riser LightingLighting in the toe-kick area beneath a counter, or on the stair riser just beneath the tread.
Toe-Mold LightingLighting under the toe-kick area of stairs or cabinets.

Also known as Toile do Jouy, is a type of fabric decorating pattern usually on a white or off-white background that features a repeating landscape or pastoral pattern in a single color.

Toile (Toile De Jouy)A plain-woven cotton fabric printed with a repeat pattern of country settings, animals, people or other objects printed on a solid background of one color in another color.
TokonomaA small, alcove with a low, raised platform reserved for display of aesthetic and sacred objects in the traditional Japanese home.

Any color mixed with grey (most warm-looking colors are tones).

Tongue & Groove (Or Matching)Wood pieces that join on edge with a groove in one piece and a corresponding tongue on the other to interlock. Commonly used on furniture doors for example.
Tongue And GrooveStrips of wood milled to fit together and interlock with a filet and a groove.
Tongue-And-GrooveA tight joint created by fitting together a tongue on one end of a board with a groove on the other end. Common for floors, paneling, and wainscoting.
Tongue-And-Groove JoineryA joinery technique in which a protruding end (tongue) fits into a recess (groove), locking the two pieces together.
Tooled SurfaceIn this type of surface finish continuous parallel chisel marks are produced throughout the width of the stone. The parallel corrugations or chisel ,arks are made at closer intervals rendering the surface truly planned.
Top Grain LeatherThe uppermost layer of a hide, which is the highest quality part of the hide and the most preferred for leather upholstery. Find leather furniture.
Top TreatmentsAny fabric used as a short covering at the top or above a window or window treatment.

A floor lamp that directs light upward to provide ambient room lighting.

Torchiere LampA floor lamp that directs light upward from a reflective bowl or inverted cone shade. Find a torchiere lamp.
TorehereIn history a tall candlestand. Today a floor lamp that casts light upward onto the ceiling.
Tower BoltIn this type , the bolt passes through two or three stapples attached to the base plate. The plate is screwed to inside face of door shutter and the bolt engages in a metal socket screwed to the frame.
Town HouseAnother term for a dwelling that is narrow, one or two room(s) wide, and two or three stories high. It shares walls with one or two similar town houses, and one roof spans all the units.
TraceryA term used to describe the lacelike ornamentation in stone or woodwork of Gothic design, often seen in windows.
Track LightingLighting that utilizes a fixed band that supplies a current to movable light fixtures.

A straight, squared off arm,usually found on more contemporary sofas and armchairs.

Trade SourcesWholesale companies that market goods and services to the trade or the interior design profession.
Trademarks Or Trade NamesNames given by chemical companies to a generic fiber that identifies it as their product. Trademarks are registered with the Federal Trade Commission and may be accompanied by a small TM following the name.
TraditionalTraditionally styled furniture is available in both original antique pieces and quality reproductions. This type of furniture usually follows a particular period style such as Georgian, Tudor, Regency or Louis XV.
TrafficMovement of users through an area or along a route.
Traffic PatternThe flow or direction in which people move through a room.
TrailUndulating bands of formal looking leaf, berry or floral patterns.
TranseptsThe part of a cross-shaped church that extends at right angles to the nave. (The arms of the cross.)
TransitionA type of rhythm that leads the eye without interruption from one point or area to another.
TransitionalA style of design that blends influences from various style categories.
Transmission LossThe reduction in the intensity of airborne sound that takes place during its transmission from the source to the recipient is called transmission loss.
TransomA window over a door.
TransportMoving the sun's heat through a liquid medium to the storage area in an active solar system unit.
Transportation DesignA facet of nonresidential design: airlines, buses, trains, and automobiles.
TrapA trap is a fitting provided in a drainage to prevent entry of foul air or gases from the sewer or drain into the building.
Travel DistanceThe distance from the remotest point on a floor of a building to a place of safety be it a vertical exit , horizontal exit or an outside exit measured along the line of travel.
Traverse DraperyA drapery that opens or closes across a window by means of the traverse rod from which it is hung. Find drapes and curtains.
Traverse RodsRods equipped with cords and pulleys to draw draperies opened and closed.
TravertineA light-colored limestone used for nonresilient floors and hard wall materials.
TreadThe horizontal upper part of a step on which foot is placed in ascending or descending stairway.
TreenailA wooden peg made from dry compressed timber, made to swell when placed in its hold and moistened.
Tree-Of-LifeTerm refers to a carved tree or vine design with fruit and often birds or animals in foliage.
TrefoilA three-leaved or three-cusped ornament usually contained within a circle.
TrespoloElegant three-legged tables usually designed to stand against a wall.
TrestleA braced frame, forming the whole support for a table top.
Trestle TableA long narrow table with two T-shaped uprights that are joined by a single stretcher for added support. Find a dining table.
Triadic ComplementThree colors equidistant (equally spaced) on the color wheel, such as red, yellow, and blue.
Triangular PedimentA pediment in the shape of a triangle.
Tri-Fold Mirror (Or Tri-View)A mirror that sits on or hangs above a dresser and features a center mirror panel and two mirrored side panels that produce three images of the person looking in the mirror. Find a dresser mirror.
TriforiumA gallery above the arches of the arcade in the nave of a church.
TriglyphsThe three decorative vertical grooves on the frieze of the Doric entablature.
TrimDecorative elements such as fringe on an accent pillow or moldings on a bookcase.
Triple GlazingThree layers of window glass for insulation.
Triple RollA roil or bolt of wall covering containing approximately 108 square feet, or three times the area of a single roll.
TripodA small table or stand with a round top supported by a three-legged pillar, originally made for serving tea. Adam and Chippendale favored it. Find an end table.
Tripod Pedestal TableA three-legged table; the legs converge to form a single pedestal.
TriptychA three-paneled artwork. Historically, triptychs were hinged together so that the two side wings closed over the central panel.
TrivetTraditionally a three legged stand or small table that normally flanked a fireplace. Term today often refers to a wall decoration or accessory for placing a hot dish on a table.
Trombe WallsA passive solar system of glass (that collects and amplifies heat) placed in front of a dark masonry wall (that absorbs and slowly releases the heat into the interior).
Trompe L’Oeil

Literally, 'fool the eye'. (French). An object or scene rendered so realistically that the viewer believes he or she is seeing the real thing.

Trompe L'oeil

French term meaning 'fool the eye'. Trompe l'oeil is usually a two-dimensional painting designed to look like a three-dimensional object or scenery.

Trompe L'oeil

Fool the eye. Using paint techniques to imply a realistic, 3-dimensional scene on a flat surface.

Trompe NeilFrench for "fool the eye"; a painted mural in which realistic images and the illusion of three-dimensional space are created.
TrophiesMounted fish, animals, animal heads, and skins.
True DividerWindows glazed with individual panes, rather than snap-in grids.
TrumeauThe stone mullion supporting the middle of a tympanum of a doorway.
Trumpet LegA leg that's shaped like a trumpet and having its characteristic flared profile.
Trundle BedA low bed that can be rolled under another bed for storage when not in use. Find bedroom furniture.
TrunkCommonly a rectangular container like open chest with a hinged top for holding clothes or other personal belongings. Trunks are commonly used for extended periods away from home such as a long trip abroad. However, they can also be used for home decorating in entryways, as coffee tables, etc.
Trunk SewerIt is a main sewer which receives discharges from all the smaller sewers and conveys it to a sewage treatment plant or to the point of final disposal.
TrussAn assembly of members combined to form a rigid framework, interconnected to form triangles.
Trussed PartitionsIn places where the provision of solid support below the sill is not possible, the wooden trussed partitions have to be employed. The weight from the trussed partition walls is borne by the side walls and thus it may be constructed quite independent of the floor.
TrussesTriangular reinforcing in wood or metal that distributes the load effectively. A framework for supporting a roof.
Tuck PointingIn this , the mortar is first pressed in the raked joints and there after it is finished flush with the face of the wall.
Tuckaway TableA hinged leaf gate-leg table with cross legs which fold into each other as compactly as if tucked away.
Tudor RoseA decorative motif compounded of the white rose and red rose.
Tudor-ElizabethanThis phase of the English renaissance covered the 1500's on up to about 1603. Furniture shapes are straight and stiff (like Gothic), and feature elaborate carving and decoration. All pieces of this style are massive and normally constructed of oak. All chairs, tables, and cabinets of this style feature sturdy underbracing.
Tuft BindA measurement indicating the strength of the latex layer that holds tufts of carpet yarns in place.
Tufted CarpetsThe method by which most carpeting is produced for both residential and nonresidential interiors. Multiple needles threaded with yarn are simultaneously punched into a loosely woven primary backing. The tufts are held in place with a layer of latex, then adhered to Secondary backing of jute or polypropylene.
TuftingA process in which the pile yarn is punched through the backing with rows of needles, much like the method employed by a sewing machine.
Tufting & ButtoningA method of securing the filling of an upholstered piece of furniture by pulling stitches through the material and securing them to the frame. The evenly spaced tufting is then finished with buttons, which are usually upholstered.
Tufts Or Stitches Per Square InchA measurement indicating the density of the tufts or woven stitches in carpeting.
TulipA decorative design in the shape of a tulip that's carved or painted on American furniture, especially Shaker.
Tungsten FilamentAnother name for incandescent lighting.
Tungsten Halogen LampLamp in which the filament is surrounded with. halogen gas that reacts with the tungsten, producing a bright light.
TurnedWood or other materials shaped by tools while revolving around a fixed axis, usually a lathe. Cylindrical forms (dowels, rungs) and circular designs (bowls) are made in this way.
TurningThe lathing to shape table and chair legs, etc.
TurningsDecorative spindles formed by turning a piece of wood on a lathe and cutting designs into the wood with a sharp knife or chisel as the piece spins.
TurpentineIt is the most common thinner used in the preparation of an oil paint. It is a spirit obtained by distilling balsam , which is the resin or gum obtained from pine tree.
TuscanA plain and unfluted column, the Tuscan is the simplest of the architectural orders.
Tusk Tennon JointThis type is commonly adopted in the construction of timber floors. In order to obtain maximum rigidity and strength , the tennon must be mortised in the center of the members to be tenoned.
TuxedoA sofa or chair design with a square frame created by the arm and back rests being equal in height.
Tuxedo ArmsArms found on upholstered pieces that are slightly flared and are the same height as the back.
Tv ArmoireAn entertainment center made to hold a TV in the style of an armoire. Find a TV armoire.
Tv StandA small, low cabinet used to set a TV on. TV stands often have shelves or doors for additional storage. Find a TV stand.
TwillA fabric that is diagonally ribbed, therefore a strong weave.
Twill WeaveThe interlacing of yarns in a sequence such as three over, one under, which creates a distinct diagonal rib or wale. A novelty twill may reverse, creating fabrics such as herringbone or houndstooth.
Twin Bed

A bed made for one person, sometimes called a single. Twin mattresses measure 38"x75". Find a twin mattress.

Twin Extra Long

A twin mattress that measures 38"x80". Find a mattress.

Twin GlazingSee double glazing.
Twin HomeA dwelling that may adjoin only one other dwelling. A semi-detached house.
TwistlocA registered trademark of Monsanto for polyester.
Two Pipe SystemThis is the traditional system of removing the discharge from sanitary fitting wherein the foul matter from W.C and urinals is discharged into one pipe (known as soil pipe) and the waste water from kitchen , bath , floor traps etc. (other than W.C and urinals) is discharged into another pipe(known as waste pipe).