This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/772,675, filed Feb. 13, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
One embodiment of present invention relates to a ceiling medallion for decorating a ceiling area (e.g., an area surrounding a light fixture). In one example, the ceiling medallion can be installed around an existing ceiling fixture (e.g., a light fixture or a fan), without removing the fixture.
Ceiling medallions are typically used to decorate the ceiling area surrounding the point of attachment of a ceiling fixture such as a light fixture or a ceiling fan, or to cover up an unused point of attachment, or merely to decorate an area of a ceiling. A light fixture is typically suspended from a chain or tube, which in turn is typically attached to a supporting ceiling structure such as a mounting plate attached to an electrical box. Ceiling medallions are typically rigidly constructed from material such as metal, plaster, fiber, or plastic. Such ceiling medallions typically include central apertures for allowing the chain, tube or wire portion of a light fixture to extend therethrough. However, in order to install a conventional ceiling medallion around an existing ceiling fixture, the fixture must typically be removed, the medallion placed, and the fixture reinstalled with the tube, chain or wires extending through the medallion. Thus, the installation of the conventional ceiling medallion typically requires numerous steps that are time consuming, and may require the use of certain tools.
Some efforts have been made to develop ceiling medallions that overcome some of the steps described above. For example, some conventional ceiling medallions have two separate halves that may be positioned together to place the medallion around a fixture without the need for removing the fixture. However, it may be difficult to design the halves and install them in a manner that does not obviously appear to be formed of two halves. for removing the fixture. However, it may be difficult to design the halves and install them in a manner that does not obviously appear to be formed of two halves.
One embodiment of the present invention provides a ceiling medallion which comprising a one-piece medallion which can be installed around an existing fixture, without removing the fixture from the ceiling.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ceiling medallion according to an embodiment of the present invention (showing the medallion installed around a chandelier);
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the underside of the ceiling medallion of FIG. 1 (showing unassembled support struts in an extended position);
FIG. 3a is a perspective view of the ceiling medallion of FIG. 1 (showing greater detail of the face);
FIG. 3b is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 3b-3b of FIG. 3a and looking in the direction of the arrows, of the ceiling medallion shown of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the underside of the ceiling medallion of FIG. 1 (showing assembled support struts);
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows, showing a support strut in an assembled position;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5 and looking in the direction of the arrows, of the support strut shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7a is a cross-sectional view of the ceiling medallion shown of FIG. 4, taken along line 7a-7a of FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7b is a cross-sectional view showing the ceiling medallion attached to a ceiling;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view a center aperture filler-appliqué;
FIG. 9a is a perspective view of the ceiling medallion shown in FIG. 1, showing the center aperture filler-appliqué positioned for attachment in the center of the medallion;
FIG. 9b is a plan view of the ceiling medallion shown in FIG. 1, having the center aperture filler-appliqué attached.
FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of a ceiling medallion according to another embodiment of the present invention (showing two parts of the medallion before assembly);
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 11-11 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 10; and
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view showing a cover placed over the central aperture of the medallion of FIG. 10.
Among those benefits and improvements that have been disclosed, other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures. The figures constitute a part of this specification and include illustrative embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.
Detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely illustrative of the invention that may be embodied in various forms. In addition, each of the examples given in connection with the various embodiments of the invention are intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Further, the figures are not necessarily to scale, some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.
Another embodiment of the present invention provides ring-shaped, one-piece ceiling medallion formed of a thin, light weight, flexible material. In one example, an opening in the ring, in the form of a gap or slit, allows the medallion to be placed about a fixture. The ends of ring adjacent the opening can be overlapped and fixed in position to fully surround a fixture. In another example, the medallion can be adhered to a ceiling. In another example, a central aperture in the medallion can be altered in size to accommodate fixtures of varying dimensions.
As described herein, various embodiments of the present invention relate to a ceiling medallion, which can: (i) decorate a ceiling area surrounding a ceiling fixture without removing the fixture, (ii) decorate and cover an exposed opening in a ceiling, and/or (iii) decorate a vacant area of the ceiling. In one example, the medallion may have the general shape of a ring.
Referring now to FIG. 1, this FIG. shows a decorative ceiling medallion 10 which is attached to a ceiling 12, and positioned around a hanging lighting fixture 14. The medallion 10 has a face 16 comprising a decorative area 18 having a pattern 20 extending about the decorative area 18. The decorative area 18 design and/or pattern 20 may, of course, be varied and/or eliminated. The fixture 14 includes a center cover 22 for concealing the opening in the ceiling 12, and a hanger 24, which supports the fixture 14.
FIG. 2 shows the underside surface 26 of the medallion 10, in an unassembled condition. The medallion 10 of this example is ring-shaped and includes a central aperture 28, a plurality of supports 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38, and a gap or slit 40. The supports provide rigidity (e.g., to help prevent distortion of the medallion 10) and will be described in more detail below. In one example, supports 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38 are fabricated at the same time, and from the same material, as the remainder of the medallion 10.
Referring to support 30, which in this example is of the same general construction as supports 32, 34, 36 and 38, it can be seen that foldable juncture 42 is provided between the support and the circumference of the ring (supports 32, 34, 36 and 38 may operate in a similar manner to support 30). This foldable junction 42 enables support 30 to be folded toward the underside of the medallion 10. Support 30 includes a strut 44 having a button-like protrusion 46 at a distal end. A receptacle 48 located on the underside of the medallion 10 is sized and shaped to receive and engage the protrusion 46, in an interlocking fashion, to retain the support 30 adjacent (e.g., against) the surface 26 of the medallion 10 once the protrusion 46 is pressed firmly into the receptacle 48.
Support 30 also includes flank reinforcements 50 and 52 interconnected with strut 44 by foldable joints 54 and 56. Flank reinforcement 50 includes button-like protrusions 58 and 60, while flank reinforcement 52 includes receptacles 62 and 64 which are positioned and shaped to engage with protrusions 58 and 60 in an interlocking fashion respectively, when reinforcements 50 and 52 are folded approximately 90 degrees towards each other, and protrusions 58 and 60 are pressed into receptacles 62 and 64 respectively, thereby forming a reinforcement for the strut 44 of the support 30.
Referring to FIG. 3a, the slit 40 comprises edges 66 and 68 which can be spread apart, during the installation of the medallion 10, to position the medallion 10 around a fixture such that the hanger 24 may be positioned within the aperture 28 of the medallion 10. A receptacle 70 is positioned in the pattern 20 proximate edge 66, and button-like protrusion 72 (see FIG. 3b) is positioned in the pattern 20 proximate the edge 68. The receptacle 70 is shaped to receive and engage the protrusion 72, in an interlocking fashion when the edge 66 overlaps the edge 68, and the receptacle 70 is pressed firmly onto the protrusion 72.
Referring to FIG. 3b, there is shown the medallion 10 with edge 66 overlapping edge 68, and protrusion 72 inserted into and coupled with receptacle 70. The shapes of protrusion 72, and the corresponding receptacle 70 may be similar to the shape of any of the essentially identical repeating patterns in the pattern 20. The appearance of the protrusion 72 and receptacle 70, when coupled, may be similar to the appearance of any of the repeating patterns in the pattern 20, and therefore appear camouflaged in the pattern 20.
FIG. 4 shows the supports 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38, folded along foldable juncture 42 (see FIG. 2) adjacent (e.g., against) the surface 26 of the medallion 10. In one example, adhesive strips 74 (with adhesive covering strips removed and not shown) are positioned on the supports 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38, for the purpose of fastening the medallion to the ceiling 12.
FIG. 5 shows support 30 folded along foldable junction 42. Protrusion 46 of the strut 44 is engaged (interlocked) with the receptacle 48 of the surface 26 to retain the support 30 in position:
FIG. 6 shows the flank reinforcements 50 and 52 assembled and positioned with protrusion 58 engaged (interlocked) with the receptacle 64. The flank reinforcements 50 and 52 may help retain the position of the supports 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38 with respect to the surface 26 of the medallion 10.
Referring to FIG. 7a, there is shown the medallion 10 positioned against the ceiling 12. In one example, the medallion 10 has a natural bowed shape (e.g., due to the supports and the overlap of the edges of the slit 40). Accordingly, in this example, the adhesive strips 74 associated with supports 32, 36 of this FIG. are not completely in contact with the ceiling 12. FIG. 7b shows that after the application of upward force, strips 74, and likewise the medallion 10, may be essentially completely engaged with and secured to the ceiling. In one example, the upward force may be applied by an installer on the face 16 of the medallion 10. During application of the upward force, edges 66 and 68 naturally move towards each other into an overlapping relationship. As such, edge 66 overlaps edge 68 and the installer can press the receptacle 70 onto the protrusion 72 to secure the overlap.
The aforesaid overlap of edges 66 and 68 and the subsequent pressing of receptacle 70 onto the protrusion 72 may, in another example, be accomplished before the medallion 10 is placed against the ceiling 12. In this instance, the installer first holds the medallion 10 separately in his/her hands (below the ceiling 12) and overlaps edge 66 over edge 68 (which serves to generally flatten the medallion 10 into a planar configuration) and the installer can press the receptacle 70 onto the protrusion 72 to secure the overlap. The installer may then proceed to install the medallion 10 on the ceiling 12 as described above and as shown in FIG. 7b.
FIG. 8 shows a center aperture filler-appliqué 76, having a circular adhesive ring 78 (with the adhesive paper storage-covering ring removed and not shown). The appliqué 76, when attached to the medallion 10, conceals the aperture 28. Referring to FIG. 9a, the appliqué 76 may be attached to the medallion 10 (as indicated by the dotted line), by centering the appliqué 76 about the aperture 28 and pressing the ring 78 against the face 16 of the medallion 10. FIG. 9b shows the appliqué 76 positioned and fastened to the face 16 of the medallion 10. The appliqué 76 may be attached to the face 16 to conceal the aperture 28 (e.g., in applications where the medallion 10 is utilized to decorate a vacant area of the ceiling 12 or to conceal an opening in the ceiling 12).
In one example, the medallion 10 may be fabricated of plastic and molded (e.g., in a convention manner, into a thin walled, light weight, semi-flexible structure). In another example, any suitable material and method of construction may be employed in the fabrication of the medallion 10. In another example, the ceiling medallion 10 of the present invention may be manufactured by formation from thin plastic vacuum-molded material. Of note, the diameter of the aperture 28 may be increased (as necessary), to accommodate the placement of the hanger 24 therethrough, by, for example, cutting away a portion of the medallion 10, adjacent the aperture 28, with the use of a knife or similar implement.
In one example, a user may decorate the ceiling area surrounding an existing ceiling fixture by utilizing the ceiling medallion of the present invention in the following way:
In another example, and referring to FIGS. 9a and 9b, a user may decorate a vacant area of the ceiling, or cover an opening, by utilizing the ceiling medallion of the present invention in the following way:
As a final step, in any of the applications described above, the user may (if desired) apply a bead of caulk at the perimeter of the medallion, to cover any gaps between the ceiling and the medallion. Once the caulk has dried, the user can paint the medallion to match existing ceiling decor.
Referring now to FIGS. 10-12, another embodiment of the present invention is shown. As seen in these FIGS. 10-12, medallion 1000 may comprise inner skin 1001 and outer skin 1003 (FIG. 10 shows an exploded view of medallion 1000—in one example, inner skin 1001 and outer skin 1003 may be separately vacuum formed and attached together (e.g., via adhesive and/or other means) at the place of manufacture). Inner skin 1001 may comprise a plurality of support struts 1005A-F (although six support struts are shown in this example, any number may be utilized). One or more of supports struts 1005A-F may have disposed on an essentially flat upper side thereof double-sided tape 1007A-F (and/or any other adhesive) for mounting medallion 1000 to the ceiling. Outer skin 1003 may have one or more ornamental designs disposed thereon.
Further, inner skin 1001 may include gap 1009 and outer skin 1003 may include gap 1011. These gaps 1009,1011 may be used to allow the medallion 1000 to be installed around a fixture hanger as discussed above.
In one example, inner skin 1001 and outer skin 1003 may be fixed to one another over essentially their entire adjacent surfaces (e.g., with the exception of the area on one or both sides of gaps 1009,1011—for example 1 inch on one or both sides of gaps 1009,1011) and gaps 1009,1011 may be slightly offset from one another (e.g., between ¼ inch and 3 inch offset). Further, although not shown in these FIGS. 10-12, a protrusion/receptacle mechanism similar to that described above may be utilized in connection with closing the gaps.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 11, this FIG. 11 shows a cross section of support strut 1005A, along line 11-11 of FIG. 10 (the other support struts may be of similar construction). Double-sided tape 1007A (e.g., 8 inch by 1 inch double-sided tape) and the sidewalls of support strut 1005A are seen in detail in this FIG. 11.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 12, this FIG. 12 shows a cross section of support strut 1005A, along line 12-12 of FIG. 10 (the other support struts may be of similar construction). Double-sided tape 1007A and a number of strengthening ribs 1200A-F of support strut 1005A are seen in detail in this FIG. 12 (of course, any desired number of strengthening ribs may be used).
Referring now to FIG. 13, a cross-sectional view showing center cover 1300 placed cover the central aperture of medallion 1000 of FIG. 10 is shown. As seen in this FIG. 13, cover 1300 may be snap-fit onto medallion 1000 (see the example taper-fit interface shown at interface points 1301A and 1301B of the cross-section of FIG. 13).
While a number of embodiments of the present invention have been described, it is understood that these embodiments are illustrative only, and not restrictive, and that many modifications may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. For example, the medallion may take desired shape (e.g., round, oval, square, rectangular). Further, the hole in the medallion through which the fixture hangar passes may take desired shape (e.g., round, oval, square, rectangular). Further still, the various steps may be carried out in any desired order (and any desired steps may be added and any desired steps may be eliminated).