Title:
Chair with readily removable and replaceable components
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A chair with readily removable and replaceable cushions having a seat frame and a back frame. Decorative cushions may be removably and interchangeably attached to the seat frame and to the front and back of the back frame. The seat frame has slots for receiving tabs that are located on the underside of the interchangeable seat cushion. The seat cushion is further secured to the seat frame by a releasable locking means. The back frame is connected to the seat frame by an L-shaped bracket. The back frame includes a fastener for releasably snap-fitting with an actuatable release tab located on the underside of a back cushion. The back cushion is releasably affixed to the back frame by urging the back cushion against the back frame such that the actuatable release tab engages the fastener. The back cushion is removed from the back frame by applying pressure to the actuatable release tab such that the tab disengages from the fastener thereby releasing the back cushion from the back frame. The result of which is a chair having readily removable and replaceable cushions.



Inventors:
Infanti, Vittorio (Staten Island, NY, US)
Infanti, Elizabeth (Staten Island, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/754821
Publication Date:
07/14/2005
Filing Date:
01/09/2004
Assignee:
INFANTI VITTORIO
INFANTI ELIZABETH
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/440.22
International Classes:
A47C4/02; A47C7/40; (IPC1-7): A47C4/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080265649Lumbar and Bolster Support for Second Row SeatOctober, 2008Mcmillen et al.
20060244299Adjustable infant head supportNovember, 2006Snedeker
20060192420Furniture item and a method for attaching webbing theretoAugust, 2006Haimoff
20090284056DISPOSABLE SEAT COVERNovember, 2009Chico
20080277989Headrest for vehiclesNovember, 2008Yamane et al.
20080309137Rail Adjustment System for a Motor Vehicle SeatDecember, 2008Kostin
20080246315RIDER SEAT FOR MOTORCYCLEOctober, 2008Ito
20080179935Support and stand for furniture from kegsJuly, 2008Blossom
20080036581Seatbelt AdaptorFebruary, 2008Bunims
20060103178Collapsible rocker chairMay, 2006Wun
20070210628Lounge chair cover and method for using sameSeptember, 2007Arnold



Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morgan & Finnegan Transition Team (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A chair having readily interchangeable components comprising: a seat base having an upper surface and a lower surface; a support attached to the lower surface of the seat base; a back frame having a front and rear face that is in mechanical communication with the seat base wherein that back frame contains a plurality of openings and a release hole therethrough; a front fastener located on the front face of the back frame; an attachment plate having a front and rear face and a plurality of protrusions extending from the rear face of the attachment plate cooperatively arranged to the plurality of openings located on the back frame; and an actuatable release tab located on the attachment plate such that when the rear face of the attachment plate is pressed against the front face of the back frame the protrusions extend through the plurality of openings and the actuatable release tab engages the front fastener to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the attachment plate and the back frame.

2. The chair of claim 1 further comprising: a seat cushion releasably attached to the upper surface of the seat base by a locking means.

3. The chair of claim 2 wherein the locking means comprises: a tab and an aperture located on the lower surface of the seat cushion; a slot located on the upper surface of the seat frame that is cooperative to the tab; a receiving portion located on the upper surface of the seat frame for receiving the protrusion; and a releasable lock located on the lower surface of the seat base wherein the releasable lock receives the aperture through the receiving portion such that the aperture is releasably coupled.

4. The chair of claim 1 wherein the attachment plate and the back frame are substantially circular.

5. The chair of claim 1 wherein the attachment plate and the back frame are shaped.

6. The chair of claim 1 wherein the attachment plate and the back frame are curved.

7. The chair of claim 1 wherein the front face of the attachment plate is upholstered to form a cushion by an upholstering means.

8. The chair of claim 7 wherein the upholstery means comprises: a groove extending the periphery of the rear face of the attachment plate; and piping that can be releasably press-fit into the groove such that upholstery can be releasably affixed to the front face of the attachment plate.

9. The chair of claim 7 wherein cushioning is inserted between the upholstery and the front face of the attachment plate.

10. The chair of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of openings contained through the attachment plate; a second attachment plate having a front and a rear face having a plurality of openings therethrough and a plurality of protrusions extending from the front face of the second attachment plate cooperatively arranged to the plurality of openings located on the back frame and to the plurality of openings contained on the attachment plate; a rear fastener located on the rear face of the back frame; a second actuatable release tab located on the second attachment plate such that when the front face of the second attachment plate is pressed against the rear face of the back frame the protrusions extending from the front face of the second attachment plate extend through the plurality of openings located on the back frame and the second actuatable release tab engages the rear fastener to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the second attachment plate and the rear face of the back frame.

11. The chair of claim 10 wherein the attachment plates and the back frame are substantially circular.

12. The chair of claim 10 wherein the attachment plates and the back frame are shaped.

13. The chair of claim 10 wherein the attachment plates and the back frame are curved.

14. The chair of claim 10 wherein the rear face of the second attachment plate is upholstered to form a cushion by an upholstering means.

15. The chair of claim 14 wherein the upholstery means comprises: a groove extending the periphery of the front face of the second attachment plate; and piping that can be releasably press-fit into the groove such that upholstery can be releasably affixed to the front face of the attachment plate.

16. The chair of claim 14 wherein cushioning is inserted between the upholstery and the rear face of the second attachment plate.

17. A chair back having a readily interchangeable cushion comprising: a back frame that is in mechanical communication with a seat base having a front and rear face wherein the back frame contains a plurality of openings and a release hole therethrough; a fastener located on the back frame; a cushion having a front and rear face and a plurality of protrusions extending from the rear face of the cushion cooperatively arranged to the plurality of openings located on the back frame; and an actuatable release tab located on the cushion such that when the rear face of the cushion is pressed against the back frame the protrusions extend through the plurality of openings and the actuatable release tab engages the fastener to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the cushion and the back frame.

18. A chair having readily interchangeable components comprising: a seat base having an upper surface and a lower surface; a support attached to the lower surface of the seat base; a back frame having a front and rear face that is in mechanical communication with the seat base wherein that back frame contains a plurality of protrusions and release hole therethrough; a fastener located on the face of the back frame; an attachment plate having a front and rear face and rear face and a plurality of openings cooperatively arranged to the plurality of protrusions located on the back frame; and an actuatable release tab located on the attachment plate such that when the rear face of the attachment plate is pressed against the front face of the back frame the protrusions extend through the plurality of openings and the actuatable release tab engages the fastener to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the attachment plate and the back frame.

19. A method of reupholstering a chair cushion comprising the steps of: removing piping from a groove which extends around the periphery of the underside of a chair cushion thereby releasing the upholstery; replacing the upholstery by wrapping new upholstery around the outside of the cushion such that the upholstery extends over the entirety of the groove; press-fitting piping into the groove thereby trapping the upholstery to the chair cushion; and affixing the chair cushion to a back frame.

20. A method of interchanging components of a chair comprising the steps of: urging a chair cushion having an actuatable release tab against a chair frame having a fastener and a release hole such that the actuatable release tab engages the fastener to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the chair cushion and the chair frame; and actuating the actuatable release tab through the release hole thereby releasing the chair cushion from the chair frame.

21. A stool comprising: a seat base having an upper surface and a lower surface; a support attached to the lower surface of the seat base; a seat cushion releasably attached to the upper surface of the seat base by a locking means.

22. The stool of claim 21 wherein the locking means comprises: a tab and an aperture located on the lower surface of the seat cushion; a slot located on the upper surface of the seat frame that is cooperative to the tab; a receiving portion located on the upper surface of the seat frame for receiving the protrusion; and a releasable lock located on the lower surface of the seat base wherein the releasable lock receives the aperture through the receiving portion such that the aperture is releasably coupled.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application claims the benefit under Title 35, United States Code § 120, of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/756,020 filed Jan. 5, 2001.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to furniture having readily removable and replaceable or interchangeable components. More particularly, the invention relates to a chair having readily removable and replaceable or interchangeable cushions that utilize an actuatable release tab. Additionally, the invention relates to a chair having upholstered cushions with upholstery that may be readily removed and replaced by using an upholstering means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Chairs are manufactured in countless styles, designs and colors. However, chairs are not normally interchangeable and do not allow for changes to be made to the chair without substantial effort. For example, replacing a chair cushion typically requires that the chair be disassembled and reassembled with a new cushion. Such a procedure is not only time consuming and costly but also labor intensive. Alternatively, re-upholstering a chair cushion typically requires that the chair to be disassembled so that the new upholstery could be added. Re-upholstering is also time consuming, costly and labor intensive. Furthermore, most pieces of furniture are not designed to be disassembled and may not be taken apart without irreversibly damaging the piece of furniture. Thus, a chair owner who wishes to significantly modify the appearance of a piece of furniture is left with no reasonable option other than to purchase a new chair or to cover the chair with an unsightly covering such as a sheet or other cloth covering.

In the prior art, chairs and other seats come in a variety of styles depending upon their intended use. A style of chair which is particularly popular is that which includes an upholstered sitting cushion or seat, and an upholstered seat back cushion connected to the seat. Such chairs are often found in restaurants, diners, banquet halls, hotels and other similar establishments. Typically, these chairs do not allow for any variation of style, color or design. Establishments such as restaurants and catering halls that utilize these chairs have to settle for using the same set of chairs for all occasions. Similarly, when a single cushion is damaged, such as by a cigarette burn, these prior art chairs typically require substantial reupholstering and repair.

Chair manufacturers typically manufacture and assemble chairs and their component parts at the factory. The manufacturer is only capable of manufacturing a limited number of decorative chairs for the consumer due to design costs, and other appreciable manufacturing expenses. In order to satisfy the customer's desire for a variety of models to choose from, chair manufacturers have been forced to produce a variety of different chair designs. Production of these different chair designs increases the cost and complexity of manufacturing the chairs. For inventory control reasons, a chair manufacturer would desire to leave the consumer with as many options as possible while reducing the amount of inventory required for each option.

Chair cushions are usually made of a seat plate or an attachment plate covered by upholstery. Most chair cushions also include cushioning in between the attachment plate and the upholstery to create a more comfortable cushion. Seat cushions are often secured to injection molded plates by stapling or gluing or otherwise permanently affixing the cushion, to the plate. Thus, a chair cushion does not typically contain readily replaceable cushions. Changing a chair cushion normally requires intensive labor and the use of tools. That is; the seat cushion and the front and rear seat back cushions are intended to remain with the chair and can be replaced only by reupholstering or similar substantial effort.

Many prior art chair cushion assemblies are secured to a seat frame by nuts and bolts requiring screwthreading of the elements. Other chair cushion assemblies are secured to the frame or shell by the use of clinching strips and joint clips. These prior art chair cushion assemblies are undesirable because they require a considerable number of loose parts, hand tools, and relatively costly and time-consuming assembly and disassembly procedures.

In order to change the color or style of a typical chair cushion one had to reupholster the cushion design a new chair. Similarly, in order to replace a damaged cushion one had to either reupholster the cushion or purchase a new chair. Prior art chairs also have the disadvantage that if a cushion of the chair becomes stained or soiled, the entire chair must be discarded or made unavailable while it is being cleaned or replaced. Similarly, if a chair owner wishes to vary the chair appearance this can only be done through labor intensive reupholstering or by purchasing a new chair.

The desirability of having a chair with readily removable and replaceable or interchangeable components can therefore be seen.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a chair with readily removable and replaceable components. It is a further object of this invention to provide a chair with readily removable and replaceable cushions. It is a further object of this invention to provide a chair back with readily removable and replaceable seat back cushions. It is a further object of this invention to provide a stool with a readily removable and replaceable seat cushion. It is a further object of this invention to provide a means for quickly and easily upholstering and reupholstering chair cushions. It is a further object of this invention to provide a method of readily removing and replacing components of a chair. It is a further object of this invention to provide a method of readily upholstering and reupholstering chair cushions.

A chair is provided that allows for its components to be removed and replaced or otherwise interchanged with similarly constructed components. The chair includes a seat base having an upper surface and a lower surface with a support attached to the lower surface of the seat base. The chair also includes a seat back which is in mechanical communication with the seat frame. Cushions are releasably affixed to either side of the back frame and to the upper surface of the seat frame.

Seat back cushions are releasably affixed to either side, or both sides of the back frame by utilizing an actuatable release tab that is located on the underside of the cushion to be affixed. When the underside of the cushion is aligned with, and urged against, the back frame the actuatable release tab engages a fastener located on the back frame to form a releasable connection. Actuating the release tab will disengage the actuatable release tab from its' fastener and allow for the cushion to be removed from the back frame. A similarly constructed cushion may then be affixed to the back frame or the removed cushion may be re-affixed to the back frame. No tools are required to attach, re-attach or interchange cushions to the back frame in this manner.

More precisely, seat back cushions are removed from the back frame by actuating the release tab by applying pressure to the actuatable release tab in the direction of the cushioned side of the cushion to the underside of the cushion. The actuatable release tab is capable of being actuated because a portion of it overlies a release hole which allows for the portion of the tab being pressured to deflect and thereby release itself from the fastener. Only a minimal amount of pressure is need to actuate the tab. That is, the pressure exerted by one or two fingers is typically sufficient to actuate the tab and release the cushion from the back frame.

The seat cushion is affixed to the seat base by using a releasable locking mechanism. The underside of the seat cushion contains at least one tab and one aperture. In order to affix the seat cushion to the seat base the tab is inserted into a cooperatively arranged slot located on the upper surface of the seat base and then the aperture is received by the locking means which is then locked to releaseably affix the seat cushion to the seat base. Unlocking the locking means releases the seat cushion from the seat base. The locking means may be a rotatable wheel configuration or any other type of lock capable of being repeatedly locked and unlocked. The seat cushion may be fixed to a chair that does not include a back frame to form a stool.

The chair of the present invention may also include an upholstery means for upholstering components of the chair. Upholstery is affixed to a cushion by using a groove and piping arrangement. This arrangement includes a groove that extends around or substantially around the periphery of the underside surface of the cushion to be upholstered. Upholstery is affixed to the cushion by extending the upholstery over the front face of the cushion and over the groove such that piping may be press-fitted into the groove thereby trapping the upholstery to the cushion. Utilizing this groove and piping arrangement eliminates the need to staple, glue or otherwise permanently affix the upholstery to the cushion. A cushion may be re-upholstering very easily by reversing the above process. That is, removing the piping from the groove thereby releasing the upholstery. This groove and piping arrangement may be utilized on any component that is to be upholstered including seat cushions and seat back cushions.

These and other objects, advantages, and features of the present invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art in light of the following specification when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further aspects of the instant invention will be more readily appreciated upon review of the detailed description of the embodiments included below when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of an embodying chair of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of an embodying chair of the present invention with the seat cushion and front cushion in place;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of an embodying chair of the present invention with the seat cushion and front cushion removed;

FIG. 4 is a plan and profile view of the back frame of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a plan and profile view of an attachment plate of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a plan and profile view of the back frame of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a plan and profile view of the front attachment plate of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a plan and profile view of the rear attachment plate of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the preferred embodiments. However, the device and associated method of the invention are applicable to provide removable components from any number of surfaces, including from the front or back of the back frame and from the seat base. It should be noted that the terms “attachment plate” or “seat attachment plate” can be used interchangeably with the term “cushion.” A “cushion” is an upholstered attachment plate which may or may not have padding placed between the attachment plate and the upholstery.

FIG. 1 is an exploded view showing the components of the chair 20 of the present invention. The chair includes a seat base 21 that is typically made of molded plastic and can be metallized to achieve a luxurious metallic appearance. Likewise, powder-coating, painting or custom molding can be used to achieve a luxurious appearance. This eliminates the need for secondary finishing the seat base 21. The seat base 21 has a top surface and a bottom surface and includes a releasable locking means 23. On the top surface of the seat base 21 are slots or notches 22 and threaded apertures or holes 31. Legs 24 are attached to the bottom surface of the seat base 21.

Seat cushion 80 is made up of a seat attachment plate 25 which is covered by upholstery 28. Foam padding (not shown) or any other cushioning material may be inserted as desired in between seat attachment plate 25 and upholstery 28 to provide a more comfortable seat. Upholstery 28 may be stapled, glued or otherwise affixed to the bottom surface of seat attachment plate 25. Preferably, however, upholstery 28 is affixed to the bottom surface of seat frame by an upholstery means described in more detail below. Seat cushion 80 acts as a solitary unit once upholstery 28 has been affixed to seat attachment plate 25. Tabs 27 and male fastener 85 are located on the bottom surface of seat attachment plate 25.

Seat cushion 80 may then be releasably and interchangeably attached to the seat base 21 by inserting the tabs 27 into cooperative slots 22 and by inserting male fastener 85 into locking means 23. Locking means 23 may consist of a rotateable wheel locking device wherein the male fastener 85 is inserted in the wheel locking device 23 and locked into place by turning the wheel. To remove the seat cushion 80 from the seat base 21 the locking means is unlocked and the seat cushion 80 is lifted upward. Any seat cushion having substantially the same design may be interchanged with removed seat cushion 80. It should be understood that seat cushion 80 may be reupholstered without tooling by using the upholstery means described below. By changing the upholstery rather than the entire seat cushion an owner has the added advantage of not having to maintain an array of seat cushions. For example, if a lack of storage space exists, an owner simply has to maintain an array of varying upholstery rather than a array of varying seat cushions.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of chair 20 as it appears with the seat cushion 80 and front cushion 81 in place.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of chair 20 as it appears with the seat cushion 80 and front cushion 81 removed.

FIGS. 4 through 8 illustrate two separate embodiments of a chair back of the present invention. FIGS. 1 through 5 are directed to one embodying chair and chair back while FIGS. 6 through 8 are directed to a separate embodying chair back. Each chair back comprises at least a back frame and at least one attachment plate. The back frame and the attachment plate are cooperatively shaped to facilitate a releasable fit. Various arrangements of protrusions and openings can be used to facilitate this fit. Typically, a front attachment plate and a rear attachment plate are utilized. Each embodiment illustrates a separate arrangement of hooks and openings that each accomplish the objective of facilitating a pressure release connection between the seat back and the attachment plate[s]. However, it is understood that any arrangement of hooks and openings will facilitate a pressure release connection when these elements are combined with an actuatable release tab that is described in more detail below. It should also be noted that even though the components of the chair back are depicted as circular and substantially flat it is understood that these elements may be shaped or curved as desired for comfort or aesthetic reasons.

As best viewed in FIG. 4, the chair back of the present invention includes a back frame 40 having a number of protrusions or hooks indicated by reference numerals 45 and 46. Back frame 40 also includes a front fastener 42 and a rear fastener 44. It is understood that any arrangement or number of openings and protrusions is possible so long as the arrangement facilitates a connection between the back frame 40 and any attachment plate or cushion. On the front surface of back frame 40 is a front fastener 42, which is located just below opening 43. On the rear surface of back frame 40 is a rear fastener 44 located just above opening 61. The back frame 40 is attached to seat frame 21 by L-bracket 29 and screws (not shown).

As best viewed in FIG. 5, attachment plate 50 may be affixed to either the front or rear face of back frame 40. Depending on which face of the back frame 40 that the attachment plate will be placed determines whether the attachment plate is referred to as a front attachment plate or a rear attachment plate. In other words, if the attachment plate 50 is affixed to the front face of the back frame 40 than it is considered to be the front attachment plate. Conversely, if the attachment plate 50 is to be affixed to the rear face of the back frame 40 than it is considered to be the rear attachment plate. The front and rear attachment plates can fabricated identically for ease of manufacture (as shown) but it should be understood that these pieces need not be identical.

Seat attachment plate 50 has a front and rear surface and includes a plurality of openings 53 and 62 that are cooperatively arranged to front hooks 45 and rear hooks 46 respectively. In order to affix attachment plate 50 with the front face of the back frame 40 hooks 45 are aligned with openings 53 such that when the two pieces are pressed together hooks 45 protrude through openings 53 and tongue 51 engages front fastener 42 to form a snap-fit releasable connection between the attachment plate 50 and the back frame 40. Attachment plate 50 may be released from the back frame 40 simply by exerting minimal pressure on tongue 51 from the direction of the rear face of the back frame 40 through hole 43. Using one or two fingers to apply pressure to tongue 51 is all that is need to disengage attachment plate 50 from the front face of the back frame 40. Attachment plate 50 may be affixed and released in this manner repeatedly in a matter of seconds and without the need for tools. It should be noted that when the attachment plate is affixed to the front face of back frame 40 that actuatable tongue 52 and openings 62 are not utilized.

Attachment plate 50 is typically, but not always, covered with upholstery 70 to form a cushion such as cushion 81 or cushion 82. Upholstery 70 may be affixed to attachment plate 50 by using an upholstering means consisting of a groove 91 and piping 92. Groove 91 extends around the periphery of the rear surface of attachment plate 50. FIG. 5 illustrates groove 91 with piping 92 inserted therein. Upholstery 70 is affixed to attachment plate 50 by extending upholstery 70 over the groove 91 such that piping 92 may be press-fitted into groove 91 thereby trapping or affixing upholstery 70 to attachment plate 50. Cushioning may be inserted in between upholstery 70 and attachment plate 50 as desired. Utilizing the upholstering means eliminates the need to staple, glue or otherwise permanently affix upholstery 70 to attachment plate 50. Upholstery 70 and attachment plate 50 make up front seat cushion 81 and act as a solitary unit once upholstery 70 has been affixed to the attachment plate 50. As described above, seat cushion 81 may be readily replaced by one of two ways: (1) removing the entire seat cushion 81 and putting in its place another comparably suited seat cushion; or (2) by removing the entire seat cushion 81, removing piping 92 from groove 91 thereby removing upholstery 70, replacing upholstery 70 with new upholstery, affixing the new upholstery to attachment plate 50 by using the groove and piping arrangement and then replacing the newly upholstered seat cushion to the front face of the back frame.

Still referring to FIG. 5, an additional attachment plate 50 may be affixed to the rear surface of back frame 40 in substantially the same manner as described in detail above. When this is done it can be seen that in order to affix the additional or rear attachment plate 50 to the back face of the seat back 40 hooks 46 are aligned with openings 62 such that when the two pieces are pressed together hooks 46 protrude through openings 62 and the actuatable release tab 52 engages rear fastener 44 to form a snap-fit, releasable connection between the rear attachment plate 50 and the back frame 40. Rear attachment plate 50 may be released from back frame 40 simply by exerting minimal pressure on the actuatable release tab 52 from the direction of the rear face of back frame 40. This is the same direction of force which will release the tongue 51 from the front fastener 42. That means that when two attachment plates are affixed to either side of back frame 40 in order to remove and replace either attachment plate the rear attachment place should be removed first. Once the rear attachment plate or cushion is removed from the rear surface of back frame 40 the front attachment plate may be removed as described above i.e. by applying force through opening 43 and disengaging the tongue 51 from the front fastener 42. It should also be appreciated from the drawings that the actuatable release tab 52 is capable of being actuated through any cushioning and upholstery that may be added to the rear attachment plate. Even when the actuatable release tab 52 must be actuated through cushioning and upholstery only a minimal amount of force is required to disengage from rear fastener 44. Upholstery may be added to rear attachment plate by utilizing the groove and piping arrangement as described above.

FIGS. 6-8 illustrate a separate embodiment of the present invention. With reference to these figures, the most notable difference between the two illustrated embodiments is the arrangement of hooks or protrusions to openings or holes. For example, there are no hooks contained on the seat back frame 140 of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6-8. Instead, hooks 145 and 146 are located on the front and rear attachment plates 150 and 160 respectively. There are various other differences between the two embodiments but it should be clear that any differences should emphasis that, in connection with an actuatable release tab, any arrangement of hooks or protrusions may be utilized with any comparably arranged openings or holes so long as a releasable fit is achieved between the seat back frame and the attachment plate or plates.

Specifically, as shown in FIG. 6, the seat back frame 140 depicted in this embodiment does not contain any hooks or protrusions. This seat back frame contains a front fastener 142 and rear fastener 144 contained respectively on the front and rear faces of the back frame 140. The back frame 140 also contains a plurality of openings 145 and hole 143. Referring to FIG. 7, front seat attachment plate 150 has a front and rear surface and includes a plurality of openings 153 and hooks 146 that are cooperatively arranged to openings 147 located on the seat back frame 140.

Front attachment plate 150 is press fitted together with the front face of the back frame 140 in substantially the same manner as described above. That is, hooks 146 are aligned with openings 147 such that when the two pieces are pressed together the actuatable release tab 151 engages front fastener 142 to form a releasable snap-fit connection. In this particular embodiment in can be seen that front fastener 142 actually extends through opening 159 in the actuatable release tab 151 to form a releasable connection. This is not necessary. A portion of the actuatable release tab 151 extends over hole 143. To release the front attachment plate 150 from the front face of the back frame 140 all that is needed is a minimal amount of pressure from the direction of the rear face of back frame 140 through hole 143. Using one or two fingers to apply pressure to the actuatable release tab 151 is all that is need to disengage the actuatable release tab 151 from the front fastener 142 thereby releasing the attachment plate 150 from the front face of back frame 140. The front attachment plate 150 may be affixed and released in this manner repeatedly in a matter of seconds and without the need for tools.

The front attachment plate 150 is typically, but not always, covered with upholstery 70. Upholstery 70 may be affixed to attachment plate 150 by using groove 191 and piping 192. Groove 191 extends around the periphery of the rear surface of the front attachment plate 150. Upholstery 70 is affixed to the front attachment plate 150 by extending upholstery 70 over the groove 191 such that piping 192 may be press-fitted into groove 192 thereby trapping or affixing upholstery 70 to front attachment plate 150. Cushioning may be inserted in between upholstery 70 and front attachment plate 150 as desired. Utilizing groove 191 eliminates the need to staple, glue or otherwise permanently affix upholstery 70 to attachment plate 50. Upholstery 70 and front attachment plate 150 make up front seat cushion 81 and act as a solitary unit once upholstery 70 has been affixed to the front attachment plate 150. As can be seen from above, seat cushion 81 may be readily replaced by one of two ways: (1) removing the entire seat cushion 81 and putting in its place another comparably suited seat cushion; or (2) by removing the entire seat cushion 81, removing piping 192 from groove 191 thereby removing upholstery 70, replacing upholstery 70 with new upholstery, affixing the new upholstery to the front attachment plate 150 by using the groove and piping arrangement and then replacing the newly upholstered seat cushion to the front face of the back frame 140.

Referring to FIG. 8, rear attachment plate 160 may be affixed to the rear surface of back frame 140 in substantially the same manner as described in detail above. When this is done it can be seen that in order to affix the rear attachment plate 160 to the back face of the back frame 140 hooks 145 are aligned with openings 147 such that when the two pieces are pressed together hooks 145 protrude through openings 147 and the actuatable release tab 152 engages rear fastener 144 to form a snap-fit, releasable connection between the rear attachment plate 160 and the back frame 140. Rear attachment plate 160 may be released from back frame 140 simply by exerting minimal pressure on the actuatable release tab 152 from the direction of the rear face of frame 140. This is the same direction of force which will release actuatable release tab 151 from front fastener 142. That means that when the front and rear attachment plates 150 and 160 are affixed to either side of back frame 140 in order to remove and replace either attachment plate the rear attachment place 160 must be removed first. Once the rear attachment plate or cushion is removed from the rear surface of the back frame 140 the front attachment plate may be removed as described above i.e. by applying force through opening 143 and disengaging the actuatable release tab 151 from the front fastener 142. It should also be appreciated from the drawings that the actuatable release tab 152 is capable of being actuated through any cushioning and upholstery that may be added to the rear attachment plate. Even when the actuatable release tab 152 must be actuated through cushioning and upholstery only a minimal amount of force is required to disengage the actuatable release tab 152 from rear fastener 144. Upholstery may be added to rear attachment plate in the same groove and piping arrangement as described above.