Title:
Furniture containing a safe
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A furniture piece has been provided. In a first configuration the furniture piece includes a body., a tray, and a safe. The body has an upper compartment, accessible by removal of a lid. The safe and tray are within the upper compartment. The safe, beneath the tray, is accessible upon removal of the tray. In a second configuration, the furniture piece includes a body, a skirt, and a safe. The skirt includes a lower compartment. The safe is mounted within the lower compartment and is accessible upon movement of a face of the skirt.



Inventors:
Whitall, Scott (Dallas, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/856319
Publication Date:
12/01/2005
Filing Date:
05/28/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B17/04; A47B81/00; E05G1/00; (IPC1-7): A47B17/04
View Patent Images:
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20060197418FURNITURE UNITSeptember, 2006Kelly
20040036385Cabinet assembly for toilet articlesFebruary, 2004Connerton
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20080284291Semi-Automatic Dispenser for Disposable CupsNovember, 2008Stamatis Filho et al.
20080191592Lockable pushing-out deviceAugust, 2008Dubach
20050104492Track positioning device for a drawerMay, 2005Chiu
20100066220PIECE OF FURNITURE COMPRISING A SWITCH ELEMENTMarch, 2010Grimm
20070236117Filing cabinetOctober, 2007Peruzzi



Primary Examiner:
KUHN, MART K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOLEY GARDERE (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A furniture piece, comprising: a body, having an upper compartment which is accessible by at least a partial removal of a lid on the upper compartment; a tray within the upper compartment, wherein the tray is configured to hold items, and the tray is at least partially removable; and a safe within the upper compartment beneath the tray wherein the tray conceals the safe, and the safe is accessible upon the partial removal of the tray.

2. The furniture piece of claim 1, further comprising: a device that resists removal of the tray.

3. The furniture piece of claim 2, wherein the device that resists removal must be released prior to removal of the tray.

4. The furniture piece of claim 2, wherein the device that resists removal includes a lock.

5. The furniture piece of claim 2, wherein the device that resists removal is a latch.

6. The furniture piece of claim 2, wherein the device that resists removal includes a magnet.

7. The furniture piece of claim 6, wherein the device that resists removal is a magnetic push button latch.

8. The furniture piece of claim 1, wherein the upper compartment is formed from a space behind a drawer face.

9. The furniture piece of claim 8, wherein the drawer face does not move.

10. The furniture piece of claim 8, wherein the drawer face moves and the compartment is contained in a space not occupied by a reduced drawer.

11. The furniture piece of claim 1, wherein the tray rests upon a ledge.

12. The furniture piece of claim 11, wherein the ledge confines the safe, requiring removal of the ledge to remove the safe from the upper compartment.

13. The furniture piece of claim 1, further comprising: a box adjacent the safe and underneath the tray.

14. The furniture piece of claim 1, wherein the safe is a digital safe.

15. The furniture piece of claim 1, wherein the furniture piece is a jewelry armoire.

16. The furniture piece of claim 1, wherein the furniture piece is a filing cabinet.

17. The furniture piece of claim 1, further comprising: a skirt, coupled to the body, wherein the skirt has a lower compartment disposed therein, at least one face of the skirt is moveable between an open position and a closed position, and the skirt conceals the lower compartment when the at least one face of the skirt is in a closed position.

18. The furniture piece of claim 17, further comprising: a second safe mounted within the lower compartment, wherein the second safe is accessible upon movement of the at least one face of the skirt from the closed position to the open position.

19. A furniture piece, comprising: a body a skirt, coupled to the body, wherein the skirt has a lower compartment disposed therein, at least one face of the skirt is moveable between an open position and a closed position, and the skirt conceals the lower compartment when the at least one face of the skirt is in a closed position; and a safe mounted within the lower compartment, wherein the safe is accessible upon movement of the at least one face of the skirt from the closed position to the open position.

20. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the safe is accessible from above.

21. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the lower compartment is moveable, the safe is accessible upon movement of the at least one face of the skirt from the closed position to the open position and at least partial movement of the lower compartment.

22. The furniture piece of claim 20, wherein the lower compartment is integral with the at least one face of the lower skirt.

23. The furniture piece of claim 20, wherein the lower compartment is slidably moveable.

24. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the body further comprises: an upper compartment, which is accessible by at least a partial removal of a lid on the upper compartment; and a tray within the upper compartment, wherein the tray is configured to hold items, and the tray is at least partially removable.

25. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the at least one face of the lower skirt forms a wall for the lower compartment, and the lower compartment is a drawer.

26. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the lower skirt contacts a floor on which the furniture piece rests, and the at least one face maintains a small clearance from the floor while appearing to support a load of the body of the furniture piece.

27. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the furniture piece is a jewelry armoire.

28. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the furniture piece is a bed step.

29. The furniture piece of claim 19, wherein the furniture piece is a bedside table.

30. A furniture piece, comprising: a compartment, accessible by movement of at least one face of the furniture piece, wherein the at least one face of the furniture piece conceals the compartment when the at least one face of the furniture piece is in a closed position, and a safe mounted within the compartment, wherein the safe is accessible upon the movement of the at least one face of the furniture piece from a closed position to an open position.

31. The furniture piece of claim 30, wherein the safe is accessible from above.

32. The furniture piece of claim 30, wherein the safe is fixedly attached in the compartment.

33. The furniture piece of claim 30, further comprising a lower skirt, wherein the compartment is coupled within the skirt, and the at least one face of the furniture piece is at least a portion of the skirt.

34. The furniture piece of claim 33, wherein the safe is accessible from above.

35. The furniture piece of claim 30, wherein the compartment is moveable, and the safe is accessible upon at least a partial movement of the compartment.

36. The furniture piece of claim 30, wherein the compartment is slidably movable, and the safe is accessible upon at least a partial slidable movement of the compartment.

37. The furniture piece of claim 30, wherein the furniture piece is an object that appears like a set of books.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of furniture and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to furniture containing a safe.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When an individual desires to protect an item (e.g., either a valuable item or an item that they generally do not want others to have access to), they have the option of placing such an item in a safe. Such safes provide a convenient, quick way to protect an item. However, one problem that can arise with utilization of a safe is that a safe in the open readily identifies to others that there is something within the safe that is being protected. As such, thieves and the like, seeing the safe out in the open, are generally given a pinpoint on a map as to where a protected item is located.

Another problem includes the simple fact that safes can become an eyesore—lying in the open. To help combat these problems, individuals have resorted to placing safes within walls. However, such an option can have limitations. For example, to place a safe within a wall, at least a portion of the wall must be torn up—to allow placement of the safe. Additionally, certain types of walls are not designed to hold the weight of a safe. Therefore, some type of structural reinforcement must be utilized to allow the safe to be placed within the wall. Ultimately, placement of a safe in a wall to some individuals is simply too much effort.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

From the foregoing it may be appreciated that a need has arisen for furniture containing a safe. In accordance with the present invention, a furniture piece is provided that substantially eliminates one or more of the disadvantages and problems outlined above.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a furniture piece has been provided which comprises a body, a tray, and a safe. The body has an upper compartment which is accessible by at least a partial removal of a lid on the upper compartment. The tray is within the upper compartment, configured to hold items, and is at least partially removable. The safe is within the upper compartment beneath the tray and conceals the safe. The safe is accessible upon a partial removal of the tray.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a furniture piece has been provided which comprises a body, a skirt, and a safe. The skirt is coupled to the body and has a lower compartment therein. At least one face of the skirt is moveable between an open position and a closed position. The skirt conceals the lower compartment when the at least one face of the skirt is in a closed position. The safe is mounted within the lower compartment and is accessible upon movement of the at least one face of the skirt from the closed position to the open position.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, a furniture piece has been provided which comprises a compartment and a safe. The compartment is accessible by movement of at least one face of the furniture piece. The at least one face of the furniture piece conceals the compartment when the at least one face of the furniture piece is in a closed position. The safe is mounted within the compartment and is accessible upon the movement of the at least one face of the furniture piece from the closed position to an open position.

The various embodiments and implementations of the present invention provide a profusion of potential technical advantages and benefits. A technical advantage of the present invention may include the capability to conceal a safe within a furniture piece.

Another technical advantage of the present invention may include the capability to non-conspicuously provide a compartment that can house a safe.

Yet another technical advantage of the present invention may include the capability to provide a dual layer of protection for items.

Other technical advantages may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art after review of the following figures and description, associated herewith.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following brief description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings and detailed description, wherein like reference numerals represent like parts, in which:

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D show a configuration of a furniture piece, a “Queen Anne” style filing cabinet, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B show a configuration of a latch that can be utilized with configurations of the invention;

FIG. 3 shows a configuration of an upper compartment utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 4A AND 4B show another configuration of a furniture piece, a “Queen Anne” style jewelry armoire, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C show another configuration of a furniture piece, a bedside table, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C show another configuration of a furniture piece, a jewelry armoire, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 7A and 7B show another configuration of a furniture piece, a bed step, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention; and

FIGS. 8A and 8B show another configuration of a furniture piece, an object that appears as a set of books, utilized to conceal a safe, according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

It should be understood at the outset that although an exemplary implementation of the present invention is illustrated below, the present invention may be implemented using any number of techniques, whether currently known or in existence. The present invention should in no way be limited to the exemplary implementations, drawings, and techniques illustrated below, including the exemplary design and implementations illustrated and described herein. Additionally, the drawings contained herein are not necessarily drawn to scale.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D generally show a configuration of a furniture piece 30A, according to an embodiment of the invention. The furniture piece 30A of FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D is fashioned as a “Queen Anne” style filing cabinet. While such a specific configuration for the furniture pieces is disclosed with reference to FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D, it should be expressly understood that other configurations of a furniture piece can be utilized as will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art—such configurations including not only those that are currently known, but also those that will be later developed. Some of said configurations of furniture pieces will be described below with reference to other figures.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C generally illustrate component parts that can be utilized with the furniture piece 30A. In FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, the furniture piece 30A includes, but is not necessarily limited to, a body 40A, drawer faces 90A, 92A, 94A, drawers 91A, a lid 60A, a skirt 110A, and a tray 80A. FIG. 1A generally shows the drawer faces 90A, 92A, 94A flush with the body 40A of the furniture piece 30A—that is, in a closed position if a drawer 91A (seen in FIG. 1B) were to exist behind the drawer faces 90A, 92A, 94A. The drawer faces 90A, 92A, 94A can include any of the typical configurations and/or component parts, utilized in furniture pieces—e.g., handles 95A and beveling 97A. Other components parts can be utilized in a furniture piece as will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIG. 1B generally shows the bottom two drawer faces 92A, 94A of the furniture piece 30A being opened in a normal fashion and revealing drawers 91A. To facilitate the opening of the drawer faces 92A, 94A and corresponding drawers 91A, any of the typical components known by those skilled in the art can be utilized (e.g., slides 202A with nylon rollers or the like). Other similar component parts should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIG. 1C shows the lid 60A of the furniture piece 30A being opened via hinges 65A to reveal the tray 80A. The tray 80A is storing various items 85A—e.g., a magnifying glass, PDA, notepad, pen, floppy disc, stamps, coins, and a ruler. While specific configurations of a lid 60A and tray 80A have been shown with reference to FIG. 1C, it should be understood that various configurations can be utilized. For example; the lid 60A can have different hinges and open from the side; or, the lid 60A can be arranged in a sliding arrangement to slidingly be opened. Additionally, the tray 80A can be arranged in a virtually limitless number of designs, utilizing various separators, materials, and the like.

FIG. 1D shows the tray 80A of the filing cabinet removed to reveal a compartment 50A with a safe 70A disposed therein. To facilitate placement of the compartment 50A within the furniture piece 30A, the top drawer face 90A of the furniture piece 30A does not have a drawer 91A therebehind. As such, the top drawer face 90A does not slide out. In other configurations, the placement of a compartment 50A can be facilitated by placement of a reduced drawer behind the drawer face 90A—the compartment 50A occupying the space not occupied by the reduced drawer. In such a “reduced drawer” configuration, the drawer face 90A would slide out, but have only a reduced drawer size (e.g., height). The utilization of a standard drawer face 90A helps the furniture piece 30A to take on the appearance as though there were not space for a safe 70A. And, in configurations in which the top drawer face 90A does not slide out, the utilization of a tray 80A helps the furniture piece 30A take on the appearance that the space behind the top drawer face 90A is occupied only by the tray 80A.

Virtually any safe 70A can be utilized with the furniture piece 30A, including not only those now known, but also those that will be later developed. In a preferred configuration and as shown in the FIG. 1D, the safe 70A is a digital safe with a key pad 72A(e.g., a code is entered into the key pad 72A, allowing a latch 74A to be turned to unlock and open the safe 70A). Other features such as a handle 76A can be included on the safe 70A.

In the configuration of FIG. 1D, the compartment 50A has a ledge 52A disposed around the inside perimeter of the compartment 50A—the ledge 52A operable to support the tray 80A above the safe 70A when the tray 80A is placed within compartment 50A.

When the tray 80A is placed within the compartment 50A (e.g., on the ledge 52A), the tray 80A in one configuration can take on the appearance of not being capable of being removed. To facilitate such an appearance, a device or catch (e.g., lock and key, snaps, latches and the like) can be utilized to resist removal of the tray 80A from the compartment 50A. For example, such a device or catch would generally need to be released to allow a removal of the tray 80A. More details of such a use of a device or catch will be described below.

FIGS. 2A AND 2B show a configuration of a latch 130 that can be utilized in a configuration of the invention. Latch 130 in this configuration is a standard magnetic push panel or push button latch with a magnetic portion 132. FIG. 2A shows the latch 130 in the “pushed in” position and FIG. 2B shows the latch 130 in the “pushed out” position. The details of such a latch 130 should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. As such, no further details of the component parts of the latch 130 will be described.

With reference to FIGS. 1C and 1D and as an example of use, intended for illustrative purposes only, a latch 130 similar to that of FIGS. 2A and 2B can be utilized to keep the tray 80A within the compartment 50A—e.g., by resisting removal. The tray 80A can have a magnet positioned on its lowermost edge that aligns up with the magnetic portion 132 of the latch 130—the latch 130 positioned within the compartment 50A. One such configuration would be to place the magnet on the bottom of the tray 80A and to place the latch 130 on the ledge 52A with the magnetic portion 132 facing up. When the tray 80A is locked into position, the magnet on the tray 80A and the magnetic portion 132 of the latch 130 are aligned and the latch 130 is moved to the “pushed in” position. To release the tray 80A, the tray 80A is pushed down, allowing the latch 130 to be moved to a “pushed out” position to release the tray 80A. Similar configurations should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, such configurations utilizing the component parts as described above (lock and key, snaps, latches) as well as other devices or catches that will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

The general utilization of a device or catch that resists removal of the tray 80A allows the furniture piece 30A to appear as though the tray 80A is the only component part within the upper compartment 50A. Such an appearance can be further facilitated in configurations that utilize a device or catch such as a lock and key to resist removal of the tray 80A—e.g., the key would be utilized to open the lock to allow removal of the tray 80A. With such a configuration, a further benefit can be realized: items positioned within the safe have dual protection behind two locks—the first lock being on the tray and the second lock being on the safe.

FIG. 3 shows another configuration of a compartment 50B. Compartment 50B of FIG. 3 and the description associated therewith are intended as illustrating that various configurations of a compartment can be utilized in a furniture piece that conceals a safe. The compartment 50B in this configuration includes a ledge 52B, a safe 70B, a tray 80B, and a box 140B. The safe 70B can be similar in configuration to the safe 70A of FIG. 1D (e.g., including key pad 72B, latch 74B, and handle 76B); however, the safe 70B is of such a size to additionally allow placement of the box 140B under the tray 80B. The box 140B allows placement of items, which may not desirably be located in the safe 70B.

The tray 80B, having a slightly different configuration than the tray 80A of FIG. 1C (e.g., the compartments), includes a magnet 148B on a bottom side thereof. In a manner similar to that described above, the magnet 148B can correspond with a latch 130 to resist removal of the tray 80B. Other latches, locks, and the like will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. For example, intended for illustrative purposes only, a keyed bolting device can be positioned in the location of the latch 130—the keyed bolting device capable of extending a bolt into the tray 80B upon the tray 80B being positioned in place upon the ledge 52B.

The ledge 52B in the configuration of FIG. 3 is disposed on two sides of the compartments 50B in a manner such that the box 140B and safe 70B cannot be removed without first removing the ledge 52B.

In configurations utilizing a lock and key to resist removal of the tray 80B (in a manner similar to that described above), it can be seen that such a box 140B advantageously allows access to items upon opening a first lock (the lock on the tray 80B). Items that need further security can be placed within the safe 70B, requiring an individual to open a second lock to access them.

FIGS. 4A AND 4B show another configuration of a furniture piece 30C, utilized to conceal a safe 70C. The furniture piece 30C of FIGS. 4A and 4B is fashioned as a “Queen Anne” style jewelry armoire. Furniture piece 30C and the description associated therewith are intended as illustrating that various configurations of a furniture piece can be utilized to conceal a safe. The furniture piece 30C in this configuration can include, but is not limited to, a body 40C, drawer faces 90C, 92C, 94C, 96C, 98C, drawers 91C, a lid 60C, a skirt 110C, a tray 80C, a side door 150C and associated jewelry compartment 160C. The furniture piece 30C of FIGS. 4A and 4B can have features similar in design to the furniture piece 30A, shown and described with reference to FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D. For example, the drawer faces 90C, 92C, 94C, 96C, and 98C can include any of the typical configurations and/or component parts, utilized in furniture pieces—e.g., handles 95C and beveling 97C. Additionally, movement of the drawers 91C and drawer faces 92C, 94C, 96C, and 98C, associated therewith, can be facilitated with slides 202C. Furthermore, when the tray 80C is placed within the compartment 50C, the tray 80C can take on the appearance of not being capable of being removed; and, items such as, but not limited to a lock and key, snaps, latches, and the like can be utilized to resist removal of the tray 80C from the compartment 50C. Furthermore, an upper compartment 50C can be created via an area behind the top drawer face 90C.

FIG. 4B shows the bottom four drawers 91C opened, the top lid 60C opened, the tray 80C of the compartment removed, and the side door 150C of the side jewelry compartment 160C opened. As the configuration of the furniture piece 30C of FIGS. 4A and 4B will desirably be utilized to hold jewelry, any one or all of the tray 80C, the jewelry compartment 160C, and the drawers 91C can be covered with a non-tarnishing material. Additionally, each of the tray 80C, the jewelry compartment 160C, and the drawers 91C can include items to facilitate storage of jewelry—e.g., hooks 162C in the jewelry compartment 160C.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, AND 5C show another configuration of a furniture piece 30D, utilized to conceal a safe 70D. The furniture piece 30D of FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C is fashioned as a bedside table. The furniture piece 30D can include, but is not limited to, a body 40D, a drawer face 90D, a skirt 110D, a shelf 190D, and a top 112D. The body 40D is generally configured with an open area that helps form the shelf 190D—the shelf capable of storing a variety of items thereon. The drawer face 90D is operable to open a drawer (Not Shown).

The skirt 110D of FIG. 5A takes on the appearance of being a standard skirt—that is, a skirt that is incapable of moving. Such can easily be viewed as portions of a standard skirt are typically designed to support the load of the furniture piece. Additionally, such skirts are typically empty and are recognized by those skilled in the art as being empty. To facilitate such an appearance of non-moveability, the skirt 110D can include any of a variety of configurations that readily suggest that the skirt 110D is incapable of moving. For example, the skirt 110D can have an arched design at a lowermost end, extending from edge to edge; or, the skirt 110D can appear seamless. Additionally, the skirt 110D can appear as though certain portions are designed to bear the load of the body 40D of the furniture piece 30D. As a further facilitation of an incapability to move, the skirt 110D can include any of a variety of different devices or catches that resist such a movement—such devices being alone or in combination. Such devices or catches can include those described above (e.g., magnetic latches, snaps, a lock and a key) as well as other devices or catches that will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, including those now known and those later developed. Once again, as an example intended for illustrative purposes only, such a device or catch can generally be released allowing a movement of the skirt 110D.

FIG. 5B shows the skirt 110D, being slid open to reveal a hidden lower compartment 200D. Within the hidden lower compartment 200D is a safe 70D. The safe 70D in a manner similar to that described above can be virtually any safe; however, the preferred safe in this configuration is a digital safe with a key pad 72D, latch 74D, and handle 76D (seen better in FIG. 5C). To facilitate an opening of the skirt 110D, the lower compartment 200D can be formed from a hidden drawer 240D mounted upon slides 202D. As the safe 70D may have substantial weight, the slides 202D can be configured to support the substantial weight. Various configurations of slides utilized to support substantial weight should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art—e.g., slides utilized in various filing cabinet designs.

While the skirt 110D has been shown in this configuration as opening in a specific manner, it should be expressly understood that in other configurations, the skirt 110D can open in other manners. For example, the skirt 110D could slidingly open towards a side of the furniture piece 30D; or, the skirt 110D could swing open to reveal the lower compartment 200D.

FIG. 5C shows the skirt 110D completely slid open such that a lid 78D of the safe 70D can be opened. With reference to FIGS. 5B and 5C and the discussion above, concerning devices or catches that can be utilized to resist an opening of the skirt 110D, it can be seen that such a resistance device or catch can be placed upon the slide 202D. For example, the lower compartment 200D can be partially opened (e.g., to a point shown in FIG. 5B) and then hit a resistance lock on the slide that resists further opening of the lower compartment 200D. To completely open (e.g., release) the lower compartment 200D and open the safe 70D, the resistance lock on the slide 202D could be unlocked, allowing the lower compartment 200D to be completely slid out. Other devices or catches resisting opening of the skirt 110D should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, AND 6C show another configuration of a furniture piece.30E, utilized to conceal a safe 70E. The furniture piece 30E of FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C is fashioned as a jewelry armoire. The furniture piece 30E in this configuration can include, but is not limited to, a body 40E, drawer faces 90E, 92E, 94E, 96E, 98E, a lid 60E, a skirt 110E, a side door 150E, jewelry compartment 160E, and hooks 162E. The furniture piece 30E is similar to the furniture piece 30C of FIGS. 4A and can include similar component parts; however, the skirt 110E of FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C has a different configuration. The skirt 110E in a manner similar to that described above with reference to FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C can open to reveal a lower compartment 200E.

FIG. 6B shows the skirt 110E of the furniture piece 30E being opened to reveal the lower compartment 200E. To facilitate an opening of the skirt 110E, the lower compartment 200E in a manner similar to FIGS. 5B and 5C can be formed from a hidden drawer 240E mounted upon slides 202E. The hidden drawer 240E includes a safe 70E, which (as referenced above) is preferably a digitized safe having features such as a key pad 72E, a latch 74E, and a handle 76E. As the safe 70E may have substantial weight, the slides 202E can be configured to support the substantial weight. With such a potential substantial weight, a further benefit can be seen with the safe 70E in the skirt 110E: the safe 70E can help serve as an anchor for the furniture piece 30E.

To facilitate the appearance that the skirt 110E is incapable of being opened, the skirt 110E can include a variety of features. For example, the lowermost end of the skirt 110E can have an arced configuration and include beveling 111E—such beveling 111E being positioned not only on a face 115E of the hidden drawer 240E, but also on the side wall 117E of the skirt 110E. Additionally, as described above, portions of the skirt 110E (e.g., the face 115E) can appear as though they will be utilized to support the load of the body 40E.

FIG. 6C is a cross sectional view cut across lines 6C-6C of FIG. 6A, showing the interface between the hidden drawer 240E and the remaining portion of the skirt 110E of the furniture piece 30E. The face 115E of the hidden drawer 240E angularly matches up with the side wall 117E of the skirt 110E, allowing the seam therebetween to be non-conspicuous of the ability of the hidden drawer 240E to slide out. While such a specific configuration has been shown herein, other configurations should become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. In a manner similar to that described above, a variety of devices or catches(e.g., lock and key, latch, or the like) can be utilized that resist the ability of skirt 110E to slide out. A general release of the device or catch allows the skirt 110E the ability to slide out. Such devices or catches can further facilitate the appearance that the hidden drawer 110E does not slide out.

With reference to FIGS. 4B and 6B, it can be seen that the upper compartment 50C of FIG. 4B and the lower compartment 200E of FIG. 6B can be combined into a single furniture piece—e.g., a jewelry armoire. With a single piece utilizing an upper compartment (e.g., 50C of FIG. 4B) and a lower compartment (e.g, 200E of FIG. 6B), a safe can be placed in either or both of the compartments.

FIGS. 7A AND 7B show another configuration of a furniture piece 30F, utilized to conceal a safe 70F. The furniture piece 30F of FIGS. 7A and 7B is fashioned as a bed step. The furniture piece 30F in this configuration can include, but is not limited to, a body 40F, steps 220 and 230, a skirt 110F, and a hidden drawer 240F. The furniture piece 3OF operates in a similar manner to the furniture piece 30D of FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C. For example, the skirt 110F takes on the appearance of being incapable of moving; and, a lower compartment 200F is formed from a hidden drawer 240F that is mounted via slides 202F to facilitate an opening of the skirt 110F. Additionally, to facilitate an appearance that the skirt 110F is incapable of being moved, the skirt 110F can include any of the devices or catches referenced above that are designed to resist movement of the skirt 110F as well as other devices or catches that will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIGS. 8A AND 8B show another configuration of a furniture piece 30G, utilized to conceal a safe 70G. The furniture piece 30G in this configuration is fashioned as an object that looks like a set of books, which can desirably be placed on a bookshelf, desk, or the like. The furniture piece 30G can include any of the typical features available with a book or set of books, including book spines 250G and the like. While not shown, the furniture piece 30G can include various titles and/or author names on the book spines 250G to make the set of books appear as though they are a real set of books. Additionally, while the books in the appearance of the set of books in the furniture piece 30G are generally shown as identical in design, the books in the appearance of the set of books can be designed to appear as though they are different books, having different sizes and/or configurations.

FIG. 8B shows a lid 60G on the furniture piece 30G being opened to reveal an inner compartment 50G within the furniture piece 30G. The inner compartment 50G includes a safe 70G. Similar to the description above, the safe 70G can be virtually any safe; however, the safe 70G is preferably a digital safe, having a key pad 72G, latch 74G, and a handle 76G. To facilitate the look that the lid 60G is incapable of opening, the furniture piece 30G can include devices or catches that resist such an opening—the resistance to removal capable of being released. For example, the furniture piece can include magnets 148G, 142G disposed thereon—such magnets 148G, 142G when in contact (the lid 60G closed) magnetically resisting an opening of the lid 60G (e.g., the magnets 148G, 142G magnetically wanting to stay together). When the force of the magnets are overpowered (e.g., the magnets 148G, 142G are moved apart), the catch or device is released and then the lid 60G is allowed to open. Other devices or catches resisting such an opening will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art (e.g., locks and keys, latches, and the like). Hinges 65G facilitate the opening of the lid 60G. While such hinges 65G have been shown herein, it should be understood that other devices can be utilized to facilitate the opening of the lid 60G as will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

With reference to all of the configurations above, the safes can be mounted within the compartments (lower compartment, upper compartment or inner compartments) either by simply placing the safes within the compartments, or fixedly attaching the safe via glue, bolts or the like. Additionally, the general reference to the utilization of any safe with the configurations herein, includes the utilization of any such safe's characteristics—e.g., the ability of a safe to be fireproof.

Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided, ifn accordance with the present invention, a furniture containing a safe that satisfies one or more of the advantages set forth above. Although the preferred embodiment has been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions, and alterations can be made herein without departing from the scope of the present invention, even if all of the advantages and benefits identified above are not present. For example, the various elements or components may be combined or integrated in another system or certain features may not be implemented. Also, the techniques, systems, sub-systems, and methods described and illustrated in the preferred embodiment as discrete or separate may be combined or integrated with other systems, techniques, or methods without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the upper compartment 50C of FIG. 4B and the lower compartment 200E of FIG. 6B can be combined into a single furniture piece. Other examples of changes, substitutions, and alterations are readily ascertainable by one skilled in the art and could be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.