Title:
Table with ornamental display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A furniture device such as a table includes a cavity for holding a display of movable objects. The movable objects may include items such as sand, shells and rocks, configured in an ornamental arrangement. A substantially transparent cover may be placed over the cavity such that the objects can be viewed through the cover. The cover may be positioned in a circumferential recess in a perimeter wall of the table such that the cover can be removed to add additional objects or to rearrange the objects in the cavity. Partitions may be provided in the cavity to create separate compartments such that the objects may be separated.



Inventors:
Ka'ahumanu, Laki Po'maikai (Lahaina, HI, US)
Application Number:
10/884506
Publication Date:
01/05/2006
Filing Date:
07/01/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/90, 312/114
International Classes:
A47B85/00
View Patent Images:
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20060102055Rectangular parallelepiped paper made entrainerMay, 2006Wu et al.
20070277706Load bearing structure with insertsDecember, 2007Carter et al.
20050229822Stacked table assemblyOctober, 2005Tzeng
20060201401Impact-resisting pallet having metal staySeptember, 2006Moore Jr. et al.



Primary Examiner:
GABLER, PHILIP F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALAN J. HOWARTH (SANDY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A furniture device comprising: a base member having an upper surface; a perimeter wall attached to said base member, said perimeter wall having an interior surface such that said upper surface of said base member and said interior surface of said perimeter wall define a cavity; a substantially transparent cover for removably placing over said cavity; and a display of sand and shells movably placed in said cavity such that said display of sand and shells can be arranged in variable configurations to be viewed through said substantially transparent cover.

2. The furniture device of claim 1, wherein said perimeter wall further comprising an interior circumferential recess for supporting said substantially transparent cover.

3. The furniture device of claim 1, wherein said furniture device is a table.

4. The furniture device of claim 1, further comprising at least one partition disposed in said cavity to allow said plurality of movable objects to be separated.

5. The furniture device of claim 1, further comprising at least one leg support.

6. The furniture device of claim 1, wherein said cover comprises depictions.

7. The furniture device of claim 6, wherein said depictions are comprised of stained glass.

8. A furniture device comprising: a base member having an upper surface; a perimeter wall attached to said base member, said perimeter wall having an interior surface configured such that said upper surface of said base member and said interior surface of said perimeter wall define a cavity, said cavity being inaccessible through said base member and said perimeter wall; a substantially transparent cover for placing over said cavity; a plurality of movable objects in said cavity for being configured in an ornamental display; and at least one partition disposed in said cavity to allow said plurality of movable objects to be separated.

9. The furniture device of claim 8, wherein said furniture device is a table.

10. The furniture device of claim 8, wherein said plurality of movable objects comprise sand and shells.

11. The furniture device of claim 8, wherein said at least one partition extends from said interior surface of said perimeter wall to said upper surface of said base member.

12. The furniture device of claim 8, wherein said at least one partition comprises two partitions that intersect at a substantially perpendicular angle.

13. The furniture device of claim 8, wherein said table comprises a length and a width and wherein said at least one partition comprises a plurality of partitions extending along said length of said table, said plurality of partitions joining said perimeter wall at opposing ends of said table for assisting in supporting the weight of said plurality of movable objects.

14. The furniture device of claim 8, further comprising at least one leg support.

15. The furniture device of claim 8, further comprising means for removably supporting said cover.

16. A table comprising: a base member having an upper surface; a perimeter wall attached to said base member, said perimeter wall having an interior surface such that said upper surface of said base member and said interior surface of said perimeter wall define a cavity, said perimeter wall further comprising an interior circumferential recess; a substantially transparent cover supported in said interior circumferential recess for covering said cavity, said cover defining a table top forming an uppermost portion of said table over said cavity; and a display of a plurality of movable objects movably arranged in said cavity such that said display can be arranged in variable configurations to be viewed through said substantially transparent cover.

17. The table of claim 16, further comprising a gap in said circumferential recess between said perimeter wall and said cover, said gap configured for receiving a tool for lifting said cover out of said circumferential recess, such that said cover is removable from said perimeter wall.

18. The table of claim 16, wherein said plurality of movable objects includes at least one of the group consisting of sand, shells, and rocks.

19. The table of claim 16, further comprising at least one partition disposed in said cavity to allow said plurality of movable objects to be separated.

20. The table of claim 16, wherein said perimeter wall forms a rim for preventing lateral movement of said cover.

21. The table of claim 16, wherein said cover is removably supported in said circumferential recess.

22. The table of claim 16, wherein said perimeter wall comprises a plurality of members connected together with a lashing.

23. The table of claim 16, further comprising a gap in said circumferential recess between said perimeter wall and said cover, said gap configured for receiving a tool for lifting said cover out of said circumferential recess, such that said cover is removable from said perimeter wall; wherein said plurality of movable objects includes sand and shells; wherein said table further comprises at least one partition disposed in said cavity to allow said plurality of movable objects to be separated, wherein said at least one partition extends from said interior surface of said perimeter wall to said upper surface of said base member, wherein said at least one partition comprises two partitions that intersect at a substantially perpendicular angle, wherein said table comprises a length and a width and wherein said at least one partition comprises a plurality of partitions extending along said length of said table, said plurality of partitions joining said perimeter wall at opposing ends of said table for assisting in supporting the weight of said plurality of movable objects; wherein said perimeter wall forms a rim for preventing lateral movement of said cover; wherein said circumferential recess is formed in part by a support member positioned on an interior side of said perimeter wall, said support member resting on said at least one partition; wherein said cover is removably supported in said circumferential recess on said support member; wherein said cover comprises depictions formed of stained glass; wherein said table further comprises a plurality of leg supports for supporting said base member and said perimeter wall in an elevated position.

24. A method of displaying an ornamental configuration in a furniture device, said method comprising the steps of: a) forming a cavity in said furniture; b) arranging a plurality of movable objects in said cavity to form said ornamental configuration; and c) placing a removable, substantially transparent cover over said cavity.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein step (b) comprises arranging sand in said cavity.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein step (b) comprises arranging shells in said cavity.

27. The method of claim 24, further comprising separating said cavity into compartments to separate said plurality of movable objects.

28. A table comprising: a perimeter wall; a substantially transparent cover supported on said perimeter wall; a plurality of partitions intersecting said perimeter wall, said plurality of partitions comprising at least two partitions extending substantially parallel to each other in a first direction, and at least one partition extending substantially perpendicular to said first direction and intersecting at least one of said at least two partitions and said perimeter wall.

29. The table of claim 28, wherein said at least two partitions comprise openings for receiving said at least one partition extending substantially perpendicular to said first direction.

30. The table of claim 28, wherein said at least one partition extending substantially perpendicular to said first direction comprises a plurality of partitions attached together with a lashing.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND

1. The Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates generally to furniture, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to tables with ornamental displays.

2. Description of Related Art

It is common practice to utilize furniture items to display ornamental features. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,066,078 discloses a table top insert that holds a scale model of a familiar landscape. The table top includes an enclosure for receiving the model. Transparent coverings are placed over the enclosure through which the model can be viewed. However the device is configured to prevent easy access to the model. Accordingly, once the model is constructed and enclosed in the table top, the model is not easily accessed to make alterations to the model. Moreover, the features of the model are intended to be fixed in place such that the configuration of the model is not easily altered.

A customized table top is also disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,367,392. The table top has a transparent cover through which inserts, such as advertisements or menus, may be viewed. The table top is intended for use in commercial establishments, such as restaurants, to allow commercial information to be displayed and changed. However, the table top is configured to hold planar sheets rather than multiple objects of differing sizes and shapes. Accordingly, the versatility of the table top is limited.

The prior art is thus characterized by several disadvantages that are addressed by the present disclosure. The present disclosure minimizes, and in some aspects eliminates, the above-mentioned failures, and other problems, by utilizing the methods and structural features described herein.

The features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the disclosure without undue experimentation. The features and advantages of the disclosure may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent from a consideration of the subsequent detailed description presented in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a table in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the table of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an end, cross-sectional view of the table of FIG. 1, taken along section A-A;

FIG. 4 is a top view of an alternative embodiment table;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the alternative embodiment table of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a top view of an additional alternative embodiment table; and

FIG. 7 is an end view of the alternative embodiment table of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles in accordance with the disclosure, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the disclosure is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the disclosure as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the disclosure claimed.

It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

In describing and claiming the present disclosure, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.

As used herein, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a perspective view is shown of an embodiment of a furniture device or table, indicated generally at 10, in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. It will be appreciated that although the furniture device 10 is illustrated herein as a coffee table, the principles of the present disclosure may be used with various other pieces of furniture such as end tables, dining room tables, or desks for example.

The table 10 may include an upper portion 12 supported by one or more legs 14. It will be understood that the upper portion 12 and legs 14 may be formed in various different styles within the scope of the present disclosure, as illustrated by the alternative embodiments depicted in FIGS. 4-7, for example.

As shown most clearly in FIG. 3, which illustrates a cross-sectional view of the table 10 taken along section A-A, the upper portion 12 may include a base member 16. The base member 16 may have an upper surface 18 and may be formed of any suitable material known in the art such as wood, particle board, fiberglass, plastic or metal, for example. The upper portion 12 may also have a perimeter wall 20. The perimeter wall 20 may have an interior surface 22 that intersects with the upper surface 18 of the base member 16 to define a cavity 24. It will be understood that the perimeter wall 20 may be formed of a plurality of members connected together on each side of the table 10 as shown in FIGS. 1-3. Alternatively, the perimeter wall 20 may be formed of a single member on each side of the table 10.

A plurality of movable objects 26 may be arranged in the cavity 24 for being configured in an ornamental display. The plurality of movable objects 26 may include various items such as sand particles, various types of shells, rocks and wood pieces, for example. The plurality of movable objects 26 may be configured in arrangements that may have various different appearances, such as the natural appearance of the ocean floor or beach for example. It will be appreciated that the term “movable” as used herein shall refer to objects that are not attached to each other or the table 10, such that the objects can be arranged and re-arranged with respect to each other and the table 10. Moreover, some of the moveable objects 26 may be removed from the table 10 and others may be placed in the table 10. It will be understood that the movable objects 26 may include various other items, in arrangements having various different configurations within the scope of the present disclosure.

A substantially transparent cover 28 may be placed over the cavity 24 such that the plurality of movable objects 26 may be viewed through the cover 28. The cover 28 may define a table top forming an uppermost portion of the table 10 over the cavity 24. The cover 28 may be formed of various different materials within the scope of the present disclosure, such as glass or plastic for example. It will be understood that the cover 28 may be formed of a single piece, or multiple separate pieces.

In one aspect of the disclosure, as shown most clearly in the embodiment of the table 10a in FIGS. 4 and 5, the cover 28a may include indicia or depictions 29. It will be understood that the embodiment of the table 10a is merely on of the numerous embodiments possible, having an upper portion 12a and legs 14a. The depictions 29 may include any of a variety of colors and may depict various different designs or objects such as sea creatures and plants for example. The depictions 29 may be formed as stained glass ornamentation, though it will be understood that the depictions 29 may be formed in any manner known in the art, and may be used with any of the styles of the table 10. The depictions 29 on the cover 28a may be useful to enhance the three dimensional display within the table 10a since the depictions 29 may be located at a different level within the table 10a as compared to the movable objects 26. Moreover, the depictions 29 may add to the color and aesthetic beauty of the table 10a.

Referring again to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the perimeter wall 20 may include an interior circumferential recess 30 for supporting the cover 28. In one embodiment, the circumferential recess 30 may be formed of a support member 32 positioned on an interior side of the perimeter wall 20. The perimeter wall 20 may form a rim 34 extending above the support member 32. The circumferential recess 30 may be configured such that the cover 28 may rest on top of the support member 32 and at least a portion of the cover 28 may be bounded in a lateral direction by the rim 34. It will be understood that the perimeter wall 20 may alternatively be formed of a single piece, and the circumferential recess 30 may be formed by cutting into the perimeter wall 20.

It will be understood that the area circumscribed by the rim 34 may be slightly larger than that of the cover 28 such that when the cover 28 is placed within the circumferential recess 30 a lateral gap 36 may exist between the rim 34 and the cover 28. The lateral gap 36 may allow a tool, such as a blade or a screw driver for example, to be inserted for prying or lifting the cover 28 out of the circumferential recess 30 so that the cover 28 may be removed. Accordingly, the cover 28 may be removable such that the cavity 24 may be accessed without undue burden or causing damage to the table 10. Moreover, the cavity 24 may be accessed without even removing fasteners or other attachment mechanisms. The cover 28 may be held in place by gravity and the rim 34. The removable cover 28 may allow the placement of additional objects 26 or the rearrangement of the objects 26 as desired. The circumferential recess 30 and the rim 34 may thus form a means for supporting the cover 28 such that the cover 28 may be removably supported over the cavity 24. Accordingly, if a person acquires additional objects 26 such as shells, for example while combing the beach or diving, the objects 26 may be added to the table 10. However, it will be understood that the cover 28 may alternatively be fixed to the perimeter wall 20, or that the cover 28 may be hingedly attached, if so desired, within the scope of the present disclosure.

It may be desirable in certain embodiments of the present disclosure to maintain some of the moveable objects 26 separated. Thus, one or more partitions 38 may be placed in the cavity 24 to form a barrier to prevent mixing of the movable objects 26. This may allow objects 26 having different sizes, colors or varieties to be placed in different locations on the tale 10 to create a desired display. The partitions 38 may extend from the interior surface 22 of the perimeter wall 20 and may contact the upper surface 18 of the base member 16.

The partitions 38 may also be used to provide structural support to the table 10. For example, the partitions 38 may extend along the length of the table 10 and be joined to the perimeter wall 20 at opposing ends of the table 10. The partitions 38 may also be attached to the base member 16 to add further strength to the base member 16 to assist in supporting the weight of the plurality of movable objects 26. Also, the partitions 38 may be arranged such that the partitions intersect. In one embodiment of the present disclosure, a cross partition 40 may extend across the width of the table 10 and one or more partitions 38 may intersect the cross partition 40 at a substantially perpendicular angle. The cross partition 40 may have a larger diameter than the partitions 38 such that openings may be formed in the cross partition 40 for receiving the partitions 38 therethrough. Thus, the table 10 may be formed in a structurally stable arrangement to support the weight of the movable objects 26 which may be substantial. Also, the support member 32 forming the circumferential recess 30 may be placed on top of the partitions 38, such that the partitions 38 may assist in carrying the load of the cover 28.

In one embodiment of the present disclosure, a lashing 42 may be used to connect the various components of the table 10. The lashing 42 may be formed of any of a variety of suitable flexible strands such as palm leaves, rattan, vines, leather, or wicker, for example. The lashing 42 may provide a natural appearing connection that may be complementary to the objects 26. It will be understood, however, that other connection devices may be used to construct the table 10 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure.

The table 10 may have various different styles, configurations, and dimensions within the scope of the present disclosure. For example, one embodiment of the table 10 may have a length of approximately 48 inches, a width of approximately 21 inches, and a height of approximately 16 inches. The cavity 24 may have a depth of approximately 2 inches. It will be understood, however, that various other dimensions may be used. Also, brace members 44 of various different styles and configurations may be used with the table 10. The brace members 44 may extend between the legs 14 and the upper portion 12 of the table 10 to provide additional support to the table 10.

The table 10 may be formed of various different materials. For example, the table 10 may be formed of a bamboo material such that the upper portion 12 and the legs 14 may be formed of a plurality of members connected together. The material used to construct the table 10 may provide an aesthetically pleasing, natural appearance that may be complementary to the objects 26. It will be appreciated that other materials such as mango, or mahogany wood, as well as other varieties of wood, metal, plastic or composite materials may be used to construct the table 10 within the scope of the present disclosure.

The table 10 may be assembled and the objects 26 may be placed in the cavity 24 in a desired arrangement. The table 10 may be shipped by separating the objects 26 in a separate container apart from the remainder of the table 10 so that the objects do not move or spill. The objects 26 may be treated to remove any unwanted or harmful substances if so desired. The objects 26 may be arranged within the cavity 24 in any desirable display configuration, and the cover 28 may be placed over the cavity. If additional objects 26 are desired to be placed within the cavity, the cover 28 may be removed by lifting the cover 28 out of the circumferential recess 30. Moreover, the same objects 26 may be re-arranged such that the table 10 may easily be configured in variable displays.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, an alternative embodiment table 10b is shown. The alternative embodiment table 10b may have legs 14b and a perimeter wall 20b supporting a substantially transparent cover 28b. The alternative embodiment table 10b may not have a cavity to support movable objects, rather an arrangement of partitions 38b, 40b may be viewed through the cover 28b to provide an ornamental display. The partitions 38b may intersect the perimeter wall 20b, and may include at least two partitions 38b extending substantially parallel to each other in a first direction. At least one partition 40b may extend substantially perpendicular to the first direction and intersect at least one of the partitions 38b and the perimeter wall 20b. It will be understood that the perimeter wall 20b may include openings at 46 for receiving the partitions 38b, 40b. Similarly, the partitions 38b may include openings 48 for receiving the partitions 40b. The partitions 40b may include a plurality of members attached together with a lashing 50. The lashing 50 may be formed of various different materials such as those discussed above.

The table 10b may also include other brace members 44b which may be formed similar to the partitions 38b, 40b, connecting the legs 14b or the perimeter wall 20b. It will be appreciated that the partitions 38b, 40b and the brace members 44b may have a dual purpose of providing a structurally stable table 10b as well as providing a pleasant ornamental design visible through the cover 28b.

It will be appreciated that the structure and apparatus disclosed herein is merely one example of a means for removably supporting the cover, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for removably supporting the cover which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for removably supporting the cover, including those structures, apparatus or systems for removably supporting a cover which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Anything which functions the same as, or equivalently to, a means for removably supporting a cover falls within the scope of this element.

In accordance with the features and combinations described above, a useful method of displaying an ornamental configuration in a furniture device includes the steps of:

    • a) forming a cavity in the furniture;
    • b) arranging a plurality of movable objects in the cavity to form the ornamental configuration; and
    • c) placing a removable, substantially transparent cover over the cavity.

Those having ordinary skill in the relevant art will appreciate the advantages provide by the features of the present disclosure. For example, it is a feature of the present disclosure to provide a furniture device that is simple in design and manufacture. Another feature of the present disclosure is to provide such a furniture device capable of displaying a plurality of movable objects in an aesthetically pleasing configuration. It is a further feature of the present disclosure, in accordance with one aspect thereof, to provide a furniture device with a removable cover so that the display can easily be re-arranged.

In the foregoing Detailed Description, various features of the present disclosure are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed disclosure requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into this Detailed Description by this reference, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of the present disclosure.

It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present disclosure. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present disclosure has been shown in the drawings and described above with particularity and detail, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.