Title:
Functional fine-art furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Functional fine-art furniture includes a plurality of table legs and a table top. The table top includes an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more table-formation features configured to be connected with the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs connected with the table-formation features can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.



Inventors:
Duane, Thomas Sean (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/354419
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
02/15/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KUHN, MART K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas S. Duane (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more table-formation features configured to be connected with the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs connected with the table-formation features can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

2. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the one or more table-formation features are formed on the under side of the table top.

3. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 2, wherein the table-formation features are located near the corners or the center on the under side of the table top.

4. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the one or more display-formation features are located on the underside or the sides of the table top.

5. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 4, wherein the one or more display-formation features include strings that can hold the table legs behind the table top in the fine-art display configuration.

6. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the art work on the top side of the table top can include at least part of design for a flower, a cow, a face, a flag, or a panda.

7. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the one or more display-formation features allow the table legs to extend at least partially out of the table top so that at least part of the table legs are visible when the functional fine-art furniture is in the fine-art display configuration.

8. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 7, wherein the table legs resemble the legs of a cow, the legs of a panda, the stripes of a flag, mustache, hair, or teeth.

9. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the top ends of the table legs are affixed with screws, and wherein the table-formation features in the table top include threaded screw holes configured to receive the screws.

10. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 9, wherein the one or more display-formation features include threaded screw holes configured to receive the screws.

11. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, further comprising an object that can be folded under the table top in the table configuration and can be unfolded to be part of the fine-art display in the fine-art display configuration.

12. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the foldable object resembles an animal's head.

13. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 1, wherein the table top comprises one ore more hanging features that allow the table top to be displayed vertically by hanging off an object.

14. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 13, wherein the one or more hanging features are located on the lower side of the table top.

15. Functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more table-formation features formed on the under side of the table top and configured to be connected with the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs connected with the table-formation features can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features located on the underside or the sides of the table top and configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

16. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 15, wherein the one or more display-formation features allow the table legs to extend at least partially out of the table top so that at least part of the table legs are visible when the functional fine-art furniture is in the fine-art display configuration.

17. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 15, wherein the top ends of the table legs are affixed with screws, and wherein the table-formation features in the table top include threaded screw holes configured to receive the screws.

18. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 17, wherein the one or more display-formation features include threaded screw holes configured to receive the screws.

19. The functional fine-art furniture of claim 15, further comprising an object that can be folded under the table top in the table configuration and can be unfolded to be part of the fine-art display in the fine-art display configuration.

20. Functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs affixed with screws at the top ends of the table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more threaded screw holes formed on the under side of the table top and configured to receive the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs screwed into threaded screw holes can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features located on the underside or the sides of the table top and configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This application generally relates to furniture. More specifically, the present invention relates to furniture that can be displayed as fine art.

BACKGROUND

Functions, aesthetic appearance, and dimensions are important considerations for furniture designs. As the living standards of major populations rise across the world, it is no longer enough for furniture to just provide basic functions. Furniture's aesthetic appearances can be as important as furniture' functions. Furthermore, as the world population shifting to the urban areas, furniture is also expected to save space and minimize impact on the environment. These trends have been manifested by the rise of the Scandinavian-style furniture designs.

SUMMARY

Methods and apparatus for functional fine-art furniture are disclosed. In one aspect, the present invention relates to functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more table-formation features configured to be connected with the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs connected with the table-formation features can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more table-formation features formed on the under side of the table top and configured to be connected with the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs connected with the table-formation features can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features located on the underside or the sides of the table top and configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to functional fine-art furniture, comprising: a plurality of table legs affixed with screws at the top ends of the table legs; and a table top comprising: an art work on the top side of the table top; one or more threaded screw holes formed on the under side of the table top and configured to receive the plurality of table legs to form a table configuration, such that the plurality of table legs screwed into threaded screw holes can extend downward below the table top to allow the table legs to support the table top; and one or more display-formation features located on the underside or the sides of the table top and configured to hold the table legs when the table legs are detached from the table-formation features and to allow the table top and the table legs to form a fine-art display configuration.

An advantage of the present invention is that the disclosed functional fine-art furniture can be used as aesthetically appealing furniture when uses are needed. The functional fine-art furniture can be easily reconfigured to save footprint and space after its use. The disclosed functional fine-art furniture is very useful for homes, offices and public surroundings where space is limited or is used for multiple activities.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the disclosed functional fine-art furniture can vertically displayed as fine art without using foot print. The same functional fine-art furniture can be easily configured to be used as furniture such as a table. Different components of the functional fine-art furniture can be used as part of the fine-art display or completely hidden from viewers' eyes.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the functional fine-art furniture combines a furniture function and a fine art piece into one reconfigurable object. It reduces waste and impact to the environment comparing to dedicated furniture and a fine art piece.

The details of one or more embodiments are set forth in the accompanying drawings and in the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DRAWING DESCRIPTIONS

FIGS. 1a-1e illustrate a functional fine art table in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 1b and 1c illustrates the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 1a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 1d and 1e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 1a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

FIGS. 2a-2e illustrate a functional fine art table having a cow design in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and the legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 2b and 2c illustrate the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 2a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 2d and 2e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 2a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

FIGS. 3a-3e illustrate a functional fine art table having a panda design in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and the legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 3b and 3c illustrate the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 3a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 3d and 3e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 3a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

FIGS. 4a-4e illustrate a functional fine art table having a face-and-teeth pattern in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and the legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 4b and 4c illustrate the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 4a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 4d and 4e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 4a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

FIGS. 5a-5e illustrate a functional fine art table that can be displayed as a flag in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and the legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 5b and 5c illustrate the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 5a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 5d and 5e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 5a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

FIGS. 6a-6e illustrate a functional fine art table having a face pattern including hair elements and mustache elements in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6a illustrates the bottom view of the table top of a functional fine art table and the legs detached from the functional fine art table.

FIGS. 6b and 6c illustrate the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 6a when the functional fine art table is set up in a table configuration.

FIGS. 6d and 6e illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table of FIG. 6a when the functional fine art table is in a vertical display configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention discloses functional fine-art furniture that can be used as furniture and also be displayed as fine art. A functional fine art table 100 is illustrated in FIGS. 1a-(1e) in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The functional fine art table 100 can be flexibly configured to be used as a table and as a displayable fine art. FIG. 1a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 110 of a functional fine art table 100 with the table legs 120 detached from the functional fine art table 100. The functional fine art table 100 includes a plurality of leg receptions 112a-112d for connecting with the table legs 120. The leg receptions 112a-112d are table-formation features that allow the table top and the table legs to form a table configuration. The table legs 120 can include screws 121 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 120. The leg receptions 112a-112d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 120. A user can easily connect the table legs 120 with the table top 110 by screwing the table legs 120 to the threaded leg receptions 112a-112d. Similarly, the user can detach the table legs 120 from the table top 110 by unscrewing the table legs 120 off the leg receptions 112a-112d. The functional fine art table 100 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 111 for hanging the table top 110 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 1b and FIG. 1c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 100 when it is set up in a table configuration. As shown in FIG. 1c, the table top 110 is supported by the table legs 120 that are in the upright positions. Although four table legs are shown in FIGS. 1a-1e, the functional fine art table 100 can include 3, 5 or other number of table legs. The table top 110 can also take different shapes such as polygons with three or more sides, rectangles, round or oval shapes, or irregular shapes.

The table top 110 can include an art work on the top surface as shown in FIG. 1b. The art work can include a flower design other designs as shown in FIGS. 1-6. The art work provides aesthetic appearance when the functional fine art table 100 is set up in a table configuration as shown in FIGS. 1b and 1c, or when it is in a fine-art display configuration as shown in FIGS. 1d and 1e. The art work on the top surface of table top 110 can exist in many designs and finishes. For example, the art work can be hand painted by an artist or screen printed by a printer. The art work can be carved on a hard surface on the table top 110 or include protruded textures. The table top 110 can include opaque, transparent, or translucent materials for different visual and artistic effects in the table and the fine-art display configurations. The designs will range from highly stylized illustrations of the sun, flowers, animals, birds and fish to photographs taken by the inventor. The artwork or photograph, is applied to the table-top surface and then resin-coated to protect the artwork in a manner that allows it to function as a useful table without risking damaging the artwork. The legs are attached using wood inserts and machine screw lag bolts inserted into the legs and underneath of the table-top.

FIGS. 1d and 1e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 100 when it is in the vertical display configuration. As shown in FIG. 1e, the table legs 120 are detached from the leg receptions 112a-112d and are held by strings 113 to the back of the table top 110. The table top 110 having the table legs tied behind can be hung off a wall or other fixtures with the hanging ring 111. The art work on the top surface of the table top 110 is now viewable from the front while the table legs 120 completely hidden from the view in the front. In general, the table legs 120 can be held by display-formation features to allow the table top 110 and the table legs to form an art-display configuration. The display-formation features can include strings 113, 413 and threaded screw holes 213, 313, 513, 613 as described below.

The functional fine-art furniture in the present invention can have many different designs and styles. A functional fine art table 200 that includes the artwork resembling a cow is illustrated in FIGS. 2a-2e in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Similar to the functional fine art table 100, the functional fine art table 200 can be flexibly configured to be used as a table and as a displayable art work.

FIG. 2a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 210 of a functional fine art table 200 with the table legs 220 detached from the functional fine art table 200. The functional fine art table 200 includes a plurality of leg receptions 212a-212d for connecting with the table legs 220. The table legs 220 can include screws 221 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 220. The leg receptions 212a-212d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 220. A user can easily screw the table legs 220 to the threaded leg receptions 212a-212d to connect the table legs 220 with the table top 210 or unscrew the table legs 220 from the threaded leg receptions 212a-212d to detach the table legs 220 from the table top 210. The table top 210 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 211 for hanging the table top 210 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 2b and FIG. 2c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 200 when it is set up in a table configuration. As shown in FIG. 2c, the table top 210 is supported by the table legs 220 that are in the upright positions. The top surface of table top 210 and the table legs 220 can include an art work resembling a cow as shown in FIG. 2b. The side of the table top 210 can include threaded screw holes 213 for connecting the table legs 220 in the display position. The threaded screw holes 213 can be distributed unevenly to best illustrate the “legs of the cow” as shown in FIGS. 2d and 2e. FIGS. 2d and 2e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 200 when it is in the fine-art display configuration. The table legs 220 are connected to the threaded screw holes 213 on the lower side of the table top 210. When the table top 210 is in the vertical display configuration, the table legs 220 can extend below the table top 210 to resemble the legs of the a cow. Thus the fine art comprises both the table top 210 and the table legs 220 as part of the vertical display.

It should be further noted that the display of the fine art can take many different forms. For example, the functional fine art table 200 can be displayed by leaning against a wall or another object to show a cow in a “standing position”.

A functional fine art table 300 that can be displayed as a panda is illustrated in FIGS. 3a-3e in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Similar to the functional fine art tables 100 and 200, the functional fine art table 300 can be flexibly configured to be used as a table and as a displayable fine art.

FIG. 3a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 310 of a functional fine art table 300 with the table legs 320 detached from the functional fine art table 300. A head board 331 resembling a panda's head is folded with a hinge hiding behind the table top 310. The functional fine art table 300 includes a plurality of leg receptions 312a-312d for connecting with the table legs 320. The table legs 320 can include screws 321 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 320. The leg receptions 312a-312d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 320. A user can easily screw the table legs 320 to the threaded leg receptions 312a-312 to connect the table legs 320 with the table top 310 or unscrew the table legs 320 from the threaded leg receptions 312a-312 to detach the table legs 320 from the table top 310. The table top 310 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 311 for hanging the table top 310 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 3b and FIG. 3c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 300 when it is set up in a table configuration. The top surface of the table top 310 includes the pattern of a panda's body and arms as shown in FIG. 3b. The folded panda head 331 can be hidden completely under the table top 310 when the functional fine art table 300 is in a table configuration. The side table top 310 can include threaded screw holes 313 for connecting the table legs 320 in the display position.

FIGS. 3d and 3e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 300 when it is in the fine-art display configuration. The head board 331 can be unfolded to extend above the table top 310. Two table legs 320 are connected to the threaded screw holes 313 on the lower side of the table top 310 to represent the panda's legs while the other two table legs 320 can be tied behind the table top 320 and hidden from the a viewer's view.

A functional fine art table 400 that can be displayed as a face and teeth is illustrated in FIGS. 4a-4e in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Similar to the functional fine art table 100, the functional fine art table 400 can be flexibly configured to be used as a table and as a displayable fine art. FIG. 4a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 410 of a functional fine art table 400 with the table legs 420 detached from the functional fine art table 400. The functional fine art table 400 includes a plurality of leg receptions 412a-412d for connecting with the table legs 420. The table legs 420 can include screws 421 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 420. The leg receptions 412a-412d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 420. A user can easily screw the table legs 420 to the threaded leg receptions 412a-412 to connect the table legs 420 with the table top 410 or unscrew the table legs 420 from the threaded leg receptions 412a-412 to detach the table legs 420 from the table top 410. The table top 410 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 411 for hanging the table top 410 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 4b and FIG. 4c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 400 when it is set up in a table configuration. As shown in FIG. 4c, the table top 410 is supported by the table legs 420 that are in the upright positions. The top surface of table top 410 and the table legs 420 can include an art design of a face as shown in FIG. 4b. FIGS. 4d and 4e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 400 when it is in the fine-art display configuration. The table legs 420 are tied by strings 413 be held to the rear surface of the table top 410 but extending out of the lower side. When the table top 410 is in the vertical display configuration, the table legs 420 can partially extend below the table top 410 to resemble the teeth from the face pattern in the table top 410.

A functional fine art table 500 that can be displayed as a flag is illustrated in FIGS. 5a-5e in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Similar to the functional fine art table 100, the functional fine art table 500 can be flexibly configured to be used as a table and as a displayable fine art. FIG. 5a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 510 of a functional fine art table 500 with the table legs 520 detached from the functional fine art table 500. The legs can be painted in different colors for creating the visual effect of flag stripes as shown in FIGS. 5d and 5e. Moreover, the flag stripes may include more than four table legs 520. For example, a fifth table leg can be added.

The functional fine art table 500 includes a plurality of leg receptions 512a-512d for connecting with the table legs 520. A fifth leg reception can be included at the center of the lower surface of the table top 510. The table legs 520 can include screws 521 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 520. The leg receptions 512a-512d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 520. A user can easily screw the table legs 520 to the threaded leg receptions 512a-512 to connect the table legs 520 with the table top 510 or unscrew the table legs 520 from the threaded leg receptions 512a-512 to detach the table legs 520 from the table top 510. The table top 510 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 511 for hanging the table top 510 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 5b and FIG. 5c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 500 when it is set up in a table configuration. As shown in FIG. 5c, the table top 510 is supported by the table legs 520 that are in the upright positions. A fifth table leg can be connected to the leg reception at the center of the lower surface of the table top 510. As shown in FIG. 5b, the top surface of table top 510 and the table legs 520 can include an art design such as a start to be part of the flag. The side of the table top 510 can include threaded screw holes 513 for connecting the table legs 520 in the display position. For example, five threaded screw holes 513 are shown in FIG. 5c for connecting with the table legs 520 to create the effect of stripes.

FIGS. 5d and 5e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 500 when it is in the fine-art display configuration. The function fine art table 500 resembles a star and strip flag. The table legs 520 are tightened to the threaded screw holes 513 on the right side of the table top 510. When viewed from the front as shown in FIG. 5d, the table legs 520 extend from the right side of the table top 510. The colors of the stripes can be alternated by changing the colors of the table legs 520. Two hanging rings 510 on the back of the table top 510 allow the table top 510 to be stably hung sideways for display.

A functional fine art table 600 that includes a face pattern including hair elements and mustache elements is illustrated in FIGS. 6a-6e in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6a illustrates a bottom view of the table top 610 of a functional fine art table 600 with the table legs 620 detached from the functional fine art table 600. The functional fine art table 600 includes a plurality of leg receptions 612a-612d for connecting with the table legs 620. The table legs 620 can include screws 621 extending out of the upper ends of the table legs 620. The leg receptions 612a-612d can include threaded screw holes that are adapted to receive the screws at the upper ends of the table legs 620. A user can easily screw the table legs 620 to the threaded leg receptions 612a-612d to connect the table legs 620 with the table top 610 or unscrew the table legs 620 from the threaded leg receptions 612a-612d to detach the table legs 620 from the table top 610. The table top 610 can also include on its back surface one or more hanging rings 611 for hanging the table top 610 off a wall or other fixture.

FIG. 6b and FIG. 6c respectively show the top view and the side view of the functional fine art table 600 when it is set up in a table configuration. As shown in FIG. 6c, the table top 610 is supported by the table legs 620 that are in the upright positions. The top surface of table top 610 and the table legs 620 can include an art design of a face as shown in FIG. 6b. The side of the table top 610 can include threaded screw holes 613 for connecting the table legs 620 in the display position.

FIGS. 6d and 6e respectively illustrate the front view and the rear view of the functional fine art table 600 when it is in the fine-art display configuration. Tow table legs 620 a are connected to the threaded screw holes 613 on the lower side of the table top 610 to create the visual effect of a mustache extending downward from the face. In addition, two table legs 620 b are connected to the threaded screw near the center of the upper side of the table top 610 to extend above the face pattern to produce the effect of hair above the face. Thus the art work uses both the table top 610 and the table legs 620 a and 620 b as part of the vertical display. The functional fine art table 600 can be displayed by handing off a wall or leaning against an object.

A number of embodiments have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, advantageous results still could be achieved if steps of the disclosed techniques were performed in a different order and/or if components in the disclosed systems were combined in a different manner and/or replaced or supplemented by other components. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.