Title:
FURNITURE ELEMENT FORMING CONVERTIBLE DESK AND BED
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Furniture element forming convertible desk and bed This furniture element comprises a frame to which is linked a desk by link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram and arranged to keep the desk horizontal during its movement between its positions of use and non-use, a bed that moves rotation-wise about a horizontal pin between a vertical position of non-use and a horizontal position of use, and transmission means arranged to move the bed from its position of use to its position of non-use while the desk is being moved from its position of non-use to its position of use, and vice versa. The swivel pin of the bed moves vertically translation-wise relative to the frame of the furniture element between a bottom position close to the floor when the bed is in the position of non-use and a top position away from the floor when the bed is in the position of use.



Inventors:
Plantefever, Jose (GELUWE, BE)
Hocquet, Bernard (ROSULT, FR)
Application Number:
11/781409
Publication Date:
01/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/23/2007
Assignee:
SEDAC-MECOBEL NV (WEVELGEM, BE)
Primary Class:
5/3
International Classes:
A47C17/62
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Primary Examiner:
WILSON, BRITTANY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A furniture element forming a desk and a bed, convertible between a first position for using the desk and not using the bed and a second position for using the bed and not using the desk, the furniture element comprising a frame to which the desk is linked by link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram positioned at at least one end of the desk and arranged to keep the desk horizontal during its movement between the first and second positions, the bed moving rotation-wise about a horizontal pin between a vertical position of non-use and a horizontal position of use, transmission means arranged to move the bed from its position of use to its position of non-use while the desk is being moved from its position of non-use to its position of use, and vice versa, wherein the rotation pin of the bed moves vertically translation-wise relative to the frame of the furniture element between a bottom position close to a floor when the bed is in the position of non-use and a top position away from the floor when the bed is in the position of use.

2. The furniture element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the transmission means comprise a tab, one end of which is joined to a moving element of the deformable parallelogram, and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the bed.

3. The furniture element as claimed in claim 2, wherein the link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram comprise first and second parallel rods, the ends of which are respectively mounted to pivot on the one hand about horizontal pins joined to the desk and on the other hand about horizontal pins joined to the frame of the furniture element, and wherein one end of the tab is joined to one of the first and second rods.

4. The furniture element as claimed in claim 3, wherein the pins of the first and second rods joined to the desk and joined to the frame of the furniture element are positioned in two parallel planes.

5. The furniture element as claimed in claim 4, wherein the two planes containing the pins of the first and second rods are vertical.

6. The furniture element as claimed claim 3, which comprises a third rod, parallel and offset relative to the first and second rods, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the desk and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the frame of the furniture element.

7. The furniture element as claimed in claims 1, wherein the rotation pin of the bed that moves vertically translation-wise comprises a roller guided translation-wise in a vertical guideway joined to the frame of the furniture element.

8. The furniture element as claimed claim 1, which comprises a system for automatically locking the furniture element in the first and second positions.

9. The furniture element as claimed in claim 8, wherein the locking system comprises a locking element mounted to pivot about a pin joined to the bed between a locking position and an unlocking position, the locking element comprising a first notch intended to cooperate with a projecting portion joined to the desk in order to lock the desk when the desk is in its position of use and the locking element in its locking position, and a second notch intended to cooperate with a projecting portion joined to the frame of the furniture element in order to lock the bed when the bed is in its position of use and the locking element in its locking position.

10. The furniture element as claimed in claim 9, wherein the locking system comprises a return means intended to define two stable balance positions of the locking element, these two positions corresponding to the locking and unlocking positions of the locking element.

11. The furniture element as claimed in claims 9, wherein the furniture element comprises an end stop intended to cooperate with the locking element while the bed is being moved in order to automatically switch the locking element from its unlocking position to its locking position.

12. The furniture element as claimed in claim 8, wherein the locking system comprises a handle for manually unlocking the locking element.

13. The furniture element as claimed in claim 2, which comprises a pneumatic jack, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the tab and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the frame of the furniture element.

14. The furniture element as claimed in claim 1, which comprises motorization means arranged to allow for a motorized movement of the bed or of the desk between its positions of use or non-use.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a furniture element forming a bed and a desk.

This type of furniture element is convertible between a first position of use of the desk and non-use of the bed and a second position of use of the bed and non-use of the desk.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

Document EP 1 434 507 describes a furniture element comprising a frame on which is mounted a bed to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the bed between a vertical position of non-use and a horizontal position of use. The furniture element comprises a desk linked to the frame of the latter and to the bed by link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram and arranged to keep the desk horizontal while it is being moved between its horizontal position of use away from the floor and a horizontal position of non-use close to the floor. The furniture element also comprises transmission means arranged to move the bed from its position of use to its position of non-use while the desk is being moved from its position of non-use to its position of use, and vice versa.

The furniture element described in this document provides for a more or less horizontal movement of the desk between its positions of use and non-use. Thus, while the desk is being moved, the items on the latter remain fairly stable and are therefore not very likely to fall on the floor or topple over. The result is that there is no need to remove the elements that are on the desk to use the furniture element as a bed or as a desk. Because of this, the conversion of the furniture element to a bed or to a desk is simplified.

However, the fact that the bed is mounted to pivot on the frame of the furniture element has the result that, in the position of non-use, the bed is away from the floor. The result is that the furniture element is very bulky height-wise in the position of use of the desk.

This bulk is disadvantageous, particularly when there is a desire to provide built-in shelves positioned above the desk and the bed.

Furthermore, the kinematics of moving the desk and the bed of this type of furniture element limit the possible depth of the desk.

The present invention seeks to remedy these drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The technical problem on which the invention is based is therefore how to create a furniture element forming a convertible bed and desk that has a simple structure, is very compact height-wise, while providing a satisfactory desk depth and being very safe to use.

To this end, the invention relates to a furniture element forming a desk and a bed, convertible between a first position for using the desk and not using the bed and a second position for using the bed and not using the desk, the furniture element comprising a frame to which the desk is linked by link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram positioned at at least one end of the desk and arranged to keep the desk horizontal during its movement between the first and second positions, the bed moving rotation-wise about a horizontal pin between a vertical position of non-use and a horizontal position of use, the furniture element comprising transmission means arranged to move the bed from its position of use to its position of non-use while the desk is being moved from its position of non-use to its position of use, and vice versa, wherein the rotation pin of the bed moves vertically translation-wise relative to the frame of the furniture element between a bottom position close to the floor when the bed is in the position of non-use and a top position away from the floor when the bed is in the position of use.

Thus, given the vertical mobility translation-wise of the rotation pin of the bed, in its position of non-use, the bed is in a vertical position close to the floor. The result is therefore that the bed has little bulk height-wise when the latter is in the position of non-use. Because of this, the furniture element according to the invention is very compact height-wise.

Advantageously, the transmission means comprise a tab, one end of which is joined to a moving element of the deformable parallelogram, and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the bed.

The joined link between the tab and a moving element of the deformable parallelogram and the pivoting link between the tab and the bed makes it possible to provide for a movement of the bed between its positions of use and non-use while the desk is being moved between its positions of non-use and use.

According to another characteristic of the invention, the link means in the form of a deformable parallelogram comprise first and second parallel rods, the ends of which are respectively mounted to pivot on the one hand about horizontal pins joined to the desk and on the other hand about horizontal pins joined to the frame of the furniture element, and one end of the tab is joined to one of the first and second rods.

Advantageously, the swivel pins of the first and second rods joined to the desk and joined to the frame of the furniture element are positioned in two parallel planes.

According to an advantageous characteristic of the invention, the two planes containing the swivel pins of the first and second rods are vertical.

According to yet another characteristic of the invention, the furniture element comprises a third rod, parallel and offset relative to the first and second rods, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the desk and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the frame of the furniture element.

The presence of this third rod ensures that the desk remains perfectly stable on the one hand in its positions of use and non-use, and on the other hand, while bit is being moved between these two positions.

Thus, while the desk is being used or moved, the items resting on the latter remain perfectly stable and are not therefore likely to fall to the floor or topple over.

Furthermore, this third rod enables the desk to support heavy loads, for example the weight of two people, when it is in the position of use.

Advantageously, the rotation pin of the bed that moves vertically translation-wise comprises a roller guided translation-wise in a vertical guideway joined to the frame of the furniture element.

Preferably, the furniture element comprises a system for automatically locking the furniture element in the first and second positions.

Thus, the user does not need to manually lock the bed or the desk in its position of use. Because of this, the risks associated with the user forgetting to lock the bed or the desk are eliminated. The automatic locking system therefore provides for a perfectly safe use of the furniture element.

Advantageously, the locking system comprises a locking element mounted to pivot about a pin joined to the bed between a locking position and an unlocking position, the locking element comprising a first notch intended to cooperate with a projecting portion joined to the desk in order to lock the desk when the desk is in its position of use and the locking element in its locking position, and a second notch intended to cooperate with a projecting portion joined to the frame of the furniture element in order to lock the bed when the bed is in its position of use and the locking element in its locking position.

According to another characteristic of the invention, the locking system comprises a return means intended to define two stable balance positions of the locking element, these two positions corresponding to the locking and unlocking positions of the locking element.

Advantageously, the furniture element comprises an end stop intended to cooperate with the locking element while the bed is being moved in order to automatically switch the locking element from its unlocking position to its locking position.

According to yet another characteristic of the invention, the locking system comprises a handle for manually unlocking the locking element.

Advantageously, the furniture element comprises a pneumatic jack, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the tab and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin joined to the frame of the furniture element.

According to another characteristic of the invention, the furniture element comprises motorization means arranged to allow for a motorized movement of the bed or of the desk between its positions of use or of non-use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In any case, the invention will be clearly understood from the description that follows, given with reference to the appended diagrammatic drawing representing, by way of nonlimiting example, a variant of embodiment of this furniture element.

FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of the furniture element in a first position.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the furniture element in the position of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a detail A of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the furniture element in a second position.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the furniture element in the position of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of a detail B of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of the furniture element in a third position.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the furniture element in a fourth position.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of a detail C of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of the furniture element in a fifth position.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the furniture element in a sixth position.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view of a detail D of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 to 12 represent a furniture element 2 forming a desk and bed that is convertible between a first position of use of the desk and non-use of the bed and a second position of use of the bed and non-use of the desk.

The furniture element 2 comprises a metal frame 3 formed by two identical vertical side structures 4 linked to each other by three coupling crossmembers 5.

Each side structure 4 comprises a frame in the form of an inverted U 6 to which are fixed a bottom crossmember 7, an intermediate crossmember 8 and a top crossmember 9.

The furniture element comprises a desk 11, the side edges of which are linked to the side structures of the frame by link means comprising two deformable parallelograms 12 arranged to keep the desk horizontal while it is being moved between its position of use and non-use, shown respectively in FIGS. 1-2 and 8.

It should be noted that the panel of the desk is not shown in the figures for reasons of clarity.

Each deformable parallelogram 12 comprises first and second rods 13 and 14 that are parallel and identical, the ends of which are respectively mounted to pivot on the one hand about horizontal pins 15, 16 joined to the desk and on the other hand about horizontal pins 17, 18 joined to the respective side structure of the frame.

The swivel pins 15, 16 of the first and second rods joined to the desk are provided on a first L-shaped part 19 fixed to the respective side edge of the desk and positioned vertically to each other. The swivel pins 17, 18 of the first and second rods joined to the respective side structure of the frame are provided on a second L-shaped part 21 fixed to the intermediate crossmember 8 of the respective side structure 4 and positioned vertically to each other.

The furniture element 2 also comprises a bed 22, the side edges of which are respectively linked to a horizontal rotation pin A mounted to move vertically translation-wise relative to the respective side structure 4 of the frame between a bottom position close to the floor and a top position away from the floor. Each rotation pin A of the bed comprises a pivot roller 38 guided translation-wise in a vertical guideway 23 joined to the bottom and intermediate crossmembers of the respective side structure. In order to ensure that the guideway 23 is kept perfectly stable, the latter is also fixed to the frame 6 by a reinforcing piece 24.

Thus, the bed moves rotation-wise about two horizontal pins A joined to the bed between a vertical position of non-use shown in FIGS. 1-2 and a horizontal position of use shown in FIG. 8.

With the translation component, in the position of non-use, the bed is more or less in contact with the floor and projects only very little above the desk. The result is therefore that the bed has very little bulk height-wise.

The side edges of the bed 22 respectively comprise a stabilizing roller 25 intended to cooperate with the side walls of the respective guideway 23 in the position of non-use of the bed in order to ensure that the bed remains perfectly stable in this position of non-use.

The furniture element comprises transmission means arranged to move the bed 22 from its position of use to its position of non-use while the desk 11 is being moved from its position of non-use to its position of use, and vice versa. These transmission means comprise two tabs 26 each linking the bed 22 to one of the deformable parallelograms 12. One end of each tab 26 is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin 27 joined to a side edge of the bed and the other end of this tab is joined to the first rod 13 of the link means.

The furniture element comprises, at the level of each side structure 4, a third rod 28 parallel and offset relative to the first and second rods 13, 14, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin 29 joined to the first L-shaped part 19 and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin 31 joined to the second L-shaped part 21. The swivel pins 29, 31 of the third rod are respectively positioned horizontal to the swivel pins 16, 18 of the first rod 13.

Furthermore, the furniture element comprises, at the level of each side structure, a system 32 for automatically locking the furniture element in the first and second positions.

Each locking system 32 comprises a U-section locking element 33 mounted to pivot about a pin 34 joined to a side edge of the bed between a locking position represented in particular in FIG. 3 and 9 and an unlocking position represented in particular in FIGS. 6 and 10. Each locking element comprises on the one hand a first notch (not shown in the figures) intended to cooperate with a first rod 35 projecting from the desk in order to lock the desk when the desk is in its position of use and the locking element 33 in its locking position, and on the other hand, a second notch 36 intended to cooperate with a second rod 37 projecting from the intermediate crossmember 8 of the respective side structure in order to lock the bed when the bed is in its position of use and the locking element in its locking position.

It should be noted that each locking system comprises a return spring 39 arranged to define two stable balance positions of the respective locking element, these two positions corresponding to the locking and unlocking positions of the locking element.

Each locking system further comprises a manual unlocking handle 41 joined to the respective locking element arranged to enable a user to move the locking element 33 from its locking position to its unlocking position.

Each locking element 33 comprises a locking roller 42 arranged to cooperate with the top crossmember 9 of the respective side structure 4 while the bed is being moved between its positions of use and of non-use in order to automatically switch the locking element from its unlocking position to its locking position.

The furniture element also comprises, at the level of each side structure, a pneumatic jack 43, one end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin 44 joined to the respective tab 26 and the other end of which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal pin 45 joined to the respective side structure 4.

The use of the furniture element will now be described.

In the position of use of the desk 11, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bed 22 is in its vertical position of non-use and the locking elements 33 are in their locking position. Because of this, it is impossible to move the desk relative to the bed. The user can therefore use the desk and lean on the latter.

When the user wants to use the furniture element as a bed, he must first unlock the desk.

For this, he operates the handles 41 of the two locking systems 32 so as to pivot each locking element 33 into its unlocking position, as shown in FIGS. 4 to 6. It should be noted that each locking element is held in its unlocking position by the respective return spring 39.

The switching of each locking element 33 to its unlocking position frees the first notch of each locking element of the respective first rod 35. The result is that the desk is no longer locked, it can therefore be moved from its position of use to its position of non-use.

In order to move the desk into its position of non-use, the user exerts a downward thrust on the top face of the desk. This causes the rods 13, 14 of each deformable parallelogram 12 to pivot, together with the third rods 28 about pins provided on the first and second respective L-shaped parts 19, 21.

The pivoting of these different rods causes the tabs 26 to pivot about pins joined to the bed and the pneumatic jacks 43 to be compressed. It should be noted that the two tabs 26 are linked to each other by a crossmember 46 arranged to synchronize the movements of each tab.

The pivoting of each tab 26 initially causes the guide and stabilizing rollers 25 to slide vertically upward in the respective guideway 23, so freeing each stabilizing roller from the respective guideway, and, secondly, causes the guide roller to slide vertically upward while the bed pivots about the pin A of the guide roller.

At this moment, the mattress 47 is held on the bed by means of four securing systems 48 positioned at the four corners of the bed.

As shown in FIG. 7, continuing the lowering of the desk 11 and therefore the pivoting of the bed 22 causes the locking roller 42 of each locking system to come into contact with the top crossmember 9 of the respective side structure 4 and cooperate with the latter to automatically return the respective locking element 33 to its locking position with the help of the return spring 39.

When the desk reaches its position of non-use, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the bed is in its horizontal position of use and the second notch 36 of each locking element cooperates with the respective second rod 37 in order to automatically lock the bed.

The user can therefore use the furniture element as a bed without having to physically move the locking elements 33 to their locking position.

In this position of use of the bed, each unlocking roller 42 bears on the respective intermediate crossmember 8 in order to ensure that the bed remains stable. Furthermore, in this position of the bed, each pneumatic jack 43 is fully compressed.

When the user wants to use the furniture element as a desk again, he must first unlock the bed.

For this, he manually operates the unlocking handles 41 of the two locking systems 32 so as to pivot the locking elements 33 into their unlocking position.

As shown in FIG. 10, the switching of each locking element into its unlocked position frees the second notch 36 of each locking element from the respective second rod 37. The result is that the bed is no longer locked, it can therefore be moved from its position of use to its position of non-use.

In order to move the bed to its position of non-use, the user lifts the front edge of the bed, this lifting being facilitated by the decompression of each pneumatic jack 43. This causes the two tabs 26, and therefore the different rods, to pivot. The result of this is on the one hand that each guide roller slides vertically downward in the respective guideway 23 and the bed pivots about the pins A of the guide rollers, and on the other hand, the desk is raised.

As more particularly shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, continuing the movement of the bed to its position of non-use causes the locking roller 42 of each locking system 32 to come into contact with the top crossmember 9 of the respective side structure and cooperate with the latter in order to automatically return the respective locking element 33 to its locking position with the help of the return spring 39.

When the bed reaches its position of non-use, each stabilizing roller 25 returns to the respective guideway 23 in order to ensure that the bed remains stable, the first notch of each locking element cooperates with the first respective rod 35 in order to ensure that the desk is automatically locked, and the desk 11 is once again in its horizontal position of use.

The user can therefore use the furniture element as a desk, without having to manually move the locking elements to their locking position.

As can be seen from the above, the invention provides a major improvement to the existing technique by providing a furniture element forming a convertible bed and desk that has a simple structure, is highly compact height-wise, and provides a satisfactory desk depth and a high degree of safety in use.

Obviously, the invention is not limited to the embodiment of this furniture element described above by way of example, on the contrary it encompasses all variants of embodiment.

Thus, in particular, the furniture element could comprise motorization means arranged to allow for a motorized movement of the bed or of the desk between its positions of use and non-use. Advantageously, the furniture element is designed so that the motorization means are very simple to install, without modifying the structure of the furniture element or of the link or transmission means. For example, the motorization means could comprise an electric motor rotating a worm screw positioned horizontally in the guideway 23 and blocked translation-wise relative to the latter, the worm screw driving translation-wise a nut that is locked rotation-wise relative to the guideway, the nut being linked to the rotation pin A of the bed.

Furthermore, the frame 3, the frame structures of the bed and of the desk could be made of steel, aluminum or wood.

Moreover, the side structures 4 could be finished with panels made of wood, plastic material, composite material or any other material.

According to another alternative of the invention, each side structure of the furniture element could be formed solely by a panel made of wood, plastic material, composite or other material. In this case, the guideway 23 would be provided directly in the panel, and two guide grooves would also be provided in the panel in order to guide the locking roller 42 and the stabilizing roller 25.

The figures show a single bed positioned longitudinally relative to the furniture element. However, it would be possible to provide a double bed positioned transversally relative to the furniture element. In this case, a leg assembly could be provided more or less level with the free end of the bed in order to ensure that the double bed remains perfectly stable in the position of use. It should be noted that the leg assembly could form a shelving unit in the position of non-use of the bed.