Title:
ADJUSTABLE WINDOW CORNICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable window cornice for attachment to a wall and overhanging a window assembly is provided. The adjustable window cornice includes an elongated member having a front end and a cornice pivotally mountable on a front end of the elongated member. The cornice is movable from a closed position to an open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees.



Inventors:
Andrews, Daniel Michael (Gibsonton, FL, US)
Andrews, Carol Theresa (Gibsonton, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/938979
Publication Date:
05/15/2008
Filing Date:
11/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KWON, PHILIP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert L. Wolter, Esquire (Orlando, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A cornice assembly for attachment to a wall and overhanging a window assembly comprising: an elongated member having a front end; a cornice pivotally mountable on the front end of the elongated member, wherein the cornice is movable from a closed position to an open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees.

2. The window cornice of claim 1 further comprising means for locking the cornice in the open position, wherein the cornice is disposed at an angle of about 180 degrees relative to the elongated member in the open position.

3. A cornice assembly comprising: an elongated member having a top edge, the elongated member being attachable to a wall above a window; a cornice comprising a front panel and two return ends, wherein the front panel has a rear portion, wherein the cornice is pivotally mounted to the top edge of the elongated member on the rear portion of the front panel of the cornice, and wherein the cornice is movable from a closed position to an open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees; means for locking the cornice in the open position, wherein the cornice is disposed at an angle of about 180 relative to the elongated member in the open position.

4. The cornice assembly of claim 3, further comprising a striker plate on a top end of at least one of the return ends for engaging the locking means.

5. The cornice assembly of claim 3 wherein the locking means comprises at least one latch assembly mounted to an underside of the elongated member at an end of the elongated member adjacent one or more of the return ends, and the assembly comprising at least one striker plate mounted to one of the return ends, and the latch assembly having a slidable arm for engaging the striker plate.

6. The cornice assembly of claim 3 wherein the locking means comprises two latch assemblies mounted to an underside of the elongated member and at opposite ends of the elongated member, each latch assembly positioned adjacent a respective return end of the cornice, and the cornice assembly further comprising two striker plates wherein each striker plate is mounted to a respective return end, and each latch assembly having a slidable arm for engaging the respective striker plate.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/858,463 filed Nov. 13, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to window coverings, and more specifically to an adjustable window cornice assembly.

Cornices are often installed above a window inside or outside a home to provide a more decorative appearance to the window area. Typically, the cornice is installed by permanently affixing the cornice to an adjacent wall or an intermediate member such that the cornice overlaps a portion of an underlying window. While providing a desirable appearance, the permanent installation of the cornice renders cleaning of the underlying window difficult. Moreover, when the window assembly also includes a pair of shutters that close upon the window, the shutters cannot be opened to expose the window without disassembling and removing the cornice. Accordingly, there is a need for an improved cornice assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an adjustable window cornice assembly that may be directly or indirectly mounted on a wall over an underlying window. The window cornice is pivotable from a closed position to an open position. When the cornice is in the closed position and is mounted on a wall over a window, the cornice covers at least a portion of an underlying window pane and provides the desired aesthetic appearance of the cornice. When the cornice is in the open position, the cornice is disposed at an angle of at least about 90 degrees with respect to the adjacent wall and underlying window pane. In this way, a user is provided with full access to the window pane and underlying area normally covered by the cornice assembly for easy cleaning of the window pane and area without having to disassemble the cornice and remove the cornice assembly from the wall or other intermediate structure.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is provided an adjustable window cornice assembly for attachment to a planar surface, such as a wall, and for overhanging a window assembly comprising an elongated member having a front end and a cornice pivotally mountable on the front end of the elongated member. The elongated member may be mounted to a wall or other planar surface by brackets or any other suitable structure. The cornice is movable from a closed position to an open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees. When the cornice is in the closed position and the cornice assembly is mounted on a wall over a window assembly, the cornice covers at least a portion of the underlying window and provides the desired aesthetic appearance. When the cornice is in the open position, the cornice is preferably disposed at an angle of at least about 90 degrees to the wall and is disposed at an angle of about 180 degrees relative to the elongated member. In this way, full access is provided to the window pane covered by the cornice and any shutters previously underlying the cornice has be freely opened.

To enable a user to more easily clean a surface of the window or open shutters (if present) underlying the cornice when the cornice is in the open position, in one embodiment of the present invention, the window cornice further comprises means for locking the cornice in the open position, wherein the cornice is disposed at an angle of at least about 90 degrees to the wall and is disposed at an angle of about 180 degrees relative to the elongated member in the open position. In this way, full access is provided to the window pane covered by the cornice to allow access to the underlying window pane and area.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the cornice further comprises means for releasably moving the cornice from the closed position to the open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees.

In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, there is a cornice assembly comprising:

an elongated member having a top edge, the elongated member being attachable to a wall above a window;

a cornice comprising a front panel and two return ends, wherein the front panel has a rear portion, wherein the cornice is pivotally mounted to the top edge of the elongated member on a rear portion of the front panel of the cornice, and wherein the cornice is movable from a closed position to an open position through an arc of at least about 90 degrees; and

means for locking the cornice in the open position, wherein the cornice is disposed at an angle of about 180 relative to the elongated member in the open position. In one embodiment, the cornice assembly further comprises a striker plate on a top end of at least one of the return ends for engaging the locking means to maintain the cornice in the open position. The striker plate can be disengaged from the locking means as desired to return the cornice to the closed position.

These and other advantages will be apparent from the disclosure of the invention(s) contained herein.

As used herein, “at least one”, “one or more”, and “and/or” are open-ended expressions that are both conjunctive and disjunctive in operation. For example, each of the expressions “at least one of A, B and C”, “at least one of A, B, or C”, “one or more of A, B, and C”, “one or more of A, B, or C” and “A, B, and/or C” means A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, or A, B and C together.

The above-described embodiments and configurations are neither complete nor exhaustive. As will be appreciated, other embodiments of the invention are possible utilizing, alone or in combination, one or more of the features set forth above or described in detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is explained in the following description in view of the drawings that show:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of an adjustable cornice in its closed position in accordance with one aspect of the present invention mounted on a wall above a window;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the cornice of FIG. 1 shown in its open position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the cornice of FIG. 1 shown unassembled and in its open position;

FIG. 4 is a rear plan view of the cornice secured to an elongated member in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view showing a cornice assembly in accordance with one aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the cornice assembly of FIG. 5 in accordance with one aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Now referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a cornice 2 according to one embodiment of the present invention mounted on a wall 4 and overhanging window assembly 6. Window assembly 6 shown includes a hinged shutter door 8 and adjustable blinds 10 covering window pane 12. The cornice may be of any size and shape and may be mounted directly or indirectly to the wall by any suitable structure, such as by brackets, screws, nuts and bolts, or the like. The window assembly is not limited to the embodiment shown and alternatively, the window assembly may simply include a window pane with or without blinds mounted at or adjacent a top portion of the window frame, and need not include a shutter door as shown.

As shown by FIGS. 1 and 2, the cornice 2 is movable from a closed position 14 as shown in FIG. 1 to an open position 16 as shown in FIG. 2 by moving cornice 2 through an arc of at least about 90 degrees. In open position 16, hinged shutter door 8 can be swung open to provide access to window pane 12. In open position 16, window pane 12 can be cleaned as desired, the shutter door 8 reshut, and cornice 2 can be moved back into closed position 14.

Cornice 2 may be mounted on a wall or planar surface directly or indirectly. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, cornice 2 is mounted on wall 4 via an intermediate elongated member 18 using wall mount brackets 36. In one embodiment, cornice 2 comprises a front panel 2A and two return ends 2B. Wall mount brackets 36 are sufficiently strong to support cornice in open position 14. The elongated member can be of any length, and, in one embodiment, is of a length that extends along substantially an entire length of the interior of the cornice 2. In this way, elongated member 18 provides a clearance space between a rear portion 22 of cornice 2 and wall 4 to which cornice 2 and elongated member 28 are mounted. FIG. 4 is a rear plan view showing cornice 2 secured to elongated member 18 by a hinge 20. As shown in FIGS. 5-6, elongated member 18 is secured to a rear portion 22 of top panel 2A of cornice 2 by hinge 20 on a top side 17 of elongated member 18. Alternatively, cornice 2 may be secured to elongated member 18 by any suitable structure which allows cornice 2 to pivot with respect to elongated member 18.

As explained above, the entire cornice 2, including front panel 2A and return ends 2B, is movable from closed position 14 to an open position 16. Specifically, cornice 2 may be movable through an arc of at least about 90 degrees. When cornice 2 is in open position 16 and mounted to wall 4 as shown in FIGS. 1-2, cornice 2 is preferably disposed at an angle of at least about 90 degrees with respect to wall 4 and window pane 12. When the cornice 2 is disposed about 90 degrees with respect to the wall 4 and elongated member, the shutter door 8 as shown in FIG. 2 can be opened and the underlying window pane 12 and window area may be cleaned as desired.

When cleaning the underlying window or opening the underlying shutters of the cornice as explained above, it may desirable to lock the adjustable cornice in the open position. This can be accomplished by a means for locking the cornice in a fixed position, such as in open position 14. In one embodiment, the means for locking the cornice in a fixed position comprises a latch assembly 26.

In one embodiment of latch assembly 26, latch assembly 26 includes a recessed channel member 28 secured to an underside of elongated member 18 adapted to slidably engage an arm 30, which is pivotally secured to rear portion 22 of cornice 2. Preferably, arm 30 is secured to a striker plate 34 on an upper and rear portion of at least one of the return ends 2B, and preferably both return ends 2B. Each striker plate 34 is adapted to engage latch 26 as shown in FIGS. 5-6 to aid in maintaining cornice 2 level in open position 14 such that any underlying shutters may be opened and access to the underlying window is provided. Without striker plates 34, it is likely that cornice 2 would slope at an angle relative to the wall to which it is attached. In addition, striker plates 34 help to avoid wear and tear on any fabric cover for cornice 2 by generally preventing any component of latch 26 from repeatedly rubbing against a surface of cornice 2. A tightening means, such as an adjustable knob 32 is provided for fixing the cornice 2 in place as desired. The adjustable knob 32 may be threaded or include a spring mechanism, or like structure to selectively maintain each arm 30 within and remove arm 30 from recessed channel member 28.

Alternatively, any other suitable structure for allowing the cornice to rest in a position at least about 90 degrees relative to the wall or other planar surface the cornice assembly is mounted may be used, such as adjustable or nonadjustable stops on the wall, elongated member, or cornice, ties, hooks, or the like.

The present invention, in various embodiments, includes components, methods, processes, systems and/or apparatus substantially as depicted and described herein, including various embodiments, subcombinations, and subsets thereof. Those of skill in the art will understand how to make and use the present invention after understanding the present disclosure. The present invention, in various embodiments, includes providing devices and processes in the absence of items not depicted and/or described herein or in various embodiments hereof, including in the absence of such items as may have been used in previous devices or processes, e.g., for improving performance, achieving ease and/or reducing cost of implementation.

The foregoing discussion of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. The foregoing is not intended to limit the invention to the form or forms disclosed herein. In the foregoing Detailed Description for example, various features of the invention are grouped together in one or more embodiments for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention 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, with each claim standing on its own as a separate preferred embodiment of the invention.

Moreover, though the description of the invention has included description of one or more embodiments and certain variations and modifications, other variations and modifications are within the scope of the invention, e.g., as may be within the skill and knowledge of those in the art, after understanding the present disclosure. It is intended to obtain rights which include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted, including alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps to those claimed, whether or not such alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps are disclosed herein, and without intending to publicly dedicate any patentable subject matter.