Title:
Modular wall-furniture-hybrid storage system with multimedia provisions
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The Wall-Furniture Hybrid (WFH) storage system with multimedia applications is provided as a new and unique modularly expandable and contractible wall-furniture integrated display and storage system. It has a new reduced structural bulk, thus optimizes environmental space utilization for efficient end-user benefits. It has a low-cost to high-value ratio beneficial to the end-user. It is intended for homes and institutional room comers and walls. The building block of this invented product system consists of a basic module which is expandable by combining one or several of them to form a free standing column, furniture unit, or display panels. The basic module is reproducible in high quantities using faux pas stone and hardwood plastic material, or resin-impregnated cardboard material, and a form-pressed tooling process, or a thermal vacuum forming tooling process. This WFH system can be produced with only a minimal of parts to significantly reduce the labor required for assembly.



Inventors:
Korse, Perry A. (Upland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/604156
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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20090184074CONVERTIBLE INSTRUMENT RACKJuly, 2009Jacobson et al.



Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHAO-PO WU (CLAREMONT, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular wall-furniture-hybrid storage system for storage, display, and entertainment, comprising: a. three rectangular front panels; b. three triangular shelves; c. two translucent panels; d. one V-shaped backdrop; and e. means for stacking rectangular front panels vertically or placing them horizontally; and f. means for connecting triangular shelves to said panels and existing environment.

2. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein two of said rectangular front panels include an opening.

3. The rectangular front panel as claimed in claim 2 wherein the opening further comprising: a. a peripheral flange surrounding the parameter of said opening inwardly without perforation; and b. a molding having been molded to the surface of said panel and surrounding the edge of said opening.

4. The rectangular front panel as claimed in claim 1 further comprising: a. a peripheral flange surrounding the parameter of said panel inwardly with perforation to allow for transmission of sound; and b. a Velcro Strip-mate having been attached to the back side of said panel at either of the four comers close to the flange for latching.

5. The triangular shelf as claimed in claim 1 further comprising: a. a flat notch where two isogonal sides of said triangular shelf meet; b. a peripheral flange surrounding the edge of said triangular shelf upwardly; c. a cable routing raceway opening at the notched end of said triangular shelf, and d. a Velcro Strip-mate having been attached to the left-hand side of the flange surrounding the base of the triangular shelf.

6. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the translucent panel can be attached to the opening of the front rectangular panel as claimed in claim 2 by means such as adhesive or metal clips.

7. The translucent panel as claimed in claim 6 is made of acrylic sheet with transparency between about 10% and 30%.

8. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the V-shaped backdrop is made from any heavy duty construction paper by folding sideway at its center and is painted over with color graduations from black to yellow to modulate the glare generated by the environment.

9. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the rectangular front panels and triangular shelves are made of: a. ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) plastic which is UV-resistant and commercially available in the marketplace and can be treated biennially by plastic rejuvenator products (e.g., Armorall) for surface restoration; or b. double-thick egg-carton material in lieu of plastic.

10. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the rectangular front panel is being laminated with coating materials such as faux pas stone or hardwood prior to the thermal vacuum forming process.

11. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the triangular shelves can be fastened to the existing wall by means such as the fasteners for weight support.

12. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the rectangular front panels are hinged to the triangular shelves by means such as the hinge pins.

13. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the rectangular front panels can swing open outward or latched to the supporting triangular shelf by means such as Velcro strips in a closed position.

14. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein one or more triangular shelves, used alone, can be fastened to the existing wall by means such as the fasteners to form display or storage shelves.

15. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein each triangular shelf can be hinged to another triangular shelf by means such as the plastic hinges to form a square one or a double layer shelf.

16. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein one or more rectangular front panels, used alone, can be attached to each other with means such as bolts and nuts on the peripheral flange to form a display wall of different sizes and shapes.

17. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein one or more rectangular front panels, used alone, can be assembled together by means such as bolts and nuts to form a table, a counter top, a decorative window frame, an organizer box, or a table tray.

18. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein one or more pairs of the rectangular front panel and triangular shelf are expandable vertically and placed in a back-to-back relationship to form a free-standing column for housing newer plasma display panel (PDP) or liquid crystal display (LCD) flat panels as well as earlier cathode ray (CRT) type TV sets.

19. The storage system as claimed in claim 1 wherein one or more pairs of the rectangular front panel and triangular shelf are expandable horizontally and placed in a side-by-side relationship to form a free-standing stand for display at the foyer entrance.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to the use of an expandable or contractible modular system to form a Wall-Furniture-Hybrid storage system (hereinafter referred to as the “WFH system”) and/or a panel display unit for added values and architectural elegance.

2. Description of Prior Art

Prior art search found no products on the market which are similar in nature to this new invention. Search of general retail and specialty stores found no similar inventions, either. However, some near likenesses were found in the Egyptian antiquity and modern-day tradeshow display fixtures. The modularity is prevalent in that industry but differs from this invention.

Search of the closet organizers yielded a large number of patents. The patents are similar in the narrative text describing the benefits but each has a narrow but distinct nuance. Most importantly, these patented innovations are covering bulky and heavy-weighted products. The present invention is comprised of light weighted materials and has little in common with the closet organizers. A common statement in the filed patent Abstracts and in this application is “better space utilization in homes and commercial establishments.”

The following three patents may have features resembling to the present invention. But they all lack modularity in a sense that they cannot be decomposed and/or recombined to form new units for display and storage purposes. The present invention shall overcome their limitations and provide more flexibility and added benefits.

U.S. Pat. No. 668,902 LAMPMAN

Ser. No. 10/411,780 RUMENS

Ser. No. 10/736,761 JONES

SUMMARY AND OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

The following description is a brief summary of the invention:

The invention described above is a modular wall-like, furniture-like embodiment. The substance of the invention is in its multi-usefulness. The nature of it is in its combined esthetic, functional, and utilitarian features. It has architectural simplicity. It is uniquely style-neutral. There is no need to redecorate the surroundings to match the new wall. Other comer furniture on the market is bulky, ornately imposing, and period-style driven. The WFH assimilates with any room wall and is especially adaptable to the comer wall. It does not come across as an after-thought. Its imitation of real stone, hardwood, or a fireplace is irrelevant.

Even though the prototype lacked professional finish, the strength of WFH embodiment is its new, unique, and valuable features. Modularity and lightness are the two important features of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of the basic module showing three front panels in a stacked condition, two of them are translucent, of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the basic module with three shelves attached to the basic configuration shown in FIG. 1 and one cardboard V-shaped backdrop cover placed behind the lowest panel;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the basic module showing only the bottom section of FIG. 1 with a translucent panel;

FIG. 4 is an exploded, partial front and back isometric view of the installation of the translucent panel to the opening;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged isometric view of a shelf either placed in a bottom up or bottom down position;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a V-shaped backdrop cover;

FIG. 7 is a front and back view of FIG. 1 having three front panels without opening and hardware used to stack these panels together;

FIG. 8 a front and back view of FIG. 1 having three front panels with and without opening and hardware accessories used to stack these panels together;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged front view of a typical wall covering using only front panels;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of a WFH display fixture for trade shows;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a free-standing columnar WFH system using a combination of front panels and shelves;

FIG. 12 is an exploded view of shelves at different angles and different combinations in either opening or closing position to show the modular shelf embodiment of the WFH System;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the WFH system in a modular expansion mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

This physical description of the invention specifies shape, size, weight, assembly, appearance, and features. The description of the invention is accompanied with several drawings displayed in FIG. 1 through FIG. 6 of the drawing. The integrated WFH system is further illustrated in FIG. 7 through FIG. 13 to show several expansion possibilities. The storage capacity of this basic module is 33,000 cubic-inches with a standard 8 feet ceiling. The weight is absorbed by the walls or floor. (Comer furniture on the market has a typical capacity of 16,000 cubic inches and weighs typically over of 200 lbs).

The description here is for the typical specifications of the basic module which is contained in a carton and can be sold as a starter-kit. The basic module consists of (1) three rectangular front panels (two of them with opening), (2) two translucent panels, (3) three triangular shelf panels, (4) one V-shaped cardboard backdrop, and (5) associated hinges, fasteners, and washers.

The dimensions of the unassembled unit is 31½-inch high, 36-inch long, and 9-inch wide. The weight is 49 lbs. When fully assembled, it is 36-inch wide, 24-inch deep and 94½-inch high. The front view of this basic module is shown in FIG. 2 which includes a front panel without opening 1, one of the two front panels with opening 4, a translucent panel 3 attached to the opening, one of the three triangular shelves 2, and one V-shaped backdrop 5. The side and top view of this basic module is respectively shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 3.

The front panel with an opening 4 shown in FIG. 2 is reproduced in FIG. 4. Each front panel has a dimension of 36-inch wide, 31½-inch high and 3/16-inch thick. It also has a 1½-inch flange 6 around its parameter. The peripheral flange 6 is perforated to allow for transmission of sound. The front panel is also equipped with a Velcro Strip 7 which can be placed inside the flange around each comer of the flange 6. The opening 3 in the middle of the front panel as shown in FIG. 4 has a dimension of a 17-inch wide and 23-inch long. There is also a 1½-inch flange 6 without perforation around the inner parameter of the opening. The opening is further covered by a translucent panel 3. Each translucent panel is made of acrylic sheet with 10%, 20%, or 30% transparency. It is 17-inch high, 23-inch wide, and 1/8-inch thick. Each translucent panel can be cemented to the front panel with opening from outside with adhesive or secured to it from inside by metal clips 8. Each metal clip 8 can be hinged to the peripheral flange of the opening with a plastic nut and bolt to hold the translucent panel in place. The front panels are laminated with faux pas stone or hardwood prior to the thermal vacuum forming process which is not claimed as a part of this invention. Each front panel with opening 4 can further be molded with a frame or rim (molding) around the opening during the pressing.

The triangular shelf shown in FIG. 5 is 35½-inch wide, 24-inch deep, and is 3/16-inch thick. It has a 2-inch triangular flange 9 around it. Warning labels 11 in three different colors will be pasted to each shelf to warn the end user regarding the weight limit, fire hazard, and use of any fluid which may damage the plastic. Each shelf has a Velcro Strip-mate 7 attaches to either side of the flange at the triangular base. The flat notched comer 10 at the end of each shelf where two isogonal sides of said triangular shelf met will allow any cable to be routed to a multi-jack power strip attached to the wall behind the basic module. The shelves are attachable to the walls of a room using four screws 11 and four dry wall stud anchors per shelf. The first shelf installs close to the floor. The second shelf installs close to the ceiling. The third shelf installs at the bottom of the opening of the middle front panel. Each shelf 17 (bottom base down) or 18 (bottom base up) can then be hinged to the front panel 1 or 4 using bolts 14 and washers 15 or hinged with another one 18 or 17 by hinges 16. When hinged, the front panel can swing open sideway either at right or at left. The Velcro-strips or Velcro-tapes 7 can be placed at any of the four comers of the front panel to latch the front panel to the shelves when not swung open.

The front panels and shelves are made of ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) plastic which is UV-resistant and commercially available in the marketplace and can be treated biennially by plastic rejuvenator products (e.g., Armorall®) for treatment of scratches. The plastic material is lightweight and structurally sound. No structural ribbing or crease-lines are necessary in the panels for structural purposes. These front panels and shelves can also be made of resin-treated double-thick egg-carton material in lieu of plastic.

A cardboard V-shaped backdrop shown in FIG. 6 covers the walls inside of the basic module. The backdrop comes in a black color to bring out the displayed objects in the forefront. It also comes in a flame-like background when a decorative electric fire-log is placed inside the panels for display. The V-shaped backdrop is painted over with color graduations from black to yellow to modulate the glare of the decorative fire log. Additional cardboard V-shaped backdrops can be made from a 48 inch wide and 30 inch high construction paper available in the stationery store. The construction paper can be folded sideways at the center to form a V-shaped backdrop. The height of the backdrop can be cut and adjusted to fit into the surrounding environment.

In addition, the end-user may use other placement as well as system combination alternatives. Each rectangular front panel with or without opening and each triangular shelf can be used alone or in combination. One or more front panels, used alone, can be assembled together to form a table, a counter top, a decorative window frame, an organizer box, or a table tray. Each triangular shelf can be used alone in a stack up fashion as storage shelves as sown in FIG. 12. Two such triangular shelves can also be hinged together in a closed position 23 or open position 24.

To form a vertical wall or pane shown in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8, the front panels are attachable to each other with bolts 19 and nuts 20 on the flange 6. FIG. 7 shows one combination of front panels without opening; whereas FIG. 8. is another combination of front panels with or without opening. Two different shades of the translucent panel are shown in FIG. 8. Very large system installations may require linear L-shaped angle brackets at the end-user's discretion. FIG. 9 shows a series of vertical walls or panes hinged together to form a display center. FIG. 10 shows another variation of FIG. 9. A free standing column for newer plasma display panel (PDP) or liquid crystal display (LCD) flat panels as well as earlier cathode ray (CRT) type TV sets shown in FIG. 11 can be assembled using four basic modules hinged together side by side with self-attaching fasteners 21 and front panel attaching fasteners 22.

Finally, one or more pairs of the rectangular front panel and triangular shelf can be hinged together horizontally with self-attaching fasteners 21 or wall-attaching fasteners 25 (FIG. 13) to cover a large corner at the intersection of walls in a house or a free-standing stand for display at the foyer entrance.