Title:
Convertible Multi-Functional Furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Convertible, multi-functional furniture is disclosed that has at least a standard configuration and a converted configuration, the standard and converted configurations providing different uses for the convertible furniture.



Inventors:
Pratt, Michael J. (Draper, UT, US)
Bradley, David W. (Lehi, UT, US)
Application Number:
12/037934
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
02/26/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/308, 5/633, 108/11, 297/3, 297/118, 297/119, 297/129, 5/280
International Classes:
A47B85/00; A47C13/00; A47C19/22; A47C20/00; A47D13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIRTON MCCONKIE (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. Convertible furniture comprising: a piece of furniture having a standard configuration and a first converted configuration; wherein the standard configuration has a first furniture use and the first converted configuration has a second furniture use and wherein the first furniture use and the second furniture use differ; wherein in the standard configuration the first converted configuration is at least partially hidden so that on casual observance the second furniture use is not readily apparent from the first furniture use.

2. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a nightstand in the standard configuration and is a nightstand having an extendible work surface in the first converted configuration.

3. The convertible furniture of claim 2, wherein conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration occurs by a top of the nightstand rising in conjunction with the work surface to expose the work surface that was previously hidden under the top.

4. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a headboard in the standard configuration and wherein conversion to the first converted configuration occurs via a moveable panel that moves to reveal a hidden chamber.

5. The convertible furniture of claim 4, wherein the hidden chamber houses a reclining support that folds out onto a bed adjacent the headboard.

6. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a bed having an under-bed storage in the standard configuration and wherein conversion to the first converted configuration occurs via lifting a foot end of a mattress of the bed, whereby lifting of the foot end of the mattress causes the under-bed storage to transition between a substantially-horizontal position hidden under the mattress to a substantially-vertical position displayed at the foot end of the bed.

7. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and is a seat with a back in the first converted configuration.

8. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises a bi-fold top that hides a seat under the bi-fold top in the standard configuration and that folds during conversion to the first converted configuration to reveal the hidden seat.

9. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises: a back edge; a fixed rear filler piece that does not move during conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration; a top cushion having a front end that rotates up and back during conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration; and a seat cushion that moves forward during conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration; whereby in the standard configuration and in the first converted configuration, no portion of the ottoman extends backward past the back edge.

10. The convertible furniture of claim 9, wherein no portion of the ottoman extends backward past the back edge at any point during conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration.

11. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises a top portion hingedly connected to a bottom portion, wherein conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration comprises opening the top portion to expose a seat of the bottom portion.

12. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises: a top cushion on a top end; and a seat having a back rest and arms on a bottom end opposite the top end; wherein when the top end is upward, the back rest and arms support the ottoman and wherein when the top end is downward, the seat is available to receive a user in a sitting position.

13. The convertible furniture of claim 12, further comprising a skirt attached around a vertical midpoint of the ottoman, wherein when the top end is upward, the skirt hangs downward and hides an opening corresponding to the seat, and wherein when the ottoman is flipped top end downward, the skirt flips to hang downward again and the seat is revealed for sitting.

14. The convertible furniture of claim 13, further comprising a headrest attached to the back rest by a fabric hinge/snap strip.

15. The convertible furniture of claim 13, wherein the top cushion and the seat comprise vacuum-molded pieces.

16. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises: a topcushion/backrest comprising: a skirt attached thereto, wherein the skirt is attached around a lower edge of the topcushion/backrest when the topcushion/backrest is viewed in a horizontal position; and a lower back edge where a portion of the skirt is attached; a base portion hingedly connected to the topcushion/backrest at a location on the topcushion/backrest centrally disposed away from the lower back edge of the topcushion/backrest; and a cutout on at least one of the topcushion/backrest and the base portion adjacent the hinged connection between the topcushion/backrest and the base portion, whereby the cutout permits the topcushion/backrest to rotate around the hinge between a substantially-horizontal position and a position substantially past vertical.

17. The convertible furniture of claim 16, wherein when the topcushion/backrest is in the substantially-horizontal position, the skirt hangs vertically down and hides the cutout, wherein the ottoman thereby resembles a standard ottoman, and wherein when the topcushion/backrest is in the position substantially past vertical, the skirt hangs backward out of the way of the seat with the back.

18. The convertible furniture of claim 16, wherein the ottoman further comprises a speaker.

19. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises a cube shape and further comprises: a fold-out leg portion; and a fold-out head portion, whereby the fold-out leg portion and the fold-out head portion comprise a lounge in the first converted configuration.

20. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises: a pop top comprising a top cushion of the ottoman and an upper portion of a seat back; and a base comprising: a seat; arms; and a lower portion of the seat back; wherein when the pop top is in a horizontal position over the base, the pop top hides the seat and wherein when the pop top is in a vertical position at a back end of the base, the upper portion of the seat back and the lower portion of the seat back are substantially aligned to form a complete seat back.

21. The convertible furniture of claim 20, further comprising a protrusion on one of the base and the pop top and a receptacle for the protrusion on the other of the base and the pop top.

22. The convertible furniture of claim 20, wherein the pop top is removable from the base.

23. The convertible furniture of claim 20, wherein the pop top is attached to the base by a mechanism that rotates the pop top from the horizontal position to the vertical position.

24. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman comprises: a top cushion; a base; and pop-up arms that pop up as the ottoman is converted to the first converted configuration.

25. The convertible furniture of claim 24, wherein the top cushion comprises a cushion frame, the base comprises a base frame, the ottoman further comprises a leg frame, and wherein the cushion frame, the base frame, and the leg frame are connected via a movement linkage mechanism that causes the base to move forward as a front portion of the top cushion is rotated upward and backward, and that causes the pop-up arms to pop up as the base moves forward.

26. The convertible furniture of claim 25, wherein the movement linkage comprises: a fixed plate fixedly attached to the base frame; two cushion linkage arms hingedly attached to the fixed plate and hingedly attached to the cushion frame; and a leg frame linkage arm hingedly attached to one of the cushion linkage arms and hingedly attached to the leg frame.

27. The convertible furniture of claim 24, wherein the ottoman further comprises a speaker.

28. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman further comprises a tray accessible from behind the ottoman when the ottoman is in the first converted configuration.

29. The convertible furniture of claim 7, wherein the ottoman is a dividable flip ottoman comprising a pair of low-profile theater seats, each low-profile theater seat comprising: a back; a seat; arms; and a flat front edge comprising front edges of the arms and the seat; wherein the two low-profile theater seats may be connected at their flat front edges and be flipped over to form the dividable flip ottoman.

30. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and a massage table in the first converted configuration.

31. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and is a foot massage unit in the first converted configuration.

32. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and wherein the furniture comprises a playpen in the first converted configuration.

33. The convertible furniture of claim 32, wherein the furniture further comprises a changing table in the first converted configuration.

34. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a treadmill ottoman that is an ottoman in the standard configuration and a treadmill in the first converted configuration.

35. The convertible furniture of claim 34, wherein the treadmill ottoman comprises a weighted rotating base that facilitates rotating the treadmill ottoman approximately ninety degrees during conversion between the standard configuration and the first converted configuration, whereby the treadmill ottoman may be rotated from a position parallel a couch to a position facing a television.

36. The convertible furniture of claim 1, further comprising a second converted configuration having a third furniture use that differs from the first furniture use and the second furniture use.

37. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a endtable in the standard configuration and is an endtable with a pull-out seat in the first converted configuration.

38. The convertible furniture of claim 37, wherein the endtable comprises a shell unit that substantially encloses three sides of the pull-out seat, and wherein the pull-out seat comprises a panel configured to match the shell unit.

39. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and is a gaming controller storage unit in the second configuration.

40. The convertible furniture of claim 39, wherein the gaming controller storage unit comprises a connection mechanism connecting a gaming controller to the gaming controller storage unit.

41. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an ottoman in the standard configuration and is a fold-out stage in the first converted configuration.

42. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a coffee table in the standard configuration, and wherein the furniture comprises a plurality of pads that may be pulled out to form the first converted configuration.

43. The convertible furniture of claim 42, wherein the first converted configuration comprises one of: a seat with a back; a footrest; and a horizontal support surface suitable for use as a bed.

44. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is a sofa in the standard configuration and is a home theater sofa in the first converted configuration, wherein the home theater sofa comprises central armrests that are not visible in the standard configuration.

45. The convertible furniture of claim 1, wherein the furniture is an armoire in the first configuration and includes a piece of exercise equipment in the first converted configuration.

46. An ottoman that converts into a treadmill and back into an ottoman comprising: a continuous track contained in a housing, wherein the housing has an open top that exposes an upper surface of the continuous track and wherein the continuous track is appropriately sized to serve as a treadmill; a heavy pivot attached to the housing underneath the continuous track that permits rotating the housing and the continuous track about the rotational axis of the pivot to change the direction of movement of the continuous track; and a hinged cover attached to an upper portion of the housing at one end of the housing, wherein the hinged cover comprises an ottoman surface such that when the hinged cover is closed, it completely covers the continuous track and the ottoman surface and sides of the housing combine to hide the continuous track and provide the appearance of a typical ottoman.

47. The ottoman of claim 46, further comprising means for rotating the housing attached to the housing to assist with pivoting the housing and the continuous track about the rotational axis of the pivot.

48. The ottoman of claim 47, wherein the means for rotating comprises one of: a wheel; a caster; and a low-friction foot.

49. The ottoman of claim 47, wherein the means for rotating is retractable.

50. The ottoman of claim 49, wherein the means for rotating is automatically extended when the hinged cover is opened to expose the continuous track.

51. The ottoman of claim 46, wherein the hinged cover comprises two sections hingedly connected to each other and wherein one of the hinged sections is hingedly connected to the housing.

52. The ottoman of claim 46, further comprising treadmill controls.

53. The ottoman of claim 52 wherein the treadmill controls are located on the hinged cover.

54. The ottoman of claim 46, further comprising handrails attached to at least one of the housing and the hinged cover.

55. An ottoman that converts into seating having a backrest, comprising: a base comprising: a bottom; sides; and a seating surface for supporting the weight of a sitting individual; and a backrest and top combination comprising: a top surface that serves as the top surface of the ottoman; sides; and a bottom surface that serves as the front surface the backrest of the seating having the backrest; wherein the backrest and top combination is connected to the base so that the base and the backrest and top combination form an ottoman configuration when the backrest and top combination is in a substantially horizontal position and wherein the backrest and top combination may be flipped up and open so that the base and the backrest and top combination form a seating configuration having the backrest.

56. The ottoman of claim 55 wherein the sides of the base comprise armrests for the seating having a backrest.

57. The ottoman of claim 55 wherein, in the ottoman configuration, the ottoman is disguised so that the capability to assume the seating configuration is not readily apparent upon casual observation.

58. The ottoman of claim 55, further comprising hardware attaching the base to the backrest and top combination.

59. An ottoman that converts into seating having a backrest and armrests and back by flipping the ottoman 180 degrees comprising: an ottoman top surface; a weighted skirt surrounding the sides of the ottoman and bisecting the ottoman from top to bottom, wherein the weighted skirt extends from halfway down the ottoman to the bottom of the ottoman; ottoman side surfaces extending from the ottoman top surface halfway down the sides of the ottoman to the weighted skirt; a seat surface configured to support the weight of a user when the ottoman is flipped so that the ottoman top surface is downward; a backrest extending from the skirt and the seat surface in a direction away from the ottoman top surface; and armrests connected to the backrest and extending from the skirt and the seat surface in a direction away from the ottoman top surface.

60. The ottoman of claim 59, wherein when the ottoman is flipped so that the ottoman top surface is upward, the backrest and the armrests rest upon the ground and the weighted skirt extends downward to cover the armrests, the backrest, and the seat surface, and wherein when the ottoman is flipped so that the ottoman top surface is downward, the weighted skirt extends downward to cover the ottoman side surfaces.

61. The ottoman of claim 59, wherein the ottoman top surface, the ottoman side surfaces, and a first surface of the skirt comprise a first material, and the seat surface, the backrest, the armrests, and a second surface of the skirt comprise a second material.

62. The ottoman of claim 59, further comprising: a headrest hingedly attached to the backrest that extends the backrest in a deployed position; and a reversible stowing mechanism that secures the headrest in a stowed position within the space defined by the seat surface, the armrests, and the backrest.

63. An ottoman that converts into seating having a backrest and headrest comprising: a base comprising: a bottom; sides; a backrest; a seating surface for supporting the weight of a sitting individual; and alignment holes; and a removable top piece comprising: a top surface that serves as the top surface of the ottoman; sides; a headrest; and alignment prongs configured to engage the alignment holes; wherein the removable top piece may be placed on the base in a substantially horizontal fashion to form an ottoman configuration and wherein the removable top piece may be placed on the base in a substantially vertical position with the headrest upward to form a seating configuration with the alignment prongs engaging the alignment holes and with the headrest of the removable top piece at the top of the backrest of the base.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/891,941, filed Feb. 27, 2007, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/938,157, filed May 15, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to multiple-use furniture, and it relates more particularly to furniture that converts from one configuration to at least one other configuration, where each configuration has a different function.

2. Background and Related Art

Home theaters are becoming increasingly popular for many people. Many people are desirous to improve their viewing experience when watching movies and other audiovisual programs in their homes. They want to have an experience similar to the experience they have in movie theaters, which are typically dedicated to a single purpose of providing an ideal environment for viewing Hollywood movies and the like. While some people are willing and able to convert a room in their houses into a dedicated home theater room, many, if not most, are unable, for financial or practical reasons, to dedicate a portion of their home to be a full-time home theater and nothing else.

Many of these people still would like to have the ability to mimic the movie-theater experience in their homes, even if they are unable to have one room dedicated as a home theater room. People invest heavily in expensive audiovisual equipment, in many cases, attempting to do their best to mimic the theater environment. While, in many cases, people are able to achieve high-quality video and audio presentation, the environment they achieve still fails to adequately mimic the movie theater environment. Put simply, most homes using a general-purpose room as a home theater lack adequate accommodations so that more than one or two individuals can comfortably watch a movie at the same time.

In most homes, a general-purpose room being used as a home theater may have a single couch or chair facing a TV or display head-on. Other couches or chairs are usually placed at an angle to the first so as to facilitate normal social use of the general-purpose room. This is problematic for home theater use because the placement of the other couches usually means that potential viewers are placed at poor locations/angles for viewing a displayed movie. In many general-purpose rooms, moving one couch or chair in front of the other to provide a more theater-like experience during viewing of a movie is difficult or unacceptable: the couches/chairs may be heavy and difficult to move; additional furniture, such as coffee tables, etc. may be in the way; and, in many instances, those persons in the couch or chair in back may be unable to see over the couch or chair in front or the persons in it.

In other cases, some people simply do not have the ability to dedicate enough seating to watching of movies. Some general-purpose rooms are small enough that they are unable to hold additional furniture beyond a single couch (or pair of couches) and a central coffee table. In still other instances, people are unwilling to put theater-style furniture in a general-purpose room as the furniture is generally less attractive than standard furniture, or has features well-suited for home-theater use but not well-suited for general-purpose use. Thus, many people desiring to be able to mimic a movie-theater experience in their homes, but being unwilling or unable to dedicate a general-purpose room to be a home theater, are frustrated in their desire.

Similarly, many people would like to have exercise equipment, game room equipment, or other non-standard furniture in their homes, whether for exercise, entertainment, or for many other purposes. In many instances, including such equipment in the home becomes undesirable. The additional equipment often clashes with existing furniture or is unsightly, and many people are unwilling or unable to dedicate sufficient space in their homes to include such equipment. For example, some people may want to have exercise equipment at home with which to participate in an exercise program. Having an exercise bicycle, treadmill, or other such equipment, however, takes up a large amount of space in an otherwise general-purpose room and is therefore disadvantageous for many people. Many other multi-purpose needs of individuals, in whatever room it be in, are not met by currently-available single-purpose furniture.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Some embodiments of the invention provide convertible furniture that converts between configurations suitable for use as general-purpose furniture and configurations suitable for use as home theater furniture. Other embodiments provide convertible furniture that converts between two or more different-purpose configurations. In some embodiments, neither configuration has a home-theater purpose. In some embodiments, general-purpose furniture functions may be combined/alternated with other functions, such as exercise equipment, game equipment, hidden storage, music, and many other multi-purpose functions. The convertible furniture may be used as a complete set of convertible furniture, or may be used in conjunction with standard general-purpose furniture in a mixed-furniture room.

In some general-purpose configurations, the embodiments of the convertible furniture may have an appearance that disguises the alternate home-theater and other purposes of the furniture. Therefore, in those configurations, the appearance of the furniture may be well-suited for use in normal social uses of the general-purpose room. In those configurations, embodiments of the convertible furniture may be used in ways that a standard couch, standard chair, standard loveseat, standard table, and/or standard ottoman, etc. would be used. In home-theater or other configurations, the convertible furniture may be provided with features that enhance the home theater experience and allow the general-purpose room to mimic the movie theater environment, provide gaming surfaces, provide access to secure storage, provide exercise equipment, etc.

In some embodiments, the convertible furniture may also have further configurations to provide additional functionality to the convertible furniture. Therefore, the convertible furniture provides compact, space-efficient, multiple-use furniture suitable for use in a general-purpose or any room that enhances the home theater and other possibilities of the general-purpose or other room.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The objects and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1-10 show various view of embodiments of a convertible nightstand;

FIG. 11 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a convertible headboard;

FIG. 12 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a convertible under-bed storage;

FIGS. 13-15 show various perspective views of embodiments of a bi-fold top convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 16-21 show side views of a motion sequence of an embodiment of a convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 22-24 show perspective views of embodiments of a hinge-type convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 25-26 show perspective views of an embodiment of a flip convertible ottoman;

FIG. 27 shows perspective views of an embodiment of a skirted flip convertible ottoman;

FIG. 28 shows perspective views of an embodiment of a skirted flip lounge convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 29-32 and 33A-33G show various views of embodiments of clamshell convertible ottomans;

FIGS. 34-36 show various views of a cube lounge convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 37-41 show views of assembly of an injection-molded skirted flip convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 42-53 show various views of embodiments of pop-top convertible ottomans;

FIGS. 54-65 show various views of embodiments of and mechanisms for pop-up arm convertible ottomans;

FIG. 66 shows views of a massage table convertible ottoman;

FIG. 67 shows views of a foot massage unit convertible ottoman;

FIG. 68 shows views of a playpen ottoman;

FIGS. 69-75 show views of embodiments of a treadmill ottoman;

FIGS. 76-78 show views of embodiments of a convertible endtable;

FIGS. 79-80 show views of an embodiment of a gaming storage ottoman;

FIG. 81 shows views of an embodiment of a gaming stage ottoman;

FIGS. 82-94 and 95A-95B show views of embodiments of convertible coffee tables;

FIG. 96 shows a perspective view of a convertible sofa;

FIGS. 97-101 show various views of convertible ottomans;

FIGS. 102-103 show various views of a mechanical convertible ottoman;

FIG. 104 shows various views of a convertible file cabinet;

FIG. 105 shows views of a convertible playpen changing table ottoman;

FIG. 106 shows views of a convertible slab bench;

FIG. 107 shows views of a convertible armoire;

FIG. 108 shows a perspective view of a convertible fly-tie station;

FIG. 109 shows a perspective view of a convertible game surface ottoman;

FIG. 110 shows various perspective views of convertible hidden storage furniture;

FIG. 111 shows views of an additional convertible nightstand;

FIG. 112 shows a perspective view of a putting surface side table;

FIG. 113 shows a perspective view of a recording studio ottoman;

FIG. 114 shows perspective views of a convertible shoe storage ottoman;

FIGS. 115-118 show various views of additional treadmill ottoman embodiments;

FIG. 118 shows various views of a dividable flip ottoman;

FIG. 119 shows views of an alternate pop-top convertible ottoman;

FIG. 120 shows sightlines available when using embodiments of convertible ottomans in a home theater arrangement;

FIGS. 121-126 show views of an embodiment of a convertible ottoman;

FIGS. 127-130 show views of one embodiment of a working mechanism for a convertible ottoman showing the conversion processes; and

FIGS. 131-136 show views of one embodiment of a working mechanism for a convertible ottoman showing the conversion processes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A description of the embodiments of the present invention will be given with reference to the Figures, which are incorporated into this detailed description in their entirety for all features shown in the Figures. It is expected that the present invention may take many other forms and shapes, hence the following disclosure is intended to be illustrative and not limiting, and the scope of the invention should be determined by reference to the appended claims.

Some embodiments of the invention provide convertible furniture that converts between configurations suitable for use as general-purpose furniture and configurations suitable for use as home theater furniture. Other embodiments provide convertible furniture that converts between two or more different-purpose configurations. In some embodiments, neither configuration has a home-theater purpose. In some embodiments, general-purpose furniture functions may be combined/alternated with other functions, such as exercise equipment, game equipment, hidden storage, music, and many other multi-purpose functions. The convertible furniture may be used as a complete set of convertible furniture, or may be used in conjunction with standard general-purpose furniture in a mixed-furniture room.

In some general-purpose configurations, the embodiments of the convertible furniture may have an appearance that disguises the alternate home-theater and other purposes of the furniture. Therefore, in those configurations, the appearance of the furniture may be well-suited for use in normal social uses of the general-purpose room. In those configurations, embodiments of the convertible furniture may be used in ways that a standard couch, standard chair, standard loveseat, standard table, and/or standard ottoman, etc. would be used. In home-theater or other configurations, the convertible furniture may be provided with features that enhance the home theater experience and allow the general-purpose room to mimic the movie theater environment, provide gaming surfaces, provide access to secure storage, provide exercise equipment, etc.

In some embodiments, the convertible furniture may also have further configurations to provide additional functionality to the convertible furniture. Therefore, the convertible furniture provides compact, space-efficient, multiple-use furniture suitable for use in a general-purpose or any room that enhances the home theater and other possibilities of the general-purpose or other room.

A first example of convertible furniture, a nightstand 10, is illustrated with respect to FIGS. 1-10. FIG. 1 shows the nightstand 10 in a first configuration that appears similar to existing nightstands. The nightstand 10 incorporates features and functionality common to night stands. For example, the nightstand 10 may include one or more lower drawers 12 that function as typical drawers. However, an upper drawer front 14 may not be a typical drawer, but may be a fixed piece of the nightstand 10 or may provide a flip-down area for storing smaller items rather than act as a typical drawer. The nightstand 10 also includes a top 16 that may be used as a location for books, a lamp, or any other item. In some embodiments, the top 16 may include an electrical outlet, communications outlet, or other electrical/communications connection for plugging in electrical devices such as lamps, alarm clocks, computers, and any other such devices.

The electrical outlet, etc. may be provided to the top 16 or may be located on the back of the nightstand 10 at a location attached to or configured to move with the top 16. In this way, the electrical connection may travel with the top 16 when the nightstand 10 transitions between configurations, thereby preventing unwanted or accidental disconnection of any electrical devices on the top 16. FIGS. 2-3 and 5 illustrate steps that may occur during conversion of the nightstand 10 between configurations. In FIG. 2, the nightstand 10 is shown in the first configuration, wherein it appears to be a standard nightstand. However, the top 16 of the nightstand 10 may elevate, as depicted in FIG. 3, to expose a work surface 18 previously hidden within the nightstand 10. The work surface 18 may be located on a rotating arm 20 or other suitable similar device to allow the work surface 18 to be withdrawn from under the top 16 into a working location as depicted in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 also depicts one manner in which the work surface 18 may be deployed to a working location. In some embodiments, the work surface 18 may be deployed straight forward or to either side of the nightstand 10. The working location may be over an adjacent chair or bed and may permit a user to utilize the work surface 18 for any of a variety of purposes. The rotating arm 20 may be of a strength sufficient to support a wide range of items, and may be at least strong enough to support downward pressure in a fully-deployed position without damage or bending until the nightstand 10 tips over.

For example, a user may utilize the work surface 18 for a laptop or other similar device. The stored position for the work surface 18, as depicted in FIG. 3, may therefore be located sufficiently below the bottom surface of the top 16 to permit storage of a laptop or similar device with the work surface 18 in the hidden configuration of FIG. 2. In some embodiments, the work surface 18 may also be provided with an electrical outlet, a communications outlet, etc., so that laptops or other similar devices may be plugged into the work surface 18 and remain plugged in even while the work surface 18 is deployed to the working location or while the work surface 18 is being re-stored under the top 16, or even when the work surface 18 is fully hidden (FIG. 2). Any electrical cables or communication cables running to the electrical outlet etc. on the work surface 18 may be attached to or provided within the rotating arm 20. The work surface 18 may also be provided with one or more folding sections that may permit the work area of the work surface 18 to be expanded for varying uses, as depicted in FIGS. 7-10. For example, the work surface 18 may include three sections, a base section 22 that may be rotatably mounted to the rotating arm 20, a large upper section 24 hingedly attached to the base section 22, and a small upper section 26 also hingedly attached to the base section 22. The small upper section 26 may be attached to the base section 22 on a side opposite the attachment of the large upper section 24.

This may provide for various ways to utilize the work surface 18. For example, as depicted in FIG. 7, the work surface 18 may be fully folded and may act as a small table. As depicted in FIG. 8, the large upper section 24 may be positioned in a tilted position for reading and writing or any other desired purpose. As depicted in FIG. 9, the small upper section 26 may be fully opened/extended to provide a computer mouse area extension or for any other reason when a slightly enlarged table is desired. It will also be appreciated that the large upper section 24 may be fully opened while leaving the small upper section 26 closed. Finally, as shown in FIG. 10, the large upper section 24 and the small upper section 26 may be fully opened to provide a large table having approximately double the surface area of the small table configuration. As different configurations may be most useful at differing rotational orientations of the work surface 18 relative to the rotating arm 20, a rotating connection may be provided between the work surface 18 (i.e. the base section 22) and the rotating arm 20.

As may be appreciated from the foregoing discussion, the nightstand 10 has sufficient interior space within it to fully receive the stored work surface 18, rotating arm 20, and any necessary area above and below the work surface 18 and rotating arm 20. Additionally, the nightstand 10 may include internal portions dedicated to providing mechanisms to assist in the up and down movement of the top 16 and the portions moving with the top 16. This is depicted in more detail in FIG. 4, which provides a partial cutaway view of the nightstand 10 in a fully-retracted position. This view shows that the vertical space 28 that would normally be occupied by an upper drawer (or drawers if more area is desired for equipment) is instead dedicated to storing the work area 18, rotatable arm 20, etc. Thus, the upper drawer front 14 is merely a non-functional decoration, or it may not have a large front-to-back depth, such as a tip-out storage area for small items. Additionally, the uppermost lower drawer 12 (or even multiple lower drawers 12) may be only a half-depth drawer to leave additional room for providing the convertible functions of the nightstand 10.

Additionally, a support frame 30 may be disposed within the nightstand 10, such as along the sides of the lower drawers 12, as depicted in FIG. 4, and/or behind the lower drawers 12. The support frame 30 is fixedly attached to the top 16, provides support for the rotating arm 20 (and thereby the work surface 18), and therefore at least a portion of the support frame 30 moves up and down with the top 16 during conversion of the nightstand 10. The upward and downward movement of the top 16 along with the attached support frame 30, etc. may be electrically or otherwise powered, whereby the user may activate a switch to raise or lower the top 16. Alternatively, the support frame 30 may be counterweighted or otherwise biased so that the top automatically rises when a latch or some other securing means is released. In such embodiments, the user may restore the nightstand to its fully-closed position by applying downward pressure to the top 16. In either powered or biased configurations, the powered lift mechanism or the biasing may be sufficiently strong to permit conversion without removing any lamps or other items on the top 16. In still other embodiments, either no biasing is present or only enough vertical biasing is present to provide minimal assistance to the user, and the user effectuates conversion by physically lifting the top 16, and some sort of latching mechanism may secure the top 16 in a fully-raised position. In such embodiments, it may be desirable to provide a device such as a shock absorber, gas prop/cylinder, etc. attached to the support frame 30 to prevent unwanted rapid lowering of the top 16. Regardless of the mechanisms provided to assist with raising and/or lowering the top 16 and the items hidden by the top 16, the user may have the ability to raise and/or lower the top from one, both, or more sides of the nightstand 10, including from in front of or behind the nightstand 10.

An alternate embodiment of the nightstand 10 is illustrated in FIG. 111, and instead of utilizing the rotating arm 20 to provide the work surface 18 to the user, the embodiment of FIG. 111 utilizes a rotating corner 21. The rotating corner 21 may include a corner of the support frame 30, and includes a corner of the work surface 18. The work surface 18 rotates about the rotating corner 21 into a working position in front of the user on a bed or chair. Thus, any mechanism that contains the work surface 18 and provides the work surface to a user to the side of the nightstand 10 is envisioned for use with embodiments of the nightstand 10.

A second example of convertible furniture, a convertible headboard 32, is illustrated in FIG. 11. The headboard 32 may be configured to resemble a standard headboard, and may be manufactured to fit any size bed, including twin, full, queen, king, and California king. The headboard 32 may include a moveable panel 34 that moves to reveal a hidden chamber 36. The hidden chamber 36 may include storage space for books or other objects, a light fixture to illuminate objects in the hidden chamber 36 or to assist a user with reading, and may also include a fold-out reclining support 38. The reclining support 38 may include a back support 40 that may move out automatically or pull out to form an inclined back rest, and may also include arm rests 42 that may fold down automatically (such as when the moveable panel 34 is opened or when the back support 40 is pulled out) or that may be selectively foldable by the user. By way of the reclining support 38 of the headboard 32, the user may convert an ordinary bed 44 into a reclining lounge. For larger beds, the headboard 32 may have two or even three moveable panels 34, hidden chambers 36, and reclining supports 38. In addition, when three moveable panels 34 and hidden chambers 36 are present, reclining supports 38 may be provided in all, none, or some of the hidden chambers 36, and may be selectively moveable between hidden chambers 36.

A third bedroom-related convertible furniture example is shown in FIG. 12. This item is a convertible bed 46 that converts to provide easily accessible under-bed storage 48. It has been known to utilize space under a bed for storage; however, in most instances, the storage is inconvenient and largely inaccessible and/or underused. The under-bed storage 48 of the bed 46 alleviates these issues by converting to provide easy, convenient access to the under-bed storage 48. The under-bed storage may be hingedly or rotatably connected at a foot 50 of a bed frame 52 of the bed 46. When the bed 46 is in normal use, a mattress and mattress support (collectively illustrated as mattress 54 in FIG. 12) rest over and hide the under-bed storage 48, which is disposed in a substantially-horizontal position under the mattress 54. When a foot end 56 of the mattress 54 is grasped and lifted upward, a linkage transfers the lifting force/movement to the under-bed storage 48, causing a head-end portion 58 of the under-bed storage 48 to rise until the under-bed storage 48 is in a substantially-vertical position, such as illustrated in FIG. 12.

In the substantially-vertical position, the under-bed storage 48 is exposed for easy access, and may be used to store relatively lightweight items such as shoes, towels, clothing such as socks or underwear, etc. As may be seen from FIG. 12, the under-bed storage 48 may be shorter than a total length of the mattress 55, which may assist in allowing the under-bed storage 48 to transition between substantially-horizontal and substantially-vertical positions without undesirably striking the underside of the mattress 54. Any unused areas under the mattress 54 closer to the head end of the bed 46 may be used for side-accessible drawers, may be accessed separately by reaching under the raised mattress 54, or may be utilized to house mechanisms and linkages to link the mattress 54 to the under-bed storage 48 and/or to assist with lifting the mattress and transitioning between positions for the under-bed storage 48.

As may be appreciated, the weight of the mattress 54 when combined with the weight of moving the under-bed storage 48 from a substantially-horizontal to a substantially-vertical position may be substantial, even for a smaller-size bed such as a twin bed. Therefore, to assist the user in lifting the mattress 54 and transitioning between positions of the under-bed storage 48, the mechanisms and/or linkages may include counterweights, springs, and/or pneumatic pistons designed to assist in lifting the mattress 54 and under-bed storage 48. The counterweights, springs, and/or pneumatic pistons may be attached between the bed frame 52 and the under-bed storage 48 and between the bed frame 52 and the mattress 54, or may be partially located within a headboard 60 attached to the bed 46. In this way, the force necessary to lift the mattress 54 may be substantially reduced or almost totally eliminated whereby only minimal force may be necessary to raise the foot end 56 of the mattress 54 to cause the transition. In addition, the mechanisms/linkages may prevent the closing transition from occurring too quickly and causing undue stress to the bed 46 or the under-bed storage 48.

As may be appreciated, all of the above-described embodiments may be utilized together. For example, a bed 46 having under-bed storage 48 may utilize none or only a portion of the headboard 60 for mechanisms to assist with raising the mattress 54. Any portion of the headboard 60 not used for such mechanisms may function as a convertible headboard 32, thereby providing for a hidden reclining lounge and/or for additional hidden storage. The user might also have a nightstand 10 located next to the bed 46, and might utilize the work surface 18 while reclining in the converted reclining lounge after retrieving an item from the under-bed storage 48. When all these items are not in use, the bedroom furniture may look essentially identical to a standard bedroom set, with all the added functionality hidden from view. In this way, the convertible bedroom set might be aesthetically pleasing and may simultaneously protect a laptop in the nightstand 10 and other valuables in the under-bed storage 48 and the hidden chamber 36 from would-be thieves. Each item of convertible furniture discussed above with respect to FIGS. 1-12 may be used individually or in conjunction with any of the other items.

Other items of convertible furniture may be used outside the bedroom. For example, FIGS. 13-15 illustrate a convertible ottoman 62 that may be used to provide hidden home theater seating. In a first configuration shown in FIG. 13, the ottoman 62 appears to be a standard ottoman. The ottoman 62 may have upholstery of any known type, including leather, faux leather, fabrics, and other materials, and may be selected to coordinate with other furniture in a room, such as an adjacent couch or chair. In this configuration, the ottoman 62 may be used as any standard ottoman, and may be used as a foot rest or for short-term seating. As may be recognized, standard ottomans are typically not used for longer-term seating, as they lack back support for the individuals sitting on the ottoman.

The ottoman 62, however, may be utilized for longer-term seating, as it can covert to a second configuration illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15. The ottoman 62 includes a bi-fold top 64 in two parts that are connected to each other in such a way that they may fold into the position illustrated in FIG. 14. One of the two parts is also connected to a base portion 66 of the ottoman 62 in such a way that while the bi-fold top 64 is folding together the bi-fold top is also moving to form a backrest 68 connected to the base portion 66 at the back of the base portion 66. This folding and movement of the bi-fold top 64 also exposes a seat 70 of the ottoman 62. The seat may be inclined to provide more ergonomic seating for people using the ottoman 62 in its seat-with-back configuration. The mechanisms responsible for controlling the positions of the bi-fold top 64 during conversion may remain essentially hidden from view even during conversion, and may rest within a cavity between the seat 70 and the underside of the bi-fold top in the ottoman configuration, as may be appreciated from FIG. 15, where one embodiment of a movement mechanism 74 is partially visible. While some embodiments rely on a user to physically manipulate the bi-fold top 64 (and thus the movement mechanism 74), other embodiments may include powered movement mechanisms 74 whereby conversion may occur as easily as flipping a switch or pressing a button.

The ottoman 62 may be provided in many different configurations. For example, the ottoman 62 illustrated in FIGS. 13-15 may be able to seat between two and three people in the seat-with-back configuration, and may be suitable for use with a couch or love seat in its ottoman configuration. Other embodiments are smaller, and may only seat one person in the seat-with-back configuration. Other embodiments may be wider, and may be able to comfortably seat between three to four people. The height of the base portion 66 may be varied, as is illustrated in FIG. 15 by the alternate outline 72 of the base portion 66, and the thickness/plushness of the bi-fold top 64 may also be varied, as is also illustrated in FIG. 15 by the alternate outline 72 of the bi-fold top 64. In addition, the angle of the seat 70 may be varied as desired for comfort and functionality. In some embodiments, based on the angle of the seat 70, a portion of the backrest 68 may include a portion of the base portion 66.

The ottoman 62 is one example of an ottoman that converts from an ottoman configuration into a seating configuration that may be used for home theater seating or for other seating when needed. For example, in a forward-facing position, the seating is suitable for home theater use in front of a couch, love seat, etc., because the seating position (in the seat-with-back configuration) of the user is typically somewhat lower than the seating position of many couches. Thus, the ottoman 62 in conjunction with a couch, love seat, etc. provides for tiered seating where those sitting on the ottoman 62 in front of the couch are lower than those in back on the couch. Other convertible ottomans described herein may achieve the same home theater seating functionality. In another example, the ottoman 62 may face backward toward the couch, and may be used to increase seating for face-to-face interaction in rooms with limited room for furniture. Those of skill in the art will readily appreciate the various uses to which embodiments of convertible ottomans such as the ottoman 62 may be put.

FIGS. 16-21 illustrate simplified side views of a motion sequence for conversion of a convertible ottoman 76 that converts differently from the ottoman 62. The ottoman 76 also converts between an ottoman configuration and a seat-with-back configuration, but the ottoman 76 does not have a bi-fold top 64. As may be seen from reference to FIGS. 14 and 15, after conversion to the seat-with-back configuration, the bi-fold top 64 of the ottoman 76 extends backward beyond what was the back edge of the ottoman 76 in the ottoman configuration. The ottoman 76 converts in such a way that no portion of the ottoman 76 extends backward beyond a back edge 78 of the ottoman 76 at any time during the conversion. In this way, the ottoman 76 may be used and freely converted even when the back edge 78 of the ottoman 76 is immediately adjacent a wall or another piece of furniture. Additionally, the ottoman 76 may be used and converted without worrying that during conversion a portion of the ottoman 76 will strike the legs of someone sitting behind the ottoman 76. In other words, there is zero rearward encroachment of the ottoman 76 during conversion of the ottoman 76.

FIG. 16 shows the ottoman 76 in its ottoman configuration. As may be appreciated from FIG. 16, the ottoman 76 may appear to casual observation to be a standard ottoman. The ottoman 76 may include several elements, including a top cushion 80 that converts into a back rest, a seat cushion 82 and a rear filler piece 84. The front edge of the seat cushion 82 and the back edge of the rear filler piece 84 may be finished to match or complement the front and back edges of the top cushion 80, thereby completing the look of the ottoman 76 in the ottoman configuration. The ottoman 76 may also include a pair of side pieces 86 on either side of the ottoman that may hide any movement mechanisms associated with conversion of the ottoman 76 and that also disguise the fact that the ottoman 76 is more than a standard ottoman (i.e. by hiding any cavity 88 between the top cushion 80 and the seat cushion 82 in the ottoman configuration).

FIG. 21 shows the ottoman 76 in the seat-with-back configuration. In this configuration, a front portion of the top cushion 80 has rotated up and back and the top cushion 80 now forms the back rest. Meanwhile, the seat cushion 82 has moved forward significantly to provide an adequately deep seat for a person to sit comfortably in the seat. The rear filler piece 84, and the side pieces 86 have not moved, and any legs of the ottoman 76 (or other structure of the ottoman 76 resting on the floor) are connected to the side pieces 76 and the rear filler piece 84, such as by a frame that also provides a location for attachment of any movement mechanism for the ottoman 76.

Conversion of the ottoman 76 from the ottoman configuration of FIG. 16 to the seat-with-back configuration of FIG. 21 occurs by lifting upward and then backward on the front of the top cushion 80. This motion is transferred by the movement mechanism to frontward motion of the seat cushion 82. This initial motion is illustrated in the motion sequence provided by FIGS. 16-19, and it may be seen from these Figures that no rearward encroachment occurs during the movement. The top cushion 80 may clear the rear filler piece 84 when it is in an approximately vertical position, as illustrated in FIG. 19. From this point, what was the front of the top cushion 80 and is now the top of the back rest may continue moving backward while the top cushion 80 moves somewhat downward until it rests on the seat cushion 82, and the ottoman 76 is in the seat-with-back configuration, as illustrated in FIGS. 19-21. It is anticipated that one of skill in the art of movement mechanisms will readily appreciate that any number of movement mechanisms may be used to achieve the movement sequence illustrated in FIGS. 16-21, and for this reason, no particular movement mechanism is illustrated with respect to these Figures.

To convert the ottoman 76 from its seat-with-back configuration of FIG. 21, the reverse process may be utilized, first lifting and pulling forward on the back rest, and then continuing the forward motion of the top of the back rest until the top cushion 80 is returned to its ottoman position (FIG. 16). Thus, the movement sequence of FIGS. 16-21 may be reversed exactly. While the above description has been provided assuming that a user may manipulate the ottoman 76 to achieve conversion, it will also be appreciated that the movement mechanism may incorporate powered elements, whereby a user may simply press a button or flip a switch, for example, to cause conversion, and no other action may be necessary from the user.

Not all embodiments of convertible ottomans need disguise their convertible nature. For example, FIGS. 22 and 23 show an ottoman 90 that converts between an ottoman configuration (FIG. 22) and a seat-with-back configuration (FIG. 23) without hiding the fact that the ottoman 90 has multiple configurations. This ottoman may utilize a simple hinge connection (not shown) connecting a top portion 92 to a bottom portion 94 at the back side of the ottoman 90. Depending on the exact placement/location of the hinge connection, the ottoman may encroach backward into the knee space of a couch behind the ottoman 90 during opening, and may therefore need to be moved slightly forward/backward when opening/closing the seat back (top portion 92) of the convertible ottoman 90. Optionally, the ottoman 90 may include sides 96 that may serve as arm rests in the seat-with-back configuration. While the ottoman 90 is illustrated in FIGS. 22 and 23 as an embodiment for one person, other embodiments may provide seating for two or more individuals. In addition, the seating for two or more individuals may transition/convert together in some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 24, or separately in others (e.g. essentially two ottomans 90 illustrated in FIGS. 22 and 23 connected side-by-side), whereby a portion of the ottoman 90 may be used in an ottoman configuration while another portion of the ottoman 90 is simultaneously used in a seat-with-back configuration.

Some versions of convertible ottomans with ottoman configurations and seat-with-back configurations may be converted without requiring any movement mechanisms. Such embodiments may have varying degrees of disguising of their multiple-nature configurations. FIGS. 25 and 26 show one version of a flip ottoman 98. The flip ottoman 98, in its ottoman configuration, may not have anything hiding its ability to assume multiple configurations, but may still appear to be a normal ottoman from as many as three sides, such as illustrated in FIG. 25. The remaining side may be turned toward a couch, love seat, chair, or other furniture item, and may therefore not be readily observable by the casual observer. The flip ottoman 98 converts to its seat-with-back configuration by being flipped over so that a top cushion 100 of the flip ottoman 98 is resting on the ground, as illustrated in FIG. 26.

When the flip ottoman 98 is flipped into its seat-with back configuration, a seat 102 and back rest 104 are revealed along with two arms 106. In this view, it becomes clear that the back rest 104 and the two arms 106 rest on the ground when the flip ottoman 98 is in its ottoman configuration, and that outer surfaces of the back rest 104 and the two arms 106 are therefore the sides of the flip ottoman 98 in the ottoman configuration. While the flip ottoman 98 is illustrated in FIGS. 25 and 26 as being a one-person ottoman, it should be appreciated that larger versions may be made that seat two, three, or more persons.

For example, FIG. 27 illustrates a skirted flip ottoman 108 capable of seating two persons, similar to a loveseat, when in its seat-with-back configuration. The skirted flip ottoman 108 or the flip ottoman 98 may also be made in larger configurations. The skirted flip ottoman 108 also has the top cushion 100, the seat 102, the back rest 104, and the arms 106, similar to the flip ottoman 98. In addition, the skirted flip ottoman 108 also has a skirt 110 that is attached to the skirted flip ottoman 108 along a vertical midpoint 112 of the skirted flip ottoman 110. The vertical midpoint 112 may coincide with the height of the seat 102 when the skirted flip ottoman 108 is in its seat-with-back configuration, as shown in FIG. 27. The skirt 110 may include a weighted bead in the hem of the skirt 110 that assists the skirt 110 to hang vertically downward (i.e. to flip inside-out when the skirted flip ottoman 108 is converted), hiding the cavity of the skirted flip ottoman 108 when in its ottoman configuration, and resting out of the way when the skirted flip ottoman 108 is in the seat-with-back configuration, as may be apparent from FIG. 27. The skirt 110 may be formed in sections, one section for each side of the skirted flip ottoman 108, to best enable the skirt 110 to fall in the proper direction when the skirted flip ottoman 108 is flipped to make the conversion between configurations.

In addition to disguising the multiple-functional nature of the skirted flip ottoman 108, the skirt 110 also performs an additional function of allowing the skirted flip ottoman 108 to change its appearance, such as its upholstery. For example, the top cushion 100 and one side of the skirt 110 may be upholstered with a first material. The other side of the skirt 110 and the visible portions of the skirted flip ottoman 108 when in the seat-with-back configuration may be upholstered with a second material that differs from the first material. In this way, the skirted flip ottoman 108 appears even more to be completely different pieces of furniture in its different configurations. For example, in its ottoman configuration, the skirted flip ottoman 108 may be upholstered to match other items of furniture in the room. Meanwhile, it its seat-with-back configuration, the skirted flip ottoman 108 may be upholstered with a gaming theme or some other completely different look to appeal to video gamers, youth, or some other individuals. In either configuration, the upholstery of the other configuration may be almost completely hidden from view by the skirt 110. In this way, a youth could have a dedicated gaming seat without interfering with a parent's overall décor choices.

Thus, having the skirt 110 attach at the vertical midpoint 112 assists in completing the décor change when the skirted flip ottoman 108 is converted. However, the skirt 110 may be attached at vertical locations other than the vertical midpoint 112 to achieve varying upholstery effects, such as a layered upholstery look or to have the skirt 110 rest more fully on the ground. Such effects are design choices that can be made during manufacture to achieve differing looks for the skirted flip ottoman 108 in its various configurations.

FIG. 28 shows an embodiment of a skirted lounge ottoman 114. The skirted lounge ottoman 114 may have features similar to the skirted flip ottoman, and may function in a similar way, including being flipped over to change configurations. The skirted lounge ottoman 114 also has an additional feature in that it has a headrest 116 that may be attached to the back rest 104 (either permanently or temporarily) at a fabric hinge/snap strip 118. Thus, when the skirted lounge ottoman 114 is flipped into its seat-with-back configuration, the headrest 116 may be flipped up into a use position. Then, when the skirted lounge ottoman 114 is to be flipped back into its ottoman configuration, the headrest 116 may be flipped down to rest adjacent the back rest 104 and between the arms 106. The headrest 116 may improve the comfort of the skirted lounge ottoman 114 over the skirted flip ottoman 108 for some people. It should be understood that the skirted lounge ottoman 114 may be manufactured to seat more than one person and that, if so manufactured, it may be manufactured to include additional arms 106 separating each person, or it may be manufactured without additional arms 106, as per a standard loveseat or couch.

The skirt 110 may also be utilized for embodiments of ottomans other than the flip-over type ottomans discussed above with respect to FIGS. 22-28. For example, FIG. 29 shows one embodiment of a clamshell ottoman 120. The clamshell ottoman 120 may open in a fashion similar to several of the ottomans discussed above, such as the ottoman 62, the ottoman 76, and the ottoman 90, but rather than incorporate sides such as side piece 86 or side 96, the clamshell ottoman 120 utilizes the skirt 110 to disguise the multi-functional nature of the clamshell ottoman 120. When the clamshell ottoman 120 is in its ottoman configuration, the skirt 110 hangs down and gives the clamshell ottoman 120 the appearance of a standard ottoman. When the clamshell ottoman 120 is opened, a top cushion/backrest 122 is lifted up from its substantially-horizontal position into a position that is past substantially vertical. Since the top cushion/backrest 122 comes to rest in a position that is past the vertical position, the skirt 110 (which may include a weighted bead as discussed above) may automatically fall backward. The now-top portion of the skirt 110 may need to be manually flipped backward, but will typically stay flipped back until the clamshell ottoman 120 is returned to its ottoman configuration. In some embodiments, all or a portion of the skirt 110 may be manufactured from a relatively stiff material or may incorporate a stiffener to assist the skirt 110 in uniformly flip from one configuration to the other.

As may be seen from FIG. 29, a base portion 124 of the clamshell ottoman 120 and an inward portion of the top cushion/backrest 122 need not be flat or square, as the irregular shapes of these portions are hidden by the skirt 110 when in the ottoman configuration. The skirt 110 need not be attached to a vertical midpoint of the ottoman in all configurations. Additionally, in a fashion similar to or identical to that discussed above, the upholstery showing when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in its ottoman configuration may be completely different than the upholstery showing when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in its seat-and-back configuration, although it will be understood that in the seat-and-back configuration, the back of the top cushion/backrest 122 will remain visible from behind the clamshell ottoman 120 and may therefore not necessarily entirely match the remainder of the clamshell ottoman 120.

As may be appreciated from FIG. 29, the clamshell ottoman 120 may open along a long axis of the ottoman to provide a deeper seat and higher back support when in the seat-and-back configuration. Several of the ottomans discussed previously have been illustrated as opening and/or having a seat and back in the more narrow axis, and the embodiment of FIG. 29 may also be modified to open in the narrow axis and the previously-illustrated embodiments may be modified to open in the longer axis to provide a deeper seat similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 29.

As illustrated in FIG. 29, the base portion 124 may incorporate audio hookups/controls 126 so that the clamshell ottoman 120 may be used as a gaming chair. In such embodiments, the clamshell ottoman 120 may also incorporate one or more speakers in the base portion 124 and/or the top cushion/backrest 122 to enhance the gaming experience of the clamshell ottoman 120. Such speakers may be hidden behind fabric of the clamshell ottoman 120, or may be visible when the ottoman is in its seat-with-back/gaming configuration. Speaker(s) and or rumble mechanisms, when present, may provide the user of the clamshell ottoman 120 with a more-enjoyable gaming experience. In some embodiments, the clamshell ottoman 120 may even be used as a subwoofer/speaker when in its ottoman configuration. As may also be seen in FIG. 29, the base portion 124 may be mounted on a pedestal base 128 that may permit the clamshell ottoman to rock and/or swivel, in some embodiments, such as when it is being used as a gaming chair.

FIGS. 30-33A illustrate an alternate embodiment of the clamshell ottoman 120. The functionality and parts of this embodiment may be similar to those discussed above with respect to FIG. 29 but the shapes of the top cushion/backrest 122 and the base portion 124 may be varied. Also, additional features are illustrated in FIGS. 31-33A. For example, FIGS. 31 and 32 illustrate that the embodiment of the clamshell ottoman relies on a simple hinge 130 to connect the top cushion/backrest 122. In FIG. 32, the skirt 110 is illustrated as being transparent so that a cutout 132 in the base portion 124 and in the top cushion/backrest 122 is visible. The cutout 132 allows the top cushion/backrest 122 to rotate about the hinge 130 connecting the top cushion/backrest 122 to the base portion 124 until the top cushion/backrest 122 is in a semi-reclined position. As may be see by comparing FIG. 32 with FIG. 33A (which shows the clamshell ottoman 120 without the skirt 110 for illustrative purposes only), the shape of the cutout 132 may be varied, and it should be understood that varying the cutout may permit different degrees of reclining of the top cushion/backrest 122 in the seat-with-back configuration.

The cutout 132 is hidden by the upholstery of the top cushion/backrest 122 and by the skirt 110 when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in its ottoman configuration. Thus, even though the surfaces of base portion 124 and even the inner surfaces of the top cushion/backrest 122 may be highly irregularly shaped, the appearance of the clamshell ottoman 120 in its ottoman configuration may be highly regular and similar to a standard ottoman, as seen in FIG. 30. FIG. 33A also illustrates one manner in which one or more speakers 134 may be incorporated into the clamshell ottoman 120, such as being located in the back of the top cushion/backrest 122. Additional speakers 134 (not shown in FIG. 33A) may be located so as to be near the head of the seat occupant, and may provide a stereo speaker experience. In embodiments containing one or more speakers 134 and/or any other electronics, and in embodiments not containing speakers 134 or electronics but that are configured to receive speakers 134 or electronics in the future, a detachable front 135 may be provided to permit access to the interior of the top cushion/backrest 122. Additionally, a bottom or top portion of the base portion 124 may be similarly openable/accessible. This may permit access to the speakers 134 or other electronics, such as to permit installation of improved speakers 134 and/or electronics, or to repair broken speakers 134 and/or electronics. In some embodiments, the entire front of the top cushion/backrest 122 may be detachable and, in other embodiments, only a portion thereof is removable, such as a headrest portion or a lower back portion.

FIGS. 33B-33G illustrate three additional alternate embodiments of the clamshell ottoman 120 in ottoman and seat-with-back configurations. The illustrated embodiments of FIGS. 33B-33G do not include the pedestal base 128, but similar embodiments may include the pedestal base 128. The illustrations of FIGS. 33B and 33C show the skirt 110, while the illustrations of FIGS. 33D-33G do not show the skirt 110. It should be understood that the embodiments of FIGS. 33D-33G include the skirt 110, and that the skirt 110 has been omitted from FIGS. 33D-33G solely for the purposes of clarity.

FIGS. 33B-33G illustrate varying shapes of the cutout 132, but all illustrate that the cutout 132 may be completely hidden by the skirt 110 when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in the ottoman configuration, whereby a casual observer may not realize that the clamshell ottoman 120 has multiple functionalities. FIGS. 33B-33G also illustrate varying stylistic patterns that may be incorporated into the clamshell ottoman 120. Additionally, FIGS. 33B-33G illustrate various additional ergonomic curvatures and shapes that may be revealed when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in the seat-with-back configuration.

As may be appreciated from FIGS. 29-33G, the hinge 130 or other similar connection between the top cushion/backrest 122 and the base portion 124 will typically be completely hidden from view when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in the ottoman configuration. The placement of the hinge 130 or other similar mechanism and the cutout 132 also largely prevents inadvertent pinches or other difficulties when opening or closing the clamshell ottoman 120. The hinge 130 may be inset, when the clamshell ottoman 120 is in the seat-with-back configuration, so that a user sitting on the base portion 124 will not feel the hinge 130 when leaning back against the top cushion/backrest 122.

The clamshell ottoman 120 is not the only convertible ottoman of the types discussed above that may incorporate audio systems: the other convertible ottomans discussed may incorporate audio controls and hookups similar to audio hookups/controls 126, and may incorporate speakers and rumble devices similar to speaker 134. In addition, rather than or in addition to incorporating speaker systems, other devices/functionalities may be incorporated into the convertible ottomans. For example, one or more massage devices/mechanisms may be incorporated into the convertible ottomans discussed above, such as in the base portion 124 and/or in the top cushion/backrest. In this way, the various convertible ottomans may convert into a massage chair when in the seat-with-back configuration. If the massage devices/mechanisms are paired with even small speaker systems, the convertible ottomans may additionally provide soothing music during a massage session. Any other desirable and suitable devices and features may be incorporated into the convertible ottomans, including storage locations (such as in the base portion 124) for storing remote controls, video game controllers, and the like. Similar features may also be incorporated into the other convertible ottomans discussed below.

For example, FIGS. 34-36 illustrate a cube lounge 136 convertible ottoman. The cube lounge 136 may incorporate some or all of the features discussed in the previous paragraph. As seen in FIG. 34, the cube lounge 136 may appear similar to a standard ottoman when in its ottoman configuration. However, portions of the cube lounge 136 may fold out, as illustrated in FIG. 35, to form a lounge-type seat-with-back configuration. To convert to the seat-with-back configuration, first a leg portion 138 folds out and lies flat along the floor. Next, a headrest portion 140 flips up and back to form a headrest, completing the lounge transformation. In some embodiments, an audio control 142 may be provided, along with an audio hookup 144, to drive and control speakers, rumble devices, and the like, incorporated into the cube lounge 136. The audio control 142 may be thin and may be housed in or attached to a sleeve that may rest between an arm 146 of the cube lounge 136 and the headrest portion 140 and/or the leg portion 138 when the cube lounge 136 is in its ottoman configuration. The audio control 142 may then be flipped out onto the arm 146 when in the seat-with-back configuration for convenient access. In embodiments seating multiple people, multiple audio controls 142 may be provided so that each person can individually control his or her audio experience. One illustrative embodiment of the audio control 142 is shown in FIG. 36.

Embodiments of convertible ottomans, such as those discussed above and below, as well as embodiments of other convertible furniture items, may all be manufactured using standard furniture construction techniques and materials. Other embodiments may be manufactured using alternate techniques and materials. For example, to reduce weight for the flip ottoman 98 and/or the skirted flip ottoman 108 discussed above, vacuum molding techniques may be used during manufacture, as illustrated in FIGS. 37-41. These Figures illustrate vacuum-molding construction of an embodiment of the skirted flip ottoman 110. As shown in FIG. 37, the skirted flip ottoman 110 may be manufactured of a top vacuum-molded piece 148 of the form of the top cushion 100, and a bottom vacuum-molded piece 150 that may have an ergonomic seat 152 molded into it. In some embodiments, a vacuum-molded headrest 154 may also be manufactured for forming the headrest 116 (which is later attached using the fabric hinge/snap strip 118, as discussed above). The top vacuum-molded piece 148 and the bottom vacuum-molded piece 150 may be attached together as illustrated in FIG. 39, or they may first be modified to include speaker components as illustrated in FIG. 38.

For example, in some embodiments, both base and treble speakers may be included. Therefore, a crossover network 156 may be attached inside one of the vacuum-molded pieces, such as inside the top vacuum-molded piece 148. The crossover network 156 may be electrically connected to externally-accessible audio hookups/controls, and may include additional audio/electrical equipment, such as an amplifier and a power supply. The crossover network may also be electrically connected to a pair of treble speakers 158 that may be attached to locations of the bottom vacuum-molded piece 150 so as to be close to a person's ears when sitting in the skirted flip ottoman 110, to provide a stereo audio experience. Cutouts and/or vacuum-molded holes may be provided in the bottom vacuum-molded piece 150 to receive the treble speakers 158 and to allow the sound to best reach the person, and the treble speakers 158 may be upward firing to assist the sound to reach the person.

The crossover network 156 may also be electrically attached to one or a pair of base speakers 160 that may be mounted in various locations inside the vacuum-molded pieces. For example, the base speaker(s) 160 may be mounted so as to be away from the treble speakers 158, and may be mounted to be sideward firing, as shown in FIG. 38. In some embodiments, holes or ports may be provided in the vacuum-molded pieces to permit sound from the bass speaker(s) 160 to best reach the person sitting in the skirted flip ottoman 110. As bass sound is less directional than treble sound, the placement of the bass speaker(s) 160 is typically considered less critical for the user's stereo enjoyment than is the placement of the treble speaker(s). When a speaker system is provided to the skirted flip ottoman 110, it will be appreciated from FIG. 38 that the entire system, absent externally-accessible controls and hookups, may be wholly contained within the vacuum-molded pieces.

Once the speaker system, if any, has been provided, and the top vacuum-molded piece 148 has been connected to the bottom vacuum-molded piece 150, as illustrated in FIG. 39, padding and upholstery may be added, as well as the skirt 110 to form the finished skirted flip ottoman 110, as illustrated in FIGS. 40 and 41. As will be recognized from this description, this method of manufacture may provide a well-built and solid-feeling piece of furniture without requiring a typical frame and spring construction, thereby substantially lightening the weight of the skirted flip ottoman 110. This may make conversion of the skirted flip ottoman 110 easier than conversion is when standard construction is used, as conversion entails physically flipping over the skirted flip ottoman 110. Any other construction methods may be used for some embodiments of the various pieces of convertible furniture described herein that provide the multiple-functionality nature of the convertible furniture.

FIGS. 42-45 illustrate another convertible ottoman, namely a pop-top ottoman 162. The pop-top ottoman 162 may include two separate pieces that may be separated and re-connected in different ways to convert between an ottoman configuration and a seat-with-back configuration. FIG. 42 shows a perspective view of the pop-top ottoman 162 in its ottoman configuration, while FIG. 43 shows a perspective view of the pop-top ottoman 162 in its seat-with-back configuration. While the pop-top ottoman 162 is illustrated as converting to a seat for one person, other embodiments may convert to seats for two or more persons. The pop-top ottoman 162 includes a pop top 164 that acts as the top cushion of the pop-top ottoman 162 in the ottoman configuration, and that forms an upper portion 166 of the seat back in the seat-with-back configuration. The pop-top ottoman 162 also includes a base 168 that provides a seat 170, arms 172, and a lower portion 174 of the seat back in the seat-with-back configuration. The pop top 164 may have a pair of indentations 176 that interface with the arms 172 in conjunction with the upper portion 166 when the pop-top ottoman is in its ottoman configuration. The interface between the arms 172 and the indentations 176 and the upper portion 166 may help seat the pop top 164 when it is placed on top of the base 168 to form the ottoman configuration.

When the pop top 164 is in the seat-with-back configuration, a back portion 178 of the pop top 164 is located behind the base 168, and this gives the pop top 164 substantial reinforcement and rigidity against a person leaning back on the upper portion 166. As will also be appreciated, the pop top 164 therefore encroaches somewhat on space that was previously available behind the pop-top ottoman 162, and therefore, the pop-top ottoman 162 may need to be moved forward slightly when in the seat-with-back configuration.

FIGS. 44 and 45 illustrate side cutaway views of the pop-top ottoman 162 in its ottoman (closed) configuration and in its seat-with-back (open) configuration, respectively. For clarity purposes, the arms 172 are not illustrated in these FIGS. 44 and 45. FIG. 45 also illustrates various layers that may be used in construction of the pop-top ottoman 162. As set forth above, the interface between the arms 172, the upper portion 166, and the indentations 176 may assist in seating the pop top 164 to the base 168 in the ottoman configuration, and the back portion 178 may assist in strengthening the back of the pop-top-ottoman in the seat-with-back position, but FIGS. 44 and 45 illustrate additional features that function in these regards. These features include a protrusion 180 on the base 168 and receptacles 182 on the pop top 164. The receptacles 182 are located on the pop top 164 so as to engage the protrusion 180 when the pop top 164 is correctly placed to finish conversion to each configuration of the pop-top ottoman 162. The engagement of the protrusion 180 and the receptacle 182 secures the pop top 164 to the base 168 against unwanted movement of the pop top 164 relative to the base 168. In some embodiments, more than one protrusion 180 and corresponding receptacles 182 may be utilized. In other embodiments, one or more protrusions 180 may be located on the pop top 164 and one or more corresponding receptacles 182 may be located on the base.

As may be seen in FIG. 45, the protrusion 180 and receptacles 182 provide secure connections between the pop top 164 and the base 168 because the protrusion 180 and receptacles 182 are located at/attached to a structural layer 184 of the pop top 164 and of the base 168. The structural layer 184 may include a frame and may be made of any suitable material, including woods and metals, and may also include springs or other materials to assist in providing a comfortable seat/ottoman. For further comfort, A high-density foam layer 186 may be placed over the structural layer 184, followed by a low-density foam layer 188 and then followed by any desired upholstery layer(s).

To convert the pop-top ottoman 162, a user need not entirely separate the pop top 164 from the base 168, but may instead just slightly lift the pop top 164 from the base enough to disengage the protrusion 180 from the receptacle 182. The user may then rotate the pop top 164 either backward (to convert to the seat-with back configuration) or forward (to convert to the ottoman configuration). This motion is illustrated in FIGS. 46-48. It may be recognized that this motion may be mimicked using a hinge mechanism 190, or some other movement mechanism, as is alternatively illustrated in FIGS. 49-51. Therefore, some embodiments may include the hinge mechanism 190 or other movement mechanism. In some such embodiments, the protrusion 180 and receptacles 182 may be omitted, as the hinge mechanism 190 or other movement mechanism may provide sufficient guidance and support to prevent unwanted dislocation of the pop top 164. It will be recognized that in some embodiments where a hinge mechanism 190 is provided, the pop top 164 is affixed to the base 168, and is no longer separately removable.

In some embodiments, the hinge mechanism may be hidden under upholstery or otherwise be out of view. This may be illustrated with respect to FIGS. 52-53, which illustrate one embodiment of the hinge mechanism 190. In this embodiment, all portions of the hinge mechanism rest at least one-half inch below the visible front surface of the seat back, and may be covered by some type of upholstery. The hinge mechanism 190 shown in these FIGS. 52-53 is merely illustrative, and may be modified as desired to achieve the motion illustrated in FIGS. 46-48 and 49-51. As has been discussed previously with respect to the other convertible ottomans, the pop-top ottomans 162 discussed with respect to FIGS. 42-53 may be modified to permit seating for more than one individual.

FIG. 119 illustrates another embodiment of the pop-top ottoman 162. The illustrated embodiment includes the removable pop top 164 that includes a headrest upper portion 166 and alignment prongs 181 as the protrusion 180. In the ottoman configuration, the alignment prongs 181 may engage front alignment holes 183 in the arms 172, or the alignment prongs may simply rest in the cavity of the seat 170. The pop top 164 may be removed by sliding the pop top forward to disengage the alignment prongs 181 from the front alignment holes 183 (if necessary) and lifting the removable top piece from the base 168, exposing the seat 170. The pop top 164 may be rotated into a vertical position and slipped downward so that the alignment prongs 181 may engage back alignment holes 185 in a manner similar to that described above. In this way, the removable top piece may be conveniently stored with the seat and may additionally provide a comfortable headrest for the user. It should be understood that the base 168 may be used as a seat without the pop top 164 being attached to provide the headrest.

Another convertible ottoman is illustrated in FIGS. 54-65, namely a pop-up arm ottoman 192. The pop-up arm ottoman 192 utilizes a conversion mechanism 194 that is illustrated in FIGS. 58-61, and is described below, although it is envisioned that modifications may be made to the mechanism illustrated in FIGS. 58-61 that fall within the scope of the various embodiments of the pop-up arm ottoman 192. FIGS. 54 and 55 illustrate perspective and side views, respectively, of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 in its ottoman configuration. As may be seen from these FIGS. 54 and 55, the pop-up arm ottoman 192 resembles a standard ottoman when in the ottoman configuration, with a top cushion 196, a base 198, and legs 200. The pop-up arm ottoman 192 converts to a seat-with-back configuration when the front side of the top cushion 196 is lifted up and back, or when the same effect is achieved by way of a motorized mechanism.

The seat-with-back configuration is illustrated in FIGS. 56 and 57, which show perspective and side views, respectively. When the conversion occurs, a pair of pop-up arms 202 pop up to take the position illustrated in FIG. 56. The pop-up arms 202 have been omitted from the view of FIG. 57 so that the angles of a seat 204 and back 206 of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 may be appreciated. For example, the seat may have an angle inclined from horizontal of between fifteen and thirty degrees. The angle between the back 206 and the seat 204 may be between approximately eighty-five and ninety-five degrees. These angles are given by way of example, and other angles may be provided to the seat 204 and the back 206 for comfort, functional, or aesthetic reasons.

The pop-up arm ottoman 192 may be of a zero-encroachment design in at least one of two ways. First, in some embodiments, no part of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 may extend farther rearward in the chair-with-back configuration than in the ottoman configuration. Thus, the same amount of room may be available behind the pop-up arm ottoman 192 after conversion as there was before conversion. In this sense of non-encroachment, some minor encroachment may occur during the conversion process. Second, in alternate embodiments, no part of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 may extend farther rearward at any time during and after conversion than in the ottoman configuration. In such embodiments, the pop-up arm ottoman 192 is suitable for use and conversion while directly placed up against a wall or other object.

To achieve non-encroachment during and/or after conversion, the base 198 moves forward as the pop-up arm ottoman 192 is converted to its chair-with-back configuration. This may be appreciated from FIGS. 54-57, and especially from FIGS. 56-57. The legs 200 remain in place on the ground and a portion of the conversion mechanism 194 also remains stationary during this forward movement of the base 198. The base 198 therefore moves forward relative to the legs 200. The forward movement of the base 198 provides room behind the base 198 in which the top cushion 196 fits to form the back 206 in the chair-with-back configuration without causing rearward encroachment.

This movement may be enabled and controlled by the conversion mechanism 194. One embodiment of the conversion mechanism 194 is illustrated in FIGS. 58-61. The conversion mechanism 194 is illustrated in FIGS. 58-60 in the chair-with-back configuration. FIG. 58 shows a side perspective view of the conversion mechanism 194. FIG. 59 shows a top perspective view of the conversion mechanism 194. FIG. 60 shows a front perspective view of the conversion mechanism 194. Finally, FIG. 61 shows a closer view of a portion of the front perspective view of FIG. 60. The conversion mechanism 194 may include three principal frames: a leg frame 208 that is fixedly connected to the legs 200, a base frame 210 that is fixedly connected to the base 198, and a cushion frame 212 that is fixedly connected to the top cushion 196.

During conversion of the pop-up arm ottoman 192, the cushion frame 212 moves from a substantially-horizontal position that is also substantially over both the leg frame 208 and the base frame 210 to the substantially-vertical position best seen in FIG. 58. When the cushion frame 212 is in the substantially-vertical position, the cushion frame 212 is over or just behind a back portion of the leg frame 208, and is no longer over the base frame 210, as the base frame 210 has moved forward relative to the leg frame 208. In contrast, when the cushion frame 212 is in the substantially-horizontal position, the base frame 210 is in a more-rearward position that may be substantially centered, front-to-back, on the leg frame 208 and/or the cushion frame 212.

The relative motion of the three principal frames one to another may be controlled by a movement linkage mechanism 214 that is best visible in FIGS. 58 and 61. One movement linkage mechanism 214 is located on each side of the pop-up arm ottoman 192, as may be seen in FIGS. 59 and 60. The movement linkage mechanism 214 includes a fixed plate 216 that is fixedly attached to the base frame 210. The exact shape of the fixed plate 216 is not deemed important for controlling the movements described herein: the location of the attachments between the fixed plate 216 and the other components of the movement linkage mechanism is of more importance. However, the fixed plate 216 may be shaped to avoid being felt when the pop-up arm ottoman 192 is sat on.

Two cushion linkage arms 218 are connected between the fixed plate 216 and the cushion frame 212, in the manner shown in FIGS. 58-60, and especially FIG. 58. In the position shown in FIGS. 58-60, the cushion linkage arms 218 of the movement linkage mechanism 214 are crossed, but in the ottoman configuration, it will be appreciated that the cushion linkage arms 218 are uncrossed and may be close to parallel. Therefore, the cushion linkage arms 218 cross or uncross during conversion of the pop-up arm ottoman 192. The cushion linkage arms 218 are not connected to one another, although a stop 220 may be attached to one of the cushion linkage arms 218 that extends inward or outward to engage the other cushion linkage arm 218 when the cushion frame 212 has moved sufficiently rearward. In some embodiments, the stop 220 may be round, while in other embodiments, the stop 220 may be enlarged and shaped to engage a larger area of the engaged cushion linkage arm 218 to provide greater strength and rigidity in the seat-with-back configuration of the pop-up arm ottoman 192. In still other embodiments, both cushion linkage arms 218 may be provided with small or large stops 220 to achieve this greater strength and rigidity.

A leg frame linkage arm 222 is connected between one of the cushion linkage arms 218 and the leg frame 208. The leg frame linkage arm 222 is connected to the cushion linkage arm 218 at a pivotable connection 226. The combination of the movements of the various linkage arms causes the forward and backward motion of the base frame 210 relative to the leg frame 208. The relative movement may be understood by discussing conversion from the position shown in FIGS. 58-61 to the ottoman position. The leg frame linkage arm 222 moves only slightly in relation to the base frame 208 about pivot point 224, with the upper end of the leg frame linkage arm 222 moving upward and downward slightly during conversion, but the leg frame linkage arm 222 always extends rearward of the pivot point 224. Meanwhile, as the cushion frame 212 is rotated toward horizontal, the cushion linkage arms move from angled up and back from their connection to the fixed plate 216 to angled up and forward from their connection to the fixed plate 216. As the connection 226 is thus forced forward relative to the fixed plate 216, the fixed plate 216 (and thus the base frame 210) must move backward. The reverse process occurs during the ottoman configuration to seat-with-back configuration.

The front-to-back relative movement between the leg frame 208 and the base frame 210 may be harnessed to cause the pop-up arms 202 to pop up/drop down during the conversion process. This may be done by way of an arm brace 228 that is rotatably connected to the leg frame 208 at point 230 and is also rotatably connected to an arm frame (not shown) at point 232. A distal end of the arm frame (not shown) may be rotatably connected to the base frame 210. Therefore, as the base frame 210 moves forward during conversion, the upper end of the arm brace 228 moves forward and upward, causing the forward portion of the arm frame (not shown) to also move forward and upward. In this way, the pop-up arms 202 will pop up/drop down during the conversion process. If additional strength is desired for the pop-up arms 202, additional braces similar to the arm brace 228 may be used, although it may be necessary to make one or more of the additional braces and/or the various connections with the additional brace(s) capable of some minor lengthwise expansion.

Although the three primary frames have been illustrated in FIGS. 58-61 as being essentially flat, it should be understood that the frames may be non-flat and may also include extensions that extend out of the planes of the illustrated frames to provide for mounting and assembling the various components of the pop-up arm ottoman 192. Additionally, it may be appreciated from FIGS. 54-61 that a significant portion of the base 198 may move forward of the front legs 200 of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 when in the seat-with-back configuration. Because of this, a person sitting heavily on the front of the seat 204 or rising from the seat 204 may exert enough downward force on the front of the seat 204 to cause the rear legs 200 to rise from the floor. To prevent this, one or more sliding legs, wheels, casters, or the equivalent may be attached to a front portion 234 of the base frame 210 (see FIG. 59) and will therefore slide/roll forward with the base frame 210 during conversion to provide additional support under the front portion of the seat 204.

FIGS. 62-65 illustrate perspective views of an embodiment of the pop-up arm ottoman 192, and show the pop-up ottoman 192 with a wood frame 236 and the legs 200 built up around the leg frame 208, the base frame 210 and the cushion frame 212, but without upholstery, padding, or springs to support the upholstery and padding. FIGS. 62-65 also illustrate an arm frame 238 and show how the arm frames 238 pop up as the pop-up arm ottoman 192 is converted from its ottoman configuration into its seat-with-back configuration. FIG. 62 shows the pop-up arm ottoman 192 in its ottoman configuration, FIG. 64 shows the pop-up arm ottoman 192 in its seat-with-back configuration, and FIG. 63 shows the pop-up arm ottoman 192 mid-conversion between configurations.

As can be seen in FIG. 62, when the pop-up arm ottoman 192 is in its ottoman configuration, the base frame 210 is back relative to the leg frame 208, and the arm brace extends upward and distinctly backward from the leg frame 208, whereby the arm frames 238 are in a low position. The cushion frame 212 is in a substantially-horizontal position, substantially over the leg frame 208 and the base frame 210, and the wood frame 236 is in a compact square position, suitable for an ottoman. Of the legs 200, the two front legs 200 are substantially under the front corners of the wood frame 236 attached to the base frame 210.

As conversion begins, as seen in FIG. 63, the base frame 210 moves forward relative to the leg frame 208 and also to the legs 200, as may be seen by the fact that the wood frame 326 of the base 198 has moved forward relative to the legs 200. Meanwhile, the cushion frame 212 and the portion of the wood frame 236 associated with the cushion frame 212 has rotated up and back. As may be seen in FIG. 63 and also in FIG. 64, the back end of the arm frames 238 is attached to the wood frame 236 associated with the base 198 at location 240. If additional strength is desired, a portion of the base frame 210 may be extended to location 240 or a metal extension may be attached to the base frame 210 extending to location 240 so that the connection may be made directly to the base frame 210 or to a metal extension of the base frame 210 at location 240. Because the back end of the arm frame 238 is attached to move with the base frame 210 and the base 198, the back end of the arm frame 238 also moves forward. This forward motion forces the arm brace 228 into a more upright position, as seen in FIGS. 63-64, and because the arm brace 228 is rigid, the arm brace 228 forces the front of the arm frame 238 upward. This motion causes the pop-up arms 202 to pop up during conversion.

When conversion to the seat-with-back configuration is complete, as in FIG. 64, the base frame 210 has finished moving forward relative to the leg frame 208, and the cushion frame 212 is in its substantially-vertical position. As may be seen from FIG. 64, the portion of the wood frame 236 associated with the cushion frame 212 has moved behind the portion of the wood frame 236 associated with the base frame 210 to form the back 206. The pop-up arms 202 have fully popped up because of the forward motion of the base 198 and the base frame 210. Of course, it will be understood that the reverse process to that described above occurs during conversion to the ottoman configuration. FIG. 65 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the pop-up arm ottoman 192 in the seat-with-back configuration and fully upholstered except for one of the pop-up arms 202. In this view, it can be understood how the pop-up arm 202 may be upholstered so as to hide the workings of the pop-up arm 202.

A number of convertible ottomans that convert to seat-with-back configurations have been described above. Such embodiments are typically suitable for use as home theater seating since the lower level of the seat in such embodiments provides a tiered-type of seating. Such embodiments are also well suited for providing temporary additional seating. Some other embodiments of convertible ottomans may convert to configurations other than seat-with back configurations.

For example, FIG. 66 illustrates a massage table ottoman 242. The massage table ottoman 242 may resemble a standard ottoman in its ottoman configuration. However, the massage table ottoman 242 may convert to a massage table configuration that provides a massage table surface 244, which may include a head rest 246. In the ottoman configuration, two ottoman cushions 248 and a base 250 may be visible. To convert to the massage table configuration, an elevational mechanism 252 may raise up the ottoman cushions 248, as illustrated in the conversion sequence of FIG. 66, until a central massage table cushion 254 is revealed that may be hingedly attached at its ends to the ottoman cushions 248. Next, the ottoman cushions are flipped out to be contiguous with the central massage table cushion 254, thereby forming the massage table surface 244. In some embodiments, the massage table may remain in a raised position or may be lowered to rest on the base 250 by the elevational mechanism 252, based on the desires of the user.

As another example, FIG. 67 illustrates a foot massage ottoman 256. The foot massage ottoman 256 includes an ottoman shell 258 and a foot massage unit 260 that may be housed within the ottoman shell 258. When the foot massage unit 260 is housed within the ottoman shell 258, the foot massage ottoman 256 may appear to be a standard ottoman. However, the foot massage unit 260 may pull out relative to the ottoman shell 258 and be used to provide a foot massage to a user. To accomplish this, the foot massage unit 260 may include wheels 262, casters, low-friction legs, or the like to allow the foot massage unit 260 to slid out of the ottoman shell 258. Alternatively, as the foot massage ottoman 256, in its ottoman configuration, is typically located close to where the foot massage unit 260 is wanted, the ottoman shell 258 may have wheels 262, casters, low-friction legs, or the like to allow the ottoman shell 258 to be pushed back relative to the foot massage unit 260. In still other embodiments, both the foot massage unit 260 and the ottoman shell 258 may be provided with wheels 262, casters, low-friction legs, or the like.

In some embodiments, a secret mechanism may be activated to allow initial separation between the ottoman shell 258 and the foot massage unit 260, so that undesired inadvertent separation/opening does not occur. Furthermore, in some embodiments, the foot massage unit may not completely withdraw from the ottoman shell 258 unless some mechanism is activate, while in other embodiments, the foot massage unit 260 may be fully withdrawn once the initial secret mechanism is activated. Finally, in some embodiments, the ottoman shell 258 may be completely unconnected to the foot massage unit 260, and may act as an unconnected disguising cover. In embodiments where the foot massage unit and the ottoman shell 258 are fully separable, the ottoman shell 258 may be used as an ottoman while the foot massage unit 260 is used to provide a foot massage.

Another convertible ottoman, a playpen ottoman 264 is illustrated in FIG. 68. The playpen ottoman 264 may be ideal for grandparents or others who only occasionally or intermittently take care of a small child. The playpen ottoman 264 may otherwise remain in its ottoman configuration which may match a rooms normal decoration scheme. The playpen ottoman 264 may include a top cushion 266 hingedly connected to a base 268. When a playpen is wanted, the top cushion 266 may be opened, and a fold-out playpen 270 may automatically deploy. Alternatively, the fold-out playpen 270 may not automatically deploy, but may deploy manually, such as by telescoping poles on the corners of the fold-out playpen 270. In either case, the fold-out playpen 270 includes one or more safety mechanisms that prevent the fold-out playpen 270 from collapsing/folding unless specifically desired, so that the playpen ottoman 264 does not close on a child playing, sleeping, etc. in the fold-out playpen 270. When the fold-out playpen 270 is no longer needed, the safety mechanism(s) may be activated, and the fold-out playpen 270 may be collapsed/folded either simultaneously with or before the top cushion 266 is returned to its ottoman configuration.

Another example of a convertible ottoman, a treadmill ottoman 272, is illustrated in FIGS. 69-75. FIG. 69 shows a perspective three-quarters partial-cutaway view of the treadmill ottoman 272 in its treadmill configuration. FIGS. 70-72 show perspective three-quarters views of the conversion between configurations, and FIGS. 73-75 show perspective side partially-transparent views of the conversion between configurations. The treadmill ottoman 272 may resemble a standard oblong ottoman when in its ottoman configuration and may open/convert to reveal a fully-functional treadmill. As many people do not like the large amount of space taken up by conventional treadmills, the treadmill ottoman 272 may permit a user to disguise his or her treadmill as an ottoman when not being used for exercise, instead of having the treadmill serve as an ungainly and expensive clothes rack.

Even when weight-saving efforts are made, some embodiments of the treadmill ottoman 272 have significant weight and therefore may not be easily liftable by some users. Furthermore, many users of a treadmill wish for their treadmill to face a television, entertainment center, or the like, but wish their ottoman to run parallel to a couch, loveseat, or the like. In many instances these two directions are not the same. Therefore, the treadmill ottoman 272 may include features to permit easy rotation of the treadmill ottoman 272. One such feature may be a rotating base 274. The rotating base 274 may be weighted so that it does not inadvertently move. The rotating base 274 is rotatably connected to a frame 276 of the treadmill portion of the treadmill ottoman 272, and rests upon the ground. To make sure that rotation of the treadmill ottoman 272 between configurations does not cause undesired encroachment, and to permit the treadmill ottoman 272 to be placed suitably close to a couch, loveseat, or the like, the rotating base 274 is not centrally located on the treadmill ottoman 272, but is instead offset toward the back of the treadmill configuration. In this way, when rotation occurs, the back of the treadmill configuration may be no closer to the couch, loveseat, etc. when the treadmill is being used.

To rotate, the front end of the treadmill ottoman 272 in its treadmill configuration moves, rolls, or slides substantially around the rotating base 274. To that end, wheels, casters, or low-friction feet 276 may be provided opposite the rotating base 274. In some embodiments, standard feet may be provided that do not facilitate rotation, and the wheels, casters, or low-friction feet 276 may deploy as the treadmill ottoman 272 converts to its treadmill configuration, after which rotation may occur. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the wheels, casters, or low-friction feet 276 may deploy only as the treadmill ottoman 272 converts to its ottoman configuration, so that the treadmill ottoman 272 is more stable and less prone to unexpected movement while it is being used as a treadmill. In such embodiments, the rotation is performed while the treadmill ottoman 272 is in the ottoman configuration. Finally, in some embodiments, the wheels, casters, or low-friction feet 276 may be continuously deployed, and in some such embodiments, a locking mechanism may be provided that permits locking the treadmill ottoman 272 against unwanted movement.

The treadmill ottoman 272 includes an ottoman shell 280 that may disguise the convertible nature of the treadmill ottoman 272 when it is in the ottoman configuration. To convert to the treadmill configuration, the treadmill ottoman 272 may first be rotated (around the rotating base 274) to a desired orientation. Optionally, this step may be a last step instead of a first step. The ottoman shell 280 may be substantially hingedly connected at a base of a first short side 282 to the frame 276. Thus, the next step in conversion occurs as a second short side 284 of the ottoman shell 280 is lifted upward and rotated back, as depicted in the motion sequence illustrated in FIGS. 70-72 and 73-75. As the ottoman shell 280 rises into its treadmill position, a pair of shell braces 286 may extend and lock into a position supporting the ottoman shell 280. Additionally, as the ottoman shell 280 rises, a treadmill surface 288 is revealed.

The treadmill surface 288 may be substantially similar to a standard treadmill surface, and may include a looped track driven by a motor 290. The motor 290 and treadmill may be powered by a standard electrical cord plugged into an electrical outlet, and, in some embodiments, the electrical cord may be stowed within the ottoman shell 280 when the treadmill ottoman 272 is in its ottoman configuration so that the convertible nature of the treadmill ottoman 272 is disguised. To control the treadmill, a control console 292 may deploy as the ottoman shell 280 is raised and rotated back or may be deployed separately once the ottoman shell 280 is fully raised. Additionally, one or more running handles 294 may be deployed, either during raising of the ottoman shell 280 or separately once the ottoman shell 280 is fully raised, to provide the treadmill user with a convenient place to hold on to. Thus, a fully-functional treadmill may be disguised as and contained in a convertible ottoman.

Other embodiments of hidden treadmill ottomans 272 are shown in FIGS. 115-117. These Figures illustrate various methods of containing a treadmill in a convertible ottoman. As is shown in the Figures, a treadmill may be hidden under a folding top 281 of a convertible treadmill ottoman 272. The hinged folding top 281 covering the treadmill and giving the ottoman a standard ottoman appearance may flip up and out in stages to expose the treadmill and form an elevated portion 283 at the head of the treadmill, and may also expose the treadmill control console 292 or other electronic devices such as those commonly used with treadmills. Running handles 294, handrails, or other similar devices to provide stability during use of the treadmill may then fold out and or up, or may automatically be exposed in opening the treadmill.

In some embodiments of the type illustrated in FIGS. 115-117, the opening of the folding top 281 or extending of the running handles 294 may activate the low-friction feet 278, wheels, or casters to permit the treadmill ottoman 272 to be easily moved or rotated to face a more desirable direction during exercise as described above. FIG. 117 illustrates this rotation in respect to a television 285 and a couch 287.

Additional convertible furniture items include non-ottoman items, including end tables, coffee tables, and the like. FIGS. 76-78 illustrate embodiments of a convertible slide-out chest or convertible end table 296 that may contain a low-profile seat, such as a theater seat. In a first configuration, the convertible end table 296 includes a table top 298 that may be used to hold a lamp, or may otherwise be used as a normal table would be used. The convertible end table 296 also includes a pull-out base 300 that contains the seat or theater seat. In the first configuration, the pull-out base with seat may be entirely contained within a shell unit 302 that resembles a standard cabinet and the pull-out base may have a front panel that blends with the shell unit 302 so as to make the entire chest or convertible end table 296 appear to be a single piece of furniture suitable for use as a coffee table or end table.

The theater seat may have a handle 304 on the front panel that facilitates removing the pull-out base 300 from the cabinet by pulling on the handle 304 and then moving and turning the theater seat as needed for use. Alternatively, the front panel itself may be grasped to remove/move the pull-out base 300. The front panel may also be manufactured to resemble one or more drawers, and may therefore include a plurality of handles 304. Although the illustrated embodiment shows a cabinet/shell unit 302 housing a single single-seat pull-out base 300, other embodiments embrace cabinets/shell units 302 housing one or more pull-out bases 300 as well as embodiments having two or more theater seats per pull-out base 300. In some such embodiments, each pull-out base 300 may appear to be a separate drawer of the cabinet/shell unit 302; alternatively, the two or more theater seats may appear to be a single larger drawer of such embodiments. In some embodiments, an opposite side of the shell unit 302 may include a small drawer for storage that, when closed, is located within the space encompassed by the theater seat of the pull-out base 302 when the pull-out base 302 is placed within the shell unit 302.

In a first embodiment, shown in FIG. 77, the pull-out base 300 has a smooth bottom 306 designed to simply slide over the floor or other surface on which the convertible end table 296 is located. Such embodiments generally function well on carpet, although the material of the smooth bottom 306 may be specifically chosen to facilitate smooth sliding on a particular surface, or may alternatively be chosen to facilitate smooth sliding on a large variety of surfaces. In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 78, the pull-out base 300 may include casters 308 or wheels to facilitate pulling out and moving of the pull-out base 300. These embodiments are generally well suited for more varied floor surfaces.

Some home theater installations include gaming systems. One popular game series for use with such gaming systems is the Guitar Hero® series currently published by Activision Publishing Inc. of Santa Monica Calif. While this game series has proven very popular, it has a major disadvantage in that it utilizes bulky proprietary controls that resemble in size and shape various standard instruments, including a guitar and drum set. Parents may find these controllers littered about their home theater or other room in addition to the standard controllers and other specialty controllers used in the various games of the gaming system(s). In most instances, the various gaming controllers do not go well with the décor selected for the room being used for multiple purposes. In many instances, to store the gaming controllers out-of-sight requires removing the controllers from the room to a location where they are not conveniently accessible when the game is desired to be played.

Some embodiments of the invention may assist with these problems. For example, FIGS. 79 and 80 show perspective views of a gaming storage ottoman 310. The gaming storage ottoman 310 may resemble a standard ottoman, and may therefore match the décor chosen for a room when it is in its ottoman configuration shown in FIG. 79. The gaming storage ottoman 310 includes a top cushion lid 312 that may be attached to a base storage unit 314, such as by a hinge or other connection mechanism 316. The base storage unit 314 may include storage space for gaming controllers such as a guitar controller 318 and a drum controller 320. The storage space may also include space for other controllers, and may include one or more dividers 322 to organize the storage space.

In some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 80, the connection mechanism 136 between the top cushion lid 312 and the base storage unit 314 may not be merely a hinged connection, but it may be advantageous to provide a connection mechanism 136 whereby the top cushion lid 312, in its open position, rests upon the floor. This may provide a lower top over which to look, which may be useful, especially for embodiments housing a drum controller 320. This is because the base storage unit 314 may include a controller attachment point 324 that may allow a controller, such as the drum controller 320 to be mounted to the base storage unit 314 and to rotate out into a use position. This permits the gaming storage ottoman 310, and particularly the base storage unit 314 to serve as a gaming controller stand. Thus, for example, a user may open the gaming storage ottoman 310, pull out the drum controller 320 into a playing position, and play the game without ever separating the drum controller 320 from the gaming storage ottoman 310. The lower position of the top cushion lid 312 shown in FIG. 80 makes it easier to use the gaming storage ottoman 310 as a controller stand without blocking the user's view of the television. As may be appreciated, this function may be achieved without ever moving the gaming storage ottoman from its place in front of a couch, loveseat, etc.

Another example of a gaming-useful convertible ottoman is illustrated in FIG. 81, which illustrates a gaming stage ottoman 326. As illustrated in FIG. 81, the gaming stage ottoman 326 may resemble a standard ottoman in its ottoman configuration, and may have a top 328, sides 330, and a front 332. The gaming stage ottoman 326 may also include a stable back 334 that may be placed to face a couch, loveseat, etc. The gaming stage ottoman 326 converts from its ottoman configuration to a stage configuration by folding out the top 328, the sides 330, and the front 332 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 81 to form a flat stage that also includes a bottom 336 and a plurality of side stage extensions 338 to maximize the area of the flat stage. As may be appreciated from FIG. 81, the conversion may occur without moving the gaming stage ottoman 326 from in front of a couch, loveseat, etc.

The bottom 336 is hingedly connected to the sides 330 and the front 332, and is fixedly connected to the stable back 334. The front 332, besides being hingedly connected to the bottom 336, is hingedly connected to the top 328. Each of the side stage extensions 338 are connected to at least one of the sides 330, the front 332, the top 328, and another of the side stage extensions 338 so as to be able to fold out with the rest of the stage. As may be seen from FIG. 81, the stable back 334 may include the controller attachment points 324 for connecting a drum controller 320 or the equivalent, and a controller stand 340 or a plurality of controller stands 340 may be provided to at least one of the bottom 336 and the stable back 334, such as for securing the guitar controller(s) 318 in a display configuration. The controller stands 340 may also be used for storage of the gaming controllers such as the drum controller 320 and the guitar controller(s) 318 within the gaming stage ottoman 326 when in the ottoman configuration. Therefore, the gaming stage ottoman 326 may serve as storage for the gaming controllers as well as serving as an ottoman and a gaming stage. There may even be sufficient room for addition items/gaming elements such as a microphone stand 342.

Another standard item that is commonly used in front of a couch and the like is a coffee table. However, many standard coffee tables are of limited use. For example, many users do not wish to have the coffee table used for resting feet on, as shoes may damage the surface of the coffee table. Additionally, standard coffee tables are typically difficult or obnoxious to move and therefore may prevent using space in front of the couch, loveseat, etc. for additional seating, such as for watching a movie. FIGS. 82-95B show a convertible coffee table 344 that assists with the aforementioned difficulties associated with standard coffee tables. The convertible coffee table 344 includes a frame 346 (which may be wood, metal, or any other suitable material), a top 348 (of similar or different materials than the frame 346) that includes a rim 350 and a recess 352, and some upholstered foam pads 354. In the coffee table configuration of the convertible coffee table 344, the foam pads 354 may be stored under the table top 346, as may be appreciated by reference to FIGS. 82, 84, and 85, for example. The foam pads 354 may be provided so that two of the foam pads 354 are connected to each other, such as by a hinged-type connection, while one of the foam pads 354 is separate from the other two. The convertible coffee table 344 may include a pad support 356 to support the separate foam pad 354 while the connected foam pads 354 may either rest on an additional pad support 356 or may simply rest on the ground.

The separate foam pad 354 may be removed from under the convertible coffee table 344 and placed on the top 348 in the recess 352 to form an ottoman/footrest, as illustrated in FIG. 87. The rim 350 of the top 348 keeps the foam pad 354 in place in this configuration, as may be seen in FIG. 87 or in FIG. 83. As may be appreciated, the three foam pads 354 may be removed and stacked to form a separate ottoman/footrest so the convertible coffee table 344 can simultaneously serve two purposes as a coffee table and as an ottoman/footrest, as illustrated in FIG. 88. Independently of the single foam pad 354 being removed, the connected foam pads 354 may be pulled out from under the convertible coffee table 344 and may be opened to form a seat 358 with a back 360, and the back 360 may be rested against the frame 346/top 348 of the convertible coffee table 344 for support, as illustrated in FIG. 83. As may be appreciated from FIG. 83, this may be done simultaneously with placing the single foam pad 354 on the top 348 to form a foot rest. In this way, the convertible coffee table 344 may serve as a simultaneous coffee table and home theater seat with back, or as a simultaneous foot rest/ottoman and home theater seat with back. Additionally, if increased seat height or cushioning is desired, the single foam pad 354 may be placed under the connected foam pad serving as the seat 358 to provide a thicker seat 358. The three foam pads 354 may also be extended/folded flat on the ground to form a bed or other horizontal flat cushioned surface, as illustrated in FIG. 91. In this way, the convertible coffee table 344 may simultaneously serve as a coffee table and bed.

In some embodiments, one of the two connected foam pads 354 may be further split to provide theater seating with an angled seat 358 and back 354, as shown in FIGS. 89 and 90. The division may also be provided to include headrests 362 as shown in these Figures. Thus, the two connected foam pads 354 may be removed from under the table and opened to provide theater seating, regardless of whether the single foam pad 354 remains on the support 356, on the top 348 as a footrest, or is placed under the seat 358 to provide a thicker seat 358. Therefore, the convertible coffee 344 table is highly flexible in its uses. It should be recognized that the convertible coffee table 344 may be provided with a removable or openable panel so as to hide the upholstered cushions under the table when not in use, and may thereby be a convertible coffee table chest.

FIGS. 92-95A show alternate embodiments of the convertible coffee table 344 that are capable of converting between a coffee table, home theater seating, and a bed. In these embodiments, the three foam pads 354 may all be connected. In such embodiments, the convertible coffee table 344 will generally not be used as a foot rest/ottoman (at least not with a foam pad 354 on it), since there is no individual foam pad 354 to place on the top 348. Therefore, in some such embodiments, the rim 350 may be omitted. While the foot rest configuration is therefore omitted, FIGS. 92-95A illustrate that the coffee-table-only, the coffee-table-plus-home-theater-seating, the coffee-table-plus-ottoman, and the coffee-table-plus-bed configurations, respectively, all remain available in such embodiments. FIG. 95B shows other alternate embodiments of the convertible coffee table 344. For example, in some embodiments, only two pads 354 may be provided, or a false front may be provided for some or all of the convertible coffee table 354 to hide one or more of the pads 354.

FIG. 96 shows a convertible sofa 364 that may be used independently of the various types of convertible furniture discussed above, or may be used in conjunction with any of the above-described embodiments. In the depiction of FIG. 96, the sofa 364 is shown in its home-theater configuration, which may include one or more headrests 366 for each seating location and one or more central armrests 368 that may include cup holders between each seating location. The central armrests 368 may also have positionable snake lights attached for reading purposes, etc., as is shown in FIG. 96. The sofa 364 also includes exterior armrests 370 that may be hinged and may open to reveal storage compartments 372. The storage compartments 372 may be shallow to hold remotes, video game controllers, and the like, or they may be deeper so as to permit storage of blankets and such. In some embodiments, the storage compartments 372 may be dual depth, such as by way of a removable tray, to include storage for smaller and larger items alike. In some embodiments, the convertible sofa 364 may provide one or more seating locations with a built-in recliner.

To convert the sofa 374 to a standard-use configuration, the central arm rests 368 of the sofa 364 may be hinged, tracked, or otherwise movable so as to be moved below seat cushions 374 of the sofa. The head rests 366 may be removable and may also be stowed underneath the seat cushions 374, or the head rests 366 may alternatively be stowed behind back cushions 376 of the sofa 364. In some embodiments, the fabric covering the back of the sofa 364 may attach by a hook-and-loop fastener or other removable fastener system so that the head rests 366 and/or the central arms 368 may be stowed behind the fabric and the fabric re-attached to hide the head rests 366 and/or the central arms 368. When the exterior arm rests 370 are closed, the exterior arm rests 370 may be manufactured and/or upholstered so that the hinges or other opening mechanisms are hidden, and may be further manufactured so that a casual observer will generally be unaware that the exterior arm rests 370 are capable of opening to reveal storage areas. In some embodiments, the seat cushions 374 and the back cushions 376 may be reversible, having a normal couch fabric on one side for general-purpose use and having a more durable stain and liquid-resistant material on the other side suitable for home theater use to prevent spilled liquids or food from marring the sofa. Thus, when the convertible sofa 364 is converted into a standard-use configuration, a casual observer may have no idea of the home-theater capabilities of the sofa 364, and would merely assume that the convertible sofa 364 is a standard sofa.

FIG. 97 shows a convertible ottoman 378 somewhat similar to the ottoman 90, as well as a conversion sequence for the convertible ottoman 378. In its ottoman configuration, the convertible ottoman 378 resembles typical ottomans and can be used as such: a person sitting on a standard chair, couch or sofa may rest his or her feet on the convertible ottoman 378; however, when additional seating is needed, such as in a home-theater situation, the convertible ottoman 378 may be converted in the manner shown to a seat-with-back configuration. As with the various convertible ottomans previously discussed, the dual nature of the convertible ottoman 378 may be hidden so that a casual observer does not realize that the ottoman may be used for additional seating. One of skill in the art will readily recognize that in some embodiments the convertible ottoman may be widened so as to permit seating of more than one individual.

During conversion of the convertible ottoman 378 to the seat-with-back configuration, a top cushion/back 380 of the convertible ottoman 378 may rotate from horizontal to a position at or past vertical, and may then move downward into a locked position in an indentation 382 of a seat portion 384, as illustrated in the motion sequence. During the reverse conversion, the top cushion/back 380 may be lifted up to unlock the top cushion/back 380, which may then be rotated forward to its substantially-horizontal ottoman configuration. The convertible ottoman 378 may include sides 386 that may include hardware to support the motion and that also serve to hide any such hardware, such as to disguise the multi-functional nature of the convertible ottoman 378.

FIG. 98 shows alternate embodiments of ottomans 90 that do not include the sides 96. Instead, in the embodiments depicted in FIG. 98, the ottoman 90 may be provided with internal hinges 388 that are contained within the top portion 92. There may be a slit provided in the internal side of the top portion to permit the hinge 388 to pass as the top portion is rotated, but the hinge 388 will not be felt even by a user sitting on the bottom portion when in the seat-with-back configuration. As shown in FIG. 98, the ottoman 92 may be provided with speakers 390 that are positioned so as to be proximate the ears of someone sitting in the ottoman seat in its seat-with-back (home-theater) configuration. This may enhance the viewing experience of the user during movies and video games. In some embodiments, the seating may be provided with a rumble pack or downward pointing subwoofer under the seat so as to further enhance the user's experience. Other embodiments utilize the space under the seat of the home-theater configuration to provide storage space for remote controls, for video game controllers, or for any other purpose. FIG. 99 illustrates an embodiment with two ottomans 90 similar to that illustrated in FIG. 98, but without speakers 390, connected together with a cabinet 389 to form a two-seat cabinet ottoman 391. This illustrates but one way in which the ottoman 90 may be modified or combined with additional furniture elements. FIGS. 100 and 101 show alternate embodiments of the ottoman 90 having similar integrated speakers 390 and speaker systems.

FIGS. 102 and 103 illustrate a mechanical ottoman 392 similar to the pop-up arm ottoman 192 but without the pop-up arms 202. The mechanical ottoman 392 includes three main portions, a leg base 394, a moving seat 396, and a cushion back 398. During conversion, these three main portions move in a manner similar or identical to the movement described above with respect to the leg frame 208, the base frame 210, and the cushion frame 212 in FIGS. 58-64. Specifically, during conversion, the leg base 394 remains substantially fixed to a position on the ground/floor, the cushion back 398 is rotated between substantially-vertical and substantially-horizontal positions, and the moving seat 396 slides forward and backward to allow the cushion back 398 to move to a position behind the moving seat 396 when the mechanical ottoman 392 is in the seat-with-back configuration. This motion sequence is illustrated in FIG. 102. As may be seen in FIG. 103, the moving seat 396 may slide forward to a greater extent during conversion than it is at in the seat-with-back configuration to permit passage of the cushion back 398, and may the slide slightly backward again into the seat-with-back configuration.

As is visible in FIG. 102, the mechanical ottoman 392 may be provided with audio controls 400 and a non-flat seating surface when the ottoman is in its seat-with-back (home-theater) configuration. Audio inputs 402 (including a power connection) for the system may be provided on the leg base 394 so as to be less noticeable when the mechanical ottoman 392 is in its ottoman configuration. Speakers 404 may be provided in the hidden portion of the cushion back 398 and/or in the moving seat 396 or even down-firing in the leg base 394, as has been discussed previously. While many of the various ottoman-type embodiments of FIGS. 97-103 have been illustrated as seating a single individual in the chair-with-back configuration, it should be understood that other embodiments may include a wider configuration to permit seating for more than one individual.

FIG. 104 shows another item of convertible furniture, namely a convertible file 406. The convertible file 406 may be suitable for home or office use, and may be used to store files, such as in hanging file folders. The convertible file 406 may include an openable top 408 that permits access to an internal storage space. The internal storage space may include a first storage space 410 and a second storage space 412. Though not included in all embodiments, the first storage space 410 and the second storage space 412 may be separated by a divider 414. The first storage space 410 and the second storage space 412 may have different depths configured to store files and items of different sizes. The difference in depths provides for a pad storage area 416 to be located under the convertible file sized to store a series of stacked pads 418 that may include individual pads 418 and/or pads 418 that are connected together. The pads 418 may be withdrawn from the pad storage area 416 and used to provide a seat as shown in FIG. 104 or may be used to provide a padded horizontal surface, such as for sleeping, similar to the foam pads 354 discussed above with respect to the convertible coffee table 344. The pads 418 may generally be thinner than the foam pads 354, to allow more space for storage in the second storage area 412. A user of the convertible file 406 may thus be able to provide an emergency sleeping area without dedicating a large area to storing a bed, etc.

Additional items of convertible furniture will be summarized below with respect to the referenced Figures.

FIG. 105 illustrates a convertible ottoman that converts between a standard ottoman configuration and a baby changing table and playpen configuration. As previously, the standard ottoman configuration resembles any standard non-convertible ottoman. However, a removable top 420 is provided, and when removed, it exposes an inner recess 422 sized to serve as a playpen for small children such as toddlers and infants. Raisable sides 424 may be provided to enhance the safety of the playpen. To raise the raisable sides 424 and provide a safer environment for a child, the corners or other locations of the ottoman may be provided with corner telescoping poles 426 with mesh, webbing, or other material attached to the corner telescoping poles 426 and extending between the corner telescoping poles 426. Angled telescoping poles 428 may be provided at an angle as illustrated in FIG. 105. These angled telescoping poles 428 allow the ottoman top to be flipped over to serve as a baby changing table 430 as illustrated. One of skill in the art will recognize that in this embodiment a base 432 of the ottoman should be sufficiently weighted and the various telescoping poles should be provided so as to lock in position so that a baby on the changing table 430 is safe from falling.

FIG. 106 illustrates a convertible bench 434 in accordance with certain embodiments of the invention. The convertible bench 434 shown can be used to provide a driving range or other similar backdrop for sports purposes. The convertible bench 434 may be a contemporary slab bench style and be made so as to open and reveal a storage space 436. The storage space 436 may be provided with a backdrop mesh 438, as shown, in a furled position, and the backdrop mesh 438 may be provided with an extendible means for supporting the backdrop mesh 438 in an extended position to serve as a backdrop. The extendible means may be extendible poles such as telescoping poles, tent-type elastic-loaded sectional poles, and spring hoops such as those used in self-erecting tents, dashboard sun-screens, and such. Any means for supporting the backdrop mesh 438 may be used so long as the means may assume a folded or more-compact configuration so as to be stored in (or under) the convertible bench in the storage space 436.

An embodiment of a convertible armoire 440 with a fold-out elliptical trainer 442 is illustrated in FIG. 107. While a fold-out elliptical trainer 442 is illustrated in FIG. 107, other fold-out exercise equipment such as a treadmill or cycle may be contained in similar armoire embodiments. In the illustrated embodiment, the armoire 440 contains a TV storage area 444 that may be used in any configuration of the furniture. The lower portion of the armoire 440 may have a fold-down door or other false finish that hides the exercise equipment contained therein. Alternatively, the lower portion of the armoire 440 may have cabinet doors that open to reveal the exercise equipment (i.e. elliptical trainer 442). To begin exercising, the user simply pulls the exercise equipment (in this case the elliptical trainer 442) down and/or out of the exercise equipment storage area, exercises as wanted (with or without watching television), and then re-stores the exercise equipment in the armoire 440. When the exercise equipment is not deployed, the armoire 440 resembles any typical armoire, and the television may be used as is common with entertainment-center armoires that do not have the convertible capabilities of the convertible armoire 440.

FIG. 108 illustrates an embodiment of convertible fly-tie station 446 that can be used by a fly-tying enthusiast or for any other similar storage/display/workstation. Such convertible features may be contained in ottomans, coffee tables, trunks, and other similar furniture. In the illustrated embodiment, a hinged top 448 provides display-type storage for fishing gear, and reveals a storage and work area. The embodiment also shows how a workstation may be provided with the convertible furniture by having a work surface 450 that may be hingedly or rotatably attached to the fly-tie station 446 so as to extend out for use while uncovering a storage area, or that may be separately provided and attachable to the convertible furniture in any of a variety of configurations. The fly-tie station 446 may be excellent for providing a fly-tying vise in conjunction with the work surface 450.

A game surface ottoman 452 is illustrated in FIG. 109. In the illustrated embodiment, a removable or reversible top 454 (or portion thereof, as illustrated in FIG. 109) may have a game surface on it, such as a chess board, etc. The top may be provided with a telescoping mechanism 456 or other raising mechanism so as to raise the gaming surface to a desirable level for playing a game. Drawers or doors 458 may be provided to access storage underneath the gaming surface, or the raising of the gaming surface may expose and give access to storage underneath the removable or reversible top 454.

Several embodiments of lockable safe storage convertible furniture are illustrated in FIG. 110. The embodiments illustrated may be used to provide locked firearms storage for home defense and other purposes. In one embodiment, a side table or nightstand 460 may be provided that appears to be a standard side table or nightstand with drawers. However, the top drawer may actually be a false drawer 462 that does not open, and may be provided with a biometric identification device 464 such as a thumbprint/fingerprint reader, or it may be provided with a standard lock. The biometric identification device 464 or lock activates a locking/unlocking mechanism in some embodiments, unlocking a sliding top 466 of the side table or nightstand to expose a hidden storage area 468. In some embodiments, the sliding top 466 may be spring loaded so as to automatically slide open when the biometric identification device 464 or lock is activated. The hidden storage area 468 may be used as a gun safe for storing firearms. This may permit a user to store weapons in a readily-accessible area in a central part of the home, in case of emergency, while keeping the weapons secured against children or other persons. In a similar alternate embodiment, a chest or coffee table 470 may be provided with sufficient storage in its hidden storage area 468 to store rifles, shotguns, or other larger weapons, as illustrated in FIG. 110.

FIG. 112 illustrates a fold-out/roll-out putting surface 472 that may be contained in a convertible side table 474 or telephone table, in accordance with embodiments of the inventive convertible furniture.

FIG. 113 illustrates a recording studio ottoman 476 that provides for a recording studio in an ottoman. The illustrated embodiment may permit safe storage for guitars, keyboards, laptops, etc. and may come with an integrated amplifier 478 and speakers. The recording studio ottoman 476 may open as discussed previously regarding other storage-type convertible ottomans. The illustrated embodiment provides for everything needed for a composing session or jam session in one single, convenient location, but also provides safe storage for the equipment when not in use. Therefore, the recording studio ottoman 476 may be lockable.

FIG. 114 illustrates a shoe storage ottoman 480 similar to those used at the foot of a bed or in a walk-in closet. The shoe storage ottoman 480 may convert as shown to contain shoe storage or other similar storage spaces.

FIG. 118 illustrates another embodiment of a dividable flip ottoman 482. In the embodiment of FIG. 118, the ottoman may be converted into a pair of low-profile theater seats 484. This may be accomplished by separating the long dividable flip ottoman along its centerline 486 and then flipping the two halves of the ottoman top-for-bottom to reveal the theater seats 484, as shown. Alternatively, the dividable flip ottoman 482 may be flipped before separation along its centerline 486. In the illustrated embodiment, the two theater seats 484 may join at the ends of its arm rests so that when the dividable flip ottoman 482 is in the ottoman configuration, the dividable flip ottoman 482 appears to be a standard ottoman having an apparently solid top and four sides. The two halves of the dividable flip ottoman 482 may be secured or held together by any known means, including magnets, snaps, straps, hook-and-loop fasteners, or any other readily-reversible means of attachment. In some embodiments similar to that of FIG. 118, the dividable flip ottoman 482 may include the skirt 110, which may have colors differing from side to side so that the entire dividable flip ottoman 482 is a different color from the individual theater seats 484 when flipped (i.e. similar to the skirted flip ottoman 108 discussed above).

FIG. 120 illustrates use of the various convertible ottomans in a home theater situation, and illustrates the advantageous sightlines 488 that may be achieved using various embodiments of convertible seat-with-back ottomans, whether specifically discussed above or not. In FIG. 120, it may be seen that when watching a television 490, a person sitting on a convertible ottoman 492 in its seat-with-back configuration does not block the advantageous sightlines 488 of a person sitting on a couch 494 behind the convertible ottoman 492. Furthermore, as may be seen from FIG. 120, the convertible ottomans 492 that have zero encroachment may also provide for good leg room in addition to the unobstructed view for a person behind the convertible ottoman 492 in a home theater/gaming seat configuration.

FIGS. 121-126 illustrate another embodiment of a convertible ottoman 496. FIG. 121 shows the convertible ottoman 496 in its ottoman configuration. FIG. 122 shows the convertible ottoman 496 with a top removed or reversed to expose a tabletop/tray 498. Alternatively, the top might be removed or opened to reveal a storage space. FIG. 123 shows the convertible ottoman 496 opened to provide home theater seating. FIGS. 124 and 125 show the convertible ottoman 496 in its home theater configuration with the tray 498 optionally extended for the convenience of the person sitting behind the convertible ottoman 496. The person sitting behind the convertible ottoman 496 may, in this way, use the tray 498 to write on or to hold objects such as food or a remote control. FIG. 126 shows how the convertible ottoman 496 and tray 498 may be folded back to the original configuration of FIG. 121/FIG. 122.

FIGS. 127-136 show mock-ups of additional embodiments of convertible ottomans so as to display how the ottomans may be converted to provide multiple configurations including standard and home-theater configurations.

Other embodiments of the convertible furniture are envisioned, but not specifically illustrated in the Figures, and are set forth below. One of skill in the art will recognize how the described embodiments below may be embodied by referring to the above description and the appended drawings. The following listing of alternate embodiments includes embodiments more specifically illustrated and described above and others not so specifically illustrated and described.

Things that ottomans can be made to turn into include: SEATING: Theatre, Gaming, Massager, Audio (music chair), etc.; GAMES: Chess, Monopoly, Ping Pong, Pool, Air Hockey, Golf Putting, Gambling Table, Basketball, etc.; EXERCISE: Tread Mill, Bike, Weight Bench, Invert Machine, Massage Table, Women's Exercise Toning Machines, Yoga Box (ball, matt, weights, chart, video, etc) etc.; STORAGE: Blankets, DVD's, Books & Magazines, Vacuum Hose (maybe foldable vacuum), Cleaning Supplies, Shoe Storage, Safe, Clothes Pantry, etc. (Lockable); DESK: Computer Area (lap top retractable work surface-works with Pod lid open or closed), Book Shelf, File Cabinet, Drawers (for phone book etc.), Light, Cork Board, Wrapping Paper, Mail, Power-Computer-Phone Hook-Up, Small Parts Bins, Trash Can, Shredder, etc. (Lockable); OFFICE: File Cabinets, etc. (Lockable); SPORTSMEN: Gun Reloading Desk—with display rack. Fisherman's Desk—for fly tying with display rack. Gun Safe, etc. (Lockable); MUSIC: Key Board, Guitar or Drum Set w/Amp & Music Stand, etc.; MISC: Ice Box, Childs Crib or Play Pin with Mobile, Craft Center, Pet House/Grooming Station, Foot Massage, Refrigerator, Grill (outside), Tanning Bed, etc.

Things that couches can be made to turn into include: Theatre Seating, Recliner, Bed, Massage Chair, etc.

Things that dining room tables can be made to turn into include: Pool Table, Ping Pong Table, Gambling Table, Sun Tanning Bed, Massage Table, Sleeping Bed, etc.

Other embodiments may be provided and the illustrated embodiments may take other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the illustrated embodiments. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of claimed protection is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims, rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.





 
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