Title:
X-SLOT FURNITURE SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The modular furniture system of the invention provides a plurality or elements that when selectively combined create a virtually infinite number of possibilities allowing for the customization of every piece of furniture. The modular furniture system includes a plurality of interchangeable elements and at least one pair of mating slots configured to selectively interconnect said plurality of interchangeable elements in a sliding relationship.



Inventors:
Cebollero, Marimer (Guaynabo, PR, US)
Application Number:
12/114560
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
05/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
16/404, 248/346.01, 248/346.4
International Classes:
A47F5/00; A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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20100018937Basket ToteJanuary, 2010Goto et al.
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20070029272Removable shelf inserts and dividersFebruary, 2007Wroten



Primary Examiner:
CHAN, KO HUNG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERTO J. RIOS (SAN JUAN, PR, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A furniture system comprising: a plurality of interchangeable elements; and at least one pair of mating slots configured to selectively interconnect said plurality of interchangeable elements in a sliding relationship.

2. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein said of plurality of interchangeable elements comprises: a base element having a top surface and a bottom surface; and at least one supporting element.

3. The furniture system of claim 2, wherein said at least one supporting element comprises a plurality of selectively spaced slots.

4. The furniture system of claim 3, wherein said at least one supporting element further comprises a recessed portion located on top of said plurality of selectively spaced slots.

5. The furniture system of claim 4, wherein said base element is configured so that a portion of said base element is positioned within the recessed portion of a first supporting element and the recessed portion of a second supporting element.

6. The furniture system of claim 5, wherein said of plurality of interchangeable elements further comprises: a first horizontal element extending upwardly in relation to said top surface of said base element and comprising a first slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of said first supporting element; and a second slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of said second supporting element.

7. The furniture system of claim 6, wherein said first horizontal element is inserted through a slot on said base element.

8. The furniture system of claim 6, wherein said at least one horizontal element comprises at least one of: a frame opening, and a shelf.

9. The furniture system of claim 6, wherein said first horizontal element comprises a first portion and a second portion wider than said first portion.

10. The furniture system of claim 8, further comprising at least one anchoring element providing structural support to at least one shelf.

11. The furniture system of claim 5, further comprising at least one leveling element including a first slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of said first supporting element; and a second slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of said second supporting element.

12. The furniture system of claim 11, wherein the top surface of said base element lies flush with an upper surface of said first supporting element and an upper surface of said second supporting element.

13. The furniture system of claim 3, wherein said plurality of selectively spaced slots are positioned at an angle with respect to each other.

14. The furniture system of claim 3, comprising a first supporting element having a first slot and a second slot; and a second supporting element having a first slot and a second slot.

15. The furniture system of claim 14, further comprising a first horizontal element having a first slot and a second slot; and a second horizontal element having a first slot and a second slot.

16. The furniture system of claim 15, wherein the first slot of said first horizontal element is configured to slidably mate with said first slot of said first supporting element; and the second slot of said first horizontal element is configured to slidably mate with said first slot of said second supporting element.

17. The furniture system of claim 16, wherein said first slot of said second horizontal element is configured to slide into a portion of said first supporting element; and the second slot of said second horizontal element is configured to slide into a portion of said second supporting element.

18. The furniture system of claim 17, wherein said base element comprises a first portion configured to be inserted through a third slot of said first horizontal element; and a second portion configured to be inserted through a third slot of said second horizontal element.

19. The furniture system of claim 18, further comprising a locking element comprising a first slot configured to slidably mate with said second slot of said first supporting element; and a second slot configured to slidably mate with said second slot of said second supporting element.

20. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of interchangeable elements are selectively interconnected to form at least one of: a bed, a chair, a bench, a display rack, a booth, a shelf, a desk, a table, a couch, and a chaise-lounge.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to articles of furniture. More specifically, the invention relates to modular furniture comprising basic elements combinable together to form different types of furniture.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditional furniture is generally provided as single-piece furniture which is widely used in every aspect of our lives. Different pieces of furniture are usually provided to create a matching set in different environment such as: an office or at home. Generally, an important consideration when buying furniture is to get a piece of furniture that is aesthetically pleasant to a particular decorating taste. However, the functionality and mobility of traditional furniture are limited not only by its aesthetic configuration but also by its size, weight and, in addition to the price which depending on several factors can be expensive. Thus, there would be occasions where one would be discouraged to change or replace a traditional furniture set should the need arises such as when moving to a new house or when redecorating an existing place. Another constraint related to the usage of traditional furniture is the lack of options when it comes to storage and transportation from one placed to another. A large storage area would be needed to accommodate large pieces of furniture and/or an expensive cargo truck would also be needed to transport the furniture from one place to another.

One inherent problem with traditional single-piece furniture is the inability to convert a piece of furniture into a different piece of furniture. For example, if one has a sofa and desires to have a chair, one would have to get additional pieces of furniture creating a situation where one ends up with at least two complete pieces of furniture and little to none storage space.

Thus, there is a need for an inexpensive and customizable modular furniture system that provides individuals the opportunity to have a complete set of furniture while allowing to easily convert one piece of furniture to another piece of furniture without the need of acquiring additional pieces of furniture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system provides a plurality or elements that when selectively combined create a virtually infinite number of possibilities allowing for the customization of every piece of furniture. The size, shape, materials and aesthetic configuration can be selectively chosen to any desired purpose and/or decorating individual taste.

In another aspect of the invention, when the modular furniture system is unassembled, all the parts are flat, which allows to easily stack all the parts for convenient storage.

According to another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a plurality of interchangeable elements and at least one pair of mating slots configured to selectively interconnect said plurality of interchangeable elements in a sliding relationship.

In yet another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a plurality of interchangeable elements with a base element having a top surface and a bottom surface and at least one supporting element having a plurality of selectively spaced slots.

According to one aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a supporting element comprising a recessed portion located on top of a plurality of selectively spaced slots, wherein a base element is configured so that a portion of said base element is positioned within the recessed portion of a first supporting element and the recessed portion of a second supporting element.

In another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a plurality of interchangeable elements comprising a first horizontal element extending upwardly in relation to a top surface of a base element and comprising a first slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of a first supporting element; and a second slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of a second supporting element. The first horizontal element is inserted through a slot on said base element.

In still another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a first horizontal element comprising a first portion and a second portion wider than said first portion.

According to one aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system further includes at least one anchoring element providing structural support to at least one shelf.

According to one aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system further comprises at least one leveling element including a first slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of a first supporting element; and a second slot configured to slidably mate with a first slot of a second supporting element.

In another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a top surface of a base element sitting flush with an upper surface of a first supporting element and an upper surface of a second supporting element.

In yet another aspect of the invention, a modular furniture system includes a plurality of interchangeable elements selectively interconnected to form at least one of: a bed, a chair, a bench, a display rack, a booth, a shelf, a desk, a table, a couch, and a chaise-lounge

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompany figure showing illustrative embodiments of the invention, in which:

FIG. 1 shows different variations of one element of the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows different variations of another element of the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows different variations of yet another element of the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary piece of furniture according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows another exemplary piece of furniture according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows several views of an exemplary shelf/desk arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 7 shows several views of an exemplary seating arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 8 shows an exemplary table arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 9 shows a modular adapter according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 10 shows another exemplary table arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 11 shows an exemplary bedding arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 12 shows a side element of an exemplary bed arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 13 shows a platform element of an exemplary bed arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

FIG. 14 shows various element of an exemplary bed arrangement according to the modular furniture system of the present invention.

Throughout the figure, the same reference numbers and characters, unless otherwise stated, are used to denote like elements, components, portions or features of the illustrated embodiment. The subject invention will be described in detail in conjunction with the accompany figure, in view of the illustrative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The basic concept of the modular furniture system of the present invention will be explained in detail in conjunction with FIGS. 1-4. The system basically comprises of supporting elements 1, base element 2 and horizontally-extending element 3 which are selectively interchanged and/or interconnected to form a variety of furniture pieces.

FIG. 1 shows the supporting elements 1 according to the invention. Each supporting element 1 comprises at least one vertically extending slot 1c selectively positioned in relation to a top surface portion 1a. A recessed portion 1b is defined on top of said at least one vertically extending slot 1c and below the top surface portion 1a and is designed to receive the base element 2 as will be explained in detail later. An inclined vertically extending slot 1c′ may be diagonally provided when certain inclination is desired on a piece of furniture as will also be explained in detail later. As can be seen on FIG. 1, the periphery of each supporting element 1 can be selectively shaped to provide any desired structural and/or aesthetic configuration. It is important to point out that an odd number of slots must be used to preserve the symmetry of the piece of furniture in relation to the base element 2 and horizontally-extending element 3.

FIG. 3 shows the base element 2 according to the invention. Each base element 2 has an upper surface 2b and a lower surface 2c. A base slot 2a may be provided when certain pieces of furniture are desired. As seen on FIG. 3, depending on the particular piece of furniture or application, the base slot 2a can be provided on a front portion, a rear portion, a middle portion or any portion of said base element.

FIGS. 2a-2g show a plurality of horizontally-extending elements 3 according to the invention. Each horizontally-extending element 3 comprises at least one vertically extending slot 3a selectively configured to mate in a sliding relationship with at least one vertically extending slot 1c of said supporting element 1. Depending on the particular piece of furniture or application, the horizontally-extending elements 3 may be provided with additional features or components. FIG. 2a shows an exemplary embodiment having the horizontally-extending element 3 provided with an open portion 3b. The horizontally-extending element 3 is selectively interconnected with the supporting elements 1 and the base element 2 to form a booth. In another exemplary embodiment, the horizontally-extending element 3 shown in FIG. 2c can be selectively interconnected with supporting elements 1 and base element 2 to form a display/rack arrangement as shown in FIG. 4. If shelving or storage means are desired, the horizontally-extending element 3 can be provided with further means to achieve said functionality. FIG. 2b illustrates a horizontally-extending element 3 comprising a pair of pre-formed holes 3d configured to receive anchoring means 4a that provides support to at least one shelf 4. It is envisioned that the depth and area of said pre-formed holes 3d is selectively chosen to allow proper and efficient fitting of said anchoring means 4a into said pre-formed holes 3d. Alternatively, pass-through pre-formed holes 3d can be provided to allow said anchoring means 4a to pass through said horizontally-extending element 3, wherein a stabilizing means can be additionally provided to securely fix said anchoring means 4a to the back portion of said horizontally-extending element 3. A plurality of said pre-formed holes 3d can be selectively positioned within said horizontally-extending element 3 to accommodate a plurality of shelves as further shown in FIG. 2f. It is also envisioned, that the plurality of pre-formed holes 3d and anchoring means 4a can be selectively arranged (i.e., linear, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, etc. . . . ) so as to provide a variety of storage options. In a preferred embodiment, the anchoring means comprises pegs insertable into the pre-formed holes 3d. A shelf 4 comprises grooved portions 4b configured to receive within said peg 4a so as to provide lateral stabilization of said shelf as shown in FIG. 2f and FIG. 6. Additional securing means can be alternatively provided on said peg 4a to securely anchor the shelf. FIG. 2d illustrates an alternate embodiment comprising a horizontally-extending element 3 having lateral elements 5 positioned perpendicular to said horizontally-extending element 3. Slots 5a can be included on said lateral elements 5 to provide at least one shelf by inserting said shelf into said slots 5a. It is important to note, that the lateral elements 5 can be stabilized and secured to said horizontally-extending element 3 by said shelves on the front of said horizontally-extending element 3 and by any stabilizing means such as but not limited to: pegs on the back of said horizontally-extending element 3. FIG. 2e illustrates an exemplary embodiment wherein a portion 3′ of said horizontally-extending element 3 is configured to have a different width than the rest of the horizontally-extending element 3. This configuration would allow accommodating a narrower shelving arrangement on the top part of said horizontally-extending element 3 and vice versa. FIG. 2g illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a horizontally-extending element 3 having a horizontally extending slot 3c used to form a desk with a shelf arrangement according to the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a display/rack arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention. Such arrangement would require to selectively interconnect two supporting elements 1, one base element 2, and one horizontally-extending element 3. A method of assembling the above-mentioned arrangement will be explained in accordance to FIG. 4. Two supporting elements 1 are vertically provided and the base element 2 is positioned on top of said two supporting elements 1 so that at least a portion of said base element 2 lies within the recessed portion 1b. The base slot 2a is selectively configured to be aligned with a specific vertically extending slot 1c when the base element is positioned within the recessed portion 1b. Next, the horizontally-extending element 3 is inserted through said base slot 2c so that the vertically extending slot 3a of said horizontally-extending element 3 is inserted in a sliding relationship into the vertically extending slot 1c of the supporting elements 1 to form the display/rack arrangement.

FIG. 5 illustrates a desk with a shelf arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention. Such arrangement would require to selectively interconnect two supporting elements 1, one base element 2, and one horizontally-extending element 3 as shown in FIG. 2g. The method of assembling the above-mentioned arrangement is the same as the method explained in reference to FIG. 4. Moreover, a shelf 4 is provided by further inserting said shelf into a slot 3c as shown in FIG. 5. This shelf can be fixed and stabilized in relation to said horizontally-extending element 3 by means of grooved portions 4b located in the lower surface of said shelf 4 that will receive within anchoring means such as pegs located in the front and the back of said horizontally-extending element 3. Alternatively, pre-drilled holes can be provided on said shelf so as to receive a pin or peg that would lock said shelf in position as shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7 illustrates a seating arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention. Such arrangement would require to selectively interconnect two supporting elements 1, one base element 2, and one horizontally-extending element 3. The method of assembling the above-mentioned arrangement is the same as the method explained in reference to FIG. 4. However, it is also envisioned that by selectively sizing the base element 2 which could be a solid slot-less element, the vertically extending slot 3a of said horizontally-extending element 3 is inserted in a sliding relationship into the vertically extending slot 1c of the supporting elements 1 to form the seating arrangement without having to insert the horizontally-extending element 3 into a base slot 2a. In addition, by diagonally providing an inclined vertically extending slot 1c′, a degree of inclination is provided to said seating arrangement when said vertically extending slot 3a of said horizontally-extending element 3 is inserted in a sliding relationship into the vertically extending slot 1c′ of the supporting elements 1.

A table/bench arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention will be illustrated in accordance to FIGS. 8-10. Two supporting elements 1 are vertically provided and the base element 2 is positioned on top of said two supporting elements 1 so that at least a portion of said base element 2 lies within the recessed portion 1b. However, in order to provide further stability a stabilizing element 6 as shown in FIG. 9 is provided. The stabilizing element 6 comprises vertically-extending slots 6a configured to be inserted in a sliding relationship into the vertically extending slot 1c of the supporting elements 1. By further selecting the appropriate thickness d as defined in FIG. 9, an even surface finish is attained where the upper surface 2b of the base element 2 lies flush with an upper portion 1a of said supporting elements 1 as illustrated in FIG. 10.

FIGS. 11-14 illustrate a bedding arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention. The bedding arrangement comprises two side elements 10, a headboard element 7, a footboard element 8, a back support element 9 and a platform element 11. Side elements 10 comprise a first upwardly-extending slot 10b and a second downwardly-extending slot 10a. Headboard element 7 comprises two downwardly-extending slots 7a and horizontally-extending slot 7b. Footboard element 8 comprises two downwardly-extending slots 8a and horizontally-extending slot 8b. Back support element 9 comprises two upwardly-extending slots 9a. Platform element 11 comprises outwardly-extending portions 11a and 11b. The bedding arrangement according to the modular system of the present invention is assembled by inserting the downwardly-extending slots 8a of the footboard element 8 in a sliding relationship into the upwardly-extending slots 10b of side elements 10. One outwardly-extending portion 11a of said platform element 11 is inserted through the horizontally-extending slot 8b of said footboard element 8. Another outwardly-extending portion 11a of said platform element 11 is inserted through the horizontally-extending slot 7b of said headboard element while the downwardly-extending slots 7a of said headboard element 7 are inserted into a portion of said side elements 10 in a sliding relationship. In order to provide further support and stability to the arrangement, the downwardly-extending slot 10a of the side elements 10 are inserted in a sliding relationship into the upwardly-extending slots 9b of back support element 9. By selectively sizing and interchanging these elements various pieces of furniture such as but not limited to: a bed, a couch or a chair-lounge can be provided. For example, by changing the orientation of the outwardly-extending portions 11a and 11b in relation to the horizontally-extending slots 7b and 8b, either a couch or a bed can be provided. For a chaise-lounge, a modified platform element 11 in conjunction with horizontally-extending slots 7b and 8b can be provided. In a preferred embodiment, a cushion or mattress has at least 5 inches of thickness.

Although certain preferred embodiments have been disclosed herein, it will be apparent from the foregoing disclosure to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of such embodiments and methods may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. For example, different dimensions and materials such as but not limited to: wood, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, acrylic, octolux, MDF, plexi-glass, acrylic, and recycled material can be used to provide a desired piece of furniture or aesthetic design. Although in the preferred embodiments no tools are required for the assembly of the system, it is also envisioned that variations may include screws or other stabilizing aids such as but not limited to: wedge, pegs, or strips. In addition, pegs can be used as decorative elements by themselves without a shelf or alternatively can be used as a hanging element for coats or the like. If necessary, seat and back cushions can be provided to provide more comfort. In a seating arrangement, arm rest elements can be provided by selectively inserting a portion into slots provided on the horizontally-extending element 3. Several already established and popular aesthetic furniture styles can be imitated by the modular furniture system of the present invention.





 
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