Title:
Piece of furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A piece of furniture (1) that can be brought in a sofa/chair configuration and a bed configuration, wherein the piece of furniture is provided with a frame (2) comprising a first frame part (3) provided with a first extremity (3a), and a second extremity (3b) located opposite the first extremity (3a), a second frame part (4) being hingedly connected to the first frame part (3) at the location of the first extremity (3a) or being slideably connected to the first frame part (3), a third frame part (5) being hingedly connected to the first frame part (3) at the location of the second extremity (3b), a fourth frame part (6) being hingedly connected to the third frame part (5), wherein the central axes (4) around which the said frame parts (3, 4, 5, 6) hinge relative to each other extend parallel to each other, while, in the sofa/chair configuration, the second frame part (4) lies on the first frame part (3), the third frame part (5) forming a backrest (7) and the fourth frame part (6) taking up a locking position in which the fourth frame part (6) engages the first (3) or second (4) frame part for holding the third frame part (5) in a backrest position.



Inventors:
Kok, Matthijs Nicolaas T. M. (Amsterdam, NL)
Application Number:
11/990329
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
08/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C17/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POLITO, NICHOLAS F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A piece of furniture (1) that can be brought into a sofa/chair configuration and a bed configuration, wherein the piece of furniture (1) is provided with a frame (2) comprising a first frame part (3) provided with a first extremity and a second extremity (3b) located opposite the first extremity (3a), a second frame part (4) being hingedly connected to the first frame part (3) at the location of the first extremity, or being slideably connected to the first frame part (3), a third frame part (5) being hingedly connected to the first frame part (3) at the location of the second extremity (3b), a fourth frame part (6) being hingedly connected to the third frame part (5), wherein the central axes (H) around which the said frame parts (3, 4, 5, 6) can hinge relative to each other extend parallel to each other, while, in the sofa/chair configuration, the second frame part (4) lies on the first frame part (3), the third frame part (5) forming a backrest (7) and the fourth frame part (6) taking up a locking position in which the fourth frame part (6) engages the first (3) or second (4) frame part for holding the third frame part (5) in a backrest position.

2. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 1, wherein the first frame part (3) is provided with supporting elements (8), such as, for instance, legs, with the aid of which the frame part (3) can be placed on the ground, while the second (4) and fourth frame parts (6) are each provided with supporting elements (8′) such as, for instance, legs, with the aid of which these frame parts (4, 6) rest on the ground when the piece of furniture (1) is in the bed configuration.

3. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 1, wherein the legs (8′) of the fourth frame part (6) are designed for engaging, in the sofa/chair configuration, the first (3) or second (4) frame part for holding the third frame part (5) in the backrest position relative to the first (3) or second (4) frame part and for absorbing forces applied to the third frame part (5).

4. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 1, wherein at least one detachable locking (9) is provided for holding the fourth frame part (6) in the locking position when the piece of furniture (1) is in the sofa/chair configuration.

5. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 4, wherein the detachable locking (9) comprises a recess (10) in the fourth frame part (6) and a projection (11) in the first (3), second (4) or third (5) frame part, while in the locking position of the fourth frame part (6), the projection (11) is received in the recess (10) and, at that location, engages it in a manner such that the fourth frame part (6) is held in the locking position.

6. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 4, wherein the detachable locking (9) comprises a recess (10′) in the first frame part (3) and a recess (10″) in the second frame part (4) and, cooperating with said recesses (10′, 10″), a projection (11′) in the fourth frame part (6), while the recesses (10′, 10″) in the first (3) and the second (4) frame part engage together, in a conformable manner, around the projection (H′) in the fourth frame part (6) when the second frame part (4) rests on the first frame part (3) and when the fourth frame part (6) is in the locking position.

7. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 4, wherein the detachable locking (9) is formed by a friction-based engagement between the fourth frame part (6) and at least one of the first (3), second (4) or third (5) frame parts.

8. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 1, wherein the central hinge axis (H) of the hinge (12), around which the second frame part (4) can pivot relative to the first frame part (3), is located above the level where a free edge (13) of the second frame part (4) located opposite the hinge (12) is situated when this is folded onto the first frame part (3), such that the second frame part (4) provides a seat (13) proceeding from the third frame part (5), that forms the backrest (7), to the said hinge (12) in a slightly upward inclining manner.

9. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 8, wherein the difference in level (h) between the side (16) proximal to the backrest (7) and the hinge side (17) of the second frame part (4), when this is folded onto the first frame part (3), is approximately 30 mm.

10. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 1, wherein the frame parts (3, 4, 5, 6) are each provided with bearing surfaces (S) on which cushions (18) are placeable for forming a bed with the piece of furniture (1) in the bed configuration.

11. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 10, wherein at least one of the bearing surfaces (S), and preferably all bearing surfaces, comprises a plate (19) provided with ventilation openings (20).

12. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 10, wherein at least one of the bearing surfaces (S), and preferably all bearing surfaces, comprises a number of parallel slats (21).

13. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 10, wherein, with the piece of furniture (1) in the bed configuration, the cushions (18) together form a mattress (M) and wherein, with the piece of furniture (1) in the sofa/chair configuration, the cushions (18) provide at least one seat cushion (K) and one backrest cushion (K′).

14. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 13, wherein, with the piece of furniture (1) in the sofa/chair configuration, on the seat (13) of the piece of furniture (1), the cushions (K) are located which, in the bed configuration, He on the first (3) and the second (4) frame part, while the cushion (17) that rests, in the bed configuration, on the third frame part (5), is the cushion (K) resting against the backrest (7) in the sofa/chair configuration.

15. A piece of furniture according to claim 13, wherein the cushion that rests, in the bed configuration, on the bearing surface (S) of the fourth frame part (6), is situated, in the sofa/chair configuration, on the side of the third frame part (5), forming the backrest, remote from the seat.

16. A piece of furniture according to claim 15, wherein the respective cushion has a length which substantially corresponds to double the distance between the second extremity (5b) of the third frame part and the central hinge axis (H) of the hinge connection between the third and the fourth frame part (5, 6, respectively).

17. A piece of furniture according to claim 3, wherein the legs of the fourth frame part are each provided with a first projection which engages, with the piece of furniture in the sofa/chair configuration, a top side of the first or second frame part, and with a second projection which engages, in the sofa/chair configuration, a lower side of the first or second frame part.

18. A piece of furniture according to claim 17, wherein the first or the second frame part are further provided on each side with a lower and an upper recess for receiving therein, at least partly, the first and the second—projections, respectively.

19. A piece of furniture (I) according to claim 2, wherein the legs (8′) of the fourth frame part (6) are designed for engaging, in the sofa/chair configuration, the first (3) or second (4) frame part for holding the third frame part (5) in the backrest position relative to the first (3) or second (4) frame part and for absorbing forces applied to the third frame part (5).

20. A piece of furniture (1) according to claim 2, wherein at least one detachable locking (9) is provided for holding the fourth frame part (6) in the locking position when the piece of furniture (1) is in the sofa/chair configuration.

Description:

The invention relates to a piece of furniture that can be brought into a sofa/chair configuration and a bed configuration.

From practice, these types of furniture are known as sofa beds and reclining chairs. A sofa bed or reclining chair has two functions, a sitting function and a lying function. Brining the sofa bed from the sitting function to the lying function requires operations. These operations range from sliding out parts of the sofa, destacking parts of the sofa, folding out parts of the sofa, to disassembling parts of the sofa. As a rule, these are difficult and/or laborious operations or they are difficult to perform by one person. Another drawback may be that the sofa bed is heavy so that, when an additional bed is required in another room, this sofa bed is difficult to move. In addition, reclining chairs are known that are built up from an assembly of cushions. If an additional place to sleep is required, the cushions are folded out so that a mattress is formed. However, this reclining chair is not particularly suitable for use in folded condition as a seat. The cushions easily give way due to the weight of the person sitting thereon and this, accordingly, provides an extremely unstable seat.

An object of the present invention is to provide a piece of furniture which can easily be brought from a sitting to a lying function and vice versa so that the piece of furniture can easily be operated by one person while the piece of furniture is also easy to move.

To that end, the invention provides a piece of furniture that can be brought into a sofa/chair configuration and a bed configuration, wherein the piece of furniture is provided with a frame comprising a first frame part provided with a first extremity and a second extremity located opposite the first extremity, a second frame part being hingedly connected to the first frame part at the location of the first extremity, or being slideably connected to the first frame part, a third frame part being hingedly connected to the first frame part at the location of the second extremity, a fourth frame part being hingedly connected to the third frame part, wherein the central axes around which the frame parts hinge relative to each other extend parallel to each other, while, in the sofa/chair configuration, the second frame part lies on the first frame part, the third frame part forming a backrest and the fourth frame part taking up a locking position in which the fourth frame part engages the first or second frame part for holding the third frame part in a backrest position. As the separate frame parts are slideably and/or hingedly connected with respect to each other, the piece of furniture can be easily folded from a bed configuration to a sofa/chair configuration. As the different frame parts are folded up or displaced separately, one person can perform these operations alone, also because of the manageable sizes of the frame parts. Owing to the relatively limited dimensions of the piece of furniture in sofa/chair configuration, and owing to the relatively limited weight effected by the construction of the piece of furniture, the piece of furniture can be handled well and can, accordingly, be moved to the desired location by one person. As a result of the fact that there are four frame parts all providing lying surface in the bed configuration, a bed with a considerable length can be realized while in the sofa/chair configuration, still, a seat and backrest geared to human dimensions are provided.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, the first frame part is provided with supporting elements such as, for instance, legs, with the aid of which the frame part can be placed on the ground, while the second and fourth frame parts are each provided with supporting elements, such as, for instance, legs, with the aid of which these frame parts rest on the ground when the piece of furniture is in the bed configuration. In both configurations, the supporting elements ensure that the seat part or lying part of the piece of furniture remains, at all times, at a small distance above the ground and is hence not in direct contact with the ground. This has as an advantage that cold penetrates the piece of furniture less easily, which has a comfort enhancing effect. This is of importance especially when the piece of furniture is arranged in the bed configuration and is used as a place to sleep.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, the legs of the fourth frame part are designed for engaging, in the sofa/chair configuration, the first or second frame part for holding the third frame part in the backrest position relative to the first or second frame part, and for absorbing forces applied to the third frame part. This is particularly favourable to the stability and the robustness of the piece of furniture. Also, the hinges between, in particular, the first and the third frame part are relieved.

To this end, according to a further elaboration of the invention, the legs of the fourth frame part can be provided with a first projection, which engages, with the piece of furniture in the sofa/chair configuration, a top side of the first or second frame part, and with a second projection which engages, in the sofa/chair configuration, a lower side of the first or second frame part. The first or the second frame part can then, on either side, be provided with a lower and an upper recess for receiving therein, at least partly, the first and second projection, respectively. Such projections, with the optionally corresponding recesses, provide a stable engagement, so that in the sofa/chair configuration, the third and the fourth frame part are stably positioned relative to the first and second frame part.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, at least one detachable locking is provided for holding the fourth frame part in the locking position when the piece of furniture is in the sofa/chair configuration. The detachable locking prevents any snapping loose of the fourth frame part when the piece of furniture is in the sofa/chair configuration. When a user is seated on the piece of furniture and makes a sudden movement, temporarily, greater forces are applied to the backrest. The detachable locking absorbs these forces and the fourth frame part remains in place.

According to an alternative elaboration of the invention, the detachable locking is formed by a friction-based engagement between the fourth frame part and at least one of the first, second or third frame parts. This entails that the detachable locking can be manufactured in a simple manner. To this end, the piece of furniture needs not comprise any additional elements, which has a favourable effect on the production costs.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, the central hinge axis of the hinge around which the second frame part can pivot relative to the first frame part, is located above the level where a free edge of the second frame part located opposite the hinge is located when it is folded onto the first frame part, such that the second frame part provides a seat proceeding from the third frame part, that forms the backrest, to the hinge in a slightly upward inclining manner. This implies that the seat of the piece of furniture proceeds slightly upwards from the backrest towards the other side of the seat. As a result, the user of the piece of furniture will be comfortably seated.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, for forming a mattress, the frame parts are each provided with bearing surfaces on which cushions can be placed for forming a bed, with the piece of furniture in the bed configuration. The cushions, which are located on the piece of furniture in the sofa/chair configuration, are used as mattress in the bed configuration. To that end, in the bed configuration, all cushions are placed side by side on the bearing surfaces so that together, the cushions from the mattress.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, at least one of the bearing surfaces, preferably all bearing surfaces, comprise a plate provided with ventilation openings. These openings promote through-flow of air from and to the cushions on the piece of furniture. In particular when the piece of furniture is used in the bed configuration, the cushions will become moist through use. Good ventilation, allowing the cushions to dry, prolongs the lifespan of the cushions.

According to an alternative elaboration of the invention, at least one of the bearing surfaces, and preferably all bearing surfaces, comprises a number of parallel slats. This has the same advantage as the above-mentioned ventilation openings. A piece of furniture provided with bearing surfaces comprising parallel slats is, in addition, also particularly suitable for use outside, as garden furniture. The parallel slats prevent any rainwater from remaining behind on the piece of furniture, which could be unfavourable to the condition of the material. The parallel slats of the fourth frame part can furthermore be moved between the parallel slats of the first frame part to thus form a friction-based locking for locking the fourth frame part in the sofa/chair configuration relative to the other frame parts.

According to a further elaboration of the invention, together, in the bed configuration, the cushions of the piece of furniture form a mattress and, with the piece of furniture in the sofa/chair configuration, the cushions provide at least a seat and a backrest cushion. The cushion which rests, in the bed configuration, on the bearing surface of the fourth frame part is preferably, in the sofa/chair configuration, located on the side of the third frame part, forming the backrest, remote from the seat. It is preferred that the respective cushion has a length that substantially corresponds to double the distance between the second extremity of the third frame part and the central hinge axis of the hinge connection between the third and fourth frame part. As a result of this configuration, the respective cushion fills the open portion not provided with bearing surface of the fourth frame part when the piece of furniture is in the sofa/chair configuration, which is particularly favourable from a viewpoint of aesthetics.

The present invention will be further clarified on the basis of different embodiments, with reference to the different Figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective drawing of the piece of furniture;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective drawing of the piece of furniture in sofa/chair configuration;

FIG. 3 shows a following embodiment;

FIG. 4 shows a detail of the piece of furniture of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 shows a second detail of the piece of furniture;

FIG. 6 shows an alternative embodiment of the piece of furniture;

FIGS. 7-13 show an alternative embodiment of the piece of furniture in different positions; and

FIG. 14 shows a detail of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7-13.

In the Figures, identical reference numerals indicate identical parts.

FIG. 1 shows the piece of furniture 1 in a first embodiment. The piece of furniture 1 is provided with a frame 2, the frame comprising four frame parts 3, 4, 5, 6. The first frame part 3 comprises a first extremity 3a where a second frame part 4 is hingedly connected to the first frame part 3. The first frame part 3 has, opposite a second extremity 3a, a second extremity 3b to which a third frame part 5 is hingedly connected. To the third frame part 5, at some distance from a second extremity 5b located opposite the first extremity 5a, is connected the fourth frame part 6. The central axes H around which the frame parts 3, 4, 5, 6 hinge relative to each other, extend parallel to each other. When the piece of furniture 1 is brought into the sofa/chair configuration, the second frame part 4 is folded onto the first frame part 3, while the respective bearing surfaces S of the first 3 and second frame part 4 come to lie opposite each other. The third frame part 5 is elevated, thereby forming a backrest 7. The fourth frame part 6 takes up a locking position, in which, in this exemplary embodiment, the fourth frame part 6 engages the first frame part 3. Naturally, in other embodiments of the invention, the fourth frame part 6 can also engage one of the other frame part 4, 5.

When the piece of furniture 1 is brought from the position represented in FIG. 1 into the bed configuration, the second frame part 4 is folded own, while the supporting elements 8′ of the second frame part 4, in this exemplary embodiment legs, are placed on the ground G. The second frame part 4 is then substantially in line with the first frame part 3, as are the bearing surfaces S of these two frame parts 3, 4. The fourth frame part 6 is pulled in the direction R, whereupon the third frame part 5 moves towards the ground G. Then, the supporting element 8′ of the fourth frame part 6 is set on the ground. The third 5 and fourth frame part 6 collapse in a manner such that they come to lie substantially in line with the first frame part 3. The respective bearing surfaces S of the four frame parts 3, 4, 5, 6 form an underground for a mattress M formed by the cushions of the piece of furniture 1.

FIG. 2 shows a following embodiment of the piece of furniture 1. The piece of furniture 1 is in the sofa/chair configuration. The legs 8′ of the fourth frame part 6 are designed for engaging the second frame part 4, so that the third frame part 5 remains in the backrest position. The engagement of the legs 8′ can also be effected on the first frame part 3, depending on the embodiment. In this manner, a detachable locking 9 is formed, consisting of friction-based engagement between the fourth frame part 6 and the second frame part 4. It is clearly visible that the legs 8′ of the fourth frame part 6 are placed under the legs 8′ of the second frame part 4. The forces applied to the third frame part 5 are thus absorbed on both sides of the piece of furniture 1. When a user is seated on the piece of furniture, the backrest 7 will remain in place. In this exemplary embodiment, the fourth frame part 6 comprises a plate 19 with ventilation openings 20. However, several or all frame parts 3, 4, 5, 6 can comprise a plate 19 with ventilation openings 20.

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the invention, with FIG. 3a showing the piece of furniture 1 in sofa/chair configuration and FIG. 3b representing a detail of FIG. 3a, while the detachable locking 9 is represented in open condition. In FIG. 3a, the detachable locking 9 is shown, this comprising a recess 10′ in the first frame part 3 and a recess 10″ in the second frame part 4 and, cooperating with the recesses 10′, 10″, a projection 11′ in the fourth frame part 6. Together, the recesses 10′, 10″ in the first 3 and the second frame part 4 engage, in a conformable manner, around the projection 11′ in the fourth frame part when the second frame part 4 rests on the first frame part 3 and when the fourth frame part 6 is in the locking position. In this embodiment, the projection 11′ and the recesses 10′, 10″ have a round shape. However, other shapes are also possible here. In the sofa/chair configuration, the legs 8′ drop under the first frame part 3 and, in addition to the detachable locking 9, also catch a part of the forces on the backrest 7. In this embodiment too, the plate 19 of the fourth frame part 6 is provided with ventilation openings 20. In the fourth frame part 6, a handle 21 is provided so that unlocking of the detachable locking 9 is facilitated, and with which the fourth frame part 6 can be moved so that the bed configuration can be obtained. In the sofa/chair configuration, the cushions K provide a seat cushion 18, 18′ on the seat 13, and a backrest cushion 18″ against the backrest 7. In this configuration, the cushion 18′″ drops, above the fourth frame part 6, at the rear side of the backrest 7. In the bed configuration, the cushions 18, 18′ are provided on the first 3 and second frame part 4 and the cushions 18″ and 18′″ are provided on the third 5 and fourth frame part 6 to thus form a mattress M which, in the bed configuration, rests on the bearing surfaces S.

FIG. 4 shows a fourth embodiment of the invention with FIG. 4a showing the detachable locking 9 in locking position and FIG. 4b showing the same detachable locking 9 in open condition. The detachable locking 9 comprises a recess 10 in the third frame part 5 and a projection 11 on the first frame part 3. In the locking position, the projection 11 is received in the recess 10 engaging such that the fourth frame part 6 is held in the locking position. The forces applied by the user of the piece of furniture 1 to the backrest 7 are absorbed by the detachable connection 9, so that the load on the hinges is relatively small. Instead of on the first frame part 3, the projection 11 can also be provided on the second frame part 4 or, optionally, even on the third frame part 5.

FIG. 5 shows a detail of the piece of furniture 1. A hinge 12 is provided on the first side 3a of the first frame part 3 and the second frame part 4. On the other side of the first side 3a, there is a second hinge (not shown). The hinge 12 is provided in a manner such that the difference in level between the side 16 proximal to the backrest 7 and the hinge side 17 of the second frame part 4, when this is folded onto the first frame part 3, is approximately 30 mm. As a result, a somewhat inclining seat is created.

FIG. 6 shows an embodiment of the piece of furniture 1 suitable for use as garden furniture. In this embodiment, the bearing surfaces S of the frame parts 3, 4, 5, 6 comprise a number of parallel slats 21. In this example, the hinges 12 are, for instance, integrated with the parallel slats 21. For setting the fourth frame part 6 in the locking position, the extremities of the parallel slats 22 of the first frame part 3 will function on a second side 3b as projection 11, whereby they are slid between the parallel slats 21 of the fourth frame part 6. Thus, a friction-based locking is formed.

FIGS. 7-14 show an alternative exemplary embodiment. In this exemplary embodiment, corresponding parts have the same reference numerals as in the exemplary embodiments described hereinabove. In this embodiment, the second frame part 4 is slideably connected to the first frame part 3.

FIGS. 7-13 show the different steps to take for coming from the bed configuration at the sofa/chair configuration. FIG. 7 shows the alternative exemplary embodiment in the bed configuration with cushions placed thereon. In FIG. 8, the cushions are removed. In FIG. 9, the third frame part 5 is folded upwards and the fourth frame part 6 folded down. In FIG. 10, the third frame part 5 and the fourth frame part 6 are in the sofa/chair configuration position. In FIG. 11, the legs 8′ of the second frame part 4, which are hingedly connected to the second frame part 4, are folded in. In FIG. 12, the second frame part 4 is slid onto the first frame part 3. Finally, in FIG. 13, the cushions are placed back.

FIG. 14 shows that the fourth frame part 6 is provided with a first projection 23, which engages an underside of the first frame part 3. Further, a second projection 24 is shown, engaging a top side of the first frame part 3. The first frame part 3 is further provided, on each side, (only one of which is shown in FIG. 14) with a lower recess in which the first projection 23 is at least partly received, and with an upper recess in which the second projection 24 is at least partly received. The projections 23, 24 and the recesses corresponding therewith provide a stable positioning of the third and the fourth frame part 5, 6 respectively, relative to the first frame part 3 of the sofa/chair configuration. In an alternative elaboration, it is also possible that the projections 23, 24 engage the second frame part 4 when this is in the slid-in or folded-in condition.

It will be clear that not only the above-mentioned embodiments fall within the framework of the invention. For instance, the head of the piece of furniture, when it is in the bed configuration, can be adjustable, as can the foot. Also, in the sofa/chair configuration, the backrest can be adjustable, so that a user of the piece of furniture can sit up straighter or recline more. In addition, the piece of furniture can also be suitable for several persons, for instance a two-person sofa that can be changed into a double bed. The piece of furniture can also be suitable for children, while the piece of furniture can have different dimensions. The cushions too can have other shapes and sizes, so that the piece of furniture fits into different interiors. The use of different materials for manufacturing the piece of furniture naturally falls within the invention too. The piece of furniture can be made of wood, but also of, for instance, metal, for instance aluminum, which renders the piece of furniture even lighter, or plastic are possibilities. The cushions too can be manufactured from different materials, for instance a water-resistant fabric. Hence, a piece of furniture can be provided which can, for instance, remain outside, even with the cushions still on it.