US 20020078865 A1
A furniture piece which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing includes a storage compartment for storing compact disks, videotape cassettes and the like. The storage compartment includes fixed and adjustable dividers. The storage compartment is adapted to be concealed from view by means of a sliding top which is integrated into the furniture piece thereby to produce an uncluttered appearance as well as easy access to the contents of the storage compartment.
1. A furniture unit comprising,
a storage compartment having front and rear walls and bottom substantially fixed to each other,
extendable glides mounted at the top edge of said front and rear walls, and
a pair of top elements mounted to said extendable glides whereby each of said top elements can move relative to said storage compartment.
2 The unit recited in
at least one divider disposed within said storage compartment between said front and rear walls.
3. The unit recited in
at least one divider is adjustably disposed within said storage compartment.
4. The unit recited in
interlocking devices at the inner ends of said pair of top elements.
5. The unit recited in
 1. Field of the Invention
 This invention is directed to a piece of furniture which has a pleasing style, in general, and to such a piece of furniture which also functions as a stylish media storage unit, in particular.
 2. Prior Art
 There are many known styles of furniture and many known pieces of furniture with specific functional uses. Beyond chairs, sofas and the like are storage devices such as chests, bookcases and the like, which are used in residences or offices to provide a pleasing and functional decor.
 Likewise, in many locations in residences, offices and the like appliances such as TV sets, VCR sets, stereo equipment and the like are included as routine on conventional furniture-like components. Many of these appliances use recorded media such as tapes, CD's, DVD's and the like.
 In many environments, it is highly desirable to store these media units for one or more reasons. For example, these media units are stored to prevent loss or damage thereto. Storage is also desirable to keep the units in a desired order or sequence Also, by storing these units a less cluttered environmental appearance is achieved.
 There are several approaches to the storage concept. For example, simple crates or boxes can be and have been used. Towers or columns are frequently designed and used specifically for CD's or the like. In addition, drawers (with or without dividers) can be provided in chests or cupboards.
 However, the towers and crates are, generally, not attractive and frequently do not blend with the decor or fashion of the surrounding room or space. Likewise, the conventional drawers are not often convenient for the user and, as well, utilize otherwise valuable living and/or storage space.
 Thus, a new and unique media storage furniture component is desirable.
 A furniture piece, typically a table, which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing includes a storage compartment for storing compact disks, video tape cassettes and the like. The storage compartment includes fixed and adjustable dividers to separate and support the various items stored therein. The storage compartment is a space within the table with a secure bottom and sides but with a slidable table top (or one or more segments). Thus, the storage compartment is adapted to be concealed from view thereby to produce an uncluttered appearance. Another advantage of the slidable top is that items placed on top of the table need not be removed to access the contents of the compartment. These items can merely move with the slidable top section and be returned to the original position along therewith.
FIG. 1 is an oblique view of a piece of furniture which is representative of one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an oblique view of the piece of furniture shown in FIG. 1 but with the slide top partially open.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the piece of furniture shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with the top completely removed.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the inner compartment formed in the piece of furniture as taken along the lines 4-4 in FIG. 1.
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an oblique view of a piece of furniture which is representative of one embodiment of the instant invention. In this embodiment, the piece of furniture takes the form of a table 100, in particular, a coffee table or cocktail table.
 The table 100 includes a main body or cabinet 101 with a plurality of supports 102 at the corners thereof. Of course, it is contemplated that the cabinet 101 can be constructed to rest on the floor wherein supports or legs are not required. Also, representative hardware 113 such as knobs, handles or the like is shown. However, the hardware 113 is not limitative of the invention, per se, and can be eliminated altogether if so desired.
 The top of the table 100 is formed of two slidable sections, viz. sections 103 and 104, respectively. (It is contemplated that a single slidable section could be provided but this arrangement is less desirable.) The slidable sections 103 and 104 move outwardly from the center portion of the table as indicated by the arrows 103A and 104A, respectively.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown an oblique, top view of the table 100 with the slidable top sections 103 and 104 partially repositioned in order to open the cabinet 100 to the interior thereof.
 As seen in FIG. 2, each of the top sections 103 and 104 is mounted to the cabinet 101 by a pair of high quality metal glides 105 and 106. Metal glides 105 and 106 each have one portion thereof embedded into the top surface of the outer walls 107 and 108, respectively, of cabinet 101. The complementary portions of the metal glides are mounted to the under surface of the respective top sections. Thus, the top sections 103 and 104 can move in a smooth sliding action relative to the cabinet 101. The top sections can be moved individually or together to open or close the cabinet or a portion thereof.
 In the preferred embodiment, the inner ends of the slidable top components include mating components. For example, the inner end of one of the top components, for example section 104, can include one or more pegs 109 which extend outwardly therefrom. The inner end of the other one of the top components, for example section 103, includes holes or bores 110 therein to receive the pegs 109. This arrangement provides and assures alignment of the two top components 103 and 104 as well as affording stability and preventing end-to-end sliding of the two top components in the closed positions. Of course, it is contemplated that other types of interlocking mechanisms can be developed and used in this furniture piece.
 Within the cabinet 101 are located a plurality of dividers 111. In the preferred embodiment, the dividers 111 extend across the width of the cabinet to form a plurality of compartments within the cabinet. Preferably, the dividers 111 are movable whereby the width of the compartments defined by the dividers is adjustable. Of course, the dividers 111 may be rigidly affixed, if so desired. In the preferred embodiment, the center or middle divider 112 is, typically, fixed in order to provide a measure of stability to the compartment structures.
 In the preferred embodiment, the length and depth of the cabinet 101 is selected to receive various types of disks and/or cassettes such as CD's, DVD's and the like. The stored items are stacked on edge so that the identification label is disposed outwardly (upwardly) for easy viewing by a user thereof. By properly adjusting the compartment dividers, the CD's, DVD's or the like can be supported.
 Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a top, plan view of the cabinet 101 portion of the piece of furniture 100. In FIG. 3, components which are similar to components in FIGS. 1 and 2 have similar reference numerals.
 The front 107 and rear 108 of the cabinet 101 are joined to ends 115 and 116 in any conventional manner such as mortise and tenon, dove tail or the like. The fixed center divider 112 is placed midway between the ends 115 and 116 and joined to the front 107 and back 108 in any suitable fashion such as tongue and groove, glue or the like. A plurality of movable dividers 111 are mounted in slidable (adjustable) fashion between the front 107 and back 108 of the compartment. In one embodiment of the invention, the dimensions of the cabinet 101 and the arrangement of the dividers permits about 54 DVD's and 144 CD's to be stored.
 The glides 105 and 106 (as well as the glides 117 and 118) are mounted in the top surfaces of the front 107 and back 108, respectively. These glides mate, slidingly, with complementary guides mounted in the under surface of top sections 103 and 104 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
 Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a cross-sectional view of the furniture piece 100 including the storage area or cabinet 101 taken along the lines 44 in FIG. 3. The front and rear outer walls 107 and 108, respectively, are shown forming the outer walls of the compartment. Likewise, the bottom 114 and sliding top section 104 are shown as well. The front and rear walls, as well as the bottom of the compartment are fixed. However, the slide top 104 is movably mounted in the glides 105 and 106 mounted in the top edges of the front and rear walls 107 and 108 of the compartment 121.
 Grooves 301 are provided in the inside surface of front wall 107 and grooves 302 are provided in the inside surface of rear wall 108. The grooves 301 and 302 are adapted to receive slidable connectors 303 which are placed on the ends of the dividers. The connectors 303 and 304 can take any suitable configuration. However, in a suitable arrangement, the connectors include a grooved body 301A for receiving the ends of the adjustable dividers, e.g. divider 111. The ends of the dividers 111 may be reduced in thickness to fit within the body 301A of the connectors 301. The connectors 301 also include an extension 301B which fits into the respective groove 302. The extension is 301B slidably retained in the groove 302 to permit the connector (and divider) to be slidably adjusted within the compartment 101 while retaining the dividers upright.
 The locking pegs 109 are shown in the end of slidable top section 103. These pegs mate with apertures 110 in the counterpart top section 104 shown best in FIG. 2.
 Likewise, the glides 105 and 106 are depicted as being embedded in the front and back 107 and 108, respectively of the cabinet 101. The complementary glide elements are shown embedded within the top section 103. (Counterpart glides provided in top section 104 and the front and back 107 and 108, respectively, are not shown in FIG. 4.)
 Thus, there is shown and described a unique design and concept of a media storage table with slidable top sections. While this description is directed to a particular embodiment, it is understood that those skilled in the art may conceive modifications and/or variations to the specific embodiments shown and described herein. Any such modifications or variations which fall within the purview of this description are intended to be included therein as well. It is understood that the description herein is intended to be illustrative only and is not intended to be limitative. Rather, the scope of the invention described herein is limited only by the claims appended hereto.