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Publication numberUS3408127 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1968
Filing dateAug 8, 1966
Priority dateAug 26, 1965
Publication numberUS 3408127 A, US 3408127A, US-A-3408127, US3408127 A, US3408127A
InventorsVincens Rene
Original AssigneeSoc Civ D Rech Etudes Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Office furniture having removable decorative panels
US 3408127 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. VINCENS Oct. 29, 1968 OFFICE FURNITURE HAVING REMOVABLE DECORATIVE PANELS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 8, 1966 R. VINCENS Oct. 29, 1968 OFFICE FURNITURE HAVING REMOVABLE DECORATIVE PANELS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 8, 1966 Oct. 29, 1968 VINCENS 3,408,127

OFFICE FURNITURE HAVING REMOVABLE DECORATIVE PANELS Filed Aug. 8, 1966 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 R. VINCENS Oct 29, 1968 OFFICE FURNITURE HAVING REMOVABLE DECORATIVE PANELS Filed Aug. 8, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent OFFICE FURNITURE I-IAVING REMOVABLE DECORATIVE PANELS Rene Vincens, Neuville-les-Dieppe, France, assignor to Societe (Jivile de Recherches et dEtudes Industrielles, Neuville-les-Dieppe, France iled Aug. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 570,820 Claims priority, application France, Aug. 26, 1965, 29,514; Apr. 8, 1966, 57,129 6 (Ilaims. (Cl. 312194) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An article of office furniture, for example, a metal desk has one or more finished panels permanently a part of the furniture and one or more removable panels mounted on the permanent panels by concealed attachment means. Each removable panel comprises a frame, a sheet of flexible sheet material stretched over the frame and padding underlying the sheet material. The attachment means may be resilient clips on the frame of the removable panel fitting into holes in the corresponding permanent panel or U'shaped clamps securing the sheet material to the frame and the frame to the furniture. The removable panel may cover only a central portion of the corresponding permanent panel, leaving a border portion of the permanent panel exposed.

This invention relates to a method of finishing furniture, notably office furniture, with a view to enable the user to upholster his furniture units according to his own taste, if he does not wish to use them as they are, by utilizing ornamental panels to this end.

These panels may have any desired shape and cover wholly or partially the surface to be decorated, and even leave apparent the greater part of the original colour. A surface may even be equipped with one or several panels, somewhat in the fashion of a padded door. These panels may on the other hand have different colors in order to impart an original feature to a complete furniture set.

If desired, a relatively wide strip of the original support or lining may be left apparent all around the panels of which the rounded, flexible edges make the furniture color stand out in sharper contrast. Of course, standard colors must be contemplated for the furniture, these colors being capable of merging with a great number of other colors while preserving enough personality to be self-sufficient when the pieces of furniture are delivered from the works without any other decoration.

The panels may be fastened in many different ways to the furniture portions to be upholstered. However, these fastening procedures may be classified into three main groups corresponding to three different types of furniture to be decorated:

(1) Furniture in which no visible means are provided for facilitating the fastening of the panels, and which are adapted to be delivered as they are;

(2) Furniture provided with visible panel anchoring means concealed in any suitable manner when the furniture units are delivered without any decorating panels;

((3) Furniture such as seats which are always delivered with a panel, but wherein the panel is so mounted as to be easily and readily interchangeable.

In the first case the panel fastening means are carried by the panel alone and should remain as invisible as possible and perfectly adapted for the furniture unit on which the panel is to be mounted.

In the second case the surface of the furniture unit to be decorated should be provided with part of the panel anchoring means, for example holes. These holes may "ice be concealed when no decorating panel is mounted, by means of light ornamental elements such as chromiumplated headings, for example.

In the third case the surface of the furniture unit to be decorated may be provided with any desired and suitable means capable of facilitating the anchoring of said panels, the latter being permanently mounted.

According to a preferred alternate form of embodiment, the panel consists of a cardboard frame on which a plastic film is tensioned with the interposition of a relatively thin layer of plastic elastic foam. The plastic film is folded over the frame edges and secured by clamps. This panel is fastened to the furniture unit by means of metal members engaging for example two opposite sides of the frame.

In a modified construction the solid or frame-mounted panels are fastened between juxtaposed elements of the furniture. In fact, the junction line between two elements permits of concealing the fastening means, the latter extending therebetween. Thus, to anchor the panel in position two parallel edges of said juxtaposed elements are necessary, and to make the anchoring means invisible these edges should not bevisible either to an observer placed in front of the mounted panel. With this arrangement a decorating panel may be fitted to a desk front by anchoring it to the vertical or horizontal edges of the main body or cabinet, so that these edges are concealed when observing the furniture from a normal angle of view.

This invention is also concerned, by way of novel industrial products, with furniture of any character, shapes, materials and dimensions, transformed by using upholstery elements in the form of detachable ornamental panels consisting essentially of frame structures on which decorative linings are tensioned, said panels being provided with simple fitting means. These panels may also consist of a sheet of molded plastic material, and alternately this sheet may be shaped in vacuo in order to accommodate the shape of the element to be lined.

Various forms of embodiment of this invention will now be described more in detail with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 illustrates in perspective view an office desk ready to receive ornamental panels on the side and main faces of each cabinet;

FIGURE 2 shows the under or inner face and a fragmentary section of an ornamental panel which permits of dispensing with any preparation of the surface to be covered;

FIGURE 3 shows a panel anchoring system requiring the use of holes in the surface to be covered;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view from beneath with fragmentary section, showing a panel provided with invisible fastening means;

FIGURE 5 illustrates the method of inserting and locking the anchoring lugs of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a view from beneath in fragmentray section of a typical form of embodiment of a panel with its fastening means;

FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the method of fastening a panel to the front face of an ofiice desk cabinet;

FIGURES 8, 9 and 10 are diagrammatic views showing in horizontal section various methods of anchoring the ornamental panels of this invention on furniture;

FIGURES 11 and 12 illustrate in section various forms of embodiment.

The manufacture of panels such as 12 and 13 (see FIG- URE 1) is particularly simple and requires only the use of a frame 1 on which a piece of fabric or film 1 is tensioned. In order to obtain a pleasant touch, improve the comfort and add a valuable feature to its appearance, a-

relatively thin layer of plastic elastic foam is interposed between the frame 1 and the lining 2. On the other hand, flock or any other padding substance or product may be substituted for said foam. The foam layer may be relatively thick, if desired, in order to ensure a complete comfort, notably in the case of cushions for seats and the like. If desired, the film or fabric may be glued to the foam. The form or its substitute may be fastened to the frame 1 by gluing, stapling or any other suitable procedure.

According to a preferred form of embodiment of a decorative panel adapted to be mounted on an outer surface of a furniture unit not prepared to this end, the frame 1 (FIGURE 2) made from a material such as cardboard is reinforced by a more rigid frame 4 carrying the anchoring means 5 adapted to clamp the furniture.

These frames 1 and 4 are attached to the lining 2 and to the foam 3 by means of clamps 6. The edge 7 of the lining or upholstery is folded under the frame 1 so as to embrace same and is thus wedged by the foam 3. The clamps 6 are then bent over the frames 1 and 4 in order to retain the upholstery in position. These clamps are also effective to safely assemble the inner frame 1 with the supporting frame 4. The anchoring means 5 consist of lugs disposed at proper locations around the frame 4 so as to lie within the perimeter of the panel. With this arrangement the anchoring means of the supporting frame can be concealed. The lugs 5 fit over the top and under the bottom 9 and 10 of the furniture elements (see FIGURE 1) as well as between the junction lines 8 and 11 of the various component elements of the furniture.

A mounting performed according to this technique permits of covering the complete surface of a lateral face or front face, for example, of a cabinet or desk element.

A surface to be covered with an ornamental panel according to this invention may be prepared by simply forming a number of holes 22 suitably distributed around a perimeter 15 slightly smaller than that of the ornamental panel.

This panel may be provided with elastic staples 16, as shown in FIGURE 3; these staples are adapted to engage corresponding holes 22 formed in the corresponding furniture surface. When the decorative panel is not fitted, an aluminium, plastic or chromium-plated beading provided with similar elastic staples is fitted in lieu of the panel, in order to conceal the rows of perforations (not shown).

The frame 1 may be replaced by a plate 17 (FIG- URE 3) covering the whole of the underface of the panel. In this case the folded marginal portions 18 are glued or stapled on the frame surface in order properly to enclose the foam 3 and tension with the desired regularity the outer surface of the film 2.

In a different form of embodiment of this invention, which is designed more particularly for equipping seat cushions or the like, the frame 1 is connected to the upholstery or lining 2 and to the foam padding by means of clamps 23; the edges 7 of the upholstery (see FIG- URE 4) are folded under the frame in order to envelop same and be wedged by the foam 3, the clamps 23 being subsequently inserted on the frame so as to hold the upholstery. The panel is secured by means of lugs 19 welded to, or forming an integral part of, the clamps 23, these lugs 19 being formed with a notched portion on either side of their point of attachment to the clamps 23.

A series of spaced slots 20 are formed in the surface to be covered, all around and within the outer perimeter 15 of the panel or cushion (in the case of seat elements).

The staples 19 are properly disposed at spaced intervals all around the frame so that their lugs 21 register with the aforesaid slots 20 (see FIGURE 5).

When the cushion is fitted on the seat or like element the lugs 21 engage the slots 20 and are locked in position by twisting their ends. As the cushion is fastened at points lying within its outer perimeter, the staples and lugs remain invisible. This type of panel or-cushion and the method of fastening same fall into the third groups mentioned in the preamble of this specification.

In the modified form of embodiment illustrated in FIG- URE 6 the frame consists of four strips of adequate length having its ends preferably mitred so that they can be assembled by pairs and stapled without any superposition. The film 2 of fabric or plastic is tensioned on the frame so as to envelop a relatively thin plastic foam 3 and is secured thereto by means of staples 24. The means provided for fastening the panel on the furniture unit consists of a U-section 25 clamping and surrounding at the same time one side of the frame and the fabric or plastic film of which the edge 7 is folded over the frame surface. One flange of this section 25, actually the one lying outside, extends at right angles to the outside so as to provide an in-turned lip 26 adapted to fit between two juxtaposed elements of the furniture, as shown in FIGURE 8.

In the example illustrated in FIGURE 7, the cabinet 28 of the furniture is of parallelepipedic configuration and has its vertical edges lined with uprights 29 of which some constitutes the legs of the furniture while others are simple ornamental elements. These uprights are clamped against the cabinet surface by means of members currently used in this case. The in-turned lips 26 of the fa'stening sections 25 are inserted between these uprights 29 and the cabinet 28. The ornamental panel is secured by clamping the uprights 29 against the cabinet. This panel may be replaced by simply releasing the uprights 29.

FIGURE 8 illustrates the arrangement of these sections 25 in relation to the cabinet 28, the uprights 29 and the ornamental panel.

FIGURE 9 illustrates a modified form of embodiment wherein the uprights 29 are disposed as front elements and the fastening sections 25 do not comprise any inturned lip, one flange 30 of this section projecting slightly from the panel and being engaged between the relevant uprights and the cabinet of the furniture unit.

FIGURE 10 shows a different arrangement wherein the fastening section 25 has a hook-like cross-sectional contour 31 adapted to engage an edge of the furniture which comprises a ledge or like projection 32.

Of course, many other modifications and variations may be contemplated in the practical embodiment of the structure constituting the subject-matter of this invention without inasmuch departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

In FIGURE 11, the frame consists of a section member 25 secured by screws to the edge of the surface 34 to be upholstered and wherein the lining 2 and the intermediate foam material 3 are tensioned, and in FIGURE 12 the frame 18 is secured to the periphery of the supporting surface and the separate panel, consisting of the frame 25 and composite lining 2, 3, is snapped in position by flexing into said frame.

Thus, the faces of the furniture can be upholstered partially or totally as requested by the customer, the appearance of the furniture being variable to infinity irrespective of their nature.

What I claim is:

.1. An article of ofiice furniture having at least one permanent finished first panel, a finished second panel of a size and shape to overlie at least a major portion of said first panel, said second panel comprising a frame, a sheet of flexible sheet material stretched over said frame and padding underlying said sheet material, and concealed attachment means coacting between said frame and first panel removably to secure said second panel in selected position overlying at least a major portion of said finished first panel.

2. An article of ofiice furniture according to claim 1 in which said attachment means comprise holes in said finished first panel and resilient anchoring elements carried by said frame of said finished second panel and fitting into said holes in said finished first panel.

3. An article of ofiice furniture according to claim 1 in which said attachment means comprise clamps of U- shaped cross section retaining said sheet material on said frame and having lugs adapted to be secured by cooperating structural elements of said article of furniture.

4. An article of oflice furniture according to claim 2 in which said lugs are engageable in slots provided in said article of furniture.

5. An article of oflice furniture according to claim 1 in which said finished second panel overlies only a central portion of said finished first panel, leaving a border portion of said finished first panel exposed.

6. An article of oflice furniture according to claim 1 in which said article is a metal desk having three of said finished first panels and three of said finished second panels mounted respectively over said finished first panels.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Marshall 52-5 11 Tinnerman 52511 Weber 312--204 Biabaud 52-506 Jung 312195 Brown 52511 Anderson 297452 Helms 297452 Vincens et a1 297445 Great Britain.

CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.

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U.S. Classification312/194, 312/204, 312/195
International ClassificationA47B13/08, A47C31/00, A47B47/05, A47B17/00, F16B12/02, A47B95/04, A47B96/20
Cooperative ClassificationA47C31/00, A47B96/205, A47B47/05, A47B13/083, F16B12/02, A47B13/08, A47B17/00, A47B95/04, A47B2200/07, A47B96/201, A47B96/206
European ClassificationA47B96/20C2, A47C31/00, A47B13/08, A47B47/05, F16B12/02, A47B95/04, A47B96/20C, A47B13/08C, A47B96/20A, A47B17/00