Every profession has it’s own special language and Interior Design, Architecture and Construction are no different.

Each week I will be giving you definitions for different letters of the alphabet and will continue through the alphabet until we are done with all the letters.

Here are some definitions beginning with the letter “C”


cabriole_legs-resized-600Cabriole legs are a style used on Classical furniture.  The shape is sinuous and feminine.  The bottom of the leg can be a simple club foot or be an ornate ball and claw foot and sometimes other animals are represented as well.  A cloved hoof is common also.



Cane webbing is used in many different types of furniture.  It is popular for chair seats and backs of furniture because it is strong and gives slightly when sat upon and breathes.  Cane webbing can be in many different designs and shapes and is also referred to as rattan sometimes, where the “cane” is bent or woven to create the furniture itself.  When it is only bent it has an internal structure of metal to give it strength and maintain it’s shape.



Cartouche is commonly used to describe a framed decorative flat carving.  The word comes from the Egyptian use of a frame around their hieroglyphics.  Some jewelery could be called a cartouche if it is a medallion with some decorative design inside.


A casing is the trim or molding that goes around windows and doors.  It can be many different sizes and shapes but it alway “encases” the object and finishes it off by covering the joint between the door or window and the wall surface (plaster or sheet rock).  A baseboard does the same thing except it is used between the wall and floor.

CELTIC KNOTceltic_knot-resized-600

There are many variations of the Celtic knot as you can see by the examples above, but it always has no beginning and no end. Although the Celtic knot it associated with the Irish it can be found in many decorative items. It is common in jewelery but can also be found on fabrics, in trim for upholstery or clothing, in carved furniture and on decorative items like panels and boxes.



The Chaise Longue or “long chair” is what we commonly call a chaise or chaise lounge.  It can be any style from contemporary to classical and is a comfortable place to lay around.  Chaises are made of many different materials from plastic to fully upholstered. They are often used as a place to read because you can spread out on them. They are found everywhere including in outdoor furniture where they are often used for sunbathing.


Chevron-resized-600A chevron pattern is a stripe that goes in a zig zag pattern.  It is used in flooring, in furniture and in upholstery and decorative fabrics.  It can be found as a weave, such as a Herringbone fabric or as a printed pattern and is common in many things outside of the design and construction industry as well. The flame stitch is a variation of it.


chinoiserieChinoiserie is a French word meaning decorated in the Chinese style.  The French were infatuated with the Chinese designs they imported in the 19th Century and tried to imitate them, which was a faux (false) Chinese.  True antique Chinoiserie has some European influences if you look closely because they did not know enough about the Chinese, their culture and their country to be accurate. Today the word is used to describe Chinese characters or scenes used as decorative elements on furniture, fabrics and accessories.

That’s all the words for today.  Next week I will introduce words starting with “D”.