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 of words beginning with 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 “F”.



 A fascia is the “face” or front part of a building or article.  In construction it is the flat board  that covers the ends of the the eves and where the rain gutters are attached.

In furniture it is the flat surface that faces you such as the flat piece under the table top (also called an apron) or the panel on the front of a desk that hides your legs. It is generally used to hide some functional part of the object and present a finished “face”.



Faux Bois is another French term used in Interior Design.  “Faux” means falses or fake and “Bois” means wood.  It is a finished surface made of paint to look like wood graining.  This technique has been in use for centruies and is used on lots of everyday items from boxes all the way up to columns and paneling.


copy of faux_croc-resized-600

As you might have guessed, Faux Crock is just that – False or Fake Crocodile leather.  It is generally made of a man made fabric like vinyl and can be very hard to tell from the real thing these days.



A filigree is seen in lots of things from architecture to fabric to furniture.  It really refers to the organic scrolling pattern or design used in an object and is seem in gates, fabrics, hardware, artwork, metal work, etc.



A fillets is a very small radius that joins two straight lines together.  It is seen in architectural details where straight walls join in a corner or somethimes it is a curved applied molding.  It is seen also as a thin rounded piece of molding inside or outside picture frames to add dimension to a typical frame.



 Finials are the finishing jewelery to all sorts of objects.  They are always on the tops of lamps and on drapery rods at the ends.  They can be decorative or very plain but serve to finish off the ends of the object.

In architecture and furniture finials are the decorative tops to spires and gates as well as decorative elements like on the clock shown above.



Flashing is a critical part of the construction process and serves to keep out rain and moisture.  It must be installed properly and goes behind the exterior finished material of a wall  (such as bricks, stucco or wood). It goes up the wall a little way so the water can not wick back inside the structure and then finishes outside the siding to drain down to the ground.  Flashing is generally made of metal or a waterproof membrane.



Fluting is seen predominately in columns on furniture, cabinets and columns.  It is a concave gough in the surface that is evenly spaced on or around the object.  Do not confuse it with reeding, which is the opposite – the small recessed portion leaves rounded “reeds” on the finished surface.



 If you’ve heard the term “Fretwork” you may not have realized exactly what it is.  It is generally referring to ornate cut out designs applied to furniture, architectural elements or decorative items.  It is used a lot in Middle Eastern design and tranlates into doors, window coverings and floor screens.



 A Frieze does not refer to something that is very cold but rather to the architectural element between an architrave and a cornice (both of which have been described previously under “entablature”. It is pronounced like to “Freeze” ice cream).

When the term is used to describe carpeting it is pronounced Free-Zay and mean a tightly twisted yarn that curls unevenly and offers a unique look.  It is a very resiliant and durable type of carpeting and is suitable for rough wear such as in a family room or hallways.



Furring stips are esentailly a framework where a finished material will be applied, such as sheet rock.  Furring strips are also used to level a wall, frame around an obstacle or make a part of a wall project further out such as filling out the upper part of a fireplace so the wall is the same distance from the wall all the way from the floor to the ceiling.  Furring is also used to create soffits.

Next week I will define words beginning with “G”