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 more definitions beginning with the letter “C” continued from last week.



Coffered ceilings are very popular and refer to a recess in the ceiling.  Sometimes coffers are a collection of coffers as in these pictures or they can also be just one raised section in the middle of the room with a lower ceiling around the perimeter. Coffers add architectural interest to a room which has none and if the opening is large, tend to make the room look larger.



Colonnades create a very pleasing pathway by having the columns evenly spaced and continuing on in a rhythmic manner.  Originally used in Classical architecture for structural support, they are now common in all types of architecture and outdoors even if they have no structural benefit.



Your Interior Designer may refer to fabrics and other items by their colorway, which really just means their color.  It is a way of distinguishing between colors when the product comes in more than one color.  The names of the colors will not be the same between manufacturers but within a group of coordinated products they may be called the same colorway name and look the same, just with different features or designs.



Console tables are common today in all styles of furnishings.  The Classic ones shown above have shaped legs and intricate carvings and designs but many today are much simpler and even rustic.  Console tables are long and narrow and taller than other tables.  They add a bit of elegance and help create a sense of entry where there is not a foyer.  They can create a focal point in the room and are often topped with a large mirror.



Here is a good drawing showing the parts of a framed house.  Common terms you will come across are: ridge beam, rafters, perlin, collar tie, strust, knee brace, top plate and rafters.  Although you may have a general idea where these are on a house, this illustration may be able to clear it up for you.


Corinthian_capital-resized-600A Corinthian Capital is the top part of a column decorated with carved acanthus leaves.  It is the most ornate of the three types of classic capitals and is used not only for columns but also in furniture and accessories.  A Corinthian capital is sometimes used by itself as a coffee or end table (without the column below it).



Corner bead protect outside corners of walls from damage and can be found on corners in both sheet rock and plaster homes.  The metal or plastic piece has holes to hold the wall compound (joint compound “mud” or plaster) and the final coat completely covers it so it is not visible when the installation is finished.



Interior Cornices are sometimes called crown molding.  They are the uppermost piece on the wall before the ceiling.  Cornices are referred to in tile moldings as well and serve as an ending point for tile or a place to make a change in the shape or design above it.

Cornices at door and windows are the upper most section above the door and is commonly elaborate or else it would just be called trim or molding.


crewel-resized-600Crewel work can be found on some elaborate and expensive fabrics.  The designs are typically organic and floral.  The crewl yarn is thick and usually made of wool.  The design is embroidered onto plain fabric instead of printed so it had much more depth and character.  It sticks up from the fabric and adds a hand made charm.



These pictures illustrate the many ways crown molding (moulding – both are correct) is used today.  This is the horizontal molding that goes at the joint between the ceiling and wall.  Compound crown molding are where some extra pieces of molding have been added so there is a “build-up” of two or three pieces to create a larger and more dramatic crown molding such as that in the middle picture and the bottom right picture at the top of a cabinet.