Design School: Basic Furniture Terms

How well do you know your furniture lingo? Here are common terms that may just come in handy when you visit your favorite home or furniture store


We all love visiting furniture and home stores. Just the sight of charming pieces and delightful home décor makes us want to incorporate each and every item into our dream home. However, with countless choices in the market today, we often get overwhelmed and excited. Some pieces look the same but they are different altogether. Open communication with your designer is a must to make your dream abode a successful project. 

Get familiar with the basic furniture terms that interior designers use in their practice:

Four-poster bed

Four-poster beds have two tall posts situated on the headboard and two tall posts on the footboard. These beds maybe embellished with curtains. The vertical elements emphasize height and gives off a very elegant grandeur to a bedroom. They may be of any size: single, twin, queen, or king. Modern versions have shorter posts and are called low four-poster beds.

The four-poster bed is from Orientique. View the home tour here:


Very popular for being versatile and multi-functional, daybeds are usually narrow beds (single or twin) situated lengthwise against a wall. Both the headboard and the footboard are of the same height that also function as the arms of the sofa, with additional pillows as an option. Used for reclining, sitting, lounging or even sleeping, daybeds are ideal for small spaces such as dens, home offices or guest rooms because they unassumingly function as seating space during the day and a place for resting during naps and slumber.

The old solihiya daybed is found in a sitting room. View the home tour here:

Sofa bed

Not to be confused with the daybed, sofa beds are also multi-functional. Equipped with a special mechanism, a sofa bed can be converted/ unfolded into a bed when needed and can usually allow a full or a queen-size mattress as it has a bigger frame.

To view a couple of furniture pieces, check out

Chaise Longue

Don’t let this French term intimidate you. Pronounced as “shez long” (or “chase lounge” in the mainstream), it literally means “long chair”. Imagine a chair with its seat extended out to accommodate the legs. Originally a staple in the boudoir or women’s private rooms, the chaise longue has undergone several transformations: it may have arms on both sides—like an armchair, one arm—Cleopatra style, or no arms at all. Chaise longues have taken its place in living rooms and even outdoors by the sundeck or the pool area, perfect for lounging, reading or watching TV while your feet are up!


This is a general term for chairs with arms. The arms may be fully upholstered, semi-upholstered or with a frame such as wood or metal. Armchairs are generally more comfortable to sit on and are therefore added in areas where people sit for prolonged periods: formal dining rooms, living rooms, libraries or reading nooks. When used in dining spaces, armchairs are usually placed on each end of a rectangular dining table (kabisera).

The Molly Armchair is from Heima. View more of their products here:

Side Chair

Side chair is a general term used for chairs without arms. Used for extra seating in the dining area, foyer or home office, side chairs may be fully upholstered or semi-upholstered. It is often made out of wood, acrylic or metal.

Wing Chair

Also called easy chairs, wing chairs are pieces with tall backs and have a distinct wing-like feature along the sides of the back. Ideally, the purpose of these “flaps” was to envelop the person in warmth coming from the fireplace and protect him from the cold air. Nowadays, wing chairs have become a symbol of elegance with its imposing size and stately character. It may be accompanied by an ottoman for an even more relaxing experience.

These wing chairs are found in a 72sqm Quezon City condo. View the full home tour here:


Noted for its versatility, ottomans are low upholstered seats that do not have a backrest or arms. They may serve as a bench, a footstool or even as a coffee table. You may even put it at the end of an armchair and voila! You have an instant chaise longue!

Sectional sofa / Sectionals

Practical, innovative and modular, sectionals are two to three pieces of sofa chairs that can be placed side-by-side in an L-shaped orientation to define a living room space.


No, this was not designed for lovers to sit on, in fact, the wide seat was originally designed as such so that women in the 17th-18th century can sit comfortably in their wide ball gowns. However, it has now evolved into an inviting piece that can be placed at the edge of a bed, as a part of the sectional sofa or as an extra seating option. And because ball gowns are worn on rare occasions, it can comfortably seat two people.

To view different options and other pieces that you can add to your space, visit:


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