Interior Design Ornaments

90 terms by Ishtarberie 

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(From Materials Hand outs) More on general terminology of Interior Design motif application.

Acanthus Leaves

A stylized motif, one of the primary decorative elements of classical architecture, as evident to the capital of Corinthian column.

Anthemion

Decorative motif consisting of a radiating cluster of stylized honeysuckle flowers & leaves.

Aegricanes

Greek religious iconography; A head of a goat or ram.

Arabesque

A Moorish design or scrollwork, leaves, flowers and interlaced branches beautifully intertwining.

Assyrian Tree of Life

The inspiration of the Arabesque Motif.

Atlantes

A full or half male figure used instead of a column or in place of a furniture leg.

Baseboard

A board placed at the base of a wall and rests on the floor; Usually treated with moldings.

Beading

A decorative strip or molding that resembles a string of beads.

Bevel

An edge of any flat surface that has been cut at a slant to the main area.

Boulle

Pieces of tortoiseshell, ivory, mother-of-pearl and metals of various colors used as inlay to ornament cabinetwork.

Bullnose

The rounding of an edge or aris.

C and S Scrolls

Moldings which emulate the letters C and S, which are the characteristics of Rococo Style.

Cartouche

The form of an unrolled scroll with an oval center and having pierced curled edges.

Caryatid

A column carved in human form, used in as a supporting motif in architectural composition.

Cavetto

A molding of concave form approximating a quarter circle.

Ceiling Rose

Generally made of plaster, a circular decorative molding foxed into the ceiling, often in a center and often has a pendant light fitting suspended from it.

Chair Rail

The topmost molding of a dado, sometimes known as a dado cap. It is placed on a wall at the height of a chair back to protect the finish of a wall.

Chamfer

A bevel or slope made by paring off the edge of anything originally right angled. Often used on the legs of furniture.

Checkerboard

A pattern consisting of alternating light and dark squares.

Corner Block

A square block of wood used to form a junction between the sides and head of a strip of door and window trim; Any block similarly used in cabinet making.

Crocket

Ornament used on the sides of pinnacles, usually leaf or bud shape; Commonly seen in Gothic Art.

Cinquefoil

A French term meaning "five leaves," a pattern resembling a five-leaved clover.

Coffer

An ornamental sunken panel in a ceiling, vault or lower surface of an arch, beam or other architectural frame.

Crocket

A formalized bunch of leaves carved at intervals on the edge of wood mouldings, prevalent during the Gothic Period.

Cornice

A molded projection that crowns a wall, or divides it horizontally for compositional purposes. it may be formed simply with a crown molding or be built up with a number of moldings.

Crown Molding

A decorative moulding at the junction between walls and ceiling of a room, or the uppermost horizontal moulding of a classical entablature.

Cyma Recta Curve

An S shaped curve which begins and ends horizontally.

Cyma Reversa Curve

As opposed to Cyma Recta, the curve starts and ends vertically.

Dado

The lower portion of wall, when treated differently from the surface above it.

Diaper Pattern

An overall repeating pattern without definite limits.

Dentil

A small square projecting block in a cornice.

Echinus

An ovoid shaped molding forming part of a classical capital. It springs from the shaft of the column, just under the abacus.

Egg and Dart Moulding

A classical motif found on architectural elements such as decorative cornices and also furniture. Consists of repeated and alternate dart and egg (oval) shapes.

Espagnolette

A female head and bust used at the top of a volute.

Festoon

A string of many kinds of material hanging in a curve between two points.

Filigree

A divider with an openwork design, the lacy effect produced by twisting and curling wire together or an open work in porcelain.

Fillet

A narrow flat moulding or area, raised or sunk to separate larger moldings or areas.

Fleur-de-Lis

A stylized thre--petaled flower tied in an encircling band, used as the heraldic bearing of the royal family of France.

Flutes

Channels in a vertical position used to embellish columns, pilasters or furniture legs. These are parallel concave grooves that are used to ornament a surface.

Fret

A Greek geometric band or border motif, consisting of interlacing or interlocking lines, laso known as the meander or key pattern.

Gadroon

Elongated ovoid forms placed in a parallel series and projecting beyond the surface they enrich.

Gaine

A pilaster that narrows toward the bottom and is capped with topless female half-figure.

Gargoyle

A grotesque animal or human form used as a water spout.

Gesso

A prepared plaster of chalk and white lead which may be cast to make repeating ornamental forms in relief to apply to wood panels, plaster surfaces etc.

Griffin

A monster with a body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

Grotesque

An incongruous combination of monstrous animal and human forms.

Guilloche

A band or border running pattern having the appearance of overlapping or interlacing circular forms.

Herm

A tapering pilaster terminating in a head or bust of a female.

Hock

A cabriole leg formed like a tersal joint of a hind leg of a quadruped.

Honeysuckle

A decorative motif of Greek origin resembling a conventionalized fanlike arrangement of petals.

Linenfold

A panel resembling folded cloth. It was prevalent in the Gothic Period.

Lozenge

An alternate name for the conventional diamond shaped motif.

Lunette

A form resembling a crescent or half moon.

Mascaron

A grotesque head or mask.

Meander

A running ornament consisting of an intricate variety of fret or fretwork.

Melon Bulb

A highly ornamented turning in two sections.

Millefleur

Overall pattern of stylized flower and plants.

Nosing

The leading or prominent edge of a moulding or drip. It may be the edge of a step or the edge of a table or bench.

Ogee

A molding or an arch form composed of two opposing cyma curves whose convex sides meet in a point, thus forming an S , but is somewhat elongated compared with that of cyma.

Ogive

Another term for Ogee.

Ormolu

A variety of brass made to imitate gold or bronze, called an ormolu mount when mounted on a surface.

Ovolo

A convex moulding used in a classical architecture. It is usually an exact quarter of a circle.

Oystering

Using of veneers cut as cross sections of roots and branches of wood to resemble the irregular concentric rings in oyster shells.

Paterae

A flat, circle or oval shape molding containing an acanthus leaf relief in a rosette arrangement.

Pendant

A boss elongated so that it hangs down from the intersection of coffers in ceilings or form tables.

Papier Mache

A compound of paper pulp or shreds of paper mixed wit paste or glue to be moulded into various shapes.

Picture Mold

a horizontal molding near a ceiling from which pictures can be suspended. Also called a picture rail.

Plate Rail

A rail of narrow shelf fixed along a wall and grooved to hold plates, especially for ornaments or display.

Quatrefoil

A four-lobed ornamentation.

Reeding

A long, semi-cylindrical, stem-like from a grouping of such used to enrich mouldings.

Rinceau

Scroll and leaf ornament sometimes combined with cartouches or grotesque forms and applied o friezes, panels or other architectural forms. It is usually a symmetrical horizontal composition. Sometimes called an arabesque.

Rosette

An ornamental motif formed a series of leaves arranged around a central point.

Saltier

An x-pattern.

Scallop Shell

A semi-circular shell with ridges radiating from a point at the bottom. This motif was especially common in furniture design during the Queen Anne and Georgian periods.

Scroll

A parchment roll used as an ornament.

Scroll Pediment

Broken pediment with each half shaped in the form or a reverse curve and ending in a ornamental scroll. Usually a finial or some sort is placed in the center.

Seaweed

Used as marquetry in furniture panes. Also known as endive.

Strapwork

Consisting of enriched interlacing flat bands and forms similar to fretwork.

Tracery

A stonework formed in the head of Gothic window. Applied to the surface on a door or wood panel.

Trefoil

A three-lobed ornamentation resembling a clover.

Trim

Millwork around openings such as windows and doors.

Casings

Another term for trim.

Torus

A convex semi-circular molding.

Vignettes

Ornamental motifs, patterns or portraits centered on a large field.

Vitruvian Scroll

A peculiar pattern of scroll work consisting of convolved undulations.

Volute

A spiral scroll forming the principal characteristics of the Ionic capital.

Wainscot

A wooden lining for interior walls, usually paneled.

Waterleaf

A conventionalized leaf pattern of classical origin used to enrich a cyma reversa molding. Sometimes called leaf and dart pattern.

Wave Pattern

A continuous pattern conventionally imitating a series of breaking wave crests.

Wreath

A decorative band or garland of flowers, foliage or other ornamental material.

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