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Glossary of Terms
A
Accent Lighting
Accessible Designs
Acrylic Paint
Adaptable Designs
Alkyd Paint
Antique
Area
Asymmetrical

B
Back-lighting
Balance
Blender Brushes
Built-in

C
Cheesecloth
Code
Color Scheme
Color Washing
Combing
Complementary Colors
Contemporary
Contrast

D
Depth
Dimmer Switch
Distressed Finish
Dovetail
Dragging
Drape

E
Elevation
Enamel
Ethnic
Euro Shams

F
Floor Plan
Focal Point
Faux
Flat Finish
Fluorescent Lighting
Finial

G
Glaze
Glossy Finish
Grout

H
Hardware
Hue

I
Incandescent Lighting
Indirect Lighting

K
Knockdown
Keystone

L
Laminate
Latex Paint
Layout

M
Marbleized
Millwork
Mitered Corner
Molding
Mosaic
Motif

N
Natural Fiber
Niche
Ornamental
Over-glaze

R
Recessed Lighting
Rug
Roman Shade

S
Scale
Secondary Color
Semi-Gloss Finish
Sheen
Sidelight
Sponging
Square Feet
Stencil
Stenciling
Shutter

U
Under Counter Lights
Up-light

W
Wainscoting


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

Accent Lighting
A type of lighting that draws your attention to an object or area to emphasize a certain aspect of the room.


Accessible Designs
Special design features such as lower counters, ramps or rails, etc., to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.


Acrylic Paint
A water soluble paint with a plastic polymer (acrylic binder)


Adaptable Designs
Those designs that can easily be changed or adjusted to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.


Alkyd Paint
An inner soluble paint that contains a binder made of urethane - not to be confused with an oil-based paint, which was previously used as a binder.


Antique
Any object over 100 years of age - such as buildings, furniture, art etc.


Area
Referred typically as length x width of a wall or floor space.


Asymmetrical
Elements that are positioned off-center to one another.


B

Back-lighting
Illumination coming from a source behind or adjacent to an object.


Balance
Elements that are well or evenly distributed.


Blender Brushes
Specials brushes created to blend and soften all types of wet painted surfaces.


Built-in
A bookcase or cabinet or any other element that has been built into a wall or existing opening.


C

Cheesecloth
A coarse, cotton gauze used to create different textures, as well as blend and smooth wet paint over a surface.


Code
A locally or nationally enforced mandate regarding structural design, plumbing, heating, electrical, etc. Codes that dictate what can and what cannot be done in construction.


Color Scheme
Harmony created by the various combinations of color.


Color Washing
The technique of applying layers of heavily thinned glaze to a surface that produces a faded, transparent washed look.


Combing
A technique that involves dragging a comb through wet paint or glaze in order to achieve texture or to create a pattern.


Complementary Colors
Hues that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. The strong contrasts tend to intensify each other. A blend of a color can be achieved by mixing various paints.


Contemporary
Any modern design (after 1920-30's) that does not refer to traditional elements of the past.


Contrast
The art of putting together colors with different intensities and values. The various combinations and proportions creates a dynamic effect.


D

Depth
In design and drafting this is achieved by the use of angles and visual perceptions. This also refers to the overall measurement from front to back of any object.


Dimmer Switch
A switch that can vary the intensity of the light it controls.


Distressed Finish
A decorative paint technique in which the final coat is sanded and battered to produce an aged appearance.


Dovetail
A method of joining 2 pieces in which wedge shaped parts are interlocked to form a tight joint. This joint is commonly used in furniture manufacturing.


Dragging
A painting technique that involves pulling a special long-bristled brush through wet paint.


Drape
A heavyweight fabric panel with many different ways of hanging to achieve different desired effects.


E

Elevation
Scaled drawing showing details of the exterior or interior.


Enamel
A hard glossy paint finish.


Ethnic
Patterns and designs influenced by the culture of other regions.


Euro Shams
Square pillow shams 24" x 24" used in combination with other bed pillows.


F

Floor Plan
The drawing of all windows and walls with the location of electrical, T.V. outlets, etc. done by an architect or designer. The plan is always drawn to scale.


Focal Point
The area of a room which becomes the main focus of use - such as a fireplace, home entertainment center or views from windows, etc.


Faux
This term comes from the French word for "false". Any painting technique in which the paint is manipulated on a surface to imitate the appearance of another substance such as wood, stone, brick, etc.


Flat Finish
The absence of sheen after a paint or finish dries.


Fluorescent Lighting
A glass tube coated on the interior with phosphor - a compound that emits light. When activated by ultra-violet energy, air is replaced by argon gas.


Finial
Decorative hardware made of wood, metal or cast materials used to cap the ends of drapery rods, posts, etc.


G

Glaze
A thinned down emulsion that may or may not have color.


Glossy Finish
The appearance of sheen after a paint or finish has dried.


Grout
The thin mortar used to fill in spaces between bricks or tiles. Grout comes in many different colors.


H

Hardware
The knobs, handles, locks, towel rods and other related materials used in construction.


Hue
Color graduation from brightness to various levels of lightness.


I

Incandescent Lighting
A bulb that converts electric power into light by passing the current through a filament tungsten wire.


Indirect Lighting
A more subdued lighting that is reflected from another surface such as a ceiling, and is not direct.


K

Knockdown
Furniture that is sold not assembled. This term is also used to a ceiling style where the texture is smooth.


Keystone
The center structural wedge stone of an arched opening. Could also be simply a decorative trim in the shape of a wedge capping in an arched opening.


L

Laminate
One or more thin layers of plastic fused to a material such as Formica.


Latex Paint
Paint that contains either acrylic or vinyl resins or a combination of the two. High quality latex paint contains 100% acrylic resin. Latex paint is water soluble and dries quickly.


Layout
Defining spaces for specific purposes.


M

Marbleized
Faux painting style that imitates real marble.


Millwork
Woodwork manufactured at a lumber mill and used for interior casings, baseboards, etc.


Mitered Corner
Carpentry term where a 45 degree angle is created in either wood, fabric, etc.


Molding
A straight or decorative strip used for ornamentation.


Mosaic
Broken fragments of materials (glass, pottery, tiles, etc) combined to create intricate patterns or pictures.


Motif
A dominant theme throughout.


N

Natural Fiber
Textiles made from animal or vegetable sources such as wool, silk, cotton or linen.


Niche
Recessed wall area often arched at the top and used to display artifacts.


O

Ornamental
Decorative objects or designs.


Over-glaze
A thin glaze added as a final step to a decorative paint finish. It can be a thinner version of the base coat or it can be blended with colors.


R

Recessed Lighting
Lighting fixture attached into the ceiling or further down to give an indirect lighting effect.


Rug
Soft floor covering laid on a floor but not permanently attached.


Roman Shade
A fabric shade with wooden slats inserted horizontally at intervals down the entire length. The shade can be lowered or raised by pulling a cord.


S

Scale
Drafting term used to measure distance or the relationship and comparison between specific volume of space and architectural interior embellishments.


Secondary Color
A mix of two primary colors. The secondary colors are orange, green and purple.


Semi-Gloss Finish
These paints have a hard, slightly glossy finish that is light-reflective and whose sheen is between a high gloss and an eggshell finish.


Sheen
The quality of paint that reflects light when it is dry.


Sidelight
The windows flanking either side of an exterior door.


Sponging
A painting technique that involves using a sponge to either apply or take off paint.


Square Feet
The area determined by width x length.


Stencil
A cut out pattern.


Stenciling
Creating a motif often in a repeat pattern by painting over a cut out pattern.


Shutter
Wooden or hinged panels that may be folded across windows.


U

Under Counter Lights
Lights placed beneath upper cabinets to provide additional task lighting.


Up-light
Used to describe the lights that are directed upward towards the ceiling or the upper portion of a wall.


W

Wainscoting
Decorative paneling applied to the lower part of an interior wall.