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Design Glossary

Level-tip shear

A loop and cut-pile combination; both loops and sheared yarn are at a uniform height.

Line Voltage Outdoor Fixtures

These lights use 120 volts powered directly by the live current from from your house. The cable must be ordered from and installed by a professional with the cable buried 4' underground. Due to electricity costs these lights are more expensive.

Low Voltage Outdoor Fixtures

"These lights run off a power cable from yoour home buried 12 underground. The household power supply is converted from 120 to 12 volts by a transformer (sold separately). Low-voltage lights are safer and more economical than line-voltage lights."""


Low-emissivity window coatings are thin invisible layers deposited on a window surface to reflect radiant heat and lower total heat flow through the window.


Also known as Low-E glass. It is coated with a thin transparent layer of silver. It allows light in but reflects infrared and UV rays to the outside decreasing cooling costs and reducing fading of furnishings. In winter Low-E glass reduces heating costs by deflecting interior heat back into the room.


Majolica is a style of bold-coloured pottery first designed by a 19th-century English potter who was inspired by the bright colours festive themes and strong forms of ceramics from the Spanish Renaissance.


A type of hardboard made from pressed wood fibres used as a building material or insulation.

Matchstick Roller Blind

A window covering made of thin strips of cane or basswood; filters light and can be painted or stained.


"French for cushioned or padded"". Fabric woven on a jacquard or dobby loom in double cloth weave. The pattern stands out and gives a ""pouch"" or ""quilted"" effect to the goods."

Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF)

A less expensive alternative to wood MDF is made from wood fibres fused under heat and pressure. Many veneers use MDF as a base.

Melamine sheets

A sheet material commonly used in building inexpensive cabinets and ready-to-assemble furniture. It is a thermosetting plastic resin applied to a substrate like particleboard.

Mercerized cotton yarn

Yarn that is treated under tension with a soda solution in order to give it strength a silky lustre and make it more receptive to dyes.


A mitre or mitre joint is made by beveling two parts to be joined usually at a 45° angle to form a 90° angle. It is often used in making picture frames.

Mitre box

A wooden box with grooves cut into it at different angles; the grooves direct your saw at an angle while you cut.

Mitre saw

A manual or power tool used to make a quick accurate crosscut. Most mitre saws are relatively small and portable with common blade sizes ranging from eight to 12 inches. The mitre saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto an object in a short controlled motion.


A colour scheme composed of tints and shades in a single hue. Pairing our French Laundry duvet cover in white/white with white sheets white matelasse coverlet and window treatments and decorative pillows in various shades of white would result in a serene spa-like monochromatic bedroom.

Mortise or mortise-and-tenon

To join or fasten securely with a mortise (a hole or recess cut that receives a projecting part shaped to fit into it) and tenon (projecting part).

Moulded Architectural Art

Highly decorative profiles made of polyurethane or wood.

Multi-level loop

A combination of yarns of different heights with a textured sculputed look.


Strong often sheer cotton cloths of a plain weave often used for sheets and pillowcases.


A small cylinder-shaped decorative pillow.

Newel Cap

The decorative top of a newel post.

Newel Post

The post at the top or bottom of the staircase that supports the handrail.


Often confused with organza organdy is a sheer crisp fabric that looks similar to organza but it usually made of cotton not silk. Often used for dresses and curtains.


A lightweight shiny sheer fabric usually made with silk. Less expensive organza is made with synthetic fibres. Often used for bridal gowns or as a lining for sheer fabrics.


Formally known as footstools or poufs ottomans were strictly intended to support your legs and feet. They were associated with comfort and informality but now ottomans have become larger and more adaptable. Today an ottoman can be used as a coffee table extra seating and as a storage area.

P trap

A P-shaped trap forming a water seal in a sink pipe.

Panel Moulding

Pieces of moulding that are cut and fit together (usually with 45-degree mitred corners) to form any shape most commonly squares or rectangles. It also hides seams and makes panel edges appear inset. Also called beading.


Describes decorative trimmings for drapery including cord braid and beads.

Pedestal Sinks

Pedetal basins lack the storage features and display surfeces of vanities and countertops but are good for maximizing space in a small bathroom. Optional features include backsplashes and soap indents. Faucets are usually mounted right on these sinks but some sinks are sold without holes for use with wall-mounted faucets.


A smooth cloth finely woven with 180 threads per square inch used to make better-quality linens.


A column-like support projecting partially from a wall and applied to the face of the wall to resemble a column or pillar.

Pillow Sham

A decorative accent pillow cover that dresses up the top of the bed.

Plate Rail

A shallow moulding or ledge affixed to a wall at a height of approximately 5-1/2 to 6- 1/2 feet (or about eye level) that can be used to display plates or collectibles.

Pleated Shade

A window covering that comes in paper vinyl and fabric varierties; has an accordion-style pleat.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

A thermoplastic polymer that is a cheap and durable replacement for many building materials like wood concrete and clay. As a hard plastic it is commonly used as vinyl sliding flooring pipes and plumbing.


The contour of the chair railings mouldings casings and baseboards used when panelling.


A groove cut in the edge of a board so that another piece can be fitted into it to form a joint (rabbet joint).


"1. The projection of forms from a level background.


The front face of a step.

Rod casing

Type of curtain heading in which fabric is sewn into a pocket at top of curtain to encase rod or pole.

Roller Blind

A window covering made of opaque materials like vinyl PVC etc.; rolls up from the top.

Roman Blind

A window covering that is made from many types of fabric. Fastens with cord lock or onto a cleat.


A tool used for gouging out recesses and smoothing the bottoms of grooves on wood or metal surfaces.

Runner or tread

The top plane of a step.


A sash pertaining to a window is the portion of the window separatw from the frame that holds the glass; it can be either stationary or movable.


A tougher twisted heat-set cut pile usually dense in construction.


A long-tufted cut pile quite loose in construction; undergoing renewed popularity.

Sheet Panels

Large pieces of wood used as the base or backboard from which to create decorative panels.


A window covering that is made of real wood PVC vinyl; comes with or without the centre rail.

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