US20060238085A1 - Furniture system - Google Patents

Furniture system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060238085A1
US20060238085A1 US11113382 US11338205A US2006238085A1 US 20060238085 A1 US20060238085 A1 US 20060238085A1 US 11113382 US11113382 US 11113382 US 11338205 A US11338205 A US 11338205A US 2006238085 A1 US2006238085 A1 US 2006238085A1
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furniture
article
hoist
frame
system
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US11113382
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Bertram Greenberg
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Greenberg Bertram M
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B51/00Cabinets with means for moving compartments up and down

Abstract

One of the inventor's concepts is a furniture system comprising first and second articles of furniture and a hoist. The hoist raises the first article of furniture. The second article of furniture fits the freed space underneath enhancing its utilization. Another of the inventor's concepts is a freestanding frame to support a hoist that can raise an article of furniture. The system can be installed without the aid of a contractor and without damaging ceilings or walls. The frame can be a cabinet. A cabinet allows the furniture to be stored against a wall or as a room partition while hiding the stored furniture from view. These concepts can be used to increase the utility of a room. Multiple articles of furniture having different uses can be stored in one or more cabinets and or closets and selectively removed to adapt the room to one or another function.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to stowable furniture, cabinets that can be used to store several articles of furniture at once, and devices for elevating furniture for storage in near-ceiling spaces.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Within a home, which can be a house, a condominium, a townhouse, or an apartment, each room generally has a specific function and a typical resident refers to each room accordingly, e.g., living room, dining room, den, recreation room, office, bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. The function of a room is defined in part by the way the room is furnished. A room of one type can, in some cases, be converted to a room of another type by replacing the furniture.
  • In many homes, space is at a premium and there is a need to convert, at least temporarily or in part, rooms of one type to another. In particular, methods have been developed for converting a bedroom to a living room or den by hiding a bed. One method is to provide the room with a sofa bed, which allows the bed to be hidden within a sofa. Another method is to provide a Murphy bed, which is a bed that can be folded into a closet. A further method is to equip a bed with a hoist for storing the bed near a ceiling. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,507,953 (“the '953 patent”) describes a bed with a ceiling-mounted hoist that can be used to hoist the bed for storage near the ceiling. FIG. 9 of the '953 patent illustrates a table and chairs in use beneath the lifted bed.
  • A related problem is making effective use of room space, and in particular utilizing near ceiling space. In this regard, there is the bunk bed and the hoistable bed just mentioned. Other solutions primarily relate to closet storage space and include pull down shelves and descending closet rods.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 1,583,971 describes a system for hoisting a wardrobe within a closet to free space underneath. The system includes a hoist that attaches to the ceiling of the closet. The hoist has a supporting member that can couple or uncouple with the top of the wardrobe. The wardrobe is on castors and can be trundled out of the closet when decoupled from the supporting member. When coupled to the supporting member, the wardrobe can be hoisted near the ceiling of the closet. The supporting member is a small box that can itself be used for storage.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,756 describes furniture that attaches to a wall and can be lifted to an elevated position near the wall or lowered to a position on the floor in front of the wall. The lifting mechanism is designed to be hidden from view behind the furniture being lifted.
  • Regardless of currently available solutions, there is an unsatisfied and long felt need for either more space or better utilization of space in existing homes.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One concept of the inventor is a furniture system comprising first and second articles of furniture and a hoist. The system is adapted for the hoist to raise the first article of furniture and provides the second article of furniture to effectively utilize the freed space underneath. The first and second articles of furniture can have coordinated decorative features making them a matched set.
  • Another concept of the inventor is a freestanding frame to support a hoist that can raise an article of furniture. The freestanding frame allows the system to be installed without the aid of a contractor and without damaging or modifying ceilings or walls. Generally, the freestanding frame can be readily rearranged within a room. A freestanding cabinet can serve as a freestanding frame. A cabinet can allow the furniture to be stored against a wall or as a room partition while hiding the stored furniture from view.
  • One or more of these concepts can be used to increase the utility of a room. Multiple articles of furniture having different uses can be stored in one or more cabinets and or closets and selectively removed to adapt the room to one or another function.
  • One or more concepts of the inventor utilize near ceiling space and increase the number of articles of furniture that can be stored in a room. Two, four, or more articles of furniture can be stored along a wall, preferably within a short distance of the wall, or in a partition. Selected articles of furniture can be conveniently removed from or returned to storage as needed.
  • The forgoing summary encompasses certain of the inventor's concepts. Its primary purpose is to present these concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that follows. The summary is not a comprehensive description of what the inventor has conceived. Other concepts of the inventor will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description and annexed drawings. Moreover, the detailed description and annexed drawings draw attention to only certain of the inventor's concepts and set forth only certain examples and implementations of what the inventor has conceived. Other concepts of the inventor and other examples and implementations of the inventor's concepts will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from that which is described and/or illustrated.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an illustration of a furniture system conceived by the inventor comprising a cabinet, a hoist, a raised first article of furniture, and a second article of furniture stored underneath;
  • FIG. 2 is a partial cutaway view showing the hoist of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a cutaway view showing part of the mechanism of the hoist shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is an illustration of the furniture system of FIG. 1 with the second article of furniture removed from the cabinet and first article lowered by the hoist.
  • FIG. 5 is an illustration of another furniture system conceived by the inventor with the fronts of the cabinets removed.
  • FIG. 6 is an illustration of a room with a furniture system conceived by the inventor placed along a wall.
  • FIG. 7 is an illustration of a room with a furniture system conceived by the inventor forming a partition.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIGS. 1-4 illustrates an exemplary furniture system 10 embodying several of the inventor's concepts. The furniture system 10 includes a cabinet 11, a first article of furniture 12, a second article of furniture 13, and a hoist 14. The hoist 14 is mounted within the cabinet 11. The hoist 14 can be readily coupled to either the first article 12 or the second article 13 and used to raise either article to an elevated storage position. Both the first article 12 and the second article 13 preferably have casters 43 and can be readily rolled in or out of the cabinet 11. Preferably, either article can be hoisted while the other is stored underneath.
  • In the present disclosure, a cabinet is a chattel, as opposed to a closet, which is a fixture. A cabinet is designed to substantially enclose and hide its contents from view, optionally in cooperation with one or more walls whereby the enclosure need not be on all sides or include a top or a bottom.
  • The cabinet 11 is preferably from about 8 to about 12 feet tall and includes framing members (not shown), two sides 22 and 23, a front 24 comprising doors 26 and 28, and a top 21. The height is preferably selected to nearly span the space from floor to ceiling of a room in which the cabinet 11 is to be installed. The back is open, meaning the cabinet is preferably placed against a wall, or back-to-back with a similar cabinet, whereby the two sides 22 and 23 and the front 24 are sufficient to substantially hide the contents of the cabinet 11 from view. The open back allows access to a wall behind the cabinet. Electrical outlets or objects mounted on the wall may be accessible through the cabinet. Optionally the back is closed. Where the cabinet 11 is to be used as a partition, it would be appropriate to close the back and optionally provide doors in the back. The top 21 is optional. If the top 21 is omitted, the hoist 14 can be attached to a ceiling over the cabinet 11, although preferably the hoist 14 is mounted on the cabinet 11 and the top can be open or closed.
  • The cabinet 11 is adapted to facilitate removal and replacement of the articles of furniture 12 and 13. The cabinet 11 includes a lower door 26 for this purpose. The lower door 26 preferably spans or nearly spans the width of the front 24 of the cabinet 11. The absence of a floor to the cabinet 11 facilitates trundling the articles of furniture 12 and 13 into and out of the cabinet 11. An upper door 28 is also provided in the front 23. The upper door 28 is provided primarily to facilitate installation of the cabinet 11 and to provide access for servicing the hoist 14.
  • The exposed portions of the cabinet 11, including doors, are preferably provided with an attractive finish, such as a wood finish, a wood veneer finish, or another type of laminate finish.
  • In the exemplary cabinet 11, the hoist 14 is mounted on a tray 15 that fits within the cabinet 14 and can be fixed at an adjustable height, whereby installation of the cabinet 11 generally comprises attaching the tray 15 to the cabinet 11 after leveling the hoist 14. Installation of the cabinet 11 may also comprise installing crown molding to span a gap between the cabinet 11 and a ceiling.
  • Framing members are provided as needed to provide structural integrity to the cabinet 11. For example, where the cabinet has an open back, at least two framing members are generally provided to span the back. Where the cabinet 11 has adequate structural integrity without them, the framing members can be omitted entirely. A cabinet that is capable of supporting a hoist can be considered a special case of a frame and may be described as having an integral frame even if the cabinet contains no framing members.
  • The cabinet 11 is preferably no more than about 30″ deep, more preferably no more than about 24″ deep, whereby the cabinet 11 can fit compactly against a wall. Preferably, the cabinet 11 is at least about 18″ deep, more preferably at least about 22″ deep. The cabinet 11 is generally at least about 2 feet wide and can be much wider. One cabinet 11 or a set of one or more cabinets 11 placed side-by-side can span a length of wall or can stretch into the middle of a room forming a partition. A partition can optionally include another cabinet or cabinets 11 placed back-to-back with the first set.
  • The width of the cabinet or cabinets 11 can be varied depending on the number of articles of furniture stored and their widths. Optionally the cabinet or cabinets 11 are provided in modular widths, for example about 3 feet. Double width units can be provided for especially large articles of furniture. One hoist is generally provided for each unit. Additional units may also be provided without hoists to house, for example, a wide fold-out table or a Murphy bed. One cabinet may be provided per unit, or several units can be optionally included in a single cabinet.
  • In the present disclosure, a hoist is an apparatus suitable for use in lifting an article of furniture that weighs 50 lbs. Preferably, the hoist capacity is at least about 100 lbs and more preferably at least about 200 lbs. The hoist can be manually or mechanically powered. The hoist can use any suitable mechanism, including for example, gears or pulleys. Counterweights are optional. Preferably, the hoist is operative to raise an article of furniture up about 3 to about 8 feet, more preferably from about 4 to about 7 feet.
  • The exemplary hoist 14 includes an electric motor (not shown) actuated by a switch 31. A remote or other device can be used instead of an electrical switch. The electric motor drives the spindle 32 to wind or unwind cables 33, which can be wires, chains, bands, or ropes. The spindle 32 comprises four spools 34 that guide the cables 33 as they are wound and limits their travel along the length of the spindle 32, thereby limiting differences in the unwound lengths of the cables 33 from varying excessively with respect to one another as the cables 33 are wound onto the spindle 32. Pulleys 35 guide the cables 33, whereby each descends above one corner of an underlying article of furniture. The cables 33 have couplings 36 at their ends for coupling to mating couplings on the articles of furniture 12 and 13.
  • The switch 31 can have any suitable mode of operation. In one embodiment, the switch 31 has a raised and a lowered position. In the raised position, the switch 31 actuates the electric motor to wind the cables 33 and raise an article of furniture. In the lowered position, the switch 31 actuates the electric motor to unwind the cables and lower the article of furniture. Optionally, the switch 31 has a middle position to which it springs back and returns to that position ceasing the upward or downward motion whenever released. Preferably, the switch 31 also actuates a mechanism, such as a solenoid driven pin, that locks the spindle 32 while the motor is not in use. The motor may also have a built-in brake that reliably stops the spindle when the motor is not in use.
  • The hoist control can be specifically adapted to simplify the coupling of the first and second articles of furniture 12 and 13 to the hoist 14. For example, the control mechanism can include a simple microprocessor, whereby the hoist 14 can memorize first and second positions, each preset to facilitate coupling of the first and second article or furniture 12 and 13 respectively to the hoist 14.
  • The control mechanism can include additional safety features. For example a sensor can detect the presence of an article of furniture in the lower portion of the cabinet and prevent the hoist from descending when an article is so positioned.
  • The hoist 14 is preferably attached to and supported by the cabinet 11 and the cabinet 11 is preferably freestanding. In the present disclosure, freestanding describes a capability of a cabinet or frame, rather than an actual or preferred installation. A cabinet or frame can be freestanding even if it is actually installed with attachments to a wall or ceiling that provide additional support. Such additional support may improve the stability of the cabinet or frame, without affecting the question of whether the cabinet or frame is self-supporting. For the present disclosure and the claims which follow, a cabinet or frame is freestanding if the cabinet or frame is capable of remaining erect and undamaged without any support from the sides or above, being only supported by a floor on which the cabinet or frame stands, while the cabinet or frame supports the hoist and the hoist raises a 50 lb article of furniture. The hoist 14 can be attached to the cabinet 11 in any suitable fashion.
  • According to another of the inventor's concepts, the furniture system includes a frame rather than a cabinet. A frame can be suitable for use inside a closet, for example. Preferably, the frame is self-supporting.
  • Potential advantages of mounting the hoist to a self-supporting frame or cabinet include that a freestanding system can be installed conveniently, inexpensively, and without permission from a landlord. In contrast, installing a system with the hoist attached to a ceiling may be considered to involve a structural modification requiring landlord approval and may require the assistance of a contractor or tradesman to ensure the hoist has adequate support.
  • The furniture can couple to the hoist using any suitable linking mechanism or mechanisms. Examples of suitable linking mechanisms include interconnecting or interlocking structures. Examples of interlocking structures include hooks, eyes, clips, and pins. Interconnecting structures include screws, threads, and wing nuts. The linking mechanism preferably forms a coupling that is readily done or undone. Preferably, the furniture is adapted to facilitate the coupling, however, the adaptation can take place essentially in the hoist alone, wherein the hoist provides an elevator cabinet or platform. Preferably, the first and second articles of furniture 12 and 13 comprise interlocking or interconnecting structures near their tops.
  • In the example of FIG. 3, the interconnecting mechanism comprises clips 36 and eyes 41. The cables 33 also comprise turnbuckles 42, which facilitate fine tuning the lengths of the cables 33 to levelly raise the articles of furniture 12 and 13.
  • For purposes of the present application, articles of furniture are moveable articles that can be placed in a room or establishment to adapt the room or establishment to living, enjoyment, or working. Articles of furniture include, without limitation desks, tables, chairs, bars, workstations, bureaus, armoires, cupboards, and freestanding shelves. An article of furniture is not removed from this definition because it is fixed to the hoist and cannot be moved on its own, provided that the hoist is supported by a free-standing frame or cabinet that can itself be rearranged in a room. A cupboard can include any upright repository with shelves, drawers, or compartments for the safekeeping or display of objects.
  • In one embodiment, the furniture is household furniture as opposed to industrial or retail furniture (although industrial and retail furniture can be used in the more general case of furniture systems disclosed herein). Household furniture is furniture of a type that a typical consumer would consider appropriate for a home. Appropriateness for a home is a matter of dimensions, functional qualities, and aesthetic qualities.
  • The articles of furniture 12 and 13 are preferably dimensioned to effectively utilize the space within the cabinet 11. Preferably, each of the articles has a footprint equal to at least about 70% of the floor footprint within the cabinet 11, more preferably at least about 80% of the floor footprint, most preferably at least about 90% of the floor footprint. The depths of the articles of furniture 12 and 13 are preferably only about 2 to about 4 inches less than the depth of the cabinet 11. Likewise, the widths of the cabinet 11 and the articles of furniture 12 and 13 are preferably designed with reference to one another, whereby the cabinet 11, or each unit thereof, is generally only about 2 to about 4 inches wider than the articles of furniture.
  • The total height of the first and second articles of furniture 12 and 13 is preferably at least about 65% of the height of the cabinet 11, more preferably at least about 75%, most preferably at least about 85%. Where the first and second articles of furniture are both adapted to couple with the hoist 14, preferably the two articles are approximately the same height. In one embodiment, the first and second articles of furniture 12 and 13 have interlocking or interconnecting structures for coupling with the hoist 14 at near enough the same height, whereby if the cables 33 are sufficiently slack to decoupled either article of furniture from the hoist 14, the other article can be coupled to the hoist 14 without raising or lowering the hoist.
  • According to a further concept of the inventor, the first and second articles of furniture 13 and 14 have coordinated decorative features making them a matched set. This determination is made from the point of view of an ordinary consumer. Furniture is commonly marketed in matched sets and an ordinary consumer can routinely determine which articles are matching even when a display or a salesperson does not highlight the difference. Matching decorative features typically include shared finish materials, colors and/or textures.
  • Preferably, the second article of furniture 13 has casters, whereby the second article of furniture 13 can be easily trundled into and trundled out of the cabinet 11. Preferably, the first article of furniture 12 can be readily decoupled from the hoist 14 and also has casters, whereby the first article of furniture can also be readily trundled into and out of the cabinet 11. Preferably the second article of furniture 13 can also be readily coupled to the hoist 14, whereby the second article 13 can be hoisted up and the first article 12 stored in the cabinet 11 underneath the second article 13.
  • The second article of furniture 13 is an exemplary desk suitable for use in a furniture system conceived by the inventor. The desk 13 has a desktop 61 and foldout leaves 62 and 63. The desk 60 includes a compartment 64 above and compartments 65 below for storing office supplies. These compartments can be reconfigured in any suitable fashion and can be fit with drawers.
  • The desk 60 can be adapted to function as a computer workstation. A keyboard drawer can be installed to fit underneath the desktop 61 and designed to slide out until forward of the leaf 62 in the leaf 62's folded-down position. A workstation can be pre-wired, whereby all the devices used in the workstation can be power by connecting one cord. A retractable cord may be useful for this purpose. Likewise, a workstation can be pre-wired to facilitate making connections to communication networks.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary furniture system 65 comprising three side-by-side units. The first unit comprises a cabinet 71, a first bookshelf 72, and a second bookshelf 73. The second unit comprises a cabinet 81, a first armoire 82, and a second armoire 83. The third unit comprises a cabinet 84, a bureau 85, and a desk 86.
  • The first bookshelf 72 is permanently coupled to a hoist 74 within the cabinet 71. The second bookshelf 73 is on castors 75, and can be easily trundled out of the cabinet 71. The first bookshelf 72 can be narrower than the second bookshelf 73. The first bookshelf 72 is narrower because in this example the cabinet 71 is much deeper than required for bookshelves. The second bookshelf 73 is wider for stability and also because the rear of the second bookshelf 73 can be used for an additional bank of shelves or other storage.
  • In the exemplary furniture system 65, the second bookshelf 73 is shorter than the first bookshelf 72. For example, the first bookshelf 72 may be six feet tall while the second bookshelf 73 is 3 feet tall, the cabinet 71 being 10 feet tall. Making the lower bookshelf shorter facilitates trundling this bookshelf out of the way to lower the upper bookshelf. At the same time, the upper bookshelf can be fully utilized, once lower, even if it is six feet tall.
  • In one embodiment of a furniture system conceived by the inventor, only the first article of furniture couples to the hoist and the second article of furniture is no more than about 70% of the height of the first article, preferably no more than about 60% of the height, still more preferably no more than about 50% of the height.
  • The first armoire 82 and the second armoire 83 are used to store clothes, preferably with one storing out of season clothes. Either armoire can be trundled out of the cabinet 81 and either can be coupled to a hoist 97 within the cabinet 81, whereby as the seasons change the armoire stored in the elevated position can be switched. The bureau 85 may also be used to store out of season clothes.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a furniture system 90 comprising a cabinet 91 positioned adjacent a wall 93 within a room 92. Eight to ten articles of furniture (not shown) can be stored within the cabinet 91. FIG. 7 illustrates a furniture system 95 comprising cabinets 96 forming a partition within a room 97. The cabinets 96 can also house six to ten articles of furniture (not shown). One of the cabinets 96 has mounted on its upper front a low profile television 98, for example, a plasma television or an LCD television. This concept increases the utility of the space near a wall otherwise suitable for mounting a large screen low profile television and also brings the television close to a viewer. The furniture system 95 can be used to place a large screen low profile television in the center of a room while effectively using space.
  • Another of the inventor's concepts relates to a method of marketing. The concept is to market together a hoist, a first article of furniture to be raised by the hoist, and a second article of furniture to fit underneath the first article. Optionally, a cabinet or self-supporting frame for the hoist can also be included. By assisting the customer in effectively utilizing the space freed up, the method facilitates the sale of space-freeing furniture/hoist combinations. Marketing together is inclusive of offering the various components at one retail outlet, in one catalogue, on one web site, or in one advertisement as well as offering the components together for sale as a package.
  • A related concept of the inventor's is that a device that elevates a article of furniture to thereby make available the floor space previously occupied by the footprint of that furniture is much more easily marketed and of much greater value to the consumer if the consumer is also provided with a second article of furniture adapted to use that space. Such an adaptation may relate to the size of the second article and making that second article readily mobile, as when the second article is fitted with castors. Preferably, a second article of furniture provided with a first article occupies at least about 60% of the footprint of the first article, more preferably at least about 70%, and still more preferably at least about 90%.
  • In one embodiment, an outlet for a furniture system of the invention provides delivery and installation services. Installation services may consist essentially of assembling a cabinet or frame with hoist at a customer location. Installation services may comprise additional services as well.
  • The inventor envisages using furniture systems of the invention to convert a room from one use-type to another. Possible uses include a recreation room, a living room, a dining room, a gym, an office, a bedroom, a pantry, and a library. For example, converting a room to an office may comprise taking out a desk or workstation and a filing cabinet. Converting a room to a bedroom may comprise lowering a Murphy bed and taking out a bureau and/or armoire. Converting a room to a living room may comprise taking out a coffee table and a bar. Converting a room to a pantry may comprise taking out a cupboard with a top that can be used as a counter while lowering another cupboard to where it can be easily reached. In most of these examples, taking out one or more articles of furniture may be accompanied by replacing one or more other articles of furniture to free up space.
  • The invention delineated by the following claims has been shown and/or described in terms of certain concepts, aspects, embodiments, and examples. While a particular feature of an invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one of several concepts, aspects, examples, or embodiments, the feature may be combined with one or more other concepts aspects, examples, or embodiments where such combination would be recognized as advantageous by one of ordinary skill in the art. This one specification may describe more than one invention and the following claims do not necessarily encompass every concept, aspect, embodiment, or example described herein.

Claims (28)

  1. 1. A furniture system, comprising:
    a frame;
    a hoist supported by the frame;
    a first article of household furniture; and
    a second article of household furniture on rollers;
    wherein the system is configured in such a way that while the frame remains standing on a floor, the hoist can raise the first article of furniture from a lower position, in which the first article of furniture blocks the second article of furniture from rolling across the floor to beneath the first article of furniture, to a raised position, from about 4 to about 7 feet off the ground, in which the second article of furniture is unblocked and can be rolled on its rollers across the floor to a position underneath the first article of furniture, whereby the two articles of furniture can be stored with the first article of furniture raised above the second article of furniture, the second article of furniture can be rolled out of the way and the first article of furniture lowered to a more accessible position, and these operations can be carried out without attaching the frame to a wall or ceiling.
  2. 2. The furniture system of claim 1, further comprising a cabinet, wherein the first and second articles of furniture can be stored together in the cabinet.
  3. 3. (canceled)
  4. 4. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein the first and the second articles of furniture have coordinated decorative features making them a matched set.
  5. 5. The furniture system of claim 1, further comprising:
    third and fourth articles of household furniture; and
    a second hoist supported by the frame;
    wherein the third and fourth articles of furniture can be stored simultaneously with the first and second articles of furniture with the third article of furniture raised over the fourth article of furniture.
  6. 6. The furniture system of claim 5, wherein the frame fits against a flat wall substantially within a space extending no more than about 30″ from the wall.
  7. 7. (canceled)
  8. 8. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein:
    the first article of furniture is also on rollers; and
    the first and the second articles of furniture are adapted to readily couple with and decouple from the hoist, whereby:
    the second article of furniture can be rolled out from beneath the first article of furniture;
    the first article of furniture can then be lowered by the hoist, decoupled from the hoist, and rolled out of the way;
    the second article of furniture can then be coupled to the hoist and raised by the hoist; and
    the first article of furniture can then be rolled underneath the second article of furniture.
  9. 9. A method of increasing the utility of a room, comprising:
    storing at least a first and a second article of household furniture in a cabinet using a frame and a hoist in a system according to claim 2;
    removing at least the second article of furniture from the cabinet to adapt the room from a first use-type selected from the group consisting of living room, dining room, gym, office, bedroom, pantry, and library to a second use-type selected from that group.
  10. 10. A method of altering the function of a room, comprising:
    storing at least a first and a second article of household furniture in one or more cabinets in one or more systems according to claim 2
    removing at least one article of household furniture from the one or more cabinets to adapt the room to a first function selected from the group consisting of functions of living room, dining room, gym, office, bedroom, and pantry and
    storing at least the one article of household furniture in the one or more cabinets and removing at least one other article of household furniture from the one or more cabinets to adapt the room to a different function selected from the group consisting of functions of living room, dining room, gym, office, bedroom, and pantry.
  11. 11. The system of claim 1, wherein:
    the hoist in raising the first article of furniture creates a footprint of available space underneath the first article of furniture; and
    the second article of furniture in fitting beneath the first article of furniture occupies at least about 75% of the footprint of available space.
  12. 12. (canceled)
  13. 13. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein:
    the first and the second articles of household furniture are selected from the group consisting of cases of shelves, desks, file cabinets, tables, bureaus, armoires, and bars.
  14. 14. (canceled)
  15. 15. (canceled)
  16. 16. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein the system is adapted for use in an apartment or single-family home living space selected from the group consisting of living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.
  17. 17. A furniture system, comprising:
    a hoist;
    a frame supporting the hoist;
    a first article of furniture selected from the group consisting of cases of shelves, desks, file cabinets, tables, bureaus, armoires, and bars; and
    a second article of furniture on casters and of a type selected from the group consisting of cases of shelves, desks, file cabinets, tables, bureaus, armoires, and bars;
    wherein the sum of the heights of first and second articles of furniture is at least about 85% of the height of the frame;
    wherein the frame is free-standing in that the frame is capable of remaining erect and undamaged while only supported by a floor on which the frame stands while the hoist supported only by the frame raises the heavier of the first article of furniture and an evenly distributed 50 lb load;
    the hoist is adapted to raise the first article of furniture from a first lower position to a second raised position while the frame is free standing on a floor;
    the frame has an opening to one side whereby, while the frame is free standing on the floor and the first article of furniture is in the raised position, the second article of furniture can be rolled across the floor to a position underneath the first article of furniture; and
    the system is adapted for the hoist to raise the first article of furniture, whereby the second article of furniture can be stored underneath the first article of furniture using space freed by raising the first article of furniture.
  18. 18. (canceled)
  19. 19. The furniture system of claim 17, further comprising:
    a free standing cabinet that can be used to hide the first and second articles of furniture from view while the first article is lifted by the hoist and the second article of furniture is stored underneath the first article of furniture;
    wherein the frame can be an integral part of the cabinet.
  20. 20. The furniture system of claim 19, wherein the cabinet is adapted for use in an apartment or single-family home living space selected from the group consisting of living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.
  21. 21. The furniture system of claim 1, further comprising:
    third and fourth articles of household furniture;
    a second hoist; and
    a second frame adjacent the first frame;
    wherein the third and fourth articles of furniture can be stored with the third article of furniture raised over the fourth article of furniture while supported by the second frame.
  22. 22. The furniture system of claim 1, further comprising:
    a free standing cabinet that can hide the first and second articles of furniture from view while the first article is in the raised position and the second article of furniture is beneath the first article of furniture;
    wherein the frame can be an integral part of the cabinet.
  23. 23. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein the frame is from about 8 to about 12 feet tall.
  24. 24. The furniture system of claim 1, wherein the sum of the heights of the first and second articles of furniture is at least about 85% of the height of the frame.
  25. 25. The furniture system of claim 17, wherein the frame is from about 8 to about 12 feet tall.
  26. 26. A method of increasing the utility of a room, comprising installing within the room a first article of furniture, a second article of furniture, a hoist, and a frame in furniture system according to claim 1, wherein the frame nearly spans the floor to ceiling height.
  27. 27. A method of increasing the utility of a room, comprising installing within the room a first article of furniture, a second article of furniture, a hoist, and a frame in furniture system according to claim 17, wherein the frame nearly spans the floor to ceiling height.
  28. 28. The furniture system of claim 17, wherein:
    the first article of furniture is also on casters; and
    the first and the second articles of furniture are adapted to readily couple with and decouple from the hoist, whereby:
    the second article of furniture can be rolled out of from beneath the first article of furniture;
    the first article of furniture can then be lowered by the hoist, decoupled from the hoist, and rolled out of the way;
    the second article of furniture can then be coupled to the hoist and raised by the hoist; and
    the first article of furniture can then be rolled underneath the second article of furniture.
US11113382 2005-04-23 2005-04-23 Furniture system Abandoned US20060238085A1 (en)

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US11113382 US20060238085A1 (en) 2005-04-23 2005-04-23 Furniture system
PCT/US2006/015418 WO2006116274A1 (en) 2005-04-23 2006-04-21 Furniture system
US12238161 US20090021128A1 (en) 2005-04-23 2008-09-25 Furniture system
US12252500 US8113606B2 (en) 2005-04-23 2008-10-16 Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space
US13359887 US8556355B2 (en) 2005-04-23 2012-01-27 Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space

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US20090095756A1 (en) * 2007-10-16 2009-04-16 National Taiwan University Of Science & Technology Receiving method
US20090179538A1 (en) * 2005-04-23 2009-07-16 Greenberg Bertram M Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space
US20090315436A1 (en) * 2008-06-23 2009-12-24 Angela Mae Robinson Movable multipurpose toilet cabinet
US20100072868A1 (en) * 2008-09-19 2010-03-25 Anvil Construction, Incorporated Cabinet door system
US20100264791A1 (en) * 2009-04-16 2010-10-21 Lakshman Rajeswaran Universal Furniture System (UFS)
US20110110075A1 (en) * 2009-11-06 2011-05-12 Sharon Lynne Smith Storage systems
US7942485B2 (en) 2007-05-15 2011-05-17 Kathi Castelluccio Deployable workstation
US20130257247A1 (en) * 2012-04-03 2013-10-03 Faurecia Innenraum Systeme Gmbh Pullout mechanism for a drawer device, drawer device comprising a pullout mechanism and vehicle comprising a drawer device
US8556355B2 (en) 2005-04-23 2013-10-15 Bertram M. Greenberg Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space
US8738464B2 (en) 2010-11-11 2014-05-27 Furnésh, Inc. Method, medium, and system for online selection and ordering of custom furniture
US9198509B2 (en) * 2014-01-28 2015-12-01 Walter L Johnson System of retractable shelves
US20160002938A1 (en) * 2014-07-01 2016-01-07 Donald Vale Pre-Fabricated Module for Multi-Dwelling Housing Units
US9549618B1 (en) * 2016-09-15 2017-01-24 Farhang Honarvar Folding bed and filing cabinet
US9572427B2 (en) * 2014-03-31 2017-02-21 LFK Engineering LLC Motorized home storage system
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US8556355B2 (en) 2005-04-23 2013-10-15 Bertram M. Greenberg Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space
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US8113606B2 (en) 2005-04-23 2012-02-14 Greenberg Bertram M Method and apparatus for optimizing storage space
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US20090095756A1 (en) * 2007-10-16 2009-04-16 National Taiwan University Of Science & Technology Receiving method
US20090315436A1 (en) * 2008-06-23 2009-12-24 Angela Mae Robinson Movable multipurpose toilet cabinet
US20100072868A1 (en) * 2008-09-19 2010-03-25 Anvil Construction, Incorporated Cabinet door system
US20100264791A1 (en) * 2009-04-16 2010-10-21 Lakshman Rajeswaran Universal Furniture System (UFS)
US9211005B2 (en) * 2009-11-06 2015-12-15 Sharon Lynne Smith Storage systems
US20110110075A1 (en) * 2009-11-06 2011-05-12 Sharon Lynne Smith Storage systems
US8738464B2 (en) 2010-11-11 2014-05-27 Furnésh, Inc. Method, medium, and system for online selection and ordering of custom furniture
US9187043B2 (en) * 2012-04-03 2015-11-17 Faurecia Innenraum Systeme Gmbh Pullout mechanism for a drawer device, drawer device comprising a pullout mechanism and vehicle comprising a drawer device
US20130257247A1 (en) * 2012-04-03 2013-10-03 Faurecia Innenraum Systeme Gmbh Pullout mechanism for a drawer device, drawer device comprising a pullout mechanism and vehicle comprising a drawer device
US9198509B2 (en) * 2014-01-28 2015-12-01 Walter L Johnson System of retractable shelves
US9572427B2 (en) * 2014-03-31 2017-02-21 LFK Engineering LLC Motorized home storage system
US20160002938A1 (en) * 2014-07-01 2016-01-07 Donald Vale Pre-Fabricated Module for Multi-Dwelling Housing Units
US9428927B2 (en) * 2014-07-01 2016-08-30 Donald Vale Pre-fabricated module for multi-dwelling housing units
US9801464B1 (en) * 2016-08-01 2017-10-31 Robert Sumners Multi-panel storage compartment for upper cabinetry
US9549618B1 (en) * 2016-09-15 2017-01-24 Farhang Honarvar Folding bed and filing cabinet

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