WO2019051531A1 - Furniture item and method of assembling same - Google Patents

Furniture item and method of assembling same Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2019051531A1
WO2019051531A1 PCT/AU2018/000176 AU2018000176W WO2019051531A1 WO 2019051531 A1 WO2019051531 A1 WO 2019051531A1 AU 2018000176 W AU2018000176 W AU 2018000176W WO 2019051531 A1 WO2019051531 A1 WO 2019051531A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
side
unit
furniture item
connector member
base
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2018/000176
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Aaron Lawrence
Original Assignee
Fantastic Holdings Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2017903769 priority Critical
Priority to AU2017903769A priority patent/AU2017903769A0/en
Application filed by Fantastic Holdings Limited filed Critical Fantastic Holdings Limited
Publication of WO2019051531A1 publication Critical patent/WO2019051531A1/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16BDEVICES FOR FASTENING OR SECURING CONSTRUCTIONAL ELEMENTS OR MACHINE PARTS TOGETHER, e.g. NAILS, BOLTS, CIRCLIPS, CLAMPS, CLIPS, WEDGES, JOINTS OR JOINTING
    • F16B12/00Jointing of furniture or the like, e.g. hidden from exterior
    • F16B12/10Jointing of furniture or the like, e.g. hidden from exterior using pegs, bolts, tenons, clamps, clips, or the like
    • F16B12/28Jointing of furniture or the like, e.g. hidden from exterior using pegs, bolts, tenons, clamps, clips, or the like for metal furniture parts
    • F16B12/32Jointing of furniture or the like, e.g. hidden from exterior using pegs, bolts, tenons, clamps, clips, or the like for metal furniture parts using clamps, clips, wedges, sliding bolts, or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C17/00Sofas; Couches; Beds
    • A47C17/04Seating furniture, e.g. sofas, couches, settees, or the like, with movable parts changeable to beds; Chair beds
    • A47C17/34Joining seats, chairs, or couches to form beds
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C4/00Foldable, collapsible or dismountable chairs
    • A47C4/02Dismountable chairs
    • A47C4/03Non-upholstered chairs, e.g. metal, plastic or wooden chairs

Abstract

A furniture item (100), especially a sofa, couch or armchair, is disclosed herein. The furniture item (100) comprises: a base unit (10) for supporting the furniture item on a floor, comprising a base frame (11) generally defining a seating area (A) and including at least one connector member (12) on each of first and second sides thereof; a first side unit (20) for connection to the base unit (10) comprising a first side frame (21) having at least one connector member (22) for connecting with the at least one connector member (12) on the first side of the base unit (10), and at least one additional connector member (23); a second side unit (30) for connection to the base unit (10), comprising a second side frame (31) having at least one connector member (32) for connecting with the at least one connector member (12) on the second side of the base unit (10), and at least one additional connector member (33); and a third unit (40) for interconnecting the first and second side units (20, 30), comprising a third frame (41) having at least one connector member (42) for connecting with the at least one additional connector member (23) on the first side unit and at least one connector member (42) for connecting with the at least one additional connector member (33) on the second side unit (30).

Description

FURNITURE ITEM AND METHOD OF ASSEMBLING SAME

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an item of furniture, such as a sofa, couch or armchair, for a lounge or living room, a waiting room or a reception area. The present invention is also applicable to other furniture items, such as beds. The invention also relates to a method of producing or assembling an item of furniture.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A problem with lounge or living-room furniture items, such as sofas, couches and armchairs, is that they are typically rather large and bulky and therefore awkward or difficult to transport. This problem also generally applies to bedroom furniture, and specifically to beds. In particular, these items are usually so large and bulky that they are difficult for a person to carry and/or manoeuver unassisted. They are usually also too large to be transported in a regular automobile, such as a family car. In addition, even if delivered, the size or bulk of such items of furniture can present problems fitting them through passages and doorways in apartment buildings and homes in order to bring the furniture to a desired position for use; e.g., in a lounge or living-room. Accordingly, it would be very helpful to provide an item of furniture, such as a sofa, couch, armchair, or bed, which is able to be more easily carried, more easily manoeuvred and/or more easily transported.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In view of the above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new furniture item that substantially overcomes or at least ameliorates one or more of the above disadvantages.

[0004] According to a broad aspect, the present invention provides a furniture item, such as a sofa, couch, or armchair, or bed, comprising a number of separate units or modules which are designed to be assembled and/or disassembled by a user, preferably without the use of any tools. In this way, the furniture item of the invention can be demounted or disassembled into individual units or modules for easy carrying, manoeuvring or transport, and then re-assembled when the units or modules are in the desired location. When demounted or disassembled into its separate units or modules, the furniture item no longer has the same bulk and may thus be handled and transported much more easily. It will be appreciated that the term "unit" and the term "module" are used effectively interchangeably in this disclosure. For consistency and uniformity, however, the term "unit" will be predominantly used in the following description.

[0005] According to one aspect, therefore, the invention provides a furniture item, such as a bed, comprising a plurality of base units for supporting the furniture item on a floor, wherein each of the base units comprises a base frame that defines part of a user-supporting area (e.g. a mattress- supporting area) of the furniture item and includes at least one connector member on at least one side thereof for connection with the at least one connector member another of the plurality of base units. When connected with one another, the base units preferably cooperate to define together a full user-supporting area of the furniture item. The number of base units for assembly with one another, or disassembly from one another in such a furniture item may be kept small; e.g., two or three, not including cushioning members or a mattress. This makes the furniture item well-suited for use by persons who wish to transport and assemble it themselves, without requiring the additional time or expense of a delivery service. Such a furniture item may be disassembled or separated into manageable units which may be fitted into the space available in a family car for transport. Furthermore, this modular construction of the furniture item naturally lends itself to use in producing or assembling beds of different sizes. In particular, the base units or modules may be selectively dimensioned such that, on assembly, a bed conforming with any one of the standard mattress sizes (e.g. single, king single, double, queen or king size) results.

[0006] In a preferred embodiment, each of the connector members is configured for tool-less engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members. In this regard, each connector member may be adapted or configured for engagement and

interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members along a generally linear path; for example, by sliding engagement. This may therefore enable or facilitate the assembly of the furniture item by simply inserting or sliding the connector members of respective base units together. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the generally linear path is in a substantially vertical direction, such that one connector member may be inserted into

engagement with another vertically, e.g., from above. In this way, the weight of a base unit, as its respective connector member(s) is/are inserted vertically from above into engagement and connection with the connector member(s) of an adjacent base unit, may act to drive that base unit into the proper engaged and connected position. To this end, each connector member may be configured for engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members in a form-fitting manner; for example, by means of a tongue-and-groove configuration or by means of an interlocking channel configuration. The connector members are preferably configured and arranged for interconnection with one another with minimal 'play' to ensure the furniture item remains relatively rigid and stable when assembled.

[0007] According to another aspect, the invention provides a furniture item, such as a sofa, couch or armchair, comprising:

a base unit for supporting the furniture item on a floor, comprising a base frame that generally defines a seating area and includes at least one connector member on each of first and second sides thereof;

a first side unit for connection to the base unit, comprising a first side frame having at least one connector member for connection with the at least one connector member on the first side of the base unit, and at least one additional connector member;

a second side unit for connection to the base unit, comprising a second side frame having at least one connector member for connection with the at least one connector member on the second side of the base unit, and at least one additional connector member; and

a third unit for interconnecting the first and second side units, comprising a third frame having at least one connector member for connection with the at least one additional connector member on the first side unit, and at least one connector member for connection with the at least one additional connector member on the second side unit.

[0008] In this way, the number of separate units for assembly with one another, or disassembly from one another, in this furniture item of the invention may desirably be kept relatively small; e.g., preferably in the range of about four to six, not including additional cushion members. In this regard, it will again be appreciated that this furniture item of the invention is particularly suited for use by persons who may wish to transport and assemble the furniture item themselves, without requiring the additional time or expense of a delivery service. The furniture item of the invention can thus be disassembled or separated into manageable units which can be fitted into the space available in a family car for transport.

[0009] In a preferred embodiment, the base frame has two connector members on each of the first and second sides thereof. The first side frame therefore preferably has two connector members for engaging and connecting with a respective one of the two connector members on the first side of the base unit, and the second side frame preferably has two connector members for engaging and connecting with a respective one of the two connector members on the second side of the base unit. In this regard, two connectors on each of the first and second sides of the base unit will typically provide substantially greater stability in connection with the respective side units than a single connector. Furthermore, provided the connector members are designed to be sufficiently large and robust, then by keeping the number of connector members on each of the first and second sides relatively low (e.g., no more than about three), the assembly and disassembly of the furniture item can be kept relatively simple.

[0010] In a preferred embodiment, the first side frame has one additional connector member, and the second side frame has one additional connector member. Accordingly, the frame of the third unit will preferably include one connector member for engaging and connecting with the additional connector member on the first side unit, and one connector member for engaging and connecting with the additional connector member on the second side unit.

[001 1] As noted above, in a preferred embodiment, each of the connector members is configured for tool-less engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members. In this regard, each connector member may be adapted or configured for engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members along a generally linear path; for example, by sliding engagement. This may therefore enable or facilitate the assembly of the furniture item by simply inserting or sliding the connector members of respective units together. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the generally linear path is in a substantially vertical direction, such that one connector member may be inserted into

engagement with another vertically, e.g., from above. In this way, the self-weight of the first and second side units, as their respective connector members are inserted vertically from above into engagement and connection with the connector members of the base unit, may act to hold the first and second side units in the proper position. To this end, each connector member may be configured for engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members in a form-fitting manner; for example, by means of a tongue-and-groove configuration or by means of an interlocking channel configuration. The connector members are preferably configured and arranged for interconnection with one another with minimal 'play' to ensure the furniture item remains relatively rigid and stable when assembled. [0012] In a preferred embodiment, the connector members on the third frame are configured and arranged for respectively engaging and connecting with the additional connector members on the first and second side units to produce an interference fit or friction fit that increases with or along a generally linear path of engagement. Again, this generally linear path is in a substantially vertical direction, such that the connector members on the third frame may be inserted vertically from above into engagement with the additional connector members on the first and second side units. The self-weight of the third unit may thus act to generate or impose the interference fit or friction fit as its connector members are inserted vertically from above into engagement and connection with the additional connector members of the first and second side units. In this regard, the additional connector members may include a degree of taper, such that an increasing degree of interference or friction fit is generated as the third unit connectors engage therewith in the course of their generally vertical insertion. This, in turn, may act or operate to remove any residual 'play' from the interconnections and provide the furniture item with enhanced rigidity and stability in the assembled state.

[0013] In a preferred embodiment, the first side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a first lateral side of the base unit. Similarly, the second side unit may comprise an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a second lateral side of the base unit. Furthermore, the third unit preferably comprises a back-rest unit of the furniture item for interconnecting the first and second side units along a rear side of the base unit. Such an arrangement may be employed equally for a sofa or couch (such as a two-seater, a two-and-a-half seater, or a three-seater) as well as for an armchair.

[0014] In a preferred embodiment, each of the first side unit, the second side unit, and the third unit has a respective removable upholstery cover. Each removable upholstery cover may optionally include padding or cushioning. The padding or cushion may itself be removable from the upholstery cover to facilitate washing of the cover. Each removable upholstery cover may include fastening means, such as hook-and-loop fastener elements, for securing the upholstery cover to the respective frame of the first side unit, the second side unit, and/or the third unit.

[0015] In a preferred embodiment, the frame of the base unit comprises a metal framework, such as a framework of steel tubing. Furthermore, the base frame typically includes footings or legs for supporting the furniture item on the floor. The base frame preferably also includes one or more tensioned flexible panels for resiliently supporting cushion members in the seating area. Similarly, the frame of each of the first side unit, the second side unit, and the third unit may preferably comprise a metal framework, such as a framework of steel tubing. Each of the first side frame, second side frame and third frame preferably further includes one or more solid panels spanning or covering spaces in the framework. These solid panels may provide stability and support to the furniture item, to the upholstery covers, and to the user.

[0016] One of the advantages of fabricating the frames and the connector members of each of the units or modules (i.e. the base frame, the first side frame, the second side frame, and the third frame) in the furniture item of the invention from a highly rigid and robust material, such as steel, is the fact that the frames and connector members retain their rigidity and stability even after disassembly and re-assembly of the furniture item multiple times. In other words, the life and durability of the furniture item can be significantly enhanced in this way.

[0017] According to a further aspect, the invention provides a method of producing or assembling a furniture item, such as a bed, comprising:

providing a plurality of base units for supporting the furniture item on a floor, wherein each of the base units comprises a base frame that defines part of a user-supporting area (e.g. a mattress-supporting area) and includes at least one connector member on at least one side thereof; and

connecting the plurality of base units together, whereby at least one connector member of each base unit engages and connects with a complementary connector member of an adjacent one of the plurality of base units, whereby the interconnected base units cooperate to define a full user-supporting area (e.g. a mattress-supporting area) of the furniture item.

[0018] In a preferred embodiment, the said connector members engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding engagement with one another.

[0019] According to yet another aspect, the invention provides a method of producing or assembling a furniture item, such as a sofa or armchair, comprising:

providing a base unit for supporting the furniture item on a floor, comprising a base frame generally defining a seating area and including at least one connector member on each of first and second sides thereof; connecting a first side unit having a first side frame with at least one connector member to a first side of the base unit via the said connector members which engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding engagement with one another;

connecting a second side unit having a second side frame with at least one connector member to a second side of the base unit via the said connector members which engage and interconnect in generally linear or sliding engagement with one another; and

interconnecting the first and second side units via a third unit having a third frame with connector members that engage and connect with at least one additional connector member on each of the first side unit and the second side unit, wherein the connector members on the third unit engage and interconnect in generally linear or sliding engagement with the additional connector members on the first and second side units.

[0020] In a preferred embodiment, the connector members on the third frame of the third unit are configured and arranged to engage and interconnect with the additional connector members on the first and second side units in an interference fit or friction fit that increases along the generally linear sliding engagement.

[0021 ] In a preferred embodiment, the first side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a first lateral side of the base unit, the second side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a second lateral side of the base unit, and the third unit comprises a back-rest unit of the furniture item for interconnecting the first and second side units along a rear side of the base unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] For a more complete understanding of the invention and the advantages thereof, exemplary embodiments of the invention will be explained in more detail in the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference signs designate like parts, and in which:

[0023] Fig. 1 is a schematic perspective view of units or modules of a furniture item according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, shown separate from one another prior to assembly; [0024] Fig. 2 is a schematic perspective view of a furniture item according to the embodiment of the invention in Fig. 1, shown in an assembled state;

[0025] Fig. 3 is a schematic perspective view of a furniture item according to another preferred embodiment of the invention, shown in an assembled state;

[0026] Fig. 4 is a schematic perspective view of units or modules of a furniture item according to another preferred embodiment of the invention, shown separate from one another prior to assembly; and

[0027] Fig. 5 is a schematic perspective view of a furniture item according to the embodiment of the invention in Fig. 4, shown in an assembled state.

[0028] The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate particular embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention and many of the attendant advantages of the invention will be readily appreciated as they become better understood with reference to the following detailed description.

[0029] It will be appreciated that common and/or well understood elements that may be useful or necessary in a commercially feasible embodiment are not necessarily depicted in order to facilitate a more abstracted view of the embodiments. The elements of the drawings are not necessarily illustrated to scale relative to each other. It will also be understood that certain actions and/or steps in an embodiment of a method may be described or depicted in a particular order of occurrences while those skilled in the art will understand that such specificity with respect to sequence is not actually required.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0030] Referring firstly to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a furniture item 100 in the form of a sofa or couch according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated schematically. It will be appreciated that the cushioning and upholstery covers of the furniture item 100 have been omitted for a clearer impression of the underlying structural concept. [0031] As is particularly apparent from Fig. 1, the furniture item 100 comprises a base unit 10, a first side unit 20, a second side unit 30, and a third unit 40. The base unit 10 is configured for supporting the furniture item 100 on the floor of a room, and comprises a base frame 1 1 formed as a framework of steel tubes. The base frame 11 generally defines a seating area A and includes two connector members 12 on each of opposite first and second lateral sides of the base unit 10. In this regard, the connector members 12 are desirably also made of steel and may take the form of channel members attached to respective legs or footings 13 on the base frame 1 1 and oriented with their channels extending substantially vertically and configured to form-fittingly receive complementary connector members in sliding engagement therewith. The first side unit 20 forms an arm unit of the sofa or couch 100 and is configured and arranged for connection to the first lateral side of the base unit 10. The first side unit 20 comprises a first side frame 21 formed as a framework of steel tubes and includes two connector members 22, each designed for connection with a respective one of the two connector members 12 on the first side of the base unit 10. In this regard, the connector members 22 on the first side frame 21 are configured as channel members having a complementary form to the connector members 12 on base frame 1 1 , for sliding insertion into the connector members 12 with minimal 'play'. The first side unit 20 also includes one additional connector member 23. Similarly, the second side unit 30 forms another arm unit of the sofa or couch 100 and is configured and arranged for connection to the second, opposite lateral side of the base unit 10. The second side unit 30 comprises a second side frame 31 formed as a framework of steel tubes and having two connector members 32, each designed for connection with a respective one of the two connector members 12 on the second side of the base unit 10. In this regard, the connector members 32 on the second side frame 31 are configured as channel members having a complementary form to the connector members 12 on base frame 1 1 , for sliding insertion into the connector members 12 with minimal 'play'. The second side unit 30 also includes an additional connector member 33.

[0032] To ensure that the furniture item 100 retains sufficient rigidity and stability during its service life, despite potentially being disassembled and re-assembled on numerous occasions, the connector members 12 on the opposite lateral sides of the base unit 10 and the connector members 22, 32 on each of the first and second side arm units 20, 30 are all preferably fabricated of a robust and rigid material, such as steel. In this way, the connector members 12, 22, 32 may all be fabricated to high tolerances and may retain their shape and reliable operation over the service life of the furniture. In addition, by making the connector members 12, 22, 32 from steel, they may be readily welded to the frame 11, 21, 31 of the respective unit for maximum stability in use. Although the first and second frames 21, 31 of the first and second side arm units 20, 30 are illustrated as merely comprising an open framework of steel tubing, it will be appreciated that the spaces between the tubes may be covered or filled with solid panel members (not shown) to provide proper support for the upholstery covers and for a user when the sofa or couch 100 is in use.

[0033] After the first and second side arm units 20, 30 have been connected to the base unit 10, the third unit 40 is used for interconnecting the first and second side arm units 20, 30. In this regard, the third unit 40 is configured as a back-rest unit which is arranged to extend along a rear side of the sofa or couch 100. The third unit 40 comprises a third frame 41 which is again formed as a framework of steel tubes and includes a connector member 42 at each of opposite end regions thereof for connection with the respective additional connector member 23, 33 on the first side unit 20 and the second side unit 30. As with the other connector members, 12, 22, 32, the additional connector members 23, 33 and the complementary connector members 42 on the back-rest unit 40 are fabricated as steel channel members welded to the steel frames of the respective units 20, 30, 40.

[0034] The connector members 42 on the back-rest frame 40 are configured and arranged for respectively engaging and connecting with the additional connector members 23, 33 on the first and second side units 20, 30 to produce an interference fit or friction fit that increases as those connector members 42 are inserted vertically from above along the linear path into engagement and connection with the additional connector members 23, 33. The self-weight of the back-rest unit 40 thus acts to impart the interference fit or friction fit as it is inserted between the first and second side arm units 20, 30 to interconnect them. To this end, the additional connector members 23, 33 may include a degree of taper to promote or generate the increasing interference or friction fit as the back-rest unit connectors 42 engage with them during their generally vertical insertion. This, in turn, operates to remove any residual 'play' from the interconnections and provide the furniture item 100 with enhanced rigidity and stability in the assembled state.

[0035] After assembly of all of the units or modules 10, 20, 30, 40, the furniture item takes on the general shape of a sofa or couch, as seen in Fig. 2. It will be noted that the base unit 10 will typically include further connector members 14 at or along the front side for attachment of a fascia panel or "kick-board" so that the steel framework of the base frame 11 is not visible in use. A flexible fabric panel (not shown) may be resiliently tensioned (e.g. spring tensioned) between the tubing of the base frame 11 across an upper surface of the seating area A to provide resilient support cushion members placed in the seating area A. Optionally, the base unit 10 may incorporate a collapsible or folding bed (i.e. mounted within the rectangular framework of the tubing) such that the furniture item 100 may also be embodied as a sofa bed. In that case however, no resiliently tensioned flexible fabric panel is provided. Instead, the support for the cushion members in the seating area A is provided by the bed in its collapsed or folded state.

[0036] Fig. 3 of the drawings illustrates another embodiment of the furniture item 100 in the form of a sofa or couch. In this case, the sofa or couch 100 is slightly smaller (i.e. a two-seater instead of the three-seater shown in Fig. 2) and the base unit 10 includes a central beam for greater stability. Accordingly, this embodiment is not designed to incorporate a collapsible bed in the base unit 10. The other features of this furniture item 100 remain essentially unchanged, however.

[0037] With reference now to Figs. 4 and 5 of the drawings, a furniture item 200 in the form of and dimensioned as double-bed according to another embodiment of the invention is illustrated schematically. It will be appreciated that the mattress and upholstery covers of the furniture item or bed 200 have been omitted for a clearer impression of the underlying structural concept.

[0038] As is apparent from Figs. 4 and 5, the furniture item 200 comprises three base units 10, 10' which are configured to be interconnected with one another to form the double-bed 200 and to together define a user-supporting area or sleeping area A upon which a mattress (not shown) is typically provided. In this regard, each of the base units 10 comprises a base frame 1 1 formed as a framework of steel tubes that defines a respective portion P, P' of the total user-supporting area or sleeping area A of the bed 200. Furthermore, each base unit 10, 10' typically includes two connector members 12 on at least one side thereof for interconnection with the complementary respective connector members 12 of a side of an adjacent one of the base units 10, 10'. As in the previous embodiments, the connector members 12 are desirably also made of steel and take the form of channel members that are attached to the steel tubing of the base frame 11 and oriented with their channels extending substantially vertically, such that they are configured to form- fittingly receive complementary connector members in sliding engagement therewith. Each base unit 10, 10' also includes legs or footings 13 for supporting the furniture item 200 on the floor of a bedroom. [0039] In this particular embodiment, there are two sizes of base unit 10, 10' in the bed 200. One of these (i.e. base unit 10) is rectangular and arranged in use to extend transverse to a length of the bed 200. The other two (i.e. base units 10') are also rectangular but slightly smaller than base unit 10, and are arranged next to one another in use to extend transverse to a length of the bed 200 and to adjoin one of the longer sides of the base unit 10. To this end, the longer side of the base unit 10 includes two connectors 12, one of which connects with a connector 12 on the short end of one of the adjacent base units 10' and the other of which connects with a connector 12 on the short end of one of the other adjacent base unit 10'. When interconnected in this manner, the area portions P, P' of the base units 10, 10' combine to form the total mattress-supporting and sleeping area A of the bed 200.

[0040] As in the previous embodiment, the base units 10, 10' typically include further connector members 14 at or along the outer sides for attachment of a fascia panel so that the steel tubing or framework of the base frame 11 is not visible in use. In addition, it will be noted that the base units 10, 10' may include rails or tracks 15 for mounting a storage drawer (not shown) in the respective base frame 1 1. In the case of the base unit 10, the rails or tracks 15 are configured and arranged for mounting a drawer which extends substantially the entire width of the bed 200. That is, this drawer would be opened horizontally by moving the drawer (not shown) along the tracks 15 in an outward direction from an end of the bed 200. In the case of the base units 10', the rails or tracks 15 are configured and arranged for mounting a respective drawer in a side of the bed 200. That is, each of these drawers would be opened horizontally by moving the drawer (not shown) along the rails or tracks 15 in an outward direction from a side of the bed 200.

[0041] Although specific embodiments of the invention are illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that a variety of alternative and/or equivalent implementations exist. It should be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are examples only and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration in any way. Rather, the foregoing summary and detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing at least one exemplary embodiment, it being understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in an exemplary embodiment without departing from the scope as set forth in the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Generally, this application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the specific embodiments discussed herein. [0042] It will also be appreciated that in this document the terms "comprise", "comprising", "include", "including", "contain", "containing", "have", "having", and any variations thereof, are intended to be understood in an inclusive (i.e. non-exclusive) sense, such that the process, method, device, apparatus or system described herein is not limited to those features or parts or elements or steps recited but may include other elements, features, parts or steps not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. Furthermore, the terms "a" and "an" used herein are intended to be understood as meaning one or more unless explicitly stated otherwise. Moreover, the terms "first", "second", "third", etc. are used merely as labels, and are not intended to impose numerical requirements on or to establish a certain ranking of importance of their objects.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A furniture item, especially a sofa, couch or armchair, the furniture item comprising: a base unit for supporting the furniture item on a floor, comprising a base frame generally defining a seating area and including at least one connector member on each of first and second sides thereof;
a first side unit for connection to the base unit comprising a first side frame having at least one connector member for connecting with the at least one connector member on the first side of the base unit, and at least one additional connector member;
a second side unit for connection to the base unit, comprising a second side frame having at least one connector member for connecting with the at least one connector member on the second side of the base unit, and at least one additional connector member; and
a third unit for interconnecting the first and second side units, comprising a third frame having at least one connector member for connecting with the at least one additional connector member on the first side unit and at least one connector member for connecting with the at least one additional connector member on the second side unit.
2. A furniture item according to claim 1, wherein the base frame has two connector members on each of the first and second sides thereof, wherein the first side frame has two connector members for engaging and connecting with a respective one of the two connector members on the first side of the base unit, and wherein the second side frame has two connector members for engaging and connecting with a respective one of the two connector members on the second side of the base unit.
3. A furniture item according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the first side frame has one additional connector member, the second side frame has one additional connector member, and the third frame has a connector member for engaging and connecting with the additional connector member on the first side unit and a connector member for engaging and connecting with the additional connector member on the second side unit.
4. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of the connector members is configured for tool-less engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members.
5. A furniture item according to claim 4, wherein the connector members are adapted or configured for engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members along a generally linear path, preferably in a generally vertical direction, and preferably in a form-fitting manner.
6. A furniture item according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the connector members on the third frame are configured and arranged for respectively engaging and connecting with the additional connector members on the first and second side units in an interference fit or friction fit that increases along a generally linear path of engagement, preferably in a generally vertical direction.
7. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a first lateral side of the base unit.
8. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the second side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a second lateral side of the base unit.
9. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the third unit comprises a back-rest unit of the furniture item for interconnecting the first and second side units along a rear side of the base unit.
10. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of the first side unit, the second side unit, and the third unit has a removable upholstery cover, and wherein each of the removable upholstery covers may optionally include padding or cushioning.
1 1 . A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the frame of the base unit comprises a metal framework, such as a framework of steel tubing, and includes footings or legs for supporting the furniture item on the floor, and a tensioned flexible panel for supporting cushions in the seating area.
12. A furniture item according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the frame of each of the first side unit, the second side unit, and the third unit comprises a metal framework, such as a framework of steel tubing, and preferably further includes one or more substantially solid panels spanning or covering spaces in the framework.
13. A method of producing a furniture item, such as a sofa or armchair, the method comprising:
providing a base unit comprising a base frame for supporting the furniture item on a floor, the base frame generally defining a seating area and including at least one connector member on each of first and second sides thereof;
connecting a first side unit comprising a first side frame having at least one connector member to a first side of the base unit via the connector members which engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding engagement with one another;
connecting a second side unit comprising a second side frame having at least one connector member to a second side of the base unit via the connector members which engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding engagement with one another; and
interconnecting the first and second side units with a third unit comprising a third frame having connector members for engaging and connecting with at least one additional connector member on each of the first side unit and the second side unit, wherein the connector members on the third frame of the third unit engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding
engagement with the additional connector members on the first and second side units.
14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the connector members on the third frame of the third unit are configured and arranged to engage and interconnect with the additional connector members on the first and second side units in an interference fit or friction fit that increases along the generally linear sliding engagement.
15. A method according to claim 13 or 14, wherein the first side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a first lateral side of the base unit, the second side unit comprises an arm unit of the furniture item for connection to a second lateral side of the base unit, and the third unit comprises a back-rest unit of the furniture item for interconnecting the first and second side units along a rear side of the base unit.
16. A furniture item, such as a bed, the furniture item comprising a plurality of base units for supporting the furniture item on a floor, wherein each of the base units comprises a base frame that defines part of a user-supporting area of the furniture item and includes at least one connector member on at least one side thereof for connection with the at least one connector member another of the plurality of base units.
17. A furniture item according to claim 16, wherein, when connected with one another, the base units cooperate to define together a full user-supporting area of the furniture item.
18. A furniture item according to claim 16 or 17, wherein each of the connector members is configured for tool-less engagement and interconnection with a complementary one of the connector members.
19. A furniture item according to any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein each connector member is adapted or configured for engagement and interconnection with a complementary connector member along a generally linear path, preferably in a generally vertical direction, and preferably in a form-fitting manner.
20. A furniture item according to any one of claims 16 to 19, wherein one or more of the base units includes a drawer, especially a storage drawer, configured to be mounted in or on the base frame, preferably via tracks or rails provided on the base frame for sliding or rolling horizontal movement.
21 . A method a method of producing or assembling a furniture item, such as a bed, the method comprising:
providing a plurality of base units for supporting the furniture item on a floor, each of the base units comprising a base frame that defines part of a user-supporting area of the furniture item and includes at least one connector member on at least one side thereof; and
interconnecting the plurality of base units, whereby at least one connector member of each base unit engages and connects with a complementary connector member of an adjacent one of the plurality of base units,
whereby the interconnected base units cooperate to define together a full user-supporting area of the furniture item.
22. A method according to claim 21, wherein the said connector members engage and interconnect in generally linear sliding engagement with one another.
PCT/AU2018/000176 2017-09-15 2018-09-14 Furniture item and method of assembling same WO2019051531A1 (en)

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GB2417893A (en) * 2004-09-13 2006-03-15 David Brian Johnson Pre upholstered modular furniture requiring no tools for assembly
US20060174715A1 (en) * 2005-02-04 2006-08-10 Wehrs David L Magnetic flow meter with unibody construction and conductive polymer electrodes
AU2013202259B1 (en) * 2013-04-02 2014-01-16 Mta Industries Pty Ltd A slide fit connector and system for use in assembling furniture and furniture comprising the same
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3973800A (en) * 1975-08-15 1976-08-10 Allan Sheldon Kogan Modular furniture units
US20020017814A1 (en) * 1999-11-05 2002-02-14 Alfred G. Niederman Modular furniture including interchangeable upholstery
US6241317B1 (en) * 1999-11-30 2001-06-05 Jimmy Wu Modular chair construction
US20040095000A1 (en) * 2002-11-14 2004-05-20 Durling Walter E. Apparatus and method for assembling components of knock-down furniture
GB2417893A (en) * 2004-09-13 2006-03-15 David Brian Johnson Pre upholstered modular furniture requiring no tools for assembly
US20060174715A1 (en) * 2005-02-04 2006-08-10 Wehrs David L Magnetic flow meter with unibody construction and conductive polymer electrodes
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