tall boy: a set of chests that are stacked one on top of the other. Frequently the lower one consists of a large three or four drawer unit and the upper of a taller piece with smaller drawers, often crowned with a cornice and pediment. Also know as a chest-on-chest.
tambour: thin strips of wood applied to a pliable back to create a flexible door.
tambour desk: roll-top desk that employs tambours in its roll-top mechanism.
terrazzo: hard-finished floor made of marble chips set in mortar and polished.
tête-à-tête: a small bench with an s-shaped back that crosses the seat that allows two people to sit facing each other. Also known as a courting bench.
theater seating: modular reclining chairs that can be joined at the arms, either flush, or in an arch and are designed for optimal screen viewing in a home theater.
theater sofa: a large sofa curved in an arch when viewed from above. Designed for use in a home theater, a theater sofa is intended to provide all of the individuals sitting on it a good view of the home theater screen.
three-over-three: a sofa with three back cushions and three seat cushions
ticking: a heavy, strong fabric used to cover mattresses. Traditional ticking features a white ground with indigo stripes. Present-day use of the traditional ticking pattern is more common as an upholstery or drapery accent fabric.
tight back: upholstery with a padded back directly over the frame of the piece, without additional back cushions.
tight seat: an upholstered piece on which the fabric covering the seat is attached directly to the frame and does not have a removable seat cushion.
tilt top table: a table with a top that can be tilted to a vertical position so that it may be stored close to a wall. The top is laid horizontal for regular use.
toile: a white or off-white fabric printed with one color, commonly red or black, depicting classical or pastoral scenes.
Top Coat: Synthetic transparent polyurethane resins applied as a clear protective coating to make leather more resistant. May be gloss or matte depending on type of leather.
top grain leather: leather with the outermost layers of the hide left in tact. Generally considered high quality.
top stitching: a single or double row of stitching close to the seam or edge on the outer side of the fabric.
torchiere: a floor lamp that provides soft, indirect lighting by guiding light upward from a reflective bowl or inverted cone.
transitional: a furniture style in which design elements are toned down so that the piece may fit with a traditional or more contemporary décor.
travertine: a variety of stone used as a surface top in furniture. It varies in color from cream to beige and taupe.
trestle table: a table with a base that consists of two sets of legs connected by a horizontal beam.
triple dresser: three or more sets of drawers side-by-side, used for the storage of clothing in a bedroom. A triple dresser is usually wider than it is tall and a mirror is frequently placed above.
Trompe l’oeil: painting style that means “fool the eye” in French. Two-dimensional surfaces are painted to look as if three dimensional objects are resting on them.
tumbling: a process in which tanned hides are placed in drums with heat and water and tumbled to a desired softness. Also call “milling”.
tung oil: a drying oil produced from nuts of the tung tree, used in furniture finishes as a protective sealant.
turning: a furniture element that was shaped with the use of a lathe.
tuxedo arms: an upholstery style with straight-lines, or slightly flared interior edges; the arm height is usually the same height as the back, however scatter-back cushions may extend higher.
twill: a sturdy weave of fabric that is distinguished by diagonal parallel ribs in the surface.
two-over-two: a sofa with two back cushions and two seat cushions.