Furniture Terms – P
paisley: a multicolored woven or printed design. Though the design motif originated in India as a stylized plant form (mango), it was popularized in the west by jacquard weavers in the town of Paisley, Scotland.
palette: the range of colors used in a color scheme
panel bed: a bed frame with a panel of wood or other material for the headboard and foot board. Panel beds are not flanked by vertical posts at the corners.
Parsons chair: chair style intended to be used with a table, dining or otherwise, that features a high, rectangular, upholstered back and an upholstered seat.
Parsons table: rectangular table with straight legs at the corners. Named for the Parsons School of Design.
patina: wear and oxidation that occur to a finish (metal or wood) as it ages.
Patina: A luster that develops on pure anilines and nubuks over time and with use.
pedestal table: a table that features a center pedestal support, instead of four legs.
pediment: a decorative crown, sometimes a low-pitched triangle, at the top of case goods.
Pembroke table: a drop-leaf table in the Georgian style of Thomas Sheraton.
Phyfe, Duncan: Historically 1795-1848. Scottish-born American cabinet maker who helped to popularized empire and neoclassical styles in the states. His prolific New York cabinet shop employed over 100 carvers and cabinet makers. His designs were distinguished by elegant lines, perfect proportions, reeded legs and classical motifs.
pickled finish: a rubbed-through, white-washed finish applied over previously stained and finished wood.
picture rail: molding affixed to a wall for the purpose of supporting artwork.
pie crust table: a small table with carved or molded scalloped edges around the table top perimeter.
Pigment Finish: A process of coloring and coating the leather.
pigmented leather: leather with coloration applied to the top surface, as opposed to dyed. This process hides imperfections and adds durability.
pilaster: surface ornament resembling a column. Often paired with a pediment.
pile: cut loops of yarn forming surface with upright tufts. May refer to fabric or carpet. Velvet, ultra suede and corduroy are examples of fabrics with a pile.
pillow top: cushion filled with batting attached to a sofa seat or arm, to the top of a mattress.
platform beds: a bed that does not require a box spring. Instead of slats, platform beds in corporate a solid surface for the mattress to rest on. Sometimes this surface extends a few inches beyond the dimensions of the mattress.
pleated arm: arm of upholstered sofa, loveseat, or chair with the front plane covered by fabric continuing from the inside of the arm; the excess fabric on the front plane is pleated in a arch.
plinth base: box base for upholstered furniture, in lieu of legs.
plisspe: fabric with a puckered finish.
plush (mattress): a mattress with a softer feel and some comfort padding over a base with strong support.
Polishing: Removal of the grain, scars, and blemishes from hides.
Portiere: Fabric or curtain hung in a doorway either as an alternative to a door or a decorative element.
poster bed: a bed frame with tall posts, often capped with finials, at the corners of the headboard and footboard.
primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Combinations of the primary colors create all other colors.
primitives: hand-crafted furnishings or art created by untrained artisans.
Protected Aniline: Leather which as been Aniline dyed and then slightly pigmented to ensure color consistency and resistance to liquids. (Semi-Aniline).
pub back: a soft, gathered and billowing cushions attached to the back of an upholstered sofa, chair or loveseat.
pull-up leather: full grain leather that is treated with oil or wax so that it develops an aged patina over time. More common on traditional styles, it is also know as oiled or waxed leather.
Pure Aniline: Any leather that receives all its color from Aniline dyes and has no topical applications. Nature’s Signatures are visible which are cherished unique parts of the hide.