Interior Design Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V W Z _ All

Tatami – A straw mat covered with woven rush, approximately 6’ x 3’, used as flooring material.


Tenon – The projecting member of a piece of wood, which is inserted into a mortise to create a secure joint.

Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta – Low-fired ceramic ware that is often reddish and unglazed.

Terra Sigillata

Terra Sigillata – A thin coating of colored clay or clays applied with a glaze. A terra sigillata solution is composed of fine particles of decanted clay and water.


Terrazzo – A floor or wall finish made by setting marble or other stone chips into a layer of mortar and polishing the surface.

Texture (fabric)

Texture (fabric) – In fabric, is the surface quality of a material.

Texture (stone)

Texture (stone) – In stone, texture is the characteristics of a rock given by the size and shape of its grains.


Tile – Small, flat finishing units made of clay or clay mixtures.


Timber- Wood suitable for construction or a finish carpentry.


Tongue-and-groove – A tight joint created by fitting together a tongue on one end of a board with a groove on the other end. Common for floors, paneling, and wainscoting.


Tread – The flat surface of a stair.


Treenail – A wooden peg made from dry compressed timber, made to swell when placed in its hold and moistened.


Triptych – A three-paneled artwork. Historically, triptychs were hinged together so that the two side wings closed over the central panel.

Trompe L’Oeil

Trompe L’Oeil – Literally, “fool the eye.” (French). An object or scene rendered so realistically that the viewer believes he or she is seeing the real thing.


Trumeau – The stone mullion supporting the middle of a tympanum of a doorway.
Turned – Wood or other materials shaped by tools while revolving around a fixed axis, usually a lathe. Cylindrical forms (dowels, rungs) and circular designs (bowls) are made in this way.


Truss – An assembly of members combined to form a rigid framework, interconnected to form triangles.


Tufting – A process in which the pile yarn is punched through the backing with rows of needles, much like the method employed by a sewing machine.


Tuscan – A plain and unfluted column, the Tuscan is the simplest of the architectural orders.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V W Z _ All