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United States Patent Application 20180171645
Kind Code A1
Lane; Brian Christopher June 21, 2018

MODULAR CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS

Abstract

A modular construction system includes a top molding member; a bottom molding member; and at least one stanchion spacing the top molding member from the bottom molding member, the stanchion being removably attached to the top and bottom molding member. Other construction systems include removable panels that are coupled with frame pieces to collectively form a stair rail system, molding systems, backsplash systems, and other building components.


Inventors: Lane; Brian Christopher; (Black Forest, CO)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Old World Oddities LLC

Black Forest

CO

US
Family ID: 1000003106911
Appl. No.: 15/842171
Filed: December 14, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62434875Dec 15, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E04F 19/0463 20130101; E04F 19/061 20130101; E04F 2019/0454 20130101; E04F 2290/026 20130101
International Class: E04F 19/04 20060101 E04F019/04; E04F 19/06 20060101 E04F019/06

Claims



1. A modular crown molding system, comprising: a top molding member; a bottom molding member; at least one stanchion spacing the top molding member from the bottom molding member, the stanchion being removably attached to the top and bottom molding member.

2. The modular crown molding system of claim 1, the top molding member having a substantially planar top surface and substantially planar bottom surface, the top surface configured for attachment to a ceiling within a room.

3. The modular crown molding system of claim 1, the at least one stanchion having a first square edge configured for attachment to a bottom surface of the top molding member, and an angled edge configured for attachment to an inner surface of the bottom molding member such that the bottom molding member is angled with respect to the top molding member when coupled to the stanchion.

4. The modular crown molding system of claim 3, the at least one stanchion including a second square edge adjacent to the angled edge such that there is a gap between the bottom molding member and the at least one stanchion.

5. The modular crown molding system of claim 4, further comprising a lighting strip oriented along the longitudinal direction within the gap.

6. The modular crown molding system of claim 1, the at least one stanchion being a plurality of stanchions equally spaced in a longitudinal direction along the top and bottom molding members forming a gap between two adjacent stanchions.

7. The modular crown molding system of claim 6, further comprising one or more of: (i) a transformer adapted to couple to power wiring of the structure the system is to be installed in, (ii) a battery, (iii) a speaker, (iv) a motion sensor, (v) lighting, (vi) a wireless controller, and (vii) speaker wiring, located in the gap.

8. The modular crown molding system of claim 7, the wireless controller adapted to receive input from a remote device for controlling one or more of the lighting and the speaker.

9. The modular crown molding system of claim 7, the motion sensor adapted to control one or more of the speaker and the lighting based upon sensed data from the motion sensor.

10. The modular crown molding system of claim 6, further comprising a panel located in a space between an upper surface of the bottom molding member and a bottom surface of the top molding member.

11. The modular crown molding system of claim 10, the at least one stanchion including an attachment location for attaching the panel thereto.

12. The modular crown molding system of claim 10, the panel being a planar panel.

13. The modular crown molding system of claim 10, the panel being a decorative panel.

14. The modular crown molding system of claim 10, the panel being a rail panel; the system further comprising a plurality of rail panel inserts that are capable of coupling together along the length of the rail panel and securable by top and bottom rails of the rail panel.

15. The modular crown molding system of claim 14, the rail panel inserts being electronic display panels including connection inserts for physically and/or electronically connecting multiple of the rail panel inserts together.

16. The modular crown molding system of claim 1, further including a bull-nose corner cover capable of covering a gap between two adjacent bottom molding members and a rounded corner of a wall to which the system is installed at.

17. A modular construction system, comprising: a wooden frame including a top, bottom, and two side frame pieces coupled together via corner frame pieces, the frame pieces each including a U-channel aligned with the U-channel of adjacent frame pieces; and, a resin panel inserted within the U-channel of the wooden frame.

18. The modular construction system of claim 17, at least one of the frame pieces including electrical contacts for coupling with a separate electrical contact to power at least one electronic device located on an interior surface of the frame piece.

19. The modular construction system of claim 17, comprising three additional wooden frames with three additional panels inserted respectively therein coupled to the wooden frame thereby creating a box; and a lid attached to the box; and leg pieces at an opposite side of the box from the lid.

20. The modular construction system of claim 17, further including a door surrounding the wooden frame such that the wooden frame is inset within a cutout portion of the door.
Description



RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to pending U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 62/434,875, filed Dec. 15, 2016 and which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herewith.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Homeowners, builders, apartment owners and landlords, etc. frequently want to provide high-end fixtures within the living space. For example, crown molding can be utilized to enhance the look and feel of a room by beautifying the junction between the wall and the ceiling. At the base of the floor, floor molding may beautify the junction between the wall and the floor. The corners of walls may be "bull-nose" (i.e. rounded) to provide characteristic and charm to the room. High-end furniture and cabinetry may be added, with intricate details such as wrought iron. These high-end features often are difficult to install and must be tailored (i.e., custom made) for a specific installation. Therefore, typical homeowners with little to no carpentry or iron working experience are unable to install such high-end features. Moreover, once installed, these fixtures are unchanging in that they are singular components that must be removed and reinstalled to change the look of the living space.

SUMMARY

[0003] In a first aspect, a modular crown molding system includes a top molding member; a bottom molding member; and at least one stanchion spacing the top molding member from the bottom molding member, the stanchion being removably attached to the top and bottom molding member.

[0004] In embodiments of the first aspect, the top molding member includes a substantially planar top surface and substantially planar bottom surface, the top surface configured for attachment to a ceiling within a room.

[0005] In embodiments of the first aspect, the at least one stanchion includes a first square edge configured for attachment to a bottom surface of the top molding member, and an angled edge configured for attachment to an inner surface of the bottom molding member such that the bottom molding member is angled with respect to the top molding member when coupled to the stanchion.

[0006] In embodiments of the first aspect, the at least one stanchion includes a second square edge adjacent to the angled edge such that there is a gap between the bottom molding member and the at least one stanchion.

[0007] In embodiments of the first aspect, the modular crown molding system includes a lighting strip oriented along the longitudinal direction within the gap.

[0008] In embodiments of the first aspect, the at least one stanchion is a plurality of stanchions equally spaced in a longitudinal direction along the top and bottom molding members forms a gap between two adjacent stanchions.

[0009] In embodiments of the first aspect, the modular crown molding system includes one or more of: (i) a transformer adapted to couple to power wiring of the structure the system is to be installed in, (ii) a battery, (iii) a speaker, (iv) a motion sensor, (v) lighting, (vi) a wireless controller, and (vii) speaker wiring, located in the gap.

[0010] In embodiments of the first aspect, the wireless controller is adapted to receive input from a remote device for controlling one or more of the lighting and the speaker.

[0011] In embodiments of the first aspect, the motion sensor is adapted to control one or more of the speaker and the lighting based upon sensed data from the motion sensor.

[0012] In embodiments of the first aspect, the modular crown molding system includes a panel located in a space between an upper surface of the bottom molding member and a bottom surface of the top molding member.

[0013] In embodiments of the first aspect, the at least one stanchion includes an attachment location for attaching the panel thereto.

[0014] In embodiments of the first aspect, the panel is a planar panel.

[0015] In embodiments of the first aspect, the panel is a decorative panel.

[0016] In embodiments of the first aspect, the panel is a rail panel; the modular crown molding system further includes a plurality of rail panel inserts that are capable of coupling together along the length of the rail panel and securable by top and bottom rails of the rail panel.

[0017] In embodiments of the first aspect, the rail panel inserts are electronic display panels including connection inserts for physically and/or electronically connecting multiple of the rail panel inserts together.

[0018] In embodiments of the first aspect, the modular crown molding system includes a bull-nose corner cover capable of covering a gap between two adjacent bottom molding members and a rounded corner of a wall to which the system is installed at.

[0019] In a second aspect, a modular construction system includes: a wooden frame including a top, bottom, and two side frame pieces coupled together via corner frame pieces, the frame pieces each including a U-channel aligned with the U-channel of adjacent frame pieces; and, a resin panel inserted within the U-channel of the wooden frame.

[0020] In embodiments of the second aspect, at least one of the frame pieces includes electrical contacts for coupling with a separate electrical contact to power at least one electronic device located on an interior surface of the frame piece.

[0021] In embodiments of the second aspect, the modular construction system includes three additional wooden frames with three additional panels inserted respectively therein coupled to the wooden frame thereby creating a box; and a lid attached to the box; and leg pieces at an opposite side of the box from the lid.

[0022] In embodiments of the second aspect, the modular construction system includes a door surrounding the wooden frame such that the wooden frame is inset within a cutout portion of the door.

[0023] In a third aspect, a modular stair rail system includes at least two balusters spaced apart from one another; a frame including a top frame piece, a bottom frame piece, and two side pieces each attached to one of the at least two balusters, each frame piece including a U-shaped channel; a panel inserted within the U-shaped channel; and, a baluster cover covering at least one of the balusters covering the attachment location of the side piece to the baluster.

[0024] In embodiments of the third aspect, the panel is a planar panel.

[0025] In embodiments of the third aspect, the panel is a decorative panel.

[0026] In embodiments of the third aspect, the panel is a rail panel.

[0027] In embodiments of the third aspect, the modular stair rail system includes a panel support attached to the bottom frame piece.

[0028] In embodiments of the third aspect, the baluster cover includes a first side and a second side, each being semicircular, and a baluster fill piece located in a gap between the first side and the second side.

[0029] In embodiments of the third aspect, the modular stair rail system includes a rail trim component between a rail and the top frame piece; the rail trim component including a bottom trim frame having a plurality of spaced stanchions coupling the bottom trim frame to the rail.

[0030] In embodiments of the third aspect, each of the spaced stanchions including a hole therein such that wiring and/or electronics can pass through the stanchions.

[0031] In embodiments of the third aspect, the rail trim component including a panel on one or both sides of the stanchions.

[0032] In a fourth aspect, a modular backsplash system includes a bottom frame including a plurality of attachment locations for securing the bottom frame to a wall; a top frame; a removable panel attached to the bottom frame via the plurality of attachment locations.

[0033] In embodiments of the fourth aspect, the bottom frame further includes a plurality of support bars supporting the panel on the bottom frame.

[0034] In embodiments of the fourth aspect, the support bars form a gap between the panel and a back surface of the bottom frame member such that electronics fit therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0035] The foregoing and other features and advantages of the disclosure will be apparent from the more particular description of the embodiments, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the different figures. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the disclosure.

[0036] FIG. 1 depicts an exploded view of an exemplary modular crown molding system, in embodiments.

[0037] FIG. 2 depicts an exemplary cross section of the modular crown molding system of FIG. 1, showing the wireless controller, transformer, and lighting strip, in embodiments.

[0038] FIG. 3 depicts another exemplary cross section of the modular crown molding system of FIG. 1, showing the battery holder and lighting/wiring clips, in embodiments.

[0039] FIG. 4 depicts another exemplary cross section of the modular crown molding system of FIG. 1, showing the amplifier and speaker, in embodiments.

[0040] FIG. 5 depicts another exemplary cross section of the modular crown molding system of FIG. 1, showing a molding shaped panel in embodiments.

[0041] FIG. 6 depicts another exemplary cross section of the modular crown molding system of FIG. 1, showing a rail panel with LED rail panel inserts, in embodiments.

[0042] FIG. 7 depicts an exemplary speaker insert, in embodiments.

[0043] FIG. 8 depicts a prior art system of installing floor molding on a rounded, bull-nose, and wall corner.

[0044] FIG. 9 depicts a bull-nose molding cover that simplifies installation of molding at a bull-nose cornered wall and beautifies the junction at the floor molding, in embodiments.

[0045] FIG. 10 depicts the bull-nose molding cover of FIG. 9, installed at the floor molding.

[0046] FIG. 11 depicts the bull-nose molding cover spaced from a crown molding.

[0047] FIG. 12 depicts the bull-nose molding cover installed at the crown molding of FIG. 11.

[0048] FIG. 13 depicts an exemplary modular construction system, in embodiments.

[0049] FIG. 14, for example, depicts a trash bin formed by joining multiple frames of the modular construction system of FIG. 13 together.

[0050] FIG. 15 depicts a modular door system including the modular construction system of FIG. 13 in use with a door, in embodiments.

[0051] FIG. 16 depicts a modular window sconce system including the modular construction system of FIG. 13 forming a window sconce for window, in embodiments.

[0052] FIG. 17 depicts a modular entryway surround system, including the modular construction system of FIG. 13 forming a surround for entryway, in embodiments.

[0053] FIG. 18 depicts a modular mantel system, including the modular construction system of FIG. 13 forming a mantel for a fireplace, in embodiments.

[0054] FIG. 19 depicts a modular stair rail system, including the modular construction system of FIG. 13 forming stair rail panels for stairs, in embodiments.

[0055] FIG. 20 depicts an exploded view of the modular construction system of FIG. 13 in use with modular stair rail system of FIG. 19.

[0056] FIG. 21 depicts an exploded view of the baluster cover within the modular stair rail system of FIG. 19, in an embodiment.

[0057] FIG. 22 shows an exploded view of components of rail trim component of FIG. 19, in embodiments.

[0058] FIG. 23 depicts an additional modular construction system in the form of a modular backsplash system, in embodiments.

[0059] FIG. 24 depicts an additional modular construction system in the form of a modular electrical system, in embodiments.

[0060] FIG. 25 depicts an example corner connection system which may be used to couple framing pieces together, in embodiments.

[0061] FIG. 26 depicts an example frame connection system which may be used to couple framing pieces together, in embodiments.

[0062] FIG. 27 depicts the back corner piece and the front corner piece of FIG. 26 in further detail.

[0063] FIG. 28 depicts the front corner piece of FIG. 26 in further detail.

[0064] FIG. 29 depicts an example furniture piece built out of embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0065] FIG. 1 depicts an exploded view of an exemplary modular crown molding system 100, in embodiments. FIG. 2 depicts an exemplary cross section 200 of the modular crown molding system 100 of FIG. 1, showing the wireless controller, transformer, and lighting strip, in embodiments. FIG. 3 depicts another exemplary cross section 300 of the modular crown molding system 100 of FIG. 1, showing the battery holder and lighting/wiring clips, in embodiments. FIG. 4 depicts another exemplary cross section 400 of the modular crown molding system 100 of FIG. 1, showing the amplifier and speaker, in embodiments. FIG. 5 depicts another exemplary cross section 500 of the modular crown molding system 100 of FIG. 1, showing a molding shaped panel in embodiments. FIG. 6 depicts another exemplary cross section 600 of the modular crown molding system 100 of FIG. 1, showing a rail panel with LED rail panel inserts, in embodiments. FIG. 7 depicts an exemplary speaker insert 700, in embodiments. FIGS. 1-7 are best viewed together with the following description.

[0066] System 100 includes a top molding 102 and a bottom molding 104. Top molding 102 and bottom molding 104 may be standard size moldings formed of standard materials, such as wood, metal, plaster, plastic, composites, resin etc. In embodiments, top molding 102 may have a top surface 106 and a bottom surface 108 that are both substantially planar. In embodiments, bottom molding 104 may have an inner surface 110 and an outer surface 112 that are both substantially planar. It should be appreciated that outer surface 112 may have additional designs, such as the molding shape shown in FIG. 1, or any other molding shape.

[0067] Top molding 102 may be coupled to bottom molding 104 via one or more stanchions 114. Stanchions 114 may be formed of standard materials such as wood, plastic, plaster, metal, etc.

[0068] Stanchions 114 may be equally spaced, for example at 6 inch, 12 inch, or 16 inch intervals in the longitudinal direction 115. Gap 116 between stanchions 114 may provide storage locations for components of system 100 without being visible to the viewer. It should be appreciated that there may be any number of stanchions at any interval distance without departing from the scope hereof. Stanchions 114 may include a substantially square edge that attaches to bottom surface 108 of top molding 102, and an angled edge that attaches to inner surface 110 of bottom molding 104. For example, referring to FIG. 2, stanchion 114 includes square edge 202 that couples to bottom surface 108 and angled edge 204 that couples to inner surface 110. Also, as shown in FIG. 2, the stanchion 114 may be configured with a second square edge 206 adjacent to the angled edge 204 such that gap 208 is created between inner surface 110 of bottom molding 104 and stanchion 114. Gap 208 may be utilized to store components of system 100 without being visible to the viewer. For clarity of illustration, edges 202, 204 and 206, as well as gap 208 are not marked throughout the figures, but it should be readily understood that these elements are present in at least FIGS. 1-6.

[0069] One or more components may be stored within gaps 116 and 208 within system 100 such that they are not visible to the viewer, or only a portion or emitted light therefrom is visible to the viewer. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, electronics including one or more of a transformer 118, battery 120, speaker 122, and associated wiring, lighting 124, wireless controller 126, motion sensor 128, and various clips 130 for installing said electronics.

[0070] Transformer 118 may be coupled to power wiring within the house, building, or structure in which system 100 is installed. Alternatively, or in addition thereto, battery 120 may be implemented, for example in cases where power wiring is not available. Power from transformer 118 and/or battery 120 may be utilized to power one or more of speaker 122, lighting 124, wireless controller 126 and/or motion sensor 128.

[0071] Lighting 124 is shown in FIG. 2 attached within gap 208. Lighting may be LED strips capable of only a single wavelength light emission, or lighting may be LED strips capable of any wavelength light emission without departing from the scope hereof. Speaker 122 is shown in FIG. 4 located within gap 116 (not labeled in FIG. 4) between two stanchions 114. Speaker 122, if necessary, may further have an amplifier 402 located therewith. Speaker wire (not shown) may be wired within gap 208 (or gap 116) along the crown molding system 100 from a sound source to speaker 122. This provides the benefit that the speaker wire is not visible in the room, thereby providing an appealing visual appearance.

[0072] Speaker 122 and/or lighting 124 may be controlled via wireless controller 126. For example, wireless controller 126 may include a wireless communication interface, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Low-energy Bluetooth, Cellular, etc. that is capable of interfacing with a remote device such as a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, computer, laptop, smarthome hub, server, etc. As such, music may be streamed from the remote device to wireless controller 126 for playback on speaker 122. In addition, lighting 124, such as the color of the LED elements thereof, may be controlled by an application running on the remote device. Furthermore, the lighting 124 may be controlled to change to various music or sounds being played on speaker 122.

[0073] In embodiments including motion sensor 128, the motion sensor 128 may be adapted to control electronics based on data sensed from the motion sensor. For example, lighting 124 may be controlled, for example via a hardwired signal or via a wireless signal received at the control device of lighting 124 from motion sensor 128. Therefore, if motion sensor 128 detects motion, lighting 124 may be activated into an on mode. Or, if motion sensor 128 does not detect motion for a given time period, lighting 124 (and/or speaker 122) may be deactivated into an off configuration.

[0074] Speaker 122, lighting 124, wireless controller 126, motion sensor 128, amplifier 402, and any other electronics discussed herein may be powered via transformer 118 or battery 120. For example, FIG. 3 depicts battery 120 located within gap 116 (not labeled in FIG. 3) between two stanchions 114. FIG. 3 also depicts lighting 124 held in place against inner surface 110 of bottom molding 104 via clip 130. Clip 130 may fit within gap 208 and attach to inner surface 110 and/or square edge 206.

[0075] As labeled in FIGS. 1 and 2, a space 132 is formed between an upper edge 134 of bottom molding 104 and the bottom surface 108 of top molding 102. Space 132 may be adjacent, but offset, from the gap 208. As such, it should be appreciated that top molding 102 and bottom molding 104 form top and bottom pieces of a frame for securing a panel, as discussed below. It may be desirous to fill space 132 such that stanchions 114 are not visible when molding system 100 is installed. Space 132 may be filled with a variety of panels, as will be discussed below. The below discussed panels may be sized and shaped to fill space 132 and attach to stanchions 114 via attachment locations 136 (shown in FIGS. 1 and 2). Attachment locations 136 may be nail, screw, clips, hook-and-loop fastener, or other fastener locations such that the panels discussed below may be fixedly or removably coupled to stanchions 114 thereat. One or more of the panels discussed below may be coupled to stanchions 114 at attachment locations 136 via a corresponding fastener 138, which may be one or more of a nail, screw, clip, hook-and-loop fastener, or other fastener that cooperates with attachment location 136.

[0076] FIG. 1 depicts a variety of panels that may be implemented with system 100. For example, a planar panel 140 may be utilized. Planar panel 140 may be entirely opaque, or, in embodiments, planar panel may be entirely transparent or partially transparent. The transparent characteristic of planar panel 140 allows for light from lighting 124 to transmit there through for viewing by the viewer. Planar panel may be an acrylic, or other material such as resin, composite, plastic, glass, etc. and may be used in conjunction with other panels discussed below to diffuse light from a lighting strip or otherwise provide a backing for the other panel.

[0077] A decorative panel 142 is also depicted in FIG. 1 (as well as FIGS. 3-4). Decorative panel 142 may attach directly to stanchions 114, or it may be attached such that planar panel 140 is located between the stanchions 114 and the decorative panel 142. Decorative panel 142 may include a design, such as a mock wrought iron design, providing a decorative panel. It should be appreciated that any design, such as wording, logos, shapes, or any other design or combinations thereof may be utilized without departing from the scope hereof. For example, decorative panel 142 may include entirely opaque portions (that may or may not look like wrought iron) and apertures therein (or non-opaque portions) such that light from lighting strip 124 may be visible to the viewer through the apertures in the design (and optionally through planar panel 140). Decorative panel 142 may be formed from metal, plastic, resin, composites, or other materials.

[0078] In embodiments, a third molding panel 144 may be attached to stanchions 114. Third molding panel 144 may be of standard construction size, or any other size that fills space 132. In embodiments, third molding panel 144 may be formed from wood, metal, plastic, resin, or any other material. FIG. 5 depicts a cross section with third molding panel 144.

[0079] In embodiments, a rail panel 146 may be attached to stanchions 114. Rail panel 146 may be an embodiment of planar panel 140. As such, rail panel 144 may be entirely opaque, or, in embodiments, planar panel may be entirely transparent or partially transparent. The transparent characteristic of rail panel 144 allows for light from lighting 124 to transmit there through for viewing by the viewer. Rail panel 144 may include top and bottom rails that form a slot 148 for receiving one or more rail panel inserts. The top and bottom rails may be resilient or otherwise apply pressure to the rail panel inserts to retain said rail panel inserts therein. Rail panel inserts may be, for example, LED lighting such as rail panel LED inserts 150. Rail panel LED inserts 150 may include a plurality of LED elements 152. Rail panel LED inserts 150 may daisy chain, or couple to one another, via electrical connections 154. Rail panel inserts 150 may be video board inserts such as an LCD or LED backlit panel insert capable of HD video production. In embodiments, a connection insert 156 may be utilized to connect, physically and/or electronically, two or more rail panel LED inserts 150. In embodiments, fasteners 138 may be electrically connected, such as via attachment locations 136 and transformer 118 and/or battery 120 to provide power to rail panel inserts 150. As such, an electrical contact may be on an interior surface of the rail panel insert for coupling to an electrical power source. Rail panel inserts may also be controlled via a remote device and/or wireless controller 126.

[0080] FIG. 7 depicts a speaker insert 700 that may be utilized with system 100. Speaker insert 700 may be inserted adjacent a given top molding 102 and bottom molding 104. As such, speaker insert 700 may include a housing 702 that has a contour that generally matches the contour of outer surface 112 of bottom molding 104. It should be appreciated that the contour of the housing 702 may be generally planar as well without departing from the scope hereof. Various electronics instead of, or in addition to, speaker 704 may be housed within speaker insert 700 without departing from the scope hereof.

[0081] In embodiments, stanchions 114 are removably attached to top molding 102 and bottom molding 104 such that a user may install top and bottom moldings easily for a given room of the structure. In other words, a "kit" may include one or more of the top and bottom moldings 102, 104, and a plurality of stanchions 114 (as well as other components of system 100 discussed herein) to provide a modular molding system. Other components of system 100 may be purchased separately, or be part of the kit, such that the molding system 100 can be customized with given electronics, panels, moldings, etc. for ease of inventory management to the seller and ease of installation/customization for the purchaser.

[0082] System 100 provides many significant advantages. For example, the ease of installation, while allowing for customization, is significantly increased. In embodiments, to install system 100, a user may perform simple cuts on top molding 102 and bottom molding 104. In embodiments, top molding 102 is then attached to the ceiling of the structure, stanchions 114 are attached to the top molding (for example via nails through top molding 102 and stanchions 114, or via adhesive). Then, bottom molding is attached to stanchions 114 (for example via nails through top molding 102 and stanchions 114, or via adhesive) such that the molding is adjacent the wall and angled inner surface 110. In embodiments, the stanchions 114 may be attached to the wall initially, and then the top and bottom moldings 102, 104 may be attached simply thereto via pre-drilled attachment holes that are covered by the moldings when attached. For example, the stanchion 114 may be attached, then top molding 102 may be secured thereto via a nail going through the stanchion 114 at a pre-drilled hole, and then into the top molding 102. These embodiments then provides a standardized spacing 132 between top and bottom moldings 102, 104. Moreover, as discussed above, the electronics may be placed within the various gaps 208, 116 within the system 100 such that the user may customize the electronics associated therewith. Further yet, the user may customize the look of the space 132 between the top and bottom moldings 102, 104, by inserting a removable panel (such as one or more of planar panel 140, decorative panel 142, third molding panel 144, rail panel 146 and associated rail panel inserts, etc.). Moreover, any of these panels may be removed and changed thereby providing variable looks and feel without removing the base of the system (i.e. top molding 102, bottom molding 104, and stanchions 114). Moreover, by making panels using wrought iron looking designs formed out of resin, for example, the user may add a high-end texture and appearance while being able to easily manipulate the panel. This is significantly different than systems that utilize wood crown moldings and therefore require de-installation of the molding to change the look and feel thereof.

[0083] Crown molding, and floor molding, on bull-nose corners (i.e. rounded wall corners) is very difficult to install. FIG. 8 depicts a prior art system of installing floor molding on a rounded, bull-nose, and wall corner. For a wall 802 having rounded corner 804, three pieces of molding must be installed to shape the molding around the corner. For example, first molding 806 is installed on the first planar wall of wall 802 with a 22.5 degree edge cut (for a wall that is 90 degrees to the other wall with a rounded corner). Second molding 808 is installed on the second planar wall of wall 802 with a 22.5 degree edge cut. Then a third molding piece 810 is installed abutting the first and second molding 806, 808, respectively. The third molding piece 810 has two edge cuts at 22.5 degrees, respectively, to abut the 22.5 degree edge cuts of first and second molding 806, 808. This requires 4 total cuts at odd angles to create molding around a bullnose corner (if only a single third molding piece 810 is used). Similar cuts are made for crown molding, although only floor molding is shown in FIG. 8.

[0084] FIG. 9 depicts a bull-nose molding cover 900 that simplifies installation of molding at a bull-nose cornered wall and beautifies the junction at the floor molding, in embodiments. FIG. 10 depicts the bull-nose molding cover 900 of FIG. 9, installed at the floor molding. FIG. 11 depicts the bull-nose molding cover 900 spaced from a crown molding. FIG. 12 depicts the bull-nose molding cover 900 installed at the crown molding of FIG. 11. FIGS. 9-12 are best viewed together with the following description.

[0085] To simplify installation of molding, such as floor molding 902 of FIGS. 9-10, and crown molding 1102 of FIGS. 11-12, a bull-nose molding cover 900 may be installed at the junction of two molding pieces. For example, FIG. 9 depicts first floor molding 902 adjacent to second floor molding 904. This is a much simpler installation than that shown in FIG. 8 because only two 45 degree cuts (i.e. one for each of first and second floor molding) need be made, as shown at junction 905. However, this configuration, because of rounded corner 906, creates an unsightly gap 908 between the two molding pieces and the corner. Bull-nose molding cover 900 resolves this issue because the cover 900 covers the gap 908. For example, FIG. 10 shows cover 900 installed at the molding covering gap 908.

[0086] FIG. 11 shows a similar situation at crown molding. For example, gap 1108 is formed between the junction of first and second crown moldings 1102, 1104, respectively, and rounded corner 1106. FIG. 12 shows gap 1108 covered when cover 900 is installed at the gap 1108.

[0087] Cover 900 may include a decorated surface, such as the surface visible in FIGS. 9-12. This decorated surface may have any design thereon, or it may be substantially flat as well. The molding-side surface, i.e. the surface abutting the molding pieces, may be substantially planar to allow cover 900 to abut the first and second molding pieces. Moreover, there may be a protrusion extending from the molding-side surface that extends into gap (i.e. gap 908, 1108). Cover 900 may be nailed, or otherwise fastened, or adhered into place for final installation. Cover 900 may further be used in conjunction with system 100. For example, cover 900 may cover a gap between two adjacent bottom molding pieces 104 of system 100.

[0088] FIG. 13 depicts an exemplary modular construction system 1300, in embodiments. As discussed above, it may be desirable for a user to create his/her own furniture or construction systems having a unique or customized look and feel. System 1300 includes a modular frame 1302. Frame 1302 includes an upper frame piece 1304, bottom frame piece 1306, first side piece 1308, and second side piece 1310. Frame pieces 1304-1310 may be cut down to any desired size from a single piece of frame material. Each side piece may be coupled to one or both of top frame piece 1304 and bottom frame piece 1306 via a corner piece 1312. Corner piece 1312 may couple with frame pieces via attachment locations 1313, such as via nails, screws dovetail connections, snap-fit connections, etc. Each frame piece may be formed from any material, including for example, wood, metal, plastic, resin, etc. Each frame piece 1304-1310 may include a U-channel for holding a panel as discussed below. Moreover, although shown substantially straight in FIG. 13, frame pieces may be bent or curved without departing from the scope hereof.

[0089] The upper half of FIG. 13 depicts various panels that may be inserted within space 1314 formed between the pieces of frame 1302. For example, a cross-hatched panel 1316 may be utilized to form a see-through panel (or, in embodiments, a wine rack). A wood designed panel 1318 may be utilized to form a cabinet door. A wrought-iron-designed panel 1320 may be utilized to create a see-through design having a wrought iron look, however may be formed from resin providing ease of cutting to the user. A planar panel 1322 may be utilized to provide an opaque, transparent, or semi-transparent visual appearance. The panels may be formed from materials including metal, wood, plastics, glass, resins, and other synthetic materials.

[0090] System 1300 provides significant advantages to the user. For example, because the system 1300 is entirely modular, a user may buy frame 1302 components and cut each frame piece 1304, 1306, 1308, 1310 to any desired size. The small width/thickness of the frame piece also provides an advantage that most users have the hardware (i.e. saw, knife, etc.) required to cut the frame piece down to size. Moreover, in particular embodiments, panels are formed from a resin or composite that is easily cut to size, for example using a razor blade. This allows a user with little to no carpentry experience to build any furniture customized to their design wishes.

[0091] In embodiments, system 1300 may additionally interact with one or more electronics components, such as those discussed above with respect to system 100. For example, a cabinet interior 1324 may be coupled with electrical contacts 1326 powered by a transformer 1328. Transformer 1328 may be similar to transformer 118 discussed above, or may alternatively be a battery (i.e. similar to battery 120, above) without departing from the scope hereof. Electrical contacts 1326 may cooperate with corresponding electrical contacts located within frame 1302. As such, electrical components may be added to frame 1302. For example, LED lighting strips 1330 may be located within the U-channel of frame pieces 1304-1310, or on the interior side thereof LED lighting strips 1330 may be similar to lighting strips 124 discussed above. Moreover, one or more electrical panels 1332, such as LED panels, may be utilized instead of panels 1316-1322. Panels 1332 may be similar to panel inserts 150, discussed above, and include LED elements (e.g. LED elements 152), electrical connections (e.g. connections 154) and optional connector inserts (e.g. inserts 156) without departing from the scope hereof. If necessary, frame 1302 may include electrical contacts 1334 capable of supplying power to electrical panels 1332.

[0092] It should be appreciated that multiple frames 1302 may be joined together to form a furniture piece. For example, four frames 1302 may be joined together to form a furniture piece having four sides. In embodiments, there may be a frame piece having two U-shaped channels at an angle to one another for forming given sides of the furniture. Moreover, corners, such as corner pieces 1312 may be capable of adding accessories, such as handles, footings, etc.

[0093] FIG. 25 depicts an example corner connection system 2500 which may be used to couple framing pieces together, in embodiments. Corner connection system 2500 may be used as the corner piece 1312 of FIG. 13 to couple frame pieces 1302 together.

[0094] The system 2500 includes an upper frame piece including a rear upper frame piece 2504R and a front upper frame piece 2504F. Front upper frame piece 2504F and the rear upper frame piece 2504R may collectively form an example of the upper frame piece 1304 of FIG. 13 and thereby form a U-Shaped channel when coupled together. The system 2500 includes a side frame piece including a rear side frame piece 2508R and a front side frame piece 2508F. Front side frame piece 2508F and the rear side frame piece 2508R may collectively form an example of the side frame piece 1308 of FIG. 13 and thereby form a U-Shaped channel when coupled together. FIG. 25 only shows an upper left corner of the system 2500, but it should be appreciated that the system 2500 may include additional pieces, such as a second side piece coupled with the upper piece, and a rear side piece at opposite ends of the side pieces than the upper frame. The frame pieces, when coupled together, form the U-shaped channel that a panel 2516 fits into. The panel 2516 may be a decorative panel, including but not limited to any of the panels discussed herein.

[0095] The frame pieces may be joined together at the corner by a corner coupling including a back corner piece 2520, a front corner piece 2522, and a decorative corner piece panel 2504. Each of the back corner piece 2520, the front corner piece 2522, and the decorative corner piece panel 2524 may couple together with one or more fasteners 2526. In the example shown in FIG. 25, the back corner piece 2520 and the front corner piece 2522 include apertures 2528 that are aligned corresponding to the location of the fasteners 2526, and also with apertures 2530 within each of the front upper frame piece 2504F, the rear upper frame piece 2504R, the rear side frame piece 2508R, and the front side frame piece 2508F. In embodiments, the apertures 2530 may be drilled after the frame pieces are cut to size, such as by a user who is assembling the frame.

[0096] The fasteners 2526 may extend through the apertures 2528, 2530 to the decorative corner piece 2524, which may have corresponding fastener attachments 2532. In embodiments, the fastener attachments 2532 are located on the front corner piece 2522, (or the back corner piece 2520), and the decorative corner piece 2524 snaps or glues to the front corner piece 2522.

[0097] FIG. 26 depicts an example frame connection system 2600 which may be used to couple framing pieces together, in embodiments. FIG. 27 depicts the back corner piece 2620 and the front corner piece 2622 in further detail. FIG. 28 depicts the front corner piece 2622 in further detail. FIGS. 26-28 are best viewed together with the following description.

[0098] Frame connection system 2600 illustrates a corner connection 2601 and a side (or top/bottom) frame connection 2603. Corner connection 2601 may be used as the corner piece 1312 of FIG. 13 to couple frame pieces 1302 together. The side frame connection 2603 may couple one or more pieces of frame piece 1304, 1306, 1308, 1310, of FIG. 13 together.

[0099] The corner connection 2601 couples together an upper frame piece including a rear upper frame piece 2604R and a front upper frame piece 2604F. Front upper frame piece 2604F and the rear upper frame piece 2604R may collectively form an example of the upper frame piece 1304 of FIG. 13 and thereby form a U-Shaped channel when coupled together. The side (or top/bottom) frame connection 2603 couples together a side frame piece including a rear side frame piece 2608R and a front side frame piece 2608F. The front side frame piece 2608F and the rear side frame piece 2608R may collectively form an example of the side frame piece 1308 of FIG. 13 and thereby form a U-Shaped channel when coupled together. FIG. 26 only shows an upper left corner of the system 2600, but it should be appreciated that the system 2500 may include additional pieces, such as a second side piece coupled with the upper piece, and a rear side piece at opposite ends of the side pieces than the upper frame.

[0100] The frame pieces, when coupled together, form the U-shaped channel that a panel 2616 fits into. The panel 2616 may be a decorative panel, including but not limited to any of the panels discussed herein. The panel 2616 may include one or more sub-panels, such as sub-panel 2616(1) and sub-panel 2616(2). Each sub-panel 2616 may couple together via snap fasteners 2617. The snap fasteners 2617 may be concealed when the sub-panels 2616 are coupled together, for example, via the decoration on the sub-panels 2616. The snap fasteners 2617 shown in FIG. 26 include, for example, a protrusion extending from one surface of one sub-panel 2616(1), and a corresponding recess that receives the protrusion in the other of the sub-panel 2616(2).

[0101] The corner connection 2601 includes a back corner piece 2620, and front corner piece 2622. The front corner piece 2622 may couple with, or include, a decorative panel as shown. The front corner piece 2622 may couple with, or include, a decorative panel as shown. The back corner piece 2620 includes first tab 2702 and second tab 2704. The first tab 2702 mates with a first notch 2630(1) and a second notch 2630(2) of the rear upper frame 2604R and front upper frame 2604F, respectively (shown in FIG. 26). The second tab 2704 mates with a first notch 2632(1) and 2632(2) of the rear side frame 2608R and front side frame 2608F, respectively (shown in FIG. 26).

[0102] The front corner piece 2622 includes first tab 2802 and second tab 2804. The first tab 2802 mates with the first notch 2630(1) and the second notch 2630(2) of the rear upper frame 2604R and front upper frame 2604F, respectively (shown in FIG. 26). The second tab 2804 mates with a first notch 2632(1) and 2632(2) of the rear side frame 2608R and front side frame 2608F, respectively (shown in FIG. 26). The front corner piece 2622 also includes attachment fastener 2806 that is complimentary to the attachment fastener 2706 of the back corner piece 2620, which may be in the form of a snap lock that mates with a corresponding fastener 2806 of the front corner piece 2622.

[0103] The corner piece 2601 may further include a pressure pin 2636 that is actuated by a tool 2638. The pressure pin 2636 may enable quick disconnect (i.e. uncoupling of the fastener 2706 with the fastener 2806) for disassembly of the framing.

[0104] The side (or top/bottom) connection 2603 includes a back side connection piece 2640, and front side connection piece 2642. The front side piece 2642 may couple with, or include, a decorative panel 2644 as shown. The front side piece 2642 may couple with, or include, a decorative panel as shown. The back side piece 2640 includes first tab 2652 and second tab 2654. The first tab 2702 mates with a first notch 2660(1) and a second notch 2660(2) of the rear side frame 2608R(1) and front side frame 2608F(1), respectively (shown in FIG. 26). The second tab 2654 mates with a first notch 2662(1) and 2662(2) of the rear side frame 2608R(2) and front side frame 2608F(2), respectively (shown in FIG. 26).

[0105] The front side connection piece 2642 includes corresponding first and second tabs as the rear side connection piece 2640, discussed above. The front side connection piece 2642 may snap fit to an attachment 2670 on the rear side connection piece 2640. The attachment 2670 may alternatively or additionally include a fastener 2675 for coupling the front side connection piece 2642 to the rear side connection piece 2640.

[0106] FIG. 14, for example, depicts a trash bin 1400 formed by multiple frames 1302 joined together. Frames may be connected together to make four sides, with optional footings attached at the corners thereof. It should be appreciated that although shown with an opening in the top, another frame may be added with a hinged door such that the opening is closed.

[0107] Modular construction system 1300 may be utilized in a variety of additional construction elements. FIG. 15 depicts a modular door system 1500 including modular construction system 1300 in use with a door 1502, in embodiments. To build modular door system 1500, door 1502 may be cut, or modified with a router, to make room for frame 1302. If necessary, the cutout (e.g. a routed out portion) may be fitted with a frame attachment piece for holding frame 1302 when inserted therein. A panel, such as panel 1320 shown, may be cut to size to fit into frame 1302. Frame 1302 and panel 1320 may then be inserted into the cutout door 1502 to make a customized door. The shape and size of the framing used with door 1502 is shown for exemplary purposes only and additional shapes/sizes may be used without departing from the scope hereof.

[0108] Modular door system 1500 has many significant advantages in that standard doors may be utilized to create customized doors. As such, a door already pre-installed may be retrofitted with a new look based on the design choice of the frame and panel insert. This reduces for the user the necessity of buying and/or installing new hanging materials such as door hinges.

[0109] FIG. 16 depicts a modular window sconce system 1600 including modular construction system 1300 forming a window sconce for window 1602, in embodiments. Framing 1302 may be sized and shaped, and then inserted with a panel, such as panel 1320 shown in FIG. 16, to form window sconce system 1600. It should be appreciated that additional framing 1302 may be utilized to form side panels for the window sconce system 1600 without departing from the scope hereof.

[0110] FIG. 17 depicts a modular entryway surround system 1700, including modular construction system 1300 forming a surround for entryway 1702, in embodiments. Entryway surround system 1700 includes three sections of framing 1302 formed together: two side framing sections 1302(1), 1302(2) coupled together with a middle framing section 1302(3). It should be readily noticed that middle section 1302(3) has a different panel insert than side sections 1302(1), 1302(2). This emphasizes the flexibility in design and customization to the user, however, should the user so desire, he/she may utilize the same panel inserts throughout each framing section 1302.

[0111] FIG. 18 depicts a modular mantel system 1800, including modular construction system 1300 forming a mantel for a fireplace 1802, in embodiments. Mantel system 1800 includes three sections formed together: two side framing sections 1302(1), 1302(2), joined together by a middle framing section 1302(3). Two side framing sections 1302(1), 1302(2) may include a front panel 1804 and a side panel 1806, respectively by forming sides using modular construction system 1300 as discussed above.

[0112] FIG. 19 depicts a modular stair rail system 1900, including modular construction system 1300 forming stair rail panels for stairs 1902, in embodiments. Modular construction system 1300 may couple between two balusters 1904. Balusters 1904 may be newly added to stairs, or may be already installed such that modular stair rail system 1900 is retrofit onto existing balusters. Side framing pieces 1308 and 1310 may attach directly to balusters. Modular stair rail system 1900 may further include baluster cover 1906, in the design of a newel, or other main support for the rail. Moreover, modular stair rail system 1900 may include one or more panel supports 1908 attached to bottom frame piece 1306 of modular construction system 1300. Panel supports 1908 may be sized and shaped to cover existing baluster cutoffs, or attachment locations, particularly when modular stair rail system 1900 is retrofitted over an existing stairs 1902 within a structure. Where typical stair rail systems have rail 1910 attached directly to the balusters, the present modular stair rail system 1900 may include a rail trim component 1912 used to decorate and add customizable design to rail 1910.

[0113] FIG. 20 depicts an exploded view of the modular construction system 1300 in use with modular stair rail system 1900. As shown, side frame pieces 1308, 1310 are each adapted to attach to one baluster 1904. Top and bottom frame members then surround panel 1320 (or any other panel discussed herein) to provide a customized look and feel to the stair rail system 1900.

[0114] FIG. 21 depicts an exploded view of the baluster cover 1906 within modular stair rail system 1900, in an embodiment. As shown, baluster cover 1906 may have a first side 2102 and a second side 2104 that cooperate together to surround baluster 1904 thereby covering the connection location between the side frame piece 1310 (or 1308) and the baluster 1904. In embodiments, there may be a baluster cover fill piece 2106, 2108 that is used to fill a gap where the frame pieces do not connect to the baluster 1904, such as at the end of the stair rail. Sides 2102, 2104 are shown in semicircular configuration for use along a length of the stair rail. However, the sides may have different configurations, such as a 270 degree shape for use on a corner of the stair rail, etc.

[0115] FIG. 22 shows an exploded view of components of rail trim component 1912, of FIG. 19, in embodiments. Rail trim component 1912 may include a bottom trim frame 2202 having a plurality of spaced stanchions 2204 that couple to the stair rail 1910 (not shown in FIG. 22) via a top edge 2205 thereof.

[0116] Stanchions 2204 may each include one or more holes 2206 therein allowing wiring and other electronics or objects to pass through stanchions. For example, lighting strips 2208, which may be similar to lighting strips 124, discussed above, may pass through holes 2206. Moreover, a transformer 2210, which may be similar to transformer 118, or alternatively a battery such as battery 120, discussed above, may be located in a space between two of the stanchions 2204.

[0117] Each side edge 2212 of the stanchions may couple with a panel 2214, such as any of the panels discussed above to provide a customizable decorative look instead of just a wood railing.

[0118] FIG. 23 depicts an additional modular construction system in the form of a modular backsplash system 2300. System 2300 includes a bottom frame 2302 and a top frame 2304 for supporting a panel 2306. Panel 2306 may be similar to any of the above discussed panels thereby realizing the advantages of ease of cutting/installation. Bottom frame 2302 may include a plurality of attachment locations 2308, which may be spaced apart at one or both of top edge 2310 and bottom edge 2312 of bottom frame 2302. Each of attachment locations 2308 may include one or more attachment mechanisms, such as a screw/nail hole 2314 for attaching the frame 2302 to the wall, and a snap fit mechanism for attaching panel 2306 and top frame 2304 thereto. Bottom frame 2302 may further include one or more support bars 2316 for supporting panel 2306 when attached to bottom frame 2302. Support bars 2316 may be spaced across bottom frame 2302, or may be a single support bar across the entire length of the bottom frame 2302.

[0119] Support bars 2316 may additionally provide space between panel 2306 and a back surface 2318 of bottom frame 2302 for locating electronics such as a lighting strip, battery, etc. Moreover, support bars 2316 may be sized and shaped to hold a planar panel, similar to planar panel 140 discussed above, that may diffuse light from the lighting strip, or otherwise provide a backing for the panel 2306.

[0120] FIG. 24 depicts an additional modular construction system in the form of a modular electrical system 2400, in embodiments. System 2400 may include an inner frame 2402 and an outer frame 2404. Inner frame 2402 may be adapted for location within an outlet box installed in the structure. Inner frame 2402 may couple with the electrical component 2406, such as a light switch or an electrical outlet, and may include an aperture 2408 for use with wires supporting electrical component 2406. Inner frame 2402 may include one or more clips 2403 for securing electronics, such as a lighting strip as discussed above. Outer frame 2402 may attach to a front side of the electrical component 2406, such as via the standard screw locations for attaching an electrical component faceplate. Outer frame 2402 may include a lip 2410 having slightly smaller dimensions than the dimensions of first panel 2412, and second panel 2414 (if included). Outer frame 2402 may also be an electrical outlet outer frame 2420, as shown in FIG. 24 without departing from the scope hereof.

[0121] The systems discussed above provide many significant advantages, particularly to your average homeowner with little to no carpentry experience, or carpentry materials. Users can purchase simplistic frames, manipulate them to the desired dimensions and build unique and customized systems. Moreover, inventory management on the seller side is simplified because the seller need not carry specifically sized dimensions of the frames or panels because the user can easily cut to a desired size. In embodiments where the panels are composed of resin, are easily cut to size and therefore the user need not have special hardware to manipulate the panels. Moreover, one or more of the systems may, either individually or collectively, be sold as a "kit" such that the user may purchase the kit and custom installation according to the size and parameters desired. Each component in the kit (such as each frame, or each molding, or each stanchion) may cooperate with one another providing ease of installation.

[0122] FIG. 29 depicts an example furniture piece 2900 built out of embodiments of the present disclosure. The example of FIG. 29 shows a sink shelf, but it should be appreciated that other types of furniture may be built without departing from the scope hereof.

[0123] Furniture piece 2900 includes a first side 2902, a back 2904 and a second side 2906. First side 2902 includes a top side frame piece 2908, bottom side frame piece 2910, a first side edge frame piece 2912, and second side edge frame piece 2614. Each of the frame pieces may include a channel that accommodates a panel 2916, such as any of the panels discussed herein.

[0124] Second side 2906 includes a top side frame piece 2918, bottom side frame piece 2920, a first side edge frame piece 2922, and second side edge frame piece 2624. Each of the frame pieces may include a channel that accommodates a panel 2926, such as any of the panels discussed herein.

[0125] Each of the first side pieces 2912 and 2922 may include a second channel that accommodates the back 2904, which may be a panel such as any of the panels discussed herein.

[0126] The first side 2902 and the second side 2904 may support a shelf 2928. The shelf 2928 may include a notch 2930 configured to accommodate a faucet. Additional accessories, such as towel holder 2932 may be attached to the side pieces, or the shelf without departing from the scope hereof.

[0127] Changes may be made in the above methods and systems without departing from the scope hereof. It should thus be noted that the matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings should be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. The following claims are intended to cover all generic and specific features described herein, as well as all statements of the scope of the present method and system, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

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