Design in Depth: Choosing the Right Word

March 7, 2012

By Stacy Kunstel

In the past few months I’ve developed a Words With Friends addiction that would rival Alec Baldwin’s. It’s been more likely of late that when you see me feverishly looking at my phone I’m not Twittering, but instead trying to lay tiles to decimate an opponent.

The game has definitely infringed upon my workaholic tendencies so I’ve been trying to incorporate as many interior design terms into my game as possible. This, however, remains a challenge as there are a number of words that simply aren’t recognized by Words With Friends because they are either proper names, double words or terms completely made up by the interior design community.

Here are some examples:
Art Deco–“art†acceptable, “deco†acceptable, but certainly not together because that blank tile does not constitute a space between words

Art Deco Furniture Collection from the Royal Ontario Museum

Bauhaus–absolutely not

Photo courtesy of School of Interior Design

Ergonomics–acceptable, but not probable

Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia

Lambrequins–You will lose a turn as it is not in the official Scrabble dictionary.

Photo courtesy of Rowley Decorating Supplies

Jabot–Play this on a triple word score and you’ll do quite nicely.

Photo courtesy of Country Curtains

Swag–It has multiple meanings and will work on any board.

Photo courtesy of Thistle Hill Weavers

Venetian–No matter how casual the look, it will never get you any points.

Photo courtesy of

Most of the furniture world words are short and boring enough to get away with, but imagine the guffaw I put up when longue (as in chaise longue) was not permitted. Pure discrimination!

Photo courtesy of Design Within Reach

Club, Wingback and Occasional are perfectly acceptable, but Klismos is a no-no on the board.

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

I’ve also struck out with trying to play most furniture styles. Jacobean, Elizabethan, Queen Anne, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Victorian and Scandinavian are simply too proper for the board. You’ll have to stick with Shaker, Empire, Federal and Colonial if you want to play.

These days I finding I’m having better luck with fabrics, but I don’t want to give too many of my words away. Now excuse me while I play Jacquard against my mother. By the way, I’m not currently accepting any new challengers so do be disappointed if I don’t respond to your game.

Photo courtesy of

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