12.29.2011

Favourite Furniture Fridays: Eames Lounge Chair


EAMES LOUNGE



To kick off my very first Favourite Furniture Fridays I wanted to pick a piece that reshaped the history of the furniture world. I had to pick the classic Eames Lounge 670 and Ottoman 671. I recently saw the handcrafted process of making this lounge chair on HGTV’s ‘Design DNA’ and learnt that the construction hasn’t changed much since it first hit the market in 1956. This iconic beauty was designed for the Herman Miller furniture company by Charles and Ray Eames (a married couple) who were inspired by a baseball glove. The design took years of planning, trial and error. In the end, the final design was a keeper, and hasn’t been messed with for over 60 years! The only major changes are switching from rosewood veneer to a more environmentally friendly plywood, and from five layers of wood fused together to seven. In fact, it is part of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) PERMANANTLY, making it not only an ingenious piece of design, but a work of art in itself. What an honour! Just looking at it you can see why. 

Its molded plywood shell is what makes it truly beautiful, and keeps each chair unique. The cushions are made to maximize comfort, and rubber shock mounts allow the chair to flex slightly for a discrete rocking motion. It also swivels 360 degrees. The leather is cinched for a worn look. The classic black leather is a popular choice (and my personal favourite), but Herman Miller now offers the Eames Lounge in a variety of colours and finishes. It makes my favourite list because I love its masculine, industrial and yet comfortable look and feel. It is an iconic piece instantly recognizable in any space.


Warning:
Before you fall completely head over heels in love with this furniture piece (maybe I should have cautioned earlier), I should warn you that it is pricey! In 1956, it retailed at a bit over 300 dollars. Now, a newly constructed Eames Lounge will run you about $4500 before tax in the United States, with some classics selling in auction for close to the $7000 mark! Even high quality and convincing replicas approach two grand. The European Vitra version is even more expensive. But hey, we can dream right? If you’re ever blessed enough to purchase one of these beauties, however, the attention to detail and high quality, hand crafted construction will last decades making it an heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation.

This chair made its TV debut in 1956 on NBC’s broadcast of Arlene Francis’s ‘Home’. You can watch the videos of this vintage appearance on Youtube. Part one here and part two here for those interested. 

This chair is often quoted for its prominent appearance in the hit show Frasier (reportedly seen in all episodes but one!). I'm not the hugest Frasier fan, however, so my favourite guest appearance of the chair is on Gossip Girl, where it was recovered in a gorgeous Missoni fabric. 


I hope you enjoyed reading all about this iconic and historical piece of furniture as much as I enjoyed researching it! Stay tuned every Friday for an edition of Favourite Furniture Fridays.
Love always, Tiffany Leigh

7 comments:

Milliscent Morgan said...[Reply]

Thanks at last I found this blogsite that talks about Eames 670 Lounge chair. Good enough information is what I can say about it.

Lionel Messi said...[Reply]

Which season was that from gossip girl?

em furn said...[Reply]

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cinder g said...[Reply]

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