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A Brief History of the Eames Lounge Chair

Posted on September 25th 2018 by

Eames Lounge Chair - A Brief History

If you love design, you are probably familiar with the work of Charles and Ray Eames, the husband-and-wife duo behind some of the 20th century's most iconic architecture and designs.

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman, officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671), were originally designed for the Herman Miller Furniture back in the 1950s.

Ray & Charles Eames

Charles's vision was to create a chair with "the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt.” The lounge chair, which takes inspiration from the traditional English Club Chair, is cleverly designed so the chair back and headrest are identical in proportion, as are the chair seat and ottoman.

Stylish Eames Lounge Chair

The Eames Lounge Chair first appeared on the Arlene Francis Home Show, which was broadcast on the NBC television network in America, but it had taken the designers years of development and experimentation with new materials to get to that point.

Over the years the lounge chair has become synonymous with Modern and Mid-Century design although, in a letter to her husband, Ray Eames once commented that the chair looked "comfortable and un-designy"!

So why is the Eames Lounge Chair still so popular today?

Well, this iconic leather and bent plywood recliner has become a symbol of good taste and often has an affluent owner! When first unveiled in 1956 it cost $300 to buy, something not everyone could afford.

But it's not just the symbolism of this chair that ensures its popularity, it is also designed to be really comfortable; the tipping seat releases pressure from your spine and there is plenty of lumbar support from the back panel. A further back panel helps support your chest making this the perfect seat to relax in whether you are working, watching TV or taking a nap!

The ottoman also takes relaxation to another level by increasing blood flow to the rest of your body and increasing circulation.  

The Eames Chair Materials

The chairs and ottomans are available in various combinations of wood, leather and fabric but the masculine mix of leather and wood makes this iconic chair a ‘Man Cave Must’!

The Eames Designers

If you enjoyed the American comedy show Frasier, you’ll recognise the Eames Lounge Chair from Frasier Crane’s luxury apartment or maybe you have spotted Hugh Laurie's prickly character, Dr Gregory House, kicking back in an off-white corduroy version. 

Early examples of this furniture can be viewed at New York's Museum of Modern Art where they are part of a permanent collection but if you fancy trying one out for yourself, pop in and see us – we’ll even get the coffee going!

The Eames Lounge Chair

If you want to own a piece of iconic designer history, we have an amazing offer through Vitra; find out more about the new and Limited Edition Lounge Chair: Mahogany 




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