Introduced by two of the most influential designers of the 20th century, the Eames Lounge Chair has remained a favorite in modern design for over 50 years. Charles and Ray Eames were both committed to the functionality of their products and aimed to combine comfort with an elegant style. The Eames Lounge was the first chair that the Eameses designed for a high-end market and has since become one of the most well-known items in their collection.
Imagining a chair that resembled the “warm, receptive look” of a well-used baseball glove, Charles Eames wanted to create a piece of furniture where one could escape from the stresses of modern life. He wanted to design the perfect retreat where anyone could relax. The Eames Lounge Chair is just that piece of furniture, and the look and feel of the chair go hand in hand to create a comforting, luxurious feel, both in a tactile and an emotional sense. The rich black leather of the chair (or white, if you prefer) is soft and deep, with none of the slickness or plastic-y sheen that many leather chairs can exhibit.
The rosewood-veneered molded plywood that supports the leather and padding wraps the chair in a gentle embrace from top to bottom. From the back, the chair might appear to be all wood, and from the front, all leathers. The effect is a merging of materials, equally lovely, into a single package that expresses both of their qualities with style and grace. The molded plywood which serves as the primary backing for the chair, ranging from the shoulder to the seat, features an attractive and telling design feature; at the bottom of the piece, the back edge of the seat, the smooth, curving wood narrows into two arms, which almost literally embrace the user of the chair. It’s a subtle, but noticeable and now-classic feature that gives the chair a good part of its appealing personality.
Designers, critics, and users have all appreciated the chair for its luxurious style, with its fine veneer and supple leather, but the true selling point, when it comes to use in the home, is the classic comfort offered by the Eames Lounge. This combination of coziness and luxury makes the Eames Lounge Chair a compelling addition to almost any room. Furthermore, its production-style base is also functional, as it allows 360-degree rotation.
The distinctive look of the Eames Lounge has landed it a spot in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In fact, it is considered one of the most collectible furniture designs in current circulation. While the Eames Lounge has remained in production since its release in 1956, each piece is still hand-assembled with admirable detail. Herman Miller was the only company trusted by Charles and Ray Eames to produce their chair for the mass market, and they have lived up to that responsibility by maintaining the integrity of the chair for half a century. Its upscale design continues to set the standard, both for elegance and comfort, in the 21st century.