Eames chair is everywhere these days. Recognizable shapes and a wide variety of color options have made them coveted and loved to the point of where they became a decor staple.
Eames chair history started in the distant 1948, when designer Charles Eames and his wife Ray Eames created a lounge chair for the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design. Though it didn’t win the first prize Eameses reproduced the design in a low-cost fiberglass later adding more and more color options to their assortment.
Molded Fiberglass Eames Chair
Molded Eames chair first came with metal legs, wooden dowel legs, and a rocker base. From there on however Charles and Ray Eames grew their collection by experimenting with plywood molding using their “Kazam! Machine” that ran with help of a bicycle pump.
The first prototype was made out of steel, which was later replaced with a cheaper plastic resin reinforced with fiberglass called Zenaloy. In the 1980’s though fiberglass caused enough environmental concerns to be recalled. And only in 2000 the recyclable polypropylene production started with the recyclable fiberglass emerging only in 2013.
Now Eames molded chairs come in both plastic and fiberglass. And some even are available in wood and with a soft upholstery. Their colors vary greatly from light neutral fawn to incredible ultramarine blue (above).
Classic molded Eames chairs can complement any dining table because they are so simple and yet stylish. There is something special about them and it shows in an interior design of any style.
Also used in home offices and nurseries molded chairs allow for various styling options from colorful cushions to faux fur throws. And while many prefer to let the natural semi-glossy color to show through, some styling solutions only add to the look.
Rockers that can often be seen in nurseries also create an inviting atmosphere in the reading nooks. And although you probably don’t want to be moving while reading, it’s not a bad choice since the chair is small and doesn’t take up too much space. Also it can double as a lounge rocking chair.
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
The famous Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman came out in 1956. Inspired by the English club chair it offered a different look and a much more comfortable feel. Its television debut the same year propelled the chair to such heights it was added to the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Although its recognizable bent plywood frame stayed the same throughout the years the new finishes give the potential buyers a lot more choice. The base and upholstery can be coordinated or contrasted. And the chair can of course be used without the matching ottoman.
Thanks to its modest and modern look Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman works for both mid-century modern and luxury interiors. The timeless design allows for various style combinations and juxtaposition. In a minimal interior it will look luxuriously while fitting right at home in a mid-century modern room. It will definitely bring a bit of modernity the traditional living room. And will greatly emphasize retro-futuristic style.
Wooden Lounge Chairs
Bent plywood is something Eameses experimented with a lot. As a result there are a few lounge chair designs that are perhaps less popular than the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman but are nevertheless recognized. For instance, LCW or “Lounge Chair Wood” has been named the Best Design of the 20th Century by the Time magazine.
The molded plywood chairs with metal and wooden legs have wide backs and Eames signature rounded seats. A slight recline provides enough comfort to use them as lounge chairs.
Available in a variety of colors and finishes including an upholstered version, these are perfect for both dining rooms and home offices. And as opposed to their plastic and fiberglass counterparts wooden molded chairs bring a lot of warmth to the interior.
Eames Aluminum Group Collection
Aluminum Group Collection started as a project for Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard in 1958. At the time the designers needed a lightweight lounge chair that was easily portable and aluminum seemed like a good fit to Eameses.
Made of an aluminum frame the chair features a simple “sitting pocket” available in 12 colors. It also has a 360-degree swivel base and an optional ottoman designed in a similar style.
It’s not only modern-looking though. The manufacturing approach takes into account the environmental impact. So the chair is made of 61% recycled materials and is generally 88% recyclable.
Eames La Chaise
Inspired by Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure sculpture La Chaise was designed for that 1948 design competition. Made of two bonded fiberglass shells it stands firmly on a chrome base complete with X-shaped oak feet. Its unusual shape flows, offering not only a number of different reclining positions but also an art object aesthetic.
La Chaise differs a lot from the rest of more practical designs but you can still recognize Eames style in it. The chair that stayed a concept for a long time went into manufacturing exactly 20 years ago when Vitra International decided to supply the existing demand.
Eames chairs have become classics throughout the years. And it’s not hard to see why. Simple shapes and defined lines attract attention without overwhelming the interior. And luxury finishes and eco-conscious manufacturing techniques only add to the charm of these designs.