STORAGEWORKS - April 8, 2023

History of Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman: Everything You Need to Know

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman by the Window

The history of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is a fascinating one. Developed in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames, the iconic design is renowned for its form and function. The chair is considered to be one of the most recognizable pieces of mid-century modern furniture and has become a classic in the design world. This blog post will provide an overview of the history and evolution of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, from its inception to its current status as a timeless icon.

The Designers

Charles and Ray Eames are two of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. They are credited with creating some of the most iconic pieces of furniture in the world, including the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Charles and Ray Eames were married in 1941 and began working together shortly after. Their work focused on creating innovative furniture designs that combined craftsmanship and technology.

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Charles was an architect and Ray was an artist, which allowed them to bring a unique vision to their projects. As part of their design process, they utilized new materials and technologies that had never been seen before. They also focused on developing pieces that could be mass produced at an affordable cost. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman are a perfect example of their groundbreaking design philosophy.

Eames Chair Furniture Construction Drawing

The Manufacturing Process

The production of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman was a complex process that involved many steps. First, the frames for the chair and ottoman were built in the Herman Miller factory in Michigan. The frame was made from seven layers of molded plywood that had been cut, assembled, and glued together by hand. 

Next, the upholstery was put in place. The cushions were made of molded polyurethane foam covered with leather, fabric, or vinyl depending on the customer's preference. The leather was cut to size, stitched, and then stretched over the foam before being attached to the frame with upholstery nails.

Finally, the armrests and legs of the chair and ottoman were added. These parts were made from solid wood and polished to give them a smooth finish. They were then attached to the frame using metal screws and bolts.

The Materials

The materials used to make the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is of superior quality. The original Eames design is made from an American walnut frame and hand-upholstered with Brazilian rosewood shells. The leather used for the upholstery is top-grain aniline, chosen for its unique suppleness and softness, and it's only available in black or brown. The cushioning is comprised of multi-density foam wrapped in down feathers, giving it a luxurious feel. This combination of materials ensures that the Eames lounge chair and ottoman are both comfortable and durable.

Eames Plywood Chair in a Minimalist Home Decor

The Aftermath

The iconic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman have become a timeless piece of furniture. Its classic design has made it a staple in many homes, offices, and even lobbies for decades. It is often found in modern or mid-century style homes and has been featured in numerous television shows and movies. Its classic design and craftsmanship are sure to remain for years to come, and it's no wonder that it has stood the test of time. 

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