The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman ; The History Behind The World’s Favorite Chair.
A Unique Origin
It is said that every single piece of art has a story all of its own, sometimes as dull as dish water, or occasionally as interesting and instructive as the piece itself. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman proves the exception to the dull as dishwater theory.
The Eames Lounge Chair is a heart and soul of modern design, but exactly what did inspire Charles and Ray Eames to create the master piece of time?
Get comfortable on your Eames Chair, perhaps a glass of Champagne might help you relax, and I will begin.
Not any old lounge chair, but a lounge chair that would embrace the ideals of comfort.
Once upon a time, as all great tales start, in the world famous American town Hollywood, lived and worked a film Director by the name of Billy Wilder.
Billy Wilder was one of the great directors of Hollywood’s heyday, back in the 30s, 40s and 50s. An icon, a stylist, a writer, and remembered for such great films as; Double Indemnity, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot and The Apartment.
He was justly famous and had a lot of friends, two of these friends were Charles and Ray Eames, and they often visited their friend Billy Wilder on his film sets.
When the famed director grew tired, he would put together a makeshift lounge chair so that he could nap between takes.
What he really needed was a Lounge Chair and Stool, composed of molded plywood and leather, and made to accommodate his needs. Billy Wilder was desperate to rest and relax so he needed comfort, and also as a bonus he wanted the chair to have a timeless design.
Yes, I know that part of my story was a little too much like a Hollywood movie, but I do believe you may have just guessed the next part of my story.
So, to finish my little story, Billy Wilder inspired our designer duo, and they began to think about a new product of their own. As in all the best Hollywood Films, the hero comes along and saves the day, and every one lives happily ever after. Or in this case every one is comfortable for ever after.
So the lounge chair was born. Not any old lounge chair, but a lounge chair that would embrace the ideals of comfort, simplicity and elegance for decades.
Much has been written about its construction and appearance, the curves and forms of a the natural wood, and even, and this statement which probably originated in Hollywood, ” that the beauty of the Eames Lounge Chair is an escape from the modern world.”
In reality it is the working with plywood, applying heat and pressure to mold the curves, which were unprecedented in furniture design at the time, with an upholstered cushioned seat and back rest in leather, all mounted upon an aluminium base.