Style Classic Stories: The Eames Lounge Chair And Ottoman

The combined Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is indubitably one particular of midcentury modern’s most enduring and covetable design and style classics.


Eames Property Living Room

Eames Home with Eames Classic Furniture

Eames Lounge Chair

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Frank Sinatra

Muhammad Ali

Ray Eames

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

Made by the inimitable Charles and Ray Eames and released in 1956, the Lounge Chair and Ottoman have their origins in the Eameses exploration of moulding plywood (prototypes for the chair had been produced 10 years earlier by the Eames Workplace, in 1946). Resembling a well-worn leather baseman’s mitt and regarded a modern version of the Victorian club chair, the Lounge Chair is a correct icon of contemporary American design and style and a symbol of luxurious comfort. When set together, the arrangement of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is so identifiable that it is a registered trademark.


The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in the Eames Home living area. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in the Eames Home living area. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair in 1946. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.

The glorious and graceful Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair in 1946. Image © 2016 Eames Workplace, LLC.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman and walnut and white ash. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman produced making use of walnut and white ash respectively. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The 60-year-old classic

Constantly developed by Herman Miller because its arrival in 1956 (and later by Vitra), the timeless Eames Lounge Chair (670) and Ottoman (671) celebrated its 60th birthday in 2016. Owing to the unchanging design, owners of older 670/671 models (referring to Herman Miller’s component numbers for the chair and ottoman) are able to acquire replacement parts. Crafted with meticulous care and focus, the Lounge Chair is produced up of 6-ply veneer shells, individually upholstered cushions and a built-in swivel mechanism.

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Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

A 1956 Herman Miller advertisement for the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image by way of Salt.

A 1956 Herman Miller advertisement for the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image by means of Salt.

A Herman Miller advertisement for the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image through the World Workplace Forum Eames Pinterest board (Supply).

A Herman Miller advertisement for the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Image via the World Office Forum ‘Eames’ Pinterest board (Source).

Eames Lounge Chairs in distinct veneers. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

Eames Lounge Chairs in various veneers. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

A chair that’s good for you

Charles and Ray Eames designed the Lounge Chair with a permanent tilt in order to help the sitter’s lower spine and back. Moreover, resting a single’s feet on the Ottoman aids standard blood circulation. The Eameses believed strongly in the want for respite and comfort, in a warm welcome and refuge. Their Lounge Chair and Ottoman provide each and every of these components with aplomb.

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Eames Lounge Chair. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc. 

Ageless wrinkles on the Eames Lounge Chair. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in the Eames Home (alongside the classic Eames sofa and Walnut Stools). Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in the Eames Residence (alongside the classic Eames sofa and Walnut Stools). Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The low-down on the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

  • The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is in the permanent collections of a lot more than twenty key museums (which includes New York’s MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and London’s V&A).
  • The Eames Office initially designed the base of the chair and ottoman as a base for a contract table.
  • Throughout its 1st 10 years of production, Herman Miller made the Lounge Chair and Ottoman with leather, fabric or naugahyde (an artificial leather-like material). Nevertheless, Charles and Ray strongly recommended the use of ‘best aucht’ leather sourced from Scotland: here, farmers refrained from using barbed wire with their cattle and thus the leather was unmarked.
  • The cushions on the Lounge Chair and Ottoman are both symmetrical and interchangeable.
  • The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman was awarded 1st prize at the 1957 La Triennale di Milano.
  • Herman Miller and Vitra are the only two firms making genuine Eames Lounge Chairs and Ottomans.
  • In cooperation with the Eames Workplace, Vitra developed a new larger version of the Lounge Chair and Ottoman, suited to taller folks.
  • The bottoms (buttocks) of many notable persons have graced the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, like: Muhammad Ali, Jim Henson (creator of The Muppets), Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and Frank Sinatra.

Muhammad Ali at property on his Eames Lounge Chair in 1970. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.USA.

Muhammad Ali at house in 1970, seated on his Eames Lounge Chair. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.USA.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on the Lounge Chair and Ottoman respectively. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.

Frank Sinatra at property with his dog Ringo. Image © 2016 Eames Workplace, LLC.

Frank Sinatra at house with his dog Ringo. Image © 2016 Eames Office, LLC.

Note to reader:

Information and details presented in this article were obtained via the Eames Workplace and Herman Miller.

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