What's In It For You

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Product Story

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman have their origin in Charles and Ray’s investigations into moulding plywood and a desire to improve upon a familiar fixture in many living rooms: the lounge chair. Citing the English club chair as inspiration, Charles said he sought to design a modern version of that chair, one that had “the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”. Almost immediately, the design became an icon of American design. Today, these pieces not only live in museums, but continue to offer comfort and style to interiors everywhere. A universally recognised form, the set is available in a variety of veneers, multiple upholstery options – including a choice of leathers or Mohair – and two sizes. Whatever selection you make, you can be assured of the quality and authenticity of this design.

Own a True Icon of Modern Design

When the set was introduced in 1956, there was nothing like it – and there is still nothing to equal it today. The Eameses’ modern take on a 19th century club chair has not only endured for more than 50 years, it has become one of the most significant furniture designs of the 20th century – instantly recognisable and enduringly fresh.

Like all classics, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman get better with age, in part because of how they are made. From the innovative hardware that fastens the cushions to the shells without marring the appearance of the wood to the fact that each piece continues to be assembled by hand, the combination of craft and manufacturing consistency results in pieces that are genuinely authentic.

Expansive Options

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman has become so recognisable that its configuration is a registered trademark. That form and the materials used to create it are an integral part of the experience the set delivers. Today, the chair and ottoman are available in two sizes, a variety of veneers and a choice of leather upholstery options or Mohair Supreme, a plush, 100 per cent Mohair textile. The same high level of quality and workmanship is guaranteed, regardless of the selection you make.

Choose contract-grade or our MCL Leather, which offers a striking blend of softness, durability and colour-fastness. MCL Leather is a premium, semi-aniline, dyed leather with 100 per cent natural full grain. Colour variations and surface marks are an inherent characteristic of this material, which will acquire wrinkles and creases and develop a rich patina over time.

An oiled finish is available for walnut and santos palisander veneers. It closely matches the look and feel of the finish used on the original rosewood chair, and will need to be maintained with periodic hand oiling. You can also choose the standard, high-performance lacquered plywood shell in all four wood veneers. The lacquered finish requires nothing more than dusting.

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Black and White

To provide additional choices for complementing a range of interiors, the chair and ottoman are offered in ebony-stained or white ash veneer shells. The ebonised version is available with a choice of black MCL Leather or one of several Mohair colours. White ash shells wrap cushions upholstered in a choice of MCL Leather options or one of several Mohair Supreme colours. The metal components on the white ash chair are finished in white to highlight the polished aluminium accents on the base.

Luxurious Comfort and Support

The comfort and support built into the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman help explain their enduring popularity. These qualities are created through a dynamic blend of hand-craftsmanship and mass production techniques.

The cushions will not flatten or clump over time. As Charles Eames described them, “The leather cushions do have built-in wrinkles to start with, but that is a clue that spells comfort to come, like the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” Each hide used for the cushions has its own natural characteristics, and each will age to reveal its own unique personality.

The seat is permanently tilted to take the weight off your lower spine and distribute it properly across the backrest. The lower cushion piece supports your lower back, so you feel relaxed. The angle supports your chest so that you can be comfortable as you read, watch a film or have a conversation.

The Ottoman also has inherent health benefits. Most of us sit or stand all day, so blood tends to collect in the lower extremities. Resting your feet on the Ottoman helps restore normal blood circulation.

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Unparalleled Craftsmanship

Like all classics, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman get better with age. Both are hand-assembled with great attention to detail. Shells are 7-ply veneers. Cushions are individually upholstered and replaceable. The back braces and bases – on both the Lounge Chair and the Ottoman – are made from die-cast aluminium. The chair base has a built-in swivel mechanism. Shock mounts are made from resilient natural rubber. Stainless steel glides are adjustable.

Design Story

When they were developing the concept for the chair, Charles explained that he and Ray wanted it to have the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”. As Charles and Ray’s home provided the backdrop for the couple’s gracious hosting of a famously eclectic group of friends and associates, providing “a special refuge from the strains of modern living”, so too the Lounge Chair and Ottoman were conceived to provide welcoming comfort to the body.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman made their debut on American national television in 1956. Charles and Ray Eames appeared on the NBC show Home hosted by Arlene Francis. Stardom ensued for both design and designers. Yet, as popular as the Lounge Chair and Ottoman have become, they remain grounded in the handcrafted details that continue to distinguish this classic, authentic design.

Part of the permanent collections at New York’s MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman have been the subject of documentary films and books, and were the sole subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York. They have also featured prominently in film and television as part of stylish interior settings. Although the word “icon” is overused, it’s exactly the right word to describe the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman.