Chances are, if you have a thing for either interior design or midcentury modern style (and who doesn’t at least appreciate some of either?), you’ve heard of the Eames Chair. It’s an icon of design, it’s truly one of the most famous pieces of furniture ever created – if not the most famous – enough to be part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in New York. But in addition to a piece of art, it’s also a functional reading chair that makes an excellent addition to any reading room – while still being exceptionally comfortable.
The Eames Chair was created in 1956 by designer couple Charles and Ray Eames, who normally focused on furniture that could be mass produced, but in this case decided to go for something stately, unique and luxurious. Taking inspiration from the English Club Chair (trust us, you’d recognize this one), they created something with the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”; comfort was the priority here – and they nailed it – but style ended up being the Eames Chair’s legacy.
The Eames continues to be entirely hand-assembled, with a 7-ply veneer shell with die-cast aluminum back braces and bases, while the cushions are all upholstered and completely replaceable. You can take your pick between a variety of leathers and Mohair Supreme textile. The chair base swivels, the shock mounts are natural rubber, and there are adjustable stainless-steel glides. And let’s not forget there is a handy, heavy-duty ottoman that makes relaxing with a good book and some music on the stereo so much more comfortable.
But technical features still aren’t why you’re looking at the Eames Chair. You want it because it looks damn good in your living room or reading room – no matter the décor you have; the Eames Chair now comes in a variety of colors and finishes, including Black, White – with matching leather upholstery – and Walnut and Santos Palisander wood finishes.
The only problem? It’s expensive. You could buy a used car or a couple of mountain bikes for the $5295 the Eames Chair and Ottoman will cost you. But who’s counting.