The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
There aren't many items of furniture that you can point to, which claim luxury and comfort in one breath. Sometimes the style of a piece can be overly complex in its quest to look impressive and end up compromising the pleasure of actually sitting on it.
There’s no lack of integrity, however in using the words ‘luxury’ and ‘comfort' when describing the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Back in the chair’s embryonic stage it was said that its creators wanted it to feel like sitting in a well worn baseball mitt and perhaps—like the mitt—it would only improve over time as the chair and owner became more intimately acquainted.
There are a number of films and television series featuring this iconic duo that give a nod to the refined tastes and personal statements of the characters fortunate enough to own them. For example, it was easily placed in Tony Starks sea view villa in Iron Man and is illustrated in the animated spy dark comedy Archer. It featured in Click with Adam Sandler and is a well worn companion of Dr Frasier Crane in Frasier. Other films and series, portraying any kind of grand residence or mansion are on safe ground featuring this opulent furniture as part of its furnishing family.
Charles Eames once said, “Beyond the age of information is the age of choices.” The Eames Fiberglass Armchair was made to solve a problem in its day, but the Lounge Chair and Ottoman are the choice of those with good taste and an inherent understanding of design. In comparison to the other Eames creations there is an unapologetic stand alone quality to the Lounge chair and its partner, they are at ease in their alignment with decadence and class. Those with the means or determination to possess the pair know what it is to take pleasure seriously.
It would be easy to think that this rather magnificent creation is a contradiction to the desire of the Eames couple to solve problems and cater for the everyday person rather than just surrender to style. Perhaps it is. However, Charles and Ray were just doing what they had to do. To live was to create, and just as they lived, they had to keep creating, manifesting that which was within them.
Saul Bass (1920-1996), a graphic designer and filmmaker once said, “I just want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares.” Could this indwelling creative momentum be one that also spurred Charles and Ray to such great design feats? They couldn’t help it—inertia was not their playmate. They had managed, with meticulous planning and attention to detail, to make something so beautiful and with such masculine elegance and were not about to apologise for doing so. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman continue to beckon us to come sit, comfortably, with our feet up, a smile on our face and our heart full of joy.