The infamous Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and has been in continuous production since its inception in 1956. It has become a symbol of timeless design and the essential splash of luxury comfort in many interiors. So what makes this piece so iconic? And what secured Charles and Ray Eames as one of the most important design duos of the 20th Century?
The key to Charles and Ray Eames' success in general, was the philosophy that design served a need, not just an aesthetic concept, and it is this value that is at the heart of their most iconic designs. When designing the Lounge Chair and Ottoman, the Eames identified the need for an escape from the hardships of daily life into the luxurious comfort of home. Thus an icon was born.
The quality at the heart of the design was Comfort. The choice of angle, material, and curve was to fulfil this objective and encapsulate this quality as successfully as possible. Without the design achieving this, the aesthetic pleasure would have been short-lived, as would the legacy of the piece. Instead, it has come to be known as a global symbol of luxury comfort.
The Eameses used a winning blend of leather and wood to create the Lounge Chair and Ottoman and chose a neutral colour palette of browns and blacks. The result is a timeless piece with heaps of character that makes a statement in any lounge.
I mean, just look at it! The curves and gentle angles are both welcoming and aesthetically satisfying. The design perfectly meets the vision the Eameses wanted of the Lounge Chair and Ottoman having the "warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt" - that sense of being firmly but gently held - as safe as a base runner reaching that base.
The Lounge chair (entitled 670) and the Ottoman (671) are numbers that refer to the parts used to make the seating. They have remained consistent in their design throughout the 60 years of production. This means that those with original chairs can purchase new parts with ease. The cushions are all symmetrical and interchangeable - adding a psychological satisfaction to the design experience.