All Articles, Charles & Ray Eames, Mid-Century Modern Designers

Ten Cool Designs by Charles & Ray Eames

Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW). This chair has been built with molded plywood. Its outer appearance consists of a backrest and a seat with curved outer edges and a veneer finish with a grained wooden pattern. The backrest tilts back slightly and its side edges curve out towards the front. The backrest is also connected to a plywood spine that bends near the bottom to an upright position and curves at a 90-degree angle before rising up to connect to the seat plate. Two screws and two rubber shock mounts each keep the backrest and the seat connected to the spine. The outer edges near the inside of the seat curve upward, while the edges at the front curve down to make for a comfortable place to sit. Two bands of plywood are bent in a curved “U” shape to form the legs of the chair. These bands are connected to the spine with five screws for each leg, as well as more rubber shock mounts.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (670 and 671). This set of furniture includes a chair and ottoman that has been built by placing leather upholstery and cushioning inside molded plywood protective shells with curved outlines. The appearance of the shells is smooth with a grained wood veneer pattern. The chair is divided into three sections: the headrest, the back, and the seat. Two aluminum spines link the headrest to the back piece. The bottom half of the plywood shell for the back piece extends forward, and the seat’s plywood shell rises up towards the middle. This is so a leather armrest on each side can be held in place. Both the chair and the ottoman have an aluminum swivel base that allows for rotation. The chair has five fixtures with glides attached to the feet, while the ottoman has just four fixtures. Leather upholstery is usually black in color but white and red are also available.

The Hang-It-All. This is a Modernist inspired coat rack created by Charles and Ray Eames. It is designed using eleven steel rods. Seven of the rods have spherical wooden balls attached to each end. The other four rods form a rectangular back support for mounting against a wall. Four long rods are attached vertically to the back support. Each of these rods bends sharply at the bottom to form a hook for hanging coats, hats, or other assorted pieces of clothing. Three smaller rods are glued horizontally to the long vertical rods. The wooden balls are made of maple and come in several colors including: yellow, dark blue, light pink, red, and hot pink. The Eames logo can be seen on the back support.

Wire Mesh Chair (DKR). This chair contains a grid-like frame in reference to the steel rods that cross over one another perpendicularly. The back and seat of the chair unite into one rounded shell and have a curved outer form. Padded upholstery in the form of a “bikini” shape is sometimes included in the design. What is meant by bikini shape is that there are two cushions that are hooked together. The top upholstery covers the top of the chair completely before decreasing in coverage to form the shape of an inverted triangle. The bottom upholstery covers the entire seat before rising up to form a small triangle that connects to the top upholstery. This gives the upholstery the appearance of a bikini top. Red, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and white are popular “bikini” colors. The base consists of four spliced legs made of chrome. These legs include glides that are attached to the bottom. Attached to each leg are four rods that are linked to a small wire in the shape of a square directly underneath the seat. The appearance of the spliced legs and linked rods that comprise of the base give it an “Eiffel Tower” look.

Molded Plastic and Fiberglass Rocking Chair (RAR). The main centerpiece of this chair is a rounded shell made of plastic and fiberglass. Modern versions are molded using polypropylene for the shell. It is rounded at the top, but turns outward to form armrests. The edge of the seat slopes down slightly like a waterfall. The base includes four legs that feature three steel rods that are connected directly under the seat. Attached to the bottom of the legs are two wooden runners that allow the chair to rock back and forth. These runners are carved from maple or walnut. Colors range from white, to red, to black to several shades of green.

La Chaise. Here is a fiberglass chair that was built by welding two shells together. The back of the chair has a circular opening. Resembling a cloud, this chair has a distinct, asymmetrical shape that focuses on soft, flowing, and rounded curvature. Five chrome rods are attached to a base that consists of two pieces of oak that intersect to form an “X”. The two rods at the foot of the chair intersect diagonally. Often, the fiberglass shell of this chair is white in color, but there are versions of La Chaise with a red shell that have been produced.

The Eames Elliptical Table. This table is constructed using birch wood for the board, laminate for the top surface and zinc plated wires for the base. The table has a thin, oval shaped, 89-inch birch board that has allowed this furniture piece to be dubbed the “surfboard table”. The base includes four legs made of zinc wires that have been bent into the shape of a square. Extra wires are looped around the square shaped leg fixtures. These wires that serve as stretchers are attached to the underside of the table board. The laminate coating is usually black in color, but white and light blue versions have been produced.

The 1950 Eames Storage Unit (4 x 2). This room divider can fit drawers, shelves, and cabinets with sliding doors within four rows and two columns of available space. It is exactly 5 feet or 60 inches in height, 37 inches in width, and 16 inches in diameter. Eleven birch drawers and a shelf with sliding doors are included in the packaging. Each drawer either features one singular rounded wooden handle or a curved steel rod handle. Sliding doors can be either made from white pylon wood or dimpled birch wood. The sides and backs of the wood panels are often painted in bright colors including red, yellow, white, black, and blue. Thin, tubular rods that cross diagonally and a perforated metal panel are provided to hold shelved items in place. Six steel supports coated in zinc form the outer frame and legs. Nylon glides are attached to the bottoms of the legs to support the unit.

The Eames 3473 Sofa. This sofa’s upholstery includes two leather cushions that form the seat and back. These cushions are made of naugahyde with a folding effect included in their designs. An aluminum frame supports the seat and back. Legs consist of two posts on each side that merge into a horizontal fixture that bends at each end to provide an area to fit the nylon glides. The sofa is meant to fit three people.

The Elephant Chair. This cute piece of children’s furniture was designed using polypropylene with a matte surface. The elephant itself has a whimsical appearance. The surface of the head is flat, with two tiny holes for eyes, large rounded ears, folds below the ears that are supposed to be tusks, and a curved bottom that represents the trunk. The top of the head is fastened to the elephant’s body, which consists of a flat back for sitting, and two sides that include stump-like legs. A small, piece of plastic that is the elephant’s tail is attached to the back of the seat area. This chair comes in a variety of colors including: red, light green, white, pink, and pale blue.