Manhattan Home Design is known for its mid-century reproductions, though this company also sells gluts of other furniture including the reselling of Zuo, Ashley, Modway and other modern furniture brands. I went on the site and unsurprisingly, the Eames lounge chair replica had the spotlight, having being mentioned loads of times on the home page. They have a showroom in the Times Square region in NYC. My friend also bought an Eames lounge chair from MHD roughly two years ago, so I knew I had to scour this site and speak to the company about the Eames lounge chair in my search for the best replica. Here are my observations on the company and chair:
Loaded Mid-century Site
In a way, Manhattan Home Design uses a typical hyper-marketing setup on its website. The homepage is a lot to process, with deals jumping out at you in the sliders, rows and rows of furniture pictures with links, “Buy now! Bow now!” soliciting you to make a purchase, mentions of awards, design inspiration pages, blogs and more tabs then most furniture sites have. This content just scratches the surface; there’s more on this page. This company pretty much shoves all of its positive traits down the viewer’s throat, or in this case, their eyes. There’s even a letter from President Obama showcased with the presidential seal and all. It emanates the air of “hey! Look at me!” solicitous and overwhelming.
On the other hand, this excess can be a good thing, since the homepage is the first impression you get of an e-commerce company. The homepage includes two ways to order free swatches, which helps for people that don’t have a good eye. It also shows that this company is legit, with its establishment in 2008 and having served 60,000+ customer. It may be the classic accentuating the positives, but at least this company is open about its history. It doesn’t shy away from informing potential customers of the kind of Eames lounge chair replica they carry, which they state is a Vitra in bold typeface.
Only Three Swatches Allowed…When Requested on the Site
Manhattan Home Design offers a long palette of swatches to choose form, and not just for the Eames lounge chair replica. I was at first excited to get a bunch of these freebies but was disappointed to learn that they only allow three per person. I was also a bit turned off to learn they only have two options of wooden veneers: Palisander and walnut. But then again, most companies have very few veneer options. This brings me to the chat I had with an MHD representative. I sought out to get all the info on their Eames lounge chair but in the midst of my conversation, the topic turned to swatches. The representative was super accommodating to my lust for more swatches. She told me that three is the maximum number of swatches allowable when requested via the site, since the interface has three drop downs for swatches. However, when you call or request it via the chat, they don’t really set a limit of how many swatches are allowed per customer. This is within reason of course, but I was very happy that she let me order 5 free swatches.
Cutting-Edge Eames Chair Replica
What I like about MHD is that the product page of the Eames lounge replica is rife with information about their Eames lounge chair and the Eames lounge chair in general. The page will tell you all you need to know about the MHD replica, with the tiniest details on display. There are also blog posts that focus solely on the Eames chair replica. I thought I would mine some facts about their particular replica but ended up learning so much more. There was a lot of trivia but for an Eames lounge chair enthusiast like myself, it was brain candy. On the chat I asked the representative the same information that was already on the page and she confirmed to me these qualities:
- The wood is Brazilian, no wax, uses Italian lacquer for longevity
- Memory foam all over the interior
- Industrial Velcro and zippers, no clips
- Silicone shock mounts are stronger than rubber, provide movement and tilt of the back
- 7-layer wooden shell, topped with a veneer
- Hand-stitched cushions, no clips or glue
- Interchangeable seat and ottoman cushions
- Eco-friendly reinforced and hardened shell
- “Breathable” back made from small holes to prevent mold
There are more cool features listed on the site. All this information is very re-assuring that you are getting an Eames Lounge chair replica that’s close to the original chair, if not exact. It also tells you the strength and durability of it.
Country of Origin:
The chat with the rep confirmed that the leathers are from Italy and the woods are from Brazil. They also source American and Canadian-made wood companies. The metals of the base are from Asia, which like I’ve mentioned on other reviews, is marketing-speak for China. However, the rep told me they get these from Taiwan too. I don’t mind the fact that these small pieces are sourced from Asia, because the major pieces originate in Europe and Brazil. The rep told me that the chair is assembled and shipped out of their New Jersey warehouse. I went as far as asking for the location of the warehouse, which I was denied, understandably. It doesn’t surprise me that the metal is from China or Taiwan, as I don’t think replica companies would go above and beyond to avoid getting something from China, it being a mainstay and all. But I would love a company to surprise me.
Sketchy Customer Service Record:
From the reviews I’ve read online, the biggest drawback to buying something from Manhattan Home Design seems to stem from the issue of customer service. I see that on the website, the only phone number listed is for sales. You can’t blame sales reps for not being to assist with a customer service issue. I think the reason there’s been much unrest over this issue is because it is a misunderstanding. I spoke to my friend who had purchased an Eames lounge chair replica from MHD about this issue. I was mostly interested in knowing how someone would go about if they purchased a defective item or needed further help. My friend said that MHD handles customer service inquires over the phone only. This is a major problem for me, as I am much more comfortable with conversing with a human, instead of a computer, or having to write and wait.
On the other hand, I applaud Manhattan Home Design for being upfront about this. Their website clearly mentions that the phone is for sales only. That’s not exactly a concealed way to say their phone line does not address customer service. Most other companies do have a customer service hotline, problem is, no one answers it, or whoever answers it performs in a shoddy way, with false promises of callbacks. (See Rove) The idea that this company has poor customer service is counteracted by their homepage, once again. They’ve been in business for 8 years with over 60,000 customers, as the homepage reminds me. The tainted reviews are overshadowed by the vast throngs of happy customers.
I decided to check out the sales line so I called and spoke with a very well-informed rep named “Michelle.” She explained everything to me, including confirming facts about the Eames lounge chair replica which are aforementioned, the return policies and everything in between. She was also very polite about the customer service situation, telling me that she would love to help me should I encounter any issues, but the ideal thing would be to have my complaint in writing.
Manhattan Home Design has a spotty record of customer service but an outstanding Eames lounge chair replica. Their site is replete with info, infographics, photos, reviews, interior designer blogs and more, which shows how much dedication the company has to their products. To me, the quality and durability of the Eames lounge chair is the priority, so I am unbothered by the negative reviews I found online. Every company has negative reviews, but MHD is clearly able to withstand the test of time as it is still operating with the same products since 2008. A lot of MCM companies I searched for online are switching their stock to modern furniture instead of midcentury replicas, as they are losing business on these items. The only logical explanation is that they sell poor or lackluster reproductions. (This is primarily why I am not reviewing IFN Furniture, as a rep told me they are changing their entire brand from MCM replicas to modern furniture.)
The verdict is: Manhattan Home Design’s Eames lounge replica is worth it. The amazing features of the chair, the proximity to the original Vitra in design, the engaging website and the near 10-year span in business signifies that it’s worth buying from this company. When the positive outweighs the negative, sometimes, you’ve just got to overlook the negative.
My friend who owns the MHD lounge chair had a rather firm chair which has softened up over its two-year run. It’s still going strong.