Eames Lounge Chairs have been the epitome of mid-century modern furniture design for more than 63 years. Its original design by Charles and Ray Eames completely changed the world of mid-century modern design and since then, only small details of its manufacturing process have changed so far, and only for the better.
But with a plethora of choices, colors, plywoods alternatives, upholstery materials and variations available in the market, finding the best Eames Lounge Chair for you can be a daunting task. And if you’re on a budget and can’t afford an original, try finding a good faithful replica to the original can make this process more difficult.
We’re excited to offer you an updated buyers guide on how to make an informed decision when buying an Eames Lounge Chair replica, what to look for, and all the different models and choices available to you along with some other important details.
The Plywood Veneer Choice
When you’re buying an Eames Lounge Chair replica, the first thing you must know and consider is the plywood choice. You’ll find you have walnut, palisander, santos palisander, veneer, what do those terms even mean? We’re talking of course about the Eames Lounge Chair frame, made of molded plywood in these different materials.
Charles and Ray Eames were already tinkering with molded plywood when they started working on the design of the Eames Lounge Chair. Another of their famous creations is the Molded Plywood Lounge Chair. They used that experience to reinvent a mid-century modern classic in every home in America, the lounge chair. The result of their efforts is the Eames Lounge Chair.
Only select choices could be used in the original design of the Eames Lounge Chair. You see, the wood used must not only be beautiful, but it must also be sturdy yet flexible, and thick without being too rough.
Originally the Eames Lounge Chair originally featured Brazilian Rosewood but since the 1990s, the use of Brazilian rosewood was discontinued and replaced by seven layers of plywood covered by veneers of walnut, palisander rosewood, cherry, white oak, and ebony ash. Here we will examine only the two most popular, walnut and palisander rosewood.
Walnut wood has been a staple of furniture manufacturing for centuries, especially in Europe. Some people associate it with wisdom and knowledge, and this ancient belief permeates the timber itself, and the plywood that ultimately ends up on the Eames lounge chair replica.
The pattern the Walnut Veneer creates in the Eames Lounge Chair is deeply complex and rich, and the finished product is of a very light color that does perfectly well in office settings and homes with darker walls, to keep the contrast expected in a mid-century modern design setting.
Walnut is also known for a distinctive lack of any noticeable smell, but it makes up for this in versatility. Walnut Eames Lounge Chair will look really well in white spaces, along with gray areas. This veneer choice also plays well with green colors on curtains, pillows and other decor accessories. To give an example, the walnut veneer used in Manhattan Home Desing’s Eames Lounge Chair replica is not too dark, so it fits these categories perfectly.
Palisander is a bit more varied in tone, stemming from two main sources: Brazilian rosewood and East Indian rosewood. Both are very rich in smell and texture, and they can be a bit more dramatic than walnut, so to speak. As we mentioned before, Brazilian Rosewood was discontinued decades ago due to environmental concerns
Palisander characteristic reddish color is noticeably more than the usual brown walnut features and will probably play better in rooms that feature a lot of wood as well, which makes it ideal for home settings. But if you’re combining different woods don’t worry about this too much, the most important thing is to make your Eames Lounge Chair replica plays along with your overall look or interior design.
Palisander is usually more associated with feelings of luxury, wealth, pride, and beauty. It has been one of the staple woods for great guitars, and other musical instruments, since the beginning of the 20th century. This particular name is a French loanword that actually originated from Dutch and it references the rich tonality found on the fresh timber of the tree.
In our next blog article, we’ll discuss all the upholstery choices available for the Eames Lounge Chair in the market, along with some valuable information and insights related to this iconic masterpiece of mid-century modern design. Stay tuned and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!