Elite Modern Furniture Review

EMFurn, or Elite Modern Furniture is a relatively new furniture replica company on the market. It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada and was founded in 2013. It sells modern furniture as well as replicas from the midcentury, beyond and earlier.  I came upon this company with good spirits as the prices aren’t suspiciously low, or ridiculously high. They are in the mid-range which is generally the best price to search for when seeking out quality reproductions. Before divulging my findings, I want to remark on how this is another Canadian company. I find it interesting how many Canadian companies are hopping on the midcentury reproductions bandwagon. American furniture replica companies need to step up their game, as the only replica companies, ie companies that make reproductions and don’t resell the Herman Miller chairs are Manhattan Home Design and Modern InDesigns.

Solid Homepage but Wrong Info of Designers:

I was impressed by the EMFurn website upon seeing the homepage because it is filled with nice content, looks easy to navigate, welcomes the company with an introduction and is not filled with commands to buy now, as is very common in other e-commerce sites. First impressions are important and the homepage definitely delivered on this front. However, I was not very thrilled with the introduction of the company at the bottom of the page. I can easily shrug off boasting and self-aggrandizement, since this is an important strategy to lure in potential customers. But what I don’t accept is plain lies, which in this case I suspect were not intentional, but it goes to show the lack of research on the part of the EMFurn team. What am I referring to? The introduction states:

“We offer you reproductions of iconic American furniture designs such as the Eames Lounge Chair, Barcelona Chair, Florence Knoll Sofa, the Womb Chair and Le Corbusier…”

The major problem with this claim is that not all of these designers are American, thus neither are their reproductions. The Barcelona chair, for example, was created by Mies van der Rohe who although immigrated to the USA, he had created the Barcelona chair with fellow German Lily Reich in Germany. In fact, that chair was noted as the German representative for the Spanish exposition. But I digress. Le Corbusier, another designer mistaken for being American was a French-Swiss designer. Sure the designs of these Europeans made their way across the pond into the US, but they themselves aren’t American. If they are not knowledgable on their own products, this is a huge problem; how will I know that I can trust their Eames lounge chair replica?

Few Products Details:

I want to iterate that I was overall impressed by the EMFurn homepage, but this feeling was short-lived. I hovered over to the midcentury tab and selected Charles and Ray Eames. Off the bat, I noticed they sell the entire cushioning set of the Eames lounge chair separately, which is not to say it doesn’t come with the chair, it was just available as a purchase. I wondered why anyone would need to buy just the cushion pieces of this chair. The page told me they were replacement cushions. This made me feel uneasy about their Eames lounge chair, as it is a hefty purchase price and size-wise. The fact that EMFurn is pointing out that they are for replacements is telling the chair is not fully assembled and might fall apart in no time. I couldn’t find anything on the product page or the FAQs about the assembly required for this Eames lounge chair.

Then, I noticed something relatively hidden: the page had a link which said “1 Questions Answered.” As it pertained to the Eames Lounge chair replica, I was curious. As it turned out, the question that was answered was in regards to the base and premium models that EMFurn offers of the chair. The base is a model that requires “some” assembly, though it doesn’t state how much or in what region of the chair. The premium model apparently focuses on quality and craftsmanship and comes fully assembled. First off, nowhere on the product page of the Eames chair does it mention that the chair comes in two models. What’s more disquieting is that the question page does not state how much more would the premium one cost. So essentially, the $949 cost of the chair is a false price. The real price is determined by the type of model, which really is the same model, but of different quality.

It’s bad enough that the product page only tells you the dimensions of the chair, its available colors and veneers and NOTHING about the materials used besides wood and leather. This is very suspicious; retailers are not supposed to hide vital information such as what makes up their product from potential customers. I couldn’t tell what the shockmounts are made of, what kind of cushioning is used, if the cushions of the seat and ottoman are interchangeable, let alone the stitching, piping and other properties. Heck, I cannot tell if there even ARE any shockmounts in the EMFurn chair. Companies that sell furniture should not be taking a bare-bones approach to their product descriptions, especially high-end ones that sell classic replicas.

Financing Available:

A very attractive trait of EMFurn is that they offer financing support. This shows that they care about all of their prospective customers, not just the ones who readily have $1,000 or more to dish out. An Eames chair replica is always expensive, even the ones that are sold at the lower end of the price spectrum like from Staples. They all approach the $1,000 dollar price. Unlike all the other Eames lounge chair replica sellers, EMFurn has a financing plan which allows the customer to pay small amounts over a certain amount of months to meet the required priced. Currently, the financing option is paying $25 a month, which seems very affordable. I rejoiced upon learning this, as a member of the working class.

Reasonable Pricing & Free Shipping:

At $949 for three wooden veneer choices: rosewood, dark walnut and ashwood and three leather colors: black, brown and white, the price seems very decent. There are very few colors available, but then there are three types of wooden veneers, which is pretty standard. The price isn’t supremely low, as I’d mentioned Staples above and Modern InDesigns in a different review, which charge in the 700-800+ ranges, respectively. It’s also nice that there’s no sales tax for North Americans and standard shipping is free. However, the site makes it clear that the chair will be dropped off at the curb of your driveway or sidewalk, which means you have to carry back to your home with no help from the EMFurn shippers.

I would be extra careful since they list very scarce details about the chair. I don’t know what materials go into the chair, where it was manufactured or for how long I will be warranted. That kind of cancels out the convenience of the price.

More Lies from the Site and Poor Customer Service:

In the About tab, EMFurn declares that as a company they:

“firmly believe that the customer comes before profit and so we place more emphasis on quality of product, quality of service…”

That’s all nice and dandy, but does it hold any truth? Unfortunately it does not. I couldn’t get a hold of any worker. Firstly, there is no chat option, which shows EMFurn is not as customer-centric as it claims to be. If service was a priority, there should be someone to answer questions via chat. As for the lying, the about page also says that someone is available on the phone virtually 24/7. That is a flat-out lie. I called both phone numbers on the website, the one on the contact us page and in the about page. Neither one was answered, mind you this was between the hours of 10-12 pm on a business day, which is a reasonable time. Thus, I am still unaware about the details of the EMFurn Eames lounge chair replica, where it is made and more.

The Verdict:

With little-to-no information about the EMFurn Eames lounge chair replica, I would not recommend buying from here, especially since it’s almost impossible to get a hold of any sales person. EMFurn does have great features like free shipping to US residents, international shipping and no sales tax for North Americans. It also helps you with financing the Eames lounge chair. But the covert way they inform of two types of assembly types and the lack of any service, I cannot laud the EMFurn Eames replica. But judging from the close-ups of the chair in the photos, it exudes a cheap look, which I can make an educated judgment about; it is likely to be made in China. The verdict: buy at your own risk, try to talk to someone to scope out all details before you buy.

Modern InDesigns Review

Modern InDesigns became of interest to me when I was seeking out the Eames Lounge Chair on the internet. I’ve not seen any legit Eames lounge chairs replicas in most furniture stores I frequent, except for some chairs that definitely look influenced by the Eames molded plastic woodleg side chair. They would have a similarly-shaped body. Anyway, as for the Eames lounge chair replica, some of my midcentury enthusiasts suggested I check out Modern InDesigns and here are my findings:

Good Price… Questionable Quality

What attracted me to this site the most is the pricing, which I consider one of the most important aspects of a purchase if not THE most. They offer all of their Eames Lounge chair replicas for only $895. A chair and ottoman for under $900 sounded like a great deal. For aniline leather you pay only $49 more. This seemed almost too good to be true.  And it was! First I was thrown off by how little was on the product page. Simplicity is great and all, but there needs to be more facts about the chair’s specifications and materials. After all, $900 is reasonable for the Eames chair replica, but a high price and an investment nonetheless.

There’s no information about the shock mounts (are ANY even included?), no mentions of a tilt (this IS supposed to be a lounge chair), no info on the cushioning or foam, nothing on the swivel, assemblage pieces, buttons. It doesn’t even declare anywhere whether their replica is a Herman Miller or a Vitro. The lack of information about their particular model is very problematic. Yet in the intro about this chair, it uses typical marketing rhetoric like “timeless,” “iconic,” and “highest quality material.” But how is that so if the product page cannot support this with any facts besides that it uses Italian leather, plywood and steel? Most Eames lounge chair fans already know about those 3 materials; they are the core of these chairs. Basically, from the lack of details, you can make an educated guess that the quality is subpar and they probably don’t use Velcro, memory foam or any other quality materials as aforesaid.

Lack of Communication

If you are on the prowl for an Eames lounge chair, you probably need to speak with a representative from the sales department, either on phone or via chat. Most companies I’ve come across in this market offer these means of assisting current or prospective customers. But Modern InDesigns offers no chat, so if you need answers immediately, there’s no avail. I tried emailing them and it took 3 days for them to respond to my simple questions of where there materials are from, and what makes up their Eames lounge chair replica. They pretty much beat around the bush in their response, saying the chair was made in “Asia.” That’s marketing talk for China. Surprise, surprise. They don’t offer silicone shock mounts like I feared and the wooden veneer is only on the exterior. They pretty much beat around the bush and did not respond to my other questions. So I tried to call them.

The website says they’re in operation from 10-6 pm. I work full-time from 9-6 but managed to squeeze in this phone call. No one answered the phone. What kind of business are they running? After having scoured the internet, I found reviews of other people who have experienced similar poor customer service, ie, with no one answering phones. That’s quite unacceptable, but what really struck me as a red flag was the people complaining about the non-existent customer service on the phone. These complaints came from paying customers!! The fact that there’s no customer service via the phone is understandable, heck, the mighty Amazon.com doesn’t even offer this. But if this is the case, it should be advertised as such. Instead, the Modern InDesign site conveys their phone service very misleadingly.  

Good Shipping and Delivery

As for the shipping and delivery, I was impressed. Their Eames lounge replica ships in only 3 days in the US with no taxes. There’s also no re-stocking fees for returns. They don’t offer free shipping though. Unfortunately, most companies don’t.

You Better Love Your Chair before You Get it: Difficulties With Cancellations

If you bought an Eames Lounge chair from this company and don’t absolutely love it, you’re in trouble, if you decided to cancel your order, that is. Here’s a Catch-22: the site states that all cancellations must be authorized in advance, and that this requires an assessment from a representative, which means you must contact Modern InDesigns to cancel the order. The assessment of the cancellation must be confirmed BEFORE the Eames lounge chair is processed and shipped, otherwise, the customer will incur the all inbound and outbound shipping fees. The quickest contact option to ensure this is done before the chair gets processed and shipped is by calling the company, but if no one answers the phone, or no one answers in a timely manner, who can this be done? It most likely cannot be done.

Any customer, whether they’re buying or cancelling should be treated fairly and not be placed in a Catch-22 situation. Cancelling an item, even an Eames lounge chair replica should not be this complicated.

The Chair Itself

If you’ve not read my analysis on quality, understand that the product page of the Eames lounge chair replica is very terse and lacking in details. Most companies accentuate the most minor of details if it posits their product in a good light. For the most marketed product under their midcentury collection/tab on the website, Modern InDesigns sure has a suspiciously reserved way of displaying it in that it does not mention crucial details and materials.  The cushioning on this chair and ottoman is mediocre, in that it is made of a cheap material. The cushion of the seat and ottoman are different sizes and are not interchangeable. There’s no mention of a swivel and other important details (refer to the Good Price… Questionable Quality section.) With the lack of specifications, it’s safe to assume this chair does not swivel, nor does it share the same specifications of the original lounge chair.

The Verdict

There’s a lot that Modern InDesigns provides, service-wise and price-wise that I find attractive, like the quick shipping and no taxes, and the low price of $895. However, the website’s lackluster and information-lacking product page is a huge turn-off for me. The silence on some major materials speaks volumes to me,  that this chair is not of decent value and construction. Also, I appreciate companies that are more open about themselves. With Modern InDesigns, I was unable to find anything about them, aside from their being a midcentury furniture replica company that ships across the USA. I have no idea when they began business, nor what makes them unique. They have no showroom, they’re strictly e-commerce, but what really boggles me is they offer NO SWATCHES!! I checked their site map and there was no “swatches” or “samples” keywords. Sorry, but how are customers to make educated decisions about the Modern InDesigns Eames lounge chair or any other furniture with no swatches, free or otherwise. They certainly won’t be able to from the poor product descriptions and photos. The verdict is: not worth it. As a paying customer, I shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to get basic info and a sample of the materials. The low price of their Eames Lounge chair replica speaks for itself.