Loungin 101

If you love James Bond (Yeah, I’m talking about Sean Connery), Arrested Development, and Adult Swim, I’m going to assume you already know about Archer. If not (HURRY!) look for it on FX, Netflix or buy it on Amazon… It’s GREAT!

If I didn’t love Archer so much I wouldn’t cut them any slack for their total disregard of reality and using a Herman Miller Eames 670 lounge as a desk chair… yes, I know I used the word REALITY in describing a cartoon.

I figured this would be a great opportunity to discuss Charles and Ray Eames 670 Lounge chair since it’s probably the MOST used mid century modern chair in movies, television, and commercials… In constant production since 1956, the Eames 670 Lounge and 671 Ottoman are probably one of the most iconic and popular pieces of mid century design next to the Saarinen Womb Chair and Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair. I don’t know many people who would pass up owning one since it’s comfort and beauty appeals to a wide range of people’s tastes and body types.

Originally produced in black and brown leather with a Brazilian Rosewood veneer.  This version is highly coveted for it’s rareness since this version was discontinued due to the embargo restricting the use of the endangered wood. The most rare are limited custom versions from the 1960′s that were done blue and green leather.  Now produced in walnut, cherry, ash and a sustainable palisander and a variety of colors of leather from Herman Miller.

Originally these were filled with down and duck feathers. Then sometime in the 1960′s-1970′s foam and down was used. Fiberfill and foam has been used since then.  The cushion and leather wears quite differently with the different interior.  The differences in comfort is subjective and a personal preference.

A vintage one from the 1950′s-early 1970′s (depending on their age, condition, type of wood and interior filling) can fetch anywhere from $1000-$7000.  Later 1970′s – 1990′s ones will go for $1000-$5000.  Purchasing a new one will run about $4500-$6000.  Buying a older vintage model makes a pretty good investment considering there aren’t that many things in life where the value stays relatively close to the purchase price.

One way to help discern the differences of the age (and authenticity) of the chair and ottoman is by the Herman Miller tag on the underside of the seat and ottoman. The oldest are the round version that were used from 1956-1970.  After that the rectangular black label was used until the 1990′s which was then replaced with the rectangular silver tag.

To the untrained eye all Eames lounges look alike.  There are even some people who can’t tell the difference between an Eames and Plycraft lounge (or a knockoff for that matter…) WHICH IS CRAZY!  Vintage models are not all the same and going vintage is not for everyone.  There are pluses and minuses of going vintage. My advice would be at the end of the day is, do your research, be informed, be honest about what it is you want and what you are getting, because if you want something perfect and unblemished vintage may not be the route for you, but keep in mind the “value” may not be as much as an older one, unless you hold on to it for 50 more years. Just do yourself a favor and enjoy this chair.  There’s nothing worse than having furniture and not using it, being in fear of wearing it out…  ugh that’s the worst! use it, enjoy it, love it! I mean, c’mon there has got to be something said about a design that has not stopped being produced in 56 years.  This is THE CHAIR that was designed to sit (LIVE) in.