Tabula Rasa's Guide to buying the Charles Eames Style Lounge Chair and Ottoman April 22 2015

If you have decided that now is the time to own your very own classic Eames Lounge chair, you probably did not realise how difficult it is to find a high quality faithful reproduction. There are many retailers that offer this classic chair, but be careful! This is what we consider are the important things to look out for:

(1) Quality of the veneer: Arguably one of the most important areas of the chair. A well crafted veneer looks rich and beautiful, has depth and should also have a rough wooden texture. A good quality veneer is actually quite difficult to achieve which is why many manufacturers opt for lower cost alternatives that look dreadful!  Often the veneer is only one-sided. As with the original design, our premium version of the chair has double sided veneer, and cushions that can be removed and replaced.

 

 

(2) Leather and rippling: The leather we use is a beautifully soft and luxurious full Italian aniline leather.  Upholstery has to be done in such a way to ensure the right degree of rippling around the buttons, adding to the character of the chair. Have a look at our photos and you'll see the ridges of leather radiating from the seat buttons.  This character is obtained by combining a good quality leather with a cushion filling which has the right level of sponginess. This filling is much more expensive so certain factories will use lower quality and cheaper alternatives.  This not only results in a harder cushion but the leather will look stretched and the end result will be less sophisticated. 

 

 

 

(3) Chair Flex:  As with the Herman Miller original model, there should be a slight give in the back of the seat and this is actually quite hard to achieve because of the pressure points beneath the chair arms. It is below the arms where the whole section of the back seat is attached to the chair. When in use the weight of the person is transferred to these joins beneath the arms. Ensuring these are well engineered is vital. Low quality Eames Lounge chairs tend to be very rigid and this is usually because the factory has decided to take an easier and less expensive route. The result is a much less enjoyable seating experience.

 

(4) Proportions: Always check that the height, depth and width are faithful to the original. At some factories we have visited, the arm rests are far too large.  

 

Tabula Rasa's premium lounge chair is the crème de la cream when it comes to chairs that are stylish, comfortable and true to the original design.  Italian Aniline leather is incredibly supple and develops a beautiful patina and softness over time.  

 This features of the premium Tabula Rasa lounge chair include:

  • Upholstered in 100% full grain Aniline Leather imported from Italy.  All parts of the chair are made with the same leather grade including piping and buttons.
  • Braided thread used with Lockstitch (stitch type #301) ensures piping stays in place and seams are long lasting.
  • True to the original, the veneer features 7 ply's of cross-grained engineered wood and is Kiln dry stabilized to prevent any sort of warping or cracking.
  • Wood is finished with a final application of Italian Lacquer.  This protects the wood and gives it the most natural look possible, ensuring the color will not fade over time.  A total of 4 coats are applied.
  • Cushions are made of PU-Injected foam cushions wrapped with a synthetic silk.  This results in a extremely comfortable chair with the highest level of durability.
  • Cushions are removable as per the original design.
  • Rubber Shock Mount plating underneath the arm connects the back and base of the chair allowing for flex.  The wrong shock mounts used will compromise the comfort of this design.
  • Standard Herman Miller-style cast base and back braces comes in powder-coated black with a high polish bright aluminum trim.
  • Chair features 360 degree swivel.

 

If you would like to view our chair or receive more photos of the chair, drop us an e-mail: info@tabularasa-furniture.com or chat with us online.