The Eames plastic chair is a design classic. It’s been in production since 1950 and looks just as fresh and exciting now as it did back then.
According to its designer, Charles Eames: “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose”.
He certainly achieved that with his classic plastic chair, which effortlessly combines practicality and style. The plastic seat is designed to mould itself to your shape, yet the elegant little legs keep it looking light and graceful.
In recent years I’ve fallen in love with the mid-century look. It still feels fresh and exciting, yet it’s simple enough to sit well alongside designs from other periods. In my house I combine an original Ercol sideboard and a mid-century inspired sofa with bits of simple furniture from the nineteenth century and even IKEA. It’s a mix that works.
But I’m yet to own an Eames plastic chair.
Like all design classics, the Eames chair, has inspired lots of imitations. Imitation is the best form of flattery – especially if it means that those of us with smaller budgets also get to enjoy a little bit of design history in our homes.
Where do you start to find one? With so many Eames-inspired plastic chairs out there it’s hard to know where to start looking. Which is where a site like Lionshome is incredibly helpful. Type ‘Eames chair’ into their search and they’ll instantly curate a collection for you to choose from. So much easier than trawling though lots of magazines and web searches.
When I typed in Eames plastic chairs, the first thing I found were the real things. The original design by Charles Eames, manufactured by Vitra, who’ve been making them since the fifties. They’re still being made to the same design. It’s been tweaked a little – the original fibre-glass reinforced polyester resin has been replaced with modern polypropylene – but it’s still essentially the same.
It can be yours, admittedly for quite a hefty price tag of between £300-400. For one chair.
Luckily, there are a lot of Eames-inspired alternatives out there for less than £100. The Lionshome site gathers them together so you can choose between the classic original and the cheaper versions, like this one (£57.50):
Or you could try one with metal legs (£57.50):
Do you love Eames-inspired chairs? Would you choose the original (and probably best) or something more affordable?
This post was written in collaboration with Lionshome Home and Living. All words and ideas are my own.