However, if you are hoping to think a bit more unique and special Manhattan Home Design can be exactly what you need:
Eames Lounge Chair: The Result of Charles Eames Passion for Design
The Eames Lounge chair was designed in 1956 by Charles Eames. Charles – together with his wife, Ray – was a champion of mid century modern design, helping to herald the new democratic movement into American homes in a myriad of different ways. While he became best known for his architectural and furniture work, he also experimented in photography, textile design, cinema and even helped in the war effort, creating molded plywood leg splints for injured WWII soldiers. Looking back, it is easy to single out this utilitarian invention as the precursor to the forthcoming iconic Eames Lounge Chair.
In fact, even the leg splints betray Charles’ fondness for biodynamic form and sculptural elements. Really, in everything he created, his driving design principle was accessibility without sacrificing aesthetics. He was not an elitist and did not design only for the rich (though the wealthy worshipped at his feet). No, he strove to reach the middle class as well and hoped to impart both form and function into the suburban dream home.
Plastics and plywood were the Eames’ preferred material of choice. In the early 1940s, the couple began collaborating with Eero Saarinen (of Tulip Table fame) on a group of wood furnishings to enter into the Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Design in Home Furnishing” competition, which the talented trio of artists swiftly won. This group of wood furniture included some molded plywood chairs, the first glimpse into the Eames’ ingenuity with materials.
The couple moved to Los Angeles soon after their MoMA design award win and began their plywood experimentation in earnest. Using the information they’d learned from their work with the military earlier on, the couple prototyped a number of plywood based sculptural chairs with varying degrees of disappointing results. But as in all aspects of life, there is failure until there is a success and finally, with the help of the Herman Miller Company in Michigan, the original Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman was born. Initially called the ECW (Eames Chair Wood), the plywood and leather chair is still in production today and has become the jewel in the mid century modern furniture crown, nowadays the iconic Emaes Lounge Chair.
The Eames Lounge Chair was first introduced to the world on November 14th, 1956 – on television! Charles and Ray unveiled their latest creation on the NBC show “Home” hosted by Arlene Francis in front of a live audience, above the sound of swelling violins, on view only after it came through parting curtains. Dramatic, sure, but also delightful and fun. A fitting tribute to the chair.
The Eames Lounge Chair became a symbol of the prosperity and domesticity of the 1950s. Its image was used in any number of ways, like in a 1956 print ad in US News and World Report for an electronics company asking the question, “How soon can you enjoy on-the-wall television?” In the ad, a man leans back in his Eames Lounge Chair with both feet propped on the ottoman, absentmindedly puffing on his pipe while watching television attached to the wall. The company wanted to create an atmosphere of hope in the future, of technological advancement and prosperity. It is no coincidence that marketing team chose the Eames Lounge Chair over any others. Out of his ingenuity and passion for design, Eames created an icon.
To talk now about the chair itself – the Eames Lounge Chair is unabashedly comfortable. The chair’s body is languid and relaxed; it’s definitely had a glass of red wine to take the edge off. Quite literally, actually. The Eames is all rounded corners and curving lines. It invites you to sit in it, really sit in it; stretch your legs out and run your hands down its arms. It’s seductive. The sumptuous leather paired with the gleaming plywood is pure luxury, both visually and tactilely. This high-low dichotomy – rich, tufted leather paired with common, economical plywood – is the exact thing Eames had been aiming for all along. He felt beautiful aesthetics were of paramount importance in design but also knew he would never pander to one particular group of people. His joy for design was infectious and the entire country fully embraced his ideas and creations.
Eames was serious about creating something lasting, something user friendly and something adaptable. Each leather cushion is fastened to the chair’s shell by Velcro and metal clasps for easy cleaning and changing out sections as necessary. Eames knew these were chairs that were going to be used, not looked at. He made them sturdy and strong but never sacrificed aesthetics.
After creating the Lounge Chair to unrivaled success, Eames went on to produce a number of other iconic mid century modern furniture pieces like the plastic shell office chairs that fit as seamlessly into a middle school counselor’s office as they do a New York City marketing office. That’s the beauty in Eames’ designs. He knew how to create simple, classic pieces of furniture that enhanced its environment, rather than overwhelm it. The couple also responded to the housing shortage crisis that came on just after the war ended by creating a “Case Study House” wherein a home could be built easily and economically using builder’s grade materials. The Eames’ home boasted large expanses of space (ushering in the era of the open floor plan) and corrugated steel roofing. Yet another example of the Eames’ ability to see the beauty in the basics.
Eames famously said that he wanted the Eames Lounge Chair to mimic the look and feel of “a well-used first baseman’s mitt”. Is there a more egalitarian, all-American analogy to be made for his design? Eames’ passion for design is evident in his predilection for experimentation, in his joy for helping others, in his ability to solve a crisis with grace and utility and in his continually curious mind. His interests were wide-ranging and so were his abilities. And of course, while he created a number of iconic, timeless pieces of furniture we still adore today, the Eames Lounge Chair completely embodies the fundamental design principles of the era, all wrapped up in plywood and leather.
You can see the Eames lounge chair at the MOMA, but you can also have an Eames lounge chair replica in your house. Imagine the perfect mid century modern Upper East Side loft that would make Don Draper weep into his whiskey, wouldn’t it be better with an Eames lounge chair reproduction. The natural light is pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Park, the hardwood floors are gleaming and the vast expanse of white walls are just begging for a de Kooning. You can’t wait to have guests over to christen the wet bar but first – furniture. How do you create a livable, comfortable space that enhances the clean lines of your digs rather than overwhelm or inhibit the design? Luckily, the mid century modern aesthetic celebrates comfort, simple luxury and high quality, just like the Eames lounge chair reproduction does.
The couch is arguably the most important and most used piece in any mid century modern apartment. It is an investment that gets incredible cost-per-use and needs to be comfortable, durable and subtly stylish. The white Le Corbusier Sofa bed fits all three criteria and with a pleasingly reasonable price tag to boot, it will be a great companion for the Eames lounge chair reproduction. The genuine Italian leather is a soft and supple dream and the stainless steel finishes perfectly offset the bright white fabric. The added bonus is, of course, the ability to make the sofa into a bed besides the Eames lounge chair replica and with space at a premium in New York City, multi-purpose pieces are not only welcome, but essential. A small (but mighty) detail of the couch is how well designed the back of it is (it may even be cooler than the front!), just like the Eames lounge chair replica looks good from every angle. The careful, complete consideration of the functionality and aesthetics of a piece of furniture is a hallmark of mid century modern design. To shove the couch against a wall would be a cardinal sin of mid century modern design principles. No, the furniture must float just so in a space to make its presence known without being shouty; Being this, one of the strong points of the Eames lounge chair replica.
If the couch is the grounding wire of the living room, then the Moma’s Eames lounge chair is the firecracker. And when I say Eames lounge chair, I mean Eames lounge Chair reproduction (unless you’re Don Draper, I guess). The Eames lounge chair reproduction is the sexiest girl at the bar because she looks self-assured and genuine, not fussy and try-hard. The Eames lounge chair replica is all rounded, aerodynamic lines and luxurious, supple leather. Designed in the 1950’s by Charles and Ray Eames to mimic the look and feel of a “well used first baseman’s mitt,” the chair has come to embody the fundamental design principles of the era. Juxtaposing a black leather/Palisander wood Eames lounge chair with the white Le Corbusier couch in the living room would be an elegant, striking pairing sure to make even the most jaded New Yorker swoon.
And so, when you’re sitting in your Eames lounge chair replica, about to dig in to some Kurt Vonnegut, you’ll need light to read by, of course. And where floor lamps are concerned, there’s only one option. The Arco lamp reproduction, what a scene-stealer. The Arco lamp replica is yet another example of the mid century modern designer elevating both form and function to top billing when creating furniture. Like the Eames lounge chair reproduction, the Arco lamp is an immediately recognizable mid century modern staple and is on the wish list of every design junkie in New York. The Carrara Italian marble base gives the Arco lamp replica an extra boost of luxury, understated and sexy. The lamp’s dramatic arch is a dynamic, graceful slash through the air – it becomes a piece of art the way a Calder mobile would. Pairing beautifully with the Eames lounge chair reproduction.
To complete the living room set up, you’ll need only a pair of Barcelona chair reproductions directly opposite the couch, alongside the Eames lounge chair reproduction and a Tribeca coffee table between. The Barcelona chair embodies the famous “less is more” maxim with its clean lines and low profile, making it an ideal seating solution for a mid century modern living room. With its tufted leather and sleek, slightly curved stainless steel base, the Barcelona chair replica is aerodynamic and understated. The L-shaped design of the Barcelona chair replica mirrors the couches own, and creates an inviting and aesthetically pleasing space. The coffee tables glass top adds another layer of texture and material, creating depth of space.
The tulip table with four Saturn dining chairs is a cheery, playful solution to a mid century modern apartment dining needs. The design of the table and chairs is at once both retro and futuristic (you could see the set in the Brady Bunch home or on the Jetsons). These pieces are of classic design, blending easily into the mid century modern home. Plus, while a dining room table is functional and necessary, the set demands little space, making it an obvious choice for a NYC apartment. Finish off the dining area with an Artichoke Chandelier (designed by Poul Henningsen in 1958) to create a truly inspiring mid century modern vignette.
For the bedroom, the Oliver side table is a classic mid century modern piece for a bedside table. Add a Spotlight table lamp to create an industrial-but-warm look to complement a low profile bed frame decked out in crisp white linens (with maybe a geometrically mod throw pillow or two). A punchy orange Saarinen Womb Lounge Chair and Ottoman is an obvious addition to the bedroom – the name says it all! Comfort and serenity is paramount in a bedroom and the Womb Lounge Chair is a perfectly luxurious way to achieve both.
Clutter is a mid century modern no-no, so foyer and hallway storage solutions are a must. The Vive Console table solves the problem of errant gloves, scarves, bags and keys while still upholding the basic principles of the classic mid century modern apartment (which is especially helpful if it’s the first piece of furniture you see when you walk into a home, setting a tone for the rest of the space).
The mid century modern design lover endeavors to design an apartment where every piece of furniture, every painting and every detail is beautiful, meaningful and necessary. That’s not to say a mid century modern home lacks personality or warmth. No, the mid century design aesthetic is joyful and sincere. There’s no place for irony or indifference and there’s no such thing as form over function. The vibe is relaxed and easy. With classic pieces like the Le Corbusier couch, the Eames lounge chair replica, the Arco light reproduction, the Tulip table and the Saarinen Womb Lounge chair filling out your floor plan, your apartment is just that: relaxed and easy. In other words – cool. Now, water the fiddle leaf fig by the window and open that bottle of scotch. It’s time to enjoy your newly appointed pad.
We’ve been missing one of our very favorite television shows since its final episode aired back in October. What Not to Wear was once a weekly ritual and thank goodness for reruns. Yes, the transformation of the contestants was amazing to see, but we love applying all of Stacy and Clinton’s tips to our own fashion. One of our favorite tidbits from What Not to Wear is this… Color, Texture, Pattern and Shine add visual interest. Funny thing is this is applicable to so much more than fashion. Pay attention as we apply Stacy and Clinton’s rule to home decor and furnishings.
Simply put, every room should have some color that stands out and makes a statement. Whether you choose rich jewel tones, a soft pastel palette, warm earth tones or high contrast primary colors, you must have some color to bring your room to life. Carefully select which piece(s) you wish to bring in your pop(s) of color. These do not necessarily have to match, but should go well together. (Another What Not to Wear tip!) Once you have chosen these statement pieces, you will want to select some neutral colored items to fill in the rest of your room, so you don’t overdo it. Remember, you can always bring in more color with your finishing touches, using pillows, vases, and various accents.
The feeling of a room can change dramatically depending on the texture of the pieces of furniture and accents. Think about the difference between a room with a leather sofa, a low pile rug, chrome and glass side tables and sleek lighting, and a room with a cushy sofa, shag rug, a wooden coffee table and soft lighting. Texture can completely change the feel of your room, making it feel cool, warm, elegant or casual. You’ll need to decide which feeling you wish to evoke in your room and choose pieces accordingly. Just try to experiment and mix things up a bit. The idea is to combine various textures to create interest and dimension.
Something Stacy and Clinton say about pattern holds true to home decorating. Contradictory to what we were taught, you are not limited to only one pattern. Revolutionary, we know! Again, more than one pattern is fine, even recommended, as long as the patterns go together. You probably do not want to choose two bold patterns, but combining a bold pattern with a more subdued one that compliments it is a great idea. You can apply this to your room by choosing one main patterned piece, like a rug or maybe some great pillows. Then add more complimentary pattern with a chair or maybe a piece of art. The possibilities are endless, and there is no wrong way to combine patterns as long as they go together. Patterns are a great way to show some personality, so think about what represents you.
You can bring a room to life with items that have a little bit of shine, whether they are a large piece like a dining table or smaller accent pieces such as candelabras and frames. The element of shine brings richness to your room depending on the look you are trying to achieve. You may choose gold for a little glamour, chrome for a bit of edge, high gloss for a mod feel or glass for its translucent gleam. We like to think of adding shine as you would a piece of jewelry. You do not want to add too much, but in moderation, shine can dress up a room or add a playful touch. You can even mix it up as long as you choose complimentary pieces.
Design experts share insights on the hot home decor looks for 2015 — and the 2014 trends to phase out.
Today, Zillow Digs announced the top five home design trends for 2015 — and the four soon-to-be forgotten fads of 2014. The results were published in the 2015 Zillow Digs Home Trend Forecast, a one-of-a-kind report that combines data from a survey of leading interior design experts and an analysis of the most popular photos on Zillow Digs.
Curious to see what trends made the list? Check out the results below!
This retro statement hardware color will make a comeback in 2015 with a new modern twist: bright gold/silver with a sleek finish for extra shine. In 2015, homeowners will no longer be limited to silver or stainless steel fixtures, and will feel free to mix and match finish colors, or go bold with all gold.
Cowhide is the ideal accent texture for 2015’s modern, yet approachable design aesthetic. Elements of cowhide will find their way into pillows, rugs, throw blankets and even artwork this coming year.
Photo Credit: Wallpaper
“Wallpaper is coming back in a big way,” says Zillow Digs designer Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors. From digital prints to textured wall coverings, this trend is primed and ready to take off in 2015.
Blue will be the most popular accent color and is the perfect complement to Marsala, the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year. “Pops of indigo blue or deep navy will become a staple in home design this year, as their deep natural hues become extra vibrant against warm earth tones like Marsala,” says Zillow Digs home design expert Kerrie Kelly.
Mid-century modern elements will weave their way into 2015 home decor — from architecture to furniture — and will be one of the biggest up-and-coming design styles for 2015. Zillow Digs experts advise homeowners to be careful when integrating into homes — the trend is great for inspiration, but shouldn’t take over the house.
Want to get started on your 2015 home design inspiration? Check out some of our favorite photos of the trends on Manhattan Home Design today!
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, was an extremely influential architect, urban planner and interior designer. His body of work spans five decades and three continents, and he continues to be viewed as one of the pioneers of Modernist architecture. He is most famous for his grand and sweeping works, such as his so-called City of Tomorrow, an ambitious and even whimsical city design that saw the city’s central district organized into identical cross-shaped skyscrapers divided by vast, meandering gardens. In Le Corbusier’s vision, the entire city would be connected by an underground network of roads and trains, and the large, broad tops of the skyscrapers would allow for aircraft to take off and land between them.
However, amid the lasting impressions left by such grand visions, it is often all but forgotten that Le Corbusier was also an extremely accomplished designer of modern furniture. He believed that architecture was the art and science of creating livable environments, from the largest cities to the smallest end-tables. He also felt strongly that all objects within a home were first and foremost to be practical, and that beauty would proceed naturally from functionality. He divided furniture into three classes: type-needs, type-functions and human-limb objects, the last of which he described as follows:
The human-limb object is a docile servant. A good servant is discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free. Certainly, works of art are tools, beautiful tools. And long live the good taste manifested by choice, subtlety, proportion, and harmony.
These beliefs led him to create the strikingly geometrical and elegantly understated furniture that have become icons of modern interior design.
You can purchase a stunning replica of Le Corbusiers LC5 sofa online at Manhattan Home Design, or come in and see one for yourself at our Manhattan showroom:
325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018
We hope to see you there!
Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese American artist, landscape architect and interior designer whose works remain among the most striking, iconic and influential examples of Mid-Century Modern interior design. Born in 1904, Noguchi began his career in the 1920′s, and worked steadily until his death in 1988… a period of over 60 years.
Noguchi’s background in sculpture and landscape architecture imbued his interior design work with strong elements of the natural world. He was an influential figure in an emerging artistic and architectural movement of the 1930′s known as Biomorphism, which finds inspiration for artistic and functional objects in naturally occurring patterns and the morphology of living organisms. At a time when much of modern architecture and interior design featured mostly hard angles and tight geometries, Isamu Noguchi’s sculptures and furniture more often employed soft edges, delicate curves and gently sloping forms.
This revolutionary design ethos is perhaps best exemplified in his iconic Noguchi Table, which features a round-edged triangular glass top perched upon two identical interlocking curved forms that serve as a base. Originally designed for Herman Miller in 1947, the Noguchi Table has been such a wild success that original 1947 tables in Cherry are rare and highly-prized among collectors, and sell for tens of thousands at high-end auctions. Luckily, the popularity of the design is such that countless reproductions are still being manufactured today, and are affordable for virtually any household.
Manhattan Home Design’s top-quality Noguchi Table reproduction is true to the original design specifications in every aspect. They are available for purchase online through www.ManhattanHomeDesign.com, or you can come inspect one in person, in our Manhattan showroom:
325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018
We hope to see you there soon!