Herman Miller Eames Plywood Dining Chair, Metal Legs
Independent Rating: Very Good
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The Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair is simply one of the greatest industrial designs in history. That sounds like hyperbole, but it's not. This is the chair that TIME Magazine rated the number one design of the twentieth century. This is the chair that turned Herman Miller from a very well-respected American furniture company into a in international powerhouse.
This is the design that put Charles and Ray Eames on the map, and that became the first entry on their unbelievably accomplished resume. This is the chair that has stood the test of time in schools, homes and office all around the country, that has delighted children and adults alike. A design that has inspired films, books and hundreds of magazine articles. A design that has stood in museums for more than 60 years, and that set the agenda for all the lounge chairs that came after it. A chair that has been constantly produced and constantly bought by an adoring public since it was introduced in 1946 by Herman Miller. This a chair, in short, that is nothing less than extraordinary in the world of design and interior furnishings. It has lasted, it has flourished, and it is available now at Smart Furniture.
And it's available in more than one size and shape. The original Eames Plywood Lounge Chair, noted in their catalogue as the LCW, is still in production and still as popular and available as ever. But as the modern world has changed, there have been new additions to the LCW family. For instance, you can now buy a chair with metal legs. This has the effect of slimming the chair, and making it fit in a little better with a contemporary or very modern room or home. It also gives the chair a bit of contrast in material, which the original doesn't have, being made completely of molded plywood. The original Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair is close to the ground. In fact, many people make the mistake of thinking the traditional LCW notation refers to "low chair" and not "lounge chair." Many people feel a bit awkward trying to sit in the chair when it's lower in proportion to some of their other furniture, like a table or a lamp, and to correct for that possible problem there are now metal leg versions of the chair that get you a bit higher off the ground.
Going even further toward making the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair variable and flexible, there are versions with slightly different angles of recline and slightly varied curves and contours. Every version of the chair is meant to accept and cradle the human form, keeping them comfortable even atop a hard surface like plywood. Overall, Herman Miller and Charles and Ray Eames showed a remarkable willingness to keep experimenting and playing with a design that was so immediately popular and iconic; there are few designers, and few companies, that have the were-withal to adjust an already popular design. But Charles and Ray Eames, and Herman Miller, are cut from a different cloth than the average furniture company, and the average interior and industrial designer.
The willingness of Herman Miller and Charles and Ray Eames to change, re-design, and experiment is rare and special. It's just one of the many reasons Smart Furniture is proud and excited to be working with them; our own emphasis on personal design and customizable products meshes perfectly with their own willingness to put decisions in the hands of the users. For instance, not only is this chair available in one of several versions, you can choose for yourself a variety of color options that all make statements about your chair, your room, and your home of office.
They include Light Ash, Natural Cherry, Walnut, Red Stain, Black Stain, and Santos Palisander. All of these colors and finishes contribute to your own design sensibilities, and can mesh and match with a wide range of rooms, furnishings, color schemes, and styles. The Red Stain, for instance, is an extremely bold color for the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair. It stands out in any room and contributes a deep, vibrant feel. The Light Ash and Natural Cherry are lighter stains that can blend in to neutral toned rooms, and the Walnut and Black Stain are dark, introspective colors. With many versions of the chair, you can even get upholstery!
The Herman Miller Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: DCW., DCW.AV, DCW.OU, DCW.CX, DCW.11, DCW.15, DCW.9N.
Natural face veneers, hardwood inner plies, a 5-ply seat and back, and 8-ply legs.
Overall: 28.75" h x 19.38" w x 21.75" d
Seat height: 18"
Sculpted form. Molding thin sheets of lightweight veneer into gently curved shapes gives the hard material a soft, inviting appearance.
A Shape That Sits Well
Natural contours. The five-ply seat and back are designed to comfortably fit the body.
Shock mounts. Made of resilient natural rubber to absorb movement.
In the early 1940s, when Charles Eames was working on MGM set designs, he would return to the small apartment where he and his wife, Ray, were experimenting with wood-molding techniques that would have profound effects on the design world.
Their discoveries led to a commission from the U.S. Navy in 1942 to develop plywood splints, stretchers, and glider shells molded under heat and pressure.
After World War II, they adapted the technology to create inexpensive, high-quality chairs that could be mass-produced. The process eliminated the extraneous wood needed to connect the seat with the back, which reduced the weight and visual profile of the chair and established a basis for modern furniture design. The chair is in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Read more about the Eames Plywood Chairs' Design Story.
With so many options for customization and personal style, it's no wonder that the Eames Plywood Lounge Chair has remained so popular for so long. Since 1946, this chair has been in continuous production, with no halts of any kind. People are still loving it, still buying it; it's living design history that still infuses American homes, offices and public spaces with style, grace, fun, and bold design. Of course it's in museums, and of course collectors go nuts over it, but the real test of a great chair is the test of time and the test of usage; the LCW passes both with flying colors, and has passed them for more than 60 years, long after its contemporaries have passed into memory or the backrooms of design museums and the houses o collectors. This is a vibrant, exciting, still-relevant chair, and it shows no signs of deterioration or slowing down.
It fits in the home, in the office, in the schoolroom, in the daycare, in the playroom and the den. It fits in the foyer or the reception area, the showroom and the home office. With all the options for customization, it just plain fits. If you're looking for a fantastic piece that mixes an iconic pedigree, a shining reputation, and the functionality you need in a home or an office, then look no further than the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair; your search has come to an end.
This is the most dramatic variation so far, because it changes the height and some of the angles of the original Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair. This one is, obviously, a dining chair, and that meant several changes had to be made to its orientation with the environment. The original LCW is not much fit for dining, as focused as it is on recline, and as low to the ground as it was designed. For the DCW (as opposed to LCW) it was very important to add height and a more even angle of recline, a more even keel for sitting and eating.
Charles and Ray Eames believed that the design of a chair, or of any piece of furniture, should always subscribe to the tenets of the guest/host relationship. Any chair they made, they considered to be a host. The user, the person who owned and sat in and displayed the chair, was the guest. And what do the very best hosts do? They put on an excellent show, the have great taste, and the anticipate the needs of the user. Before the user can even think of what they want, the excellent host provides it with no prompting. And so it is with the Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair.
The DCW is raised, higher off the ground than the LCW. It's raised, of course, to a height appropriate for dining. This is the need of the guest, and the host provides. Another need, however, is a more flat angle of recline. When we eat, we lean forward. When we finish eating, or during a meal, we do sometimes sit back; that's why the DCW doesn't eliminate recline altogether. It strikes a delicate balance between recline and sitting up, and all with a single molded seat and a single molded back. Eating in the DCW, you won't feel confined or limited to a single sitting position, even though the seat never moves. Just one more aspect of the Eames genius.
See the entire Eames Molded Plywood Chair collection.