Monday, April 14, 2008

Reinventing

It took most of my Saturday to build up the courage to buy it, arrange a vehicle to move it and then get it safely installed in my living room, but I finally managed to overcome my inertia and indecision and acquire a new piece of living room furniture.





Although they’re trendy at the moment, I’ve wanted one ever since I was a little boy. Maybe I saw one on a rerun of some cool black and white 60s TV show, in a groovy spy’s penthouse or the lair of some evil criminal mastermind, and it just got lodged in my brain as the epitome of glamour and sophistication. But I resisted getting one, thinking that it would look out of place in the classical gentleman’s club look of my living room.


However I haven’t been able to find anything else that would really work, and the old armchair had just crossed over from “student digs chic” to “crack house chic”…





… so I bit the bullet and bought the Eames lounge.


In the first hours after I got it, I had the usual feeling of “Gaaah! I just spent six weeks’ mortgage payments on an armchair!” But now the more I look at it, the more I marvel at it.


You see, the Eames lounge is a chair stripped back to its basic concept and then reinvented. A normal armchair can be banged together by any old idiot with half a dozen basic tools, covering mistakes or oversights as he goes with a few nails or extra padding or a fold of material. The Eames lounge requires precision machining, perfectly formed plywood panels and accurate balancing on its single leg. It’s a leather-upholstered monument to modern creativity, technology and craftsmanship. It sits next to my old furniture like a scalpel next to a collection of primitive bone knives.


Even though this chair cost two to three times more than a traditional leather armchair, it’s actually a comparatively inexpensive Chinese knockoff of the 1956 original. It’s possible to buy genuine licensed new Eames lounges manufactured by Herman Miller (the company contracted by Ray and Charles Eames to build them), but that runs to around $7,500. And frankly, I may be a snob, but I’m not crazy.

8 Comments:

Blogger phaedrus said...

Krista just turned green.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

This could be dangerous: will there be enough left in the world upon which to bestow your dry-as-a-martini-in-the-Sahara wit?

I can't wait to sit on it - or will I be forever relegated to the 'uni student' couch?

And is it a coincidence that you bought it just after Flatmate moved out?

12:16 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I can't wait to sit on it - or will I be forever relegated to the 'uni student' couch?

I am sufficiently charitable to allow others to experience the glory of the Eames chair, providing they do not wear pointy trousers or use uncouth language while seated in it.

And is it a coincidence that you bought it just after Flatmate moved out?

LIES! LIES AND ASPERSIONS!

1:15 PM  
Anonymous The Worst of Perth said...

You could definitely rule The International Fabric Institute from that chair.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

All I need now is a fluufy white cat and a secret lair inside the crater of a volcano.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous ninjamoeba said...

One wonders if it is as good as the real one. I'd like it, sure, but I'd always be wondering…

12:49 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

The padding is a little thinner than on an authentic Eames chair, but otherwise it seems to be a perfect copy.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous ninjamoeba said...

oh capital. I am now poking around ebay.

1:05 PM  

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