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10 Ways to Hack a Classic Eames Side Chair

 

When Ray and Charles Eames’ classic molded side chair was first produced, in 1951, it was one of the first industrially-manufactured plastic chairs on the market. The wonder of technology went on to become a much-loved classic—today, it’s enjoying a renewed popularity thanks to the popularity of Mid-Century modernism.

The side chair may be a classic, but it’s also been customized in a hundred different ways. Even the Eameses themselves tried out dozens of variations, adding different bases, “bikini” covers, and horsehair cushions. And since then, many other artists and designers have tried their hands at making a mark on the side chair—from a knit version to a Federal seal version.


Here are some of the most notable variations:

This is original look, made from fiberglass and marked by a simple four-leg base.

Eames Molded Plastic 4-Leg Side Chair (DSX)

Eames Molded Plastic 4-Leg Side Chair (DSX)

The Side Chair also comes with a couple of different appendages. The one on the left has the Eiffel base, followed by the stacking side base, and then the wooden dowel-leg version.

Eames Side Chair with Eiffel base,stacking side base and wooden dowel-leg

The Eameses liked to tool with different types of materials for the same side chair design. In 1951, they introduced the light, but strong, wire mesh version.

Eames Side Chair wire mesh version

This original set of pink bikini chairs with Eiffel bottoms is also great. Did you ever lust after a thing you sit your butt on so much?

Charles & Ray Eames DKR dining chairs

By adding yarn using basic weaving techniques, artist Akira Ishikawa has created her own, softened version of the wire side chair.

Knit-Bombing the Eames Wire Chair

Knit-Bombing the Eames Wire Chair

Some side chairs come with padded seats, like this official option from the 1970s.

eames side chair with with padded seats

You can find quite a few Eames knockoffs on Yadea, too, like this one.

Mid Century Modern EAMES Eiffel Base CHAIR

Mid Century Modern EAMES Eiffel Base CHAIR

But in spite of all the interpretations of the side chair, Herman Miller is still producing the pure, classic version. And it's also producing its own variations. This year, for the first time, the Side Chair is available in molded wood.

Herman Miller Eames Molded Wood Side Chair

Herman Miller Eames Molded Wood Side Chair

Keywords in the article: Eames Side Chair, Eames Molded Wood Side Chair, Mid Century Modern EAMES Eiffel Base CHAIR

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