Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Chair.....

 

....The game changer!

 THE EAMES RAR ROCKER
 


Just before Christmas I was contacted by the online retailer One Kings Lane, and asked to do a post about a statement chair in my home...
At the time I thought I'd get an old chair and do it up, but faith would have it that this sparked a big change in my ever evolving taste for design....

 

On our Christmas break in Norway, I spent a lot of time perusing Norwegian interior magazines and discovered some wonderful and inspiring Scandinavian interior blogs, and there was one piece of furniture that kept popping out of the pages at me:

The Eames RAR rocker...

I admit it: I knew nothing about this chair, only that I fell in love with it straight away!
But it was not in my usual taste, and I figured it would also be beyond my reach financially, so I simply put it to the back of my mind as one of those unachievable dreams....
 

 



But it must have been faith, because a few days after we got back to the UK, when I was out doing some guilt free shopping with a fist-full of gift vouchers: There it was!!
...and at a wonderful bargain price!!
My heart started beating so fast, I had to leave the shop to get some fresh air....

Actually I already had about as many chairs as our little home could take...and I knew that Mr would "kill me" if I came home with another chair...So with a heavy heart I left it behind and headed home...

But that night the chair was haunting my dreams, and by the time I woke up the next morning, I had decided: If the chair was still there on my birthday (3 days away), I would get it!! (I figured that Mr could not get angry with me for treating myself on my BIRTHDAY!!!)

So three days later, with my heart in my hands, I went back....and, YES! There it was, waiting for me!!
OOOOH THE JOY!!

My friend gave me a lift back home with my price, and I placed my new soul-mate the only place it would fit, then sat down and stared at it....




No, it wasn't  in my usual taste (my usual taste being oldie-worldly and antiques)....but somehow it didn't look out of place...
In fact, if that chair had feelings, I truly believe it felt right at home straight away!!

I knew then, that this would be the chair that would change the way I thought about décor in my home...



Like I said: I had no idea what sort of chair this was...only that I loved it!!



I loved its simplicity, its curvy lines, the whiter than white plastic(!!) and the aluminium wire base(that reminded me of the Eiffel tower and our honeymoon)...



...I loved the playful shape and functionality of the rockers...



I just loved it!!

But after doing some research through the  One kings lane home décor resource site I realised why this chair had "spoken to me".


The Eames RAR plastic rocker is an iconic classic designed by the golden couple of Mid-century American design, Charles and Ray Eames...

The more I found out about this amazingly creative husband and wife duo and their designs, the more my instant affections for this chair started making sense:

Their names have become synonymous with one of the most important and influential movements within architecture and design, that took place in California between 1930- 1963...
There was a boom of creativity amongst a large group of artist, designers ,film makers and stylists, inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and elements of art deco and art nouveau, that over time merged into a new design aesthetic...




No wonder it appealed to my Scandinavian nature...and I have always had a passion for the geometric lines in Art deco design...

Charles and Ray Eames lead the way and took full advantage of  the development of new technologies and materials during World war 2, and they pioneered  the use of plywood and fibreglass in furniture design.
 
 
The Eames moulded plastic chair was originally designed in metal for a prototype entry to the 1948 Low cost furniture design competition organized by the Museum of Modern art.
In 1950 the Eames' changed it to fibre-glass, but Ray was never  happy with this finish, and unfortunately didn't live to see the matte finish he had envisioned, thanks to the advances of materials like recyclable polypropylene...

The original  was THE VERY FIRST industrially produced plastic chair,
and in the words of Eames Demetrios (Charles' grandson):

"The chair that Charles and Ray were designing, is the chair that's made tomorrow"



The Eames' , true to their Scandinavian influences, focused on usability and functionalism in their designs, and the moulded plastic armchair was a prime example of this: With a range of different wire bases, they designed a chair that was versatile around the home as well as for the office.



My RAR plastic rocker is one of these evolutions of that first moulded fibreglass that the Eames' designed...

Since 1956, the Eames's iconic chairs (like their 670 Lounge chair: THE icon of modern American design) has been produced and sold by Herman Miller, :
And so reads their introduction on the Herman Miller store website:

"Plastic, plywood,Play...The fertile, curious minds of Charles and Ray Eames invented the modern American furniture vocabulary."



So my Eames RAR plastic Rocker symbolises to me,
 not only a change in my décor taste, but also how the Scandinavian sensibilities of mid century design helped influence a change in the way furniture was designed and manufactured forever,
 through  Charles and Ray Eames visions and persistence, making design more accessible to people!



 The Eames' never stopped innovating and making the world a more beautiful and comfortable place...including my front room!

I feel like I have discovered another room in my aesthetic universe...a room that takes me back to a childhood filled with mass produced functional furniture...
...growing up in Norway in the 70's, I have never really appreciated the beauty of the design that surrounded me...
Until this Chair came into my life...

So thank you Eames, for opening my minds eye to the nostalgia of mid-century design...

Have you got a piece of furniture that has changed your perception of beauty and home décor??

xxx
June
 
 

1 comment:

Anmol Garg said...

Very Nice Collection. vintage chair
wedding tree
eames chair for Weddings, Corporate Events or Shows.

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