Honestly, I don’t think much of the version of the Eames Lounge that Herman Miller produces today. The veneers feel cheap and inauthentic, the matte leather was such an odd contrast to the plastic-y wood, and they are obviously grossly overpriced. I spent the spring hunting down a vintage lounge that had seen better days, but it was a rosewood frame and chocolate leather. It’s rough around the edges but I’d take it over any of the newer lounges. Or so I thought. I had to swallow some of my opinions when I saw this new model for the first time
This all black version is actually fairly controversial. Many feel the all-black veneer on the back strips the character from the design, but the move away from walnut and palisander is what makes this design work for me. It’s not a flat finish; you can see the grain in wood and the solid finish actually make it more prominent than in the other veneers and makes it feel both natural and cold at the same time. All the sudden my biggest hesitation was removed, and it also allowed for this amazing, sleek, monochromatic look. The matte leather compliments the sleek veneer so well. If the bat mobile was a chair, it would be this. There’s not much I can say about the design of this chair that hasn’t already been said by countless other more well-informed and sophisticated people. It’s perfectly balanced, thoughtfully crafted and extremely comfortable. So Brown Eames sits up in the study, where I go to sit and think and stare off into the distance, and Black Eames sits near the doorway so everyone who enters can squeal.