Art We Love

Design Inspiration: The Eternal Appeal of Eames

More than 75 years after they first arrived in Los Angeles, the modern art and design of Charles and Ray Eames remains a staple of Mid-century style. It’s hard to imagine modern seating or architecture without instantly thinking “Eames!,” yet their lasting creative collaboration was about much more.


(Image: tulips on Eames chair, an original oil painting on canvas by Saatchi Art artist carrie kaufman). See more Art For A Mid-Century Modern Home now…

Apart from their amazingly popular modern furniture, this creative pair made many films, created a multi-screen media installation for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, conceptualized a national aquarium, and designed one of the earliest – and most enchanting – solar powered kinetic sculptures.

Red Eames rocking chairs add the finishing touch to a stylish eclectic porch in West Hollywood. (Image: Design by Sarah Barnard Design / Photography by Chas Metivier, Courtesy of Houzz)

In honor of Charles’s birthday this week, please enjoy a few Eames-embellished interiors we spotted on Houzz, a reminder of how much the Eameses’ everlasting style remains a favorite of modern design lovers everywhere.

An essential element of their layered living room, the original black bird was a piece of American folk art that caught the couple’s eye while traveling. A favorite of Charles and Ray, it appeared regularly in their photos and advertisements.

Bird lovers rejoice! You can find your own at Vitra, who re-editioned it in 2007. (Image: Design and Photo by Read Interiors Ltd, Courtesy of Houzz)

The Eames classic molded plywood chair was praised as the Best Design of the Century by TIME in 1999. What some modern art lovers may not know is that Charles also used his skill and experience molding plywood to help soldiers in the Second World War, when he and Ray were recruited by the United States military to create new lightweight wooden splints and glider shells.

(Image: Design and Photo by Kimberley Bryan, Courtesy of Houzz)

Embodying the best of Mid-century comfort and cool, this Eames signature seat celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016.  Enthusiasts will appreciate this photo-filled post from Eames Office featuring images Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali and other legendary A-listers enjoying this most-loved modern seating…

Part of the permanent collection at MoMA and many other museums around the world, one of the first lounge chairs was gifted to the Eameses’ close friend and creative collaborator, director Billy Wilder. (Image: Design by Right Meets Left Interior Design / Photography by John Dolan Photography, Courtesy of Houzz)

Sporting the clean lines that the Eames design sensibility is known for, the generous proportions of this long and low elliptical beauty make the surfboard table an engaging centerpiece, with lots of room for get-togethers, or for showing off books, art or small sculpture.

(Image: Design by John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA / Photography by Sharon Risedorph, Courtesy of Houzz)

Fun and functional, Charles and Ray’s Mid-century shelving offers a sculptural take on storage.

(Image: Design by CCI Renovations / Photography by Ema Peter, Courtesy of Houzz)

To learn more about Charles and Ray Eames, visit Eames Office or view the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History at The Met.

(Image: Top: A detail from One Flew West, an original painting by Saatchi Art artist michelle harrison)

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About the Author

Daryl Gammons-Jones is a contributor to Saatchi Art’s blog. In addition to writing about art and design, she specializes in collecting, creating, and producing images for a diversity of creative endeavors.