Sunday, March 24, 2013

You Might Have Noticed This Eames Lounge And Ottoman KNOCKOFF (oops, sorry forgot that earlier!) Lurking In The Background Of One Of Yesterday's Photos. Yesterday It Was 50 And Sunny...Today 30 And 6 Inches Of Snow. Status: Will Winter Ever End?


Yup, another project chair.  This one was heaped upon me, too.  I got an e-mail through my craigslist ad asking if I'd be interested in an Eames chair and ottoman that had had it's "leather" dyed black.  I was intrigued and hopeful so I replied asking for a couple of photos.  While I was somewhat disappointed, I wasn't surprised by what I saw.


I'll admit, I was hoping that it was a genuine Herman Miller and that it Had been mistreated by a previous

owner and that I could get it for a couple hundred bucks.  I'd have been happy as a clam to have to buy

replacement cushions or covers for a "real thing".  But alas, the seller didn't know what a Herman Miller

is or that there even are knock offs.  Actually, she didn't care either...she just wanted this gone and to get

a few bucks out of it.


I wasn't head over heals in love with the set but, after ascertaining that the wood and the rocking

mechanism were serviceable, we haggled to a fair price and I agreed to pick it up Saturday afternoon

in Illinois near Belleville...meaning I could hit the Belleville Flea Market before hand.  Bonus picking!  As

you can see, the vinyl has been treated to a dye job.  I'm not exactly sure what the method was (rattle

can of "vinyl paint"?) but it looks like it was successful, for a while.  But now it's a mess, and since it is

just vinyl, I'll be replacing it...hopefully with some cool graphic print upholstery fabric. 


The wood is in good shape but I'm guessing that when the dye job happened the wood got refinished

at the same time.  It's shiny.  I'm not happy with that.  I'll be doing some work to the shells as well.  The

chrome steel bases look pretty good.  I think they'll be find with a little steel wool action.  Stay tuned

for further action!


  1. Nice pickup! I'd love to find another one for a project, looking forward to seeing what you do with this.

  2. Judging by the vinyl and lack of seat buttons, that is not a Plycraft, correct? I'm trying to get a feel for the various HM lounge copies, as I just scored a Plycraft ottoman in tan leather.

    1. The previous refinish 86'd any tags on the outside of this unit. I don't know What it is! This one actually had seat buttons but they are missing. If you can put together a comprehensive database of the different manufacturers and versions they made, THAT would be SO useful and amazing!

    2. My bit of two cents for what it's worth. After you pull the seats go over the shells with some 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits. Wipe down and touch up as needed and put down a couple of coats of rattle can satin laquer. That should kill the gloss. Should be fairly simple to fix the button issue while you have the seats removed.

    3. Thanks for the help A Mod. I'll probably to exactly that. I'll show off the results when I get it done.

  3. A real Eames lounge has no visible hardware on the wood. The visible screw covers (screwcaps? What are those little wooden things called, anyway?) under the arms are a dead giveaway that it's a knockoff.

    Also, look at the shape of the legs. It has the five point chair base and the four point ottoman base like a real Eames lounge, but the leg shape is totally wrong. These legs are flat and blocky. They look heavy and square. The Eames version has flatter legs that taper out from the center and sit up as if slightly on tiptoe, not unlike the bases to the Eames AG bases.

    1. Hi Kristen.

      Thanks so much for the detailed info on the genuine article. I'm not sure if you were commenting based upon the original posting or the above comments, but in comments we were more concerned with identifying the various "inspired by" knock offs that abound.

    2. Oh wait, I just re-read the post title. MY BAD!!!! I totally know this is NOT an "Eames Lounge And Ottoman", I just failed to add the word "Knockoff". So sorry! I'm fixing it Right Now!!!!

  4. Looks like it is in good shape in spite of the mis-handling. Excellent project.

  5. we have this chair and am wondering who made it as well. Our elderly neighbor put it out on the curb for the trash and we grabbed it. Took us a year to get it reupholstered and just got it back yesterday. We are in love with it. Its beautiful and so comfortable. I have always wanted the real deal but never the cash to get one so this will do just fine. I think you will enjoy it even though its not a beloved Eames.