Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So why would anyone spend 2000 USD for a chair?

Aeron Chair in an office.What I thought I was going to get!
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Charles and Ray Eames, famous 20th century designers, have done a lot of significant furniture design work. Herman Miller, a fairly well known office furniture company in Zeeland, Michigan, has had Eames furniture in their catalog for a long time. Here's an overview of items they did for Herman Miller.

But don't take my word about their niftyness, the Library of Congress recently put together a photo exhibition of their work and of the sorts of pictures they liked to take.

They have done some very iconic stuff... the "tandem sling" and row chairs are almost ubiquitous at airport gates, and the Eames Lounge chair is seen in many a high end home.

Well, we were in the market for some replacement office chairs for the computer room, the IKEA chairs we got were really at end of life, to be honest. (although you won't get me to admit it!)

So, on a whim, and because I am a fan of the Aeron chair, which Herman Miller makes, we decided to try Herman Miller's company store to see what they might have.

Lo and behold, we found a set of 4 Eames "management" chairs... as seen in this catalog page image. actually 3 aluminum group and 1 soft pad, all done up in the same fabric (which just happens to mostly match our color scheme!)

Now, these are good chairs, and we fell in love with them. We were a bit knocked back by the price for them, used... over 2000 USD for the set of 4. But on thinking about Aeron prices, and sitting in them, and thinking some more, it seemed a good thing to us to get them, so we did (impulsive creatures that we are)...

But imagine our shock when we did some research... If these were new, they would sell for over 2ooo USD each (don't believe me?? check the price list.. page 14) for the soft pad, and over 1400 USD each for the aluminum group (page 7) ...

I like the finer things in life, to be sure but I was knocked back.
Who would pay 2000 USD for a chair? Even an iconic, very cool, very comfortable one. Would you?

Edit: As of 5 May 2016 there is a nifty resource page about Charles and Ray Eames here: Charles and Ray Eames at Artsy


David said...

I purchased an Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair not just for the comfort, but for the style and statement it makes in my small business. I have many guests come in and out and I feel the chair adds a lot of class and style and is a positive reflection of my business to my customers. As a side note, i called the people at www.OfficeDesigns.com and they were able to get me a price break on the chairs because I ordered several for my office. They are still not cheap by any means but I feel the value they add to my office is worth it.

Andrew said...

It took me a while to shell out the cash for one but now I wish I'd done it sooner. I found mine from www.aerondeals.com

Lar said...

I'm sitting in an Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair as I type this, and I heartily agree they are great. I even think the almost 2K I paid for a set of 4 used ones was worth it. I'm just not sure they are worth 2K apiece, new.

But wow, what a great and stylish chair.