Straight Out of 1984, By Way of 1969

I found a used Eames Management Chair! These Soft Pad chairs were first introduced in 1969 and since they’ve been around for so long, used models pop up for sale pretty consistently. I had been watching Craigslist and eBay, but even the used chairs often go for $1000 or more.

Looking for a used Eames office chair (real), at a knockoff price. (Who isn't though?)
@makingitlovely
Nicole Balch

Not long after I declared my search on Twitter, I scored one for a tenth of the new model price without going the knockoff route. YES! It’s the chair that I was considering when I wrote my last office post.

The problem? The reason it was so cheap? It’s from 1984, and the fabric makes that very obvious.

The good news though is that it’s comfortable. More comfortable than my previous chair, even though it’s nearly 30 years old. It’s in great condition too. And hey, it’s pink! Not a great pink, but still… leave it to me to find a pink one. I’m in the process of gathering quotes for a reupholstery job, but I can live with it as-is for a while if I need to.

I love it. Brandon doesn’t see it. “It’s not even well-designed!” he says. Psshaw.

47 Responses to “Straight Out of 1984, By Way of 1969”

  1. Norah June 29, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    I highly recommend Mark Roe from “the Furniture Store”. He is who Knoll recommends for their upholstery, so he is well versed in the Mid Century stuff. Though I kind of think the pink is awesome, if a bit ‘dusty rose’. If you can’t find his number, email me for it (I feel uncomfortable putting it on line for whatever reason). Congrats on your find!

    • Making it Lovely June 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      Thank you, I’ll look into it!

      And yes, it’s very ‘dusty rose.’

  2. Stephanie June 29, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    LOVE it! Would kill for one of those, even in pink

  3. annabelvita June 29, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I’d colour in all the dots with a black (or brown! pink does love brown!) permanent marker for a temporary fix.

  4. Amanda @ RE:DO June 29, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Great find!! If the upholstery is in good condition, doesn’t smell, isn’t dirty, etc., I would totally leave it!

  5. Lora D. June 29, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    It’s Awesome, Nice find!! I found a 70’s era authentic dcm chair in kelly green at goodwill for $7 (yes seven!) In perfect condition. I almost died. It makes me smile everyday!

  6. Beth June 29, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I have a 1980s Eames chair, too (although in beautiful navy blue wool)! It truly is the most comfortable chair I’ve sat in.

    Hm. Perhaps a good accessory (or really fabulous curtains) might make it 1980s fabulous?

  7. jodi June 29, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    hooray!!

  8. Jules June 29, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Dusty rose is coming back. I’ve got a little Pinterest board going on it, too, if you can believe it. I love that color.

  9. alisa June 29, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    i think its gorgeous… phhhht on brandon… :)

  10. Your Mother June 29, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    pink? you found a pink vintage chair? Only you would find what you were looking for and it is in pink. Love it!

  11. NicoleD June 29, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Congrats! It really doesn’t look bad in your office. I grew up next to Zeeland, MI (Herman Miller headquarters) and there is an outlet there. We’ve gotten some beautiful pieces, but they mostly have filing cabinets and office things. The “classics” only come up every once in a while and are still hundreds, but a fraction of the cost to buy new.

  12. Kristen June 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Actually once you paint the trim white, and maybe the walls a different color (not pink?) You could totally rock that chair as-is. It goes with the granny-chic vibe the rug is throwing out there…

    • Making it Lovely June 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing (though if it isn’t too expensive, I’ll have it reupholstered).

  13. vanessa June 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Very nice. Congrats!

    Incidentally, I’ve sat in the chair that used to be your office chair. While pretty, I never found that chair to be very comfy. :)

  14. Katie Truelove June 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    What a cool find! I look forward to seeing the final results too!

  15. Erika June 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    At least it’s a somewhat pretty color :)
    I work in an office full of gray, beige, BLAH! So a little dusty pink would be a welcome addition.

    Glad you found what you were looking for!

  16. tallin June 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Awesome find!

    Those of born in 1984 though, are quite resolute in that we are only 27 at most, and not “nearly 30 years old”. ;)

  17. Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co June 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    LOVE that chair! have you considered upholstery spray paint? It can be a great fix especially when the fabric is in great condition, like this one. :)

  18. Katie June 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I honestly LOVE the 80s pink upholstery.

  19. Miss B. June 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    I can’t believe you found it in pink, that’s coo coo. I can’t wait to see the magic that happens when you transform it, lucky chair!

  20. abby June 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I love it! It actually looks great the way it is. My husband and I have this argument all the time. It’s the one I always win!

  21. Carrie S. June 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    GREAT score! The company I now work for restores & refurbishes these pieces all the time (www.classicdesignla.com). Take good care of it and you will be rewarded with many years of comfort and style! Nice going!

  22. mary newton June 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    But it’s pink! And it matches your office so well!

  23. courtney June 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    i have to agree, i kind of love the dusty rose. so granny, so chic. it’s ironic, but not in a hipster way…i say don’t change a thing.

  24. Amanda June 30, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    What an awesome find!

    When I first looked at the photos I thought you had it reupholstered already – the fabric is in great shape.

    I too am looking to reupholster a knoll chair (I found an awesome Saarinen conferece chair for crazy cheap but it’s PURPLE…), and have been getting quotes from anything to 175 to 650…not including fabric :(

    I’d say, keep the original upholstering!

  25. Dianne June 30, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Awesome find!!!!!! give it time, brandon will soon appreciate it. Try the “furniture store”, they do all the work for knoll, hermann miller etc… he will do a great job with your chair. post pictures when you get it back!!

    Dianne

  26. Rochelle June 30, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I love it!!! Even the color! Congrats on such an amazing find!

  27. Miria June 30, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Hi,
    I have been reading your blog for quite a long time now, and I am a bit concerned about advertising. Do you have control over the advertising on your website? I am asking becasue today when I opened you website I found advertismenet of a “body scanner” for mobile phone with a basically “naked” model on the right side of the page. Tha was not nice….

    Miria

    • Making it Lovely June 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

      When I don’t have an ad to serve, the space resorts to Google ads, which is what you saw. I’ll look into it though — that doesn’t sound good.

  28. Ashley June 30, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I think the chair is awesome in that color! Not something you see every day, but I think it’s adorable and looks great in your office.

  29. Rebecca June 30, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    What a find! Enjoying the redecorating of your office already

  30. GoHausGo June 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Love this! I’m excited to see it reupholstered.

  31. jbhat June 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    That was fast! Sheesh, twitter is a powerful tool.

    I thought of a name–maybe someone else suggested it, though; can’t remember–for your Derby alter ego: Pink Shoves Brown. : ) You probably chose one already, though, no?

    jbhat

    • Making it Lovely June 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      Oh, I found it on my own, not through putting it out there on Twitter.

      And still no derby name! That’s cute, but I don’t know. I’m being indecisive.

  32. Adriane July 1, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    LOVE the chair!! Any thoughts on what sort of fabric you would cover it with? I would love to see it be something bright! Could be a focal point, since it’s such a beauty after all!

  33. Jessmarie July 1, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Great chair! Not so great upholstery. Dusty rose, ugh! We used to have two living room chairs in that same color (from the 80s of course) that were handed down to us from my hubby’s mom. But they were just so old, dirty and I hated them (especially the color!). So my mother in law took it upon herself to scour the antique shops for another set of chairs (without our permission) and she bought us a new (old) set in EXACTLY THE SAME COLOR. So, definitely better than the old set but come on, dusty rose?! We still have these chairs, and I still hate them. If only they were Eames, then I wouldn’t mind so much! You’ve got a great find here, but I strongly encourage you to re-upholster! :-)

    Take care! xo

  34. Kate July 2, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Hello.

    I was glancing through the internet for new icons for my laptop, and I came across this Eames Office Chair collection and immediately thought of you. :)

    http://www.pixelgirlpresents.com/node/6592

  35. Kim July 2, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I kind of love this chair the way it is. Super cute! Good find!

    –Kim

  36. Josie July 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    I love this, if you find someone you like please lelt us know on your blog. I have several items that need to be reuplustered once I find the fabric. Thanks

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