Friday, October 14, 2011


Ever since adding black and raspberry trim to the dining room curtains, I've had a hankering to add some more black to the room.  Then I remembered an image (which I can't track down!) of a space with a mix of eames shell chairs--all in cream and black, but some with chrome legs and some with black.  I can't find the inspiration image, but here's a gorgeous minty armchair with the BLACK legs.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Anyway, so I put two and two together and I might want to paint the legs of my teal shell chairs black.

Don't you think?

But then I remembered seeing a shell chair for sale at a little vintage shop in Boulder, and when it didn't sell in a week, they spraypainted the shell silver, and I was totally scandalized.

Where do you draw the line?  On the one hand you want it the way you want it.  On the other hand, some things should not be messed with.  Our chairs are not exactly in pristine collectors' edition condition, and the thing about these chairs is that they were intended for mass production.  In fact, ours were office chairs at Best Buy in the 60s, and when they remodeled the office, the chairs were sold by the pallet to employees who wanted them.  Our nine chairs sat in the garage of one of those employee's mothers for 40 years, until it was time to sell her house--and the contents of the garage.

Do you mess with a classic?  And if you do, do you keep it authentic?  Eames chairs are available with black legs.  Or do you go the other way with a color that is clearly not original to the piece, like fluorescent pink to pick up on the raspberry tones going on around the place?  Most of me says just do it.  But a little part of me--the part that reads a lot of blog posts about all the work it takes to undo ill-conceived spraypaint projects--says not so fast.

Well, this is a design blog, so how about some pictures of rooms with eames shell chairs in them?  Let me tell you, there are TONS to choose from out there!  This first one even has black legs (of the eiffel variety).

Oh, to have a rainbow of them!  If we ever get a bigger table and need a 10th chair, I'm excited to bring in one of a different color.


Love the neon legs on the table.

Black legs on a wire base I've never seen before.  Incidentally, the photo mural: love it or hate it?

Gorgeous and sophisticated in all white
Kitchen-diner with statement light | Kitchen designs | Statment lighting | image | Housetohome


Even works in a traditional setting--keeps this room from being too much of the same.  (the wood dowel legs bridge the styles)

Stunning and beyond sophisticated in matte black with pale dowel legs in a clean rustic setting.

A more modern and spare take in black fiberglass
Source: None via Heather on Pinterest

And rounding it out with some more white.
Minimalist dining room | Modern dining rooms | image



They're everywhere, but I suppose they were menat to be, and I love them love them love them nonetheless.

But seriously: to paint or no?


  1. i say go for it. but i just powdercoated corbusier lounge chairs.

  2. Paint them! First off, I think the black would look cool. Secondly, you said they're not collector's items, so there's no reason to worry that a little paint is going to damage their value. And third, your house is meant for living - it's not a museum. (Of course, this advice comes from a girl who thinks breaking up her 30-year-old dining room set is akin to a divorce and can't bear the thought.)

  3. Oh do it! Those Eames chairs are fabulous!

    Glad I found your blog today! So cute!!


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