The patina of time perfects a vintage Eames chair

Finnish interior architect Joanna Laajisto was charmed by an Eames office chair found from a Danish vintage shop. She ended up getting a second-hand chair because of its eco-friendliness and soft patina.

Joanna Laajisto
Joanna Laajisto is a Helsinki-based interior architect. In addition to her own design studio, she has designed lighting, furniture and decorative items for Lundia, Made by Choice, Hakola, and Roots Living.

JOANNA LAAJISTO: “Designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1969, the Soft Pad Group Chair was the first item of furniture I purchased after establishing my company. I made the purchase decision as a young designer at Gensler Architecture in California.

We used the same office chair in several projects, and I fell in love with its timeless design. I decided that it would also adorn the premises of my own company.

Vitra Soft Pad chair
Charles and Ray Eames designed the Soft Pad Group Chair in 1969. The black Lumme lamp on top of the cabinet was designed by Laajisto herself.
Vitra chairs
High-quality leather will soften and create a beautiful patina over time.

In the end, I purchased the chair from a Danish vintage shop. My decision to buy a used version was due to the exquisite patination of such furniture, as well as the eco-friendliness of buying second hand. Its black leather is incredibly soft.

I now use the Eames chair in my office, even if it is not the most ergonomic solution by modern standards. Since I spend all day on the move, the chair fulfils its role well. I have also used the chair in work projects.

Vitra Office chairs
Joanna Laajisto’s Vitra office chair was a second-hand find.

I treat all my purchases in the same way as the Eames chair. Only buying when needed, and after making the decision to buy, I wait until the purchase is possible for me. I do not make do with substitutes. This is also ethical in terms of consumption and design. In addition, I find that I can admire beautifully crafted furniture from afar, without having to own it.

I like soothing, uncluttered surroundings; every object that comes into a room must be beautiful in itself. The Eames office chair is the epitome of this idea.”

Design treasure: Soft Pad Group Chair

• Designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1969
• In Europe, the Eames products are manufactured by the Swiss company Vitra
View Eames products available at Franckly >

What is Franckly? is a new online marketplace for pre-owned design
• Created and curated by Finnish Design Shop
• Buy and sell pre-owned design treasures: >

See also:

Pre-owned products by Vitra at Franckly >
All products by Joanna Laajisto >

Text and images: Suvi Kesäläinen

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