Home & Design | December 17, 2021 10:49 am

Vintage Eames Chairs Make a Handsome (and Sustainable) Christmas Gift

Based in Brooklyn, Patina NYC soures and then meticulously restores the iconic designs of Ray and Charles Eames to former glory

An Eames Lounge Chair, Eames Pollock Desk Chair and Eames LCM Chair, all restored by Patina NYC
When it comes to mid-century modern furniture, Eames chairs know no equal
Patina NYC

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When it comes to sustainable gifts for the holidays, it’s tough to beat vintage. When it comes to sustainable gifts for the holidays for people who are obsessed with iconic design, it’s virtually impossible to beat vintage Eames chairs.

Which is why, if you’re in the market for such a gift, you should give Nick Barber a call. Barber is the proprietor of Patina NYC, a furniture restoration concern based in Brooklyn that specializes in mid-century modern pieces — specifically, meticulously refurbished, drop-dead gorgeous Eames chairs. 

As previously relayed to this publication, Barber’s Eames obsession began with a viewing of the 2011 documentary Eames: The Architect and The Painter profiling the legendary couple and their design process (Ed. note: the documentary is very good, available on Amazon and we highly recommend it). Shortly thereafter, he began sourcing vintage Eames pieces and restoring them to their former glory. These days, he’s a veritable Eames historian, able to identify the age of a piece “to a handful of years” via various details like finishes and construction techniques.

Regarding those pieces, Barber’s showroom is stocked at any given time with a variety of handsome loungers that are sure to make a welcome addition to whomever’s living room you’re kind enough to grant one (or your own, should you choose to, understandably, gift yourself). Naturally, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman — a mid-’50s union of plywood and leather so artful that it now sits as part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art — takes center stage, and Barber’s got ‘em in a variety of hues from creamy ivory to burnt orange to an eye-catching mint green.

An Eames Lounge Chair in burnt orange leather
Patina NYC

He’s also got stately plywood chairs on offer, as well as sets of the Eames fiberglass shell chairs, an assortment of mid-century tables and an Eames rocking chair — something your correspondent wasn’t even aware existed and is now desperate to own.

An Eames fiberglass rocking chair
Patina NYC

All are of course certified authentic and also come with the peace of mind that you’re gifting sustainably — plus it’s something that comes with a bit of lived-in history, always a plus. And Barber ships all over the globe, so no matter where you (or your giftee) reside, you’re covered.

“This stuff is meant to be used and enjoyed.” says Barber. “It is beautiful and functional. It is art you can sit in.”