Onske Blog
A Buyers Guide to the Eames Style Office

Thinking of giving your work environment that 'Mad Men' look or perhaps you want something stylish for a home office?

There are vast amounts of office chairs available online. Very cheap ones tend to have issues with wheels and castors breaking, plastics splitting and PU faux leather wearing quickly so it can be worth spending a little more on a decently made chair in a good quality upholstery that will age well and last the daily grind.

The original Aluminium group was a range designed by Eames in the 1950's and includes the following styles:-

the EA117 - this is a slim profile chair with horizontally ribbed stitching and a chair with a slender curved aluminium frame. It has a gas lift and the ability to adjust the back to allow a slight tilt or rock backwards or it can remain locked in an upright position. A design that has remained uber-cool and fashionable over five decades. 


 the EA217 and EA219 or 'soft pad' style. This has a chunkier look and comes in two versions, a high back (EA219) and a low back (EA217) with a padded cushion seat and padded cushioned back. Again with the distinctive chrome polished arms. Very versatile and it makes an ideal executive choice also.


the EA117 Mesh chair is just that, a thin mesh fabric is stretched across the aluminium frame allowing good air-flow to the user and so is favoured by those working at highly concentrated tasks which involve long periods of sitting.


the ES104 or 'the lobby chair' is the daddy of all these. The original was designed for the lobby areas of the Rockefeller Centre in New York in 1960 and it is a luxurious leather executive chair for  office or boardroom.

Large and chunky in design it needs a spacious room or office area to show off its angular powerful lines to the full.

Flat aluminium plate arms with the top raised off the frame and with padded cushion armrests and button detail. A very sumptious execuitve look.


The above chairs are usually supplied with gas lift and on castors to provide swivel, movement and lift. They can also be supplied on 'glides' (ie. without castors) if you want a chair to remain stationary and in one place or to protect floors from castors.

Conference Style Chairs

These tend to be swivel but without any gas lift so are not height adjustable and work very well as a group for boardroom (or conference) chairs but equally are a good choice for a slim home office chair if the height works with a desk or table.

They are usually low back and coded as:

EA108 -  similar to the EA117/119 above with horizonal ribbed detail

EA208 - similar to the EA217/219 styles as above with padded seat and back cushion detail.


 There is a vast selection of upholstery available, from cheaper PU through to waxy aniline leathers so you can choose to suit your budget.

Polished chrome arms are more preferable to aluminium arms and a good quality chair will adhere to the lines and thickness of the frame and trim of original design.

A Buyers Guide To Marble Tulip Tables
Saarinen famously said in the 1950's that he wanted to “clear up the slum of legs” by designing his classic tulip stem chairs which revolutionised the traditional design of furniture.

Since then, many different reproductions of the stem 'tulip style' table have been created, from the basic circular or square tops with chunky pedestal, (so often favoured by restaurants and bistros), to the refined and honed look with an elegant tapered design.

Prices can vary a great deal and when buying online and it can be tricky to differentiate the good from the poor, so the following guide may be of assistance if you are currently looking to purchase such a table.
There are many different sizes to suit, with the most popular being, 90cm to fit four and then diameters up at 100cm, 110cm, 120cm,130cm and 140cm round. Larger oval shaped tables are usually circa 170cm and 200cm long.
As a seating guide:, a 90cm table will seat four people. 110cm/120cm five to six, 130/140cm seven to eight people.
In the oval shaped; 170cm long will seat six to seven and the larger 200cm x 120cm will seat up to ten people, depending on the width and style of chairs used.
The table is two component parts: the top and base.
Quality can vary from cheaper Asian marbles to Italian quarried natural stone.
Chinese marble can still be of good quality but tends to be slightly yellower and not as crisp as Italian Carrara marble, which is considered one of the best in the world for its natural look, and is smooth with grey veining running through the white slab.
NB: Marble tops are heavy with larger sized ones up to circa 95kg in weight, so it is advisable to ensure the area is suitable for such an item pre-purchasing and also to measure up the space to allow for the right size which will fit with chairs around.
Most reproductions are manufactured in Asia due to labour and production costs, as is much furniture in general these days, so this is not necessarily an issue, however, do check with the retailer that it is Italian quarried marble being used if choosing the carrara option.
Tip: Check type and origin of marble
Fibreglass: If looking at a fibreglass top, double check it is not MDF wood sprayed white.
Fibreglass will have a thinner, sleeker look with a high gloss lacquer built up in stages, in comparison to a spray painted MDF top which can be thicker and with less of a gloss shine.
Tip: Check it is fibreglass and not MDF
Usually, there are two versions of the base: aluminium or fibreglass. Cast aluminium is the better of the two. Made from a one piece mould, it is stronger and much lighter than the fibreglass option.
These are sprayed in a powder-coated step process to a high gloss finish to match the top and usually available in gloss white or black.
Cheaper bases tend to skimp on the paint process to save on production costs which in turn can lead to bases chipping and having less strength leading to excess flex, which in turn again, can lead to a wobble on the table top.
Tip: Check base material. If possible choose an aluminium option.
There is usually a metal base plate, on the underneath of the top which will have pre-drilled bolt points. The base will align and screw into this plate, usually via several bolts and an allen key provided.
Tip: If you are assembling the table yourself, open the crating and pull back the internal packaging but leave the table top with baseplate facing upwards in its protective crate on the floor. Unbox the base and turn it upside down onto the top. You can then affix the base more easily. Once secured correctly, using two persons (or more for larger tables), lift the table by its edges, out of the crate and turn it upright.
Most marble table tops are supplied factory polished, which means they have been machine polished to a high gloss, however, they also remain 'unsealed' and as marble is a natural and porous stone, any water or wine stains can seep in.
It is always advisable to apply a marble sealant specifically made for 'machine polished stone', before using and as a general rule, this should be re-applied every six months or so, to maintain a good seal. Most hardware stores, online shops or tile merchants sell different brands of sealants.
Fibreglass tops have a high gloss lacquer but strong colours such as ketchup, wine etc should be wiped off as soon as possible to prevent residual staining.
Speak or communicate with the retailer if you can. They will confirm materials and in general, the better the manufacturing process and materials used, the higher the cost to the retailer from the factory, so thus the retail pricing will reflect this, however, you should have a very durable and beautiful table that will last the test of time, with the correct care and maintenance used.
You can view more information on our range of marble and fibreglass tables here. or feel free to call us on 00+44+1273921522 or email us to sales@onske.co.uk for further information.
A Buyers Guide to Retro Style Furniture


Loved by architects and designers for their sculptural looks and aesthetics, mid-century and early 20th century styles remain an ever-popular choice as they fit equally well in period properties as in modern and open-plan spaces.

Some cheap imports over the past decade gave reproduction furniture a bad name, however, like any marketplace there are “the good, the bad and the ugly” so selecting a good quality reproduction online is often a tricky process. Our buying guide gives a brief outline of what to ask and look for when choosing your favourite piece:

Frames and Construction
Good quality pieces will be made with solid wood frames or high quality stainless steel. They will adhere to the original design style in terms of  construction, ensuring that details such as joints, screws, and frames match up correctly.

Cheaper options often cut corners, for example, by bolting steel pieces together rather than paying the cost of tooling to manufacture a seamless piece, or using cheaper wood in sections, such as arms, of a sofa frame.

Tip: Check the finer details and ask questions on frames and how they are constructed.

When choosing leather, check that the upholstery is full leather throughout. Some cheaper copies will use PU on panels or trim parts like piping.

Type of leather: Semi-aniline leather is fine to go with as a general rule, Italian method is better than Asian leathers and semi-aniline will have a top protective coating to protect from stains and spills so a good all-rounder for family life.

Full aniline is more expensive but it will age more gracefully with the patina and creasing and wear of a premium hide, so check what type of leather it is.

Internal cushioning and filling should adhere to fire standards and regulations and reputable manufacturers and retailers will ensure that this is adhered to.

Tip: Request samples and swatches from the retailer to see the actual colour and feel and ask them what type of leather it is.

Overall Aesthetic
Like any furniture, there is a market for cheap and cheerful at one end and high quality at the other end.

Cheaper pieces tend not to care as much about dimensions, sizing and adhering to the original design style. They need to create a piece as cheaply per unit as possible for mass market selling, so hence why you sometimes see lounge chairs that look taller or out of proportion, or chairs that sit at a slightly off angle and so forth.

Tip: Check dimensions and sizing, (allowing a 3cm tolerance which is normal)

You are paying for the labour costs in the build quality and finishing processes along with material costs and the retailers import and storage costs are then added to these with a margin for sale. At the high end, you should receive a piece of furniture that is  as close to the original remit as it possibly can be and for such, be prepared to pay a fair market price for that quality, taking into account the production, import, storage/handling and delivery costs.

Delivery Time
Some online sellers, may be located on a different continent and may put delivery and lead times in very small print, so if you want something by a certain date, it is worth speaking with the retailer and checking if they have the physical stock in-house or if there is a reasonable lead time. Remember, large items do not go via air-freight and so you need to allow for manufacture time plus sailing schedules and sea-freight times. 

It is normal for bespoke items, certain finishes and colours to be manufactured to order, and generally lead times for delivery on such items should be 2 to 3 months (8-12 weeks) as this allows approximately one month for manufacture and a further four weeks for shipping from the factory and allow an extra week for delays in this process.

Container shipping and transport

Tip: Check delivery and lead times directly with the retailer

Some unscrupulous sellers in the past, have extended lead times to months and months providing little communication. It is always preferable to be able to speak with a retailer directly and get answers from them over the phone or via personal contact email, rather than a generic or automated response.

Overall, like any purchase, a combination of good retailing practices, good communication and trust between buyer and seller will often give a less stressful experience than getting a cheap price, no contact and no customer service should an issue arise.

If you need any further advice, feel free to contact us at sales@onske.co.uk

Copyright: Onske Interiors Ltd. 2017
Buyers Guide to Eames Style Lounge Chairs

One could argue that Eames was to furniture design what VW was to car design - functional, durable, aesthetically pleasing and to be affordable to the masses, with the exception of their lounge chair and ottoman which has always commanded a premium price.

For most of us, purchasing a licensed reproduction Eames chair, from Herman Miller in the USA or Vitra in Europe carries a hefty price tag (over 5k on average) and yes, I say 'licensed reproduction', as unless you are lucky enough to find an authentic vintage chair in a garage sale or via Ebay then it is, technically, a reproduction, under license, of the original design.

Fuelled by demand and by the hefty price tag of licensed versions, the replica Eames lounge chair market has grown in recent years. Design purists have (begrudgingly) accepted that some of the reproductions available are pretty exact to the specification and quality of the original design, but how does one choose a good reproduction from the minefield of poorer copies and cheaply made imitations?

First and foremost, it would be wise to dismiss anything under circa five hundred. Just ask yourself, would you really get a good quality leather lounge chair and matching ottoman, properly engineered and finished in high quality upholstery and real wood veneers, at that price level? The old adage of "if it's too good to be true, then it probably isn't" remains.

There are mid-priced ranges, which all vary in finish and detail. Some of these will have veneering only on the outside to save on material costs, or may use PVC for the piping trim to save on leather costs.Some are better than others in overall aesthetics.

You then move up to the high-end reproductions which aim to be as close as possible in terms of quality of materials, attention to detail and the overall finish and build.

Here is our buyers guide for choosing a replica Eames lounge chair:

    • Read descriptions VERY carefully when shopping online.
    • Does it say leather? Not 'leatherette', 'faux leather', 'leather seat' or 'leather pad'. Be wary also if it says Piping in PVC as therefore the piping trim on seat edge may not be full leather. If it says 100% leather upholstery throughout, tick OK
    • What type of leather is it? Like any material there are variations in quality. For example, Chinese leathers are often thinner and not as supple as Italian. Aniline leathers tend to be at the premium end on price and will age with the worn in look and patina acquired over use, associated with a quality leather.  Again, take note that it does not say 'Italian Style' Leather. Wording is paramount and unscrupulous sellers will try and pass off cheaper chairs by masking the description with carefully chosen words. If it specifies the leather, tick OK.
    • Does it have a die-cast aluminium base?  Cheap copies often have alloy metal bases with plastic connections. These are not strong enough to last the everyday actions and movement of such a chair, therefore making them very much NOT fit for purpose. If it says die-cast base tick OK.
    • Real wood grain veneer? The Eames lounger was originally created with between five to seven layers of ply. The Rosewood external veneering used in the originals is no longer a sustainable wood and since the early 1990's the furniture industry now uses Palisander (from the rosewood family) for any rosewood veneering.
    • Cheap copies often use laminate. Quality reproductions will use real quality woods for veneers and therefore each varies and is a unique item in its own particular grain and piece of wood used. Again carefully check the wording. If it says real wood veneer tick OK.
    • Visible screws. None should be visible, especially on rear shell braces. This is a real giveaway of poorly made copies.
    • The shock mount Check that this is rubber. Not plastic or metal.
    • Does it require assembly?  If you want to be driven completely mad, then order a flat-packed imitation. Any Eames lounger replica worth its salt should arrive to you assembled.
    NB: sometimes very minor assembly of attaching  a base upon delivery may be required and this is usually for packing and shipping purposes to protect legs in transit or for more efficient box sizes during production.
      • Does it include the Ottoman. Take note on this point, some sellers advertise the chair and ottoman separately thus making the initial price look attractive. It is possible to buy them separately but generally they should retail as a matching unit.
      • Look at the overall aesthetic. Good reproductions will stay true to the original in terms of the angle of the chair and base, (it was designed to sit at a slight tilt backwards of approx 15deg), the shape and size of the armrests, the bolt arms on the reverse of the chair back, the thickness of the cushions, the piping and trim.
      • Last, but not least, purchase from a company that you can call up and speak with someone and discuss any aspect in greater detail as required.

      There were manufacturing variations to the chairs over the years and different bases were designed for the US and European markets and slight differences were designed on US and European models so dimensions of models varied and some were produced slightly wider and larger.

      The design was almost a flat-pack concept in that the chair could be dismantled simply, component parts can be packed relatively flat and easily transported. The only issue that can arise with both originals and reproductions is that the shock-mounts, located under the arm rests can on occasion fail and part from the lower back shell that they attach to. This was the Achilles Heel of the design, however, replacement shock-mounts tend to be easily available.

      There is a wealth of information available online about the history of these chairs so it is also worth doing some research on the different styles and the design history to help with the decision on choice of base, leather and veneer you would like.

      Onske stocks two models as standard. The Luxe which is in semi-aniline leather or the Ultra Luxe with full aniline leather upholstery. You can view further details and specification at www.onske.co.uk/collections/chairs

      Copyright: Onske Interiors Ltd. 2018

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