Saturday, December 28, 2013

West Elm Rocking Birds

I was at West Elm and noticed a striking little decor piece, a Mid-Century inspired rocking birds. Birds have been played out in interior design but this takes it to a new level. It copies two great ideas from the legendary Charles and Ray Eames -- The House Bird and RAR (Rocking Chair) and combine it into one product. Clearly unique yet pays hommage to the legendary Eames. They come in different colors and I'm sure Charles Eames would have approve because they're so quirky and fun.

It comes in three sizes and price ranging from affordable $14 to $29 depending on size.

Now, here is my take. There is one someone (at West Elm or their vendor) who is clearly a big Eames fan who thought of this. It combines two great Eames ideas into one. Let me explain.
First of all, the Eames House Bird was the thing that started this whole MCM bird as decor craze back in the 1950s. The Eames used this house bird as decor and as props for their ads. Vitra currently sells a license piece but it goes for $235 at DWR.  $200 for a decor prop is pretty pricey no matter how you look at it. The only thing missing is the rocking base.

Next, they added the iconic rocking chair base from the Eames RAR. The RAR Rocking chair is an iconic piece of furniture and you can't help but notice the similarities. The RAR starts at $500 and up for a current licensed Herman Miller piece.

And there you have it. Two Eames design in one and you have the West Elm Rocking bird starting at $14. I wouldn't say these are quality made. They do start ar $14 so what can you expect. The build quality is a bit inconsistent from the various samples I went through so the Q/A isn't quite there but you would  already know this isn't meant to be a design piece. Each sample was unique in shape and finish that gives them a hand-made feel. Obviously, these birds were meant for mass retail as they were showcased in a big basket. By comparison, a Vitra Eames House Bird would be on a nice display and comes in nice packaging that includes a certificate of authenticity. The two don't directly compete with each other.

I couldn't help myself and got a few to compliment my Herman Miller Eames RAR. Pictured below are the small $14 versions.

West Elm
DWR Eames House Bird
DWR Eames RAR Rocker chair

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