As we head into the home stretch before another school year, Room by Room with FormFire Glassworks looks into storage possibilities, and examines the Eames Storage Unit, or ESU 420.
This version of the texture-filled storage unit was introduced in 1952 through Herman Miller my Charles and Ray Eames. The Eames preoccupation with modular pieces and strong influence of the Japanese aesthetic led them to the design of this piece that has stood the test of time. It allows for many different options, including doors, drawers, plywood, metal and brightly-colored lacquered panels. The Japanese sense of balance and proportion of closed and open spaces makes this a pleasing tableau even without the insertion of decor and everyday items. It is said to be the first modern storage piece where the metal bracing was exposed as an integral part of the design. It is currently available in multiple heights and widths from Modernica.
The materials and simple balance of geometry and volume were the inspiration for my handmade accessory choices. A plywood mobile echoes the panel materials as well as the circular pressed plywood motif. A set of photo cubes pulls from the rectangular nature of the storage system. The geometry and light feeling of the steel struts is visible in a red fused glass platter, while a tiny ceramic dish becomes a simple, yet hidden treasure in the open cubbies. Breaking the mold while continuing the wood tones is a pencil sculpture that adds some motion to the scene.
Next week I will choose a new iconic piece and give you my picks for accessorizing your modern home.