Your Eames Story: My Favorite Spot in the House

I’ve lived in East London for the past nine years, but I grew up in a Richard Neutra House in Orinda, California, about a 20-minute drive from San Francisco. When my parents bought the house all those years ago, the other bidder was planning to knock it down and build a three-story monstrosity. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997.

My favorite item in our house was always our living room coffee table, which I now know to be the classic Eames Elliptical Tablesometimes referred to as the “surfboard table.” I spent countless hours laying under it, reading and listening to the rain hit our huge glass windows (back when it rained in California).

The living room contained a number of other authentic designs as well, such as two Eames LTR Occasional Side Tables and a Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen. Although these pieces contributed to somewhat design-driven fort building as a child, they were less exciting to me and didn’t compare to spending time under that Elliptical Table.

It is one of my favorite memories from growing up.  

Dan Symons

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Image Gallery: Color image courtesy of Dan Symons. Black & White images shows the Richard Neutra House as photographed by Julius Shulman after it was first built in 1951. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)