Eames Hang-It-All from Design Within Reach

eames hang it all design within reachI don’t usually buy new. So, I don’t frequent home furnishing stores. But, when I was in Boston recently, I bumped into the Design Within Reach store in Cambridge and went in for a look-see. Oh my. Their stuff is NICE. Example: I had never seen an Eames® Hang-It-All® in real life. It was bigger than I thought — close to 20″ wide — and Oh. My. It was NICE.
eames-hang-it-allFrom the Design Within Reach website:

In the mid-1940s, Charles and Ray Eames began designing toys and furniture for children, including molded plywood animals, colorful building blocks and whimsical masks. “We have to take pleasure seriously,” said Charles Eames, and the Hang-It-All (1953) is an example of this mantra. Made with a sturdy steel frame and solid wood balls, this design was created using the same technique for simultaneously welding wires that the Eameses developed for their low tables and wire chairs. They originally made the Hang-It-All for Tigrett Enterprises’ Playhouse Division, and Herman Miller reissued it in 1994. This is the authentic Hang-It-All by Herman Miller. Eames is a licensed trademark of Herman Miller. Made in Taiwan.

  • Years after Herman Miller produced the Limited Edition Hang-It-All in walnut and black, customers kept asking for it. Walnut and black is back, but this version differs from the Limited Edition in color, finish and size of spheres. The earlier Limited Edition remains unique to any other Hang-It-All ever produced.

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  1. Dan says

    So many iconic MCM pieces are being reintroduced or have never gone out of production. The big difference with the originals is that the new pieces are usually made with newer, more durable materials and finishes. (Dried out, crumbling foam upholstery come to mind?) The question for many is whether the cachet of having an original that may need considerable restoration outweighs the practicality of a reproduction. Thankfully for MCM enthusiasts, more and more options are available every year.

  2. Jay says

    $ 299 if you fancy the black w/walnut knobs version which caught my eye. I can see why people have been asking for it – the walnut and black would go very nicely with a lot of the MCM furniture as walnut was frequently used.

  3. ineffablespace says

    There is some controversy about whether something that has never gone out of production has an “original” or “reproduction”. The Womb Chair has been produced since 1946 or so with minor changes to the glides on the bottom so there are older chairs and newer chairs but they are still the same chair. Only very early production runs in original condition seem to have more important status among collectors.

    Then there is some controversy about whether something that was produced until relatively recently (in the big scheme) and then reintroduced by the same company is a “reproduction” when it is also essentially the same thing. I don’t know that there is a clear answer.

    I would consider new Heywood Wakefield furniture reproduction, because the name was purchased by the current company in order to produce vintage H-W furniture, but the furniture is not, to my knowledge, identical to to the original although it is strongly based on it. Craftsman/Mission furniture from Stickley is usually identified by year and variation of the Stickley name at the time the furniture was produced (L & JG Stickley EJ Audi) –this furniture is probably considered reproduction.

    • Bruno says

      They were a married couple “Ray” being female Next time you visit Los Angeles you can see the Eames home in Santa Monica & workshop in town!!

  4. Carolyn says

    If hung lower, I bet kids would be more apt to get their stuff hung up.
    And here goes another weekend looking up stuff that Pam or Kate piqued my interest – just who and what were the Eames Bros, et al!

  5. Brandy says

    Unrelated but it said commenting was the easiest way to contact you- they are opening a new Tiki bar designed by Tiki Diablo in my hometown (Bakersfield). Im super excited because i dont get to travel much and there are no Tiki Bars within 100 miles. I’ve never had a real Mai Tai and the pictures on Critiki look awesome. I believe it is owned by a old neighbor of mine. if you are interested in updates-pictures-etc i would be happy to help. I guess it should open any day now. I’m very anxiously waiting. I’m a long time fan/reader of the blog!

  6. says

    I have always been a huge Eames fan. The Hang-it-all is definitely an iconic piece from their portfolio of incredible ideas and products. If money were no object, my house would be complete with Eames furniture, toys, fabrics (yes, Ray Eames was a fabric designer, too) and accessories. Glad you got to see the Hang-it-all in person, Pam!

  7. Melinda says

    You can get a fake one from All Modern for about $50. Not sure how trademarks or copyright works in these areas, but they’ve clearly figured a way around it.

      • Robbie Kendall says

        I agree, completely – give me a ‘true’ authorized reproduction any day. I actually prefer this in most cases because with owning an original comes real responsibility. With an authorized reproduction, I get both the quality and the freedom from worry if something happens (living with a dog, three cats, and a clumsy husband). With the knock-off, I get nothing save for cheating the designer, manufacturer, etc. out of their earned share of the cost that I pay. Needless to say, we are in DWR regularly.

        • pam kueber says

          This is a tough subject. I struggle with it. For example, my kitchen tables and chairs — which are vintage Burke — are essentially a knock-off of Saarinen. Vintage — but still a knock-off. So, I’m no purist, and I am no “saint”.

          If I were buying something new, though, I would generally try to buy the original designer — in order to get the assured original quality/dimensions, etc. — plus it would be long-term much more “collectible”. Even so, the issue is a tough one and I totally understand why folks would buy lookalikes, especially since many designs are… fungible… and since some products are SO expensive. Also, unlike you, some folks don’t want to be responsible for not dinging and denting their furniture! I think I’m in that camp!

          In the case of the Hang-It-All, perhaps watch and wait for a big sale? Black Friday? I think that’s what I will be doing, because I want one or two.

          Note, I did not write about them, but the authorized-design Nelson clocks at DWR were also GORGEOUS beyond belief. Way more beautiful than the knock-offs I see in Home Goods on occasion.

  8. KL says

    My former boss has the small version of this, along with the molded plywood chair, and George Nelson ball clock. I long to have the money to be able to just buy that stuff (even reproductions!) for everyday use.

  9. frances says

    Eames designs are still produced by the Hermann Miller company and they are never part of Black Friday sales …. however Hermann Miller has bi-annual sales (usually a 15% reduction) on all of their products. Sign up for Design Within Reach emails and you will be notified of dates.

  10. RJM says

    I just posted a photo of a “boomerang” coffee table that I recently built. The design is mine but it was obviously inspired by pieces that I have previously seen. I think there are many reasons to consider “new” items. First I feel that design continues to evolve and be inspired by what has gone before. Additionally, new pieces can be built to one’s own specs to compliment particular space and color requirements. Also, they can be cost effective compared to holding out for original pieces.
    My table has a matte black Formica top, birch edge banding and solid pine legs. The wood surfaces are finished with a blonde look stain.
    It would be great if you could always find and be able to afford “originals”, but “new originals” can be a great option.

      • Richard says

        Thanks for the feedback. I would like to start making this table available for purchase. I can build it in any Wilsonart finish or with an actual wood top. Actually every aspect can be customized based on the buyer’s wishes (leg style, wood color etc.).
        I know your site is not meant to be for posting items for sale. I was hoping that my postings might get some comments or feedback from your readers to determine if there is any interest in something like this. I’m posting it on Ebay today at noon, but I think my highest chance of success is with a targeted market. do you have any suggestions for marketing via your blog? I looked at your “How I make money”, but didn’t see any links to your advertising rates etc.

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