Innovative Thinking in Furniture – Then and Now

Today we are recommending the documentary Eames: The Architect and The Painter  so that you, our blog readers,  can get an inside view of what a real designer is.  Eames had a philosophy that basically said “Anyone could call themselves an artist, but a true artist will be able to design anything…”.  Art and Design go hand-in-hand in my book.  In order to understand design better, you need to understand the thinking of past great artists and designers.  Charles Eames never put boundaries on what he could and couldn’t achieve in the design world.  He became one of the greatest and  most well-known innovators of furniture design during the 19th century.

I am inspired to write about the designer, Charles Eames, because he had so many different areas of expertise! He was an architect that never graduated from Architecture School, mainly because he was “too modern” for his times. Despite this he continued to design because of his passion.  His goal was to create  inexpensive mass-produced pieces of furniture that were also well- designed.  The designs that he primarily implemented were  molded plywood shapes that were bolted to the body of the furniture frame. Some included upholstery and some were just molded plywood.

He had a design team that supported him at the Eames offices.  Creating a positive work environment that artists could indulge in was one of the most important reasons that the Eames Company was so successful.  Eames realized that one did not have to have a degree in design in order to understand how design works.  He was always willing to teach someone if they were willing to learn and had the talent to go along with it.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we have created a similar  work environment!  We are a small family run company that specializes in custom furniture, but we also dabble in other fields of design and trade and offer American signed art by Artique Decorative Trends(, and custom interior car accessories by (  In many ways we can relate to the Eames Offices because of our versatility, just on a much smaller scale.

Eames was known for being focused on his furniture design one day and then  tearing his work studio apart so that he can partake in motion pictures and photography shoots the next day.  This could be a very stressful work environment for someone who wasn’t creative, but for someone who is creative this was an enthusiastic,  imaginative workplace where design flourished.

I have learned from research that when you talk about innovative designers they rarely concentrated on only one genre of design.  Many designers, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier were architects, interior designers, and artists.  All of these fields build on one another allowing the designer to have the option of pushing boundaries when necessary.  From what I understand about Eames, he was also one of these “Boundary Pushing Designers” and that is what made him so successful!

Fabrics and Frames has been in business 34 years this month and has changed its philosophy over time.  We believe that everyone deserves a home that is well-designed and their furnishings should reflect this. We currently only employ 7 people who each have their own area of expertise. Jim and Linda Decuir run the store and oversee the day to day aspects of running a business as well as coordinating the workroom with the design aspects to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Andy Fischman and Erica Guajardo are the design team at Fabrics and Frames.  Andy is an ASID designer who helps to create the designs for our clients as well as for the store.  She has 15+ years experience with the company and takes pride in making sure that every customer leaves the store with a well-designed room that meets their lifesyle requirements.  She has a background in art and interior design which makes her a perfect mentor for Erica Guajardo.  Erica started with the design team 8 years ago, fresh out of design school were she studied both interior design and fine arts.  As important as the design team is, their designs could not be implemented without our workroom employees.  Audrey, Dwight, and Mike are the people that make the design team’s dreams come true! With each one of them having about 20+ years of custom furniture experience, they work beside Jim, Linda, Andy, and Erica on every project and work out all the problems that come with all the trials and errors of creating custom furniture.

Most people don’t understand what it takes to create a well-designed piece of furniture.  Eames showed us that “it takes a great team!”  Next time you are considering buying a new piece of furniture ask yourself, “Is it designed well?” If you don’t know, maybe it is something that you should spend more time researching.  Fabrics and Frames has had the opportunity to reupholster many of the original and replicated chairs that Eames designed.  Preserving such great design has been a pleasure for us. We understand great quality and try to implement the same standards in design as he did! We like to think that we can create anything upholstered and challenge you as the consumer to push our boundaries!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at, and or follow us on Facebook!

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir


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