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Friday
Jul092010

our neighborhoods: weho

Before CB2, the previous tenant of 8000 w. Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood was a popular Virgin Megastore—but its most famous was the legendary Schwab’s Pharmacy a few doors down at 8024.

photo courtesy of the_toe_stubberIn the movie “Sunset Boulevard”, William Holden’s character refers to Schwab’s as “headquarters—a combination office, coffee klatch, and waiting room” for Hollywood. 

For over fifty years, from 1932 until 1983, Hollywood’s most famous stopped by once or twice, during low and high times: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Sylvester Stallone, Goldie Hawn, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton…

Schwab’s was the hangout for anyone in the business. Legends—and rumors about them—got started here. Lana Turner was discovered at the counter. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack buying a pack of cigarettes. Songwriter Harold Arlin wrote “Over the Rainbow” by the light of the neon sign. Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd played pinball in the back room.

photo courtesy of onefish2Farther west on the boulevard, at the southwest corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights, was the The Garden of Allah.

In 1928, silent screen star Alla Nazimova developed the land surrounding her mansion into the legendary private bungalows.

Silver screen stars who visited regularly included Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Marx Brothers, and Orson Welles.

It’s rumored that Tallulah Bankhead swam naked in the swimming pool and Marilyn Monroe was discovered sipping a Coke beside the same pool. Alas, as Joni Mitchell sang, they “paved paradise, put up a parking lot” when it was demolished in 1959 and replaced with a strip mall.

Who knows, maybe someday you’ll hear someone say they saw _____ at Crunch Gym, Trader Joe’s or CB2!

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for this contribution—and for the concept of the series.

Wednesday
Jul072010

paint colors: fall catalog 2010

For Fall 2010, we took a much different approach to how we used color in catalog photography. Our goal was to let the bold colors speak for themselves and create environments where they could pop.

About half of the book was shot on location where you’ll see textural brick walls, amazing single paned windows and subway tiles in a living room!

Another 20% of the photography was shot against Benjamin Moore’s “stone harbor”, BM 2111-50, which set the a dramatic mood for these living rooms.

For these bedroom shots, we used a soothing, lighter grey—“heaven” BM 2118-70.

Lower left: By using “yellow finch”, BM 2024-40, the odyssey dining table and hyde wall cabinets blended with the environment which created the perfect contrast for the blackened thor chairs to pop.

Lower right: Lastly, we used “universal black”, BM 2118-10, since the darkest shades create contrast and enhance colors that are near or against it. This is why the wood grain of the vice high dining table stands out—not to mention the red engine barstools.

Tuesday
Jul062010

designer profile: a|r studio

Where was your favorite place to live?
We moved to Milan from Tuscany, as this is the place to be if you are involved in design, so we just live where we should. We are indeed in love with Paris and New York and we dream about having a little place there.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I (Antigone) am a good cook, and we both love to have friends coming around for dinner, so I guess kitchen/dining room is the core room in our house. We sit around an old wooden table I took from home in Tuscany and love to drink good wine and chat.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Creative professionals should always be turn on: inspiration can come from anywhere and the less likely situation is in front of a blank white page. Traveling, cinema, literature, people… inspiration arrives through experience.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Matches.

Who are your design icons?
Jean Prouvè, Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams…

Form vs. function?
Function is engineering, form is decoration, good design should be both.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Our house.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Food and sleeping late.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Some good low cost items can be mixed up in an outstanding way even with the most sophisticated furniture—and taking a trip to granma’s!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Never lose passion and interest.

To see all of A/R Studio’s current designs for CB2, go here.

Friday
Jul022010

recipe: spiked watermelon

photo courtesy of: stevendepolo

1 watermelon, average size
1 pint vodka

The night before serving, carefully cut a hole 1-2” in diameter in the center of the watermelon, pour in vodka, then chill overnight.

Cut to serve, eat responsibly, and Happy 4th!

Thursday
Jul012010

whirly chandelier how-to

In our new fall catalog, we created a chandelier using our whirly hanging candleholders. It’s a dramatic DIY project that’s been displayed in a few of our stores—and by a few of our facebook followers!

Supplies:
1. 18 whirly hanging candleholders.

2. Since multiple tealights would create too much heat, only use LED powered smart tealights.

3. String or cording to hang the whirlys. We used 1 roll of Rexlace plastic lacing. We chose it for its wide range of colors, its flexibility and strength.

4. Hanging hardware appropriate to your decor and ceiling type—ie. anchored or screw-type. We used inexpesive galvanized “S” hooks since we knew they’d be cropped out of the final shot.

Directions:
1. Choose a location for the chandelier and install the proper hanging hardware.

2. Measure the length of cording you’ll need. If it will hang above a dining table, a clearance of about 30” is recommended to allow for unobstructed dinner conversations. Add 6-8” for 2 slip knots—one on each end. Hint: it’s always better to go longer than shorter when cutting since you can always trim excess cording.

3. Loop the cording through the top of every whirly candleholder as shown. Tie off the opposite end with a slip knot.

4. ´╗┐Gather all the cords and gently hang the slip knotted loops on to pre-hung hanging hardware.

5. Turn on smart tealights as needed and enjoy the lasting glow.