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Monday
Jul262010

jam cafe

In our neighborhood, Jam Cafe is an amazing oasis with both indoor and outdoor seating. A great BYO that keeps menu items affordable by accepting cash only.

Go for the delicious modern spins on classic sandwiches and dinners—don’t miss the CB2 placemats, plates… Enjoy!

Friday
Jul232010

10 essentials: megan

1. Everything about style makes me think of my mom. Fashion and decorating, beautiful fabrics—especially simple, elegant raw linen—I fell in love with pearls, Paris and Vogue because she’s shared her passions since I was young.

2. The stories you can read into candid photography. It’s great food for the imagination and I love the art form.

3. Riding to work on my Jamis hybrid bicycle. Chicago’s getting more and more biker friendly with new lanes every year—there’s even a bike station at Millenium Park.

4. Summer street festivals where we can be outside listening to bands, with good food and drink—all local. Favorites are the Green Music Festival, West Fest and Tour de Fat.

5. Making home-brewed beer after taking classes at Bev Art.

6. Keeping it simple in the kitchen. We use stemless wine glasses and cuatro appetizer plates as multi-purpose—they work great for everything.

7. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner—it’s my favorite holiday because I get to spend time with my large Irish family. We have a weigh-in and whoever gains the most wins the leftovers.

8. Hanging out with Monroe, who’s very sociable, at dog friendly cafes.

9. Organic—especially Seventh Generation cleaning products and organic baking.

10. How can you not buy a pair of TOMS shoes when you know a pair will be provided to a child in need? Bonus: the sustainable materials they use, new fun designs all the time, and they’re super comfortable!

Thanks to megan, product manager assistant, for this submission.

Thursday
Jul222010

in multiples: pendants

If all the world’s a stage, we want better lighting! No matter the fixture, lighting always creates drama. Concert-goers remember a favorite song, maybe the playlist, but they always comment on the light show!

Lighting sets a mood and is the first extension of the architecture of a space into room settings—so choose accordingly. Direct or fluorescent lighting is best used in places like offices or schools where energy efficiency and high clarity are priorities. While warmer lighting—usually low wattage—is great in multiples to cast a flattering glow.

hint: research and imagine the possibilities!

Wednesday
Jul212010

how to: fit the space

Buying large furniture, like a sofa or a bed, is a mix of art and science. The ‘art’ part is usually the fun and easier part: Do you simply love it and does it coordinate with existing pieces? But the ‘science’ part is more calculating: Does it functionally meet your needs? Is the price right? Will it fit in the space—and through all the entryways?

1. For all doors and hallways the item will have to travel thru, measure the heights and widths (A,B) and the entry clearance (C). Don’t forget any other obstacles, such as ceilings, unremovable lighting fixtures, stairwell banisters and tight turns.

2. Make sure that the width of the furniture piece is less than the entry dimensions A or C and the diagonal depth is less than B. Hint: CB2 specs dimensions in this order: width x depth x height. For example, the movie sofa shown above is 88” wide x 40” in depth x 26” high.

3. To determine diagonal depth, place a straight edge from the highest point of the back frame to the front of the piece. Then measure from the bottom rear corner up to the point that bisects the straight edge. Example: The sofa shown below has a diagonal depth of 25.5”.

Think about the idiosyncracies of the space and “live” with a new item before buying. Make sure the opening and closing of doors will clear sofas and that you don’t lose access to windows over bedroom furniture.

To help you decide if the footprint of a piece fits the floor space, try one of these three options:
—sketch the room onto graph paper and include existing pieces that will also be in the room.
—use blue painter’s tape and  mark the floor space using provided dimensions.
—tape newspaper together to create a full-size footprint of the piece, position it in the room, on the floor. Lastly, “build” it in 3-D by placing objects to fill in the height such as plastic storage boxes, etc. 

These suggestions are to be used as a guide to measurement and do not guarantee your furniture purchase will fit. For the smoothest move, consider every scenario and size constraint that may occur from the delivery truck to the item’s final room placement.

Tuesday
Jul202010

designer profile: scot herbst

Where was your favorite place to live?
Milan Italy. I was designer there in 2000 and learned so much about form and craftsmanship…and wine.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a little craftsman outside of San Francisco, with so much hardwood inside that people remark that it’s like being inside an old sailboat. The kids room is like a really colorful captain’s quarters.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Our zen wagon —a hand-built children’s wagon styled in the mid-century bent-ply aesthetic. Charles Eames would have designed it 60 years ago if he’d had two little ones that constantly needed to get outside after destroying his house.

What do you drive?
1960 Ferrari Gran Turismo, bright red, baseball glove leather interior…in my head…as I’m riding my bicycle around the city…

What one item do you wish you owned?
Lately I’ve been more interested in Paul McCobb furniture from the ‘50’s…but wow, good luck affording an original. Maybe his grand-daughter will read this and sympathize with me…

Who are your design icons?
I love the great modernists, Saarinen, Bertoia, George Nelson…and it’s unbelievable to think they created in a computer-less age, this was impossibly sophisticated stuff.

Form vs. function?
Oh it’s not a competition. Form + Function both win and hug it out after the game.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I’ve always had this amazingly cool Marimekko framed tapestry, which was on my wall when I met my wife 6 years ago. She’s super talented and works with textiles and fabrics… I’m convinced that sealed the deal when she realized what an uncanny sensitivity I have to graphic textiles.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Color. The biggest bang for your buck—-you can give a room an incredibly sophisticated feeling with the right use of a really special color. Bring a Pantone chip to Home Depot—-they’ll match it!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Just do what you love, the rest will fall into place.

To see all of Scot’s current designs for CB2, go here.