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Wednesday
Mar102010

10 essentials: april

1. The outdoors. Nothing else can compare to sitting on a mountaintop vista or kayaking down a winding river or sunning yourself seaside. The beauty of nature inspires everything around us.

2. Traveling. The farther you go, the more your perspective changes.

3. Red velvet cake—a serious addiction.

4. 60’s Italian cinema, the best hairstyles ever.

5. Museo del Prado has paintings that will make you swoon.

6. The sublime shapes and textures of Verner Panton’s designs never go out of style.

7. Vintage modern architecture like Neutra, Koenig. They built homes that incorporated their surroundings to allow the outside view to have as much impact as the inside view.

photo: lastnightontelevision, flickr.com8. My iPod. Whether I’m in the mood for Ladytron or Verdi’s requiem, it never disappoints.

9. The selma flute. What a gorgeous way to drink champagne!

10. Our loyal companions greeting us at the door when we return home everyday. What else can make you smile like a wildly wagging tail?

Thursday
Mar042010

lux for a little

Create the look and feel of high-end luxury on a budget by selecting simple shapes with rich textures or reflective finishes.Think soft fabrics mixed with the sparkle of polished chrome and high-gloss lacquer—and a few design details that echo the glam of old Hollywood.

Start with the avec sofa, its soft pewter poly velvet fabric and vintage cross stitching is a perfect beginning.

Add the peekaboo coffee table, for the illusion of a larger space, and throw in the city slicker side table for its white lacquer—not to mention just the right amount of 60’s regency.

 

Hang a few perspective mirrors for sparkle, add drama with a luxe floor lamp and a few blok candle holders can add romantic glow. Throw the whole collection on top of the lounge natural shag rug for that deep warm luxurious feel.

Now, take a guess on the cost of this ritzy room worthy of the silver screen. Would you believe it’s under $2,500?

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for this submission.

Wednesday
Mar032010

destination: new orleans, la

What better place to be than a city that’s been celebrating Mardi Gras—and their amazing Super Bowl win—for the past few weeks? The spirit here in New Orleans is incredible—there’s an electricity in the air!

Thirsty? First stop is the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. Immortalized in the writings of Ernest Hemingway, the revolving Carousel Bar is a part of New Orleans history. It has a wild circus motif and is often filled with colorful local characters telling their stories.

Hungry? The raw bar at John Besh’s brasserie Luke in the central business district is the best in the city. The casual dining room and delicious flavors of fresh local fish and meats will definitely require a return trip.

Nightcap? No trip to New Orleans would be proper without a Sazerac cocktail. I tested many of these around the city and these two serve the best versions.

Named after what many consider to be the world’s first mixed drink, The Sazerac Bar carries with it as much history and lore as its potable namesake. Just gazing at the famous Paul Ninas murals that flank the long African walnut bar takes you back to the grandeur of old New Orleans. A time when Huey P. Long might stroll in, order a Ramos Gin Fizz, and spend the next few hours talking to his constituents.

The Hermes Bar at Antoine’s also has a wonderful history. Since 1840, world-renowned Antoine’s Restaurant has set the standard that made New Orleans one of the greatest dining centers of the world. Can you believe that this place has been in the same family for three generations and that they were only closed for four months after Hurricane Katrina?

Sleepy? I want to stay up all night so I don’t miss a thing—and this is definitely the place to do it. But too much of a good thing is not so good.

I check in to the Loft 523 hotel, which is only two blocks from the French Quarter (and much quieter). The rooms would make a perfect location for CB2 catalog photoshoots…minimal, warm, and inviting.

Tuesday
Mar022010

CB2 windows: counter culture

We began this concept of counter culture windows as a simple collection of high dining tables and barstools accented by spray paint poetry written on a back-drop of fabric and mirrors.

The patterns—with a clashing florescent paint color—added kind of that apocalyptic or anti-establishment or “counter culture” look we thought would be eye-catching.

After executing the first two windows the third one was becoming trickier. It was hard to see any detail in the barstools because their seats were at eye level and they all looked like a bunch or metal legs.

Then I decided in order to show some of the seat top detail I should just angle and stack them into that sort of installation jumble that YES has been done before. Although, with the spray paint this window kinda just turned into this a hotel room that a punk rocker has trashed—with the fabric working as tacky wallpaper.

Man do we Love LA!


“in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”
-Coco Chanel



“my fault, my failure is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them”
-Jack Kerouac



“I love Los Angeles,
I love Hollywood,
Everybody is plastic, but I love plastic
I want to be plastic”
-Andy Warhol

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for this submission.

Thursday
Feb252010

settling in, on a budget

Recently, CB2 team member Megan and her boyfriend Paul bought a condo in a developing urban area and moved in together.

Slowly they’ve been defining their style—which includes watching expenses.

What did they learn? How are they doing it? 

1. They were fortunate and quick to take advantage of the first time buyer tax credit to purchase a new place. Not only did it give them some extra for their budget, it’s also a clean slate instead of choosing between his or her place.

2. With the new construction almost complete, they were able to work with their builder to make small changes that help make it their own—without adding out-of-pocket costs.

For example, kitchen and bath cabinet hardware went from “swirly” traditional handles to sleek modern stainless steel. Also, the granite countertop was extended to the floor to create an architecturally strong element in the kitchen which leads into the living/dining area.

3. Next, they accepted hand-me-downs from their families. Some of them work great and others are a testament to their ability to negotiate—both with each other and with whoever’s doing the offering.

4. Megan’s living proof of the theory: buy what you love and it will work together.

A perfect example is their new piazza sofa with a second-hand Persian-style rug.

 

5. Paint is inexpensive—plan on doing a lot of it. It gives the biggest bang for the buck and color helps tie elements together.

They painted every room using a neutral palette, the exception is a rich navy blue in the office/guest room that took three coats. For a close match, see Pantone 2965C.

Lastly, it’s one of the best ways to retro-fit a piece of furniture to your style.

6. Slowly but surely, additions and upgrades get done according to the budget.

Lamps are on their wish list—but in the meantime, a new trig desk provides workspace while still allowing room for guests in the second bedroom.

And even though Paul’s very visual, imagining the mix is not his specialty so Megan gives him lots of time to get comfortable with major purchases.

What’s next? They’re both anxious to enjoy warmer weather with Monroe so outdoor furniture is quickly becoming a priority!