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Tuesday
Apr272010

CB2 windows: wheels up!

Thankfully Eyjafjallajokull remained calm long enough for our flight to take off as planned and we’re all happy to be back home, safe and well rested from our extended visit to Milan.

We took thousands of photos and can’t wait to share the trends. Stay tuned!



Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, who created these “wheels up” windows.

Wednesday
Apr212010

recipe: negroni aperitif

1 part gin

1 part sweet vermouth

1 part Campari bitters

1/2 slice of orange

Serve over ice, with salty snacks before dinner.

Salute!

Tuesday
Apr202010

hello milan!

We made our annual trip to Milan for the Saloni—we walked the showrooms, we ooh’d and ahh’d and were inspired at every turn. But like most other travelers this week we’ve been grounded and cannot move on to our next destination, Asia.

Our Italian is getting better every day since we’re seeing more of the city than we usually get to—and we’re getting even more inspired than we antipicated.

We’ll share some inspirations soon…we’re on Italy time for now. Ciao!

Thursday
Apr082010

on location: tryon farm

Tryon Farm, the outdoor site for CB2’s summer catalog, is a working, sustainable community for residents who see themselves as caretakers of the land—who value the simple joys of being in natural settings, care about the conservation and preservation of open space, and steward the wise use of resources.

The mission of Tryon Farm is to build and maintain a healthy environment, an energetic community, a nurturing home; and to protect or re-establish mainstays of the regional landscape—farmlands, woods, prairies, wetlands.

Originally a 170-acre dairy farm in northwest Indiana, new simple houses and lofts are clustered in seven “settlements”. From farmstead to woods to meadows, each is distinct—defined by its natural elements.

For example, the Farmstead settlement comprises the farmhouse, barns and sheds that were the original farm, and in the Pond settlement, homes recede into the landscape near a pond that’s a native habitat for frogs, minnows and herons.

To accomplish their goals, they insist on using clean sewer water for irrigation, controlling storm water, keeping night lighting low, minimizing road building—and their natural wetlands sewage system operates independently of a municipal system. Architects carefully design to the landscape so window placement takes full advantage of the sun for lighting and winds for ventilation—not to mention the beauty of expansive views.

One key aspect of any sustainable venture is the maintenance or repurposing of existing structures. So the old farmhouse was converted into a bed and breakfast and the barn is a community center for potluck suppers, association meetings and viewing old movies.

Regular and seasonal events are diverse and include workshops on conservation and planning of rural and urban areas, advice on organic gardening and landscaping, bicycle repair sessions, feeding goats and chickens, splitting wood for fires, and bonfire circle suppers.

Next Saturday, April 17, from 10am to 3pm, help plant 1,200 tree saplings as a windbreak on the edge of a rolling alfalfa field. Reward is an informal lunch in the old Tryon dairy barn with music, stories and a salute to Mother Earth. Register at Earth Day Tree Lunch.

Thanks to curtis, catalog art director, for all on location photography.

Wednesday
Apr072010

material world: mirrors

Calm water was most likely the first source of one’s reflection–which eventually led to narcissism named after the Greek god Narcissus.

Over time, many advances were made in the development of mirrors which led to today’s pristine versions. If you’ve ever seen dark, spotty antique mirrors, imagine what crude reflections the Romans saw from blown glass coated with molten lead.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/91829349@N00/2833711420/Venice became a center of mirror production in the 1500s using new techniques based on its glass-making expertise. Not long after, owning them became a luxury and status symbol which helps explain the decadent Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.

Obviously they’re one of the most reliable ways of making a room appear larger. In the 70s however, mirrors were a literal reflection of disco and Glam Rock as their floor to ceiling sparkle overwhelmed many a sunken living room. For a modern look to increase space visually, consider infinity mirrors.

It’s no surprise that original Feng Shui beliefs were that mirrors related to the element of water and can increase or shift energy flow. In recent decades, proper placement in Western homes became just as relevant as yoga and green teas.

Today, “spy” mirrors—convex glass reflecting a wider area than flat glass—are most often used for safely allowing a peak around a corner. But they’re a whimsical touch when placed in an eclectic, sophisticated room.