CB2 tweets

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!


modern flower arrangements


10 essentials: raymond

cta map photo by wallyg, flickr.com1. Public transportation.

2. Homemade spaghetti sauce.

3. Little Cayman…no where else like it—especially when its cold at home.

4. Cole Hahn shoes. My feet love them.

5. Bubbly in a stemless flute and cocktails served in marta barware…what better way to have a Ketel One than on the rocks in the double old-fashioned.

jain monk bowls6. Jain Monk Bowls purchased on my travels.

7. Watching the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoons. Great memories.

8. Chatuchak Outdoor Market in Bangkok…you can get lost for days searching for treasures.Hitchcock photo by Fire Monkey Fish,

9. Friends and Family.

10. Scary movies… the original Halloween or any Hitchcock film. Tippi Hedren is classic in the Birds and Marnie and who doesn’t love Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.


a thrifty cocktail party

During this great recession, what better way to cheer up than cocktails with friends in thrifty wardrobes?

Valentine’s weekend was the perfect time to concoct a few gelatin dishes, mix a rum punch, break out the lipstick red pumps and pile coats on the bed.

From head to toe, CB2 creatives dug deep into their closets for powder blue prom dresses, ruffled tuxedo shirts, and rhinestone costume jewelry—guilt-free of buying new bling.

How to make it modern? Loud plaid pants, candy cigarettes and stemless martini glasses. These stackable glasses take up a tenth of the space of stemmed versions and each is at the ready for a martini, cosmopolitan, or scotch and soda—topped off with re-usable tipsy toes ice cubes.


recipe: rum punch

1-1/2L rum
1L ginger ale
3 small containers lemon/limeade frozen concentrate

ice block:
scoop one layer of maraschino cherries into a mini-loaf pan
fill with water and freeze
add to punch in large punch bowl

*bow tie optional