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Wednesday
Oct142009

wreath how-to

In our latest catalog, our creative stylists DIY’d a holiday wreath using ornaments from our bins—the result is a stunning, brightly colored and festive wreath to welcome guests. Since we often get questions about details in our photography, such as requests for paint colors used, we anticipated that a lot of you would want to know how it was made.

holiday wreath 1BSupplies:
1. Strong stiff wire that can be bent into a ring. We used aluminum wire gauge 20, about 55” long—due to the scale of the products in the shot, our wreath was rather large, about 28” in diameter. A wire hanger is also a simple way to go.

2. Ornaments. We used a total of 81 ornaments. For a smaller version, we’re guessing you could make a 14” wreath with about a third of the ornaments depending on how full you wanted it.

3. Strong tape to fasten the ends of the wire ring together or, pliers to twist the ends of the wire ring together.

4. Ribbon to hang the wreath.

holiday wreath 2Directions:
1. String one ornament at a time onto the wire ring, alternating colors, using smaller ones to fill in the gaps.

2. When the ring is completely covered in ornaments, fasten the ends together.

3. Use a ribbon to cover the spot where the ends are fastened together, and hang!

Tip: best not to go too large in diameter as the wreath could become too heavy and stretch out.

Thanks to curtis, art director, CB2 catalog, for this submission.

Tuesday
Oct132009

modern furniture mixology

Don’t despair over the decorative crown molding in your new rental—or the starkness of all white walls—an eclectic mix could be the answer to these decorating dilemmas.

Since the eye can get lazy looking over a room with monotonous decor, substituting unexpected pieces can spark visual interest—and energy. The key is the right friction, not clashes, between styles, colors and textures.

For example, if your living room is filled solely with antique furniture and Ikat rugs, simply swap out the chairs for more streamlined versions like scan lounge. Vintage pieces will appear even more unique and the combinations will express your personality.

ikat weaving

This also works in reverse. Interiors with strictly modern furnishings can sometimes feel cold or uninviting so adding an heirloom or flea market find can help it feel warm and casual.

The sleek finish of a city slicker table and the high contrast graphics of a wire rug would be cool without a more approachable accent piece like your grandmother’s chair. Creating a current look by accentuating textures and patterns is just one way to balance personal and style sensibilities.

city slicker table
antique chair 2271427918_441e68a49e_m

Photo: Smart J, flickr.com



wire rug

If mixing is a challenge, does this help? Or care to share ideas that worked?

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

Thursday
Oct082009

pre-fab=pretty fabulous!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine

This past summer, Sunset Magazine partnered with Modern Cabana to create the Modern Cottage event for their October annual design issue.

The pre-fabricated cottage was designed to a create living spaces that are both eco-friendly and affordable. Consisting of two units, a 10x12 home office and a 12x25 guest suite, it’s a compelling model of minimalist living.

Positioned as a breezeway connecting the two units, the deck was made from a composite material which requires no painting, staining, or sealing. Decking was also installed around the units creating a variety of outdoor areas.

Other exterior features include FSC-certified clear inland cedar and a vertical garden of succulents which creates a living mosaic of shapes, textures, and colors. The angled roof is waterproofed with recycled tire rubber and is available with an integrated solar laminate for power. Two favorite extras—a refreshing outdoor shower and a dog-house with a green roof!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine


Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset MagazineInterior features include a sleek compact kitchenette using built-ins and bar-size appliances. A sliding door allows natural light in and opens to a back deck that includes a fire pit and outdoor kitchen.

Eco-friendly bamboo flooring runs throughout the cottage and corrugated walls enclose a corner off the office—inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s use of industrial steel in residential buildings.

We’re thrilled that the living-area included our space saving flex sofa which converts to a bed. As an office desk, an old door with a frosted glass top was suspended from the ceiling and paired with our surf chair and trig file cabinet. For more details—including pricing estimates—check out the October issue of Sunset Magazine.

We look forward to your comments and photos if you were there!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine

Wednesday
Oct072009

what goes around

taxi and mop shop DSC08540to market DSC09538best loaded DSC08993
Traffic as we know it is a mix of motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses. In India, it’s all that and more including tractors, camel drawn carts, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and sacred animals.

Here bicycles are a vital tool to fulfill ones’ livelihood—an elemental, low-tech solution to a myriad of needs. Literally thousands of bikes share the road with  all of the above transporting workers to work, foods to markets, or materials and goods to factories.

It was inspirational to see bicycles transporting recyclables and a sistern to collect rain water. The mindset of the culture is amazingly resourceful so just about everything gets reused—or used sparingly.

Some of these very bicycle tires have been selected and repurposed as spoke mirrors for CB2. Each is one of a kind and the iconic engineering mixes great with old or new interiors.

recycling
Sistern DSC09120

Tuesday
Oct062009

race for the cure--the finish line

proceed and be boldWe could spend the rest of our lives looking for the words to express the overwhelming emotion and gratitude we felt when we saw the sea of orange at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on September 26th, but we know that we will never find them.

Together, our team of 44 raised over $15,000 —the most of any team in the Chicago area.

Your support humbled and inspired us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
race crowd