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creating CB2 windows

Storefront windows have been a staple since the dawn of “shoppe” keepers. Over time they evolved into a form of entertainment and experimentation. Today they have to stand out from the competition, stop you in your tracks—and catch your eye between blinks—no pressure, really.

Developing a concept is the first and most difficult step of planning windows. After some brainstorming a strong idea emerges to suit the product selection. Next we’ll order the merchandise to stock it, buy supplies and schedule help.

carbon copy window

For these ‘carbon copy’ windows we were inspired by the movie “500 days of summer”. The lead character in the movie, an architect, had a chalkboard wall in his bedroom to sketch ideas—including a virtual headboard for his bed.

We incorporated this idea into the window theme—which became ‘grey, black, white and a single hit of bold color’—by drawing elements customers might have in their homes, like a flight of stairs and a vintage French mirror.

Erick's mirror 1 Mark-Austin stairsElliot To produce the windows we sought local (and hidden) talent within our store. Mark-Austin, Elliot and Erick created the chalk drawn interior spaces—the virtual settings for actual product.

In the end, the most successful windows not only display products in the best light possible, they’re created by a talented and enthusiastic team who participate in the creative process and contribute their skills to the execution. Many thanks to the Sunset team for all their support and hard work!

Are you inspired to DIY? How about hanging an infinity mirror and chalking your own frame? We’d love to see what details suit your personality.

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


an office at home

If today’s business climate has forced you to re-think your career choice, is creating your dream job an option? What about returning to school to either finish or further your education? There are more and more stories of entrepreneurs who’ve turned a hobby into a small business—so why not start-up at home?

First you’ll need your million dollar idea and lots of motivation, then you can get to work setting-up shop. Next, space. Carving out a room is ideal but a nook will do.

home office nook

studio office chairTo get started, you’ll need these 5 essentials.

1. a desk. Graph incorporates drawers to keep files easily accessible and, depending on how paperless you operate, could elminate a file cabinet.

2. a versatile desk chair. Studio’s bungee cord “upholstery” means its comfortable for most and it pretty much goes anywhere. Just like the executives’, it pivots and lifts for the best ergonomic fit.
turner sconce

3. lighting. The first thing that comes to mind is a task lamp, but why not work with your existing decor and use a floor lamp or the turner sconce? Your office will will be more integrated and you’ll free-up valuable real estate on your desktop.
metropolis wall clock

4. time management. Go bold with an oversized clock like metropolis—the perfect compliment to all of the above.

5. include the fun factor! It’s not optional, it’s mandatory. What are the little things in life that make you smile and give you energy? Fu dog bookends or an orange swingline stapler?
fu dog bookendsswingline stapler orange

So many questions, so many untapped opportunities to be your own boss! Already on this trend? What are your best practices? How about sharing a room like this couple did with back to back desks?



simply modern, simply ghoulish

halloween2halloween poison croppedWhether it’s getting all dressed up in a costume and make-up, or making a statement in all black, Halloween is one party where everyone can have some fun.

To get in the mood, and not break the bank on decorations, it’s not too late to inject a simple element or two into a modern home to spook up festive spirits.

1. all black
2. lots of candles
3. orange accents
4. masks of any kind
5. cobwebs

hint: create a graphic spiderweb using black electrical tape on a glass top table.

halloween tablescape


solar decathlon 2009

photo by jim tetro

The Solar Decathlon began in 2002 as an internationally-recognized biennial competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar powered house.

20 university teams from around the world compete in 10 different contests including: architecture, engineering, energy performance, interior design, and lighting. Houses are constructed at the universities, then disassembled and transported to Washington D.C. for exhibition and final judging.

Collaboration among students from different academic disciplines is fostered during all phases of the competition including architecture and engineering students, who rarely work together until they enter the workplace.

A “whole building design” approach differs from the traditional “design then build” process because the design team considers the interactions of all building components and systems to create a more comfortable energy efficient home with reduced environmental impact.

photo by jim tetro

CB2 is proud to have partnered with the University of Illinois team, who designed and built Gable House shown above, by contributing furniture and accessories.

Some of the eco-friendly items used were the annex sectional, chosen for its sustainable frame and cushions. The darjeeling table and the gear tealights carried an industrial element into the dining room. Bamboo towels, cirrus rug, and Ecogen bath accessories accented the bathroom; and organic sheets, a sardinia duvet, and FLOR tiles were used in the bedroom.

photo by jim tetro

photo by jim tetro

Final judging took place October 15th and the team took 2nd Place—Congratulations to all!

Imagine, it all started with materials reclaimed from this old barn. Were you one of the thousands at the National Mall in DC? Would you like to share the experience?


canine casting call


On average our 80-page catalogs feature 12 people and 2 dogs. We usually send out emails asking if associates have time and interest in modeling and it’s worked well so far. But as we prepared to shoot our Holiday catalog, we decided to try something new so we emailed a canine casting call.

MrHungryIt included strict guidelines—such as very dark colored dogs don’t photograph well, they must be well trained, ie. no tinklers or growlers, and of course they had to be pretty darn cute.          

The response was amazing—and hilarious—a total of 41 dogs, 3 cats, 1 child (in costume as a pup) and 1… mr.hungry.

How in the world could we decide—and not step on any paws in the process?! We stuck to our guns and edited the way we always do—with a strong focus. In the end, we chose 5 top dogs for the shoot so watch your mailbox for the final 2 that made the editors cut!

And the other 36? Most will get a call-back for the Spring catalog which goes on location next month!