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Entries in dinnerware (3)


meet gere kavanaugh

photo by: Laure Joliet What: Afternoon Tea with Gere Kavanaugh
When: Saturday, February 21, 2-4:00 pm
Where: CB2 Santa Monica

Now more modern than ever at age 85, Gere Kavanaugh was one of the trailblazing female designers of her time as the third woman to receive an MFA degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Still prolific today, her work celebrates her passion for creating ingenious design from the simplest of materials—including our exclusive mood dinnerware, inspired by Kavanaugh’s archival designs dating back 30 years.

We look forward to sharing her other passions —tea and conversation—this Saturday.


meet stylists: lauren lozano-ziol and mary collins

To create an eclectic look in her own home, CB2’s Senior Director of Marketing worked with Mary Collins to mix modern with vintage—bonus is she also met Lauren Lozano-Ziol!

What Alicia found most exciting about working with them—both personally and professionally—is how they took eclectic to a new level. By mixing sleek modern drinkware with cut crystal and bright orange plates with antique China plates—not to mention placing funhouse mirrors and gold pig bookends above a craftsman-style fireplace—it’s fun for us to see our modern furnishings in fresh and different ways than we typically feature as they get mixed in with very personal, even heirloom items.

For this shoot, Mary and Lauren hand-picked CB2 products that not only spoke to them, but that they were already recommending to their clients. Thank you Mary for inviting us into your home for this photo shoot—we’re thrilled we had the opportunity to work with you and Lauren!

Lauren Lozano-Ziol and Mary Collins Lauren Lozano-Ziol has been practicing residential interior design for 14 years and has received degrees in interior design and art history. Her education, her passion for travel, and experience of living abroad have inspired her love of mixing old and new design elements—along with the launch of her budding furniture line.

To create classic, timeless spaces, she blends traditional elements with clean lines, refined materials, and sophisticated colors. All my clients have different needs according to Lauren, and her portfolio reflects this versatility.

She feels like she can accommodate a vast range of styles from modern to traditional. Anything from urban residences to casual weekend retreats. Lauren has been Featured in Elle Decor, Chicago Home & Garden, NBC’s Open House and I4DESIGN magazines.

Upon Lauren’s recent return from Living in Paris, Lauren and Mary have teamed up to create timeless interiors with the vision to build a lifestyle brand with this new partnership.

Mary Collins has always had a love for all things style—from fashion to home decor. Mary took a detour from her passion to focus both on raising her young family and on working as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Mary is a self-taught designer who graduated from Vanderbilt University with degrees in math and engineering and received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Drawn to vintage clothing and antique furnishings, Mary’s aesthetic of mixing these well-loved pieces with modern, well-edited elements makes a statement that is both fresh and personal while always remaining classic, chic and elegant.

The straightforward thinking from her educational background melded with her creative side enables her to create that custom, lux look regardless of budget or project size.


redefined: white porcelain dinnerware

a Vincennes porcelain cup, circa 1750
photo: wikipedia commons
Ceramics are created by heating and cooling various types of clay—originally, ‘fired’ in wood-burning ovens, later they’re glazed and re-fired in kilns for a more durable piece.

As delicate as it appears in translucency, whiteness and fineness, porcelain is a relatively strong material made durable by heating clay with kaolinite to temperatures over 2000°F.

In general, porcelain has a high resistance to strong chemicals—such as mustard—and temperature changes—which is why it can often go from a refrigerator to an oven.

‘Porcelain’ is derived from old Italian ‘porcellana’ because of its resemblance to the translucent cowrie shell. ‘Porcelain’ has long been referred to as ‘china’ interchangeably since it originated in China—around 200AD.

Centuries after the Han Dynasty, the manufacture of porcelain increased dramatically and kilns could fire hundreds of pieces at a time. Sometime in the 9th Century, cobalt was traded between the Middle East and China allowing for the creation of now familiar blue-and-white wares.

Chinese export porcelain with Dutch ship, 1756
photo: Wikipedia Commons
By 1368–1644, the time of the Ming Dynasty, China largely controlled the trade of porcelain and it was during this Dynasty that blue-and- white wares were exported heavily to Europe. Since cobalt had a value greater than gold, the elaborately decorated pieces became the coveted standard for years.

Trade between the Far East and Portugal began in the early 16th century, followed by the Dutch later in that century—and even though the imported pieces were held in high esteem, it wasn’t long before local manufacturers worked to replicate or replace them.

It was the Portuguese who discovered that the kaolin clay was a key ingredient—but the Chinese had hundreds of years of experience so it wasn’t until the early 1700s that Europeans discovered other manufacturing, ‘trade’ secrets.

Once the Methuen Treaty established trading relations between England and Portugal, manufacture of porcelain soon followed and flourished. But at the same time, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and France all established strong porcelain manufacturing capabilities. For a time, plain white pieces were imported from China and decorated in Europe—however many established manufacturing areas and companies are still revered today such as Wedgwood, Arzberg and Limoges.

Bone china refers to porcelain that is made with bone ash in the clay mixture which creates a very translucent porcelain—most apparent when it’s held up to a light source—while breakthroughs in new chemicals and processes create a finish that is comparably luxurious.

New approaches to shapes also breathe life into white porcelain—such as the pieced parts of
mend dinnerware. And while formal dinnerware was traditionally ordered in placesettings for 12, today pieces of antique/vintage patterns are eclectically mixed with modern to create unique looks.