Thursday, February 25, 2010

Character & Brilliance, Cool & Beautiful

One of my favourite things about fashion, especially with serious styling, is the ability to mix and match seemingly random genres and inspirations in one look. Maybe you've paired a vintage inspired John Varvatos leather motorcycle jacket with a perfectly pressed traditional oxford style dress shirt, and your favourite jeans. Or in your home, you've arranged a dinner party for your nine closest friends, and positioned everyone around an antique farmhouse style table, with elegant Vietri dishes, gorgeous Garnier-Thiebaut linens, old world extravagance in Arte D'Italia pewter serving pieces, and the most modern, pop-art inspired chairs. It's like the old wedding phrase - something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

When you mix and match various styles, make sure there is a common code to avoid looking like potpourri. Choose fabrics that compliment each other. Maybe you wear a thick tweed jacket, with a paper thin tshirt. A flirty, fun table cloth with a handful of colours and intricate woven design never competes with napkins in a contrasting, solid dark hue. When the dominating pattern or focus piece includes a small scale, detailed design, accessories or secondary pieces can still be patterned as well, but should be on a larger scale or with minimal complexity.

Taking cues from the runway, designing your living space is not as difficult as you think. Start with a neutral canvas. In fashion, you can wear denim or gray in every season. In living spaces, any room can be well decorated, no matter the season, with a neutral wall colour. Think khaki, sand, ivory, slate gray - any light, warm colour that suits your taste. A warm, chestnut brown couch can be anything but bla when you update its look with bright pillows or a luxurious throw. Add charm and whimsy with art, antiques or pieces with character and romance, and of course personal touches like photographs and custom pieces.

I love the modern aesthetic, durable construction, and youthful inspiration of CB2. I've owned several pieces from this company of the last ten years, and have been nothing but pleased. From the most fabulous Marimekko wall art and the funkiest clocks, to the most innovative shelving solutions and the most functional food preparation tools, CB2 is brilliant. Imagine Crate and Barrel being the classy, conservative older brother; CB2 is the funky, fabulous, free spirited, full of flair and finesse, younger sister.

From their website:

CB2 is a modern destination from Crate and Barrel that first opened in Chicago in the year 2000.

CB2 is affordable modern for apartment, loft, home.

CB2 is a community (which we hope includes you) seeking modern home design that's clever and in the moment, that's spare and simple but with great attention to details, that's priced smart so we can all have it all (and feel smart doing so). The only attitude you'll find at CB2 is creative, fun, happy to share.

CB2 is about sharing as we search the world for CB2 one-of-a-finds, limited edition items crafted by artisans with a story, a history; our partnership has helped to provide much needed funds for housing and education in remote villages. Our Thanksgiving store tradition, the CB2 "can do" food drive, fills the shelves of local food pantries while helping to fulfill the basic needs of those in need.

CB2 is now six urban stores in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Berkeley, LA and Miami. Stop in and see the way we like to mix, play, live with emerging trends, new color, scale for spaces small and large.

Here's what I'm loving right now:

Radius Day Bed

Marimekko's Vermutti wall art

Twiggy Side Table

Madra Magazine Rack

Keep Calm Rug

little bird pillow

stainless steel shiny water pitcher

mapkins - Rome

Century Wardrobe

As you can see, it's incredibly easy to fall in love with CB2. It's not just stuff. It's functioning art with fashion, finesse, and flair.

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