Irwin Weiner ASID - Did that headline get your full attention, home designeristas and -istos? With the opening of the new CB2 store at the front of the D&D Building in NYC, Crate & Barrel is signaling to the pillars of the design world that their lower cost, trendy, more youthful brand of interior design is knocking at your door. The styles and trends were fresh as Jay and I explored the new store on 3rd Avenue last week - but the immediacy of sales to anyone off the street or on the Internet challenges interior design professionals that here is yet another high design resource that is no longer only "to the trade."
Not that the quality of manufacture was flawless as in higher-priced custom furnishings ... we saw the occasional askew legs on a cabinet which brought to mind clients receiving catalog merchandise in the past in all stages of disarray. Many of the pieces are made in India, which means a lower price but considerable shipping distance. One designer told me recently that she had a table shipped from one company (not CB2, to be clear about it) that looked as if the trucker had punched a hole through the box and put a huge dent in the tabletop. You take your chances when you avoid white glove home goods treatment. But all in all, sprinkling some of the beautifully designed objects you can get via catalog with other higher end custom pieces can create a pretty compelling look for most homeowners.
You'll get a great idea about the store's edge and younger vibe in this video of the grand opening at their Georgetown/DC store.
Here are some of our favorites from CB2; click on the photo for more information (including in the top photo: the splayed loveliness of designer Sean Dare's Fujiya Floor Lamp, the teardrop black powdercoated Noir Pendant Lamp hanging over the tailored-squared Club Piping Chair, the four-door-fronted glam of the Ion Credenza, designer Federico Churba's Banquina Chair slipper chair makeover, and the Peg Leg Bed with gray tufted wool blend headboard. The last photo shows one of our very favorites, the Wilson Barstools; we loved the way the powdercoated colorful metal bases contrasted with the "live"-edge wooden seats (the natural or live edge left on one surface of the seats was a fantastic design detail).