Design

1970s modernism meets a Milanese boutique

Exploring the influences and inspirations that shaped our new collection

CB2's new collection is a masterful mix of influences

When we first started concepting our new collection, Divisional Merchandising Manager Sara Khodja described it as reminding her of “when you go to a really cool little store in Milan and want to buy everything. We’re bringing that to everyone.” At the time, we had no idea the world would soon shut down in the face of a global pandemic, halting our travel to Milan and plenty of other places. Now, the editor’s eye we bring to each season feels more relevant than ever. COVID-19 presented a new challenge and opportunity for this to be our most thoughtful, tightly curated collection yet.

There’s a style we’re calling “soft brutalism,” which combines rough shapes, organic textures and a calming neutral palette. There are rich tones and lush materials that lend the whole thing an opulent air, not unlike what you’d experience at an exclusive London speakeasy or members’ club. There are timeless materials applied in unexpected ways—and fresh applications of materials due for a comeback. It all feels like something you’d find in a well-traveled collector’s home, even if we’re not actually going anywhere at the moment.

CB2's new collection is a masterful mix of influences

Seventies influences and inspirations collide with the 21st century

We love to create a little tension, combining juxtaposing styles for an unexpected push and pull. That’s especially true this season, which features both a maximalist mashup of old world influences and a Brutalist edge that somehow manages to be simultaneously refined, light and—dare we say—airy. Case in point: the Carve Travertine Cocktail Tables designed by Studio Anansi, shown here with the Tablon Snow Sofa. (Quick sidebar: the Tablon Sofa and Chair are upholstered in a luxe poly/linen blend that also happens to be performance fabric. So feel free to drink all the coffee and red wine you want while lounging on them.)

We’re not afraid to play favorites, and when it comes to the new collection, the Carve Travertine Cocktail Tables are absolutely one of ours. Note the architectural silhouette, layered ivory tones and fluted details on the base. Inspired by 1970s Italian modernism, these tables add serious design cred to any space, without the serious price tag associated with importing a similar vintage style from Europe. They’re just as scene-stealing alone as they are clustered in a group of three.

Speaking of favorites, the original Gwyneth Boucle Chair regularly tops our bestseller list. While our love for boucle hasn’t faded a bit, we’re very into the sumptuous sleekness of the new ivory leather version. And in the vein of the Carve Travertine Cocktail Tables, the ivory leather adds a bit of 1970s mod flair to this CB2 classic. (No matter how you feel about disco, you can’t deny there was some amazing design work happening in that decade.)

The meticulous attention to detail, sophisticated construction and thoughtful consideration of materials extends throughout the new collection, which never veers too far in one particular design direction. Traditionally stark materials like stone and cement are tempered with warmer woods or softer tones. Take the Santoro Coffee Table, paired here with the Gwyneth Ivory Leather Chair. Polished white quartz rests on three solid acacia wood legs, in a more refined approach to stone than some of our past collections offered. We love it so much, we’re doing a green agate version in ultra-limited quantities. So if you’re into it, don’t wait.

CB2's new collection is a masterful mix of influences

[The new collection] reminds me of when you go to a cool little store in Milan and want to buy everything. We’re bringing that to everyone.
— Sara Khodja

CB2's new collection is a masterful mix of influences

A luxe European daydream

Imagine a refined boutique hotel with an impeccable vintage collection sourced from the finest auction houses. Now imagine yourself living there.

There’s a continued midcentury influence here, along with nods French industrial design—and all with a sophisticated, even opulent twist. Classical elements mingle with elegant details for a high-design look that’s effortlessly cool and considered.

CB2's new collection is a masterful mix of influences
The new collection spans eras and influences, mixing the traditional with the modern in a uniquely CB2 way. The Reid Oval Desk, for instance, sports slim fluting that feels almost tambour-like, in a rounded silhouette that could only be conceived of today. Or the Nadi Cane Bed, whose simple silhouette lets the handwoven rattan and midtone wood take center stage. These are those forever pieces—buy them now, treasure them for a lifetime.

We should mention here, too, that this season is a little bit different due to COVID-19. We’re all living through a global pandemic, which is causing all sorts of disruptions (some more serious than others). Our shipping process and timelines have been affected, so pieces might take a little longer to get to you. We’re so incredibly excited about this collection and promise it will be worth the wait.

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