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STOP! Collaborate and be awesome
I love collaborations - they're often a collision of worlds that you didn't know you needed until they pull it together and it's awesome - as long as it is indeed awesome, but that's up to the eye of the beholder / judger / critic, which is all of us, what, what!
So this morning when I woke up at 6am to the vibration and sound charm of a message coming in on my phone through WhatsApp (I'm still getting used to my Android phone notification settings, ugh), I couldn't go back to sleep so ventured into the world of social media. Low and behold in my Facebook app was a sponsored post about the new collab between Gwyneth Paltrow's goop and everyone's favorite modern and cool little sister to Crate and Barrel, CB2.
I guess I was living under a rock since it managed to launch yesterday without me hearing a peep about it, but I know about it today and that's all that matters. We're lucky to be getting a CB2 location in the next few months here in Seattle. In the meantime, I am left to peruse the line through my phone and subsequently my laptop and though I haven't had the chance to examine the collection in person and do the all-important sit tests, I just wanted to share my thoughts, because I have some.
The collab is introduced to us here with a letter from GP in a style with which you might be familiar if you subscribe to the goop newsletter. The first paragraph gives us very important guidance on design, as her own home has a "layered quality - pieces from different places and times, accented by nostalgic objects amassed over the years." So much yes! Do that in every home in every room! However....two paragraphs later she tells us to, "put the [collab] sofa and stools together and…." we create "magic." But….you just told us to collect things from different places? Right? So putting two pieces from the same store much less the same collab would be going against your philosophy, no?
I know there is furniture to sell, but I'm just going to stay with the beautiful message of paragraph one of her letter. And you should too. If you love something from this - choose one thing, your favorite, for your own home and fix the rest elsewhere, and don't forget to add in the old - the pieces from different times, as she says. Vintage is where it's at!!
Okay, let's take a look at the collection itself (all images pulled from the CB2 website):
Curvo Pink Velvet Sofa
First up, the curvo sofa, particularly the pink velvet edition. Let me just tell you - I think this thing is insanely beautiful - love the color, I love the lines. It's gorgeous. BUT this is where I want to point out that this is not a great example of the "obsessive attention to quality" goop is touting about the collection. A quality sofa will last you ages - will this? Not on your life - unless you don't use it, smirk. While it's got a hardwood frame, is it kiln dried wood? We don't know - it doesn't tell us. What is supporting the seat? Are there any springs in there? If so, are they coil or sinuous? These are important aspects to know when determining quality. So I would never put this sofa in a high-use space - I love it for a little seating area in an office, you know, the one you never sit in because you're chained to your desk staring at 2 monitors, a laptop screen and your cell phone all at once because you think you're a multitasking genius but really you have technology-induced ADD (or maybe that's just me).
Okay, I know I'm being extreme, it's just I can't get over the very true words from Sophie Donelson, EIC of House Beautiful in the July/August 2018 editor letter - "When Pricipessa Geioriana Corsini, matriarch of a 700-year-old Florentine family, opened her city home to us, she pointed out that the furnishings depicted in a generations-old painting were the same pieces in front of us, rehabbed and still lovely. We all grimaced a bit that here in the States, a 10-year-old sofa is considered ready for the curb." There's so much purchasing of décor to match a trend and a moment in time that we don't want to spend money on the thing that will last us generations if we just take care of it.
The Gwyneth Special Edition Shearling Chair
Have you ever wanted to coat yourself with the lining to your UGG boots? Well, do I have a chair for you. Can you imagine how delightfully soft and cozy this chair is? My only sadness is that it doesn't come with an ottoman and matching shearling Snuggy (remember those?) so you can binge watch Sharp Objects from a place of extreme comfort. This chair is lovely (I won't go into my rant about quality construction again, just see above) and the boucle version (for us plebes) is pretty sweet too, however, if you are one of the 40 people to snag up the shearling edition, can I come over for a bit? I'll bring my own Snuggie, remember those?
Wait, did you know that before the Snuggie, there was a Slanket? I'm dying. Slanket, because of course you'd combine the words sleeves and blanket when you invent a blanket with sleeves, what was the Snuggie naming team thinking? Obviously they should have gone with Bleeve!
Quattro Sharkskin Sectional Sofa
Well, I'm just going to say it: I'm not a fan of this sectional. I keep staring at it, trying to get it, but I just don't. Not for me. I'm sure it's comfortable, but it just looks like velvet covered Legos. So, yeah obviously not my aesthetic. Though, if one of my clients insisted, I'd make that shit work like it's my job or something. I don't have anything else to write about this sectional. I'm eager to hear your thoughts though.
Oh, I dig these. Solid wood with brass butterflies for the win. Can't go wrong there! I love the combo of the brass and wood, and I love the shape and how each stool is unique. They are unfinished, which leaves us with the natural color and sheen of the wood, so yeah, I dig. I can see why Ms. Goop recommended a pairing with the lovely Curvo sofa. They are indeed a good match for the "cool and curated look," however, as I said above, just don't. If you buy the stools, pair them with a different sofa, and if you buy the sofa pair them with a different "cool" wood piece. That's how you get a truly curated look…because you curated it rather than buying two pieces from the same collection, smile emoji.
La Strizza Bench with Bolster Pillows
This is hands down my favorite piece in this collection. I was just yesterday looking for a great leather/metal combo bench for a client, and I need look no further. This is pretty excellent (at least from the digital photos on my screen/s). I'm curious about the quality of the leather to know truly how long this piece will last (I'll do a post eventually about leather quality and another on furniture construction, so stay tuned), but aesthetically it's a win for me. The stainless steel base add a delightful sheen you might not have anywhere else in the space you're pulling together. The untanned leather will only soften and get better with age (if it's a good quality), and the patina of aged leather is just so good.
Bordo Dining Table
Surfboard tables are just cool. They can be a little limiting though if you are an entertaining maven, as there is no option to expand, but it's really just a chic look that is also "cool," to use the CB2 desciptor again. No worries with quality here - it's made out of cement, so we're good. Just bring in your crew of 4 burly movers to help out should you decide to rearrange your room. I love the idea of pairing this table with some black wishbone chairs or a velvet wire frame - the lighter lines are a great contrast to the heavier concrete.
Moze Indoor Swing Chair
I guess I'm just confused by this addition to the collection. It's seems it's their idea of an "eclectic room accent," which is fine, as I'm all about the eclectic, but it just doesn't have the same vibe as the rest of the collection - seems a little dissonant to me. Collection aside, it's a perfectly fine swing chair. I don't think I love that the cushion is velvet. I might enjoy it more with a cognac soft leather cushion? I can see this going well in a bedroom reading corner or a covered porch quite well, though again with a different cushion, styled with a few pillows and that shearling Snuggie of my dreams.
Leggero Pole Wall Sconce
I'm a little obsessed with these sconces. The style is spot on, and it's really just perfect for the homes I work with that have plaster walls, making hardwiring wall sconces a challenge I'm not a fan of taking on. Check plus on this guy.
This set is just darling. I love the chinoiserie decal; it's just so stinking adorable such that I imagine this china will work its way onto the wedding registry of many a couple this fall. But for me, an old married lady who never bothered to do a proper wedding registry so now I am in desperate need of new plates because my daughter keeps breaking them? I'm more likely to search for a set of china at a thrift or vintage store or online through Ebay or some such site. Old China has character, charm and story to it. However, like I said, this is a beautiful set of dinnerware. It'll do the job and look fantastic in the process.
Speaking of doing the job...When we first bought our house in May 2015, I had every intention of finding a perfect vintage stoking set with the fine patina of age and character to place beside our fireplace, but time sped by and all of the sudden it was fire season. I took the lazy, quick way out and ordered a basic set from Amazon that I still have and use to this day. Does it bring me joy? Nope. Does it serve its purpose? Yeah. But, this sucker would both serve its purpose and bring me joy. I like. That poker? So good! My only concern is how hardy the champagne gold finish it. Underneath is a stainless steel frame, and I'd hate to ding this baby up and have a silver and gold situation going on by my fireplace. I'm a dinger. Also, that poker? How well does it stand up to actual usage? After I poke a bunch of burning logs with it and cover it with ash and burnedness, will it clean up to look all shiny and champagne gold again? I kinda doubt it. This feels like a set you shouldn't actually use; you just look at it. So maybe it doesn't totally do its purpose…hmmm.
Is this a rug for everyone? No. But I'm in the hell yes column. This rug is gorgeous, and it's wool, so it's got the quality of a rug you're going to want to hang on to. The chinoiserie gives it a timeless classic look and as they say the navy helps it from being too cutesy. It's almost a shame to throw any furniture atop this thing, which is why they've barely positioned a little stool upon it in the photo. I kind of just want to put this rug in a room with a sleeping bag next to it so I can sleep in its presence without covering it up. Okay, that's weird. I'd never actually do that, guys, it's just a thought that occurred to me.
Well, that's it, folks: my thoughts on select pieces from the goop for CB2 collection - honest and unfiltered. Tell me yours? And if you want me to help you with your home in Seattle or beyond, go here to book some time with me, and I promise to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me goop.