By Christine Bockelman
NEW YORK -- CB2, the younger, hipper sister to Crate & Barrel, has opened its third U.S. location, and its first outside of Chicago, in Manhattan's trendy SoHo neighborhood.
With the sleek lines and the typically smaller scale of its home furnishings products, the 8,000-square-foot CB2 is clearly chasing a more "city-centric" audience than Crate & Barrel. Judy Miller, a product manager for CB2, said the store has a "modern, urban appeal that is approachable, livable and real."
On a recent visit, CB2's bold, graphic bedding styles were prominently displayed, with six fully dressed beds shown. Still, the home textiles offerings aren't as broad as the selection at Crate & Barrel, Miller said.
On the floor, beds are shown with rugs, throw pillows, furniture and decorative accessories. Other coordinating textiles products, such as bath accessories or towels, are on nearby shelving. Most of the textiles products revolve around a clean palette of green, aqua, orange, gray and chocolate.
The minimal lavender, aqua, coffee and gray striped cotton sateen English Stripes bed, priced at $59.95 on sale for a full/queen duvet, was shown alongside gray and chocolate sheet sets and a selection of bath accessories. On one side of the bed, the chenille Cirrus bath rug in white and aqua was merchandised with the stainless-steel and polyresin stone-look lava bath accessories, priced from $8.95, and a handful of shower curtains. On the other, the Bricks hand towels in beige, green and orange are hung from horizontal hooks, much as they would be in a home’s bathroom.
Other beds shown in the store include menswear-influenced Solid Stripe, which looks either solid or striped depending on how the light hits it; the bold, green and white Paivantasaaja bed from Marimekko that features a rainforest design; Suvetar, another Marimekko design in two colors covered in curving, sketchlike lines; and the solid Stitch coverlet-weight linens.
Throughout the store, decorative pillows are showcased on beds, couches and chairs to show how they're appropriate in any room. A small nook contains eight styles of placemats, shown along with napkin rings and other small dinnerware items.
Every item offered in the CB2 store is also on the retailer's Web site, Miller said, so there are no online-exclusive products.
Up the street at SoHo's Crate & Barrel store, the textiles offerings, as Miller said, are much more extensive—and expensive. The crimson Manty bedding, displayed on the first floor, is $99.95 for a full/queen duvet. Nearby is the other bed on the first floor, Jasper, a modern-looking quilt that's $229 in the full/queen size. None of the bedding comes close in price to CB2's selection. Six other top-of-bed options hang behind the Jasper bed, and a small selection of shower curtains are near Manty.
Upstairs, in the furniture section, 11 more beds were dressed and 12 sets were hung with coordinating sheeting.
The number of placemats also greatly exceeded what's shown at CB2. Crate & Barrel showed 24 running feet of placemats beside the entrance, set up near a holiday-appropriate table, and another 64 running feet alongside other tabletop items. Additional styles were scattered throughout the store alongside coordinating dishes and holiday items.