CB2: thoughts?

So like probably a lot of other good consumers, I just got an email from Crate and Barrel about CB2, which is clearly their new hipper! younger! brighter! (slightly) cheaper! brand. So far there’s only one store (Chicago) but the ecommerce site is pretty good. But some of the products are a bit wack if well-intentioned. If I surfed here too much, David and I would end up with a lot of cool stuff that doesn’t really fit our house all that well.

It’s clearly a reaction to last year’s launch of West Elm by Williams-Sonoma as a hipper East Coast offset to PB‘s crushingly expensive simulacra of West Coast trust fund decor. (My feeling about West Elm is, “great if you like that sort of thing.” It also fairly screams “lipstick lesbian” with all those purple sequins.) It also feels like a bit of a feint towards the Design Within Reach market. All of these brands are desperately shouting “Put down the IKEA catalog now, and nobody gets hurt!”

Oh, yeah. This is a new category: Consume or Consumerr? As in, is this something you’d want, or something that looks like a grevious error from the net guy to be fired from Product Dev? (I’m hoping this category will finally lure Marti to post and not just comment.) Have fun with it!

3 thoughts on “CB2: thoughts?”

  1. 1. Marti doesn’t know HOW to post.
    2. Seth and Marti have the purple sequined shower curtain from West Elm. Seth will be displeased to learn his wife is a lipstick lesbian. Actually…Seth might be happy 🙂

  2. If Seth is like many men, he’ll wonder if any hint of lesbianism could lead to the highly valued “threesome”.

    I looked at some of the stuff on CB2, and I must say, the “snap it up organizer” would have been really cool in my junior high locker. Seriously, there’s some nice stuff on their site, but it’ll require some looking around before I’m willing to pay for it. Having (almost) never bought new furniture except from Ikea, my sense of what I’m willing to pay is pretty low. I do remember looking at a fabulous couch at Dania a few years ago, and it was so entirely perfect for my living room and the brand new futon and cover therein, that I almost paid more than the market value of my car for it. (That was ’99, when the tech money flowed freely.)

    At some price point, I tend to think that I either need to wait until I have a good deal of passive income and own my own home, or I wish and imagine that I’ll make the thing myself. I’ve been told that I’m good with my hands in multiple contexts… I have wondered about quitting my ostensibly high-tech career and becoming a cabinetmaker or something. (Sometimes, dear god, anything, ANYTHING new would be a relief.)

    I don’t want every place I go to remind me of an Ikea catalog (and I was surprised in Paris last year to find Ikea popular among my Parisian friend’s friends), but some of their offerings just seem so sensible. I guess that’s the purchase level at which I live right now: sensible.

    Perhaps things would be different if I felt I was “nesting” or something, but instead I lately tend to observe the fact that I have few obligations right now (except, uh, credit debt) and think that this is a great time to pursue a dramatically different path.

    If only that, too, seemed more sensible.

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