Photograph by Amy Herr
Crate and Barrel’s younger, hipper sibling, CB2, has opened an 8,000-square-foot retail store at the new 12th & Midtown building. The brand chose Atlanta because the metro area is already one of the national chain’s largest markets for online and catalog sales. “Our customer knows who we are, and we have brand awareness in Atlanta,” says director Marta Calle, who came from Chicago for the grand opening. “A lot of people think that Atlanta is traditional, but it’s very young. It’s way more diverse than Chicago.”
Unlike its parent company, which offers a range of styles, CB2 is unabashedly modern. Affordable pricing and compactly sized furniture attract urban dwellers in lofts, condos, and smaller intown spaces, though cleverly designed furniture and accessories make the store appealing to other demographics. Take the sleek aesthetic and pop whimsy of Alessi, add the practicality and sharp color sense of Ikea, pick a price point somewhere between the two—you’ll get the idea.
CB2, which designs 90 percent of its own products, excels especially at accessories such as tealights made from iron cogs, Russian “nesting dolls” painted in midcentury patterns, cubic felt wool “baskets,” and the ever-popular Q-man magnets. The furniture reflects influences of modern masters such as the Eameses and Saarinen, but it also takes original shapes, as seen in the glass-topped teepee table and the Kinzie barstool. Art objects—for instance, a print of George Washington in blue lipstick or an oversized, hand-carved Buddha head—kick up the mix. 1080 Peachtree Street, 404-894-3763, cb2.com
This article originally appeared in our October 2010 issue.