“Orange you glad you live on South Beach?” That’s the crucial question retail homegoods giant Crate & Barrel poses to local residents at their new CB2 store adjoining Lincoln Road Mall at Jefferson Avenue. The entire first floor of the showroom offers vignettes of mod apartment living in vivid, in-your-face orange. From linear sofas to bedding to barware, the CB2 customer is encouraged to accent every room in Florida Sunshine Brights.
This modernized hybrid of the Crate & Barrel shopping experience first opened in Chicago in 2000 and spread to six urban locations in New York and California before this first two-story Florida store. The concept, targeted to South Beach living, is to offer affordable modern elements for apartments, lofts and contemporary homes. With the nearest IKEA located an hour north in Fort Lauderdale, CB2 hopes to captivate the SoBe market with its spare and simple home design. Though prices at the Swedish flat-pack warehouse are far lower, Crate & Barrel furniture seems more substantial.
The CB2.com website, also appointed in signature orange elements, invites young tech-savvy customers to join their community of like-minded shoppers who believe that furniture should reflect the CB2 ethos that’s “clever, spare, simple, smart, fun, happy and creative.” While this may sound like a tall order, it’s nice to know a furniture shop can promise all this good will wrapped inside a $70 desk lamp or an $800 sofa.
The South Beach branch of the CB2 lifestyle shop wraps around a quiet corner of Lincoln Road Mall just north on Jefferson Avenue. The deceptively dull storefront facing the street gives way to a much larger showroom extending along the back parking lot. Rather than embracing the mall’s Deco and Streamline Moderne architecture, the new CB2 building is a series of clunky, cantilevered, Marcel Breuer-style boxes. The building block effect feels like a prefabricated mall store dropped into place without much regard for the character of the local buildings. Much of the new construction surrounding Lincoln Road Mall may seem just as alien to local pedestrians as the boxy new CB2 store – exactly the kind of bold statement a bright orange sofa might make once it’s delivered to your home.
CB2 is located just north of Lincoln Road Mall on South Beach. The store is open 7 days from 11am – 9pm. CB2 will give away a $250 shopping card to one lucky winner a month through July 2010 as determined by a random drawing. Apply at the kiosks located in the new CB2 showroom.
1661 Jefferson Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139