It’s been a long, lean period for local home-furnishings shops, with recession-related closures happening all around town.

Now for the good news.

Two new storefronts opened their doors last week in the District: a popular chain in the heart of Georgetown and an independent retailer on the edge of Takoma Park’s historic district.

Their aesthetics are completely different (one modern, one urban-vintage), but their locations and collective freshness should have broad appeal.

Let’s face it, Internet shopping is convenient, but sometimes you just want to see something in person before you buy it.

It’s all about cool and color at CB2

tWith the opening of the CB2 store on M Street last week, Georgetown solidifies itself as the go-to home furnishings hub of the city.

CB2 is the more modern, more affordable spinoff of Crate and Barrel.
Its first retail store debuted in Chicago in 2000. After shopping for a space all over town, CB2 executives, who had opened eight stores from San Francisco to Soho, chose the former Staples location just across from Cady’s Alley as its ninth location.

“Georgetown is very much our customer; it’s so vibrant and hip,” says Sara Harter, CB2’s manager of visual merchandising. “We are very suited for small-space living, yet the stuff works in larger homes, too.”

The place is stocked with furniture made for urban life: slim gray sleeper sofas ($999) camo-colored floor lamps ($129), graphic-print pillows ($27) and sets of three clear acrylic nesting tables ($199). The classic Marta tumbler ($2.50) works for chocolate milk or gin and tonics. There’s even a cool Dutch-style bike with bright yellow tires ($499).

The CB2 look: a neutral palette that’s livened up with seasonal colors. Right now, those are marine blue, lemon grass and “grello,” what the company calls the combination of green and yellow. Not to mention the brand’s signature bright orange.

Like the best of the offerings at Ikea and West Elm, the CB2 aesthetic and price point work for those on a budget and those with no budget. We have both types here.

If you go: CB2 is at 3307 M St. NW. For more information, call 202-333-6204 or visit

Trove opens in Takoma Park

Takoma Park residents gained a cool neighbor last week when the owners of the funky Baltimore shop Trohv (formerly Red Tree) opened a new location on Carroll Avenue NW, about a block from the Metro and steps from the D.C.-Maryland border.

Ben Homola and Carmen Brock describe their D.C. outpost as an “urban general store.” Their storefront is stocked with new furniture, accessories, and kitchen, bath, baby and office supplies, as well as one-of-a-kind, vintage, industrial, reclaimed and repurposed pieces.

This enterprising couplehave an eye for good design that’s reflected in their careful curating. In this nearly 8,000-square-foot space, colorful paper products from Russell & Hazel (from $11) and contemporary designs from DwellStudio (from $7) mingle with a vintage beer table and benches from Germany ($565) and a grouping of industrial-size mixer whisks being turned into pendant lights.

The work of local artists and artisans is also showcased at Trohv, such as the ceiling fixtures that were fashioned from old metal school lockers. “Supporting local art is a good way to get to know and support the community,” says Homola. Along with the old and new offerings, customers will find wares made locally, including jewelry, paintings, photography, soap, letterpress cards and baby clothes.

And if you happen to be in search of a yodeling pickle ($13), Trohv has those, too.

Says Brock, “We’re into the gritty and the silly.”

If you go: Trohv is at 232 Carroll Ave. NW. For more information, call 202-829-2941 or visit