I’ve been back home for two weeks now and I hit the ground running. My vacation is like a distant memory now as I dig into my final(y) semester of design school, try to catch up at work and see all my friends and family before I have negative time again.

I was already feeling defeated by the list of to do’s and wishing I was back down south where my biggest worry was whether to have breakfast at 11 or hold out for lunch. But I got a bit of a cerebral reprieve after attending the sneak preview of the new CB2 Canadian flagship store this past Friday January 20th, 2012.

After a long day of running errands including picking up a sliding door track from Lowe’s, exchanging a box of oak for acacia at Fine Texture Flooring and a first trip to the dump at the Cherry Street Turtle Island facility, I was ready to switch gears. Sliding on my knee high boots, I walked through the red velvet ropes into the now unrecognizable former all age venue local on Queen West.

The once faded purple paint brick exterior of Big Bop has been stripped back to expose its original former glory. Large new windows offer unabashed sightlines into a building which had once felt like a fortress of teenage angst. Bright lights and a grand staircase to the second floor offered the attendees ample romp room graciously fuelled by two generous open bars.

Furniture, product and accessories are staged throughout the space and provided many chic perches to sip and chat. I had my eye on a certain chartreuse leather office chair from the website and was delighted to try it out in person. One more week to recoup from the trip and I hope to make it a permanent addition to my office.

CB2 offers to Torontonians a very playful line of well priced, modern furniture and accessories. In terms of stylish budget friendly options we’ve been very limited and divided somewhere between Ikea and Urban Brick (I apologize for the non-leather red couch on the home page). But one peruse around this new retail giant and you can’t help but love the bright bold colours, clean lines and playful shapes in their extensive collection on display.

It’s hard to say what this means for the neighbouring showroom proprietors but with the current condo boom in Toronto, CB2 is certain to thrive within our design hungry city.