When Los Angeles interior designer Ross Cassidy designed Amber Valleta’s bedroom for Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, he transformed the all-white space into a startlingly vivid retreat, with hot pink walls and lots of layered patterns. Cassidy’s recently released capsule collection of sofas, tables and accessories for CB2, however, reveals a far subtler side to interiors. To celebrate his new collection — billed as a Japanese-inspired take on minimalism that is the essence of low-key chic — he recently hosted an intimate dinner at Eric Buterbaugh Florals in West Hollywood.
Songstress Sia, fellow interior designer Alexandra Von Furstenberg and fashion designer Monique Lhuillier attended the dinner, where Cassidy’s sofas, tables, rugs and accessories were placed throughout the open courtyard area lit by chandeliers hung from trees. The pieces are in keeping with CB2’s more affordable pricing: Dining tables and large rugs are less than $1,000 and sofas less than $2,000. Almost all reflect Cassidy’s mission to make furniture “that not only looks amazing, but that’s flexible, too.”
The former fashion model demonstrated the concept by sliding a series of brass bento box-like trays around a coffee table where they fit with grid-like precision. Cassidy says his love of trays extends to other items in the collection, including his Obaru dining table, a knockout piece with a lipped edge that “is great for dining or for an entryway piece,” according to the South Africa-born designer.
Cassidy is entering an increasingly cautious market when it comes to retailers partnering with interior designers. “There are fewer and fewer of these kind of agreements,” says home licensing and PR expert Christine Phillips. “A few years ago, you’d see a lot of these capsule collections, but retailers have found that a lot of times a celebrity designer name doesn’t translate into sales. The Mad Men phase passes and that kind of look no longer resonates,” explains Phillips, who works with designers such as Barclay Butera and Anthony Baratta to broker agreements with manufacturers instead of retailers.
But Cassidy appears to have taken such lessons into account. His collection manages to feel neither too niche nor too bland, striking a similar note to what may be the industry’s most enduring and successful partnership between Nate Berkus and Target.
“The aesthetic of Ross’ collection is very approachable yet has a cool designer edge,” says CB2 managing director Ryan Turf. “We wanted pieces that would mix into almost any home. It’s a very luxurious look at CB2 value.”