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Art, design and furniture...

THE WAVE of globalisation has virtually taken everything in its sweep. And how could the furniture industry remain isolated from this? It is increasing by leaps and bounds due to the changing tastes and preferences of Indian buyers. The burgeoning market has resulted in a string of domestic and international ventures exclusively dealing with furniture.

Moreover, Indians have shown an increasing preference for aesthetic and contemporary designs. New Delhi's Living Spaces caters to the growing needs of the consumer. More such showrooms are to come up in various other Indian cities. In the past, the firm had designed interiors and furniture for a number of five-star hotels. Asked about the firm's unique selling point, Ashish, the manager, says, "We are offering affordable furniture, built in-house, without compromising on comfort, quality and style. As our furniture is not sourced from outside, it costs up to 30 per cent less than that provided by international brands."

Living Spaces aims to create synergy between designers and craftsmen. One of the salient features is the Signature Collection, designed in accordance with the current international trends, catering to the upper middle class onwards. Woods are procured from their own plant. They deal in wooden upholstered and metal furniture and claim to use fire retardant foam, kiln dried timber and non-sag springs. The metal furniture is manufactured using mild steel, stainless steel and brass. The showroom boasts of a wide range including sofa sets, lounge chairs, coffee tables, side tables, dining tables, cabinetry, and dressers. As part of the Accents Collection, lamps, mirrors, bookcases and cushions are being provided. With an array of fabrics and affordable artwork they claim to use the best material and deliver in time. They have their own designers to assist customers and that also at reasonable prices. The furniture ranges in cost from around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1,20,000.

THIS WINTER a host of players have ventured into home furnishing business. Lifestyles stores are mushrooming across the Capital. The businesspersons are cashing in on Delhiites' newfound taste of designer homes and accessories. On this bandwagon two players have jumped, catering to altogether two different levels of consumers. One gives primacy to mantra of luxury and the other gives a host of choices for home furnishing. But the beneficiaries are of course, Delhiites as this has resulted in more choice at their disposal.

The first Paradox One, calls itself a concept store with a fusion of art, furniture and accessories under one roof. The store on 1,M.G. road is spread across 6,000 sq.ft. The art section, boasts of paintings and sculptures by celebrated artist, Satish Gujral. Some of the acrylic works are done in gold. Asked about the themes Satish Gujral says, "An artist puts on the canvas what he feels and one symbol may have different meanings in different paintings." According to Navin Ansal, partner in this venture, "The accessories have been imported from around the world particularly Italy and Vietnam, and our endeavour is to become the trendsetter both in accessory and furniture design." Elaborating, he says, "The luxury light ranges are imported from Italy and targeted to discerning buyers. The woods as well as the polishes are imported to maintain the international quality and also our products are cheaper as compared to other international players in the market." The store claims to be of totally different style and seeks no comparison with others.

Maspar, the other one, caters exclusively to home furnishing. It has launched its winter collection this season. It deals in table clothes, runners, aprons, oven mitts, shower curtains, cushions, throws and bed sheets. It claims to have a large collection, with a variety of colours to choose from a mix of neutrals, black and white and bright and bold in five different themes. The five themes are claimed to be of different combination of colours.

The Urbane Modern times has combination of black and white, the Apogee collection with azure, the light airy shades of green and blue, the Free Range comes with denim or corduroys in colours like indigo, the chambray and china red, the Radiant Infusion with bold and dazzling colours such as purple, fusion green and wave blue and lastly, the Soft Tranquillity with shades like light yellow, modern green, pink blush and periwinkle.

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