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Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004

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Furniture with flair

Form, function and affordability make Malaysian furniture a hit

Furniture from foreign destinations has hit the Indian market in a big way. Those from the Eastern countries particularly seem to beckon attention, what with their attractive pricing, light weight and special varieties of wood. A visit to some of the city furniture showrooms only proves that given the proliferating range, the customer is faced with a choice crisis like never before.

Sleekly designed sofas, versatile cabinets, chic dressing tables, sturdy dining tables... the next time you see them in your neighbour's house, you know where they have come from. The latest destination for durability(?) in furniture seems to be China or Malaysia. Compressed wood or rubber wood, it's experiments galore in the realm of dιcor. Says Sheetal Mohta of Durian, Nungambakkam, "Compressed wood can be moulded easily, so the design possibilities are unlimited."

Waxing eloquent about compressed wood, Nishanraj of Nitraa Furniture (Royapettah and Vadapalani) adds, "Being lightweight the cost of transportation is minimised, therefore compressed wood is available in large quantities. Rubber wood, the chemically treated variety, is termite proof. And that's precisely why it is also in demand."

What really strikes the casual shopper about furniture from Malaysia is the range. Streamlined and sleek, it has a contemporary look. What's more, the designs are innovative. For instance, on display at Durian are four-seater dining tables with a provision for "extension". Space-friendly, the four-seater can be converted to a six-seater when the need arises. Another piece that captures attention is the "bar on wheels" that's not just mobile, but also absolutely versatile. Attractive wall cabinets and centre tables from Malaysia are the cynosure at Ergomaxx, Nungambakkam. And for furniture with great adaptability for work spaces, Pace Furniture, Radhakrishnan Salai, offers plenty of options, particularly the particle board varieties from Malaysia. The showroom also displays an exciting collection of office tables, conference tables, bookshelves, etc. That's not all. Magazine racks, TV stands, computer tables or telephone tables... the choice is wide and the finish, simply superb.

Pics. by K.Pichumani

"Yes... coming to the finish, that's an important highlight of the range," says Ameetha Patel, interior designer. The range is available in gloss and matt finishes.

While a majority of the showrooms import from Malaysia, some such as Nitraa import the raw materials and manufacture the furniture here. Cutting edge technology in the manufacture of furniture is also an important feature," adds Nishanraj.

That there is a certain market for furniture from Malaysia is evident in the fact that most of the showrooms showcasing the range have opened more outlets in the city. With the number of customers desiring to do up their homes tastefully - with a budget, on an increase, such furniture that combines form, function and affordability is here to stay.


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