was a time when good furniture meant intricately carved, heavy wooden
artifacts. Every lavish mansion, luxurious casino
or top-executive office all had furniture with intricate carvings.
Then the era of modernity (and post modernity) arrived and with
that everything became lean and sleek. Mahogany and teak no longer
ruled the roost and were soon pushed over by steel and metal. Today
wooden furniture sits precariously, watching helplessly like an
ousted feudal lord, as metal sweeps the stakes and makes in roads
into our homes.
Closer home in Hyderabad, there's a store that calls itself Essentially
Metal. Like its name suggests, it sells nothing but metal furniture.
Cast in what is called "mild steel", the furniture, ranging
from candle sticks and vases to plush double beds are displayed
across a thousand square feet of space. " The material is
durable, rust proof and weather proof", says Mr Srinivas, store
keeper. Essentially Metal arrived in Hyderabad eight months ago
and is a part of a firm run by Bangalore-based Deepak and Ravi
Johari. There are six other franchisees spread across Mangalore,
Bangalore, Cochin, Pune, Goa and Chennai. Ms. Prema Rao runs
the one in Hyderabad.
According to Mr. Srinivas, " Most metal furniture is made with
wrought iron. But steel is far superior, and the one we use is treated
several times before it is used". That's not all. The various
beds, sofa sets, tables and chairs at Essentialy Metal are so finely
designed and made that every curve and every bend has the grace
and finesse of a ballet dancer. Except of course, it's mostly black.
For those who are superstitious about having black strewn all over
the house or for those who don't think black is beautiful, the furniture
also comes in silver and beige. The metal goes very well with glass
and just to prove that, there is a tiny table with a slab of tinted
glass balanced on bow shaped metallic legs. Very classy,
Besides the designs on display, Essentially Metal also takes design
orders to provide more customised furniture. If a customer likes
a sofa but prefers it to be differently covered, the cover is changed
but at a little extra cost. Their furniture is also availale at
Contemporary Arts & Crafts, Punjagutta. But with Hyderabadis
being a more conventional lot, one wonders aloud: "How's business?"
Pat comes the reply "We're fast catching on !" Good..