By Syeda Farida
Think furniture and cane seems to remain the evergreen option. Durable, sturdy, almost zero maintenance, ethnic and easy to lug along wicker beds, cane sofa sets and home theatre stands can be the right option to do up the house in one tone.
Today owing to its relatively inexpensive cost, crafting furniture for the entire house in cane- from conservatory furniture - garden and living room, to dining hall and bar cabinet - is a pocket-friendly proposition. Add to these a few cane show pieces such as miniature rocking chairs, baskets and cane bicycles, as also lamp shades and wall frames to complete the picture. “Furniture for the entire house - sofa sets, dining table, mirror frames, television stand, racks, side table and cots - can be made for Rs. 80,000 onwards. The wedding wardrobe and home furniture gift sets in cane are popular,” says Ashfaq Ahmed of Bombay Cane Furniture Works at Lakdi-ka-pul. When compared to wooden or leather furniture, cane scores on the cost factor. While a designer no frills leather rocking chair can cost Rs. 15,000 onwards, a humble variant in cane comes for Rs. 2,000 and is equally snug. Imported cane comes for a little extra though.
The other USP of cane is its durability. The cane furniture lasts for 10-15 years with a varnish or paint once every three years. Cane sofas are ideal for the sun rooms and as garden furniture. Glass - topped centre tables in hand woven wicker paired with lightweight lounge chairs can add extra sparkle to any lawn. “Wicker furniture is the new trend for sit outs. Apart from traditional wooden shades one can now find wicker furniture in white and other shades,” says city based architect Amita Raj, ARDeS Architects and Designs. Rattan furniture as also wicker furniture crafted made using cane can also take other hues apart from the varnish. Greys, whites and cream are few muted colours that are popular for cane furniture across the world. “Cane furniture when used with ambient lighting and warm shades for the walls offer a nice cosy look for small spaces. They give a very ethnic look when compared to linear minimalist modular and wooden furniture,” says city based architect Amita Raj, ARDeS Architects and Designs.
Also, unlike wood furniture, cane provides flexibility to craft designs and shapes of one's choice. Apart from traditional patterns, the international catalogues feature contemporary designs that can be made to order by city based cane furniture manufacturers. As for the cane, apart from domestic wicker, cane Andamans, Malaysia and Indonesia can also be imported for a premium. The native cane from Assam and Bareilly is equally sturdy. Choosing good product and differentiating from bamboo is not difficult. “Bamboo is hollow while cane has a solid core. When looking for the cane, the gauge and sturdiness are to be checked,” says Ashfaq. Ethnic, elegant and earthy, cane continues to attract urban buyers who want something extra and unique for their homes. And it is a boon for the families on the move.
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