Chinese Furniture: Contemporary Objects of Affection

Happening Issue 72 Jul, 2010
Text by Utsav Shakya

The first images that come to mind when you see the words ‘Chinese furniture’ are probably low sofas, treasure chests with oriental motifs and furniture with intricate carvings of dragons and fish. This Chinese furniture, however, is a whole new play on those words and what they mean. The flood of Chinese products on the Nepal market recently is seen as something of a double edged sword. Chinese products have indecently competitive prices that the local and Indian products have a hard time keeping up with. From Chinese shampoo and CDs to bikes and cars, the improved lifestyle of middle class Nepal certainly owes these mass-producing Chinese brands big time. Modern furniture made in China is among the newer products making their presence felt one customer at a time.

Upon entry into a store such as the recently opened Ultimate Décor in Kumaripati, you cannot help but marvel at the ocean of difference between traditional Chinese furniture and modern furniture made in China. What you get here is ultra chic, top of the range, modern furniture that is sure to make you want to act like a baby and flop down on the couches or jump up and down on the seductive looking beds. From luxurious, pure dark leather swivel chairs for the office to classy dining sets that are sure to encourage your appetite, you name it and its available. Don’t get me started on the procrastination-inspiring leather couches! They feel a hundred times better than they look, and they look terrific.
This furniture is made using state of the art technology. Entering Nepal through Calcutta and finally making it to local stores, there is a complete range of furnishing solutions for the modern Nepalese home, office or restaurant. Most of the furniture from China is, however, made out of MDF board or machine pressed wooden dust, or a combination of this and actual wood pieces. Steel frames are also used to provide support and a  modern look.

A leather swivel chair for the office comes with a hefty price tag of Rs.22,500. With an adjustable seat that lowers to a never before seen 180 degrees, customers are sure to bite their nails wanting one for their office space. The desks, booksracks, conference tables with adjustments for wiring are all done in wood and MDF board combinations and ooze extravagance and style. The conference table comes at a price of Rs.20,900 for a size of 8x4 feet and the office set of desk, drawers and bookrack can grace your work space for a mere Rs.22,800. Prices vary according to size.

The bedroom suite comes in an amazing set of bed, two side tables and a huge closet that I am sure can do justice to any woman’s wardrobe, never mind the husband’s clothes! With
adjustable headrests, spacious closet space and sleek lines, the bedroom set keeps in step with the modern Nepalese consumers’ taste. The standard size of the bed is 6x6½ feet. The children’s bunk beds and desks come in bright colors that are sure to inspire you to wish you had had a childhood in a similar environment.

Moving on from the bedroom to the most important part of your house, the conversation center: the dining room. The glass dining table with wood and steel chairs looks like something straight out of a design magazine. It is very, very tasteful. Its wooden counterpart comes at a price of Rs.44,800 with six chairs and a moving centerpiece just to make sure that no one has to stretch to get their food. The glass dining set with four chairs comes at a price of Rs.20,800. This brings us to the end of the list that I compiled at the furniture store. But it would be blasphemous for me as a furniture and good design enthusiast, not to mention the object of my immediate affection and attention–the sprawled out, dark red and brown leather couches on the second floor of the store. One look at this sinful beauty and I was already making a mental list of all the things that I could throw out of my living room just to make room for this baby. Two three-seat couches and one lone single sofa make up this living room set that you can obsess about at home for NRs.89,000. Creamy marble topped coffee tables and contemporary table lamps are also available to give this beauty company. Bar stools that are sure to jazz up any home bar or restaurant come in incandescently bright colors. Relaxed lawn chairs are done up in plastic made to resemble teak. You can  leave this garden furniture in the garden for all seasons. Pure common sense.

The entire collection is classy and reliable and comes with a warranty that pacifies the mind. If nothing else, it changes the images that you see in your mind when you think about Chinese furniture!

For more information:
Ultimate Décor, Kumaripati, Lalitpur, 5548232