Ebony Gautier, Noida
This 20,000 x 40,000 sq. ft design retail store is located bang in the centre of Noida’s super-busy Atta Market in Sector 18. The store, a concrete and glass structure, has five floors dedicated to making your home a stylish haven. The basement has accessories and furnishings (candles, potpourri, bed linen, cushion covers, carpets); the ground floor is dedicated to living room furniture; the first floor to the living room and the dining area; the second floor is reserved for bedrooms; and the third floor for children’s rooms. The furniture is contemporary, with a streamlined look.
The sales people show no sign of getting annoyed at constant questions about the range of colours and sizes in which the items are available. As I dutifully jot down details, one of them does finally ask: “Are you a research student? Or an architect, maybe?”
The good stuff
The furniture looks trendy, and is perfect for people who want a contemporary look. The store also has a design team at hand that can help with your décor plans. It is open till 9pm, so if you want to do some after-work décor deliberations, this is the place to head. Want to live stylishly but can’t afford to pay it all upfront? Ebony Gautier offers an EMI scheme too.
Solid colours like red and black rule at Ebony Gautier
Another piece of good news: You don’t have to buy things in entire sets, though they do advocate selling “living spaces” and not just furniture. For example: A Manhattan set which consists of a TV unit, bookshelves, overhead shelves, a small cupboard and drawers is for Rs1.91 lakh, but it is not necessary to buy it as a whole. You can order just the bookshelves if that’s what you need, or take just the TV unit.
The walk-in closets on the second floor deserve special mention. Though available only in heights of 6ft and 8ft, these closets are extremely stylish at a price range of Rs2,08,100 for the entire set that has six individual pieces.
Constant queries about colour schemes paid off. They have a limited range, and what you see is what you get. Also, even though you can ask for sofa upholstery to be changed to suit your style, be prepared to wait for at least two-and-a-half months before your custom-upholstered sofa graces your living room. Since the store does not customize design to suit your home space, make sure you take proper measurements before you leave the house.
It costs Rs1,49,500 for a Neo wall unit (comprising five pieces) and Rs39,000 for a Lush sofa. The beds start at Rs35,000 for a Yuko bed. A child’s compact bed, Tropic, that consists of a bunk bed with a study table underneath, storage space and bookshelves, costs Rs56,000. The accessories are well-priced: potpourri bowls for Rs350, candles from Rs150 onwards and a six-piece wine flute glasses for Rs1,035.
august, New Delhi
If you want to launch a store that sells high-end interior goods, then perhaps there can be no better address than the Basant Lok market at Vasant Vihar. Four-and-a-half floors with 25 brands and a selection that includes everything from accessories, wallpaper, furniture, kitchens, cutlery, office furniture, lights and art, august is a store that caters not just to people who want to set up beautiful homes, but also to hotels, institutions and even workspaces.
The entry is impressive since the entire ground and mezzanine floors are dedicated to Armani/Casa (currently, august is the brand’s sole agent in India).
The good stuff
Thank goodness this store is not all about sleek lines and offers a mix of furniture lines from Europe and the US, which essentially means that if you like the contemporary look in the strictest sense, take your pick, but if classic style is what you desire (read the comfy, oversize, good old American look), that’s also available.
august is a one-stop shop for international design brands
The who’s who of design brands are available: Armani/Casa (furniture, lighting, tableware); Brabantia (cookware), Calphalon (cookware), Riedel (wine glasses); Poliform (cupboard solutions, kitchens); Liebherr (wine cellars), Auping (beds) and many more.
From custom-designing modular kitchens and letting you choose the finish of the furniture to furnishing your home with accessories and art, the store aims to be a one-stop shop for all your needs. They also promise prompt after-sales service, specially for high-end kitchen appliances and goods.
A team of 10 designers is available on hand for consultations. At this store, they believe that homes (or offices/institutions), are like individuals and hence customization is key. So you can pick out the style you like and order it in the size and colour you require. Prices for a majority of the brands available at the store are at par with prices in international markets such as Dubai and Singapore.
But good things come with conditions. Customization takes 12-16 weeks for delivery. While the store does claim to have everything, the selection on display in items such as glassware, table linen, cutlery is limited (though you have the option to ask for the catalogues). For a store that claims to be truly high-end, it is shoddy to find the serving staff out of uniform or, for that matter, have minimal staff around for assistance, in case you are a walk-in customer.
You can pick up an Armani/Casa silver-plated vase for Rs3,850 or opt for a set of six tea cups, each of which costs Rs5,120. Its range of sofas starts at Rs1 lakh and goes up to Rs12 lakh; modular kitchens start at Rs2 lakh.
Seema Chowdhry Sharma