At Anemos, in the Raghuvanshi Mills Compound in Lower Parel, Mumbai, interesting old standing fans, modified lanterns, refurbished antiques and bric-a-brac of various sorts dot the floor space. All the action, though, really takes place on the ceiling. Anemos is primarily a fan store, and the range includes motorized and complex pulley-lever systems, old-fashioned pankhas and stylized wooden fans. Among the many contraptions that dot the ceiling are what look like muted chandeliers. The latest trend in fans, says Rajkumar Jain, the owner, is towards these barely-there varieties with retractable blades.

Retractable fans come with blades that pull inward when the fan is not in use and so double up as ornate ceiling centrepieces or lights.

Air Shadow

Suryaveer Kohli Home (SKH), New Delhi, is currently designing fans with plastic blades that seem to disappear when in motion, but these are not retractable yet. Havells does a chrome-finished Aureus which comes with reversible blades.

Key international designs in retractable blades include The Air Shadow, an award-winning trademarked design series of fans by Fanimation, an American fan design company. The fan’s blades tuck neatly away into its centrifuge, which also converts to a light source.

The Sole is a fun series from Shanghai Vento Electric Ltd. When animation halts, the five curved blades of the fan retract to make it look like a sunflower, with petals hubbed around the central light source. The same company also does a more ornate central chandelier-driven Belle Epoquea and the Mela, which is shaped like a classic ceiling lamp with four curved transparent plastic blades that are not visible even while spinning.

Other retractable blade fans known worldwide but not widely available in India yet include the Australian-designed sleek Fanaway EV01, which comes in a contemporary chrome finish and transparent blades—by far one of the sleekest designs in the market—and the Martec Wraptor, a not quite-so-elegant fluorescent-lit centrepiece which also comes in a mini size.

In Mumbai, retractable ceiling fans are available at Anemos, Krishna House, Ground floor, Raghuvanshi Estate, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai (24934306). For transparent blade fans in Delhi, contact Suryaveer Kohli Home at 9810854433. Fan Studio, which makes handcrafted fans, is at The Plaza mall, Ground floor, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon (9971377334).