Maram: taking wood out of the woods

Before I begin, just curious to know if any CFA folks out there reading this blog?

Ok, let’s talk about Maram now. I saw a write up about  “Maram” in last week’s Times of India. The name was intriguing so I went about finding more about the store. The renovation projects hooked me on, one thing led to another and this post was born. “Maram” means wood in Tamil and Malayalam (any other language?).  It may be a trip down memory lane for many of you in love with wood, as you can relate to the design and style from your ancestral homes.

Maram, housed in RMV II Stage in Bangalore, is run by husband-wife team Sheila & Krishna Baru. The motto of the store is,” Not to cut down another tree”.  In an urban market like Bangalore, where there are more furniture showrooms than supermarkets flooded with MDF and rubber wood, it is touching to see a store dedicated to the cause of restoring old furniture. Sheila says, “if our furniture is old, it is genuinely old and restored, if not made from recycled wood.”

 

Yes, it’s a chair! I’ve not seen unique furniture like palang chairs before. I asked Sheila what her favorite creation was and she pointed to the palang chairs as they mix the old with the new. The 18-year old store is full of interesting pieces like these where function follows form.

Maram is in the terrace of Sheila’s parents home; with a beautiful tiled roof, it is open on all four sides.

18 years is a long time especially when the furniture landscape has changed dramatically. I asked her what keeps her going and she replied nonchalantly,” After 18 years we still love what we do. Every day is a new challenge. I love doing homes  but do not get to do it too often; fabrics and the choice of colour is very important to furniture. I love the glimmer of real wood; nothing can beat that. It also very forgiving if you burn stain of cut it you can always bring its glory back with love and a coat of polish.”

Isn’t this four poster day bed lovely? The diwan upholstered in white spells royal opulence.

What you see in the store is priced between Rs.5,000 and Rs.75,000. Many pieces from those days are starkly different from what you see today. For instance, a bed. I’ve never seen a double bed in my grandparents’. My g’pa always slept on a bed while granny slept down with the children or, the other women in the house. It’s interesting to see how at Maram, they’ve combined two single beds into a double bed in one of the projects.

Road ahead:  Sheila and Krishna’s next project takes them to the temple town of Badami in northern Karnataka. I have faint memories of visiting the cave temples of Badami as a nine-year old and being scared of the scores of monkeys in the hills. Sheila is quite excited about her latest challenge of doing up this 16-room hotel in Badami, as it will be a UNESCO heritage site. “

If you’ve been thinking of what to do with traditional wooden furniture passed down generations, please don’t get rid of it. You may find more uses to it than ever before; get in touch with Sheila and see what new form it can take and surprise yourself. Sheila and Krishna can be reached at:

+  91   98440    19328

+  91   98440    56285

Image courtesy:

Sheila and Krishna of Maram

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