Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 10 , Tuesday March 13, 2007



Shop Special
Charuta: Living Solutions

Style, fashion, exclusiveness and distinction have spread to almost all sectors of living in today's world. Bangladesh is no exception. With the increasing strive to keep up with the latest fads, among both the young and old, shops such as food, clothing and furniture outlets are literally popping up like mushrooms in almost every nook and cranny of our beloved capital. When it comes to the word 'fashion', clothes immediately come to mind. However, there is so much more to this word than just clothes! This week, we have chosen to focus on a slightly different, yet no less important sector- furniture and interiors, and so we cast our spotlight on 'Charuta: Living Solutions'.

Considering the already vast number of furniture showrooms and stores in the city, you might wonder what difference 'Charuta' has to offer. But the moment you step into the store, the ambience of its interior and the vibrant colours that meet your eyes will give a whole new meaning to the word different. Every piece of furniture you come across is exclusive to the core, and is in itself, a unique piece of art. Their motto, 'Less is More' meshes well with the refreshing, minimalistic décor of the store. The owner, designer Kushan Omar Sufi, along with wife, architect Syeda Noureen, make up a great team, who also offer their expertise as interior designing consultants, thus, the name, 'Charuta: Living Solutions'. Their aim is to introduce Bangladesh to the eminent designs of the post-modern and contemporary eras.

At 'Charuta', you will come across every form of retro furniture- from the famous Coconut chair of the 1950's to the Egg chair of the 1970's. When asked about why he chose this particular theme, owner-designer Kushan Omar Sufi, claims that the birth of post-modern furniture in the western culture dates way back to the 1940's. With the introduction of new technology in the building sector, the concept of high-rises and sky-scrapers became widely popular. Thus, the invention of contemporary furniture that reflected the new building styles- furniture that was easy to manufacture, less time-consuming and at the same time, trendy as well as economical. Bangladesh, although missed out on all this, is quick to catch up, by jumping into the post-modern era.

'Charuta' has actually been around a long time and had originally started out as the oldest interior-designing firm in Bangladesh, their main areas of expertise being commercial spaces such as banks and hotels. In fact, this is the first time they have ventured into retail business and home-décor with the opening of their furniture outlet. With an impressive list of clientele of the likes of hotels such as Sheraton and Radisson, one can clearly understand the exclusiveness of their products and services. But what caught my attention was that each and every item offered at 'Charuta', from fabrics to other materials is locally manufactured and assembled at their factory in Savar!

Apart from furniture, 'Charuta' also offers a wide range of wallpapers and glass mosaic tiles in a variety of colours. As mentioned before, each piece of furniture is indeed a piece of artwork (and lets not forget, incredibly comfortable!) and can be a perfect means of brightening up any portion of your home! According to Mr. Kushan Omar Sufi, “A designer chair or piece of furniture is a form of functional art and will look good anywhere. It doesn't necessarily have to be part of a specific interior”.

With an affordable price range of Tk-8000 to Tk-13000, decorating and re-furnishing your house doesn't get any better than this! So, if your looking for something different and trendy, be sure to check out 'Charuta: Living Solutions' at Road#94, House#03, Gulshan#2, Dhaka-1212.

By Farina Noireet
Photo: Amirul Rajiv

Shop Talk

As spring is well underway and summer is just around the corner (almost too close for comfort!), we all scramble to hold on to the last few days of pleasant weather! And what better way to do so than to plan an entire day of fun and games with friends and family, to someplace that brings us close to nature, among flora and fauna, where we can truly enjoy the remaining days of glorious spring! Thus, 'tis the season to picnic! And since we're in the mood for fun and fervour, here are a few 'must-haves' when on a picnic!

Shades for your eyes!
The No#1 item on the list- always remember to take proper protection for your eyes whenever on a day-trip. And sunglasses are the obvious answer to that query! Not only does the right pair of shades make you look totally in style, it is also, most effective in preventing those awful headaches that you often get when out in the sun for too long. You can get sunglasses in every shape, size, quality and colour, at all optical stores, and even at roadside vendors or stalls. The price range varies from only TK-60 to TK-3000 and more, especially if you're looking for brand names such as Ray Ban and Gucci. But if you're really lucky, you may just find a pair for even less at one of those street-stalls if you look long and hard enough!

Another companion for your eyes and an extremely handy item to carry when sight seeing is the binocular. If you are a great fan of bird watching, then this is the perfect time for you to spend some time at one of the many bird-sanctuaries around Dhaka, such as Jahangirnagar. And a binocular is the perfect means with which to watch clearly without straining your eyes, all those exquisite birds from a distance and avoid disturbing or invading the privacy of our fine-feathered-friends! Binoculars are available at departmental stores at both Gulshan markets 1 & 2 and also at Almas. The prices may range from TK-600 and above, depending upon the quality and features available.

Comfy soles for your feet!
One of the most important ways to make your picnic a smashing success is to dress comfortably, including your feet. Since feet are literally at the end of the human anatomy, it is obviously the part that we are least bothered about. However, feet are something you don't want to neglect, because feet are what keep you standing and upright and therefore need a little attention now and then. So choose something light and easy during picnics or trekking. Although places like Chourungi Bazar, Rapa Plaza and Rifles Square are extremely popular for shoe shopping nowadays, the Gulshan and Uttara branches of Bata may also be wise choices. Needless to say, Bata offers a wide range of shoes for both men and women, but they have really taken the word 'comfortable' to an altogether new level with their latest two lines in ladies footwear- 'Dr. Scholl's and 'Marie Claire'. Starting from TK-600 to TK-1300, you will feel they're worth every penny once you slip one on!

By Farina Noireet

On The Cover

Few labels look as good on a Deshi woman the way Aarong does. Keep it stylish this season with their fabulous new Spring collection, which features fun, flirty fotuas, kurtis and more.

Photo: Aarong


With the caretaker government taking major steps so that electricity is distributed more evenly throughout Dhaka and elsewhere, it is high time we too put in our two bits in making this city a better place to live in. Be it through saving up energy, using eco-friendly products or simply doing our civic duty of keeping our neighbourhood clean, it's high time we dove in with both feet.

To get energy, save energy
With such big efforts being made to curb the load-shedding problems, please do your bit in adding to the efforts. Don't light up five bulbs where one is sufficient. Use power-guzzling gadgets like irons and electric ovens economically. It's not only about electricity. We also face water shortages from time to time. So don't let the tap run while you brush your teeth. Curb the tendency of doing laundry everyday if it can be helped. Instead stalk up on loads before washing them to save water. And while you're at it, use purifier drops instead of boiling overnight on the stove. After all it's all about how much energy you've saved at the end of the day.

Choosing the right gadgets
If you can curb your habits a tad bit, you'll be that much closer to saving energy. Instead of buying power guzzling irons, opt for the old school stove heated ones if possible. When buying gadgets like ovens, opt for the gas heated ones instead of the electric ones that use up an exorbitant amount of power. And instead of constantly boiling water, buy a filter. That will save you a lot of time, money and energy. And while we are at it, let's not forget CNG conversions. Yes the lines are long. Yes it doesn't run for too long and yes, the car does take some battering. But if you have a lifestyle that gives you the time to wait in lines, opt for gas over gasoline.

Doing your civic duty
It's not just about keeping your own house in order. We all have a civic duty to our city or town. So plant more trees if the opportunity arises. Refrain from littering and throwing waste into water bodies. And while we don't have a whole recycling system in the country, you and your neighbours can certainly get together and create your own recycling system by collectively selling off old newspapers or plastic bottles and such.

At the end of the day it's our life, our home and our city. And while individually we are all mere drops of water in a sea of people, collectively we can all work together to make a difference.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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