The ivory white exterior and elegant lettering announcing Raux Brothers’ latest furniture store in the city, conveys an impression of stylish grace and acts as a precursor to the types of merchandise housed inside the building.
Words Haseena Razak Photographs Prabhath Chathuranga
Entering through the glass doors, one finds oneself in a passageway hung with large ceiling lamps that are reminiscent of the gigantic bells in ancient Shaolin temples. While the resemblance only lies in the shapes, the other features of the lamps exude a strikingly modern vibe. In a sense, the lamps symbolise the ambiance of the entire store, created by the mainly contemporary pieces of furniture interspersed with seemingly vintage accessories.
“We felt we needed to give a contemporary dimension to this store,” said Kalani Raux, designer and decorator at Raux Brothers. “Contemporary but fused with other pieces to make it a bit more interesting… say a figure could look like it’s from a Heritage collection.”
In the rooms, leading from the passageway, and on the floor above, a wide range of trendy furniture like sofas, daybeds, chairs, cabinets, ottomans, dining tables, coffee tables and sideboards are displayed. They are tastefully presented with accompanying adornments like driftwood, roots, sliced logs and wooden busts set on metal bases.
While most of the furniture is manufactured locally, Graham Raux, Lead Designer and proprietor of Raux Brothers, takes active part in selecting, designing, sketching and leading his team in the production phase of each finalised sample. Perfecting the details and dimensions of the prototype of each design is a meticulous process that can take up to three weeks. Although Graham has had no formal training in furniture design and manufacture, he has years of first hand experience as his family has been in the field since the inception of Raux Brothers in 1959.
The Raux Kids’ Collection, the latest addition to the brand, is also housed in the new store. From a newborn’s nursery to a teenager’s bedroom, the collection offers an extensive range in various colours and styles. All the material including the paint used in the collection is child-friendly. The playroom, furnished with tables, chairs, racks, cupboards and toys, demonstrates how best these items can be arranged. At the same time it functions as an area to leave older children, who don’t need supervision, while parents finish their shopping.
Besides purchasing pieces of furniture that have been displayed, shoppers also have the choice of expressing their personal tastes and requirements to Kalani and Graham. They will collaborate with customers to realise their furniture and interior design requests. This ensures that the finished product is personalised and unique to each customer.
The outdoor furniture at the store, is long-lasting as it is built around a strong aluminium frame. These pieces of furniture are made out of a resin-based material that ensures the tables and chairs look good with minimum maintenance.
In addition to shopping for one’s own home, the store also provides ample opportunity to pick up gifts for family and friends. Besides lamps and other ornamental pieces for the home, there is also a selection of linen, colourful wicker baskets, wooden trays, racks, toys, bins, caddies and unusual tablemats and floor mats.
Being the brand’s flagship store, the shop houses pieces from all of the sub brands of Raux Brothers. The Heritage Collection includes handcrafted designs, drawing inspiration from traditions of the past. Made out of hardwood timber and durable materials not found locally, the Outdoor Collection offers a variety of pace-setting designs. Brand new designs to suit every room of the house, inspired by Raux Brothers’ archives as well as the proprietor’s own experiences, make up the Masters Collection. The Eternal Collection incorporates timeless pieces with a contemporary touch. Ornaments, accessories and adornments that complement the furniture are branded, Elements.
Together the sub brands spell out the word HOME and that is what Raux Brothers has largely accomplished: making available furniture, ornamentation, accessories and more for the entire home. However, new plans are being made in order to complete the collection. “For the moment we’ve covered the furniture and the linen,” said Kalani. “Home should encompass tableware, glassware, cutlery, crockery – and those are elements, which we plan to add on.”
137, Bullers Road, Colombo 4
Tel: (+94 11) 259 4494