Think of a rhapsody. Then picture a rhapsody in wood – a lucid composition.
This is when the sleek designs of the Kima furniture store come to mind.
Seated on one of her sofas and pointing to one of the many pieces which are laid out in the studio, the Director and Furniture Designer of Kima, Rangi Basnayaka explains that the furniture has inimitable in style.
Kima, an associate company of Aashkii, the haute couture fashion boutique, is not an average furniture store, mass producing items. “Kima caters to the discerning customer with taste,” says another Director, Adrian Jayesingha.
“I experiment with form and shape,” says Rangi, explaining that sometimes as many as six prototypes are made of one chair to make sure that it is faultless.
Rangi, who completed her Bachelor in Design (specializing in furniture) at the University of Moratuwa and Master’s in product design in Singapore, draws inspiration from nature, history and tradition. Sometimes life-size templates are provided for the craftsmen to work with and Rangi confesses that she meticulously examines and tests each piece. The journey from drawing board to finished product is thorough to make sure that each piece is distinctive in its own right.
The designing of the furniture, like everything else, begins with the bare basics and then inches its way forward. “It is a lot more difficult to make things look simple,” says Rangi explaining that contrary to what most people think, it is easier to stick to conventional norms and detailed patterns instead of stripping it to the bare minimum.
“The ergonomic standards which are often used for most furniture are American and European, not the most suitable for the Sri Lankan customer,” says Rangi. As many import furniture, Kima attempts to fill the void of exclusive furniture that most people yearn for.
“It’s not about buying furniture off the shelf,” says Adrian, adding, “We have a few pieces which show what can be done. We will advise the customer and looking at their concept and lifestyle, design the furniture based on their requirements.” With 3D designs of the furniture and a virtual tour of the customer’s living room along with the placement of the furniture, the customer obtains an accurate impression of the design.
Made of teak, Burma teak, mahogany and mara, the pieces on display are simple and sleek. Kima also undertakes designs using other materials, depending on the customer’s requirements.Kima (Pvt) Ltd is at Aashkii, No. 1, Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7.