A first look at a new furniture brand which is decidedly Indian without trying too hard


Introducing SĀR; its affordable, aesthetically on point and most importantly, it retails online


“Indians are the only people who sit cross-legged on a sofa,” says Nikita Bhate, founder-designer of furniture brand SĀR, which launched earlier this month. “Also, we are totally at ease sitting on bare floors or on a chataai. The way we live in India is not how people in Western countries do, right from the way we sit to the way we dress. Consider how an Indian woman drapes her sari…it flows on the floor, or on the bed while she is tucking it in.” These inherent tendencies and traits form the bulk of the design inspiration for this new Pune-based label.

Bhate credits her reinvigorated ability to focus on the essentials to her experience as a resident designer at Vista Alegre Atlantis, Portugal, and the Fabrica Research Centre in Italy. “There were designers from all over the world in Fabrica, who employed cultural references to create furniture that is relevant to daily living and not just aesthetically appealing.” These designers from countries as culturally diverse as France, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Italy, Ecuador and England are also the minds behind SĀR’s latest range, ‘Here, There’.

Moving away from ornamental table designs, the ‘Stem’ dining table is put together with pure minimalism. It offers 21 possible configurations in a mix of design and materials. The ‘Fold’ dining chair with its distinctive cushion—single plane with a bend—is designed by Daniel Rous from England in the way of a traditional high-back. Made from beech wood, it is accentuated by comfortable angles that provide optimal posture.

The multi-usability ‘Paffe’ sofa designed by Giorgio Gasco from Italy has a removable quilt or tappetino that serves as an armrest, and can also be laid out on the floor as a mattress.

The uniqueness of this furniture brand though lies in the way it not just adapts to functionality but also to changing needs. Once you buy a SĀR furniture, you have the freedom to upgrade, expand and downsize the piece as you wish—in parts or as a whole—over the years. “This way, the furniture evolves in your space with time. You don’t have to discard things when you renovate your house,” explains Bhate. “Say, you have a small budget and buy a wooden chair at first. A few years later, you can send it back to us and have it upholstered with Indian fabrics or Danish Sorensen leather, whenever your budget allows for more luxurious fittings. Basically, you can commission a change in size, shape or materials of the furniture in parts or as a whole.”

The ‘Pfaffe’ sofa, designed by Italian designer Georgio Gasco, is one of Bhate’s favourites in the collection. It can be cleverly configured to suit your preference—from an ottoman to a daybed, from a single-seater to a three-seater. A leather quilt or tappetino that serves as an armrest can be detached and used as floor mat. Similarly, the ‘Stem’ dining table offers 21 possible configurations, with a wide variety of table tops—round, oval, rectangular, in marble, glass and solid wood. Astute functionality is the backbone of all furniture concepts in SĀR. Bhate sums it up succinctly: “Modern design needn’t mean we should ignore the cultural traits ingrained in us. My objective is to show how we can be comfortable in our unique identity, and still enjoy the best contemporary design.”

USP: Furniture that evolves with your changing needs and lifestyle
Product range: Chairs, sofas, beds, coffee table, side table, dining table, sofa, dressing table, wall units
Price: Rs 7,500 to 2,50,000
Materials: Wood, stone, fabrics, copper, brass
Customisation: While the basic designs are fixed, there are a variety of modular parts available which allow you to customise and later upgrade your furniture.
Delivery: 5 to 25 days, depending on the furniture size 
Website: https://sar-studio.com/

Photography By

Shek Po Kwan

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