Happening Outlets of Hyderabad 


Distinctive, stylish furniture store from Mumbai
Colonial Collections comes to Hyderabad
Sets up the first franchisee outlet in India at Hyderabad
in collaboration with Vandana Shete’s Fern House Trading
Hyderabad: The constant thing in our life is change. Along with the changing times are our aspirations. Be it dressing or home furnishing or for that matter even the ambience, designs play a major role and we have been offlate witnessing that modern designs are giving way to more ethnic and antique designs in the home decoration.
One brand which set its foot firm in custom-made furniture much before the trend had arrived in India is Mumbai based Colonial Collections. Through its store Trafford House, it has been catering to the discerning customers with unique, distinctive and stylish furniture for the past 15 years. Now for the first time it expands to the city of Nawabs, Hyderabad through Vandana Shete’s Fern House TRADING, a franchisee outlet. It is the first ever franchisee outlet in India for Colonial Collections. The 1250 sft store is formally inaugurated here in city today near Celebrity Club, in a lane opposite Shoppers Stop, Chikoti Gardens, Begumpet.
It is the store for quality custom-made furniture for residential, corporate, hotel and restaurant projects. The furniture styles here include both contemporary as well as colonial and a unique range of ‘classic-contemporary’ designs which blend the elegance of classical designs with a modern sensibility. The store specializes in seating and the sofas which are specially handcrafted with attention to detail, stressing on proportion, comfort and fine finishes. The store designer team steps in and gets involved with furniture styling and production aspects, once the civil works are finished and shell of the home/office is ready to be handed over to the designers. The focus is to design the furniture that reflects your tastes, choices and personality coupled with comfort. It will be your own signature furniture that makes a statement of your personality.
You are unique so also your furniture. Your home/office is the place where you spend considerable amount of time. So you look for the best and most satisfying furniture. Why compromise with the ready-made furniture that is made for a general buyer? questions Ms. Nilofer Reshad Rustomji, the lady behind Colonial Collections. Our furniture is just made for you keeping your needs, tastes and comforts in mind. And what is wonderful is unlike contemporary furniture, the furniture is made without using nails!
Over the years, Colonial Collections has garnered a strong reputation for impeccable styling and coordination of an overall interiors ‘look’. It earned the accolades of many discerning

clients like Film Stars Rani Mukherjee, Rekha, Choreographer Farah Khan, Ram Madhavan (An Ad and Feature Film Director), Prahalad Kakkar Films, residences of several high profile individuals like Ishaat Hussain (Director Tata Sons), Keki Dadyseth of Hindustan Lever, Executive Residences of ICICI Bank, official residences of Consulate of Portugal in Goa, Consulate of France, Consulate of Japan in Mumbai etc. Some of the prestigious national and international projects include Earth Lounge Bar New York (done in collaboration with Fashion
Designer Manish Malhotra), Taj Group of Hotels, Deutsche Bank (Mumbai), Taxi Restaurant in Mumbai etc.
Some of the projects executed in Hyderabad in a short span of over one year include Moriq Interiors, Studio One, IVRCL, Taruni Stores and houses of many structural engineers, builders, architects. Trafford House, the store for Colonial Collections in Mumbai has been the most sought after shooting spot for many bollywood feature and ad films. Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan starrer Hum Tum feature film’s few sequences were shot here, so also Rahul Bose starrer White Noise. It is also a frequently featured store in many other feature and ad films.
The store was established in 1990 by Nilofer and her husband Reshad Rustomji after a stint with corporate life. Initially it was just a hobby which over a period of time has evolved as a full time profession. What has started as a small dealing in antique business, evolved into business, where they make their own furniture. Nilofer & Reshad Rustomji’s careers in furniture span over 15 years. In this one and half decade they have a distinction of producing / creating / designing more than 6000 distinctive furniture items / pieces / units. Besides Mumbai, it has its own store in Goa. Colonial Collections has three workshops in Mumbai with collective area of 4000 Sft. and has a human resources strength of 60 people.
Speaking on the occasion of inauguration of the store in city Nilofer said, "We are not run of the mill people which are after business. We are select, quality conscious and are interested in select few who appreciate our work. Market is flooded with lot of furniture of many varieties and makes. We are not in that race. Ours is a furniture, you collect for." Colonial Collections is a furniture for contemporary interiors made in India. Our works are based on foundation of timeless designs and possessions. Our collection is an Indian undertaking for finish, design, comfort on par or even better than the best in the world, stated Nilofer very proudly.
Elucidating further on the Colonial Collection, which is fast catching up all over the country, Nilofer said, "We believe in beauty of simplicity and not over doing it. We don’t believe in chasing the trend. We specialise in Arts & Crafts Furniture. Colonial Collections is one of the very few in the country in this specialisation."
Nilofer has her roots to Hyderabad as her mothers family hails from Hyderabad. She always prefers to come to city. No wonder why her first franchisee outlet in India has come up in Hyderabad.
An authority on the subject, Nilofer occasionally addresses industry forums and peer groups on the subjects. Her long cherished dream is to start an educational program to guide students interested in pursuing careers in this area. The Indian educational institutions are not equipped to impart training in this area, she said.
Though not formally educated in the subject, Nilofer had built an envious track record. You need not be qualified to be successful in furniture design. All you need is inquisitiveness to do things creatively. You need to have a third eye of Shiva to be successful. I learn by constantly keeping all my senses open. I observe from nature, history and change of seasons. Mother nature is the best tutor to be creatively best in any work.
The most exciting and satisfying work for me is the restoration of the age-old furniture. Each of these artifacts speak about important aspect of history. When we restore the old and antique furniture, we retain their original characteristics. I get lot of satisfaction doing this. But, restoration is a more expensive and extremely time consuming job. So I restrict much there. Now I get involved in only such projects which excite me, states Nilofer.
Speaking about the furniture industry in India Nilofer said we are the world’s top furniture importer accounting for 17 per cent of the total imports worldwide in 2004. The organised sector accounts for about Rs 800 crore worth of imports. The overall furniture industry in the country is estimated at Rs 35,000 crore. Compared to these numbers the designer and custom-made furniture stands at abysmally low. However, the trend is fast picking up. The future augurs best for those who are good in their work, she summed up.

Reach out's News Bureau
March '2006


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