By Cheranka Mendis
Creating masterpieces out of solid objects is not an easy task. Composition, design, patience and a keen eye is needed along with discipline and mastery to create that winning piece — unique, alluring and binding.
With a rich history of 52 years in design innovation, Raux Brothers has come a long way and has made a name for itself as a niche market product house. What started as an antique business by Anthony and Christine Raux in 1959 has evolved over the years and has gradually changed its course to produce furniture with character and identity. Opening its flagship store down Bullers Road hoping to come out of hiding and into visibility, the store showcases some of its best pieces.
Director of Raux Brothers Kalani Raux speaking to Daily FT stated that the collections offered by the group aims at creating a complete ‘home’ for their clients. Each letter of ‘home’ represents a different collection, crating a sub brand of RAUX HOME. “This is something we will cultivate as we introduce linen, tableware, glassware, and cutlery,” Raux said. HOME stands for Heritage collection (H), Outdoor collection (O), Masters Collection (M) and Eternal/Elements (E).
‘Heritage’ collection features handcrafted designs of high quality drawing inspiration from traditions of the past whereas the ‘Outdoor’ collection showcases a product line made of hardwood timbers as well as bringing in a home pace setting designs in materials not obtainable locally. ‘Masters’ collection aims at manufacturing furniture for every room in the home drawing inspiration from the group’s archives and incorporating and adapting new designs with the old. The ‘Eternal’ collection is acknowledged as an extension to the core brand and has been created in response to the demand for more contemporary styled products with the same values as the traditional collection — timelessness quality and comfort. Finally, an interior would not be complete with a collection of ‘Elements’ which add up to great style enhancing our various furniture collections.
The heritage collection which offers hand crafted designs of high quality drawings inspired from the olden times features some unique pieces decorated with old art and design. Master, true to its claim aims at delivering timeless designs of high quality and comfort — plush cushions and sofas are all part of this basket. Eternal attracts those who love a touch of contemporary art in their homes while elements bring out various accessories that help in making it a home — a little bit of extra value.
With a majority of the furniture being crafted in Sri Lanka with the best quality material, Raux also holds a few special pieces picked out from all over South East Asia. “We custom make the products and give it its own flavour with the hand crafted designs we have come to be popular for,” she asserted. Out of those imported from overseas includes bamboo, wicker/rattan, cast iron/aluminum, capsize shell and leather products, “each has been hand picked.”
On trends and designs, Raux acknowledges that ideas and designs are picked from the many overseas trips. The strength however lies in their careful adaption of old and new. “We adapt old designs from time to time according to the needs of the clients. In special projects where we furnish resorts and hotels we work with architects and interior decorators to deliver what would suit their plans to the maximum.”
When we inquire on what the current trend is at present, she reveals that when it comes to furnishing an apartment more prefer a contemporary touch — straight lines accentuating the elements. “In design what is commonly looked for is very basic. They would throw in a few pieces to add fusion. Design elements have not really changed in the past two years — contemporary with a few classic/heritage pieces thrown in.”
Raux has ‘no restrictions’ in creating what is thus needed or looked forward to by the clients. Their restrictions is however ultra modern designs. “We take time in our process. If it is lounge chairs they need it would take as much as three weeks for us to sketch, experiment, modify and finally manufacture it. That is why we are known as a high end product, because we spend time in our pieces.”
Raux commented that the company has invested in the future and that the newest addition to the brand is the ‘Raux kid’s collection.’ The focus, she said will be on developing a complete range of furniture for children of all ages.
Raux Brothers has two specialty stores in the city. Called ‘The Colonial’ and ‘The Furniture Gallery’ the stores are located down De Fonseka Road, Colombo 5. The design centre and manufacturing plant situated in Piliyandala, has the capacity to handle large scale hotel projects both locally and internationally.