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    The new furniture section at Cafe Des Arts is quirky and colourful

    Enter the antique furniture section at Café Des Arts and the first thing you spot is an SBI cupboard with 24 drawers—found at the ‘‘backyard of a second-hand shop’’ by the owners, Cecile Hoorelbeke and Martine Mallard. “We found it during one of our sourcing-trips. We immediately loved it. It is made out of teak wood and still has marks from its previous life at the bank. All we did was update the wood using wax and old brass,” begins Hoorelbeke, an entrepreneur. With over 30 pieces, the collection includes colourful, quirky chairs, antique beds, vintage sofa sets and writing tables.

    Colour block
    Originally from Italy, Hoorelbeke shares,“The principal material we use is the furniture itself. It is the first basis of our inspiration. But our craftsmen also use rosewood, teak wood and local wood. And we also work with resources such as cane work and Indian fabrics.”A major attraction in the collection—the stools which come in bright red, pink, yellow and is foldable, with an inverted dinner plate to finish the look. “We also like to play with the furniture. Depending on the condition of what we find, we allow ourselves to play with colours, materials and paints. For instance, we started a line of stencilled-painted furniture, using Indian icons such as the ambassador car or bicycle rickshaws. Or, on a very old cabriolet-style chair, we decided to put a fancy fabric and play with glossy colours,” says Mallard.

    Initial story
    With a common interest in collecting antiques, Hoorelbeke tells us about when it all started, “When I was a student, I had to furnish my apartment on a reasonable budget. So I went around the second-hand shops and discovered an interest in old things. I started giving a second life to items, while respecting their shape and story.” On the other hand, Mallard loved collecting pieces from her travel. “The first one, 30 years ago, was a painted trunk from Syria. Finally, after years, my house looks like a museum where every piece has its own story,” she says.

    The SBI cupboard is priced at `44.000 . Details: cecile.hoorelbeke@hotmail.fr
    —MS

     

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