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Glamorous showers!


Time of the post-modern bathroom.

BESIDES BEING functional, bathrooms, today, make a fashion statement. Adorned with hitech equipment and stylish accessories, they are called "glamour rooms". So it's not just the drawing rooms or the bedrooms that need careful planning, even bathrooms get equal architectural attention. And to cater to this growing demand, Chhabria & Sons, offers a wide range of designer sanitary ware.

The store, which was started by G.V. Chhabria in 1959, also sold other items initially. "It was only later that we concentrated only on sanitary ware," says Rajesh Chabria, who now runs the show.

Why sanitary ware? "The Indian consumer is open to new ideas and concepts and the spending power of people has also increased," explains Mr. Rajesh.

So if you want your bathroom with pictures of cartoon characters, landscape, flora and fauna, traditional work of art, or just a dab of abstract arts, you are sure to find your pick here. The store houses the best of ceramic wall and floor tiles, kitchen and sanitary ware, designer kitchen and bathroom fittings, glass mosaic, among others.

On display are shower panels (priced from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 65,000) and shower cubicles (priced between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 50,000). "These offer both style and comfort. Earlier, we were a little wary of trying to sell items that cost Rs. 25,000. But, today, as designer ware is becoming popular, we confidently bring into our store items that cost over Rs. 3 lakh," explains Mr. Rajesh. So, now, instead of a rushed bathroom schedule, you can literally pamper yourself with a multi-system which comprises a steam system, FM radio, CD player, jacuzzi, foot massager, and so on. And this will cost you Rs. 2 lakh upwards.

Another interesting range of products is its designer tiles, which are priced between Rs. 80 and Rs. 300 per sq.ft.. Ceramic vitrified tiles, sold here, can be used as a substitute for marble or granite. The unique feature is that they can be laid on the existing floor and have better resistance to abrasions. "It is a tried and tested product and has been in the market for over 50 years, but has gained popularity only recently. It is a virtual non-staining product and highly scratch resistant," says Mr. Rajesh. And if you crave to give your bathroom a rustic or an ethnic look, then the store offers you an interesting range. This range is expensive as it includes tremendous amount of manpower and intricate work. There are also small bits of glass called Glass Mosaic, which are used in murals or swimming pools etc. As they come in various colours they can be used in various patterns, or can be used in borders, panels...

Chhabria & Sons also caters to the needs of the lower middle class. "We also have a fairly good variety of tiles that are priced at Rs. 17 per sq.ft.. And the range, priced between Rs. 40 and Rs. 50, are fast moving as they fit into the mid-range."

To give customers a better idea, Mr. Rajesh has introduced an innovative interactive CD, which "helps them to actually see the bath-room while designing and make the necessary changes. No one in India has come out with such a concept," he asserts proudly. Soon he plans to set up an "all purpose total store, where every thing necessary for construction will be made available".

Besides taking pride in its attractive and well-stocked showroom, Chhabria & Sons emphasises on quality and reliability. The store on S.J.P. Road can be contacted on 2224117/2221718.

SHOBA RAO

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