Smita Balram Kumar finds out how far Indians can go to buy a good night's sleep
The bedroom is the sanctum sanctorum of a living space. And bed its focal point. The bed has emerged as the luxury abode of style, couture and comfort.
“Sleep is the ultimate luxury and the consumerist icon derivative of this piece of luxury is the bed,” says Delhi-based luxury interior designer Manjeet Bullar. With sleep attainting the status of luxury, people are going that extra mile to make the most of it.
Love for Linen
Interior designer Vinita Chaitanya says, “Indians are getting ahead in the game. The bedroom is their sanctuary. Off late, the only brief I get is to design the bedroom based on the client’s last stay at a seven-star luxury hotel”. Vinita says her clients are well-aware of brands such as Frette, Fendi, Versace, Ralph Lauren, White Linen Co. And Atmosphere, which sell luxury mattresses, ergonomic pillows and high thread count bed linen. She adds,“Bed linen can cost lakhs of rupees and Indians are willing to buy. Harrods has bedsheets with thread count of 1000. Milan-based luxury linen brand Frette sells bedsheets in pure cashmere. Young homemakers too are investing in labels like Zara Home. We import beds from international labels like Baker Furniture, Christopher Guy, Cavalli and Fendi. We import mattresses from Hastens and Tempur that cost between ₹1lakh and ₹20 lakh”.
140-year-old Italian luxury brand Frette, which has an ardent admirer in singer Madonna, has a store in Mumbai. Their linen range comes in thread counts from 300 to 1000 and costs ₹18,000 to ₹1 lakh. The higher the thread count, the finer, lighter and smoother is the product. Let's not forget that versatile natural fibres give a cooling effect in summers and much-needed warmth in winters.
Threads of Opulence
Linen Box, a Chennai-based brand sells only white luxury linen to clients in Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi. Their pristine white linens, which lend a satin-weave effect, are made from Indian cotton with a thread count of 600.
White linen is timeless. An elegant all-white bed reflects purity and goodness. Aneena Tharakan, owner of Linen Box, says, “When we started eight years ago, we had to educate people about the luxury off sleeping on white linen and high thread count. Today we sell our linen for baby beds too”.
Sleep like the Celebs
Mattresses from Mon Chateau in Bangalore has found fandom among Hollywood celebrities. Their Royal Pedic mattresses, made in Beverly Hills California, have made it into the homes of former US Presidents like John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan; royalty of Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Thailand; top entertainers and athletes. Now it is finding favour among Indians too. The mattress is crafted with New Zealand lamb wool, natural latex and cotton from California and Texas. Available in a pillow-top and organic range, it can cost anywhere between ₹6lakh and ₹8 lakh.
Besides goose-feather pillows and duvets, Mon Chateau also stocks Egyptian cotton bed linen from Italian luxury label Nancy Koltes that costs between ₹50,000 and ₹1,10,000. Offering a thread count of 350 to 900, the high-grade bed linen comes in jacquard weave and fine embroidery. The store also has furniture from legendary American brands like Baker Furniture, Hickory Chair, Thomas William and Lexington.
Vasanthi Ram, CEO of Mon Chateau says, “The desire for luxury in bedrooms in India has increased by almost 65 to 70 per cent. Clients want luxury even in their guest rooms. When you can spend ₹70 lakh on a kitchen, why not on your bed where you get the biggest piece of luxury – peace.”
“Safety is also luxury. Go back to nature. No chemicals in the bedroom. No polyurethane mattresses. No jazzy linens. The furnishings should be in timeless natural fibres like cotton, silk yarn, horse hair, semal tree tuft and duck-feather to pashmina, yak and sheep wool,” adds Manjeet.
Delhi-based designer Raseel Gujral, of artistic home label Casa Paradox, has recently designed a stunning four-poster bed bedecked with crystal, silver and engraved mirror for a client. The cut-crystal bed crafts both the French and Mughal influence in its design. Raseel says, “A bed has two connotations—quality of sleep and visual aesthetic. My clients will splurge to any degree for visual aesthetics. It’s all about making a statement—be it the master bedroom or the guest bedroom”.