Quirky does it

When we were asked to pay a visit to Chromakey, a design store, we couldn’t help but be intrigued by its name. “In videography, the green screen technique where you create something digitally is called chroma key,” says Natasha Bohra, who started the store in May this year.

A table with a fridge top

“The reason we chose this name was because here too, we’re trying to create things that are not available elsewhere.” Well, we couldn’t wait to find out if Bohra chose the apt name or not!

A key-holder made out of paintbrushes

The 300 sq ft store located at Napean Sea Road offers products such as designer clocks, desk lamps, laptop sleeves and personal organisers. Talking about the inception of the store, 26-year-old Bohra tells us that it started with Chromakey Designs, a stationery brand she launched two years ago.

Natasha Bohra
Natasha Bohra

“I had been working with design magazines prior to that and had an inclination towards design. I started exhibiting my brand at various places and retailing them from other stores, and it was a dream to have a store of my own. Finally, this year, I decided to do just that,” she says.

The bounce chair looks like a piece of art in itself

The brightly lit store is certainly eye-catching, with its array of interesting knick-knacks displayed on shelves and walls. “The idea is to put designer stuff together, and by that, I don’t necessarily mean by established designers only, but by anybody who understands design,” says Bohra. Among other interesting items, Chromakey retails furniture, paintings, clocks, pen stands, table lamps and stationery. So what’s so different?

The table with the mannequin legs is certainly eye-catching

Well, it’s not everywhere that you’ll find table lamps made out of Royal Enfield bike headlights, or a table made out of a fridge’s door. “Some of the products here are too quirky for some, but it does have an audience,” says Bohra. There are many products that catch our eye, and a table with mannequin legs was the first. “This used to be a garment shop earlier and when I bought this place, there were a number of mannequins lying around. So I thought, why waste them,” she smiles. Another unique product which is exclusively available only at the store is the Bounce Chair, designed by world-renowned designer Fenny G. “This chair has been showcased in exhibitions around the world. Almost everyone who walks in, wants to sit in it and see what it’s like,” she adds.

The store also offers a lot of DIY products . “We have seats and lamps made from buckets and planters and centre tables made out of tyres. We have also tied up with a lot of brands who make products out of scrap,” she says.

Bohra informs us that 60 per cent of the stuff available in her store can be customised. “Last month, a customer walked in and she wanted a bookshelf. Now I didn’t have any bookshelf in my store to show her, but she liked the cube display that I have on my store window. With the help of an architect we converted that design into a bookshelf for her. So customising some of the things is also possible,” she says.

The price range for the products starts from R200 and goes up to R45,000. Even as we speak, a gentleman walks inside the store and browses through the wall clocks. He likes one, but wants it in a smaller size and a different colour. Bohra assures him it can be done. “There are a lot of products that you will find in stores across the city, but the idea is not to be exclusive but to be different in design.”

Well, Chromakey certainly lives upto its name, is all we can think of as we walk out, burdened somewhat by the number of products we’ve bought for ourselves!  

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