My company recognizes 2 types of rental properties: furnish or unfurnished. (My company’s relocation policies tend to be binary.) But for such a colorful land, India has many shades of grey … And at least one other type of rental: the semi furnished.
Semi-furnished appears to mean: what you see is what you get, but everything is open to negotiation. And that is where I’ve found myself. “My” apartment –in quotes because I still don’t have a lease ( I fear that may be running theme of this blog)– is MOSTLY furnished. It has couches, TV cabinets, chairs, tables, bed frames, bed side tables, oven, cooktop, hood, water purifier, etc. All brand new, very modern decor.
However, some key things are missing: mattresses for the beds (3), refrigerator, tv, washer & dryer for clothes. Yes, it’s customary to line dry as much as possible, and I’m all about conserving energy, but some days –like during monsoon season– a dryer is important.
I think I have an agreement that the landlord will procure the fridge, washer, dryer & a microwave and install them, in exchange for an increase to the rent which we’d initially agreed. I’ve lined up to buy a used TV, cable box, router, coffee machine, tea kettle and espresso maker from expats who are returning home in June. (Okay, I’ll concede that some of those appliances are outside the scope of typical “furnished apartments” – but still, pretty important creature comforts, no?)
That leaves the mattresses – which can range greatly from thin traditional coir mats to high-end imported western styles. Import duties on mattresses are insane, so I’m leaning towards a local manufacturer of western style mattresses used by many big hotel chains in India (Hyatt’s, Marriott’s, some of the Taj’s and formerly the Oberoi’s — I contacted the hotels directly to double check the mattress company’s marketing claims). If it’s good enough for the hotel guests, I figure It should be good enough for me & my guests for a couple of years. (I’ll place a pea under the guest mattresses and buy any visitor who can feel it a drink… )
I don’t have good photos of the interior furnishings. (I filmed a motion-sickness inducing video tour, but i will spare you my Blair Witch moment…) Hopefully, I’ll be able to share new photos in a week! In the meantime, here’s my husband in the entry way to “my” apartment (accessible from the winding stairs, or elevator):