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TWEAKING the teak

The furniture at The Annexe is striking for the way in which different materials are combined.

SHE TALKS about mixed media. She talks about recycling. And she makes beautiful furniture by giving new life to old teak, with a touch of metal, glass, and class.

Shilpa Kalanjee Pastala, designer of furniture made with restored 100-year-old Burma teak wood, brings to Bangalore her exclusive range at The Annexe, a designer-furniture store at Shamrao Complex, Mission Road.

Fusion Access

"As an interior designer working in Mumbai, I often felt the lack of just the right kind of furniture to go with my projects. Then I started designing my own, stumbled on Burma teak, and now I'm really enjoying the work," says the Mumbai-based Shilpa, who has branded her furniture Fusion Access. Fusion Access is also the name of the furniture store that she has in Mumbai. Husband Minnal Pastala handles the production of the furniture in their factory in Alibag.

An interesting piece at The Annexe is a log of wood. Reading left to right, one sees the progression of the Burma teak from being ravaged wood to planed wood, and finally to beautifully finished and treated wood. "The 100-year-old log is now good for the next 25 years at least," says the designer, who buys Burma wood from demolitions and old structures.

The mixed media furniture collection gets its name from the art world because it uses different materials. The aluminium and glass console, for instance, is a piece that seems to defy structural principles — wood and metal have been bent bravely to hold a glass top. "The amount of work we had to do to get this piece just right is enormous," explains Shilpa. "We had to make several prototypes before we were satisfied about the strength and looks of the piece." So now one knows why the console costs Rs. 58, 850!

A copper bench with old Chinese porcelain tiles is as pretty as it is strong. "We've tested it!" say the not exactly slim Pastalas. "The philosophy behind the mixed media line is to enable one to place these pieces in rooms of either classic or contemporary furniture so that they blend well with the environment. Quality is of prime importance, with emphasis being laid upon finish and longevity in structure," adds Shilpa.

The interiors of the showroom are simple, but the box windows with pretty chinks give away the fact that an interior designer has been at work — that is, Shilpa Kalanjee Pastala. Spread across 5,000 sq. ft., the showroom has classy dining tables and king-sized cots, centre tables, consoles, chairs, sofas, benches and stools. An intriguing glass-legged dining table winks appreciatively at a solid sofa set with bookcases all along its sides and back (Rs. 72,325). A glass topped centre table shows off its stylish, carved legs, while a classical four-poster cot with mother-of-pearl inlay work makes a regal statement.

"I like to experiment with various material," says Shilpa, an alumnus of Mumbai's Rachna Sansad's School of Interior Design. As solid proof, there is a huge mirror encased in a framework that is made of wood covered by chaandi varak — the silver foil used on the Kaju barfis! Also at the store are garden furniture, planters and stools made of the building material called ciporex.

The Annexe has a good range of furniture made with sleeper wood, bought from railway auctions. The rough texture of wood that has carried the weight of hundreds of trains blend beautifully with the artistic designs on offer here. Foldout bar cabinet with bar stools, mirrors and glass cabinets incorporating sleeper wood looked quite attractive.

Designer furnishings

The Annexe adds value to its furniture line by introducing a highly stylised and exclusive collection of designer furnishings and accessories like candles, candle stands, frames, hand-painted bottles. Shilpa makes customised furniture too, and offers 16 finished colours in Burma teak. Shilpa's furniture has reached the homes and study rooms of celebrities in Mumbai, and has now come to Bangalore.

The Annexe is at 12, Shamrao Compound (Hyundai Service Centre), Mission Road Cross. Phone: 22105050/22123355.


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