METRO PLUS

Racks to NICHES

Metal, glass and wood come together at Pride and Precious

Metal, glass and wood come together at Pride and Precious  

STORES IN the twin cities have moved away from piles of merchandise stacked unimaginatively on racks.

The interiors now function as an advertisement inviting people to have a complete experience with innovatively done up interiors.

So you have mud-plastered walls painted with rangolis offering a rustic ambience for your handlooms and softly lit niches in walls highlighting necklaces crafted in gold and semi-precious stones.

Welcome to the new face of retailing. Shop owners are now looking at creative, cost-effective ideas to showcase their goods.

The end result is the new stores in the city are admired not just for the designer lines or jewellery, but also for the super cool ambience.

The calming ambience of Marichika (the boutique on Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills) is designed by architect Rajesh.

The painted fa�ade, a sloka from the Bhagavad Gita on the brick wall and artwork by Binny Mathews from Mumbai (who has done Yash Birla's Yantra and Mantra outlets) all morph smoothly into inviting interiors.

"We wanted to stand out and give an ethnic feel to the place. Incidentally, people who walk in also ask us about the flooring, panels and the window dressing," says Rinku, of Marichika.

Similarly, the linens and scented candles find a homely display at Elah� in Vogue, reflecting a living room ambience. "We were looking for a mansion to house our store since we wanted to give the customers a different shopping experience," says Rajiv Shroff of Elah� in Vogue.

Interiors see a shift from classic heavy designs to contemporary chic. One finds no room for elaborate carving and beading. This is the era for tidy, straight settings. "Clean minimalist designs in straight lines giving a Zen effect are in vogue. Natural materials like stone and wood are used with copper or steel for a funky look," says Aamir of Aamir and Hameeda Interior Designers.

Marichika is known for its calming ambience — Photos: P.V. Sivakumar

Marichika is known for its calming ambience — Photos: P.V. Sivakumar  

A case in point is Pride `n' Precious, designed by Deepak Patankar (some of his projects include Leela Palace, Bangalore and the famous Raheja Arcade, Pune, where each apartment costs Rs. 5 crores!) and Susee Papinznath from Canada (Marks and Spencers, Simpson's and Hudson Bay are some of her clients) where imported artefacts are arranged country-wise, in an elaborate metal, glass and wood setting.

Taking cues from stores overseas, employing international designers or adding an ethnic element to their ventures in retailing, the methods employed by the storeowners are numerous, stunning and driven by the mushrooming stores.

"It is about stores making a style statement to catch the attention of consumers. If everyone is going to stock the same stuff, as a consumer, you can go to XYZ shop, which is why it makes sense to have a concept store for your own niche and stand out in the market," says Akshay, a store conceptualiser and designer.

As for the consumers, they seem to be flocking to the stores. "You wouldn't mind paying a bit more to shop in a plush air-conditioned relaxing atmosphere that enables you to indulge at a leisurely pace after a tiring day," says Shobha, a copywriter.

Point taken. With more design concepts in store, the consumer is in for a pleasurable shopping experience in the coming days.

Some cool interiors

Marichika: Designed by Rajesh, the interiors feature texture painted fa�ades, slokas from the Bhagavad Gita on brick walls and artwork by Binny Mathews.

Elah� in Vogue: Linens and scented candles find a homely display reflecting a living room ambience.

Pride `n' Precious: Designed by Deepak Patankar and Susee Papinznath. Imported artefacts are arranged country-wise, in an elaborate metal, glass and wood setting.

S.F.

Recommended for you