Society Interiors - - STORE PROFILE - Text: Nan­dini R Penna

The de­signer store, Jade-Mon­ica and Karishma, in Hy­der­abad is spread over an area of 3,100 sq.ft. The aes­thetic de­signed store show­case the glimpses of Hy­der­abad fash­ion dur­ing the Nizam era cap­tured in framed pic­tures from the hon­ored Deen­dayal col­lec­tion adoring the walls. Adding dashes of rich­ness are huge framed mir­rors and an­tique zar­dosi.

An ex­quis­ite wooden idol of god­dess Saraswati amongst plush green pot­ted plants wel­comes one into a mod­ern door way of the store, and here one is re­minded of the glo­ri­ous his­tory, of the by­gone era of the Nawabs and Nizams, the blue blood of Hy­der­abad. With their typ­i­cal de­sign vin­tage con­cept in­te­ri­ors of all Jade stores, this high-end de­signer store with cou­ture col­lec­tion of Mon­ica and Karishma be­longs to Manuja Agar­wal of Hy­der­abad. De­signed by young ar­chi­tect Divya Gulecha, who has metic­u­lously wo­ven the in­te­ri­ors by bring­ing touches of Hy­der­abadi roy­alty in this plush, yet grunge store.

Ex­plain­ing the ner nu­ances of de­sign, Divya ex­plains, “The Jade store came as a shell to us. Af­ter rig­or­ous study on dis­play and func­tion­al­ity of the store, we cre­ated a func­tional space. The lay­out has been di­vided in four hor­i­zon­tal sec­tions, each serv­ing a dif­fer­ent pur­pose.”

The space though his­toric and con­ven­tional has dashes of grunge to give the space a mys­te­ri­ous touch. Though the de­signer has scrupu­lously cre­ated mul­ti­ple spa­ces ac­cord­ing to func­tion­al­ity, one feels a ow of in­te­ri­ors. In the rst bay — Re­cep­tion area close to the door is an old Vic­to­rian easel con­verted into stand, while an an­tique four-poster bed too acts a func­tional de­sign el­e­ment. A mas­sive Shehnai plays a piv­otal role in merg­ing the spa­ces. An an­tique enor­mous san­dook from Gu­jarat be­comes the Re­cep­tion ta­ble, while the old Tan­jore paint­ing de­pict­ing wed­ding of Shiv and Par­vati gives the space the colour and lav­ish­ness. The Tan­jore paint­ing col­lec­tions, that have been dis­played all over the store be­long to Manuja Agar­wal’s family the owner of the store. Com­plet­ing the decor is a hang­ing dress cre­atively dis­played along with colour­ful leather trunks.

The sec­ond bay has been de­signed for the de­sign­ers’ pret line-Amoha col­lec­tion. This is a much smaller and in­ti­mate bay, keep­ing the sim­ple char­ac­ter of the clothes in mind. One wall has mir­ror-framed from old pic­ture frame. To one side is an an­tique wooden dresser with wheels also dis­played are an­tique sil­ver pitch­ers and exquisitely carved sil­ver pots. A re­fur­bished old cup­board too is part of the space.

Once again sep­a­rat­ing the space are, old metal rail­ing grills xed from ceil­ing, while be­low this is rod hang­ing down and dis­play­ing their cou­ture col­lec­tion. To one side is a chest of draw­ers dis­play­ing an­tique creations.

Divya ex­plains, “What clicked for us was this lay­out, which brought in the con­fi­dence of the Jade de­sign­ers and that is when we moved for­ward to de­fine en­try­ways of these bays us­ing old wooden doors from var­i­ous parts of Te­lan­gana state. These doors are among the state­ment el­e­ments for the con­cep­tion of Jade de­sign. These along with the cast-iron rail­ings did the magic of the “vin­tage” charm, we were try­ing to achieve.”

And con­tin­ues, “Among the prime chal­lenges was the sourc­ing of these an­tique ma­te­ri­als, arte­facts, not to men­tion the amount of time, we spent to get them to a pre­sentable con­di­tion. There are arte­facts from Karaikudi, Chennai, Ahmed­abad, Mum­bai, Waran­gal and so on! The en­try doors were our ma­jor find al­beit each of these doors in­di­vid­u­ally took 25 days to reach to the present con­di­tion. The front door had at least six lay­ers of enamel paint on it. Fix­ing of all of these heavy doors with­out any pil­lar or wall sup­port was very difficult, so we aban­doned the false ceil­ing al­to­gether and sus­pended ev­ery­thing from the ceil­ing.”

The Jade store de­sign evolved along with the pace of the project on the site and as and when they found ma­te­ri­als to use. The de­signer picked up used clip-style rolling shut­ter from Mum­bai, which they used in­no­va­tively for par­ti­tions and ceil­ing. The whole bridal ceil­ing di­men­sion was de­ter­mined with the size of the shut­ter avail­able! They used 8’ tall wooden lou­ver doors for trial rooms and changed lin­tel lev­els, as per the ma­te­rial in hand. Spe­cial space was also cre­ated for an­tique Tan­jore paint­ings from the own­ers’ pri­vate col­lec­tion. Each of these is about 6’6” tall and weigh at least 85 kg in­di­vid­u­ally.

As one goes fur­ther in­side, one reaches the belly of the site, i.e. the big­gest bay con­tain­ing their sig­na­ture evening wear ac­com­pa­nied by a jew­ellry sec­tion. This exclusive space has partly wooden oor­ing to break the dark stone. The bay dis­plays de­signer evening wear and jew­ellery-Manuja’s family brand Pi­naki apart from other clothes. The an­tique seat­ing ju­di­ciously in­fused with rich colours in the form of soft fur­nish­ing and up­hol­stery blends ef­fort­lessly with the huge wooden framed mir­rors per­son­i­fy­ing lux­ury.

An in­ter­est­ing space in the cen­tre is oc­cu­pied by man­nequins crafted from Ker­ala’s Theyyam torso. These tor­sos made from metal have been hand-crafted in Ker­ala, where they are used by tra­di­tional Theyyam dancers.

One no­tices that the flow of de­sign seems to con­tinue to the end of the store and the sub­tle di­vi­sion of spa­ces ac­cord­ing to func­tion­al­ity has been clev­erly done by hang­ing rail­ing or grills be­low which the out­fits are hung for dis­play.

A mas­sive and magnicent door­way from Waran­gal leads one to the last but not the least- the main Bridal Cou­ture. This space has been given a spe­cial treat­ment us­ing an­tique wooden arches, a full metal ceil­ing, plush fur­ni­ture and wooden oor­ing. A man­dap has been cre­ated by us­ing rolling shut­ters as ceil­ing and old wood man­dap pil­lars sup­port the grills. Old wooden arches hold up the rail­ing ceil­ing cre­at­ing an ap­peal­ing area en­hanced by wooden oor­ing and an­tique wooden up­hol­stered seats. The cen­tre ta­ble here has been crafted from an old chest. Close by are cus­tom­ized cab­i­nets in wood and glass dis­play­ing fash­ion ac­ces­sories like clutch bags, trin­kets etc. One can­not over­look the hang­ing swish and chic de­signer clothes, that seem to act as de­sign el­e­ments.

The trial room is roy­alty per­son­i­fied space with red car­pet, enor­mous framed mir­rors etc. The walls with sil­ver nish colour, are done us­ing two shades, one base colour and the other a light sil­ver done up us­ing a sponge. One can ad­mire the glo­ri­ous framed Tan­jore paint­ings, which is a part of the decor apart from old hang­ing brass lamps, an old wooden clothes stand and many more such exclusive pieces that add dis­tinct char­ac­ter to the space.

All through the store, the floor­ing has been left in­con­spic­u­ous with the use of lo­cal leather fin­ished Kadappa stone with ju­di­cious use of wood in se­lected ar­eas elevating it to the sta­tus of ca­sual chic. The use of nat­u­ral light, up­cy­cling of ma­te­ri­als, use of lo­cally avail­able labour and ma­te­rial are some of the other as­pects.

On the whole, the store gives feel­ing of rhyth­mic con­for­mity.

Pho­to­graphs: Cour­tesy Jade-Mon­ica And Karishma

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