Xanadu and its pleasure domes have so far been an opium-dream away, but stage actor Susan George and ex-journalist Susanna Chandy urge you to get off the poppy and pop on over to Lavelle Road instead.
On level two above Time & Space gallery and Ritu Kumar floats their new lifestyle store Xanadu, where antique furniture sourced from around India is upcycled into new beings. See for instance a 1970s recorder player that’s now a distressed bar, or marble top dressing table with wooden legs that sits like a venomous spider in waiting.
Give us a damsel with a dulcimer right now and we’ll consider this Coleridge’s “enfolding sunny spot of greenery”.
Susanna leads us around the 2,000 square foot store lit up by industrial lights and modern chandeliers, running her hand over a baby-blue squat sofa set with the most delicate legs; marveling with us at a four-poster bed; sitting in a high-back sofa with Monarch butterflies; and spying a quick look at her reflection in the vintage full-length mirror finished with shimmering gold. The store does not have one cohesive voice, thereby catering to you and you and you. And for you, who needs a get-away from all things gilded (it’s not our style too), go hold a sturdy pure white something from Kerala-based Tata Ceramics’ crockery collection. “I grew up eating from these plates and was determined to get them on board to retail here. Besides, they’re the only Indian makers of fine bone china,” freelance content creator Susanna explains. At Rs 250 for a mug and Rs 2,000 for a large serving bowl, they’re also one of the most affordable buys of the store’s merchandise.
Once you’re done with the one-off pieces you see at Xanadu "that will keep evolving”, you can focus on the little bits: Namrata Singh’s Victorian hand-worked crochet runners and cushions, pottery creations by Pondicherry-based Adil Writer, vases with singing birds, throw pillows with creepy-crawlies, art by children’s illustrator Pallavi Nopani.
To keep from napping in the four-poster bed, we stretch our limbs out on the balcony garden section, slip into one of the cocoon swings under the mango tree, and almost pull out our book to read. Give us a damsel with a dulcimer right now and we’ll consider this Coleridge’s “enfolding sunny spot of greenery”.
Getting there: Xanadu, second floor, The Guild, 55, Lavelle Road, Rs 250 for a mug, Rs 3,000 for a vase, 80,000 for a marble dressing table.
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