What is the first thing that one handcrafts as a child? For most of us, it would be a paper boat. Drawing its name from this simple reality, Paper Boat Collective celebrates straightforward handcrafted products.
It is said that the best boutiques are often hidden away, tucked in somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. The idyllic environs of Goa are just perfect for this simple and elegant store that exudes a distinct philosophy regarding its styling, products and designers.
“The beautiful building we are located in is a 100-year-old Portuguese house with high ceilings and lovely shell windows which creates a perfect backdrop and setting for the beautiful range of products,”explains Bhagyashree Patwardhan, Founder and Creative Director.
The relaxed Goan vibe coupled with a quintessential Portuguese design influence makes browsing around the 1800 square feet area a pleasant experience indeed. The charming cottage starts working its magic even before you enter the store, and once you’re in, the beautiful décor takes over, with natural light flowing in freely.
Yellow Jaisalmer flooring covers the entire store. High ceilings add to the grandeur of the space. The shell of the store, that is, the walls, are all white. Quaint wooden display units like shelves, racks, drawers and open cabinets house many of the products.
These have also been painted white as it is a colour that’s easy to play with. “All colours, tones, textures and shades blend in beautifully with it. White doesn’t overpower anything, but instead brings it together really well, providing a canvas where the products are highlighted,” says Patwardhan.
The store gives out a very homely vibe. In fact, one might easily feel that someone actually lived there! It’s partly true, since it used to be a home, and that warmth continues to envelop the space. The fact that it is divided into rooms that flow freely into one another adds to the relaxed feel of the space. The uniformity of the décor in terms of flooring, displays and colour scheme helps bind all the different areas together.
Paper Boat Collective is a concept lifestyle boutique that is a culmination of a 15-year design and decor journey that started at the National Institute of Design, where Patwardhan pursued her design studies. The store showcases products that are handcrafted using natural materials. These are made in small quantities, using traditional skill sets and techniques from India.
They have a simple, yet stylish presence and one cannot fail to notice the keen eye for detail, the finesse of the materials, the high quality and the perfect styling that resonates perfectly with contemporary lifestyles – be it clothing, furniture, home accessories or accessories for kids’ rooms. The strength of the store also lies in the mindful curation of products created by a range of people with varied design backgrounds.
While the basic structure remains the same, displays are changed as and when new products and designers come in, which generally happens once every three weeks. There is a complete changeover of the display once every year. “The whole store is designed as an experience which allows people to wander around the shop peacefully without pressure,” says Patwardhan.
Indeed, the old world charm of the area and the contemporary products make for a great combination. What does the future hold for the store? “We simply make a boat, put our love in it and let it sail!” Bhagyashree Patwardhan concludes simply.
Text By Dhanishta Shah
Photographs By Sandra D’Souza