Peacock Life is a store that clearly defies conventions. Its best feature is probably the fact that it is so atypical!
Architect Shabnam Gupta was at the helm of the store. After several design projects, a retail outlet was a natural progression for her creative expressions. Peacock Life’s second store at Bandra once again exemplifies Gupta’s eclectic style.
The store is housed in a stark blue painted building named Bandra 190. “Since inception Bandra 190 has been a design hub. Besides, Bandra being a special place for retail and niche shoppers, this was ideal,” explains Gupta, as she elaborates on the choice of location.
While one finds that most décor stores are open and free flowing, this one is located over three floors and has an arrangement of five tiny rooms, each of them located on either side of the stairway of the building. Gupta has turned this unique arrangement to her advantage. “This worked well for us in terms of space to create pop-ups, as well as individual set ups and styles,” she says.
Within each of the rooms, she has experimented with bold and subtle colours, such as on the brick walls that were a part of the original construction. The ceiling has been left raw and unfinished across all rooms. Each room gets a lot of natural light, which streams in thanks to the generously sized windows.
Though there are five different rooms, the items and products are arranged eclectically across all rooms, rather than thematically. This is well in line with the atypical design temperament of the brand. “Thematic décor is not our style. Our practice’s USP has always been all about eclecticism and spontaneity.
Contrasting elements such as the old and new, quiet and bold, muted and bright are all that we endorse in our projects,” points out Gupta. Hence, one sees a heady concoction of beautiful things put together. When things are sold, other products are put in and things get moved about all the time. This keeps renewing the look.
The stairway is very important because the store is spread over three floors and clients use it for access. It intrigues and adds a quaint feel as you walk through the store. In fact the stairway walls have become a convenient canvas for displaying knickknacks, artwork, collectibles and small accessories in a diverse mix.
Two creative installations form a part of the stair landing on two different floors. One is made from sari balls and the other is a nod to the prayer wheels characteristic of monasteries and uses the quintessential Bombay dabba, holding a design heritage in its own right.
An ‘ethos wall’ has various press cuttings stuck on it, which turn the wall itself into a statement design feature. The terrace is the icing on the cake. This magical space has a festive canopy, and has been landscaped by Gupta’s mother, Neelam Sagar Chopra, a renowned landscape designer. The multifunctional terrace is the go-to area for events, client meetings and displays of outdoor furniture and accessories. In the evenings it takes on an enthralling feel.
Peacock Life sources some of the products from across India while the rest are designed and manufactured in-house. Some old pieces are restored and reinterpreted. Metal is an integral part of Gupta’s design and this translates into the products as well, like for instance the cement table with a metallic base. Nothing is imported and everything has a strong Indian ethos.
There is a lot of wonderful detailing that will not fail to appease the connoisseur. The old and the new sit next to each other as do products with different design styles. Much like its namesake bird, the products are sure to add vibrancy to any space.
Text By Dhanishta Shah
Photographs Indrajit Sathe