Located on Janpath, the epicentre of Delhis shopping experience, Varya is a chic interior solutions store. Bindu Vadera, who owns this home fashion stop along with English designers Charles Orchard and C. James Newbould, has a love affair going with classic home accessories. Following design trends blindly is not the norm here. The idea is to develop a signature style, explains Vadera. So Varya (meaning treasure in Sanskrit) is a study in understated opulence.
Orchard and Newbould along with Vadera bring their design inputs to the table. Although Varya doesnt yet have its in-house line, the partners short-list products that make their way to Varya shelves.
Designed by Australian interior architect Mathew Shang, Varya sprawls over 6,500sq ft, showcasing luxurious crystalware, designer tableware, eclectic furniture and collectibles, choice furnishing and an interesting bouquet of high-end candles and fragrances.
The lofty, gallery-like space extends over two levels and is filled with celebrated art and photographic works sourced and curated by Alakananda Saha and Kalyani Chawla of Montage Art. And obviously you can buy.
Vadera entered the design domain after she finished college by enrolling in a course in patination (the process of ageing metals using chemicals) from Campbell College, UK. She followed it up with another programme in iron blacksmithing from London.
Armed with a design-focused resume, Vadera broke fresh ground by crafting cast copper and brass home accessories under the label The Works more than a decade ago. When her designs began flying off racks in Delhis stylish Ogaan, she launched another brand titled The Inside Story. Both labels dealt with metal home accessories and tapped the growing demand for home couture in the domestic market.
Though her avant-garde metal creations got rave reviews in the Capital in the 90s, she gave it all up to be with her young children soon after her brands took off.
But she didnt sit idle and began designing her second home — an exclusive holiday retreat in Goa — appointed with stylised statement pieces and furniture with global accents. She even sourced eclectic furniture from Bali, where she was introduced to luxury furniture designer C. James Newbould, one of her future partners at Varya.
People who saw this retreat were so impressed that Vadera was flooded with requests from people to do up their homes. Soon she decided to set the ball rolling for Varya and set it up in eight months flat.
Varya is the first Indian store to come up with the wedding list service. If a couple avails this premium offer, guests can gift a host of eclectic and one-off items from the store to them.
Varya also retails handcrafted statement pieces made from shagreen (sting ray skin), an opulent material used extensively in luxury furniture and home accessories in the 1920s Art Deco era in Paris.
Vadera has a style vocabulary inspired by global influences. Rather than sticking to current design trends, Vadera believes in collecting the best the world has to offer, irrespective of the time period it belongs to. Prices of products available at Varya start reasonably at Rs 200 for standalone candles but furniture can cost upwards of Rs 3 lakh.
Varya is all about furniture crafted from aged teak reclaimed from Dutch warehouses of Java as well as modernist furniture designs from Philippines that make use of natural materials like farmed seashells, tree bark and bamboo. Other eye-catchers include a British line of Portobello Road-style antique storage trunks in leather.
But Vadera swears by the hippest global brands when it comes to dinnerware, accent pieces and home fragrances. On offer is French dinnerware pottery brand Gien, with its pottery styles of 17th to 19th century Europe and other high-octane brands like Sambonet from Italy, Crystal de Sevres from France and Bahoma of England.
Sophistication rules at Varya. Take a look at a whisky decanter set made of shagreen. It is accompanied by four stylish whisky glasses. The price is on request.
Another pretty piece is a large red rose candle from up-market French label Point a la Ligne. The rose candle will set you back by Rs 7,600.
Look out for the Paris trunk — Kilim — at Varya. The stores trunk collection pays homage to the era of antique luggage and travel accoutrements. Each item in this collection is finished with 400 studs and traditional sprung locks, requiring almost 72 hours of craftsmanship to create. Expect to shell out Rs 83,800 for each trunk.