Designer Navin Kanodia prefers to be known as a product designer and a person with all the interior solutions, rather than be dubbed a regular interior designer. The latest feather in his cap is Spacio, a lifestyle store that recently opened its doors in Topsia.
For those looking to doing up their homes in a way that reflects their personal styles, Spacio is the place to head. Sprawling over 9,000sq ft, it stocks up on something for everyone. There are, of course, the mandatory furniture and light fixtures but also look out for art installations like the 8ft driftwood form or a metal piece made out of industrial iron. You also cant miss the quirky centre-pieces including a collection of miniature vintage cars and rickshaws, grandpa clocks, hat-stands and more.
Much to every connoisseurs delight, Spacio has introduced products from 14 countries in Europe, and the Far East. Kanodia says that Spacio is being positioned as a one-stop shop for those looking for a truly international ambience.
Kanodia, 39, is not alone in this enterprise. His brother, Pravin, looks after the business aspects, on occasion also pitching in with his own design inputs.
Now that Spacio is off to a good start, Kanodia is looking forward to another project in Calcutta. In the pipeline is a mega hub for furniture, accessories and accent pieces for homes. Covering over 300,000sq ft, this hub will also offer an open, free-of-cost gallery where upcoming product designers and installation artists will be invited to showcase their work.
Kanodia is no newbie to the world of design. He started creating metal art and furniture in 1995 without any formal training. He says: The best part of working in metal was giving something so rigid an artistic shape and form.
Today, Kanodias parent company, S.T. Unicom, is a leading name in Calcutta associated with metal furniture. Some five years ago Kanodia also included wood, glass and mother-of-pearl in his design repertoire.
Kanodia has provided interior solutions to many Calcutta landmarks including Dublin, the pub at ITC Sonar, where he worked with an international team of interior designers and Hushh, the resto-bar in City Centre, for which he worked in tandem with designer Vivek Rathore.
Interiors should reflect individual tastes, says Kanodia. And a persons home should reflect who the person is, rather than what is popular at the moment, he says.
But he is quick to point out that if one thing can be identified as a trend in the city, it is that the interior spaces and accessories reflect the warm, open nature of people. He says that now people are more open to experimenting and Calcutta has moved away from the kind of furniture, accessories or designs that were meant to last a generation and more. People invest in the moment now, he says.
Fusion is big he says — and not just in the sense of the East-meets-West kind of aesthetics. The end is to create a space that reflects a harmony in design, rather than just a place where pricey pieces have been hurriedly thrown in. So a wall cladding that can cost lakhs may just rest easy on flooring created with chattai or madur that has as paltry a price as Rs 20 a sq ft.
From dining tables with Italian marble bases to driftwood installations, cascading crystal chandeliers to mother-of-pearl creations like planters or garden stools, youll find plenty at Spacio. And the good news is that it is not necessarily going to be a pocket-buster experience for you, for the Kanodias pride themselves on having something for everyone.
So a dining set may come for anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 44 lakh (yes, were talking Italian marble base, specialised glass-top, leather chairs — the works), while beds may cost between Rs 45,000 and Rs 1 lakh.
Lights come at anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2 lakh. Our pick was the chandelier with little chains of crystal shapes cascading like waterfalls. The little lamps in metal casing shaped like miniature kimonos are just as neat.
There are some interesting clocks at Spacio — from wrought-iron hanging clocks (like the ones youd expect to see at railway stations) to wooden grandfather clocks and you could spend between Rs 2,000 and Rs 60,000 to get the time right. But the show stealer at Rs 12,000 is the projector clock — a clock hidden in a projector light, which when switched on projects the image of the clock — complete with minute and hour hands — on the wall. The diameter of the clocks projected image can be adjusted to anywhere between 8in to 8ft.
Apart from this youd find objets d art, home accessories like umbrella-stands at about Rs 3,500, centre-pieces like miniature vintage cars and rickshaws, and accent pieces ranging between Rs 950 and Rs 2,500.