Store Review: Sanctum

November 1, 2011 2:51 pm by

Standing across the road from Sanctum, the new lifestyle store in Khar, it’s plain to see that owner Sandhya Gorthi has put in much thought into making her shop, located on the ground floor of a non-descript residential building, look charming. Tall paneled windows and a heavy blue door are framed by a garland of gold rice lights. Peek in and you get a glimpse of some of the furniture, table lamps, metal lanterns, candles, and jewellery that she sells, enough to lure you in.

Inside, you’ll find that the majority of Gorthi’s products, sourced from across India, have a distressed and aged appearance. She doesn’t deal in antiques; Gorthi’s team of freelance designers work to create this vintage look—armoires, chests, coffee tables, jewellery boxes, and wooden cabinets are coloured with faded paint or given a rough, sandpapered finish. Some of the cabinets and wooden screens have been fashioned out of crates and wood acquired from ships, railway sleepers and old homes. Many of the ceiling and table lamps flaunt vintage designs, but the shiny brass indicates that these are in fact brand new pieces.

In addition to furniture and lamps, on the ground floor of the split-level store you will find a cabinet full of imported kitchen equipment sourced from the Chowpatty-based kitchen and home accessories store, Home Collective. Gorthi, who is also a partner at the Bandra-based handicrafts store, The Shop, has picked fun items such as rabbit-shaped salt and pepper mills, thermal tumblers in fluorescent colours, and bright salad bowls from Home Collective to sell at her new store. Sanctum also stocks jewellery by Dipika Vijay, a National Institute of Design student, who makes geometric-shaped earrings and pendants out of silver and semi-precious stones. You can also buy stationery such as bookmarks and multi-coloured paper diaries by a new brand called The Healing Pyramid.

Lower Parel home store Freedom Tree’s vibrant crockery and home linen occupies most of the top floor. A small room is reserved for Chennai-based designer Anaka Narayanan’s cotton and silk dresses, tops and kurtas, which she sells under the label Brass Tacks. There’s also a shelf full of coloured cotton shawls designed by Sanctum’s in-house team.

Refreshingly, Gorthi has refrained from stocking the kitschy Bollywood-inspired products that seem to dominate new lifestyle stores across the city. At Sanctum, the goods on offer are likely to appeal to those inclined to adding a splash of colour to their homes and wardrobes. If you decide to pay them a visit, go with time on hand, because the choice can be quite overwhelming. Prices start at Rs25 for a bookmark.