A classic case of seven year itch this. What else to call lawyer and design enthusiast Maulika Gandhi's decision to hang her black solicitor's coat after seven long years in the profession in favor of the business woman's hat? And she did it with panache too!
Maulika's labor of love is located just off E moses road in Worli, Mumbai. Amongst a cluster of odd looking buildings in a nondescript lane stands the white, contemporary white facade of Magnolia, the home decor Atelier.
I have stumbled into the store, camera and gear in hand by accident. However it does not take too long for me to get busy chasing beautiful things in Maulika's store .
A single-seater upholstered in cheery yellow floral fabric graces the sunny entrance of the store.
At Magnolia the emphasis is on classic pieces of furniture and handcrafted objects d'art. Passion for decor is a key element in designing stock according to Maulika, for whom the entire venture is a leap of faith to begin with. And the collection mirrors that preoccupation very well.
|A quirky setting of up cycled, wood and tire furniture|
I notice an array of rough, up cycled furniture, ideal for a patio or quirky informal seating areas at home. "We design and create a majority of our furniture. Most if the up cycled pieces are created by us and the main aim is to re-use mundane and ordinary things and turn them into something unique. Plus we used a lot of recycled wood such as teak, sleeper wood etc. This way everyone can do their part in buying eco-friendly products without compromising on the design or aesthetics of their home" explains Maulika.
Another delightful find is the upholstery fabric used by the design team at Magnolia. Scraps of jewel toned Patola sewn together using kantha stitches. A vibrant and interesting touch for that odd sofa or a set of chairs .
A sofa upholstered with a patchwork of kantha embellished silk fabric
According to Maulika, using kantha on Patola offers a way of integrating modern living with old handicraft techniques.
Talking of her future plans Maulika says :
"Magnolia is a year and half old now. We are still spreading the word about our flagship Worli store. We have a tremendous response from customers and we definitely have some expansion plans in the pipeline in the making"
A few other interesting finds at Magnolia among many also worth mentioning :
Digitally printed home decor and accents add a dash of whimsy to the house India style and make excellent gifts too.
Vibrant colors combined with geometric prints marry the contemporary to the classic.