It almost feels like a M*A*S*H (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit should be assembled outside Sanctum, Khar’s new home store where distressed tables, ravaged trunks and tough iron shelves look like they’re in the midst of a waging war, and doing a swell job surviving it. Especially that bedside lamp which wears a military helmet for cover.
But despite all the battle scars, owner Sandhya Gorthi (also on the founding team of The Shop) doesn't want these casualty-chics sown up, polished and put back together. This is a Sanctum, she says, where objects are brave and honest, stripped down of all lies.
While Sanctum does stock bric-a-brac for your shelves, it focuses on interesting, moderately priced furniture (Rs 7,000 to Rs 25,000), a factor that distinguishes it from Bandra’s many home stores. The ground level here is weighed down by heavy pieces, many of which are designed by lifestyle brand Ironworks – chest of natural wood drawers that look like cargo boxes with stamps, a mammoth file cabinet with iron pull outs and trunks that are great for storage. In their shadows lie random odds and ends that are easy to miss (especially the seen-before clocks and wooded animals); look out for wooden book where the spine slides out like a secret drawer, and abovementioned army lamps.
Things look up for Sanctum on level one, you'll find, where the landscape gets progressively cheerier. Although the space is dominated by Lower Parel store Freedom Tree’s wares – lovely dishes and boring floral linen – you’ll also find an in-house line of colourful furniture in distressed wood, like a forest green kiddie see-saw and a cobalt blue cabinet.
When bpb visited, the clothes hadn’t been put out to hang yet but they’re out of the closet now, dresses, tops and shirts in Indian weaves by Chennai-based brand Brass Tacks. There’s also a random cabinet of imported kitchenware – bright jugs, monkey doorknobs, rainbow coloured cake servers - and a wall of solid coloured Sanctum stoles that rank high on Sandhya’s favourite item checklist at the shop. And with staff from the recently shut down Contemporary Arts And Crafts at Napean Sea Road, there’s an experienced lot here to serve and suggest.
One survey of Sanctum's field told us this: Visit not when you need a little something to liven up your space, but when your living room could do with a big, brave piece. Because what’s cooler than a bar that's been to battle and back?
Getting there: Sanctum, Vasant House, 19th Road, (lane after Fabindia's) Khar (W), call 26495775/6 or view the Facebook group here, open all days of the week, Rs 2,990 for military lamp.
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