Paradise Road: A Timeless Journey

December 2011| 833 views


The objets d’art at Design Ware House

The striking black and white stripes of Paradise Road against the white washed walls of colonial houses, invite you into a world of timeless magic, eclectic style and unique beauty. Its creator, founder and proprietor Shanth Fernando with his passion and love for art and design brings into his stores objets d’art from diverse cultures capable of transforming any house into a unique home.

Established in 1987 as a small boutique on Flower Road with designer homeware, Paradise Road, which is on the verge of stepping into its 25th year, has carried through to the future, its excellence in offering unique, timeless merchandise of inimitable style and has blossomed into a brand name for both retail and leisure experiences in Sri Lanka.

Paradise Road on Dharmapala Mawatha was opened to solve the space issue at the Flower Road store and became increasingly popular. Today it displays a host of different household items that range from bed linen to cutlery, decorative accessories and furniture both manufactured in Sri Lanka and imported according to the taste and style of Fernando. “All our items are unique and authentic to the inimitable style of Paradise Road, everything is honest; we don’t use substitutes or gimmicks,” said Shanth Fernando.

The unique buildings which house the Paradise Road outlets have been renovated to add aesthetic value to the retail experience that Paradise Road offers to its clients and is reputed for. “We are the pioneers in taking old houses and converting them into commercial spaces so that the visitor can also experience the history behind the building; and through this we try to preserve the beautiful colonial charm of Colombo,” added Fernando.

Having created a lifestyle concept under the slogan ‘Taste-Timeless-Style’, Shanth Fernando ensures that a good part of the merchandise available at Paradise Road remains unchanged in design through the years. It offers its clients their favourite early Paradise Road collectibles giving them an opportunity to replace those purchased years ago. “People sometimes come and ask us what we have for a specific festival; but I’m not festival oriented. We have enough things for people to buy throughout the year,” elaborated the proprietor of Paradise Road, although they do have special items for the Christmas season.

It offers its clients their favourite early paradise road collectibles giving them an opportunity to replace those purchased years ago.

Paradise Road further stands out for its efforts to maintain the cultural identity of Sri Lanka. It endeavours to promote local craftsmanship, giving the local artisan the opportunity to be inspired by global designs and to create items of international appeal with a Sri Lankan identity. “Where craft is concerned I restrict myself mainly to Asia because I feel that it works and complements the Sri Lankan context,” Fernando elaborated, “and truly my main aim is to offer beautiful things for Sri Lankan homes,” he added.

The Studio House was next in line in this unique retail chain; it mainly houses goods from all over the world handpicked by Shanth Fernando himself to suit his eclectic but typically Paradise Road style. Glassware from Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Thailand and Slovakia, ceramic ware from China, and music from one of the best labels in Europe for classical music ‘Harmonia Mundi’ are just some of the typically unique items for sale.

Expanding further, just a year ago Paradise Road opened the Design Ware House in Ward Place in a Geoffrey Bawa designed structure; it stocks indoor and outdoor furniture, tableware, glassware, objets d’art, paintings and countless other designer ware for the home. “I travel all over the world looking for designs and every single object I offer in all my stores is something that I work on wholeheartedly, and is actually an extension of myself”, added Fernando.

All three designer boutiques are distinctly different yet characteristic in striving to maintain the Paradise Road signature. Paradise Road also has smaller outlets at The Gallery Café and at their beachside resort, The Villa Bentota.

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