Country Life is a wonder world of tradition, an expansive store that offers a tapestry of options in home interior and outdoor shopping.
Words Jennifer Paldano Goonewardene
Photographs Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
In native devotion, water is life-affirming. Following this consciousness, Country Life opens its doors to the sight of a mini-fountain of falling water. Adding to this positive tenor arises the sound of water, full of energy yet soothing to the senses. It’s a relaxed setting among outdoor decorations, a setting that creates harmonious living spaces.
Inside, the gallery not only crystalizes beauty, it exudes liberty and positive energy. Step in and the stocky coffee table, accentuated with pieces of carvings from a window is flanked by a ‘paruva’, the rudimentary boat of the natives.
Many figures conjure themes of serenity, the composed image of the monk, worn-out brass lamps boasting of vintage pricelessness; Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and the arts strumming her instrument, while Krishna plays the flute to his eternal love, Radha – beautiful and transcendental, so are the many images of the Buddha in a gaze of penetration, radiating more than just illusory beauty. There is awe and beauty in these perfect forms. This concept store offers a varied shopping experience of contemporary designs and vintage pieces. Co-founded by husband and wife duo, Kanishka and Purnima Wijesinghe, inspired into this turf by passion for art, Country Life has numerous pieces that were sourced from Sri Lankan materials and artisans, from castoff windows and window frames, doors and door frames that make up unconventional coffee and dining table tops and the board for paintings.
Ethnic-inspired, the store is the archetypal asylum of artistry with an explosion of colour in the artwork, wall paintings, and temple art recreated on canvas. Pictures of Old Ceylon, verses of Buddhist stanzas and replicas of wood carvings found at the Embekke Devale captured in frame adorn the walls. Lobby benches, tables and chairs, writing tables highlighted with wood carvings of flowery themes, carved chests to knick-knacks worthy of collectibles, merge craftsmanship with modern aesthetics, style and function.
Many objects found here are fresh conceptions, such as the the old brass spittoon turned upside down provides the base for a lotus bud-shaped lampshade made of raw silk. Innovation has brought life back to others, including a vangediya (mortar), transformed by elegant, colourful motifs. A charming tea-set from coconut shell, lamp holders suspended from an old window frame, others attached to solid timber, are some of the most creative displays at the store. From quirky designs ranging to practical interior solutions, Country Life is eponymous.
Limited production is the hallmark that makes a unique creation admired by the patrons who stumble upon it, says Purnima Wijesinghe. Country Life provides customised interior design and landscaping solutions to their cusomers working in tandem with professional designers.
Visit Country Life to find artistic pieces that will adorn your living spaces.
829/1 Kotte Road
Etul Kotte, Kotte. (+94 77) 738 5083
Opening hours: 9am till 7pm (Daily)