Established in 1996 by two friends, Darika Ellawala and Nilo Pestonjee, who had been inspired by the crafts in India, Kalaya brings together Sri Lankan traditional art and crafts as interior decor with a contemporary spin on it thereby creating modern rustic style.
Words Udeshi Amarasinghe. | Photographs Menaka Aravinda.
Naming the lifestyle store, Kalaya, which is the traditional clay water vessel that was used in every home in the past, it reflects the useful purpose and the pleasing shapes of the beautiful products displayed at the premises. As Darika Ellawala explains, “We look at things in a different way to produce our own designs.” Furthermore, recognizing the talents of Sri Lankan craftsmen, Kalaya also supports small cottage industries by providing them the designs and the guidance to manufacture products. Kalaya prides itself in offering unique Sri Lankan made products. Inspiration is drawn from nature and organic forms such as leaves and seashells, from Sri Lankan heritage as well as from different cultures experienced on their travels abroad.
As you step into Kalaya, the beautiful shapes and earthen shades give a sense of tropical and vernacular atmosphere. The colors and textures of the products at Kalaya give a rustic feel. “We experiment with the finishes so that there are various textures and layers. We also use natural materials in our products”, explained Darika. Kalaya offers solutions for both exteriors and interiors where coordinated designs could be selected.
The lifestyle store consists of three levels. On the ground floor, there is a selection of ornaments made using cement, metal and other materials, furniture, carpets made using natural materials, large lamps made of cement, linen such as cushion covers, table runners, and bed sheets made of cotton, paintings, as well as wall hangings that have been inspired by the ocean, ancient coins and different cultures. Furthermore, there is a selection of books featuring Sri Lankan authors as well as art and design. Kalaya also offers a selection of infusions and organic teas.
On the first floor, there is a collection of beautiful items to select from. There is a collection of crockery that includes plates, dishes and cups in blues and black that are simple and stylish. Furthermore, there are bath- room amenities, oil burners, candle holders created in vivid shapes and
candle stands, vases, glasses and much more. Kalaya offers a range of Batik products, a line which they started in 1996. The designs are unique and contemporary and made only for Kalaya. Batik products include cushion covers, table linen, bed spreads, and sarongs.
Lighting solutions of any shape and form, and size are displayed on the second floor. This space has been dedicated entirely to lighting solutions. Light shades made of cane and kitul in various shapes and sizes as well as in pastel shades are on display here. The designs are unique and eye- catching.
Darika says that the product offerings at Kalaya are modern and rustic because these would be suitable for any space. On customer’s request Kalaya also provides customized furniture, Batiks and lighting solutions. With much to offer, Kalaya emphasizes on using raw materials in different ways to produce the most unique products to adorn your homes.
Sunday and Monday; 10am to 6.30pm Tuesday to Saturday; 10am to 7.30pm (Closed on Mercantile holidays) 260/A, Pannipitiya Road
Pelawatta, Battaramulla (+94 11) 278 6886 firstname.lastname@example.org, kalayasrilanka.com