About one-and-a-half-years ago,when Vivek Gupta chanced upon a dilapidated building at Dr Ambedkar Road in Bandra,little did the real estate professional know that this property would end up fulfilling a dream his wife Sunita and he shared for years. Instead of leasing the property out like he usually would do,Gupta opened The Big Door,a one-stop shop that is an an ode to all things beautiful and celebrates Indias heritage through the workmanship of its products.
The store 7,500 square feet across three levels lives up to its name as one enters through a 27-feet-high door,straight from a period drama. Since the store caters to lovers of old world furniture,we wanted to make an impact, says Gupta.
An almost 90-year-old door from Rajasthan and smaller wooden doors replicas from Mughal-style architecture occupy a corner on the ground floor. Picking up on the same thread of Mughal era inspiration are the square marble fountain and the two marble jharokhas that flank the entrance to the store. The furniture ranges between Rs 4,000 and Rs 25 lakh apiece. While this section retains a certain rustic charm,the jewellery section
located right next to it makes for a glamorous setting. All the jewellery is made in Jaipur and in different styles Victorian,Mughal,tribal and contemporary. The jewellery has been moulded with different metals and set with precious stones. The prices start at
Rs 4,500 (for silver) and go up to Rs 40 lakh for diamond and gold. In addition,we have gold boxes,silver teapots and semi-precious jewellery, says Gupta. However,more eye-catching than the jewellery is the silver-plated furniture on the first floor the four-poster bed,the coffee tables and the diwans.
The unorthodox use of some items is fascinating: old pillars as candle stands,an old boat split into two parts that acts as shelves and a wooden khidki showpiece turned into a mirror. Door handles,pots and chests of drawers are also part of the stores collection. They also have a mirror-and-woodwork ceiling which can be customised. The idea behind setting up the store was to offer something uniquely Indian. All the items in the store no matter how simple or elaborate they are and how they can be used are steeped in Indian history and tradition. At a time when people have no qualms about spending on foreign decor,we are all about staying rooted, says Gupta.