Setting their own unique trend, lifestyle stores in Colombo have a lot of exclusive items on offer—from furniture, porcelain and decorative items to even clothes and antiques. Among these, Paradise Road has become more of a tourist attraction due to the distinctive identity it has built for itself, not just as a store but also as a gallery housing art. But, if you are looking to take home Sri Lankan souvenirs and amazing collector’s pieces, then you must check out Barefoot and Laksala or Lakmedura—home to Sri Lankan handicrafts, carefully hand crafted by Sri Lankan artisans. So don’t forget to pay a visit and experience what is in store to take home something truly artistic and in Sri Lankan in every essence.
Paradise Road is not only an exquisite homeware store, but over the years it has risen to the status of a tourist attraction, deservedly so. Paradise Road houses truly unique one-of-a-kind products, from rustic furniture pieces, to elegant porcelain, Paradise Road is an absolute delight to wander in and explore. The store’s interior channels a grunge Mediterranean atmosphere with dark corners, stone walls and seductive scents. The second floor has an extensive collection of linen products. Take note however that the prices here tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum.
Step into Barefoot and the words bohemian, hippie, new age and ethnic will pop into your mind. The majority of products on offer are all woven goods. Barefoot goods have a rare character to them, and can be instantly recognised. Bright, bold colours and quality hand looms make Barefoot a unique addition to Colombo’s shopping scene. As with many stores in the city, Barefoot’s interior and ambience is exquisite. with rich yellow spotlights, wooden fixtures and raw cement floorings giving barefoot a rugged yet elegant feel.
Furniture Factory manufacture fine quality furniture out of wood, with an emphasis on design. The Sri Lankan company also restore and rework old wooden furniture, breathing new life into old peices. They work as a design consultancy, but their showroom is the best place to go and see the designs for real. The showroom is laid out with ornaments and plush fabrics to make sure visitors can imagine the objects in their homes. This relaxed and casual setting is ideal for browsing the products. Much of their furniture is sourced from Indonesia or influenced by Indonesian style.
Kalaya is full to the brim with objects, painstakingly designed by the proprietors to ensure an uncommon fusion of modern and traditional. Lampshades created from oxidised iron adorn a bright yellow wall at the back of the store. Another feature of the products at Kalaya, is that most of the items are manufactured in Sri Lanka. Once the designs have been completed, Kalaya engages people involved in cottage industries in various parts of the country to manufacture their products. Against a wall of the store, patchwork quilts, wall hangings and bedspreads decorated in batik sway in vivid contrast against shelves stacked with more bedspreads, quilts and shawls folded neatly away. There are also objects from other countries. Interspersed between the paintings by Sri Lankan artists are brightly coloured pieces of art from India, several depicting the Hindu gods Rama and Krishna. The spacious layout at this outlet radiates a sense of leisure. It allows shoppers to browse at their own pace, piecing together items that would complement each other and their homes. All of the pieces at the store, including the furniture and rugs, can be custom made ensuring customers leave Kalaya with exactly what they want.
Started in 1979, Kandygs is an established fabric producing and dyeing factory with multiple outlets in Sri Lanka. The store offers a range of handcrafted and handloom products including bags, curtains, bedspreads, sarongs, cushion covers, soft toys, table clothes and mats, wall hangings and fabrics. The store also has on display pottery and wooden handicrafts among other household and interior decorative items and stitched clothing. Kandygs store is a composition of various colours, patterns and shapes. The neatly set appliances among the pageant of hues, exude an artistic ambiance.
Cultural pieces such as beds from Indonesia, mediums of inscription carved into wood, rustic medicine cupboards, printing presses, cart tables converted from actual and ancient animal driven carts brought down from aged alleyways of India are some of the fascinating artefacts that could be found at Hermitage. Valuable art that adorns the walls and the antiques, collectibles and ornaments compete for space and attention at every turn in the labyrinth of rooms of this former house turned shop on Gower Street.
Gandhara is home to eclectic crafts and artefacts and boasts of a collection exquisitely handpicked from various parts of South Asia. The three-storied building caters to a niche clientele, primarily art lovers who wish to add an individual twist to their homes and living spaces. Gandhara sells artefacts, homeware and furniture. The Gallery Red, Gandhara’s very own art gallery, was opened with the view of promoting local talent and hosts a wide range of exhibits from Sri Lankan artists. Personalised gift items, modern as well as antique available there make perfect gifts for newly weds.