Furniture Store Pune : Sanskriti Lifestyle
My mother, Sonali Pingale, and I, started Sanskriti Lifestyle in 1995, and subsequently built it up to this scale. It is really a lifestyle concept now- “store” seems inadequate. All the colonial bungalows you see- each a retail space for furniture, home decor, even jewellery, clothes and accessories- are designed by my mother- right from concept to execution. It took us 3 years to develop the property. Even the landscaping was done by us. We love gardening- something we did all through our years when my father was serving in the airforce. We’ve planted over a 150 trees on the property. Sanskriti Lifestyle is a landmark in Pune, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this. (Devika Bashani)
Sanskriti Lifestyle is a classic example of how our experiences, so unique to us, present us with opportunities in the least unexpected way. My father, Air Marshal Pingale, was always posted to remote parts of India. This travel gave us the opportunity to discover a wide variety of craftsmanship in the country. I remember my mother scouring local villages for old utensils or handicrafts. In 1995, prior to my father’s retirement, my parents decided to start a furniture store in Pune, that I would manage. The plan was to eventually create colonial-style bungalows on my father’s one-acre property, but we began with a small 370-square feet shop, to test the waters. My mother handled product selection, and sent everything to Pune. I was based in Pune and handled all operations, including administration and marketing.
Our store was very well received, and we decided to expand. In 2000, we started construction of the bungalows. Every building you see, is designed by my mother. She knew exactly the kind of look and feel she wanted for the project.
She had been hoarding windows and doors from old havelis that were torn down. She even bought stone from an old building. That stone forms the pathways linking all the structures. Landscaping was a major part of the new venue.
The idea was that people should be able to meander through lush gardens from one store to the other. My mother and I have always loved gardening, so this was perhaps the most fun part for us, going to remote nurseries, buying exotic trees, shrubs and creepers.
Our USP is undoubtedly our quality of furniture, for which we are known. We only use teak wood- no plywood, no particle board and no “bhoora sheesham”, a very inferior type of wood prone to wood borers.
But shopping at Sanskriti Lifestyle is all about the experience, as our name suggests. People come to Sanskriti Lifestyle because they are assured of quality products, as well as the experience of shopping in such beautiful surroundings. The lush gardens, the water bodies with koi fish, and the frangipani trees are as much a draw for shoppers as are our products.
Each bungalow showcases our wide variety of furniture and home decor items. We have over 7000 square feet of built up space, not to mention the verandahs and cobbled areas, yet we are always running short of display space. Our product range is truly vast.
Products available at the store
1) Quality teak wood furniture- restored antiques, replicas, as well as customised furniture. 4-poster beds, chest of drawers,full-length swivel mirrors, old armoires, are some of our top selling items.
2) Home decor items-lamps, mirrors, photoframes, wall-art and other artefacts in wood and brass. Handicrafts from across the country- tanjores, glass paintings, pitaras from Rajasthan
3) Art from local artists
4) Silver jewellery, fashion accessories, like hand bags, stoles and clips, and a selection of mix-and match clothes like tunics and kurtis.
We have a wide range of lifestyle products. Furniture is our core product.The retail price ranges from soaps at Rs 50/- to beds for upwards of Rs 50,000/-.