CW Interiors |
Main Course | May 2011

Highlighting Style

Nea Braganza of Circular Stripes lends Panache lounge in Mumbai a 'light' touch of understated flamboyance.

A massive quilted door opens to Panache, South Mumbai’s newest nightspot designed by the young and dynamic Nea Braganza of Circular Stripes. Panache lounge is the brainchild of Naman Jain who has a 10 year-old hospitality business and an exotic hotel in Rajasthan by the name of The Maharaja Palace, and his partner Nilesh Kachare.

All in the name

The design of the lounge was inspired by its name. “Our research of the name, took us back to France during King Henry IV’s reign, when the word ‘panache’ was used to describe a striking white plume on the helmet that the king wore when he went to war. It has since been associated with dashing confidence of style and denotes a certain flamboyance and courage,” explains Braganza, who has tried to replicate this unique flamboyance in the design – in the light fittings for example, where a classic chandelier crowns the bar in the disc above that is bathed in soothing colours like aqua. This area has a custom-designed DJ counter and a separate VIP area that looks out to the bar. “We gave this space cool hues in complete contrast to the lounge below, to ensure a complete change of ambience,” explains Krupal Kolge, Nea’s partner on the project.

A light touch

Maroon and yellow dominate the lounge on the lower level, which is ergonomically-designed to ensure that the customer spends more time there in complete comfort. “Normally, the height of seats in restaurants is either as high as 19 inches or very low. We have kept the height to 15 inches – neither too low nor too high. Even the depth of the seats is kept optimum,” explains Kolge. Wall panels are backlit, and light filters through small crystals fitted on them. Old-style chandeliers are used to add an element of interest, while a custom-designed light fitting with square sheets of acrylic adorns the bar here. One wall in the lounge has been dedicated to displaying art from upcoming artists, and the mezzanine has been left as a plain stage to be used by stand-up comedians and other performers. “We have avoided using too many ceiling lights to ensure an unrestricted view of the mezzanine and have used a transparent balustrade as well,” explains Braganza.

Overall, it would be fair to say that the lounge balances the play of a few striking design elements, and the customer-friendly décor with plenty of panache!

Total Area: 3,500 sq ft


  • Firm: Circular Stripes Design Studio founded in September 2010.
  • Firm specialisation: Architecture and interiors
  • Design philosophy: Uncommon sense.
  • Philosophy towards life: Be obstinate.
  • Favourite designer/architect: Amongst international architects, I like Mies Van Der Rohe, and amongst Indian, I admire Shirish Beri.

Photos: Alpesh Palani


Circular Stripes Design Studio, 10/AA, Kolovery, Kalina, Santazruz (East), Mumbai 400 098. Tel: 022-2666 6680/2666 1972. E-mail:
Panache Lounge, Bombay Mutual Annexe Building, Rustam Sidhwa Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Tel: 022-2264 2284.

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