Complete with a ‘God room’, this contemporary Sri Lankan home nourishes its owner’s soul on many levels.
Renaissance man Udayshanth Fernando loves his country and has dedicated much of his career to advocating, organizing and promoting the rich talent in Sri Lanka. Known as the ‘Terence Conran’ of the teardrop-shaped island, he is a businessman, restaurateur, hotelier, art collector, philanthropist, and patriot. He is the authority and style guru when it comes to knowing who the country’s leading lights are in design, art, craft, and architecture – past, present and emerging.
After a spell living in Sydney, Udayshanth arrived back in Sri Lanka with his young family in 1987. He then opened Paradise Road, introducing his unique, timeless style to his homeland. Thirty years on, Paradise Road is one of the country’s quintessential brands, with lifestyle shops, restaurants and boutique hotels under one umbrella. “I went to Australia in search of self,” he explains, and with the launch of his retail chain, he also revealed his signature style of elegance and eclecticism via a distinct monochromatic theme.
Until recently, the platform for Udayshanth’s creativity has been on a commercial path. He always envisioned building his dream home and had been waiting patiently for the right block of land in Colombo to materialize. He also wanted to create a home for his vast collection of art, antiques, and collectibles. He first bought a small plot (about 0.4 hectares) at the end of a dead-end lane in a nice part of town, just opposite the Colombo Town Hall, and sat on it. Another parcel of land next door soon followed which meant that he had the whole turning circle at the end of a laneway to himself. “Everything to do with this house just came into my hands,” says Udayshanth with a grin. “A good conscience never fails.”
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