Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Furniture Stores in Cuenca Ecuador

Hi folks, I just discovered you 2 wks ago and really appreciate your honesty about life in Cuenca. Can you tell me if they have furniture stores in Cuenca, as we know them here in the states? Keep the truth about life there coming! Thanks, Barbara

Hi Barbara, we’re glad you’re enjoying the videos about Cuenca. We appreciate your viewership and comments.

Yes, there is furniture stores in Cuenca, in fact there are numerous stores that sell furniture here. There are your upper-end furniture stores, medium-end and lower-end furniture stores. We’ve gone into both the medium-end and the lower-end furniture stores, sat on the furniture and asked prices. We have walked past the higher-end furniture stores and I took several good peeks inside at the furniture.

Some of our readers may wonder why we are building our own furniture and the answer is because we can! It is much more sensible (for us) and easy on the pocket book to be resourceful and do what you can to save money, especially when you are new to a place and not sure if you are going to stay in that city or country or if unforeseen circumstances arise. We’ve noticed that some people come here and spend thousands of dollars furnishing their home or condo and then for some unforeseen circumstance they move back to the states. Whether they have to move or want to move, doesn’t matter, they now have a bunch of furniture to sell.

As many of our readers already know we are a frugal-minded family but that does not mean we are cheap. Back in the states we bought a brand new high-end, camel back Schnadig sofa for $100. We got this comfy and nice looking sofa for such a good price because we bought it on an online auction in a city near us. I have not seen this type of traditional looking or quality built furniture here in Cuenca, yet. Now this does not mean they don’t sell traditional furniture here, it’s just that I have not seen any.

High-end Furniture Stores

When I peek inside these stores, what do I see? I see a lot of very contemporary looking furniture. Very sleek, one color (usually black or white) block type furniture…almost bachelor type looking furniture. A lot of it is leather, which is nice, but you don’t want leather here in Cuenca if you have no heat in your home, it will be too cold to sit on. I prefer the more traditional (warmer and comfy) style furniture (like Schnadig) and so far have not seen much of that type of furniture here. In Mall Del Rio there is a nice upper-end furniture store (sorry did not look at prices) that sold more modern (not so contemporary) looking furniture, which was quite nice looking.

Medium-end Furniture stores



In the medium-end stores we actually went in, sat down on the furniture, chatted with the saleswoman, and asked several prices. For a nice looking contemporary leather square sectional, with an attached blocky type table, that would seat about seven people comfortably, they were asking $790. For an overstuffed, modern (not contemporary) flowery couch, love seat and chair they were asking around $1,200. So they do have different styles, but not a lot of the more traditional styles. One thing we have noticed about the furniture here is it seems to be lower to the floor and harder cushions.  


Low-end furniture Stores

Have you ever noticed the furniture dealer on the side of the road selling like a couch, two chairs, and a love seat for like $500? It is really light weight and cheap looking? Well this is what you get at the lower-end furniture stores. These places do not have a very big selection of furniture and the furniture looks cheaply made, the fabric seems like it will wear out after about 6-months,  and in our opinion it is over-priced. You’re better off buying from the medium-end and spending a few more bucks.

For an example, for a couch, a couple of chairs and a love seat they ask from $500 on up. The furniture is very light, very hard when you sit on it, and very close to the floor. I’m tall though, at 5’10” tall I feel like a giant sitting on the furniture here in Cuenca. And it seems the furniture is low to the floor even when you pay a little more.

Custom built Furniture Stores

I’ve read that some expats that come here to live have their furniture custom built. They just go in and tell them what they want and the wood builders build it. I was reading on one blog where they had their living room furniture, a desk, a dinner table and a queen bed built for like $1400.

They also have some rustic furniture makers at the market in downtown Cuenca. They make small tables mostly and some benches and bookshelves.

The downotwon area of Cuenca also has several furniture stores. From the outside it looks like they do not have much, but peak inside and walk around and you'll find the store goes back really far into other rooms and they carry a lot of different kinds of furniture. 

Don't forget to negotiate! Never take the price the sales person quotes out. To get the best prices, ask price and then walk out. Go back again on another day and ask price again. Keep doing this until the price seems ok for the piece of furniture you are buying. If the price never seems to come low enough, go to a different furniture store. 

6 comments:

  1. There is a nice higher end furniture store called Cardeca that is across the street from Parke de Madre (on the "Planetarium" side of the park) that sells beautiful quality furniture and even sells recliners. It is (to me) expensive. I was looking for a headboard (w/frame) and two night stands and the average price was around $2000.
    We bought our king size mattress at Casa Flores (they speak English) which is on Ordonez Lasso y Los Olivos and paid $300 delivered. We just bought it in Oct. 2011. We are very happy with it. We have been told by native Cuencanos that Casa Flores has the best quality mattresses. By the way they also carry lots of fabrics. Note: Casa Flores is up on the second floor. The first floor has a nice home decor store called Casa Rouse.
    All the best! Karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Karen,

    Thanks so much for sharing this great information about furniture stores here in Cuenca!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your blog. This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. May I ask what the furniture is like if you rent a furnished apt. I too am tall. We plan to travel to Cuenca this oct to see if we would like living there. It's about the weather and cost of living. Judy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judy.
      It depends....You'll just have to check out the furniture by sitting on it and seeing for yourself if it is something you can live with while you rent. :-) Some furniture is low to the floor and some is not. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete