Furniture and Furnishing Your Home in Spain
Posted by The Expatriator
The what, where and how much of moving and buying furniture, furnishing and decorating your new home in Spain.
We recently received a post on the forum regarding furniture packs and it made me realize that there’s lots to talk about regarding furniture and furnishing your home, whether it’s new or not, in Spain.
In my humble opinion, unless you’ve got to bring Grandma’s antique couch and chair set, it makes a lot of sense to pick up new furniture in Spain as opposed to bringing the old stuff from home. I can imagine in some cases you might want to bring a few pieces with sentimental value, but on the whole, furniture isn’t as expensive as back home, and the furnishing process can be both liberating (from the old shackles of the home country/life) and cheaper than shipping everything over with movers, especially if you’re coming from the US, Canada or Australia (especially Australia). The following are our top tips for finding likeable furniture of various price ranges for your move to Spain.
First tip: there is a lot of Spanish vocabulary required to effectively decorate your home in Spain. An interior designer might be a big help in this way even though they can be expensive. Otherwise, researching the words you need before you get to the store (checklist style) or just looking and pointing might be thhe most effective ways of getting by with furniture store sales staff. Start with “muebles” - furniture, “sofa” - sofa/couch, “colchón” - matress…
Furnishing from Ikea
Ah the ubiquitous Ikea. The entire western world lives in an Ikea household it would seem. If that doesn’t bother you, then it can be your one-stop-furniture-shop on the cheap too. The Spanish have hopped on the Ikea bandwagon with a furry I’ve never seen back home even. My last trip to Ikea was an exercise in patience due to huge lineups and unaccommodating/unknowledgeable staff. Never the less my friend and I walked out of there with what we needed, at a good price, and even picked up some Swedish meatballs for the next BBQ. Try to avoid peak hours like afternoons and evenings any day of the week. I guess that leaves you with mornings.
Ikea can now be found for your furnishing felicity at the following locals in peninsular Spain:
Alcorcón (south-west of Madrid)
Badalona (north-east of Barcelona)
Barakaldo (near Bilbao I believe)
Granvia L’Hospitalet (south-west of Barcelona)
Murcia (north of Cartagena)
SS. de Los Reyees (north of Madrid)
Ikea on the Islands:
Ikea doesn’t seem to let you shop online, but you can check availability at your local Ikea store. The island stores seem to offer English on the webpage but the peninsular stores don’t. Hopefully you can decipher enough of the words to get by. Otherwise, pop on down to your local store, find what you need and have them deliver your new furnishings pronto.
Second tip: Stock up on everything you can during the third and fourth week of Rebajas which takes place for a month during January and July as the next season’s merchandise is about to come in. Household items have a large mark-up which you’ll avoid by shopping during these weeks of the year.
Zara Home, Vinçon and Higher End Furniture
Zara Home, part of the Zara group, seems to be proliferating throughout Spain. I’ve shopped there a few times to nice surprises of high-ish end furnishings, tapestries, sheets, etc at reasonable prices. If you have the chance to buy your new furniture during Rebajas (January and July) you’ll find some amazing deals (70% or so).
Vinçon (site in English) is a medium to high-end furniture and household goods gallery on the famous Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona. I sometimes walk through it for fun when passing by. Great stuff: innovative, interesting, and chic. Prices are up there too.
Camino a Casa seems nice. It’s in Madrid and seems to offer a diverse range of quality furnishings from their seasonal collections.
There are a ton of smaller merchant style shops all over Spain in both big cities and small towns. You can find some great deals and some expensive deals. Usually you’ll find good quality however. Look around on some of the shopping and high streets in your new neighbourhood, you’ll probably find at least one. Additionally there are the occassional second hand furniture shops around, as well as antique furniture shops where you can find various antiques from all over Europe - not cheap, but very cool.
See http://www.mueblesdeespana.es/empresas.php for a list of furniture stores throughout Spain, but with an emphasis on the Valencia region.