Furniture is the most important aspect of a home’s interior design, as the sofa, chairs, tables and lighting you choose can really affect the overall feel of each room. After you buy a new home in Thailand or a luxury villa in Koh Samui, furniture will likely be your next major purchase. But you can’t just head to any old store and grab whatever’s available. There are a lot of variables you’ll want to consider.
Design is, of course, important. You’ll want your new sofa, chairs and tables to enhance your home’s ambiance. At the same time, you can’t forget about quality and comfort. What good is a sofa that no one wants to sit in, a lamp with a shorted-out wire or a table with unstable legs?
You also want to make sure that you’re getting a fair price for your furnishings. With so many options available in Thailand, that can make the process much harder than simply searching the internet to compare the costs of different stores or designers. Here are tips that will help you navigate the challenge of furnishing your home in Thailand:
LAY OUT THE VARIABLES
Certainly, you want to be excited about your new furniture when you purchase it. If you figure out the basics beforehand, you can focus on enjoying your new purchases when the time comes to buy. The most obvious issue is cost: how much do you have to spend?
Break down your budget so that you have a set amount to spend on each room. This will allow you to spend a little more on public spaces, like the living room, or places that you will spend the most time in, like the master bedroom.
The other thing people almost always overlook is logistics. They simply forget to account for the cost of shipping their new sofa and chairs from the showroom to wherever their new home is. This can be a significant amount of money if, for example, you buy a sofa in Bangkok and have to ship it to your home on Koh Samui or Phuket!
Once these basic details are worked out, you can start your showroom and shopping expeditions.
HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER
You can find quality designers throughout Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Not only will these design pros help you get the most out of your living space, they also have contacts with the country’s top furniture producers. This means that you can get a decent price on quality furnishings directly from the source.
While it’s true that the designers’ fees will likely wipe out any savings you make on the furniture, you can take comfort in knowing where it comes from and that it’s well-made.
VISIT THE CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market isn’t a place to find designer living room sets. It is, however, the best spot in Thailand – if not all of Southeast Asia – to find uniquely crafted items and vintage furniture. You will have to transport whatever you buy here to your home on Koh Samui, but you may be able to find some incredible deals – if you know how to spot them…
The market is divided into different sections – it would simply be too large to navigate otherwise. Furniture and home decor accessories are found in sections 1,3,4,7 and 8. Sections 9-11 have handicrafts that can also be used to decorate rooms, while the dealers in section 26 specialize in antiques. Explore the market on your own or go with your chosen interior designer to get the best deals.
Teakwood is one of the hardiest furniture-making materials on earth. The rich brown color and smooth finish will give rooms a distinctly Thai ambiance that many people find attractive. The problem: this furniture can be very expensive, and fakes are widespread.
One alternative is to buy furniture that is made from recycled wood. Teak was long used to build houses in Thailand, where the wood was well-treated and sturdy when it was first used. When these old houses were demolished, many of the pieces were collected and used to make furniture. As a result, there are a number of dealers of this kind of product in Bangkok. Reputable makers will even let you visit their workshop or warehouse to be sure the furniture and decor you’re purchasing is legit.
There are a couple of advantages to buying furniture from a showroom. First, you can easily get a matching set and find chairs, tables and sofa that will fit together in a room, both spatially and stylistically. The other advantage is that these stores can easily ship your purchases to your home. It will cost extra, but if you make a large purchase, the delivery price is negligible.
You can find a number of stand-alone boutiques throughout Thailand, and Bangkok super-malls like Emporium and Siam Paragon both have large sections filled with furniture retailers.
HIRE LOCAL CRAFTSMEN
If, on the other hand, you want something a little more customized, you can always hire local craftspeople to build your furniture. Outside of Bangkok, you might even be able to find modest showrooms put together by these artisans. The language barrier may be an issue when dealing with local furniture builders. However, the lower cost and ability to get more customized furniture can make it worthwhile to hire a translator (or a local designer who can assist you in making these connections).
The best way to find the right local furniture maker is to explore the area around your new home. When you come to a restaurant or cafe with furniture that you like, ask the owner where they purchased the pieces. More often than not, they came from local craftsmen. If the maker was nice to work with and reasonably priced, the restaurant owner will probably be glad to give you their contact info.
ALREADY-FURNISHED HOMES OR STAFF INTERIOR DECORATORS
Many new developments will sell you a property that is already furnished, or they’ll let you work with the interior designer that they used to furnish other villas in their development.
At Samujana, for example, designer furniture is part of our allure. Our interior designer has already put thought into the absolutely best furniture schemes for each room, saving you the time needed to hire your own professional to do it.
If you’re looking for convenience and style, working with a pre-furnished, pre-designed home provider may be the best option for furnishing your new home in Thailand.
For more information about the villas for sale in Samui at Samujana.