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Furnishing Your Home in Quito, Where and How

This guide will hopefully provide newcomers to Quito and in surrounding areas insight on how and where to shop in order to furnish your homes. I’m an expat who did not pack a shipping container with goods because frankly speaking I did not know if Ecuador would a place I wanted to settle in permanently.

Now that I am certain that I want to make Ecuador home, something that I was certain of after having lived here for a year I am in the process of furnishing my lovely apartment to my liking.

My objective is to furnish the apartment nicely but also to keep costs down, and those living here know all too well that some items are exorbitantly priced and some items as much as 4 times the cost outside of Ecuador, a Honeywell air purifier for example.

For nice furniture you can shop at Sukasa which has local and imported items from all around the world. They indeed have some lovely furniture but to furnish an entire home from them would cost a fortune, what I do is I only get the essentials from them. For instance would I buy some of their rustic coffee tables that can cost as much as $800, no way. For rustic furniture known here as muebles rústicos I’ll shop around Marchena y Ulloa near Santa Clara mercado for a fraction of the price but of course you get what you pay for, but it’s still good if you know what you're doing.

Anyhow the area is in a decent part of Quito so you should feel comfortable, if you see 100 or so shawarma places then you’re in vicinity. If you decide to have lunch at the mercado (Santa Clara) do yourself a favor and eat from a place that has the prices listed that is unless you agreed on a price beforehand and btw most of them list prices.

Okay so from the previous post we know high end furniture can be bought at Sukusa, and that Quito has a rustic furniture sector near Santa Clara mercado (market).

Another nice furniture store is Colineal which has nationwide stores and with several outlets in the city, and one of the biggest is across the street from El Bosque mall. You can expect modern and elegant traditional style furniture. The prices will be less than Sukasa but the quality of the furniture in many ways is just as good.

Pycca is yet another furniture department store. They have a few stores in the capital, one in El Bosque Mall and the biggest one that I know of is in Quicentro South, if you go by car take the scenic Simón Bolívar route which will give you breath taking views of the valley to left and a view of lengthy Quito to the right. Also if you notice Todo Hogar at Quicentro it is basically Sukasa with same things and prices but under a different name.

What I like about Pycca is their nicely priced accessories, and that's the primary reason that I shop there. They have nice curtains, decorations, and even some art although I prefer my art from the art shops at the south end of Carolina park. Parque Ejido artists are good in some type of art but they are not good in abstract art.

The previous posts covered some of the biggest furniture department stores. Buy from them or not, but visiting them and checking out their prices will help you:

1. Gauge prices
2. Gauge quality
3. Let you know what’s out there

This is important because when you visit smaller shops at the furniture sector, which I will get into later, you’ll know what the value of something is. And I’ve done just that on several occasions and recently with a round type armchair that I liked at a furniture department store but was priced at $300. I saw a similar one at Quito’s furniture sector, which is located on Avenida América and spans from Mariana De Jesus to Cristobal Colon or about 10 blocks.

This nearly identical chair but with an even a better colored fabric cost me $100.This was after serious negotiation between the seller and my Ecuadorian friend. Actually my friend brought them down to $120 from $200 and I brought them down further to $100 with a tactic I’ll describe below.

First and foremost go to this area with a local friend to get the best price. My friend and I have a routine, I point to a piece of furniture that I like and then let him do all the talking while I walk around like it’s not my business.

After my friend brings them down to a price, we walk out, talk it over, and return to the seller with an even lower number. The reply is often “no puedo”, (I can’t). After which I’ll do my thing by saying something like “efectivo ahora!”, (cash now). “Quieres vender o no” (You want to sell or not). If I want something bad I’ll even take out my wallet and wag it, and repeat “efectivo ahora” (cash now). Oh yeah we can be ruthless.

Again go with a friend, and from personal experience going on my own, I can never achieve these prices and I’ve tried.

I’ll pose a couple of hypothetical questions that pertain to furniture.

Question: I don’t care for nice furniture. I just want something doable and durable, where can I get that?

Answer:
San Roque (furniture Mercado) is the best option. It’s where newlyweds shop and also a place for lower income folk who want durable furniture. Some of the styles and colors are quite tacky, but that’s how it is.

Do however go with a local, because it’s all about negotiating the best price here. I sometimes shop from here, but never for a piece of furniture that is a center piece or something that should be comfortable. I bought a book shelf for instance.

San Roque from the outside can look imposing. It’s not exactly in the safest area but during the day it’s fine with vibrant commercial activity.



Question: To furnish or not?

Answer: One option is to rent furnished or semi-furnished. Semi-furnished usually includes fridge, stove, washing machine, water heater and sometimes dryer. It’s up to you to decide if renting furnished/semi furnished is best for you. The key is to determine how long you will live in Ecuador to know if it will be a cheaper option. It makes perfect sense for someone who will be here only a year or two to rent a completely furnished apartment or even a room if your salary will be measly.

Ideally it’s better to rent furnished at least the first year for many reasons detailed on this forum. After having done so then make the decision to either continue renting furnished/semi furnished or to start buying your own stuff to your own liking.

To be continued.....

Very useful post.

What about stores like Home Vega and CrediCentro? I just came across them on a google maps search. Are they good places to shop for furniture?

Others on this forum, where do you like to shop for furniture in Quito?

CJ

I have no idea about Home Venga or CrediCentro, but thanks for mentioning them. Maybe I’ll check them out as I’m still furnishing my place. That’s just how it is here you have to be patient to find something just right. But maybe it’s me as I’m selective and patient but I find the process of furnishing a new home rewarding.

And sometimes we have to be creative when something is not available, for instance I wanted a chess table but didn’t like what I saw. But I had an idea of what I wanted, which was a small rustic table for two people. Eventually, I found it and then later found matching chairs, and finally ordered a nice wooden chess set from abroad.

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