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Help--new house, no furniture!


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Help! We just moved into a new house and it is almost totally empty.  We were told to NOT ship our furniture from NOB, but we have no idea how to furnish a spacious 3BR here, and where to start with finding furniture.  I am at a total loss.  Also, we do not have a vehicle at the moment (while it was being deliverd it was in an accident and is now in the hands of the insurance agent and auto body shop in GDL!). 

Where do we start?  WalMart's selection is limited, to say the least.  I need a living room set, table and floor lamps, office/den furniture, a bedroom set, linens, end tables, decorative stuff...that's just the tip of the iceberg. Our taste runs towards Mexican/Spanish/Italian rustic, with some Pier One/ transitional thrown in. 

I am starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to ship some of our NOB furniture and furnishings down...We have two barely used, very elegant Pottery Barn leather recliners, wonderful Oriental rugs that we kept around our beds, kitchen hardware and gadgets (I challenge you to try and find a butter knife!) that just can't be purchased locally.  Some of our NOB furniture is banana leaf, water hyacinth, and dark wood like Pier One style, which MUST be available here.  

Is there someone in Ajijic who offers assistance with purchasing furniture, like a design consultant, who will work for a fee and who knows where to go, what to buy, and will drive me there?

How about 2nd hand and consignment stores? Are there any in this area, or in GDL?

Someone suggested going to SMA and staying for a week, going on a buying spree at the consignment stores and trucking it back to Lakeside, but research isn't showing much in SMA.

Possibly a trip to Mexico City?

Perhaps a trip NOB to Texas? Are there good consignment stores there, and if so, where? At this point we don't care about having to pay duty and trucking fees. We'll even do Ikea, we already have some of their real wood pieces, the Brimnes line, fancied up with nice hardware. 

Any advice will be most appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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Contact interior designer Cristina Peña. She is really great to work with and her fees are "earned back" in designer discounts. Her shop is on the carretera across from Roberto's restaurant and her email is: casabonita.ajijic@hotmail.com   Suerte!

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Slow down, relax!  The type of furniture you currently own, you should indeed bring here. Quality furnishings and things you've loved and lived with belong with you. Here. They cannot be replaced, no matter what advice you've been given, you'll be a month of Sundays scrambling and feel quite wretched with frustration. The opinion of others may mean they place little or no value on functional items...

I, as you, could not possibly live without my collections of Turkish carpets and kilims, textiles, fixtures, well-constructed upholstered furniture, art and paintings.... etc....

"I am starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to ship some of our NOB furniture and furnishings down...We have two barely used, very elegant Pottery Barn leather recliners, wonderful Oriental rugs that we kept around our beds, kitchen hardware and gadgets (I challenge you to try and find a butter knife!) that just can't be purchased locally.  Some of our NOB furniture is banana leaf, water hyacinth, and dark wood like Pier One style, which MUST be available here." 

Your answer is in that paragraph, .. especially the hardware and butterknife!!

You may find interesting things listed on Beg Buy Barter Sell for an immediate peruse.

MAKE IT CASH is a storefront with a host of interesting stuff. Along with numerous local consignment shops, it is hit and miss and will take some casual visits.

Forget the trip to SMA unless you like light fixtures -- found all of mine locally.

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My first suggestion is to start with the bare minimum and take your time to look around to see what is available and what you really like.  I know if too many people who furnished their homes so quickly and then later regretted their choices.

 There are so many places you can find or have made really nice, unique pieces.  Tonala and Tlaquepaque are great places to look.  There are lots of furniture stores in Guadalajara with so many different styles.  You can have almost anything custom made for a very reasonable price.  If you can conceive it there is someone who can achieve it.  

Start tearing pages out of catalogs (or printing off the internet) like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Wayfair.com, Pier 1, etc.  things you like.  Some craftsman can reproduce anything.  My bedroom furniture is a complete copy of Pottery Barn at a lot lower price.  

There is an interior design shop by Fonda Dona Lola restaurant in west Ajijic but I can't remember the name right now.  There is a furniture expo in Guadalajara at the expo center twice a year.  There is a crafts expo called ENART in Tlaquepaque twice a year (same time as furniture expo, I believe) that usually includes some furniture craftsmen.  Check out Arden and Nomad furniture stores in Riberas del Pilar as it sounds like you might like their style.  I have had three wall units and two platform beds made to my design to give me display space (I collect Mexican artesania) and storage and can give you that contact if you PM me.  I would be glad to have you visit my home to see what I have as everything is custom made.  The hunt snd dealing with the craftsmen were part of the fun.

And of course there are quite a few secondhand and consignment stores locally as well as weekly garage/estate/moving sales.

Take your time to find what you want.  You seem to be the type whose surroundings are important and who has a personal style.  Being able to choose what surrounds me was one of the reasons I only rented for about five months before buying.  I brought very, very little from the U.S.  I always said I was a nester and a decorator so it was important to choose furniture and decor I wanted, not just get my house (which was new and totally empty when I bought it) filled.  I love everything I chose, even though it took years to get it done.  I am envious of the adventure ahead of you.  It is rare that we get the chance to start over in life like this.  So many possibilities. Take your time and enjoy the journey!!!

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16 minutes ago, thomashellyer said:

Contact interior designer Cristina Peña. She is really great to work with and her fees are "earned back" in designer discounts. Her shop is on the carretera across from Roberto's restaurant and her email is: casabonita.ajijic@hotmail.com   Suerte!

That's the designer I mentioned in my post but couldn't remember the name of.

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Go get your "stuff." Buy curtains and/or drapes and the rings for them in the USA. Buy bedspreads and comfortors and bedskirts there, too if you like them.

Bring anything and everything that makes you feel happy and at home. Mexico has many things, but reasonably priced quality furniture is in short supply.

Sure, as people say, "You can have a carpenter make anything you want," but it takes time and energy to find that carpenter, develop a working relationship and then get a design, etc. I know, because I have done it.

Luckily our home was furnished well enough when we moved in, and we had minimal furniture to ship (overseas workers). We had bed frames (platforms) made for one BR and bought a mattress, but preferred our NOB sheets. Still looking for a really nice DR set and hutch with buffet and I know I may never find it. 

Go get your stuff and don't be in a rush to buy new things.

Sometimes you have to live in the house a bit and see what it wants. Don't feel bad about not doing it the first time.

Go easy and think about what else, if anything, you need in your new place and go back NOB and buy it and add to your shipment.

Breathe, and go slowly to avoid $$$ mistakes.

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There is a couple of furniture show rooms and manuf. on the La Barca Hwy off to the right as you head in to the airport. They are before you get to La Barca. They make a lot of furniture in the area of Zamora as well, with show rooms open. You may want your mattresses if they are good ones from the USA. I have never used the Oriental carpet under my bed because you can not see scorpions on the dark pattern.

Check the classifieds on this board at: http://www.chapala.com/wwwboard/webboard.html

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We did some serious culling back NOB and then had the whole caboodle put in storage containers.  We stuffed necessities into our vehicle and came on down to look around.  Bought a new house in SMA and had the 10 containers shipped. Expensive, but we were so glad that we did.  All our "old friends" and a few heirlooms made our barren house a home.  That's one option.

The second is to scour the bazars, thrift shops and consignment stores.  Many people retire here and bring really fine furniture with them.  When they move on to the casa in the skies, their heirs seldom want to take their furniture, so guess where it ends up?  There are some amazing finds out there.

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i've seen lots of nice furnishing around town lately that if we didn't already have a house full I would covet. Check out the small mostly furniture consignment shop across from telmex on the carretera in Ajijic, Bazaar de Carlos between the plaza and carretera on marcos castellanos, the new consignment store--3 spaces big--in the La Huerta shopping mall and the new UNU on the carretera at Rio Bravo...we brought our butcher block table and thousands of LPs and books, everything else bought here. other advice stated here also valid...

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Sofas e Sillones in Guadalajara makes nice quality custom furniture.   We started with locally available more affordable furniture which we are now replacing as we find better quality options.   One needs furniture immediately but finding the right stuff quickly is a difficult prospect.   Good luck!

 

http://www.sofasysillones.com.mx

 

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Agree on Strom ... They did an excellent job... Do bring your furniture! We have had furniture custom made here but the price is about what one would pay NOB for the same quality... If you figure $2/lb you will be close on shipping costs... We left our wonderful bed because the owners of the house we purchased were leaving theirs... Turned out to be a lumpy water bed... 

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Strom White was our mover as well. Highly recommended. Not cheap, but it was a complicated, multi country/multi storage unit move and it went off without one glitch.

Another reminder to live in the house for a little bit more, and start noting the things you will need to "finish" it to your specs. For me, it was higher end shower curtains, blackout BR curtains ( helps with cooling in summer and warming in winter), long sheers and draperies for LR and DR, bathroom rugs, etc. For everyone it is different. But if you go NOB and find what you want, add it to your shipment. Those items are available here, but usually require a trip to Liverpool or even more higher end stores and and are imported so they are $$ier than in the US.

Quality lamps here are extraordinarily $$$, and the shade selection is not very good. If you have lamps that go with your furniture, bring them and bring a few extra shades if you are thinking of talavera or wrought iron lamps later on.

Electronic items I suggest you buy in Mexico, unless you have special high end equipment. Don't forget that Mexican size beds can be a bit different than US sizes, but US sheets usually fit. 

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Didn't bring a thing when we came down. Furnished a 3 bed home with 3 additional outdoor spaces all in the area. If the current inventory in the area doesn't work, Guadalajara is a great source of all kinds of furniture. Google.com.mx , Guadalajara "muebles". 

The one thing I did find interesting / amusing was that furniture in Ajijic seems to have phases. Indian one season, European the next, maybe Moroccan the following.

The cost of shipping your furniture down is like paying for it twice unless it is expensive custom pieces.

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What an absolutely wonderful opportunity in front of you.   Where you go is dictated of course by both your personal taste, style, house and pocketbook.  Working with an Interior Designer or an Interior Decorator is, in my opinion, the place to start.   I have yet to find what I envision as an Interior Designer/Decorator (I.D.).  I did not have luck with Cristina and I really wanted to as she's such a nice person.   The I.D. will know where to go to get the best prices for your design choice.   She will work to pinpoint your personal taste and acquaint you with the wonderful palate of Mexican, Moroccan, Tuscan design, popular choice here.  Then of course there is the furniture show in August at the Expo Center in Guadalajara as bmh mentioned.  That and a trip to Talaquepaque will be 'musts' on your agenda.  Personally, I love the adventure of the local design and find stuff from El Norte out of the element and contra to the experience of a new lifestyle.  Bottom line - an I.D. will know how to help.

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We too were advised NOT to import our stuff from home....we brought smaller things that fit in a van, many of the furnishings from NOB do not suit here...thus we bought at the Expo in Feb..one coming up in August...wonderful new furniture, not as pricey as home, leather sofas, lazy boy, etc.  Leather is good as fabric gets so dusty.  Wooden?  Well, it should be termite proof, in this area.  Also we went to El Barco too....good stuff there.  Locally we got our king mattress, bed base and headboard....place next to Sunrise restaurant.   Beddings..we brought a lot or bought in Texas as we passed thru driving, and Costco in Guad. is good too for much of that sort of stuff.

Check out local estate sales....and used locally.  Read the Oyo del Lago Items for sale....  We found a wonderful decorator who used to be here but is back in Guad.  She has fair prices and excellent service! Guadalupe  email: contacto@adhocdesign.mx

Jose Espiritu on Revolution for custom made built in's , etc and his  brother for iron works....again excellent.  

It is very expensive to ship from NOB and a lot of red-tape...we know of people who waited months for clearance at customs, etc.  Tio Sams on Libriemento for major appliances.    Many furniture places in Guadalajara too...much closer than MX City!

Find a driver or decorator to help you out, drive you, negotiate for you.

I have all contact info for locals........                    PM me if necessary....     

Good Luck!!!

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Get a ride into Guadalajara to Muebles Placencia on Federalismo.   Start by looking around in the parking lot down in the basement where their Outlet is at and then work up into the main store.  All the furniture is discounted in the Outlet and they're running sales right now, they deliver for free to Chapala every Friday.   Google if you'd like to get an idea of furniture styles they carry.  I also found some pieces that I like and even some very similar pieces as Muebles Placencia in Poncitlan.  Muebles Contempora or at another store before that one called Loma, I special ordered a rocking chair in the fabric I liked.   They'll deliver for a cost which made the price between Muebles Placencia and Poncitlan the same.  You can just drive through and stop at the different stores along the highway all the way into Ocotlan.  Quality ranges from higher to lower, something for everyone.  From what I've gathered, there are even bigger sales in July but furniture sales have been running for the past month.    You can find interesting decor in a few stores in Tonala.    You can also look up the stores I mentioned on Facebook but it's better to visit the stores in person.  Muebles Contempora is a decent sized store.    It was no mistake not to bring your stuff.  I understand, at first it's frustrating to not know where to shop but have fun and be prepared to be a little more patient here than in the states.  It's hard, I know.  I was not happy to shop and buy on a Tuesday to find out I had to wait until Friday for delivery.  But after understanding the process, it makes each delivery bearable. hehe  

Costco MX has furniture online.  You can also look for pieces on Mercadolibre or special ordered through places that advertise on Facebook to have delivered.  I've bought lamps at Costco and Muebles Placencia in their Outlet and at the last Expo, prices not bad at all. 

 

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You guys are GREAT !!!!!

You have given me more options than I ever believed possible. So encouraging. It's overwhelming for me  to look around and see those blank walls staring back.

Thank goodness I have family and friends willing to take the time to make a run SOB, bring me "gifts" if I pay their tickets....Volaris will do 4 suitcases for $200, and there is an awful lot of (used) personal "stuff" you can get into a suitcase. Back NOB I had been collecting yard sale/thrift shop suitcases that I could dispose of on this end, and I will be making a couple of flights back, myself, as well as driving a loaded SUV down with the pets and more personal items. So I think I am covered in that area.

It's the big things that are difficult, and I'm glad you all have counseled me to relax.

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I remember visiting a Pottery Barn Store in Veracruz, so they are in Mexico and you can order that online as well.   I didn´t realize Pottery Barn was connected to Liverpool and Fabricas de Francia but they are. 

https://www.potterybarn.com.mx/tienda/

Pier 1 is in Sears in Guadalajara.  I find them expensive.  There´s also a Homestore and another Home type store in La Gran Plaza with some cool stuff, as well as the department stores will have things.  

You have to take on the Mexican mentality a little bit, mañana.   

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