It’s not easy to find contemporary furniture in Bangkok and Thai style furnishing is quite different from Western style furnishing. Many condo’s and furnished houses come with furniture that would be considered inadequate or even in bad taste in many other countries. There are also big import taxes which have kept companies like IKEA out. If you move into an unfurnished house or a condo and want to buy new furniture you have some different options. First off, you can try to find something you like in the furniture departments in the major shopping centers or specialised shops. The second option, which is more expensive, but also very popular is to have your furniture custom-made. This way you have total control of how your home will be furnished, but you will also have to pay for it. It can cost up to 1,000,000 Baht to furnish an entire house. The major shopping malls in Bangkok all have floors and departments dedicated to furniture. The best places to look for high-quality contemporary items are Emporium, Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery. MBK also has a floor of cheaper furniture.
Home Furnishing and DIY Stores
Index Living Malls
Index Living Malls are very popular in Bangkok offering luxury home furniture, fittings and fixtures and decorative items. There are eight stores in Bangkok, all located in the suburbs, so a car is required to reach them. If you need to furnish your house and are looking to do it in style, these are the stores for you. For more information on where the branches are and maps of how to get there, visit: http://www.indexlivingmall.com.
This is essentially a DIY Store, but is more upmarket than many of the others found across the city and is very popular with expats. You can find fitted kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, paint and other decorating equipment, light fixtures, furniture, decorative items, tiles and electrical equipment. The two main Home Pro stores can be found in Wave Place (which is connected with Phloenchit Skytrain station) and in Robinsons department store, close to Thailand Cultural Center metro station.
DecorMart Thong Lor (http://www.decormart.com) Very classy and upscale furniture shop located in the trendy area of Thong Lor.
The main area for custom made furniture is, in fact, not in Bangkok at all, but in Chiang Mai, because of the natural existence of teak wood and tradition. Chiang Mai is in the north of Thailand, about 700 kilometers from Bangkok. If you get the opportunity, do go to Chiang Mai and have a look at the many, many furniture makers. You can get all furniture done there and have it shipped to Bangkok.
The main area in Bangkok for custom-made furniture is an area called ‘Bang Pho’, Soi Prachanarumit 24. You get there by taking the Bang Sue exit or you just get a taxi. The landmark to look for is the Bang Po junction. Proceed down Pracha Rat Sai 1 until after the Bang Po Junction, then Soi 24 is about 300 meters ahead on your right.
You can also take the Chao Praya river ferry to the Bang Pho Pier.
Most of the shops have almost finished ‘mock up’ models that you can look at and base your design on. You choose the finish and the craftsmen carry it out. It’s also possible to design everything from scratch, but you would need drawings for that or an excellent command of Thai language. In any case, getting custom furniture made in Bangkok is best done in the company of a Thai if you are not fluent. Prices vary a lot depending on the type of tree being used and the design. Expect to pay anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000,000 baht to get an entire house or large condo decorated. Individual pieces may go much cheaper, particularly if you choose a common model and only add a few customizations.
You can begin your custom-made furniture adventure at one of the following: