Although Barcelona natives like to be chic in their dress styles, cars and furnishings, there is also a strong tendency to recycle furniture until it is completely worn out. This means that anything unwanted will be put on the street curb and within a day has been claimed and installed in another home. There is no stigma attached to this, so if you do happen to see a prize piece of furniture sitting discarded next to a garbage bin, feel free to roll up your Armani sleeves and haul it away.
There are international chains like Ikea in Barcelona that are pretty popular, but there is an equally strong tendency to support other national and international designers, decorators and homeware producers.
In a city full of designers, there are a few shops to keep your eye on for original, inexpensive, or just plain quirky homewares:
Retro homewares from the 50s – 90s. Two floors full of furniture, glassware and interesting souvenirs of Spain´s home fashions in the latter half of the 20th century. Priced from €20 – €2000
Over a thousand square meters of collected pieces from Azucena, Alias, Armani, Depadova, Tecno, Acchile Castigliani, Tom Dixon, Konstatin Gricic, Alfredo Haberli, Vico Magistretti, and on and on. Great stuff, but take extra credit cards.
Literally meaning Blue Earth, Azul Tierra lays out their offerings in a reconstructed home (think the Ikea method without the harsh lighting). Sofas, lamps, carpet, curios, sculptures, tapestries, Azul Tierra is a gorgeous place to shop or browse. Prices from €50 upwards.
Barcelona’s answer to a Crate and Barrel-type chain. In fact, Habitat is popular throughout Europe (with several chains) and offers decent furniture and home furnishings for reasonable prices. Nothing incredibly original, but good, standard products that you can count on. Prices from €25 and up (starting with home furnishings).
Ici et Là
“Here and There” is a collection of furniture and homewares by European designers. Pieces tend to be modern and heavily use metal, wood and other natural materials. Expensive but worth it, most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. From €100.
If you are still not over the futon craze, and want to extend the Japanese theme to the rest of your bedroom, head to Ikiru. Quintessentially stylish, Ikiru was opened by a former DJ who wanted to bring the same calm simplicity of his own room into the retail space of Barcelona. This is the result. Prices from €100.
Pilma is a bit like the grown-up version of Ikea. A huge store, dealing in quality goods, Pilma covers the entire range of homeware needs through all rooms of the house. Worth a look if you can´t quite afford Prada side-lamps but have graduated out of Scandinavian bar stools.
Part showroom, part gallery, at Recdi8 you can buy homewares that are almost art from some of the best names in home design: Hiroshi Tsunoda, Canvasco, House Stockholm, Muuto, Tom Dixon, Playsam, Leblon Delienne and Atypyk. One of the few stores to branch out into online sales, Recdi8 won´t sell you a sofa online but you can pick up a very cute toy or wallet from €15 – €110
Vinçon offers a huge variety of products from the quirky to the ridiculous to the sublime. Kitchen tools, all kind of furniture, a children´s section, lamps, and so on. this shop is worth browsing even if you aren´t in the market for homewares. It´s just too strange and cute to miss.
If you like the clothes, dress your house in furniture made by the iconic Zara brand. Styles tend to the classic (earth tones, whites, shabby chic and modern minimalism). All very affordable and of decent quality.