Unpacking the décor options for homeowners in Yucatán

Photo: Courtesy
Photo: Courtesy

Years ago there were not a lot of good options here when it came to furnishing your home in Yucatán. But as the area grows and technology improves, decorating is easier today.

Mérida’s list of furniture stores is constantly changing. Small boutiques are competing with larger showrooms, mainly with modern, European styles. Shops are opening and closing as tastes, and options, change.

Here are some options for homeowners looking for new furniture:

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Interior designers

Interior designers generally charge a flat rate for their design consulting services. There is also a mark up added to items you purchase through them. This option appeals mostly to discerning clients and those who have little time.

In addition to having someone with a design eye create your look, they also coordinate shipping and delivery.

When it comes to finding sources for sofas and chairs, the right designer will have more local knowledge than the average person.

Department stores

The new Liverpool and Chapur department stores will probably have even bigger furniture departments than ever, since they’re positioned to serve the rapidly expanding northern neighborhoods.

Their offerings gear more towards the styles and budgets of Mexican buyers – either higher end European ultra-modern or low priced ultra-basic.

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Ultra-basic pieces are focused on price point, not on comfort or quality of manufacture or materials. Although the prices are low, you will most likely need to replace it in short order.

If purchasing higher end European styled items, wait for semi-annual sales to get the best price. Department stores coordinate shipping and delivery often free of charge.

Big box stores

Big box stores, like Sam’s and Costco, are a great place to get your household goods such as linens, kitchenware, small appliances, and electronics.

Most of their furniture is made from lower quality materials and processes. Fake leather (tacto piel) sofas, low-grade particle board dining sets, and PVC outdoor furniture do not last in this climate. They will need to be replaced within one to two seasons.

Most stores have on-site delivery companies with reasonable prices.

Custom builder

Carpenters offer the design-it-yourself option. For some, it can be a great experience. For others, it is frustrating especially when they need to chase the builder to get the work completed. Provide them a detailed drawing along with precise measurements — if you hired an interior designer to do that, all the better.

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The most significant downside is you may not get what you envision. The upside is you could end up with a one-of-a-kind piece.

Always get recommendations and referrals for carpenters. Be cautious of side-of-the-road carpenters who use pine wood and old car oil to stain it. Most carpenters deliver right to your home.

Many interior designers work with custom builders for a flat fee or upcharge. That way, you get the benefit of an expert’s guidance and a one-of-a-kind look.

Online

This is the easiest way to shop. You can buy from the comfort of your home north of the border and have everything delivered before you set foot in Mexico.

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The downside is you may not be able to try out or see your items before you order them. But some online stores are setting up show stores where you can see sample pieces, covers, and finishes. For example, in our online store, we offer brands that are available throughout North America that are manufactured in Mexico.

Our customers pop in to their local retailer in their hometown to try out the sofas and sectionals and see and feel the fabric and leather cover options.

{ Related: A fresh take on tropical furniture;
and Why Scandinavian styles make sense in Yucatán }

Make sure the company offers a good return policy and check for referrals and references from previous customers. Online furniture stores handle shipping, generally to the ground floor of your condo or casa.

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Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over 10 years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico — the online furniture store for your home in Mexico. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture, for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico. Email the author at sa.novak@solutionsmexico.com for a free newsletter on how to get good value on furniture in Mexico.

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