Yes, you can buy furniture in Chapala and Ajijic. You can find rustic furniture here but if you are not into rustic Mexican or colonial Mexican furniture, there are furniture stores all over the village. If you go west, you will see a big new furniture store. They offer modern furniture, which is what most North Americans are more accustomed to. They have leather covered furniture. They also have metal and glass furniture if you are more into minimalistic or modern designs. There is a decoration store in Riberas del Pilar, which is a suburb neighborhood in between Chapala and Ajijic, that has good quality furniture and many people buy from them.
Or you can go to Guadalajara, which is the second largest city in Mexico and is only about an hour away from Ajijic. You can buy the furniture in Guadalajara and have it delivered to you in Chapala or Ajijic. There are garage sales here where you can buy furniture from people who are leaving Ajijic. Many times it is still good furniture.
With regard to prices, if you go to the rustic furniture factory, you could probably get a full living room set for only about 6,000 pesos ($330). That would include one love seat, one sofa, one chair, and probably an ottoman or a coffee table. If you go to Liverpool, which is a big, US-style department store in Guadalajara, you can get a full living room for 55,000 pesos ($3,000). Liverpool and Palacio de Hierro are the most high end stores in Guadalajara where you can buy furniture.
In comparison with the quality of furniture in the US, that depends on where you buy your furniture. I also had the experience of buying horrible furniture in the US. You sit on the chair and it cracks, especially the ones that ones that you assemble yourself. Prices in Mexico are very reasonable. What you pay is what you get in proportion. There are things that are very cheap but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It’s cheap compared to what? If you pay 2,000 pesos ($110) for a full living room set, it probably won’t last that long. It is pretty much “what you see is what you get.” You will see the quality yourself and there is a whole spectrum of different kinds of furniture that will be within your budget and will fulfill your needs as long as you know what you want. The price would be much less than how much it costs in the US.
If you want to buy furniture that was imported from the US, you can expect that it would cost even more than it costs in the US, but we have that. But if you buy something that is from Mexico but with the same quality as the ones you see in the US, they would cost much less. Handmade furniture are generally inexpensive except for the ones that have wood carvings because wood carving here in Mexico is very detailed and it takes a lot of work. If you are willing to pay 25,000 pesos ($1,400) for a headboard that is, for example, Rococo, you can get it and it would be top notch quality. If you buy the same in the US, it would cost about $4,000.
(Dining room. Lake Chapala, Mexico