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Chuck Bolotin of Best Mexico Movers – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Uncomfortable chairs in AjijicYour couch and chair buying options in the Lake Chapala / Ajijic area are quite limited.  With the exception of one or two very interesting specialty stores that have great imported tables and more exotic and higher end items, I don’t know of any mid-range furniture store in Ajijic, there is one locally-owned store in the neighboring town of San Antonio, and, from an expat perspective, extremely limited options in what could loosely be called smaller department stores or other family-run stores in Jocotepec and the town of Chapala.
 
There is one chain mattress store and a few other locally owned stores.
 
Guadalajara (most of which is an hour or less away) has a very large quantity of furniture and mattress stores.
 
Prices for nicer furniture made in Mexico will tend to be about what you would pay in the US or a bit more.  Imported furniture such as from the US or Canada will cost significantly more.
 
While “comfort” is a very subjective term, it would be fair to say that most expats would describe the comfort level of the furniture choices generally available essentially anywhere in Mexico as ranging from “not great” to “downright bad” while the mattresses will range from “I don’t think I can sleep on this” to “ridiculously uncomfortable.”
 
That’s not to say that much of the Mexican furniture is and can be quite beautiful, especially hand-made items that cost much less than handmade items in the US or Canada.  It’s just that even those beautiful handmade items tend to be really, really, almost ridiculously uncomfortable.
 
Equipale or tequila chair, MexicoAlmost emblematic of this lack of comfort in furniture is the virtually ubiquitous “equipale” or “tequila” chair, pictured to the right.  Very uncomfortable and no place to put your feet and the padding is usually quite lacking. 
 
It is not unusual to see furniture that expats would generally put into an outdoor setting instead placed into a home, sometimes a very expensive one.  (You sometimes see this in pictures for real estate offerings, which from an American perspective, looks quite odd.)  The sensibility for comfortable furniture is much different in Mexico than north of the border.  That’s why lots of people bring their own furniture with them.
 
Interested in moving to Mexico?  Visit Best Mexico Movers.
Centeya of Radisson Blu Ajijic – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Miniature kitchen and key holder, made in Jalisco, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou can buy mostly locally-made furniture in Chapala and Ajijic. I would also recommend Tlaquepaque, which is a part of Guadalajara, about an hour from Ajijic. Tlaquepaque has a large retail area where you’ll find restaurants, furniture, art galleries, and decors made mainly out of wrought iron and blown glass. Tlaquepaque is very Mexican but with a very charming twist.
 
I’ve seen some houses in Tlaquepaque decorated beautifully with Tlaquepaque furniture. There are some really beautiful furniture stores in Tlaquepaque.
 
There are large stores in Guadalajara such as Fábricas de Francia and Liverpool. Fábricas de Francia is where you’ll find couches and really nice furniture. The stores in Guadalajara will deliver to Ajijic. Fábricas de Francia is equivalent to Macy’s in the United States.
 
The quality of the furniture in Guadalajara depends on where it is manufactured. For instance, if you opt for the locally sourced stores like those in Tlaquepaque, you’ll be able to purchase furniture with very good quality and not those that are made in China. The prices will range, but certainly not like the ones from China. These are really beautiful locally-made furniture with quality.
 
(Miniature kitchen and key holder, made in Jalisco, Mexico, pictured.)
Magy Carmona of Magy Carmona at Lake Chapala Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Vintage furniture / Consignment Store in Ajijic – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou don't need to buy furniture NEW!!!
 
The bazaar and consignment stores culture in the Lake Chapala area including Ajijic are becoming more strong. There are many second-hand stores that offer unique pieces in perfect condition and are much better than buying new furniture.
 
I am a vintage second hand lover. My house is 80% furnished with recycled refurbished things. I like furniture and pieces with character, although they are not in the latest fashion. An eclectic decoration between the contemporary and the old, the country and the modernist can be interesting if you have good taste.
 
It is not necessary to spend a lot of cash to furnish your house if you have the vision to transform a piece of furniture and / or the pleasure of hanging around all the bazaars in the area. Many foreigners who came years ago brought furniture of very good quality when they came to live here, and when they decide to return to their country they see the need to get rid of it, which gives us the opportunity to sell in consignment stores and offer different and special pieces that you won't find anywhere else. Furniture and household items with history and beautiful energy that belonged to people who were happy here ... We have the opportunity to move that energy to a new home. Reduce, Reuse, Re-LOVE
Tom Leonard of Hotel Perico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Tlaquepaque, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you just need certain items, there are furniture stores in Chapala and Ajijic. However, to furnish an entire house, a lot of people go to Guadalajara. Furniture stores in Guadalajara have better variety and give better deals. 
 
People also go to the town of Tonalá where they sell every type of furniture and handmade items in their street markets and you can get nice, cheap items. You would need two whole days to shop in the markets of Tonalá, especially during market days. Tlaquepaque is in a different part of Guadalajara where they sell a lot of the nicer products produced in Tonalá. 
 
There's also another town that's about an hour away from Chapala and Ajijic that has small furniture factories called Ocotlán. 
 
A lot of the furniture in Mexico is uncomfortable. You would have to shop around to find nice, comfortable furniture, but it's going to be considerably more expensive buying comfortable furniture pieces here in Mexico than buying them in the States.
 
You can find tons of handmade furniture with woodwork and hand-made decorative items like mirrors, paintings, and lamps. There are a lot of beautiful handmade items in Mexico that are quite cheap.  
 
(Pictured: Sign marking one of the entrances to Tlaquepaque, Mexico)
Jeff Smith of DocTours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Secondhand furniture store and art gallary, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you're not used to it, you may find Mexican furniture to be very uncomfortable. In a way, that's good, since we shouldn't be sitting as long as we do, health-wise. But heck, we should be able to sleep eight hours without getting stiff!
 
Some people BYOF. If buying local, you'll have to put some time and effort into finding comfy stuff.
 
(Secondhand furniture store and art gallary, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)
Gabriel Varela, MD of Gabriel Varela - Neurosurgeon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 Ocotlán Ciudad de Muebles furniture ad, near Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI bought my furniture in Guadalajara (less than an hour away by car) but I know many, many people who had their furniture handmade in the area with carpenters. 
 
I purchased my furniture in Guadalajara because I am from Guadalajara and I know it very, very well. My mother and my family live in Guadalajara.
 
There is also a lot of furniture manufacturing in Ocotlán, which is less than an hour from here. There are a lot of factories in Ocotlán for furniture. In Ocotlán you can look for less expensive furniture than in Guadalajara.
 
In Guadalajara they have bigger stores and the stores can have furniture from other parts of the world. If you want to have very luxurious or designer signature furniture, in Guadalajara you will find it. 
 
( Ocotlán Ciudad del Mueble furniture ad, near Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Andrew McFarlane of Muebles NOMAD (Nomad Furniture) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Side table with an image of the Buddha at Muebles Nomad, MacFarlane's family furniture store, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, you can buy great furniture in Chapala and Ajijic. Our family has had an importing furniture store here for years now and I’m a third generation furniture dealer.
 
There are other options in surrounding areas.  You could go an hour away from here and buy furniture in Ocotlan, Tlaquepaque, and Tonala. Between these three places 60% to 80% of Mexico’s domestic furniture is produced. Here at the lakeside we have a vibrant consignment shop community which thrives I think, by continually being fed by the transient ex pat community among others.  You can find Canadian brand Palliser sofas, and American recliners, pretty much everything you might need to make you comfortable. 
 
Guadalajara, one of the more important, bigger cities in Mexico, is 45 minutes away. They have Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Home Depot, and many other designer brands and other chain stores.
 
We can even find you Stressless the top quality Norwegian furniture line. The ultimate in leather recliners will cost you about  $4,000 to $5,000.
 
Tonola, Ocotlan, and Tlaquepaque are famous for artisanal work as well as furniture. The artisans there work with blown glass, leather, iron and many other mediums. You can get classic, new, or artisanal types of furniture here. This is also the area to find the classic equipage furniture hand made and decorated, if you prefer a more “Mexican “ flavor these are great areas to spend a day shopping.
 
Import duties are 10% plus sales tax, which is 16%. Which is something to consider. The United States doesn’t have an import tariff so if you buy an imported item from the USA, there is no cost. The labor wage here is 67 pesos per day (less than US $4) a day.
 
(Side table with an image of the Buddha at Muebles NOMAD, Andrew McFarlane's family furniture store, Ribera de Pilar, Mexico, pictured.)
Amaranta Santos of Eager & Asociados – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dining room. Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, 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
Thomas Hellyer of Lake Chapala Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Home office in a lakeside home in Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, we have quite a few local furniture stores in Chapala and Ajijic. They have different styles, from rustic Mexican to modern. You can get just about anything that you want here locally.
 
Furniture is a little more expensive in the Chapala – Ajijic area so often, people go to Guadalajara, where there are thousands of furniture stores and big showrooms. You can also go to Tlaquepaque or Tonala, which are areas of Guadalajara, where there are lots of craft people that make furniture. There is also a factory town called Ocotlán, which is about an hour and a half away from the town of Chapala to the east, towards the east end of Lake Chapala.
 
Most of the furniture that is sold in Guadalajara is fabricated in Ocotlán, so you can go there and get much better prices than in Guadalajara. Another alternative to getting furniture is to go to the second-hand stores and consignment shops. We have people here from all over the world who have or who are presently living in Chapala and Ajijic, so you will find some antiques and really interesting things in those shops.
 
(Home office in a lakeside home in Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)

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