Decorating your new house in Costa Rica- where to go and how to find the perfect fittings for your home.
One of the most exciting things about buying a new home in Costa Rica is putting it all together.
Whether you plan to live in Costa Rica year-round or your new Costa Rica property will be your second home or vacation property, design and decor make your place feel like home.
But where should you go to find the best quality furnishing and decor, good prices, and a wide selection of choices?
Since Costa Rica is a fairly small country and local production is limited, you’ll find that the selection of goods isn’t quite as abundant as what you’re used to in the United States. You may want to consider a combination of shipping down items and buying local.
A terrific resource for much of what you seek to furnish your new home in Costa Rica is AngloInfo.com and also the Tico Times.
Getting furniture custom made in Costa Rica.
There are numerous options to choose from if you want custom-made furniture in Costa Rica.
You can do a Google search (custom-made furniture in Costa Rica) or you can check out Facebook Marketplace. Both will serve up great information on various options, though you’ll likely find it mostly in Spanish on the FB Marketplace.
Likewise, you can head for Sarchi – a town just outside of San Jose that is known for its plethora of furniture shops and custom options.
Generally working from fine, locally grown wood, these finely crafted furnishings are exceptionally well made and sturdy.
Cedar is one of the best woods to make furniture out of in Costa Rica. It’s easy to find, not too expensive and, if you care for it properly, it can last forever.
Laurel is another popular wood in Costa Rica, as is cypress.
Finally, Teak is another commonly grown plantation hardwood. Teak wood is valued in world markets because of its beautiful color, ranging in tones from yellow, gold, white and brown, and its durability and water resistance. If cut at the right time, teak is also one of the most termite-resistant woods available. Teak is great for use in construction applications such as rafters, beams, ceilings, and floors. It’s also beautiful in windows, doors, cabinets, and custom furniture. Teak is very affordable in Costa Rica compared to the rest of the world, making its use in homes a great bang for the buck!
Do keep in mind that when it comes to soft cushioning in couches or chairs, it’s not a standard for some of the old-school furniture makers in Costa Rica. You’ll need to specify that this is what you want.
Buying Furniture in Costa Rica
There are many good options for buying imported furniture in Costa Rica; especially in the San Jose Valley. From high-end imports to more middle-of-the-road options like Ashley furniture, you’ll find plenty to suit your needs.
In Escazu and nearby cities like Pavas, you’re going to find high-end options that are available.
On the more affordable side for buying furniture, you can visit:
For mattresses and box springs, Jiron is local and the mattresses are well-made, and La Artistica has many imported options.
If you’re looking for outdoor furniture, there are numerous options ranging from super high-end to decent and serviceable.
- EPA– by the way, EPA is a great hardware store. It’s like Costa Rica’s version of Lowes or Home Depot
Fitting out the kitchen and laundry room- appliances in Costa Rica
There was a time that appliances in Costa Rica were exorbitantly expensive but during the last ten years or so appliances have become a lot more affordable and accessible.
If you want to buy everything you need and get a deep discount, head down south to the Port of Golfito.
Duty-free, you save bundles and can get all the big things like your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and small appliances, as well.
One day previous to making your purchases, you’ll need to present your cedula ( ID) or passport at the TAC (tarjeta de autorizacion de compras) window near the entrance of the duty-free zone. The TAC is free of charge and permits each holder to purchase up to $1000 worth of duty-free products. You can do this twice per year. An overnight trip to the Goflito area can also be a fun little getaway while you’re at it.
If money is not an issue, there are plenty of great options right in the city for whatever you need. You’ll find higher-end appliances at places like Ambitec in Escazu and everything you can think of at Tienda El Gollo or Tienda Monge.
EPA also has a wonderful extension called Spacio EPA; here you’ll find high-end appliances, tubs, toilets, small appliances, lighting, and outdoor furniture.
Likewise, you can find what you need in Walmart, Siman, or PriceSmart (Costa Rica’s version of Costco).
Where should we shop for linens and kitchen supplies in Costa Rica?
Selections of linens, dishes, pots and pans, and small appliances can be found in many different locations throughout the country; you’ll have better selections in larger cities like San Jose.
For a nicer selection and higher-end goodies, head for Cemaco, Siman, and Crate, and Barrel among others.
Want to save a few bucks? Check out Wallmart, Allis, Pequeño Mundo, and – to really save- El Rey.
And finally the finishing touches- decor and design.
Now for the really fun part. You bound to find all kinds of beautiful things if you just head to one of the major outdoor malls like Avenida Escazu, Plaza Momentum, or Similar.
Likewise, Multiplaza is chock full of great little shops where you can find just about anything you’re looking for- there is even a small art gallery with commercial prints.
There are some wonderful local artists in Costa Rica like Flora Zeledon, ManU, and Dino Real among others- galleries are plentiful and you’ll be able to find or commission some wonderful pieces for your walls.
Not up for spending so much on art? Beach houses, given the humidity and salt air, can be especially hard on those valuable paintings so you may want to go for commercially produced prints- those can easily be found in Allis, Siman, and Pequeño Mundo.
If you’re the creative crafty type and love to design- head on over the Sol Naciente. You’ll find it’s a crafter’s dream– and, near the holidays, it’s the place to go for all your holiday decorations. Ditto for Allis on this one.
Allis, Siman, and Cemaco are my go-to favorites for little nicknacks and finishing touches. You’ll also find some great stuff in Pequeños Mundo.
Hiring an interior designer to decorate your new Costa Rica home.
Finally, if you just want it all done for you, there are several excellent interior decorating companies and designers in the country. Ask your realtor ream at Palms Realty; we’ll hook you up!
All you have to do is say what you want and soon you’ll be walking into a beautifully furnished home that is perfectly outfitted.
Still, part of the fun of putting together a new home is being on the hunt for wonderful little touches that you can fill it up with. Give yourself a long weekend in San Jose and have some fun with it. You’ll be sure to find everything you need and more!