When moving to a foreign country, one of the biggest challenges can be where to buy the things you need. In Costa Rica, it can be especially hard if you live far from San Jose, where most of the shopping is. We’ve lived in Costa Rica for almost a decade now, but only recently bought a house. With that, came the need to find furniture, rugs, lighting, decorations, etc. In this post, we’ll give a list of home decor and furniture stores that we’ve discovered so far.
Below we give some of our favorite home decor stores in and around San Jose. There are definitely a lot more options than this, but this is a good place to start. We give a quick description of what you’ll find in each store, along with a link to their website or Facebook page. Often, stores have e-commerce websites and offer in-store pickup or delivery.
If you live far away, buying things online is a great option. We’ve bought several things with success. What’s great in Costa Rica is that you can often get stores to send you more photos of an item. Many places have an option to WhatsApp with a customer service rep. You can use this to get more pictures of whatever chair, rug, lamp, etc. you have your eye on.
Home Decor Stores in San Jose
Altea Design is one of our favorite spots. It’s a high-end furniture and decor store with fair prices. Has mostly contemporary/modern decor. You’ll find things like sofas, chairs, dining tables, coffee and other occasion tables, bed frames, bookshelves, lamps, rugs, mirrors, and decorative pillows. It also some smaller homewares like picture frames and decorative objects. A lot of the furniture is KARE.
Altea Design has very good sales so it’s worth following their Facebook page.
They have several locations around San Jose and in Tamarindo. Here’s a link to their site with the specific locations.
Monnry is a big decor store in Escazu with four floors. They have a ton of options for rugs, lighting, and throw pillows (just about every color you could imagine!). Also has ceiling fans, chairs, coffee tables, side tables, small décor items, candles, bedding, and wall art. Limited selection of dining room furniture. Prices are very good for the quality.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel recently opened in Avenida Escazu. They carry a lot of the same things as in the Crate and Barrel in North America, so it’s easy to find reviews online.
The store has two floors. The first floor is mostly kitchen items like plates, bowls, glasses, bar items, kitchen wares, and smaller decor like candles and decorations. Upstairs is mostly furniture (beds, couches, coffee tables, chairs, etc.).
Prices are good – very comparable to the store’s US prices.
Cemaco is a large home store with lots of bedding and bathroom and kitchen essentials. It’s a good place for quality cookware, flatware, knife sets, plates, small appliances, serving ware, and even vacuum cleaners.
Cemaco has brand names like Cuisinart, Kitchen Aid, Hamilton Beach, Haus, Pyrex, Corona, and good European brands as well.
Cemaco has locations in Rohrmoser, Zapote, and Alajuela (City Mall).
La Artistica is a high-end furniture store. Good selection of mostly living room and bedroom furniture (including mattresses). Style is more modern, with clean lines and a lot of black. Pricing is mixed. Many of the sofa sets are $3,000+, while occasion tables, desks, and bookshelves are much more affordable.
La Artistica has locations in Rohrmoser, Curridabat, and Liberia.
Siman is huge department store in malls around San Jose. For home decor, they have lots of furniture, bedding, pillows, towels, curtains, mirrors, etc. Quality can be hit or miss, but we have found some nice things there.
Siman is located in the Multiplaza in Escazu and Curridabat as well as in City Mall Alajuela.
This is the same Ashley Furniture you will find in the United States. It can be hard to find a comfortable couch in Costa Rica so many people buy from Ashley. The store is also popular for quality mattresses.
Ashley Furniture is located in Escazu, right off Highway 27, and in Heredia.
Aliss is a large decor store that also has clothing, toys, baby gear, and some other miscellaneous items.
In the homewares section, you’ll find smaller things, like dishes, glasses, food storage containers, cooking utensils, and basic cookware. It’s a great place for placemats and kitchen towels. Also has a lot of bedding, towels, and bathroom essentials.
About a quarter of the store in Escazu is inexpensive decorations, basic furniture, and wall art.
Quality is not as good but it’s a great option for simple things or if you’re on a budget. Some people compare Aliss to Ikea.
Aliss has 12 locations around San Jose. Here is a map link with all the stores.
Bali Home Center
If you’re looking for exterior items, this is Bali Home Center’s specialty. They have a wide selection of patio sets, loungers, swing chairs, umbrellas, and even decking, Jacuzzis, grills, and pizza ovens.
Bali Home also has an interior line, with modern-style tables, bed frames, coffee tables, etc.
It’s one of the only places in Costa Rica where we’ve seen furniture for kids and teens.
Bali Home Center is location right off highway 27 in Santa Ana and also in Liberia (Guanacaste).
El Bodegon de Asia
El Bodegon de Asia’s flagship store is just north of Jaco, but now they have a location in Escazu too.
At El Bodegon, you’ll find Balinese-inspired furniture and decor. Lots of ratan and furniture made from natural fibers, pieces made from reclaimed wood, and unique lamps, vases, and decorations. They also have a fairly big selection of inexpensive wall art.
Keep in mind that it’s also easy to get wood furniture made in Costa Rica if you can’t find what you’re looking for or just want to go local.
We’ve had many pieces made very affordably, including console tables, desks, and chairs. The town of Sarchi, just outside San Jose, has some amazing shops where you can see the work of local artisans.
[pic our chair?]
We hope our list of home decor stores has helped narrow your search for furniture and decorations for your house in Costa Rica. If you have a favorite store that we’ve left out, please let us know in the comments below.
Have a question about home shopping in San Jose? Ask us in the comments below.
Looking for more information about living in Costa Rica? Check out these posts:
Renovating a House in Costa Rica: Our experience with contractors, managing the project, finding supplies, and more.
Buying a House in Costa Rica: Learn the steps to go through when buying a new home, including escrow.
Building a House in Costa Rica: We interviewed a local builder to get the inside scoop on what’s involved when you build a house in Costa Rica.