Sunday, January 09, 2005

The IKEA hangover in Bangalore

I have been looking around Bangalore for furniture and other stuff to furnish my apartment. There are furniture stores of all kinds and variety -- from small carpenter shops with low prices and matching quality to high end furniture shops with very niche clientele. In the middle somewhere are some interesting stores with decent prices and fairly innovative designs. I haven't seen any website cover the furtniture stores online, so I thought I'll put up what I've discovered so far. (Which reminds me of another thing about Bangalore -- maybe India in general -- that I wish we could fix: most of the information about the city isn't available anywhere to find out, you have to ask the people who know.)

So, first the major areas that I know of so far. I live pretty close to Infantry road. We ordered a bed from one of the shops there -- they made it to order from a design. Rubberwood, decent finish, delivered on time -- worked out well. This was from a shop called the The Woods. Infantry road itself is infused with lots of shops that sell very similar furniture, and can put something together from a design you show them. The only problem is that the end product looks close to what shows in the picture, but is almost surely going to differ slightly. The difference is mostly going to be in the final look. These folks are probably good carpenters but optimize to save time and cost, and in the process eliminate some of the interesting aspects of the design that in the first place made them attractive. The advice, therefore, is to stick to simpler designs as much as possible, and be very clear about the nuances you want correct. And yes, almost all shops carry stuff that looks somewhat similar to what you would find in those shops around the world with a blue and yellow sign.

Besides Infantry road there are quite a few stores on the 100 ft road in Indiranagar. Most of these shops carry furntiture similar to what you can pick up in a Walmart or Target stores in the US. Most of the furniture is particle-board stuff and a unreasonably expensive. Some of the stores carry a little bit (or even more) ornate furniture -- something I don't think I could see myself buying.

Then there are some interesting stores with designs more to my liking. There is the Design store on 100 ft road in Koramangala. I ordered a bed and a simple entertainment center from there. I found it a little bit expensive, but good stuff. There is another store off of 100 ft road in Indiranagar, whose name I forget now. It is close to the Cafe Coffee Day there, on a road perpendicular to the 100 ft road. These stores have more innovative designs that go easy on the eyes and are very functional.

One of the rental agents I was working with when hunting my apartment had pointed me to an interesting furnishing store in Ulsoor. I tried looking for it again by myself and couldn't find it. Still determined to find it, I went back and circled the lake looking for it. I finally managed to locate it. It is called Yamini, and sells some really nice fabric, cushions, mats and more.

I am sure there are many more stores that would be worth checking out. Do drop me a note if you have a recommendation.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

could you tell me where is IKEA furniture store in bangalore?n which is the best place to buy furnitures in bangalore?thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am also looking for IKEA in B'lore, anybody knows?

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Vijay said...

Useful post. t is now many years after this post and you have a much wider choice of readymade furniture. Some of the shops and websites I have visited and liked are: Stylespa, Godrej Interio, Housefull, @Home, and Damro. Google them for their websites. Many of them put up their prices on the site.

One thing that's changed is that the quality of local manufacture seems to have plummeted. They look tacky compared to the branded pieces -- which by the way also seem cheaper.

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