Tag Archives: home

Furniture Stores

It seems like lately everyone is moving. Some friends have made the plunge to buy a house, others are just changing apartments and there are always loads of newcomers arriving in Brussels in September. And the question on everyone’s mind – where can I go shopping for affordable, good furniture?

This is not an easy one. I wrote a few months back about the store Maison du Monde but, while this is a good place for some items, every home should have a little variety. And of course you may have a love-hate relationship with IKEA like me. I’m old enough that I don’t want everything in my home to have a strange Swedish name and fall apart if I try to move it to another room. But at the same time, how can you not love a side table that only costs €29.99? (And let’s not forget about the wonderful world of IKEA hacking! What’s that you ask? Go here and let your imagination run wild.)

But we all need more options that the flat-pack, self-assembly sort. I’ve always struggled a bit in Brussels to find well-priced (and well-made) furniture, but here is a short list (in no particular order) of where I have shopped.

Heylen, while not technically in Brussels (near the airport on Chaussee de Louvain), has a good selection of sofas, bedframes, wardrobes, dining tables and chairs in a wide range of styles from classic to modern. It’s a family run business and the service is friendly and helpful. They have a large stock and reasonable prices, and will also let you order from the catalogue. I spotted a nice sofa for €1200 – not that much more than one from IKEA and probably will last a few more years.

781 Leuvense Steenweg, 3071 Kortenberg
Tel: +32 2 756 01 20
Open: Monday to Sunday, 10am-6pm, closed Tuesday, open on public holidays

Depot Design has a more modern collection but also a large showroom (4000m2) and selection of all types of furniture. You can browse the online catalogue and buy online as well. For comparison, they have some nice looking sofas for under €1000. The main store is on the canal and there’s also a “outlet” next door with discounted items. I know lots of friends who have found good deals here.

19 Quai du Hainaut, 1080 Molenbeek
Tel: +32 2 502 28 82
Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30am-6:30pm

 

Vastiau Godeau is another large store. They have a big furniture selection and also provide kitchens and bathroom installations. The store carries lights, carpets and garden furniture as well. You can take a look at the catalogue online here before visiting. Saturdays can be busy, so go early or on a weekday. They’re also open on Sundays. 

1 Steenweg op Halle, 1652 Alsemberg
Tel: +32 2 383 06 12
Open: Monday to Saturday, 10am-7pm, Sunday, 2pm-7pm, closed Thursday, open some holidays

A personal favorite is Zara Home. This is a good place to find decorative items, smaller furniture, lamps and linens. Similar to the clothing store, Zara Home changes seasonally and follows decor trends, introducing new colors and items every few months. They also have lots of things for kids and baby rooms. There are two locations in Brussels, Woluwe Shopping Center and Avenue Louise.

26-28 Avenue Louise, 1050 Ixelles
Tel: +32 2 552 04 00
Open: Monday to  Thursday, 10am-6:30pm, Friday and Saturday, 10am-7pm

Finally, if you’re willing to do a little DIY and be creative, my all-time favorite place to go is Troc International. This is a cross between an antique store, charity shop and your grandmother’s attic, stocked full of old furniture at low prices. Some of it is total junk but I have found some real treasures (a sofa for €200, a bench for €70 and a small table for €5 – all needed a bit of work or re-upholstering of course).  

Happy shopping!

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Deck the halls

Ah, yes, more Christmas stuff. I’m getting ready to decorate our Christmas tree this weekend so am really getting into the spirit of things. It’s tradition around our house to buy a new ornament every year to add to the collection (this if for both sentimental and practical purposes – I’m bound to break at least one a year). So as I’m heading out to shop, I thought I would share some of my recommendations for places to find Christmas ornaments and decorations in Brussels.

Just be careful this doesn’t happen to you while trimming the tree.

Pépinière de Boitsfort is the newest addition to my address book. This is a great garden shop (1600 m² of greenhouses) and has one of the biggest selections of Christmas decorations I’ve seen in Brussels. Pépinière is also of course a good place to buy a tree. These guys are so serious about Christmas they even made a video!

76 Avenue des Archiducs, 1170 Watermael-Boitsfort
Tel: +32 2 673 7373
Open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, Saturday, 8am-5pm

New De Wolf used to be an enormous home décor shop that stretched a whole block between Rue Haute and Rue Blaes, and had the biggest assortment of Christmas ornaments. Although it’s been considerably downsized, the store still covers two floors and has plenty of Christmas decorations for sale. I must warn you that lots of it is rather kitsch, but a good place to go if you can only make one stop.

91 Rue Haute, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 511 1018
Open Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-6:30pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

Flamant is one of my favorite shops in Brussels. Even though I can’t afford most of what’s for sale, I still love coming here for a stroll around and to find some design inspiration. Fortunately, the Christmas ornaments and gift items are more in my price range. Plus I just saw that they are running a holiday sale – 20% off all small items and selected furniture! (this could prove very dangerous)

36 Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 514 4707
Open Monday to Friday, 10:30-6:30pm, Saturday 10:30-7pm, Sunday 10-6pm

Walt Louise is another lovely furniture store on Avenue Louise. They have a few Christmas ornaments around the store and other holiday decorations. Again, a bit on the pricy side, but I found a great ornament here last weekend for €10 to give as a gift.

90 Avenue Louise, 1050 Ixelles
Tel: +32 2 513 0851
Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-6pm

Au Coins du Bois is a sweet little shop I discovered in the Cimetière d’Ixelles area a couple of years ago. It’s one of my go-to places for gifts, and they also have a few Christmas ornaments and decorations during the holidays.

47 Avenue G. Gilbert, 1050 Ixelles
Tel : +32 2 649 6792
Open Monday 2-7pm, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6:30pm

If you still need to buy a tree (like me!), I posted a few ideas here last week.

Happy decorating!

Images via FM Brussels, Flamant, Walt Louise and Au Coins du Bois.

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Troc this

If I could attempt another career it would probably have to be interior design. I’ve always been fascinated with architecture and design, and would love to have enough money to redecorate my entire house. Until that day comes, I’m making do by relying on bargains, a lot of DIY and a little bit of creativity. One of the best places in Brussels that combines all of these is Troc International.

If you like a treasure hunt or are just looking for some inexpensive home furnishings, you have to check out one of the four locations in Brussels. Troc, which means barter in English, is a European-wide chain of stores that buy and sell used furniture of all types, and often at very low prices.

This kind of shopping requires frequent visits, a sense of imagination and patience. There is quite a bit of junk to weed through but I’ve hit the jackpot on a couple of recent trips, scoring an antique lamp for €1 and an upholstered bench for €30. Even if I come up empty-handed, the trip is always worth it just to get inspired and look at all the crazy stuff.

My €1 lamp repainted and with new lampshade 

I regularly visit two of the Brussels locations – Chaussée de Louvain in Evere and Avenue Hansen-Soulié in Etterbeek. The Etterbeek store has a great selection of mid-century and retro pieces, like bright orange swivel chairs and funky light fixtures, as well as French bergère chairs and armoires. The Evere location is much larger, but parking is tricky. There doesn’t seem to be a best time of week/day to go, as they are constantly receiving new items. They don’t negotiate too much on prices but you can still find some great deals. 

Troc has a good website, where you can review the current selection at each store and find details about selling furniture. 

Troc Evere
Chaussée de Louvain, 992
1140 Evere
Tel: +32 2 726 63 36
Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6:30pm

Troc Etterbeek
Avenue Hansen-Soulié, 46-48
1040 Etterbeek
Tel: +32 2 732 34 56
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6:30pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm

Image via Le Soir.

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