Do you know what we love to do? Shopping, of course! Do you know what’s the next best thing? Shopping for furniture! LOL. Okay, third best thing because dining is definitely way up on the list! Haha…
In my series of house entries that started with the house hunting and renting, I now take you to house furnishing! Here in Riyadh there’s no shortage of expensive furniture shops to cater to every taste. I often find myself gawking at gilded bed frames fit for the likes of Marie Antoinette and I ask myself “Gosh, do people really want to sleep in gold beds!?” As expats, we didn’t really want to spend 10,000 SAR on a bed, however sturdy and beautiful it may be. We just wanted something durable and at the same time modern. Something that won’t fall apart within five years. Needless to say, hubby and I had to scour a lot of souks (markets) and stores to find what we needed. It was a tiring but fun experience that tested our ability to compromise and be creative together as a couple.
If you’re looking for furniture, carpet and kitchen cabinets, you might want to check out these shops:
1. Cheapest Option: Haraj Souk
Many of us know Haraj for the dirt cheap second hand merchandise, but if you drive around the actual vicinity you’ll find shops (within buildings) selling new furniture, kitchen cabinets, carpets, linoleum and appliances (the prices are similar to that in Al Owais Souk which is coming up next). New kitchens usually cost around 500 SAR per meter but you can customize it to fit your needs. Like a drip shelf that looks like a regular cabinet but is open at the bottom so the plates can drip-dry directly into the sink, you know details. Details. If you do decide to brave the second furniture shops, you can easily find similar items for a fraction of the price. However you’ll be taking the risk of buying the items as is. So check the items first before paying.
Al Haeer Road, Manfuhah
2. One-Stop Market: Al-Owais Souk
Al Owais is filled with rows and rows of carpets and furniture shops. Here you’ll find new carpets ranging from 30-100 SAR per square meter. The most expensive carpets are so plush, you’ll feel your feet deliciously sink into the fabric. Yes, I’m taking about a carpet. Haha. Al-Owais is also one of those one-stop shop places. While shopping for furniture and carpet, you can just walk across the other side and get yourself a piece of gold jewelry or even an abaya.
King Fahd Rd. (Olaya St.)
3. For The Guys: SACO World
Most dads will agree, SACO World is love. No longer just a hardware store, SACO World also offers brand new furniture, playground sets, gym equipments… in fact almost everything you think you’ll need in your home and tool shed! Though the choices are not as extensive as that of a full blown furniture shop, the items are reasonably priced and easy to assemble. You’ll have to be patient though because some of their items are not stocked and you’ll have to order them first and will be available at the store after 3-4 days.
Northern Ring Rd. (Exit 5), Riyadh
Check out other branches here: http://saco-ksa.com/English/Store-Locator
Mon–Wed, Sat–Sun: 8:30 AM–2:00 PM, 4:00 PM–11:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM–2:00 PM, 4:00 PM–11:30 PM
Friday : 4:00 PM–11:00 PM
4. For the Ladies: IKEA
Ah, IKEA. This is my personal idea of wonderland. I can spend two hours wandering around this place without feeling bored! It was an effort not to buy all our stuff here. Truly. Hehe. I love that IKEA is mid-range, price-wise. The prices really depend on the type of material used for the items, so you’ll find some really cheap kitchen items and tables made out of particle wood and at the same time, you’ll find solid wood cabinets that will set you back a bit, so it’s good to do your research first before buying. You might also score a great find at the “As Is” section, where IKEA sells their slightly used display items for half the price. Right now, there is only one branch in Riyadh which is located at Exit 16.
Eastern Ring Road (between Exit 16 & Exit 17)
T: +966 9200 04532
Sunday – Thursday, 10:00 AM–Midnight
Friday. 3:00 PM–Midnight
Saturday, 9:00 AM–Midnight
5. Most Accessible: Home Centre
Accessibility is the name of the game for this brand, usually found in malls. The designs are fairly modern and the prices around the same price range as the higher end IKEA items. Everything you need for you home, you can get it from Home Centre. Their catalog is viewable online so you might want to check it out before visiting.
1. Rimal Centre, Eastern Ring Road, Exit – 16
2. Al Qasar, Al Qasr Mall, Al Assuwady Road
3. City Plaza 2, King Abdullah Road
4. Al Jouf, Ameer Fahad Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz Road
5. City Plaza 3, Imam Saud Bin Abdul Aziz, Exit 9
6. Othaim Mall, Khurais
Map (King Abdullah Road branch):
6. Most Classic: Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn is a furniture shop that has a distinct cottage cozy feel, but a tad pricey for my expat needs (you know, we’re not permanent residents here, it’s hard to invest too much in furniture I can’t bring back to my home country). But for those who don’t mind splurging, Pottery Barn is a beautiful place to shop for your home. Their designs are classic and traditional yet very comfy, relaxing, and appealing.
a. Pottery Barn, Sahara Mall, King Abdulaziz Road.
b. Pottery Barn Kids, Kingdom Tower, Olaya
Map (Sahara Mall, first floor):
7. Something New: EDDY Electronics and Furniture
This is a newly opened furniture and electronics shop along Oruba Road, right beside Extra. The furniture design are similar to Home Center and IKEA but a bit pricier.
Oruba Road cor. King Abdulaziz Road,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
8. Al Mutlaq Furniture
This store is a distributor of international brands like Lazboy, Alf, Natuzzi, among others. As they say in Arabic, Miya Miya! Naturally, expect premium prices for their items.
9. Most Edgy: Aura Living
Aura Living is a modern home fashion brand in Riyadh. Located at Panorama Mall in Takhasussi Street, this store sells stylish furniture and decorative items that you’ll probably see in a Hollywood celebrity’s home. Whatever theme you’re going for – be it black and white, vibrant and flashy hues, velvets, etc. – they have it. You can just take the whole lot and you’ll have a style that’s fitted for a glam fashionista or a modern, sophisticated housewife. Their stuff are expensive though but they also go on sale once in a while.
Do note that there are more furniture shops in Riyadh, aside from what I mentioned and they’re worth a shot to check. There’s always an option for every budget. We got items from these stores for our new flat, but mostly from the new furniture area of Haraj and IKEA. Happy shopping and happy furnishing your home away from home!