San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sofas and Tables and Lamps, Oh My

You want it? You got it, at least when it comes to buying furniture in the Central Valley. From hanging lamps to colored glass chairs to post-modern spiral tables, furniture stores here seem to cater to all tastes and budgets.

One low-cost option is La California Furniture (, 255-3272) in downtown San José, where shoppers can get a 7-13% discount for buying furniture disassembled. This store, just two months old, has an on-site workshop where furniture is assembled, painted, varnished and adjusted to fit shoppers’ needs. Special requests are welcome.

“If you want to have it white with green dots, you bring me the white and you bring me the green and I will paint it for you,” said co-owner David Wanner.

People can also bring in a furniture sample and ask the store to put a matching finish on their new purchases. Most of the time, Wanner said, he can oblige.

“If you go to an ordinary furniture store, you would have to be very lucky to find a table that matches your chairs, if they are already 20 years old and bleached or something,” he said.

La California Furniture is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Sunday. To offer a price gauge, sofas – most of which fold out into beds – cost between $400 and $750.

At the other end of the budget spectrum is Lifestyle (, 228-2568), offering high-end, avant-garde furniture at its store in the western San José suburb of Escazú. The typical sofa costs between $1,500 and $4,000, but prices can reach as high as $25,000 depending on the brand and the type of finish, said owner Mike Blum.

The store offers furniture for nearly every room, except the bathroom and kitchen, and it specializes in outside pieces. The goods, largely imported from Germany, Italy and Spain, sell to a mostly foreign clientele. The store is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday.

Altea Design ( sells imported, simple, minimalist furniture that aims for a middle ground between contemporary and classic styles. Sofas run about $700 to $1,200, said marketing director Francisco Alvarado.

Altea has locations in Escazú (228-2009); San Sebastián (227-2882), in southwestern San José; Tres Ríos (518-0450), east of the capital; and Tamarindo (653-2350), in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. All stores are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Alvarado is also marketing director for Euromobilia (, 296-3050), an independent store that offers slightly higher-end furniture imported from Europe and the United States, he said.

Euromobilia also has its own line of furniture, which is ergonomically designed to fit the human body and make users comfortable, Alvarado said. The store is in the western San José district of Pavas, and is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Galería del Mueble ( – formerly Muebles England – offers exclusively the North American brand La-Z-Boy. Sofas can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000, and a queen-size bed would be about $1,400, but “we are always having good promotions,” said assistant manager Adolfo Rodríguez. He added that the store is working to expand its clientele from homeowners to hotel and condominium managers.

The company’s Escazú location (228-5151) is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, while its store on the Gulf of Papagayo on the northern Pacific coast (667-1010) is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Saturday.

Atocha ( also sells all manner of furniture, with sofas ranging in price from $1,000 to $2,500. Its stores in Escazú (288-2913) and the eastern San José neighborhood of Los Yoses (225-1179) are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Need to Ship?

All the stores mentioned here said they could arrange shipping – either by themselves or by an independent company – to anywhere in Costa Rica for about $100 to $300 and within one to three days, depending on the distance and quantity of goods purchased.

Several stores offer free shipping in the metropolitan area, which includes San José; Cartago, east of San José; Alajuela, northwest of the capital; and Heredia, north of San José.


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