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).