Design WiseShelagh Duncan

Why Use a Pre-Designed Furniture Package in Costa Rica?

A selection of furniture packages
A selection of furniture packages

By Shelagh Duncan

What is the better option: searching for yourself, or having a group of professionals guide you through a hassle-free process so you arrive at you new home with everything ready for you?

More and more people who come into the store these days are asking about our pre-designed furniture packages. They are building, (or planning on building) a home and have decided that is the simpler way to go. With the stress of all the building decisions and issues, knowing that when their home is finished they can actually start enjoying right away is a big plus.
Royal Palm Interiors


For those not familiar with the term ‘furniture packs’, or ‘packages’ it is a coordinated group of furniture that can either fully furnish your home, or be a furniture collection with just the basics to get you started. A typical package will include your living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, and upgrade packs are usually available for all the other things. This means that you can decide exactly how much you want to have in your home right away, and how much you want to shop for yourself.

One-bedroom furniture packages
One-bedroom furniture packages

In the past, furniture packages in Costa Rica were not an option. If you wanted a bed, or dining table and chairs for example, you had to ask around and probably get your gardener’s, cousin’s brother – who made a table for their aunt – to try and understand what you wanted, and then make it for you. Sometimes it turned out okay, at other times, well it got chalked up to experience. One common problem was that self-taught wood workers made beds without consideration of standard mattress sizes. Then, you had to try and find a mattress to fit the bed!

There is no long history of fine woodworking in Costa Rica as there is in Europe or North America. We do however have Sarchi, the arts and crafts town north of San Jose.

Daniel Alfaro Corrales opened the country’s first wooden furniture ‘factory’ there back in the 1890’s, and he later went on to cleverly redesign the wheel of the now famous Sarchi oxcart. The furniture you find there is the typical heavy and overly decorative furniture that they have been making for decades and is not to everyone’s taste. You just may be able to search around the town to find everything you need, but you are still faced with having to get it down here!

There are similar issues with San Jose – you can spend days going from store to store looking for what you need, and when you add the cost of gas, hotels etc, and then the transport costs. Well… let’s just say that what seemed a good deal at the time, generally is not quite so great a deal at the end of the day.

If you are a keen, die-hard shopper and love to find and look around furniture stores, that can be fun- but only if you have the time, and are confident enough that everything you manage to buy will look good together once it is in your home .

Royal Palm bedroom package
Royal Palm bedroom package

However, the idea behind furniture packages is to help make your life easier. They are generally put together by a professional, so all the wood finishes, furniture styles and fabrics work together, and they have price levels to suit every budget. If you are building to rent your home as a vacation property, then your preference will probably be to have great looking furnishings that will be durable and cost effective. A well designed package will help you maximize your rental income, while not breaking the bank.

If you will be living here full time, or for long periods then you will want a comfortable home that fits your lifestyle and reflects your personal taste. Once you have chosen a package, it can still be personalized with different fabrics and finishes, and also with art and accessories that can be collected over time. We cannot all wear exclusive designer fashions, but we can dress up our ‘off the rack’ outfits to reflect our own style and personality – and so can your home.

There are definite advantages to choosing a pre-designed furniture package:

  • You can forget about the considerable international household-goods shipping costs when you relocate to Costa Rica.
  • Your home will be professionally furnished and ready for you to move in.
  • It is a more time efficient and less stressful choice, allowing you to begin enjoying your new home and surroundings from the moment you arrive.
  • Definitely more cost effective than purchasing and sourcing furniture from many different people or retail outlets.
  • A wide selection of designer furniture and styles to choose from, that are proven to be suitable for our climate.
  • No two packages are ever identical – because we all like to show our own style.

For example, a basic furniture package for a one bedroom unit can be purchased, delivered and installed for as little as $3,000 plus tax. Obviously the price goes up based on luxury and when you start to add things like lighting, kitchen packs, bathroom packs, window dressings and media packs the price will start to climb. However, you get to choose only what you decide you need.

We all know that even back home, the house building budget often gets stretched beyond the usual 20% safety net, so knowing exactly what you will be paying to furnish your home is an important detail! You do not have to ‘settle ‘ with a disappointingly inferior furniture quality or selection at the last minute, because the kitty is empty.
Another important plus is that reputable providers will generally price their packages with substantial discounts off the regular retail price, so you don’t have to wait, or shop around for a ‘Sale’. They will guarantee their pricing for a set period of time and they will usually include free delivery and set-up in their price. It’s important to ask about this.

So, once you have chosen where you want to live, found the perfect lot, and have the builder hard at work building your dream home – then you can start to concentrate on the furniture.

Savvy, price aware, and time conscious consumers will usually opt to use a specialist furniture package provider. Established, reputable companies can provide an immediate, cost effective furnishing solution which caters to all budgets and style preferences, because they use reliable suppliers with a proven track record of quality and consistency.

How much is your time worth? Why not let the professionals help you ease into that Pura Vida mind-set so you can start enjoying your new life here.