How much does it cost to furnish a house in France?
Lucky for us, we caught the SOLDE sales in France, and saved about 35-50% on all our household goods.
Instead of buying the best deal, or the lowest price, we tried to get the best value for our dollar, buying higher quality items to get some even bigger savings and checking out floor or display models. For instance, a couch with a pullout bed runs around 1000 Euros. This has ordinary fabric, a standard mattress, which comes brand new out of the box. We were pointed in the direction of a ‘seconds’ place, a company that buys display models or slightly damaged goods from Carrefour, Fly, IKEA, Comforama, and But. Located on the road that runs through Argilers, behind the electronic store, tucked in a house with no inside walls, next to the owners residents. Each week he receives a new shipment. We had dozens to choose from, convertible pullouts with foam mattresses, click clacks, futons, and regular sofas; small, big and bigger. We scooped up our grey ultra suede pullout couch with a proper mattress with springs for 289 Euros, exactly like the one in Fly for 1000 Euros! Great deal!
A huge communication error when buying our house from the previous owner, who forgot to tell us she rescinded on her word, leaving us in the 11th hour, without proper bedding or lighting or curtains our first night in the house. A word to the wise, do not take one’s word for it when buying a home in France. And a message for the former owner, “You are only as good as your word in this world.” I actually feel sorry for her.
How it happened was we bought the house with furnishings, we had a list in hand of the items she was leaving us, and she brought our buying price up to accommodate her ‘generosity’. When we picked up the keys, however, there was no curtains or rods on the windows, the lights were pulled out of their sockets, the old charming chairs promised were gone, the storage unit in the bathroom had also been taken, the dryer missing, the wood we paid cash for, was 1/2 missing or used up, as well as dozens of other items on the list we negotiated before hand. The people, who know me, can imagine how shocked I was. I truly believe people are good, and every time I find they are not, I just don’t understand it.
The lesson learned, things that are too good to be true, usually are. She was kind enough to leave dishes, beds for the kids, a dresser, a big piece of furniture in our room, an outside table and chair set and other miscellaneous items. I found it strange because the items she took were not expensive, but more a start up for us so we didn’t have to run around before we were settled. If she told us she wasn’t leaving them, we would have gone out and bought everything we need before hand, and had them stored at our rental on Rue Gambetta.
Our friends Francoise and Mallory came by with make shift beds in hand for a night on the floor in front of the wood-burning fireplace. They comforted me, assuring me that it is not a standard in France to go back on your word.
The next morning, Mallory came car in hand, and took the situation in her very capable hands! She took me round to the best places, we price compared and by the end of the day we had made a huge dent in the ‘to do’. 1500Euros and all the beds, mattresses, wardrobe – mops and buckets ?. The folks at But threw in a van delivery for free, and trimmed off a few bucks for volume! Thank-you Loli for your excellent service!
Mallory fearlessly endured my mad man driving, trying to get back within the hour free time restraint! We did it and had a good laugh in the huge 2.8-meter high van. My first time driving since Canada!
The boys, Alfonz and our realtor friend John hooked up the laundry, and worked on buying tools and all the man stuff from Bricolage, France’s version of Home Depot. The next day we had to drop John back at the airport, so we hit IKEA. Boy did we hit IKEA!! 1600Euros later, our Westfalia van was stuffed to the brim with: pots and pans, sheets, comforters, pillows, desks for the kids, table and chairs for the dining room, dishes, towels, pretty much all the bits! Mallory and I saw a table and chair set for outside the day before reduced from 600 Euros to 278 Euros.
Alfonz, the kids and I went back for the chair set, also ran around shopping for laundry baskets, gardening tools, food but when we got to the sale item we came for, someone had bought and was wheeling the set on a gurney in front of our eyes! NO!!! I was upset but we decided to stop in at Comforama, it is next to Auchan, and guess what!! The same table, the nice people there reduced it for us, not to match Auchan but beat their price by 40Euros!! I love SOLDE sales.
Alfonz got home and set up the kid’s rooms complete as I settled in to making my first meal in the house, Hungarian Goulash, a few cold plates of cheese and sandwich meats, cut up fresh bread, bowls of chips for the kids, and drinks cold in the fridge.
Alfonz set up the coat rack for the entranceway, in preparation for our lunchtime guests. We invited our friends to have a look at the new house, an informal peek, with lunch, for the few people that have treated us so nicely over the last 3 months, our first 3 months in France.
It was a happy day for me, a full circle filling the void of company in my own home.
Thanks to everyone that joined us on Sunday!
From start to finish our total was 5000Euros to set up house in the South of France. Not bad at all!