We have just furnished our sales office and moved into a new house. As a result, I am an expert on furniture shopping in Panama.
There is an abundance of cheap furniture stores here, but they generally lack the style and quality that we are used to. If you don’t mind particle board, ornate gold-painted detailing, and white suede couches, then by all means, head to one of these places. They are often found on main thoroughfares, their neon signs blazing and giant pictures of the aforementioned chintzy furniture plastered on the sides of the building.
Or, if you are willing to pay a 400% mark-up on familiar US brands, you’ll come across several stores that would love to have your business. But, if you’re searching for something a little more special without taking out a second mortgage (which they don’t do in Panama), here are the top places to buy furniture in or around Panama City:
Natalia has a gorgeous collection of modern and antique furniture. Shopping in her store is a joy as there is always something around the corner to discover. Natalia and her husband do a lot of importing from Africa and Asia, so there are some very unique pieces. It’s not the cheapest, but you’ll find great stuff. She also makes a killer frozen tea. Location: San Francisco district.
The best place for furniture in Panama if you’re trying to balance cost and style, hands-down. They have an extensive inventory, and prices are reasonable. A lot of their furniture is made of heavy dark woods, which work well for a tropics feel. You do have to dig through a lot of junk, but there are great accessories and linens. Location: go to the Milla 8 Outlet near the Corredor Norte — it’s huge, and you can get 15% off everything.
One of the more popular upscale furniture stores in Panama. Most of their stuff is imported from Asia, so if that look interests you, you’ll love Banyan Leaf. Not the cheapest, but high-quality. Location: Bella Vista.
This store leans more toward the traditional and carries mostly US items. Location: San Francisco district.
This small store has a decent selection of quality goods that are mostly imported from the US. The buyers have a good design eye. Location: San Francisco district.
A warehouse filled with stuff imported from Asia. Again, it’s definitely a distinct look, but the prices are worth the 45-minute drive if you’re into it. Location: on the Interamericana in Chame.
If you love the Kuna Yala molas but think they lack the design aesthetic you are looking for, seek out Helene Breebaart, who employs many Kuna women to sew custom pillows, blankets, etc. The color palettes look a bit more modern and you can choose your favorite pattern and customize sizes. Location: Obarrio.
A new branch of the popular Guatemala business, this store offers goods on the masculine, old-English side. You’ll find oak woods, leathers, animal hides, etc. Location: San Francisco district.
Antiguades en Capira
I’m not sure of the name of this place, but you can’t miss it. They have quirky antiques and amazing prices on natural wood furniture. They are skilled craftsman and will custom-make something for you. Location: on the Interamericana in Capira (30 minutes from Panama City).