Many of us are coming here to Penang, Malaysia to set up a new business. I know several reps for large companies that have come to break ground on new factories and offices. There are also those of us that are just here to live, but we need office furniture in our homes. Well there are two good sources to check out besides the furniture shops that I’ve already listed in a popular past post.
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I have been on the hunt for some new furniture for the house because we have a new baby coming into our family. My search has recently taken me to Modern Art Furniture, a furniture shop in Penang Malaysia located on 320 Q & V Perak Road. They have a storefront that faces Perak Road, but if you look carefully, there are signs that lead you around the back to a car park and their four story showroom.
Modern Art Furniture Sdn Bhd
320 Perak Road
Tel: (+604) 283-6463
I found this shop on the recommendation of a friend who bought a baby cot for his daughter there. I had success finding what I was looking for. For more of the story read my review of my visit to Modern Art Furniture.
Mekio Home Furnishing
No. 109 Kinta Lane, off Burma Road, Georgetown
This local IKEA wannabe is a good local place to see a wide variety of furniture styles and prices. They source their products from China. We’ve order things and had to wait for the next shipment from China to arrive. A point in their favor, once we ordered something and they called us to let us know that the shipment did not come to their standard of quality, “so would we prefer a refund or to wait til the next shipment.” We have found this level of customer service quite refreshing and praiseworthy.
31, Jalan Kelawai, 10250 Penang.
Also, 72, Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600,
This store has some high quality items and a fairly broad selection. In our experience, the Kelawai store, East of Gurney Plaza on the right, has better selection.
Creative Furnishing, 416-428 Jalan Dato Keramat (at the corner of Dato Kermat and Jalan Perak), 10460
04 2274 980, 988
This store is somewhat unique in that most if not all of their products are made of solid wood, rather than particle board. Much of it is pine, a soft wood, but sometimes they have maple and other woods. Good quality products.
LDI Furniture, No 2, Solok Scotland (Right on the tighter corner opposite Masjid Negeri) 10450
04 826 2122
Open 10-7 M-Sat, 10-5 Sun.
If you’re reeling from shock that most of the furniture in Malaysia is made of cheap chipboard covered in thin veneer, then this is a place that may help you recover a bit. Everything here is made of Indonesian teak. It’s not all cheap, though you may be surprised to find that a slightly rough teak bookcase is cheaper than a glitzy, modern looking piece of thinly disguised chipboard. Some of the workmanship here is beautiful; some of it is a bit shabby, so drag things out into the sunlight to inspect before you buy. But if any furniture can last nearly forever, this would be it.
KC Furniture, Jalan Larut (just after Georgetown Baptist Church and before the fancy KFC in a mansion.)
Another location on Jalan Tanjung Tokong, across from Island Plaza
The showroom at both locations is pretty expansive with a several levels. It will give you an idea of the quality of the products. Our experience has been to simply ask to look in the catalogs. This will give you a bigger breadth of styles to choose from.
Regent Furnishing, 281 and 283 Jalan Chulia, Georgetown, (just at the bend in the street, just east of and across the street from Rainforest Bakery)
This store has more in it than you’d expect while looking at the front. They used to give discounts to Dalat people, though we’re not sure if that was more their initiative or the initiative of Chris Teh who used to be a sales associate here before he moved over to KC. Check them out.
Sing Guang Hing—with prominent Sharp and Astro signs—across the street from MayBank in Tanjung Bungah.
In the right hand side of this store you can find a selection of chipboard based wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and coffee tables, at reasonable prices.
Haji A. Othman Piliai and Sons—113, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Georgetown (just across the street from Kapitan Keling Mosque)
It’s admittedly challenging to find anything in this piled up, dusty shop, but if you hit them at the right time you may find just what you’re looking for. Very cheap prices.
Check out this new post about where to go to get office furniture and equipment.
On our recent adventure to Kuala Lumpur, we tried to do some things that we can’t do because we’re living in Penang. One of those things is a trip to IKEA. It is located in Damansara, not terribly far from the highway, although if you are coming from the wrong direction, you will have to work your way around and under the highway just to get through the series of one way streets to get to the store.
Why do we want to go to IKEA?
For our older two children, they really enjoy going to Småland. This is a play area with a ball pit and some coloring stations and I don’t know what else that they can be watched for an hour, while parents shop. Kids must be between 4-10 years and 90-130 cm. I guess they need the height requirement because kids don’t carry ICs.
Another reason we wanted to go to IKEA was the food. There are days when my wife has dreams about the Swedish Meatballs and the Poached Salmon. I asked her which she was going to choose, and she answered both, we’re sharing. I guess I don’t need to try something new on the menu.
While we can find furniture in Penang, the comparable equivalents tended to be cheaper at IKEA, even if you figure in the price of shipping.
The final reason to enjoy a trip to IKEA Damansara is to learn Swedish. Ok, you won’t learn how to string together a whole sentence, but I asking my kids to get something off the Expedit, or to punish them by sending them to their Gulliver.
Avoid the crowds
One tip, don’t go on Sunday afternoon. It is crowded. We were in line to check our kids into Småland, for over 30 minutes.
Shop online before you get there
The store can be quite overwhelming. In fact, it can be quite maze-like. I have heard anecdotes of people in IKEA stores in the states that were so lost in a store, and could not find an exit, that they ended up going out an emergency exit and got in trouble.
One thing you can do to help yourself out is to shop online and know what you want to get when you get there. The IKEA website will not allow you to select and pay for items to be delivered to you. What it will do is allow you to create and print a shopping list. The shopping list will tell you whether or not a particular item is in stock (at the time you make the list) and where on the racks you can find your item.
IKEA will ship up to Penang, but you have to pay for a whole lorry, whether you buy one item or fill the whole truck. As of 2012, the price of the lorry to Penang is RM 690. In the past there have been groups who have shared the cost of delivery. You can comment below or check out the forum to ask if anyone else is interested in sharing a delivery.