After scoffing about all the cons of condo living, I find myself bound to live in one. It is a 21 square meter shoe box — I mean, studio — with high ceilings making an appreciated effort to compensate for the floor space. But still, space is an issue, and so is the furnishing expense. A trusted little bee told me the answer lies in Paco, Manila and so off I go.
My aunt who works nearby performed the kindness of scouting the area. After a few inquiries and a lot of haggling, she singled out Bree and Bruce Marketing right along the street. You will see a lot of these furniture, hardware and glass stores side by side and prices I would imagine would be quite competitive. Also, you would have the option between getting the goods right off the shelf or having them made specially. Since we are on a time crunch, ready-to-prop items are the requirement.
I came on a Saturday armed with my list, cash (plastic is worthless down these parts) and a measuring tape, together with my mother and my Manila aunt. The shop opened by 8:30 am and we were the buena mano customers. Luck all around.
First impression: an abundance of stuff. The place is literally stocked through every inch with tables, chairs, dining sets, cabinets, sofas, mirrors, and stools, with beds of all sizes crowding the second floor. There is hardly enough room to shimmy through without bumping into anything. Therefore, I was not wanting for options. Ate Winnie was our sales person and official guide through the maze. Her rote memory of the prices of each stacked item plus her patience for our incessant haggling and querying were impressive. After a short hour or so of scrutinizing, we ordered the following items:
Total cost: P22,600
Plan: Double deck bed, single size on top, double at the bottom in dark wood. All other furniture in white or light wood.
Reality: Single size double deck bed, all furniture in dark wood. When everything was installed in the unit, the dark wood-all around theme actually worked. I would have wanted an all wood double deck like the one we have at home, but it understandably came with a heftier price tag. Also with those prices, you cannot expect thick materials, so although sturdy, the cabinet for example is not thick enough to be drilled on the wall. With careful use though, I trust these items will go a long way.
By the way, although Ate Winnie was kind and accommodating through and through, she could do nothing about the charges. Paid P200 to deliver the goods in Makati plus an additional P100 to carry our other Paco buys in their truck. A small price to pay to forego the hassle of carrying the stuff ourselves. The kind delivery team arrived at the building on the afternoon of the same day, delivered each item and carefully set up the double deck to finish the deal.
Now for curtains and pots and pans and bathroom implements…