Buying Furniture in Kigali: A Beginner’s Guide

Buying furniture in Kigali may be a little different from what you’re used to back home. But once you know a few of the spots to get good furniture, then you can start to bring your home to life.

That’s what this guide is for. I’ll share with you the best places to get reliable, affordable furniture, and the spots to buy your decor, electronics and home accessories. Make your experience much easier and even learn some do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying furniture in Kigali.

5 Quick Tips for Buying Furniture in Kigali

  1. If you want to save money, our Facebook community is a great place to get secondhand furniture, electronics, and much more. 
  2. Check out our Kigali Business Directory for vetted, high-quality furniture shops and carpenters. 
  3. If you’re buying secondhand furniture online, beware of price gouging. Items listed as ‘secondhand’ are often priced higher than new products. It’s a common scam targeting new arrivals in Kigali. 
  4. When buying custom-made furniture, make your specifications clear, and pay in installments, checking on the work to confirm they are following your specifications to avoid disappointments. Get recommendations from previous, happy customers. 
  5. Try out the piece of furniture, especially if it’s a bed or seat. Feel if it creaks, feels weak or has another problem before purchasing it.
  6. If you’d rather shop from home, check out our guide online shopping in Rwanda. 

Furniture Stores in Kigali

You’ll find that furniture stores in Kigali have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for high-end imported or locally made furniture with prices to match, or mid-range furniture from local stores. 

If you’re feeling even more adventurous, or looking for the most affordable options, there are the solo carpenters with roadside workshops and open-air wood markets. 

Let’s look at some of the furniture stores available in Kigali.

The Design Bar 250

Location: 23 KG 676 St, Kimihurura

If you’re looking for full service from design advice to whole room makeovers, then the Design Bar 250 is your go-to.

Their store in Kimihurura offers a truly immersive experience where you get show-room-style decor, giving you an idea of what your home could look like. You can carry home pieces you like from their showroom.

Inwood Rwanda

Location: KN 3 Rd, Ngoma

Located just behind the KBC building, Inwood Rwanda provides made-in-Rwanda furniture items like storage shelves, beds, side tables, and some stylish wooden plant stands. 

They also include outdoor sets that you can get for your balcony and garden. Scroll through their catalog here.

Wood Habitat

Location: KG 674 St, Kimihurura

Catering to both businesses and private homes, Wood Habitat offers a wide selection of pieces including couches, sectionals, bed sets, and dining sets. 

Their style includes a mix of old-school and more modern designs. Keep in mind that their prices are quite steep.

And, if you’re looking to go even further with our interior design, you can get custom-made door fittings for your home. 

Just make sure to check with the landlord before changing any permanent fixtures like the doors.

Miniso

Location: KN 5 Rd Kimihurura

Miniso – the store where you go in search of one thing and end up with several other items you never thought you needed. 

The Japanese-inspired global retail firm opened its doors to the Rwandan market in mid-2021, offering a range of small household items and cosmetics for an affordable price.

They stock kitchen utensils, storage boxes, home appliances and so many other items of what I’d call okay-ish quality. 

Online Furniture Stores

Sometimes you may not want the hassle of going to buy items physically. Online furniture stores come in handy here, letting you furnish your home by ordering online.

Danube Home

Danube Home

For your online furniture shopping, Danube home offers a one-stop-shop for almost every item you may need.

They stock furniture and furnishings like bedding, pillows, linens, kitchenware, carpets and rugs, and other home accessories.

Best Furniture Markets and Workshops in Kigali

On the other side of the spectrum, we have furniture markets and workshops scattered across Kigali.

Gakinjiro Furniture Market/Gisozi Market

The wood market in Gisozi offers a flea-market style shopping experience. You can get everything wood to build with, pallets for DIY projects, and furniture items that have been pre-made. 

Be prepared to haggle though, you will most likely get an inflated price the first time. (especially if you are a ‘mzungu’ or speak a different language other than Kinyarwanda) 

A few things to remember while shopping here and in other workshops is:

  • Shop around to see what different people have on offer.
  • Don’t pay the whole fee upfront, unless you are taking the item with you there and then.
  • Give your specifications thoroughly. Pick your colors, designs and sizes. Don’t leave it up to the carpenters.
  • Go back to see the progress once you make your order, especially for custom pieces.

Buying Custom-made Furniture

If you’re looking for unique, custom furniture, there are a couple of local businesses that you can approach.

  1. Carpentry Queen – This lovely lady has bespoke furniture and can custom-build different pieces according to the client’s likes. 
  2. Neza Mugenzi Valentin – if you are in or around Nyamirambo, reach out to Neza for couches, tables, stools, wardrobes and other pieces of furniture.
  3. Isubyo House of arts – Isubyo is one of my favorites, just because of how creative the artists are there. Located in Kiyovu, they create custom furniture on order. And you can get some really unique yet affordable pieces here. 
  4. Creation Hodel – Banana leaves, bamboo, sisal, and Kitenge fabric are the main materials used by Creation Hodel at her home-based store. You can get cat and dog boxes for your pets, swing chairs, and storage shelves from here.

What to Watch Out For With Carpenters in Rwanda

We’ve seen some good carpenters and places to get furniture, but, like any other place, there are also some not-so-good carpenters around Kigali. 

Here are a few things you may find when working with some of them.

  1. Late delivery. Weeks after you agreed to have the item finished, you might still be waiting for your furniture without clear communication about why there is a delay.
  2. Questionable quality. Sometimes, the quality of furniture you asked for may be different from what is delivered. You may end up with an item that won’t last very long.
  3. Inflated prices. The carpenter may quote a price that’s much higher than what they would normally charge, making you spend more.
  4. Con artists. Like any other city, you may find some who ask for full payment upfront only to disappear with your money. Stay cautious and follow our steps as well as your intuition to avoid such.
  5. Getting a different item from what you asked for. They may get the measurements, material, or colors wrong, building something different from what you wanted.

To avoid poor quality work, speak to the carpenters and furniture makers listed in our business directory – we only list professionals with plenty of positive reviews from the community. 

Buying Electronics and Appliances

As you’re buying electronics in Kigali, bear in mind that most electronics are imported, and Rwanda is a landlocked country. So, the prices are higher due the transportation and taxes in between the source and the destination.

Hotpoint Rwanda

Stocks electronic appliances from several different brands including LG, Samsung, Bosch, Von, and Kenwood. They have several locations across Kigali including:

Locations: 

  • 1. KN5 Rd, Remera, Gisimenti
  • 2. KK15 Rd, Kicukiro near Sonatube
  • 3. KN3 Rd, Lagune Apartment Hotel
  • 4. KN4 Ave, KIC Building
  • 5. KN64 St, Kigali City Market

Bricotech Limited 

This hardware and electronic store stocks electrical appliances, door locks, household equipment that you might need to fix a few things around the house like screws, staplers, and fixings.

LocationKigali Town Centre

Buying Secondhand Furniture & Electronics

As people move out of Kigali or upgrade their homes, there are always secondhand furniture and electronics being sold.

Buying secondhand furniture helps you save time and money.

But beware of overly priced secondhand items. You may find yourself spending more than what it costs to purchase a similar brand new item(which beats the point of buying secondhand items, to begin with).

Here are a few tips for buying second-hand furniture and electronics.

  1. Do some research. Find out the market price for the same item to see if you’re truly getting a deal.
  2. If possible, have a look at the item physically first, to make sure it is in working condition. Don’t get stuck with a spoilt washing machine, or a broken desk.
  3. Don’t pay the whole price upfront unless you are sure of the person selling the item. (you may find the odd con artist here or there)

Now let’s see where you can find these second-hand items.

Facebook Groups

Some Facebook groups in Kigali are really good to keep you informed of any second-hand items on sale. Members often list items for sale ranging from kitchen utensils to electronics, decor items, and furniture. 

Check out our community Living in Kigali for second-hand items to purchase.

Secondhand Websites

You can also browse through websites that list secondhand items for sale.

Jiji Rwanda – lists furniture, home appliances, and electronics. You can also get houses for rent, cars, sports equipment and so much more on Jiji Rwanda.

Home Decor, Houseplants, and Art

Komeza Art painting
Image from Komeza Art

A home is not complete without some decor to bring everything together. And you can find some beautiful pieces for your home in Kigali. Let’s look at some of these places.

Irebe Baskets – From laundry baskets to fruit baskets, wall hangings, and centerpieces for your tables, Irebe baskets creates locally made woven items in lovely colors and patterns.

Azizi Studio – Right behind the KBC building, on the road that leads to Ikirezi bookstore, is Azizi Studio. It’s a small store that has a large collection of decor items including woven bowls, wall hangings, candles, bookends, wooden utensils and so much more.

Art 

Komeza Art – Get art pieces by Rwandan artists starting from $25/ piece.

Isubyo House of Arts – Located in Kacyiru, this art center sells art pieces and custom-made furniture items.

Ipfundo Art Gallery – Ipfundo art gallery in Kigali town has beautiful paintings and sculptures.

Plants

@IvyBlissMurugo – Sells plants and planters for those looking to add some life to their homes. For about $20 to $40, you can get a nice plant and planter for your home or office space.

Flowerchild Kigali – They have a variety of potted plants that you can buy from as low as $13 (13,000 rwf). 

Mattresses and Bedding

Dr. Mattress – A range of foam and spring mattresses and pillows.

Rwanda Foam – Includes both beds and mattresses. You can get more affordable, locally manufactured mattresses here.

Siesta Luxury Sleep – The store is located in Kigali Heights. Be ready to pay higher prices for their beds and mattresses.

Curtains and Fabrics

Apex Furnishings – You can get your curtains, carpets, and rugs here. The store is located at the Chic building next to Camelia restaurant.

At the town center across from Kigali City Market, the street is lined with small shops that sell fabrics and curtains. Do shop around first, looking at the different materials, designs and quality offered to find a good deal.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide makes you more confident when buying furniture in Kigali. You have a variety of options that you can choose from. Do take your time when purchasing the furniture, household, and decor items to get your house to feel like a home.

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