Furnishing an Apartment in Buenos Aires
One thing that I learned after deciding on a property to buy was that the furniture market works a little differently here. Now that the seller has accepted my offer on the property, I was starting to think about moving in and how I'm going to decorate the place. Strangely enough, the furniture here isn't actually produced until you go and place the order!
No Furniture Inventories
It was quite a shock for me to learn that furniture stores here don't actually carry inventories. Perhaps this is due to the economic crisis or the devaluation of the peso. In any case, you don't typically go to a store and pick out the furniture and then have it delivered. Instead, you go to the store, pick out the pieces you like and then leave a deposit. It then takes 30-60 days for them to build your furniture.
A very interesting upside to all this is that you can get things custom made at pretty much the same price as getting a stock piece. With all the stores operating in a job-shop fashion, it costs them just as much to make something custom as it does making something from a catalog, giving you additional flexibility.
Interior Designers / Architects
I pride myself on having a good eye for design. All the commercial websites I've built always look great and clients are always pleased with the results they get. However, I am not a designer by any means -- I just know what I like and what I don't. Therefore, I'm going to enlist the services of an interior designer or architect to handle the interior design of the apartment I'm buying.
I was quite surprised to learn that many of the architects here do interior design as well. While they may be two entirely separate fields in the U.S., here you will find an architect can also handle the decoration of your home in addition to tearing down walls, enclosing balconies, etc. So, I'm going to be interviewing both architects and interior designers and getting quotes (and hopefully some concept sketches) from all of them.
I'm not normally the type of person to enlist the help of a professional to furnish my personal living space. However, since this apartment will eventually be used as a rental, I want to make sure it can compete with any of the finest hotels in Buenos Aires. I'll make sure to let everyone know how the process works out.