So, you’ve made the move to Bangkok and you’re about to settle into your dream house or your perfect apartment. But it’s unfurnished. Or perhaps it’s just lacking a little in character. Don’t despair, think of it as a blank canvas on which to express your brand new and exciting chapter in this wonderful city.

The basics

Homepro has everything to get you started, from wallpaper and paint to fixtures and storage. Meanwhile, the super supermarkets like Big C and Tesco Lotus have plenty of essentials like white goods, soft furnishings, gadgets and electricals. These are all chains and there’s sure to be one relatively near your new pad. For a little more choice design-wise, a trip to the gigantic IKEA in Bang Na or to the shiny Crystal Design Center in Bang Kapi might be worth it.

The flourishes

Now you’ve got the framework, you know the colour scheme, you’ve got the tools to hang pictures and measure spaces – it’s time to really personalise your new place. So think about the stylistic direction you want to go in.

Classic and local antiques

Built on the site of an old antique market, River City Mall, the glittering four-storey shopping centre overlooking the Chao Phraya river, pays homage to its predecessor. A haven for collectors and enthusiasts of southeast Asian objets d’art, here is where you can find beautiful ceramics, Thai Benjarong (painted porcelain), old maps, gold and silverware from all over the region. Golden Tortoise, in Sukhumvit Soi 49 is both art gallery and home decor heaven. The walls and corners are adorned with original carved wooden panels, sculptures, exquisite light boxes and paintings, all for sale. A selection of furniture is also sprinkled throughout; these statement pieces are sourced from around the world, from linen chests and steamer trunks to silk screens and sewing tables.

Chic and quirky pieces

To give your home a stylish, timeless or retro edge, head to Casa Pagoda. Full to bursting with elegant light fittings, gorgeous old leather upcycled chairs and vintage mason jars, this place also does a roaring trade in the weird and wonderful. Oversized magic eight balls, cut crystal alien paperweights and well-loved brass instruments are among the unique goodies you can get your hands on here. Meanwhile, if you prefer not to make any hurried decisions as you shop, Shades of Retro is a cosy little bar and restaurant packed to the rafters with wacky goodies, all of which are for sale.

Hidden treasures

However, for the perfect balance of unique, local, retro, unusual and reasonably priced, there is nowhere better than Bangkok’s markets. Specifically Chatuchak, Bangkok’s world famous, sprawling weekend market, packed with everything you can possibly conceive of, from food and pets to art, crafts and homeware, and Talad Rot Fai, a labyrinthine night market full of vintage goodies.

Top tips

In closing, here are a couple of things to remember as you go about making your house a home in Bangkok: Take your time, do some research, check out some home decor magazines, make friends with your neighbours and see what they’ve done with their places, to give you a nice broad spectrum of ideas. Remember, before you drill any holes or paint any walls, check with your landlord. Your contract might state that changes like that could lose you your deposit. Likewise, if you’re replacing anything that’s old or broken, discuss it with your landlord first; they may cover the cost. As seasoned expats, we’ve been there. If you have any questions or worries, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Sukhumvit Condos has a selection of furnished Bangkok condos for rent in the Sukhumvit area ideal for expats in the city.