1. Today is the day
Where are the best places in Beijing to shop for kitchen appliances, floor tiles, light fixtures, or all the materials for your DIY home improvement projects?
There are no Home Depots or William Sonoma in Beijing but don’t worry I got you covered! I had to learn everything on my own but I hope the things I learned along the way can help others with their kitchen renovation projects! The majority of my readers don’t live in Beijing but I hope my renovation project can give you motivation or ideas to improve your current kitchen!
I used my iPhone to communicate with my designer to discuss what to do with each area! Need to look for materials for #2, #3 and #4!
Did you know that Chinese urban consumers generally prefer to hire professionals for tasks like home renovation instead of handling it themselves like many Americans do? Well that meant more $$$ for the renovation, so instead, in order to save both time and money, my designer friend Linda and I went to buy most of the raw materials ourselves. Since we decided to custom make most of the kitchen furniture and cabinets, we literally went ALL around Beijing in search of the best value materials!
After literally driving from South 4th ring to North 4th ring road and 4 markets I became a kitchen material expert! but decisions, deicisions…!
And I finally found these beautiful wood looking tiles that matched the color of my current wood flooring from Marco Polo and Boloni at Easy Home! At first, I thought about using wood panels or PVC/ Pergo material my architect friend suggested but for the kitchen floor, I thought it was best to have waterproof tiles for easy clean up and maintenance.
My designer friend Linda, Sebastian and I found all the materials we needed! high-five!
oh look! -> We are Laowai (foreigner) and proud! 🙂
Below I complied a list of shopping places for you so that you can save some time if you decide to renovate your kitchen too! http://www.musichef.com/renovation-4-shopping-guide/
(百安居） – very well organized mega store from the UK that carries large selection of all your home-renovation needs plus kitchen equipments (fridge / oven). Best part? Guaranteed quality products with set price (which meant, I didn’t have to worry about getting ripped off because of my limited Chinese ☺) Think of Home Depot.
– yes, it’s that world famous blue and yellow Swedish furniture store where you can have Swedish meatballs with lingo berry sauce for less than $5. I usually stock up on elderberry syrup and frozen smoked salmons at the food mart here which are great for cocktail parties (elderflower martini yum!!) 🙂
Easy Home (居然之家)
One stop home shopping with enormous selections of tiles, wood flooring, light fixtures, furniture, large kitchen appliances both local and international brands like Boloni, Kohler, Euroidea (Oh my garlic! they carry limited edition SMEG fridge made with real denim jeans, costs $10,000 USD + are you kidding me? so not practical but oh so nice) , German Nobilia and various kitchen design stores. Some local brand shops allow haggling.
DIY – There are many JianCai markets （建材市场 － building materials) through out the city (Sihui being one of the bigger ones), where you can get some of the cheapest materials. Make sure to bring your local friend to haggle for you!
For Large Kitchen Appliances:
– trusted online electronic megastore that carries everything electronic like TV, ovens (Breville oven finally!), fridge. Only drawback is you can’t physically see and test the product before purchasing.
– Chinese version of Amazon where they carry almost EVERYTHING you can think of. Only buy from trusted sellers (I bought many of my kitchen appliances, bake wares and home decorations from here) someone please stop me from spending all my money here!
– There are many stores that carry kitchen appliances but I like this chain store (think of Best Buy) the most. With the exception of diplomatic compounds and newly built luxury apartments, most homes in China don’t have an oven nor a dryer but you can easily buy and get them installed these days.
As for smaller kitchen wares and gadgets you can get them from HEC
(Hotel Equipment Center), Taobao.com
(high-end /like Wiliams Sonoma). (I will write more about them in my future renovation post).
This is the fourth part of my Kitchen Renovation project series, if you’d like you can read my previous entries
Secret Project TK
, Breaking the Wall!
Inspirations and Designs
, and Final Design
After weeks and weeks of waiting for the contractor to finish his previous project and for the raw materials to be ready, the construction finally began just a few days ago. It’s a big mess in the apartment now! But within two weeks or so, the dream kitchen will be ready to welcome its first group of guests.
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