Before we get into the post, let me tell you something straight. The only way you will strike gold while on a budget is if you give it the time and the effort. If someone wants stuff at great prices but can’t spend the time and put in effort, I am sorry they have what the modern-day people call delulu. This post is not for them.
Moving forward! Things to keep in mind while shopping on a budget:
- Don’t go on an empty stomach. Bad decisions are made while hungry, I am telling you out of experience.
2. Hydrate well, and carry water. A lot of these places are within the main CBD area and may not have food and beverage options very close by. Be prepared.
3. Wear a mask if you are dust allergic. Many places are market areas and heavily crowded with people and vehicles. And sometimes, stuff is covered in dust too. It’s that kind of adventure we are going into.
4, Don’t be in a rush. If you don’t have the time to scan in patience without having to look at the time, chances are you won’t spot the good stuff. The trick to finding good pieces is to have a full belly and have a good time at hand.
5. Don’t write off as not good in one visit. You must know that just like you, hundreds of people are hunting for budget things and they will buy what they think is great as soon as they see it. So don’t write it off as “noting is available here” just because you didn’t find something on the first visit. Keep looking and you will strike gold sooner or later. I will publish a post on what I found in all these places soon and tag it here, so keep faith.
6. Have money to spend. If you find something great for a great price, buy it immediately. It won’t stay until you come back next.
1. Bamboo Bazaar – Old Furniture
Bamboo bazaar is a street that starts with bamboo shops and turns onto an old furniture market. The best way to explore the place is by foot. Don’t be afraid to get into the side lanes and shops. People are friendly and in case you don’t find anyone in a particular store, ask the next-door guy and they will call or find help for you. You can find anything from small furniture to large heavily carved doors and door frames.
P.s. A lot of architects, design studios, and antique store owners frequent this place and pick up things for their projects. Sometimes, they buy things they see potential in and have them in their inventory so they can use them when they need them. So if you find something amazing, negotiate and buy, do not wait for the next time. It will be gone!
2. Ramchandrapura – furnishing, rugs
Ramchandrapura or Srirampura fabric market is about a kilometer from the Srirampura metro station. It’s a huge market with streets full of clothing and fabric-related ware. You can find export surplus and rejects all in one place, and some places offer things on weight.
Again, having time is key. People spend an entire morning here scanning stores and buying things for themselves and their homes. There is no proper parking so use public transport or cab service to get here.
Inspect everything thoroughly before buying. Sometimes you strike gold like never before. (I found a 100% linen fitted sheet that fits my queen mattress perfectly for 400/-) You don’t get a 100% linen sheet for less than 5 times that price outside.
Insider tip: If you are looking for sofa upholstery fabric, check Tiptop Enterprises (on Google Maps) and if you want rugs, look up Lotus Home Decor. Thank me later.
3. Safina Plaza – curtains, bedsheets, rugs
Block-printed curtains, solid curtains, Fab India knockoffs in Chanderi silk, they have everything. Go on to the first floor of Safina Plaza for all things curtain. You may also find an occasional rug place that will sell rugs at great prices. There are a few Jaipur quilts and furnishing stores too. Inspect everything thoroughly before buying. Some people are open to negotiating, so if the price doesn’t seem right, negotiate.
Safina Plaza also has special craft mela-like things happening on their main mezzanine floor, you can check them out too. There are also some fast food places within the complex if you want to take your time and spend the day shopping.
4. BVK Iyengar road – Lights, Brass figurines
BVK Iyengar Road is a long stretch that starts as electrical and light shops and moves into stores selling brass artifacts.
Talking about lights, you can get pretty much anything here, from decorative wall scones to fancy chandeliers. If you’ve looked up the prices beforehand, you will see that the prices are quite reasonable compared to online or other city showrooms. Again there are bylanes that you can explore and some of the stores will give you a discount if you are buying a lot of the lights from them. This place is also best explored on foot.
As to walk further down, the light stores slowly change into brassware shops. You will see large prabhavalis, temple dhols and lamps hanging. Some of these stores sell by per-piece value and some of them sell on weight. You can also bring your old brass things that you want to sell away and buy something new. Almost all of the stores here sell new brass and not antique. Some may have antique finishes, which are new, made to look old.
5. KR Market – Fresh flowers
If you follow me on YouTube, you will have seen the video on KR Market. If not, watch it now.
6. Kamraj Road – Imported crockery
Kamraj Road is the road through which you get into Commercial Street. If you don’t take a left on Commercial Street and continue straight while being on the right side of the road, you will see some buildings having large basements filled with crockery shops. Arihanth Plaza is one such place. You can get imported crockery and ceramic ware at great prices.
I have a set of ceramic bowls I probably bought 20 years ago, I still love them and use them. If you are a food stylist, you will love these places. Cake stands, bowls, and all the fancy stuff that you don’t usually see in regular stores, you can find them here. Also, it’s close to Commercial Street so you can cover it on the same day you plan to visit Commercial Street.
7. Shivajinagar – Cane furniture and products
A little ahead of Shivajinagar bus stand is a line of stores selling cane furniture and products. You can find pendant lamps, baskets, cane furniture, etc. It’s a very heavily crowded area both on weekdays and weekends, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. I have found large pendant lights for a project which was under a thousand bucks (in 2018, don’t think the pricing is very crazy now)
8. Dispensary Road – Furniture Hardware
You’ve heard that the best way to upgrade your furniture without changing it is to change the hardware. Where do you get the hardware? Dispensary Road is the road parallel to Commercial Street, the road you get onto to get back to the Commercial Street signal. There are a lot of stores where you can find furniture hardware, kitchen baskets(Stainless steel ones), and home improvement things like chicken wire, acrylic sheets, etc.
There is also a Khadi Bhandaar on DIspensary Road with an insane amount of Indian ethnic fabrics. Ikats and Ajrak and cottons. You must check it out to know what I am talking about.
9. Raja Market – Craft and DIY supplies
Raja Market is another crazy crowded place where you get all sorts of craft and DIY supplies. If you are like me, it does not make economic sense for you to buy craft supplies in a craft store or Amazon, and if you like to put yourself through some torture, you will love this place. Beads, laces, paper, cutters, you just name it, they have it. Also, needs to be explored on foot. No parking is available, nearest metro station is KR Market.
10. Commercial Street – Furnishing, Vintage and handicrafts
We’ve spoken so much about what is around Commercial Street, so what is this Commercial Street? It’s one of the oldest shopping destinations in Bangalore. The street is mostly filled with clothing and accessories stores, but there are some gems hidden within. There is the Asiatic Arts and Crafts which has a mix of old and new artefacts. Metal, wood, glass, you name it. I get my pumpkin lights from here. If you are dust allergic, wear a mask. Also, the store is like a galley with stuff up to 8 feet on both sides, so watch your step and keep your eyes open.
On a recent trip, I discovered Linen Studio which had a large collection of textured pillow covers, Loved every bit of it.
So here are 10 places to shop on a budget for home decor in Bangalore. Have I missed anything?
I have a list of places in other cities as well, not as detailed as this, but will publish that soon.