When my husband and I moved to Geneva, we brought only a small air shipment of belongings. That meant we needed to find housewares and some essential furnishings quickly. We didn’t want to spend thousands of francs, nor did we have time to explore all of the second hand shops in town. At first I thought IKEA was our only option, but after some investigating, I found a few more options at Swiss and French chain retailers. Here are some places worth checking out, all similar in style and price range, if you’re in a similar situation.
Conforama is a French chain store that sells furniture, home decor, and appliances (électroménager). Located in Meyrin near the airport and CERN, Conforama is a one-story store where you first walk through a display area of furniture, then electronics and appliances, then bedding and housewares (look for the “passage rapide” if you want to skip the furniture and go straight to housewares). Conforama is the smallest of the furniture stores described in this post; it has ample parking and is easily accessible by tram (see locations and links, below).
The world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, has two locations nearby: Vernier, near the airport, and Aubonne, near Nyon. The stores sell everything from ready-to-assemble furniture to teacups, rugs and textiles, food, gardening supplies, and light bulbs. The upper floor of the building is set up to guide you through every furniture item available, and the lower level has housewares, decor, and the warehouse where you locate the boxed furniture. There is ample parking at both locations; the Vernier store is accessible by bus or tram, and the Aubonne location is a short 20-minute train ride from Gare Cornavin (see locations and links, below).
Interio, which occupies two floors in the Blandonnet commercial center, is a Swiss furniture retailer. There’s no set layout or path at Interio, unlike IKEA and Conforama, and housewares are mixed in with furniture and decor. In addition to its own store brand, Interio sells name brand items (e.g., Kuhn Rikon kitchenware) and packaged food items. The store is located next to the tram line and there’s a large parking garage attached to the shopping center.
Micasa is part of the Migros chain of stores. There’s a Micasa store at the MParc-La Praille shopping center in Carouge, along with other Migros-owned stores like Do It+Garden and SportXX. Micasa is located on the second floor of the shopping complex. There’s a large display floor where you walk past living, dining, and bedroom furniture; toward the back of the store, you’ll find housewares, flooring and rugs, and home decor. My husband and I picked out a sofa there, ordered it without any problem from one of their English-speaking staff members, and arranged for home delivery easily. The MParc complex has a large parking lot and is accessible by bus.
If housewares are what you’re looking for (e.g., dishes, pillows, frames), you don’t have to trek all the way to one of the larger stores described above. I’ve found Manor and Globus department stores, Coop City, and larger Migros stores (MMM) carry housewares and decor at a range of price points and styles. Additionally, Aligro in Carouge is my go-to source for cookware like baking sheets and pans. This is one of the best times of year to shop, too. July and August are typically months when most stores have sales (soldes), and you can usually find great bargains.
Locations and Links
All of the following stores have locations throughout Switzerland; here are the ones closest to the Geneva city Center. Public transportation information is current as of July 2014, but may change in the future, so be sure to check TPG.ch or SBB.ch for the most current information.
- Conforama: Rue des Entreprises 14, 1217 Meyrin; tram #18, stop Bois-du-Lan
- IKEA Vernier: 156 Route de Vernier, 1214 Vernier; bus 6, 19, 23, 28, 57, or Y, stops Renfile or Croisette; or tram #14, stop Blandonnet
- IKEA Aubonne: Pré-Neuf, 1170 Aubonne; RegioExpress train to Allaman
- Interio: Route de Meyrin 171, 1214 Meyrin; tram #18, stop Blandonnet
- Micasa: Carouge – MParc La Praille, Avenue Vibert 32, 1227 Carouge; bus 11, 21, 22, 41, 42, 44, or 45, stop Tours-de-Carouge
- Aligro: François-Dussaud 15, 1227 Genève-les-Acacias; bus D or bus 4, stop François-Dussaud
- Coop City Geneva city center: Rue du Commerce 5, 1204 Genève; tram #12, stop Bel-Air-Cité
- Coop City Plainpalais: Rue de Carouge 12, 1205 Genève; tram #12, stop Plainpalais
- Coop City Meyrin: Avenue de Feuillaisse 24, 1217 Meyrin; tram #14, stop Forumeyrin
- Globus Geneva city center: Rue du Rhône 48, 1204 Genève; tram #12, stop Molard
- Globus Balexert: Avenue Louis-Casaï 27, 1211 Genève; tram #14, stop Balexert
- Manor Geneva city center: Rue Cornavin 6, 1201 Genève; tram #14 or #18, or bus 1, 3, 5, 10, or 19, stop Coutance
- Manor Vésenaz: Route de Thonon 40, 1222 Vesenaz; bus B, E or G, stop Vésenaz
- Manor Airport: Route de l’Aéroport 25, 1215 Genève-Aéroport; bus 5, 10, 23, 28, 57 or Y, stop Aéroport
- Migros MMM: Balexert shopping center, Avenue Louis-Casaï 27, 1211 Genève; tram #14, stop Balexert
Related: Check out our previous posts Furnishing Your Home in Geneva’s Second Hand Shops and Furnishing an Apartment on a Budget
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