If there’s one thing we missed the most during the pandemic, it’s crossing the border for a fun weekend in JB. With everything there – from goods to services – a third of the prices we usually see in Singapore, it’s no surprise that we haul back bags after bags of goodies every time we make a trip there.
To those who are thinking about taking advantage of the exchange rate and doing some furniture shopping with our neighbours, we’re here to introduce 8 of their finest stores and tips on how to transport your bulky purchases back home.
Fella Design – Quality sofas and fabrics
The Elsa sofa.
Image credit: Fella Design
A mere 12-minute drive from the Johor Causeway – during off-peak periods when traffic jams are nonexistent – Fella Design is perfect for the “quick in, quick out” type of shopper.
Fella Design is a popular Malaysian furniture chain specialising in sofas, though they do sell everything but the kitchen sink. You name it – bed frames, dining tables, sofas and shelves – it’s probably somewhere in their catalogue. They even have fabric customisation options in case you want something that fits your tastes down to a T.
The Freya 3-seater sofa and armchair from their new Japandi collection.
Image credit: Fella Design
Those who keep up with the latest ID trends will be interested in their new Japandi collection. Said collection features natural wood tables, modern minimalist sofas, and even entire dining sets. Prices start at a mere RM6,660 (~S$2,000).
Boo Furniture – Japandi wood furniture at a steal
Boo Furniture – of no relation to the Monsters Inc. character – is best known for combining traditional solid wood furniture with modern, trendy designs. Better yet, they are located near the Johor Causeway, just a short 16-minute drive on a regular traffic day.
The Odense dining set, from their BON collection.
Image credit: Boo Furniture
They provide furniture for almost every room in the house, from the bedroom to the kitchen to even the entryway and balcony.
Customisation options are available upon request, and they also work with businesses such as cafes and restaurants, so you know the furniture is sturdy and can withstand wear and tear. Besides, with prices topping out at around RM8,079 (~S$2,440), you’re getting quality and aesthetics at a steal.
Big Brain – Furniture seen in K-dramas
The multi-purpose cabinet from their New Retro collection.
Image credit: Big Brain
If you’ve ever wanted to live out your K-drama main character dreams through your furniture, then Big Brain is the right place. Just 36 minutes away from the Johor Causeway, Big Brain carries an extensive catalogue of Korean-inspired furniture that will bring the rooms of Crash Landing On You to life.
Macaron Family tissue boxes.
Image credit: Big Brain
Their most iconic items belong to the Macaron Family collection, which was featured in K-dramas such as Reply 1998 and Oh My Venus, as well as the Korean variety show I Live Alone. The Macaron tissue boxes are sold in Singapore for about S$60 each, but you can get the exact same items from Big Brain for S$40 at most. Talk about a bargain.
Arona Furniture – Free delivery to Singapore
Think of Arona Furniture as something like HipVan: a one-stop shop for affordable quality furniture that fits a variety of styles. Sofas, bed frames, coffee tables, dining sets, office chairs – the list goes on.
A dining set from their Designer Wood series.
Image credit: Arona Furniture
One thing that sets Arona apart from their competitors is their free delivery of products across the Causeway. They are located about a 31-minute drive from the Johor Causeway, which means it’s more than easy to pop down and check out their furniture for yourself before making a purchase.
Rossini Furniture – quality bed frames and mattresses
With everything from indoor to outdoor furniture, Rossini Furniture’s range makes it a popular place for furniture shopping with consumers on either side of the Causeway. They do, however, specialise in bedroom furniture such as bed frames and mattresses. Their bed frames range from classic pieces you’d find on the set of The Crown to more modern ones that would be right at home in K-dramas.
Image credit: Pinterest
A 23-minute drive from the Causeway, Rossini has a plethora of living room furniture on sale, as well as some for your dining room, office, and even your balcony. With 35 years in the industry and various successful furnishing projects, Rossini is an established, trusted name and you know you’re paying for quality.
Mikuang Furniture – One-stop furniture and interior design shop
Their SOLVEN wooden bed.
Image credit: Mikuang Furniture
Mikuang Furniture has been around since the 80s, and their stellar reputation has made them one of the most recognisable furniture brands in the region. A short 21-minute drive from the Johor Causeway, Mikuang offers one-stop interior design services in addition to furniture retail.
Mikuang’s furniture are beloved for their natural wood finishes, as well as the extra plush cushioning for their chairs and sofas. Their sofas, in particular, come in a wide range of designs, from MUJI-esque neutral pieces to the old-school leather ones you’d find in your parents’ house.
Their distinguished clientele includes the Johor royal family, so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. Oh, and before we forget, they provide free delivery to Singapore for purchases above RM2,000.
JCBespoke Teak Furniture – Teak furniture for every room
The Ai’var Solid Wood desk.
Image credit: JCBespoke
As their name suggests, JCBespoke Teak Furniture specialises in, well, teak furniture. Their tables, in particular, are made of the “finest luxury teak wood” – their words, not ours.
Teak wood is prized for its elegance and durability, so they typically don’t come cheap. Yet, JCBespoke’s teak furniture pieces don’t go over RM6,500 (S$1,964), making them at least a few hundred dollars cheaper than their Singaporean counterparts.
Aside from tables and study desks, JCBespoke also makes stools, bed frames and bookshelves, to name a few. Additionally, there’s the option of customisation for bed frames, storage, and dressers if you want that perfect fit. All these goods and services are available within a 24-minute drive from the Causeway.
IKEA Tebrau – Favourites at a cheaper price
The VIMLE 2-seater sofa.
Image credit: IKEA
As one of the most iconic minimalist and affordable furniture brands in the world, IKEA needs no introduction. IKEA Tebrau is the closest Malaysian branch to the Causeway, clocking in at just 24 minutes under normal traffic conditions.
Many have complained that the trip to Terbrau ultimately isn’t worth it due to the currency exchange fees and the taxes you’d have to pay at customs. Others, however, believe that the currency exchange advantage is worth it if you shop in bulk, so come prepared with a grocery list to get the most out of your cross-border shopping experience.
The HEKTAR 3-spot floor lamp.
Image credit: IKEA
So far, Singaporeans have distilled the 2 best value-for-more pieces. The first is the VIMLE 2-seater sofa, which goes for RM2,075 (~S$627) in Malaysia and S$769 in Singapore. The second is the HEKTAR 3-spot floor lamp, which retails at RM259 (S$78.25) in Malaysia and S$129 in Singapore.
How to transport your furniture back home
Now that you have your furniture, it’s time to move like an English footballer and “bring them home”. There is more than one way to do this, including but not limited to:
- Engaging a mover or rental vehicle. Yong Shen Movers and Shalom International Movers are some of the more reputable ones and are also useful for bulk purchases
- Opting for delivery. Be prepared to pay for extra costs, though
- Carry the pieces back home yourself. This only works for smaller pieces such as individual chairs, rugs, and bedding, though. Also, note that there’s an import fee of ~7% for items that have a total value of S$400 (~RM1,240) and above.
The best furniture shops in JB
Furniture can be bought almost anywhere, from specialised local shops to giant department stores. However, many still flock across the causeway in search of quality furniture with affordable prices. With that, we hope that this guide helps you with your home-decorating adventures, and happy shopping.
For more furnishing tips, check out:
- Pretty kitchenware to elevate your food shots
- MUJI’s rubberwood collection
- IKEA’s Varmblixt collection