American Furniture in Chile

General topics related to Living in Chile
Chicagoan
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Chicagoan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:43 pm

Thank you for the input admin, I value your knowledge. Would you say Chile is representative of most or all of South America (especially Peru & Argentina) regarding US furniture?

By the way, maybe I should have mentioned this in my first post, but one reason for my interest in Chile is that US upholstered furniture exports have risen dramatically from 2006 - 2008, from $364,000 to $1,024,000 respectively according to <Link removed by admin Min Posts for New User Rule>

Do you think that increase could be through sales at Ripley, or other dept stores? I get the impression that the only chance of selling US furniture in Chile would be through a dept store, would you say that's accurate?

jehturner
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by jehturner » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:05 pm

el puelche wrote:Juan the gasfitter can buy a German made monkey wrench for 60 luca or a chinese one for 28 luca...the german model will never break nor will the the "teeth' mush out. The chinese model will break and the the teeth will mush out in a short time but juan has a brother in law that is a welder and can, over the next year, weld up and otherwise repair, the wrench for a total sum of 30 luca <a total sum of 58 luca> and Juan will surmise that he has saved a total of 2 luca and easily 45 hours of travel, wait and down time>>>>>no problem, because time means nothing. In additon, the wrench will be used for a soemething else like the hand brake on a cartonero cart or axle blocks on a bicicleta de flete, a gate latch, a cool masher for the senora for puree de papas...
So true. Last time I called a gasfiter to mend a leaking sink, he spent several hours looking for a spare part to avoid replacing the whole U tube, slapped in an improvised part that didn't really fit and then smothered the whole thing in silicone. Of course it still leaked. After taking one look and realizing it was a hopeless case, I drove to the Sodimac, picked up an entire U tube assembly for something like 1200 pesos, took 10 minutes to install it and voila! All to save mil pesos.

And those cheapo tools are hopeless. Most of them don't work properly the day you buy them (eg. the adjustable spanner/wrench with so much play in the opening that it can't hold the nut). Half the time when you call a workman out, you spend more time watching him struggle with his tools and go off to get them repaired than it would take just to solve the problem yourself to a higher standard.

James.

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mlightheart
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by mlightheart » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:22 pm

jehturner wrote:
el puelche wrote:Juan the gasfitter can buy a German made monkey wrench for 60 luca or a chinese one for 28 luca...the german model will never break nor will the the "teeth' mush out. The chinese model will break and the the teeth will mush out in a short time but juan has a brother in law that is a welder and can, over the next year, weld up and otherwise repair, the wrench for a total sum of 30 luca <a total sum of 58 luca> and Juan will surmise that he has saved a total of 2 luca and easily 45 hours of travel, wait and down time>>>>>no problem, because time means nothing. In additon, the wrench will be used for a soemething else like the hand brake on a cartonero cart or axle blocks on a bicicleta de flete, a gate latch, a cool masher for the senora for puree de papas...
So true. Last time I called a gasfiter to mend a leaking sink, he spent several hours looking for a spare part to avoid replacing the whole U tube, slapped in an improvised part that didn't really fit and then smothered the whole thing in silicone. Of course it still leaked. After taking one look and realizing it was a hopeless case, I drove to the Sodimac, picked up an entire U tube assembly for something like 1200 pesos, took 10 minutes to install it and voila! All to save mil pesos.

And those cheapo tools are hopeless. Most of them don't work properly the day you buy them (eg. the adjustable spanner/wrench with so much play in the opening that it can't hold the nut). Half the time when you call a workman out, you spend more time watching him struggle with his tools and go off to get them repaired than it would take just to solve the problem yourself to a higher standard.

James.
In a similar vein, it reminds me of the gas guys who come to exchange the gas tanks. The nut on both of the gas line connectors to both of the tanks were almost rounded. They don't use a wrench that will fit the nut, they used a monkey wrench which will strip the nut over time. Which it did. I had to replace the lines, but I got the braided steel line with the connector that you can tighten by hand. You just have to make sure you don't over tighten them because the plastic fitting over the nut will crack.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by admin » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:40 pm

The basic problem is that there is a mountain of U.S. furniture factories operating in Latin America already. They might very well buy U.S. furniture companies, but most of it is made in Latin America. Mexico and Guatemala are the two big ones that come to mind, and most countries have some sort of free trade agreement in Latin America. I am sure Argentina and Brazil have fairly robust domestic production also.

That said, most of those countries have a much larger market than Chile.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by nwdiver » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:20 pm

OK this thread is about American Furniture but I’ll add to the kitchen issue.

I am in the final design work on a house for the coast, the kitchen has been a problem, my house in town has an American kitchen (??????) meaning small eat-in space and a dish washer (as far as I can tell that makes it American ), it is also the domain of the nannies not me (it has their rooms off the laundry area off the kitchen, (normal Chilean set up), I feel odd in my own kitchen and I love to cook, so I have a full kitchen strip off the patio outside (under cover, yes it has a grill area to make it look like a summer kitchen) where I can entertain and really cook. Back to the coast house, if I integrate the kitchen into the living space it will not be saleable down the road, so I’m closing it off but opening it to the outside patio space at the end of the house, it will have a spectacular ocean view, this has been an issue with the Architects they say nannies don’t need this quality of space or the quality of appliances I’m putting in, I have told them 4-5 times its for ME, they don’t get it. The hidden kitchen is to keep the help (horrible word) out of sight, look at 80m apartments with the kitchen galley style tucked in somewhere, this is because your nanny may be doing much of the cooking and you don’t want to see it.
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otravers
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by otravers » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:57 pm

The entirely out-of-sight closed kitchen is a bit old school and you're starting to see Chileans with kitchens a bit more open and accessible from the living room. We'll have a large opening in the wall ourselves so the kitchen is still its own room but people can talk to each other while having drinks or snacks.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Gloria » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:07 pm

STORKLADY53 wrote:Wonderful Gloria, just wonderful. Maybe you and the Mister can start a biz and make those items for some of us? Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, I appreciated. Why not, there are always possibilities.We also have in mind to do colonial country type of furniture and Adirondack chairs for those that enjoy the relaxed comfort.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Gloria » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:12 pm

admin wrote:Gloria very nice house. I like that kind of classic look with those hints of rustic around.
Thanks, still work in progress and a little more to be done.Overall, it's a comfortable home for the two of us.We are trying to make OURSELVES happy and not one else.So far, we have accomplished our purpose.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by j. Ro » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:27 pm

I have been working on this kitchen problem for our coastal house for a couple weeks now. I even thought about putting in a Spice Kitchen but then realized that we don’t have “help”, and most likely will never have “help” at this house because it is a vacation house.

I want a decent sized kitchen with a 3 panel sliding door that goes out to the deck/barbeque area but my in-laws keep telling me it is too big (we have already given them permission to use it when it’s done and we aren’t there) but maybe since I am footing the bill for everything and we aren’t worried about resale (this is going to be the family retreat for the foreseeable future) I should just do what I want.

But I am just curious if anyone has come across walk-in pantries in Chile? I know a lot of Chileans don’t stock a lot of food and kind of go week-to-week/day-to-day as far as obtaining food goes. And buying non-perishables (pasta, flour, canned goods, etc…) is unheard of to most.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by admin » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:25 pm

My other idea for solving the "kitchen problem" when building is to design it in such a way, that when and if it becomes time to sell to a Chilean, have a system where it is fairly quick and cheap to say insert another wall. Essentially design it with the possibility of walling it off.

Another design trick, that Chileans most likely will not be too opposed to and is fairly common in larger older colonial houses in Chile, is a breakfast / informal dinning area as a buffer to the kitchen. These are normally supplemented however with a full formal dinning area.

In the Chilean kitchen thing you also need to make a distinction between what is an old style / old money traditional colonial Chilean style kitchen, and what are attempts to imitate that tradition in a modern say Chilean apartment or house design. They often do not work, as evident by rooms for maids that are the size of postage stamp, crammed in apartments that are not much bigger. Even newer low end houses will often have these half attempts built in to them at the lowest end of the market. They are often very much "new rich" features thrown in to drive up sale prices, for people that often never had and sometimes never will have a live in house keeper, but are rarely functional beyond serving the function of selling the house and apartment.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Gloria » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:58 pm

j. Ro wrote:But I am just curious if anyone has come across walk-in pantries in Chile? I know a lot of Chileans don’t stock a lot of food and kind of go week-to-week/day-to-day as far as obtaining food goes. And buying non-perishables (pasta, flour, canned goods, etc…) is unheard of to most.
My father used to have one kept under lock or the maid would help herself.Back then, when chileans used to be more civilized and family oriented, I knew of several families in my neighbordhood had them.Things in general and priorities have changed drastically since then and now a days it is even more difficult to find a kitchen where 2 people are able to cook together at the same time even less a pantry.They are more concerned about the latest cellular phone than stocking food.Oh boy! where those times have gone and what has happened while I was gone! :cry: Anyway, we have one large enough to stock dry groceries for a couple of weeks if necessary....and.....a walk in closet....unheard of in most chileans homes.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by otravers » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:04 pm

My bet is that taste will evolve and people will be more demanding and less staid in their expectations about their home, at least in the upper slice of the market. You do see kitchen islands and walk-in closets in some houses, and I think more people who have the money for it will come to appreciate their utility in the future. I've seen how some of these things have played in Europe, there's a cycle where some of these ideas start somewhere (often the US) then spread elsewhere over a decade or two.

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