Moving to a country with a language entirely different from your own can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you settle in a place that is not the capital of the country. It’s hard to find people who are comfortable to speak English, shops that sell products with English labels, and websites that are not that optimized for international shoppers.
This was the case when I moved to Bitola, Macedonia in 2018. It was difficult to navigate my way around because almost everything is written in Macedonian. And many shops don’t even have their own website.
That’s why in this post, I’ll explain how to equip a house in Macedonia. I’ll be sharing my experience of how we renovated our house in Bitola, and some special words they use when renovating or building a house in Macedonia.
I’ll also be listing down some of the most known tiles and sanitary equipment shops in Macedonia, furniture shops in Macedonia, as well as lighting shops in Macedonia.
What is a Majstor?
In Macedonia, people who specialize in constructions and renovations a Majstor (pronounced as “ma-es-tor”). They are professional contractors who help out with the renovation process and would usually have a team of workers to help them carry it out. For example, if you need to install a heating system in the house, you would need to call a Majstor for it. You would also need to hire a different Majstor if you want your bathroom tiles to be installed properly.
In other words, a Majstor is like a handyman. A handyman who specializes in a specific field. Plumbers are called Majstors. Electricians are called Majstors. Tile installers are called Majstors. Painters are called Majstors. You get the point.
Luckily, my father-in-law is a jack-of-all-trades type of “Majstor.” He knows a lot about electric installation. He knows some things about flooring and tiling systems. He knows some things about wood work as well. So although he is not a “Majstor” by profession, we’re very lucky to have him help us out.
List of shops to equip a new house in Macedonia
When renovating a house in Macedonia, you have two choices. The first choice is to hire a private company who can help you pull off what you want. The second one is to do it yourself. The latter option means that you have to find your own materials, and requires you to find different Majstors who can help you with the various things you need to do to renovate your house.
A lot of shops and stores in Macedonia don’t have a website and aren’t registered in Google My Business. So below, I’ve listed down some of the biggest tiles and sanitary equipment shops in Macedonia.
Tiles and Sanitary Equipment Shops in Macedonia
The first Majstor you need to find are the ones that can help you with installing your floors and tiles. Then, you’ll need to find ones who can help you with the Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning (HVAC) system. After that, you’ll need to look for Majstors who can fix the electrical system, and finally, the plumbing system.
After finding the right Majstors who can help you, you can start to look for flooring and tile shops.
1. Sate (Шате)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bal-Banja/288724857919649
Products: Tiles and sanitary equipment.
Branches: Bitola only
Other Notes: This place is where we got our toilet seat.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Vivarta-141568585891648/
Branches: Skopje and Bitola
Products: Sanitary equipment.
Other notes: This is where we got our shower cabin.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/enmonmacedonia/
Branches: Bitola, Skopje, Veles
Products: Tiles, sanitary equipment.
Other notes: Enmon has some branches throughout Macedonia.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/agnesabitola
Branches: Bitola only
Products: Sanitary equipment, Garden, Kitchen, and lighting elements.
Other notes: They offer a variety of home products. This is where we got our bathroom sink.
We don’t remember the name of the shop where we got the wooden flooring of our house. The shop didn’t have a specific name as it is very local.
One of the shops worth visiting is called Nabizi shopping mall located in Struga. I loved many of the tiles displayed here, but since we wanted to go around more cities and broaden our options, we didn’t get anything from this shop. However, I would strongly encourage anyone to visit the place.
Our Final Choices
We based our final decision on price, quality, and location, and ended up getting a good deal at Euroka Ceramics, a tiles shop based in Kichevo. This is a massive shop with a lot of selections for bathroom tiles and other elements.
7. Kaza Design
After the flooring and tiles got installed, we decided to have other elements of the house customized, and went to Kaza Designs (Каза Дизајн) in Bitola to get it done. We went there several times to give them an idea of what we want, showed them pictures, and helped us personalize the following items in our home:
The kitchen cabinets all have a matte finish and we really love how it creates such a clean and minimalist vibe to our cooking space. Matte is a bit more difficult to clean compared to glossy, but any stains can be easily removed by any dishwashing liquid.
We also used particleboards and installed laminate countertops for the kitchen which is such a great alternative to real wood because it’s easy to clean for any cooking or baking work.
The kitchen cabinets, fixtures, bar table, cabinets in the dining area from Kaza Design cost us around 4,000EUR. I think that is a good deal because all the finished products were really high quality. And the kitchen cabinet fixtures from Kaza have touch-latch mechanisms installed.
We encountered minimal problems with Kaza. They did everything well except they left minor damages to our wooden floor, and some scratches on our wall. The service was okay, but the quality of everything we ordered was spot on.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChavleFurniture/
Branches: Kumanovo, Ohrid, Prilep, Serbia, Skopje
Products: Set & customized furniture & fixtures
Other notes: Although Chavle is a manufacturing company and deals mainly with b2b, we managed to visit their facility in Prilep and check out some furniture there. We bought our dining table and chairs from them. They also agreed to make a mini version of our dining table – which became a great match for our coffee table.
Both the customized coffee table and the dining table are all glossy and the base is made from European beech wood. Both cost us around 1,000EUR. And similar to Kaza, we were very satisfied with the quality of the items. The only thing is that, they delivered the final products slightly late from the agreed schedule. Other than that, the products were really well done.
Furniture and Lighting Shops in Macedonia
Next stop, furniture and lighting. Shops in Bitola are limited, so we drove to Skopje and checked out these shops:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lesninami/
Branches: Two shops in Skopje
Products: Furniture and office chairs
Other notes: The style of their furniture are plain, simple, and common.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jugoeksport/
Other Notes: This is one of the oldest and biggest furniture shops in Macedonia. As the name implies, it’s most likely built at the time of Yugoslavia. You can find a lot of selection here, so it’s worth visiting.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kristinadamilmebel/
Branches: three shops in Skopje
Other Notes: Poor service. We had a bad experience with this shop. We ordered a mattress in this shop, but it arrived one month late. We kept calling to follow-up to ask why it’s delayed. They staffs weren’t apologetic for the delay. They also did not offer any alternatives that can pacify an angry customer. The selections in this shop are vast though, so you may want to give it a go.
19. Natuzzi Italia
Other: I recommend Zines – they offer good quality home furniture, and the service is good. They don’t have a website which makes it difficult to verify if they’re legit or not. Their shop is hidden inside a building, and they have a lot of great selections. They delivered our couch three days late and the owner offered a discount for this hiccup. In general, we were satisfied with their service.
Products: Home Lighting
Other: The lady who runs the shop is quite friendly and provides great service. They have a very big selection of lights that are quite modern and stylish. I think they import most from Germany and Poland. I recommend this shop.
Products: Furniture, Lighting, Decor
Other: You can find Jysk inside City Mall. I don’t recommend Jysk simply because they’re very overpriced. Yes, redundant – very and over. My husband and I saw some of our furniture being sold here, and their markup price is twice as much the price we bought it in a local shop in Bitola. We’ve also heard time and again from various relatives and friends that Jysk doesn’t have great quality. But hey, if you are willing to compromise quality with modern style, go for it. They have great selections in the shop.
23. Maximo Lighting
Furniture Shops in Prilep, Macedonia
We also visited other shops in Prilep but didn’t purchase anything because the style and designs were not how we envisioned it for our home. But you may want to check them out as well:
Products: Furniture, Sanitary Equipment and Fixtures
Other information: https://zk.mk/gracija-ekskluziv
Branches: Ohrid, Prilep, Skopje
Other information: They mostly sell chairs, furniture for the yard or balcony.
Branches: Bitola, Prilep, and Skopje
Products: Rugs and carpets
Other notes: This is where we bought our carpets. This shop has a branch in both Prilep and Bitola. The one located in Prilep is bigger and has more selections than the one in Bitola. Their items are by far the most modern I’ve seen relative to the other home shops we visited. So I would recommend visiting this shop when you start scouting for carpets.
Where to Find More Furniture Shops in Macedonia
If my list is not enough for you, you may want to check out the country’s online directory called Zlatna Kniga (Златна Книга ) – their web version of the Yellow Pages, where you can usually find the phone number, the location, and the email address of businesses in the country.