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Boutique furniture store Decosy, on St 19, is one-stop shop for home furnishings, offering everything from coffee mugs to baby cots and kitchen tables.
Boutique furniture store Decosy, on St 19, is one-stop shop for home furnishings, offering everything from coffee mugs to baby cots and kitchen tables. CHRIS TAYLOR

Boutique furnishing for the perfect home

Decosy, a 240-square-metre space on St 19, caters basically to every interior-design home need imaginable – from mugs and other tableware to polished acacia dining tables and even cots for babies.

“We’ve got a special product line for infants – toddler -height tables and desks, as well as the cots – and we’re one of the only people in town who are doing it,” says Nathalie Lèbre, manager, Decosy.

French-born Lèbre has been in Phnom Penh-based for 12 years now, and is best known as the woman behind Coleurs d’Asie, a handicrafts and textile home-products store that now runs under new management close by on St 240.

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“It was time for a change,” says Lèbre, who took up management of Decosy a little over a month ago after taking a year off.

If an item is not in stock, Lèbre says it can be ordered, but she warns that containers of the home products, which are all designed and made in Vietnam, generally only arrive every six to eight weeks.

Decosy was founded in 2000 in Ho Chi Minh City by Frenchman Nicolas Malric, who had been manufacturing wooden and iron furniture for export for some seven years. The Phnom Penh branch opened 10 years later in 2010, and is one of the few truly boutique – yet affordable – furniture outlets in the city.

“In the beginning our clientele was mostly ex-pats, and some Cambodians who had returned from overseas and whose tastes had been influenced by their lives there,” says Lèbre. Today that is changing. “We’re seeing more and more local people coming to the store to decorate their homes,” she says.

Business has largely been driven by word of mouth, according to Lèbre, who adds that sales encompass not only home décor but also offices and, in some cases, restaurants and hotels.

The tastefully designed wooden tables, desks and beds are made of acacia, which as Lèbre points out, might not be as well known as, say, teak, but is a fast-growing hardwood, making it not only a sustainable wooden furniture option but also perfect for a wide variety of climates.

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“Acacia is an eco-friendly wood,” says Lèbre. Trees that are cut down to make furniture grow back much faster than most of the better known, and more expensive varieties used in the furniture business.

“Unlike a lot of other woods, you can export any of our acacia furniture products to, for example, a damp, cold climate, and it won’t affect the wood in anyway,” she says. “It doesn’t crack or change shape.”

Even if you’re not in the market for a stylish kitchen table or a cupboard, Decosy, which is next door to Open Wine on St 19, is worth a visit for its wide collection of inexpensive coffee mugs and other tableware.

#291, St 19, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 219 253.

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