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Norwalk-The Furniture Idea opens on Lovell Road

Norwalk — The Furniture Idea, a store noted for creating stylish, one-of-a-kind, upholstered furniture in an intimate, service oriented retail setting, opened Wednesday, Dec. 27, at its new location at 108 Lovell Road.

Owners Brenda and Alan Fox said the grand opening was a longtime coming, but worth the wait.

"We spent all of last year getting this store ready," Brenda said. "We have been very heartened by the reception that the people in town have given to us."

Originally from Baton Rouge, La., the Fox family has been involved in the furniture business for more than 31 years. "We were searching for another climate to possibly move to, and vacationed in Knoxville and loved it," Brenda said. "When the Norwalk franchise opportunity was made available, we decided to give it a try." The former Norwalk location was on Kingston Pike near West Town Mall, but due to road construction, the owners were forced to find a new site. The furniture warehouse in West Knoxville served as a temporary retail store while the Lovell Road building was under construction.

The largest custom upholstery store in North America, Norwalk originated in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1902. A family owned business, Norwalk has fourth-generation owners and employees. They currently have more than 90 franchises throughout the country and are planning to expand further.

The Lovell Road store has 7,000 square feet of floor space and employs nine designers. Brenda said the company has an extensive training program for all associates.

"We stay current in customer service, product knowledge, design and furniture trends," she said.

"We are not just trying to sell furniture, we truly want to customize our pieces to meet our customers’ wants and needs."

Norwalk has more than 1,000 samples of upholstery material. The material has a two-year warranty while the frame has a lifetime warranty.

"Over half of the upholstery materials tested by the company does not make it to our sample selection," Brenda said. "That's how strict our standards are."

Noting that customers often change their décor and need furniture pieces to reflect that change, Brenda said they are able to have their Norwalk piece reupholstered.

"When the furniture is reupholstered, the factory totally rebuilds it rather than just putting new material on," she said.

Norwalk has floor sample sales twice a year where customers can purchase ready-made upholstered furniture. They also sell wood furniture, tables, armoires, entertainment centers, headboards accessories and artwork directly from the showroom floor. "We are very well known for our unique accessories," Brenda said.

Adding that Norwalk designers would travel to customers’ homes to do a design analysis for them, Brenda said, "We talk extensively with our clients to see their vision for the room. … We will then come back to the store and pull ideas together so that they are able to picture the room before purchasing the furniture."

Norwalk — The Furniture Idea is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday.


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