Helton’s Home Furnishings, Inc.
455 N. Jefferson Ave., Lebanon, 417-532-7888, heltonshomefurnishings.com
Open Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; by appointment
From the small parking lot, it’s hard to distinguish which door is the main entrance of Helton’s Home Furnishings. The long building is covered with signs that advertise the furniture lines and deals within the beige and tan walls. No matter which door you choose, don’t be surprised if you walk in and find multiple generations of the Helton family waiting to help you find the perfect item for your home.
The 30,000-square-foot store, which has seen three expansions, is chock full of inventory. A maze of plush chairs and sofas practically begging you to sit on them opens into a room of mattresses equally as inviting. Walk through a homey area of dining tables and hutches, past a tightly packed section of wooden TV consoles, and you’ll find brightly lit, perfectly made beds and other bedroom furniture. Modern, country and traditional styles blend together in each of the showrooms, and you’re never far from fabric swatches or a variety of finishes to customize your buy.
The regional furniture hub was opened in 1983 by Bob and Norma Helton. “Before we ever sold one stick of furniture, we were in the repair and upholstery business,” says Larry, referring to the repair shop his father started out of his garage in the ’60s.
Since its inception, Helton’s has been a family venture. Norma still helps out a few days a week, even though Larry, his older brother, Gary, and their wives, Beverly and Jonice, handle the day-to-day operations. Beverly credits the family’s long history with the store’s continuing success. “I think Larry and Gary’s knowledge of furniture has really been a really good guidepost for us because they really know how it’s put together,” she says. “They’ve done that. They grew up doing it.”
Likewise, both couples’ children have worked in the family business, and Gary and Jonice’s daughter, Amy, continues to work at the store as the only full-time employee.
The Stuff for Sale
Regardless of what room you want to furnish, there’s a good chance you can find what you need at Helton’s, which is known for its competitive pricing. One of the store’s first lines, La-Z-Boy, is still one of its best-selling, but because the store carries so many vendors, it’s hard to name them all, Beverly says. Other notable lines include Lebanon-based Justice Furniture & Bedding, Broyhill Furniture and most recently Magnolia Home. The Heltons plan to dedicate an area of the store’s bedding showroom to the popular line by HGTV’s Joanna Gaines. Beverly says even in the few months they have stocked Magnolia, it’s been extremely popular.
And though you might not think of Helton’s first for a mattress, they love helping customers find a bed that’s right for them. “We were told years ago by a sales manager at Tempur-Pedic that our store sold more adjustable bases per square foot than about anybody,” Beverly says. “Almost everyone in our family has one. We love them, and you can sell what you like.” Larry says today’s market has many high-end mattresses to choose from.
With boxed merchandise above the sales floor and a nearby warehouse, the store offers same-day delivery, which is free in the 417 and 573 area codes.
Customer satisfaction is always a goal of store owners, but the Helton family’s commitment feels more genuine than most. Whether you’re looking for a living room set, mattress or even patio furniture, Helton’s is worth the trip.
Our Favorite Finds
1. Giftcraft decorative bowl, $49 2. Justice Furniture & Bedding slipper chair, $399 3. IMAX large serving tray, $89 4. Ashley lamp, $79 5. Magnolia Home Carpe Diem chair in peacock, $699 6. Magnifying glass and letter opener, $69 each