Funky fish chairs bring summer fun at Arter Home Furnishings

May 21, 2024 | Business | 0 comments

Rena Arter sits on one of the funky fish chairs that have been purchased by customers across Ottawa County. The chairs are low-maintenance, fold up for storage, and have wheels for easy transport. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


Some of the most fun and funky outdoor chairs spotted on the lakeshore in Ottawa County came from a family-owned store far inland. Arter Home Furnishings in Norwalk sells fish-shaped, Amish-made, low-maintenance, poly lumber chairs that are popular at homes and cottages across the county.

Summer is a little more fun when you’re watching a lake sunset while sitting on a fish.

Arter’s poly lumber outdoor furniture is available in several colors and many styles, each of which can also be purchased in stained or unstained, yellow pine treated lumber. The poly lumber furniture, which is made from recycled milk jugs, requires little care, making it a good fit for summer cottages.

“It’s super user-friendly,” said Rena Arter. “You don’t even need to cover it.”

The extensive showroom at Arter Home Furnishings includes furniture for every room, including couches like the one Rena Arter is sitting in here. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Rena owns Arter Home Furnishings with her parents, Doug and Kim Arter. When the family opened the store in 2001, they sold smaller Amish furniture pieces, but today, the shop sells a complete line of home furnishings for the entire house, including the dining room, living room, bedroom and office.

“Over 23 years of business, we’ve really grown and expanded our product offerings,” Rena said.

About 98% of Arter’s product line is American made, and almost everything, except the upholstered furniture, is Amish made.

“We work with 100 Amish builders across eight counties,” Rena said.

The hardwood furniture is available in classic honey oak and modern woods like cherry and maple in darker stains. The store carries three upholstered furniture brands. Hallagan Furniture out of upstate New York is the store’s top upholstered furniture line. Hallagan pieces are extensively customizable to fit various tastes and sizes.

The store’s hardwood furniture comes in a variety of woods and stains. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Every person’s build is different, so furniture size should be different,” Rena said. “Pretty much every aspect of Hallagan products can be customized.”

The Country View Furniture line out of Indiana primarily features reclining sofas. Country View pieces, too, can be customized.

“Country View Furniture has all the bells and whistles,” Rena said.

Ort Furniture out of Salem, Ohio, primarily features recliners. The Country View and Ort lines are built with Amish-made frames.

Arter also sells a line of home décor, including lamps, wall art and inspirational pieces.

Behind Rena Arter is an extensive selection of upholstery samples for customizing furniture. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Although the quality of Arter’s product lines attracts clients to the shop, the customer service encourages them to return again and again.

“We’re family-owned, and we’re proud of our customer service,” Rena said. “Pretty much every customer contact is a family contact.”

Arter offers blanket-wrapped delivery of furniture purchases.

“We want to make sure every home is taken care of like our own,” Rena said. “We’re a small company, and people value that.”

The personal connection between the Arters and their customers is unique in a world of big-box stores.

“It sets us apart from other, bigger companies,” Rena said. “Our clients become family.”

Arter Home Furnishings is located at 37 E. Main St. in Norwalk. For more information, call 419-663-3736 or visit

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June 2024

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