Lots of furniture places call themselves a “furniture barn”—but in the case of Ervin’s, it is literally true.
We discovered Ervin’s in 2007, when he had a much smaller sign than this one... It was February, and we saw the small, modest sign by the road, and we decided to drive up the very long lane—past the fields, the farmhouse, and the herd of dairy cattle—and see what was at the end of it. We were not disappointed. Ervin and his six or seven sons have two barns full of beautiful pieces, and they also do custom work and millwork of every kind.
The barn is heated and lit in the old Amish way—and like many Amish businesses, it doesn’t take credit cards. The shop meanders through the old building on two floors, and there are all kinds of handmade hardwood items (mostly oak and cherry) like dining tables and chairs, bedroom sets, desks, TV stands, and bookcases—at prices much lower than we would find at home in suburban Chicago. A few years ago we got a dining room table with two leaves and six chairs (pictured) for well under $1,500. There were six or eight styles of chairs to choose from, so we sat on each one to decide which one was the most comfortable. The chair seats come in two sizes, one regular and one for, shall we say, larger customers.
After we purchased the dining room set, we went back for a china cabinet. All the china cabinets we had seen were too big for us—they seem to be mostly three-door cabinets these days. We wanted a two-door, but all of the two-doors we’d seen were corner cabinets. So I brought a photograph of my old, beaten-up two-door cabinet, and they made me a new one to match the dining room set. I even saw it when it was halfway done, in the staining barn down the road.
There are a number of furniture stores in Amish Indiana. If you are looking for a modern, well-designed showroom—or even one with electric lights and central heating—then Ervin’s is not the place for you. But if you are looking for beautiful items at reasonable prices, then stop by. Ervin will probably be there to greet you.