photography by CARRIE ALLEN
We all know the lake inspires us in so many ways — from relaxing and rejuvenating, to entertaining friends and family with our favorite sunset views.
For Erin and Mike Clark and their four sons (now ages 25, 23, 21, and 19), moving to Lake Norman from Boston 19 years ago meant incredibly better weather, and a daily lifestyle that centered around the water. Life was good — but there was so much more to come!
“I was on a girls’ trip in Santa Barbara two years ago, and happened upon a beautiful store that sold outdoor furniture, pottery, and garden décor,” explains Erin. “It was so pretty, and being there made me want to just sit and soak up the energy.”
Although she’s loved her work as a mental health therapist for the past 15 years, she and Mike, an enterprise software sales rep, were looking for a new, more creative challenge. After sharing her memory of that inviting outdoor furniture store, the two began researching from a business standpoint, and discovered outdoor furniture is the fastest growing segment of the furniture industry. With an avid love of outdoor living and nearly year-round outdoor activities showing no signs of slowing down, they knew they’d found a natural fit.
The Garden Room — located in a two-story historic building — opened in downtown Mooresville on June 4, 2023. It’s a totally family run business, so a visit means you’ll definitely meet Erin or Mike!
“We felt it was a niche we could fill, and that people prefer to touch and sit on the outdoor furniture they invest in for their home,” says Erin. Following Covid, there was a dramatic surge in focusing on our homes, and especially the spaces we enjoy outdoors. For anyone fortunate enough to live on the water, taking advantage of the natural beauty of the lake for dining and relaxing, was simply a given. Even smaller homes or apartments can benefit from “dressing up” whatever outdoor area you have!
“We feel incredibly fortunate to be in the heart of downtown!” adds Erin. “After securing our store front, we realized how lucky we are to be part of the revitalization and growth that is happening in downtown Mooresville. There is such a sense of community and support among business owners.”
With high tin ceilings, large bright windows, and original wood floors, the space is perfect to showcase inventory that includes unique outdoor furnishings, and a variety of plants, garden décor, and outdoor-themed items. If you’re not necessarily looking for an all-new setting, you’ll still find something fun to add to your existing outdoor décor. The store also carries shade products, fountains, bird baths, candles, lanterns, pillows, and wreaths, all under one roof. Of course, with glorious cooler weather upon us, The Garden Room also offers gas fire tables!
“Fall is the perfect time of year for gathering around a fire and chatting with family and friends,” says Erin. “There’s no smoke or smell, and getting them started is as simple as the click of a button!”
If you’re new to outdoor living, Erin and Mike can guide you in selecting high-quality products that look attractive, but that are also durable and low-maintenance. Current favorite options among customers include powder coated aluminum furniture which is rust-proof, lightweight, and comes in a variety of styles from traditional to contemporary. All-weather wicker is also made of a high-density material that’s stronger, fade-resistant and rot-resistant.
“Cast stone and all-weather rope is a hot new trend, and we can’t forget the classic teak outdoor furniture that’s been a favorite for centuries,” adds Erin. “As for what sets us apart, Mike and I believe the quality, value, and selection of the furniture we offer distinguishes us from other retailers in the community. From one-on-one consultations and in-home visits, to white glove delivery, we pride ourselves on a high level of service!”
Visiting The Garden Room is sure to inspire you to create or enhance your own outdoor oasis, and savor the beautiful surroundings of Lake Norman. The store is located at 162 N. Main Street in Mooresville, NC, 704-213-9279. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday and Monday by appointment. They will be offering extended store hours as the holidays approach. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment, take a look at their current product galleries at thegardenroomlkn.com, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @thegardenroomlkn.