raden’s Furniture was founded by McKinley & Mildred Braden on May 1, 1956, in Knoxville, TN. From 1956 to 1992, Braden’s Wholesale Furniture Co Inc., functioned as a true Wholesale furniture distributor operating a designer showroom in downtown Knoxville and a traveling sales business in seven states selling smaller independent retail furniture stores. In 1982, the Braden family purchased Fowlers Bros. Furniture Co of Knoxville and in 1989 opened Knoxville’s largest furniture store at 110,000 square feet on North Peters Road. In 1985, upon returning from a trip to China and Taiwan, Gary Braden started Associated Furniture Importers (AFI) which brought in furniture parts and provided assembly and cartoning in Knoxville selling to retail dealers, including Sam’s Wholesale, around the southeast. In 1986 Braden’s started a bedding company. “America’s Best Bedding” also here in Knoxville, manufacturing mattresses and box springs selling wholesale to retail stores and showrooms. This business was sold in 1992 to a regional bedding competitor. Braden’s also sold Fowlers Furniture in 1992 to Rhodes Furniture Co. and subsequently opened the downtown location to the public for the first time. Carrying lines like Theodore Alexander, Henredon, Century, Drexel Heritage, Stickley and others, Braden’s sold at 40% off MSRP directly to the public. In 2004, the Braden’s saw the development of Turkey Creek and opened a Contemporary Store called Braden’s Lifestyles. This was a great growth period for our company until the two year I-40 road closure in 2007, which caused us to sell our downtown location.
In 2009, Braden’s Lifestyles was changed from its contemporary model to a blend of contemporary, traditional, casual and transitional. Braden’s also brought its huge patio and outdoor business, as well as its oriental rug department, to Turkey Creek.
Braden’s Lifestyles, voted again as Knoxville’s best furniture store, features Knoxville’s only Stickley gallery, America’s first solid wood and upholstery manufacturer; a Natuzzi gallery, fine Italian leather products; Ekrone’s stressless gallery from Norway, the most comfortable seat in the world; a Kingsdown, Aireloom, and Kluft mattress gallery, American Leather, and dozens more. Our newest addition is the HGTV exclusive furniture gallery.
At Braden’s, we strive to provide supreme quality products at affordable prices. We represent over 100 individual vendors, giving us the unique ability to find the exact style and price point our customers desire. The showroom changes daily, and we are consistently shopping area furniture markets to monitor trends and style bringing our customers everything from traditional, classic furniture styles to contemporary and modern brands.
We operate under a family name and care greatly for our reputation. That’s why we take customer service very seriously and stand behind our products. We’ve enjoyed many years of making Knoxville houses homes, and we look forward to many more years to come.
Gary Braden is the owner and president of Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture in Knoxville, TN. Gary is a 2nd generation and 36 year veteran of Braden’s Furniture that was started by his father, McKinley Braden in 1956. He took the helm of the business in 1977 and has been the past President of the National Wholesale Furniture Association and member of the Association of Furniture Distributors. Gary was a member of the University of Tennessee Football Team from 1973 to 1976. His affiliations include: Board Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and served as a Deacon at Sevier Heights Baptist Church.
Nick Braden is the Vice President of Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture and manager of Turkey Creek location. Nick graduated from Carson Newman University in 2002 where he was a three year team member of the football team. He is a member of Concord Baptist Church and is an avid sportsman that loves hunting and fishing.
Ray Wilson is the Assistant Manager of Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture and a 30 year veteran in the furniture business. Ray also handles customer service and the Patio & Rug Department. He is an avid sports fan that loves the University of Tennessee and Grace Christian Football Programs and attends 1st Baptist Church.
After completing his interior design major, David Storie began his career as a freelance designer under his own business name in 1998 in Pensacola, Florida. From there, he has gained professional experience through the furniture business in both corporate and privately-owned furniture and design companies. During his 16 year career, David has specialized in high-end design including: project management, space planning, color coordination, furniture selection, design concept, merchandising, presentations, window treatments and design reviews in interior and exterior designs. David has completed many residential and commercial design projects. David’s work has been recognized in local publications, as well as national publications. David also specializes in event planning, holiday decorating and design staging for commercial and residential sites. David now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee and is pursuing his professional design career at Braden’s Lifestyles.
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“With 20 years of experience, Knoxville native, Michelle Vittetoe, transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. She takes great pride in bringing her visual interpretations of your home to life creating comfortable spaces within your home that deliver your personal style. Function and budget are the cornerstones of Michelle’s design philosophy. With her extensive background in residential design, Michelle utilizes her creativity to design thoughtful, functional spaces you will truly love to call home.”
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In addition to Designer Anni Koch’s evident skills in interior design, she also brings to the Braden’s team a diverse background and experience in visual merchandising, apparel design, client renderings for private builds, floor and space planning with Auto CAD, involvement with the DIY show “Run my Renovation” and management in the interior design world! Although Anni spent the first portion of her professional career in Los Angeles, California, Anni and her family have called Knoxville home since 2001. Anni enjoys vegetable and flower gardening, cooking, design and admiring fabrics.
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Catherine Shaul Cummings grew up in Charleston, SC and graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts degree as a studio art major. With her keen eye for composition, color and design, she adds a unique element to the design team at Braden’s Lifestyles Furniture and has created lovely spaces for her clients. In her free time, Catherine paints both portraits and landscapes using oils or water colors. Catherine says that one of the contributing factors to her early love of art was her father’s great passion for original oil paintings, which he collected and displayed in her childhood home.
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Kevin Newton is a native of East Tennessee and is an Assistant Manager at Braden’s Lifestyles, where he has been a member of the sales team for 28 years! When he is not hiking in the Smokies, Kevin is helping people make their homes more comfortable with quality furnishings they can enjoy for years to come. Kevin enjoys his work with Braden’s and the opportunity it affords to make new friends.
Hope to see you soon!
Martha is a 37 year veteran of the furniture industry, and has extensive experience and furniture knowledge, which allows her to offer much assistance to her customers with their homes and furniture purchases. Martha enjoys establishing relationships with her clients and partnering with them to create the most beautiful home environments.
Roger has been working in furniture sales for over fifteen years. He’s an avid photographer and particularly enjoys landscape photography in the Great Smoky Mountains. “I always enjoy working with clients to help them find just the right furniture and look for their house and lifestyle.” With his keen artist’s eye for composition and color, Roger can help his clients develop the exact look they are striving to create.
Catherine grew up in Charleston, SC and graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts degree as a studio art manager. Catherine paints both portraits and landscapes using oils or water colors. She carries her love for beauty into her work in furniture sales. With an eye for color and detail, Catherine has created some beautiful rooms for her clients and welcomes the opportunity to assist you in creating your ideal home.
Our recent experience in furnishing our beach home in South Carolina at Braden’s can only be described as outstanding! Our customized order was handled with professionalism and expediency. Braden's personal ownership of managing the ordering and shipment process and the advice in selection the customized features of our purchase was invaluable. When a minor discrepancy in the factory manufacturing process was discovered upon delivery of one item at our distant home, Braden’s was quick to resolve the issue and provide a solution at no cost to us immediately. We have since purchased additional furnishings from Braden’s and continue to work with them in all of our home decorating projects. In all, we considered Braden’s a trusted retailer and will consistently shop at their firm for the foreseeable future. We find true value at Braden’s and would recommend them to anyone.
When my wife and I found the perfect downsize for our retirement home, we decided the home also required new furniture, rugs, artwork, shutters, lamps, draperies, etc. Braden’s Lifestyles made decorating easy and fun. Their designers are cordial, professional and experienced. They have amazing connections with vendors in the Knoxville area and helped us get the job done. Expect nothing but “the best” from Braden's. Our newly furnished home has gotten rave reviews from family and friends. We love it and would work with Braden's desiger, Cindy Hamby, again in a heartbeat.
I would like to take a moment to thank you so much for all your help on our projects! I know that our new cabin and the remodel of our 60 year old lodge would not be what they are today without your help, guidance and attention to detail. You were there every step of the way from design to delivery. You took our project and treated it like your own. For that I would just like to let you know how much my family appreciates you and the whole Braden family. Thank you so much!! I can’t wait until we start our next project!