I was stumbling around the internet a few weeks ago when I saw the website for Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights, OH. I didn’t realize at the time that the new WordPress site had just launched around mid-May. I only knew that it was so inviting and extremely well-designed, I kept scrolling up and down the page to look at the store images incorporated into the site.
And then I saw the staircase.
I contacted Lynn Quintrell, Appletree’s owner, to find out more about the store and the building. Although the store is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Quintrell only bought Appletree Books a year ago.
“We closed for three weeks to computerize the inventory and also do some remodeling and rearranging,” she says. “The store hadn’t hosted an event or book group in 25 years, so we opened it up. And the loft area was totally unused, so we added full-size stairs and tightened up the spindles.”
Once the stairs were in place, Quintrell had an idea. So she hired a faux painter and muralist to paint book spines on the risers leading up to the loft. “I picked out books that had sentimental ties, but then I chose some that were artsy as well,” she says.
The result is this beautiful imaginative staircase that leads to a functional space while maintaining the historical integrity of the building. You can see a glimpse of the staircase on their site, or here’s a larger image.