PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston September 2023

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among the books on a shelf. Look closely, and you'll find a tiny replica of the still- missing Rembrandt stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Fetter is on the museum's board) and wainscoting covered in red Sister Parish wallpaper. On another floor, the Aesthetics Room has a tented ceiling in Sister Parish's Serendipity fabric and shelves painted in Farrow & Ball's Rectory Red. "This is where I have fun curating our extensive collection of books on architecture, interior design, landscape design, fashion, and art," Fetter says. Design is enthusiastically celebrated here — in June, the bookstore hosted a design week with architects, designers, and authors invited to speak. An intimate cafe, which opens onto a private garden, is run by local restaurateur and chef Colleen Suhanosky and serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. "Once a month we offer a family dinner inspired by a cookbook or region of the world," Fetter says. It's not often that a bookstore can be described as a hot ticket, but Beacon Hill Books & Café is nothing short of a celebrity in the neighborhood. Within weeks of opening, entry lines started to form, many having watched for years as the building slowly transformed. "We still have lines on a busy weekend," Fetter says. "Soon after we opened, a video of the store posted on TikTok went viral, and suddenly we became a social media sensation." The bookstore's popularity continues to grow. As of mid- July, they've sold more than 76,000 books, which Fetter attributes to a "diverse and original" selection of titles she and her team have pulled together. "We have tapped into a desire for a welcoming, charming space that presents books in an alluring way," Fetter says, "and we've heard the store described as a place that feels like a big, warm hug." Beacon Hill Books & Cafe, 71 Charles St., Boston, townhouse. "For the bookstore, we were inspired by the rich history of the townhouses scattered throughout Beacon Hill," Kincaid says. "We wanted it to reflect the sense of tradition and history at play in Boston while giving it a fresh spin." Bookshelves are lacquered in Farrow & Ball Light Blue paint, and armchairs and banquettes are tucked into cozy reading nooks and upholstered in custom-colored fabrics by Sister Parish, one of New England's most classic design houses. The breezy, striped cotton rugs are by Connecticut-based Elizabeth Eakins Studio. Some 10,000 general interest books — including novels, nonfiction, and new releases — are spread among the four floors above the garden level, each geared for different readers. Shelves with books in gray bindings are from Persephone Books, which reprints books by mostly overlooked women writers from the mid-twentieth century. The children's floor is pure whimsy, with child-sized furniture and a red side door of Lilliputian scale that leads into a hallway. The store's number-one bestseller, Paige of Beacon Hill by Sarah S. Brannen, is a children's book that Fetter commissioned about a squirrel named Paige that lives inside the bookstore. Artist Brian Lies was hired to handcraft a miniature room for Paige, and it's tucked Melissa Fetter's Must-Have Design Books • Bunny Mellon Style by Linda Jane Holden, Thomas Lloyd, and Bryan Huffman. • Charm School: The Schumacher Guide to Traditional Decorating for Today by Emma Bazilian and Stephanie Diaz. • Think Like a Decorator [To Create a Comfortable, Original, and Stylish Home] by Leslie Banker. • The Well Adorned Home by Cathy Kincaid. Cathy Kincaid's Favorites at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe • Mexican: A Journey Through Design by Newell Turner. • An Entertaining Life by Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen. • I love to cook so I'm also drawn to the Books for Cooks section. • The Persephone Collection is another favorite. They are short stories written by women. Bookshelves are lacquered in a Farrow & Ball light blue The Aesthetics Room is painted Farrow & Ball Rectory Red 70

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