A Look Inside Boston's Favorite New Bookstore

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Local bookstores are having a comeback in a brand-new style, thanks to a newly opened Beacon Hill spot.
Chic built-ins house an array of titles, best enjoyed over bites from the cafe Photographed by Sarah Winchester
Chic built-ins house an array of titles, best enjoyed over bites from the cafe

Opened in late September, the bookstore is known as Charles Street’s Beacon Hill Books and Cafe (bhbooks.com). And outside of its lively selection of reads and menu of locally sourced fare (afternoon tea is an absolute must-experience on Sundays with scones, clotted cream and jam on the menu, along with savory sandwiches and sweets), it’s the warm interiors that really take the cake.
Gold lettering categorizes each area of the bookstore Photographed by Sarah Winchester
Gold lettering categorizes each area of the bookstore

“As I embarked on this project, I envisioned a curated space with a high aesthetic standard in which to display a thoughtful selection of books. I wanted the store to fill an entire townhouse that would offer the customer a compelling experience in which they could browse and explore every floor and book-filled nook and cranny,” Fetter says. To accomplish this, she honed in on her own design skills and consulted with Dallas-based interior designer Cathy Kincaid on interior finishes, paint, fabrics and wallpaper.Exposed wood accents add warmth to the cafe Photographed by Sarah WinchesterExposed wood accents add warmth to the cafe

To start, Fetter gutted the 1840s Greek Revival building with Pauli & Uribe Architects and Sagamore Select to propel it into a new generation. “Melissa had the idea of having a children’s area, a young people’s area, travel area and cookbooks,” says Kincaid of the project. A slew of Farrow & Ball colors and Sister Parish fabrics guide guests throughout, while architectural elements (hardwood floors, classical moldings and casework) were added as an ode to the history of the structure.Peruse a curated selection of gifts from books to candles at the shop. Photographed by Sarah Winchester
Peruse a curated selection of gifts from books to candles at the shop.

Reading nooks exist in nearly every corner, beckoning guests to open the pages to a new tome. Since its opening, the space has been a complete hit thanks to its smart collection and joyful interiors—bringing a bit of fun back into the bookstores we all grew up with. “I am delighted by the way in which the bookstore and cafe have so quickly become a destination and a gathering place,” Fetter says. “The design of the space inspires everyone, and the most frequent comment is that the store makes them feel happy.”An outdoor area provides ample seating during warm weather Photographed by Sarah Winchester
An outdoor area provides ample seating during warm weather



Photography by: By Sarah Winchester