A rustic spiral staircase unearthed from a property in Virginia is the centerpiece of the new Olivia’s Home Furnishings in Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center.

Photo by Tom Ross

A rustic spiral staircase unearthed from a property in Virginia is the centerpiece of the new Olivia’s Home Furnishings in Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center.

Interior design store resurfaces in Sundance at Fish Creek in Steamboat

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— Walk into the reincarnated Olivia’s Home Furnishings in Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center and it’s difficult to get beyond the rustic wooden spiral staircase that leads to nowhere, except perhaps interior decorator heaven.

“Denny and I found it at a show in High Point, N.C.,” Olivia Kimmeth said Thursday. “I knew I had to have it, and I looked at him, and he asked, ‘What are we going to do with it?’ I told him I’d take the table out of our cabin in Steamboat, and we could put it there.”

That was before Kimmeth and her husband, Denny, decided to open their new store a couple of doors east of The Egg & I in the commercial center on Angler’s Drive between downtown and the mountain.

Now, the heavy, wooden spiral staircase, obviously hand hewn by a skilled craftsman from another century, sits in a pivotal location in the new Olivia’s where it is an ideal perch for small interior design items.

Each of the numbered stair treads is unique, yet they all fit together. At the narrow end of each tread, the builder carved a loop so they could be set on a pole and stacked on top of one another.

But it’s the unanswerable questions about the origin of the staircase that are among its greatest appeals. Kimmeth knows only that it was buried in the ground on a Virginia property that had changed hands five or six times throughout the generations. When it was unearthed, the treads were found wrapped in crumbling layers of heavy paper.

Why would someone bury a spiral staircase? Was it done to hide it during the Civil War? Kimmeth has accepted that she never will know.

What we do know is that the Kimmeths previously owned and operated a very successful retail store in association with their interior design business on Shield Drive on the west side of town in the early part of the past decade. They sold it to a Denver couple in July 2004 and began spending more of their time in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they opened a store with their son. But the new owners only lasted 9 months.

“We had a very successful business,” Kimmeth said. And really, Olivia’s Home furnishings never went away, it was just streamlined for a while.

The Kimmeths purchased an office in the new red brick building above Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare at Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue and a warehouse on the west side so Olivia could continue her design business.

Now, it’s time to get back into the retail game at a new location. The new store is full of new furnishings and carefully selected antiques, like the round dining table and chairs that have been refurbished with new leather seats. The store hadn’t even opened when someone came in the unlocked door and wrote a check for it, but there’s a good deal more to covet at Olivia’s.

Olivia’s Home Furnishings has its grand opening Saturday at 345 Anglers Drive and will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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