NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Jourmal, 10-30-10 By MEGAN ROZSA mrozsa@MorningJournal.com
[Distinctive Home Decor opens in the Avon Center School]
``AVON -- When Stephanie Schwartz, owner of Distinctive Home Decor, first laid eyes on the old schoolhouse on Detroit Road in Avon, it was love at first sight.
"I didn't even imagine it was for rent," Schwartz laughed. "But I knew within three seconds of looking at it that this is where (my store) should be."
Distinctive Home Decor, 35955 Detroit Road, features a selection of what Schwartz calls "old world, eclectic" furniture, oil paintings, window treatments and unique accessories. She also offers design services for anyone needing help with interior design.
"We do rustic, traditional, European, contemporary, and we keep things that are more popular in the store," Schwartz said ...
When Avon started building up the plaza across from the Commons on Detroit, Schwartz thought the buildings all looked too commercial for her product. The schoolhouse is owned by DeVille Developers, and one of its employees suggested she rent it.
Schwartz kept several of the historical aspects of the building in her redesign. She had the option to install a drop ceiling, but she was enchanted with the natural wood beams. She also left a bit of the building's brick exposed.
"Why cover it up? It's so beautiful," she smiled and looked around the building. "It's just so pretty."
Robert Brown, director of operations for DeVille, said the schoolhouse was built in 1905 . DeVille fought against its demolition some years ago and waited for the right tenant to come along.
"We had a great deal of interest in it," Brown said. "We were holding out for the right user. We thought it would make a good coffee shop, but there's not enough parking. Her furniture shop looks like a natural use."
Several of Schwartz's former clients were excited to hear of her return.
"When we moved, we didn't have addresses for all our clients, so some of them just thought we left," Schwartz said. "Now they're coming in and telling us how happy they are we're back. I truly missed my Avon customers."''
For more information, visit
or call the store at (440) 937-3304.
DeVille Development Company
3951 Convenient Circle, Suite 301
Canton, OH 44718
Dear Mr. Brown,
In the spirit of the season, our Avon Historical Society would like to thank you most sincerely for saving the Avon Center School of 1910. The school was built on an earlier foundation of a school at the Center.
The Avon Center School became a private residence about 1924 after the Lorain County Board of Education ruled that Avon build a consolidated school to include all twelve grades.
Your firm is doing a beautiful restoration, and we thank you for your preservation of our Avon landmark.
Jean Fischer, Historian
Taylor J. Smith, President
Avon Historical Society
2940 Stoney Ridge Road
Avon, OH 44011
For more on the Avon Center School, see