The NuLu area is replete with furniture stores selling everything from the classical to the cutting-edge, but a bookshelf hidden away in the attic of the Red Tree Furniture store is like none other.

This bookshelf doubles as a doorway to one of the rooms of the Red Tree Lofts, a modern hideaway inside the early 20th century building at 701 E Market St. A copper barn-style door made from the old Red Tree Furniture sign covers the massive hole in the brick wall that leads to the living room of the rentable three-bedroom space.

Red Tree Lofts is the brainchild of Steve Gibbons, a former handyman and current vice president of sales for Red Tree Furniture. It has functioned as a getaway destination for in the know out-of-towners and friends of friends since 2013.

“The rooms are mostly stocked with our furniture from downstairs and we had the space, so it just made sense,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons first approached Red Tree owner Garwood Linton as a handyman who was working on odd jobs around Louisville. Linton had asked him to install some security cameras for the shop when he stumbled upon the unused attic space.

While only one small light illuminated the dusty attic, Gibbons could see enough to imagine walls and rooms and, eventually, a loft. Gibbons pitched the idea to Linton after installing the security cameras.

“His response was immediately ‘You’re hired. Let’s do it,’” Gibbons said.

The loft is connected to a kitchen and hangout on the second floor complete with a grand piano, a fireplace and garage windows overlooking E. Market Street. With so much furniture in the room, it’s easy to overlook the 60 inch 3D flat-screen TV mounted on the wall.

There is also a fully stocked bar of locally distilled bourbons at no extra cost.

After all, “this is Louisville,” Gibbons said. “All we ask is that people leave a little left or let us know if they finish a bottle off.”

In the past, the three bedroom loft has gone for $350 per night, but has been offered for significantly more during Kentucky Derby weekend. Red Tree also has a single bedroom that costs $125 per night, but has equal access to the kitchen and hangout on the second floor.

Though many guests might want to get a peek at all the furniture and oddities sold at Red Tree Furniture, alleyway access that leads out to keypad lock door on E. Market was added for privacy. Rooftop access and a small alleyway garden rounds out the urban feel of the loft.

Although Gibbons does enjoy showing off the amenities, he said he tries to get guests to spend time at local NuLu hotspots by making recommendations and stocking the loft with local publications.

“When we have guests we don’t try to combine them in to customers — we send them around Louisville,” Gibbons said. “Our goal here is for our guests to eat, sleep and play here in Louisville.”

Reporter Roberto Roldan can be reached at (502) 582-4649. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRobertoR.


To learn more about the Red Tree Lofts, call (502) 582-2555 and ask for Steve Gibbons.