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For the City Who Loves Books

A discussion on how to display and store your collection with top Portland designers.

Presented by California Closets

With our home being our sacred nest, it is only natural that most of us crave a spot within that invites us to dive deep into the wonders of our minds and the world—both fictional and non!

Gathered over cups of coffee and tea at their showroom in the Pearl District, we asked top California Closets Designers how they go about designing custom libraries for book lovers. Here’s some of what they had to say:

How do you approach a new space?

Karina: “A home library can be a very personal space. The books that are important to you, can be neatly organized and displayed with a stylish system while maximizing the space.”

Charity: “I like to confirm with clients whether the space is true for books only, or if they would like to display sentimental objects as well.”

Carolyn: I first listen to the client’s vision and ideas, then make recommendations based on our conversation that are tailored to the products that we offer, what might work best for functionality, and design aesthetic for the space. The design is often based on the client’s specific inventory and is customized to how they envision using the space. Finishes selected typically align with existing features and finishes they have in their home.

What are some of the first considerations?

Lauren: “The first thing I consider is what kind of books the client is storing, art books, paperback, hardback, size, etc. This determines the depth of shelving needed and spacing.”

William: “I first make certain what height books are going in, ie legal, tech, hardbound, etc, and can customize shelf height to maximize space.”

Amy: One of the first things I ask when designing a space for books is, “do you need adjustability?” 

Laurie: “Is everything in the collection display-worthy, or are they looking for closed storage in the mix?

Alison: “What kind of lighting might be needed?”

Charity: “I like to consider the needs of those who use digital books and make sure there is a well-designed power supply within the nook”

What are some of your favorite features of a well-designed library?

William: “I like to see if there’s an item or two the client would like to highlight. If so, we can put them on a glass shelf with lighting or use a “box in box” design to highlight.”

Laurie: “I like to include solid doors to allow the eye to rest as well as glass doors to feature a lit object to break up the rows of books.”

Alison: “I always consider whether or not the client would like a seating space.”

Karina: “I love our variety of finishes of different colors and textures, lighting, and decorative accents, that can give a unique feel to your space.”

Lauren: “What I love most about our shelving is the way we can use thick or thin, cut them back from the front for detail, use different finishes or backing-so many options to make it interesting!”

California Closets Oregon prides itself in achieving designs that not only bring joy to their clients’ hearts but, ease to their minds, too! This allows for each of them to have the freedom and time within their home space to focus on what matters most

Set up a complimentary at-home consultation by calling or emailing at:


[email protected]


Visiting online at calclosets.com/or/Portland

Or feel free to pop into one of their showrooms:


937 NW Newport Ave, 2nd level (entry in back)

Same building as Spork Restaurant

Monday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm



1235 W Burnside St

13th & W Burnside, 2 blocks from Powell’s

Monday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm

Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm



22000 Willamette Dr.

Hwy 205 & 43, by Market of Choice

Monday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm

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