The Portobello Bookshop




INTERIORS: Interior Design




Jack Clark


New to the Portobello high street, The Portobello Bookshop has opened its doors for the first time after a lengthy refurbishment period undertaken by SPLINTR. The independent bookshop stocks over 8,000 titles and hosts a vibrant programme of events.

In very early 2019, SPLINTR were approached with the brief to turn the site on Portobello High Street, Edinburgh, into a truly special and unique place for locals to come and spend time. A place to find books, for kids to enjoy and to host community talks and events.

Although there was to be a big focus on local trade in the community of Portobello, it would also need to become a must see for people from central Edinburgh and those visiting the city.

The book shelving was to be designed in such a way that subtly divides the space and allows for a constantly changing, huge offering of literature across a multitude of genres.

There was however, a big emphasis on creating a bright, modern space that allows customers room to breathe, in contrast to the traditional book shop style of towering displays and narrow passageways.

The rundown former fishing tackle shop was in a terrible state of disrepair and required extensive work to the fabric of the building.

Relatively affordable materials such as birch plywood and Valchromat were used to create a soft, bright and welcoming interior whilst keeping the overall cost down.

This project was an absolute labour of love and the team at SPLINTR could not be happier with the end result.

The reception from the industry and public has been overwhelmingly positive and the shop was recently named 2020's 'National Book Tokens, Newcomer of the Year'.