If you have fully embraced the latest technology, you probably aren’t worried about where or how you are going to store your thousands of songs. Being digital, they, and many more, fit conveniently within a little black box that you can throw into your backpack. For the rest of the traditional disc jockeys vinyl records remain the holy grail, but building and maintaining a hefty record collection is not as old school as you might think. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, 2012 saw record sales $177 million dollars in business worldwide. This is the highest it’s been in 16 years. With the growth in record sales, there are no doubt far more options for turntables than their used to be, but the storage options for vinyl are still limited.
Many collectors still rely upon dairy crates, much like our parents once did. The problem is that the standard LP doesn’t properly fit the standard 12”x12” (outside dimensions) crate built to accommodate 4 gallons of milk. People end up cramming in as many records at an 45 degree angle as possible, or cut off the side of the crate to create room while destroying the structural integrity and makes it useless for stacking in the process.
As a designer and a DJ as well, I keep design in mind when storing my records. The right storage option can help you keep your records organized, keep them from taking up too much precious real estate in your apartment (a must in high density areas like NYC), and protect your collection from any combination of damaging exposures (sun, the dog, an angry ex girlfriend…). The following is series of well designed storage options that I have gathered into one place to save you from the headache I gave myself while searching for them.
The Supreme Crate
The Container Store was smart enough to produce their own “dairy crate” perfectly sized for your records and easily stacked. The “Supreme Crate” come in classic black or white and, at 14 bucks a piece, they are the most affordable option.
Three Shelf LP Record Rack
The NYC based Gothic Furniture is known for producing “practical storage solutions for urban areas”. Their wood creations are handmade, durable, and come in a variety of finishes. The “Three Shelf LP Record Rack” is made from birch plywood and holds +/-450 LPs.
For those of you who prefer to keep your collection neatly tucked away, the Brooklyn based Urbangreen makes solid wood “media cubes” in a variety of colors with doors, sleek edge pulls, and even casters for easy moving. The wood is locally sourced, and the finishes are free of toxins and allergens.
Record Cabinet Series
If you have the means, I highly recommend Atocha’s record cabinet series. A cross between a filing cabinet and a mid-century modern sideboard, this is about as good as it gets for those looking for a stylish solution to vinyl storage. Each piece is custom made with a variety of drawer options from American Oak, Walnut, Cherry or Maple with either solid brass or brushed nickel drawer pulls.
Ascend II Storage Cabinets
For a minimal and modern look with ample storage, Crate & Barrel makes the Ascend II series of long and low media storage cabinets in white, black, with & without doors. Unlike cheap imitations or similar cabinets not intended to take the heavy load of vinyl, these units are made from low-emission engineered wood over blockboard with reinforced steel frames for added stability and the option of stacking.
Aero Storage Cabinets
For the audiofile looking for superior finishes and custom options, Symbol Audio designs and builds media storage cabinets that would look at home in a Mad Man’s living room.
Constructed from solid maple or walnut, they boast swivel display bins with dual-pivot hinges that balance the weight of the record drawer, even when it is full. They are pricey, but I supposed you get what you pay for.