Inside Man Q & A's

We're Here to Help with your Decor Dilemmas

Q: I have an awesome collection of old records and even though I don't really listen to vinyl anymore, I don't want to get rid of them completely. I was thinking of displaying them, but I don't know where to start. Can you give me some ideas? - Sent from Jeremy in St. Louis

A: Jeremy, albums look best when they're displayed in multiples. Pick your favorites, then put them all in the same style of frame. The photo above shows nine album frames hung in a grid (with photos rather than LPs inside the frames).

There are a bunch of places that sell inexpensive album frames — Urban Outfitters has them at 2 for $20, Target sells them for $10 a pop, Amazon.com has them at 4 for $35, and the Picture Frame Company sells them for forty-fives as well as full-sized LPs.

Here are some additional links that might help:

1 Roundup: Six Ways to Display Records
2 Inspiration: Record Album Storage
3 Good Questions: Album and CD Storage Ideas?
4 Organizing Ideas for a Music Station
5 How to Hang a Grid


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Q: I need new sheets, and my girlfriend says the ones I buy are too cheap and I should upgrade. I've heard that thread counts can be misleading and cheap sheets are sometimes better than the expensive ones. What's the rule for how much to spend on sheets and what to look for? - Tim in Atlanta

A: Tim, thread count is defined by the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of a sheet. To push the count higher, some manufacturers bundle together thin threads — thread counts above 400 might actually be a sign of thinner sheets. Other manufacturers are pretty straight-up about counts — the 250 to 450 count range (exact numbers are debatable) is usually pretty standard.

People often overlook the fact that fabric is just as important as thread count. Egyptian cotton is soft and dense, and it has longer fibers than American pima cotton, although both are good choices for sheets since they're breathable fabrics. If you're looking for green bedding, organic cotton is certified by the US Dept of Agriculture as a pesticide-free material, and bamboo is another nice material that's naturally antibacterial.

Bedding is one of those things that you can always find on sale, too. We recommend that you set a budget that's maybe a little higher than what you're used to, take your girlfriend out shopping with you, and look for some Egyptian cotton sheets on sale in the 250-450 thread count range from a quality manufacturer.

Here's some additional info for you:

1 A Well Dressed Bed for the Well Dressed Man
2 Interpreting Threadcount with Julian Tomchin from the NY Times
3 Best Modern Bedding 2010
4 Shopping for Bedding: Tips from Designer Bryant Keller
5 Best Places to Find Bedding on Sale


Want More?

• Check out GQ's style guide at gq.com/theinsideman.
• Read more posts on guy style at theinsideman.apartmenttherapy.com.


ABOUT THE INSIDE MAN
We've teamed up with Valspar Paint to create The Inside Man, a special feature dedicated to daily (Monday – Friday) posts from Apartment Therapy and GQ about men’s color conundrums and style questions.

Every other week, we're posting Q&As from Apartment Therapy readers. From sofas with cup holders to brilliant bachelor pads, we're focusing on the decor dilemmas men often bring to us.

Photos: Natalie, Nicholas, and Arthur's Circus / Apartment Therapy, Matteo Bedding