I've just about managed to tackle most of my storage issues in my small apartment, but finding the perfect solution for storing my large record collection has led me to a long and arduous search. My partner and I are big record nerds: we shop for new music every week, hunt for vinyl on our travels, and love the sound of the needle dropping. But as our collection grows week by week, our two IKEA KALLAX units just don't cut it anymore.
As an Apartment Therapy contributor, I've seen a variety of record storage solutions in small spaces, from the ever popular IKEA KALLAX to custom shelving. Today, there's clearly a demand for music on vinyl. Just visit any record shop during a Record Store Day event and you'll likely find a long line of people waiting to get their hands on limited-run vinyl releases. There are obvious benefits to buying music on vinyl, but with that comes the aforementioned dilemma of storing it all. At Apartment Therapy, we've rounded up a variety of vinyl record storage solutions for everyone, ranging from the people who buy for ornamental purposes only to the zealous vinyl fans with enviable collections.
For the "Purely Decorative" Collector
There's nothing wrong with collecting records solely for displaying them or the artwork (some of my most-loved artworks are on record covers). Below are some choice solutions for showing off your favorites.
Winchester Craft Wall Hanging Shelf, $20 - $50
The great thing about the Winchester Craft floating shelf is that your record art can be rotated, either as you play them or as your mood changes. Each shelf is handmade to order in Eugene, Oregon, and is cut from hard oak. It provides a cost-effective and space-saving method to display your records and keeps your wall art fresh.
12x12 Album Frames, $10 - $20
Framing your records is a stylish way to add color to your wall, and the frames are easy to find at most stores: Target, Urban Outfitters, and Amazon carry different styles. In the room above, found via HGTV, record covers are framed to create large-scale wall art, adding color to the white canvas. An important note: If you do frame your records, take out the vinyl and store it elsewhere, as it can be warped if the frame is too tight. Also, if possible, avoid framing valuable records as the sleeve can get sun damaged. One solution is to frame a cheaper version of the album, such as a re-issue or an old beat-up copy.
Record Props, Starting at $15
A friend of mine gave me a Record Props prototype as a gift, and it's currently displaying our favorite artwork alongside our Audio-Technica turntable. Each small mount allows you to either display your vinyl on the wall as a piece of art or prop your albums upright on a tabletop. This is similar to the option above, but takes it a step further by allowing you to display colorful vinyl records.
Wall Ledge/Floating Shelves
Though Estefania (pictured above) has a small credenza that holds her small collection, she displays a handful of her favorite records on shelves she built herself. This can be done a variety of ways: you can go the DIY route as she did, put up an IKEA shelf, or get creative with unconventional shelving, like crown moulding. Again, be sure to avoid direct sunlight, as it can warp or fade your records.
Magazine Racks and File Sorters
A plain magazine rack (such as the one pictured above) can hold a handful of records on a desk or shelf. A quick search on Etsy will bring up various vintage and DIY options, but you can also go the modern route with this acrylic file sorter from the Container Store.
- LP Record Stand in Douglas Fir by LLTTgoods at Etsy, $68
- Corner Store Vinyl Storage Rack at Urban Outfitters, $59
- Three-tier Wall Basket at Wayfair, $90
For the Casual Collector
Some people have a more curated vinyl collection. Perhaps they buy only their favorite releases by artists they love, or they inherited a collection from their family. These solutions are for them.
Draper Media Console, $229 (on sale)
There are so many beautiful, vintage credenzas and media consoles that fit records perfectly, but as most Apartment Therapy readers know, a good vintage piece can come with high-end costs. This Urban Outfitters unit is available at a more affordable price point, and even has a shelf designated for your record player.
How cute is this mint green carrying case from GPO? The box is good for keeping your records away from sunlight that can damage the sleeves, and is great for transporting your LPs if you're a DJ or need to easily move your small collection around your apartment. And we're pretty sure this adorable case would add a nice pop of color to just about any room. They also come in more colors.
Maryland-based Mapleshade built these stackable record shelves after unsuccessfully searching for a good-looking storage solution. The beauty of these shelves is that they can be ordered in unfinished wood, making them customizable with paint, and there are several base options (such as this caster base). Each shelf holds up to 150 LPs, but extra units can be added as needed. They claim the interlocking shelves are so sturdy and rigid that they can be stacked 6 units high. Pretty sweet.
BrickBox, $60 -$75 per unit
The BrickBox is one of the best storage solutions out there, although it can be a bit of an investment, depending on the number of units you need. Unfortunately, I invested in the modular system before they released the XL version, which perfectly stores albums. They're easy to build, are clean and modern, but add texture via the plywood edges. Similar to the Mapleshade shelves featured above, the BrickBox modular shelving units can be expanded as you add to your collection, so you can invest in each piece over time, making it easier on your wallet.
This vintage-inspired rack from Urban Outfitters is great because it can easily be tucked away in a corner while holding a couple dozen records, and its vertical design takes up minimal space. And since the records are stored facing out, you can add some color by showcasing your favorite covers to inject some excitement to an otherwise boring wall.
For the Zealous Vinyl Collector
Some people can't help browsing through a stack of old records, whether at a flea market, thrift store, or their grandma's attic. They may walk into a record store to simply browse, but walk out with a bag full of new or classic releases they can't wait to sort when they get home. For these avid collectors, storage solutions may be a challenge, but here are some of our favorites.
This gorgeous shelving unit from Design Within Reach has five rows that are deep enough to hold LPs while showcasing them in a modern, asymmetrical design. The media shelf is made of solid oak and has two movable dividers, making it a good solution for displaying your LPs and personal belongings in a functional and modular design.
The Can-Am record cabinet is made of steel, making it strong and durable enough to hold up to 560 LPs. Even better, the cabinet comes in 18 colors, allowing you to match it to your home's decor. Can-Am also offers a product line of other metal stackable cabinets, so the setup can be configured around your collection.
The Record Cabinet at Atocha Design, Starting at $7,100
One can dream, right? The handcrafted Atocha Design Record Cabinet brings that feeling of a record store to you, allowing you to flip through your LP collection stored in the gliding drawers. The entire Atocha Design product line is drool-worthy, but requires a sizable investment (the cheaper storage unit starts at $1,275), making this a solution for the serious collector.
Custom-made Shelving — Price Varies, but Certainly Not Cheap
On a weekend, Minky loves to leave her roll-up door open as she plays her favorite records, allowing the natural light to flow into her loft. That's why she opted for a unique media storage set-up (pictured above), employing the help of Bay Area-based furniture maker Alexis Moran. Sometimes, the configuration of big-box store shelving units doesn't quite fit, so seeking a custom-made LP storage solution may be a viable option. Not surprisingly, this often comes with a hefty price tag depending on the size and quality.