By Emily Peck
The best vinyl storage ideas can bring a room to life and add personality to your room scheme. Owning one of the latest high-tech record players can also give you hours of entertainment as you play classic albums and the latest underground music finds from the comfort of your living room.
Choosing to play vinyl and investing in one of the latest record players also gives you the perfect excuse to channel a little Mad Men style at home. By this we don’t mean you should sit around sipping Whisky and analysing the ad breaks during Corrie, but we do suggest embracing Mid-century style furniture and other covetable accessories for the home. A classic, 1950's sideboard that is made from deep walnut not only looks good, but has room to house your turntable and vinyl in one, for example. Meanwhile, a retro-style 'vinyl flip bin' can be ideal for housing your favorite 12-inch albums and will make your vinyl music easily accessible.
'There are plenty of specialist units and storage racks you can buy for vinyl,' says Nick Brown, engineering project manager for Cambridge Audio. 'The more vertical the record stands the better. You'll want to make sure the rack is stable too as the average 12 inch can weigh up to 220grams. As your collection grows this will only get heavier over time.'
Whether you're a vinyl veteran with a treasured collection, or a techie with one of the best soundbars who want to start your own music library from scratch, now's a great time to take advantage of the stylish vinyl-friendly offerings available online. After hearing expert advice from top DJ Izaak Gray on how to use a record player and not damage the vinyl, it was only natural that we curiously began digging around for some of the best vinyl storage ideas to share with you here at Livingetc.
7 vinyl storage ideas for your home
1. Store vinyl as you would a book on a bookshelf
Simple but true, the best way to store vinyl is side by side, as opposed to on top of each other to prevent them warping over time. Just as you would store a bunch of books, records need the same treatment.
Storing them upright in their correct sleeves will also prevent 'ring wear'. This is that visible imprint of the LP shape that you sometimes see on the cover of the sleeve over time.
When opting for a unit to store your vinyl, check that the height of each cubby hole is large enough to house your 12 inch records. Choose from modern industrial-style open-shelves - as pictured here in this living room designed by Cambridge Audio - or go for a more retro feel with a cabinet specifically made for vinyl. At 500mm in depth, USM Haller creates cabinets with cubby holes that have the perfect dimensions or LPs, for example.
USM Haller launched in 1965 and with collaborations with Swiss architect Fritz Haller its timeless designs are now world-renowned - they're now used not just for vinyl but for everything from office tech to the best surround sound systems. The furniture comes in a range of 14 signature colors from monochrome, to pops of golden yellow and blue. USM Haller suggests placing the record player on top of the unit to allow for best access when playing vinyl. If you want to hide away your record player however, you can use an USM extension drawer that allows you to easily slide it out when you want to play your vinyl. You can then simply slide it back in after use.
2. Display vinyl on narrow shelves
Rather than hiding your vinyl away in the corner, you can use it to add character to your decor and create a talking point in the room. A narrow shelf can work well as part of your small living room storage ideas to display a selection of LPs that have covers that really catch your eye and give you heart-warming nostalgic vibes.
'Make a feature of your much-loved vinyl collection by placing a selection of your favorites on narrow shelves,' says interior designer Caroline Palk of Ashton House Design. 'LP covers feature some amazing artwork and photography, so it’s a simple way to create an ever-changing gallery that will evoke so many memories.'
3. Create a cosy listening corner
Large open-plan living areas are sometimes just crying out for a little 'cosy'. Creating a listening corner is the ideal way to break up a large expanse in a room, but also adds charm to smaller rooms too.
'Dedicating a 'zone' in a room where you can create an enticing space to sit, relax, read a book or listen to your records is always an attractive idea,' says Pia Pelkonen, creative director at Pia Design. 'In this home - pictured above - we created a charming vinyl record corner by the fireplace where the owner could sit and relax after work, listening to records by the fire.'
4. Display vinyl covers as you would art works
There's no doubt vinyl album covers have given a platform to some of the most iconic artworks of all time. Pop artist Peter Blake and his work for The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, and Brian Duffy’s portrait of David Bowie on Aladdin Sane are just a couple of our favorites that spring to mind. Instead of hiding these masterpieces away in your cabinet, you can house them on the wall as you would a piece of artwork.
'As part of these home office ideas we framed the homeowner's favourite vinyl records in thin chrome-finished picture frames and displayed them above the music bench, which also houses a few amplifiers,' says Katie Malik, creative director of KM Interiors. 'We also combined clever vinyl storage in the joinery and these are perfect for showing them off while still enabling easy listening.'
5. Buy vinyl storage shelves
There are a number of companies online that sell specific storage shelves for storing your music library. These look great 'floating' on a wall and make for an eye-catching feature in the room.
'In this dining room we decided to store the vinyl records on the wall in white Teenyle vinyl storage shelves from Teebooks,' says Katie Malik, creative director at KM Interiors. 'We also sourced a custom made vinyl storage record sideboard in a retro style to tie in with the homeowners classic style.'
Shop this great selection of floating shelves at Amazon, here.
6. Create an interactive playlist
While it's great to have suitable storage to house your vinyl collection, having a space near your record player that allows for a few of your favorite LPs to stay on display makes for a nice design touch. It also means you and your guests can use it to line up the next song requests next time you entertain.
'Creative an interactive playlist by putting your current choices on display,' says Caroline Palk of Ashton House Design. 'You can get family members or visitors to contribute by asking them to choose something from your collection to be added to the schedule. That way everyone gets a say in what is going to be played!'
7. Invest in a vinyl flip bin
If your vinyl collection is grow fast, you may want to invest in a dedicated vinyl storage solution. We love the vinyl storage cabinet with flip bins in solid natural walnut from 1st Dibs, pictured above. It uses an office file-drawer approach to storing vinyl, which is really rather convenient as when it comes to dancing to our favorite tracks on vinyl, we mean business.
To keep a smaller stash of records suitably stored, a compact freestanding vinyl flip bin may be just the ticket. Ideal for storing around 30 LPs at a time, these storage units are portable and great for tight spaces.
If you choose a bold pop colour - such as orange, pictured below - it can add a sense of fun to your interior scheme too. Try Flip Bin for a range of colors and styles.
What is the best way to store vinyl?
Vinyl needs to be stored carefully to keep it in the best condition. Experts agree that you the best ways to store vinyl are:
1. Store vinyl side by side as you would on a bookshelf. This will also help to prevent ring wear, which is the visible imprint of the vinyl shape on the cover.
2. Find a position that's not too hot or not too cold, but is cool enough to keep your records at the optimum temperature to avoid warping. Keep your records away from radiators or direct sunlight.
3. Keep your vinyl in their original sleeves and jackets - preferably in a poly sleeve - to avoid any scratching and dust collecting on them.
What can I use to clean vinyl?
To clean vinyl you need to use a brush that is specifically made for records. ‘Made up of thin carbon fibres, these brush are great at removing the dirt out of the vinyl grooves,’ suggest Winston Eade from Lenco. ‘Combine this with a dedicated record cleaner fluid and you’ll notice the difference in sound quality next time you play your vinyl.’
You can try Amazon for a host of other vinyl cleaning kits.
One of the UK's most respected tech and smart homes writers, Emily Peck also covers everything from interiors style to decorating trends. She is a contributor to Wired UK, and has also had a column in House Beautiful. She has written for publications such as Grand Designs, Stylist, Shortlist, Woman&Home, BBC, Ideal Home and House & Garden. She was once the Features Editor of Ideal Home.
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