iPods killed CDs. Spotify killed paying for music. Video killed the radio star. Then, to the surprise of my parents, who had just given away our entire record collection, vinyl started coming back in a real way. While serious record collectors have always been around, the digitization and subscription-ization of music has created growth in a formerly sleepy, niche industry. It can be easy to mock millennials buying vinyl at Urban Outfitters, but it’s also a great way to support artists. Many are making more off vinyl sales than streaming services.
I came by record collecting indirectly. I inherited my grandfather’s very sizable bluegrass collection, and have been sorting through them little by little. With two old milk crates around four feet long, I’ve hardly made a dent. Meanwhile, I’ve started finding my own second-hand records and new releases from artists I like. Dealing with my growing collection made me realize, however, that while vinyl is back, home designers haven’t exactly caught up yet. Options that go beyond the basic require a little digging.
Here are some of my favorite storage solutions I’ve found over the years. Note: I know there are people who handle vinyl with extreme care and have strong opinions about how to handle records. (I’m actually dating one of them.) I tend to subscribe to the theory that a little care (store records vertically away from direct light and away from humidity/moisture) will go a long way, but to each their own.
This is an Amazon favorite for a reason. It’s simple, has a small footprint, and actually holds way more than you’d think. You can store up to 50 records in the holder and still easily flip through to find the album you’re looking for. Divets in the wood help the records stay in place. Records can be stored facing outwards, parallel to the player, or sidways, and if you have a sizable or growing collection, buying a second or third is a totally workable way to stay organized.
If you want something with more of a vintage vibe, this will also hold 50 records. The dividers also allow you an opportunity to do a bit of organizing if you want: by genre, alphabetical, or any filing system you might dream up.
Not all storage cubes are created equal. ClosetMaid’s are around 11"x11", making them too small for records. Kallax, however, measures 13"x13", making them roomy enough for records. These will hold a relatively large collection, and can also be used to store books or other knickknacks to give it a more decorative feel.
This storage sytem will allow you to DIY a wall storage solution for as many records as you want. Unlike bookcase-style storage, your records will face out at you for quick reference. Stack them 2 or 3 high, or put them side-by-side. Looking at reviews from customers is a great way to get inspired as well.
While we wait for record storage to catch up, magazine holders that are big enough to hold records (at least 12 inches long) are a good place to look. It’s short enough that you’ll still get a pretty good look at what’s inside. You can also place a few under a large console table as a way to keep records organized on larger storage units or bookshelves.
Like many Umbra products, this can be as impressive as what it’s storing. Designed for magazines or records, you can even wall mount them for functional and rotating wall art. It holds about 30 records and can also be used as a way to display your current go to’s to keep them close at hand.
Another magazine holder that can be repurposed, this will allow you to keep your 8 or so most loved records right at hand. Everything looks better in rose gold, right?
I like to keep my current record on display, but this can also allow you to create a rotating gallery of favorite record covers. There are plenty of floating shelves available to buy online, but getting one specially built for standard records gives the display a clean look.
Available in single and double widths, this will let you create an entire media console area that’s very Don Draper without spending a ton of money. The double media console also allows you to store a ton of records and keep them organized and easy to locate thanks to the dividers.
If you just want to store records in your own shelves or side tables, it can be an easy way to really make your collection feel like a part of your space. But dealing with them sliding around or falling over can be a pain. These heavy-duty, simple bookends will keep them in place, and can even be mounted to your shelving unit for more permanent storage solutions.