[A guest post from Jess Walter aimed at anyone who wants to get really serious about creating a dedicated space for listening to music. -AC]
Vinyl has seen a massive rise in sales over the last decade. Though far from its peak in 1981, industry efforts such as Record Store Day have helped introduce the format to a younger audience. With such a resurgence in physical media, it’s important to have a physical space for a collector to properly enjoy their rapidly expanding selection. Here are a few must-haves for the ideal Audiophile Refuge.
Options for record storage have grown well beyond the iconic milk crate. Ikea’s Kallax has long been the go-to as its shelves are perfectly sized for records, but there are many other options. From inexpensive wooden crates to high-end mahogany cabinets, any collector’s aesthetic (and level of obsession) can be accommodated. As long as the records remain vertical and away from heat, they’ll keep the tunes blasting for decades to come. Adding a heavy-duty plastic jacket is an easy, cheap way to ensure that the artwork continues to look as good as the vinyl sounds.
A proper music geek den needs comfortable furniture to stretch out and feel the bass. Bean-bag chairs are great for some retro-relaxation, but those with a more DIY spirit can try their hand at crafting giant pillows. Give new life to old, well-loved band t-shirts and incorporate them into the pillows for a more personalized look. For those who’d rather sit up for the experience, storage ottomans can hide spare audio cables while serving as a footrest.
Every vinyl fanatic has a few albums whose artwork demands to be displayed at all times. Consider picking up vinyl frames to showcase epic artwork from your favorite prog band, or show off that autographed 7” in style. Serious vinyl collectors who want to see what they’re spinning can pick up stands and small shelves to display jackets right next to the turntable. Framing old band posters will hide thumbtack holes from college and give a collector’s old style an adult feel. Show junkies can fill up scrapbooks with flyers and ticket stubs to reminisce while listening to their favorites.
Regardless of style, the most vital part of a music refuge is a solid collection. Be sure to support your local record store while crafting your ideal listening room. Remember that there’s no wrong way to listen to music, but doing so in a cozy, attractive space is always preferable.
[Featured photo by Ellis Raily]