Finding a Good Budget-Friendly Media Display Shelf
My quest to find a cheap, aesthetic record and magazine display shelf.
This article was published , which makes this post and me old when I published it.
It took an estimated to develop this article from conception to publishing.
There are 836 words in this article, and it will probably take you less than 5 minutes to read it.
When I was first getting into record collecting I needed something to store and/or display my records. Via TikTok and Pinterest, I was really into the look of the Bedford V2 unit, the Luxe, and the Liam Record Storage Stand.
The Bedford V2 unit
The essential part of these pieces that I loved was the front facing record storage. Vinyl should be storage vertically, so you either have it front facing, or arranged like books on a shelf. Album cover art is so beautiful and deserves to be seen, so I absolutely was not going to store my records without showing off the art. If I was going to pay X amount of dollars for a record, I was absolutely going to stretch the use of it. In addition to being able to play the album, I also was getting a piece of artwork to display, which is one of the many benefits of buying physical media.
Searching for a Budget Option
The beautiful record displays I was seeing online were a bit too expensive and large profile for what I wanted, so I knew that I had to find some kind of budget option.
Around the same time as I was looking for a vinyl storage solution, I came across a box of old comic books in my closet at my parents’ house. They were a collection that my siblings and I had picked up for free ages ago at the end of someone’s driveway in our neighborhood. I really wanted to be able to display the retro charm of the old comic books, so I quickly merged the ideas of the record display shelf with the magazine display idea. Thus began my journey of looking into the realm of a magazine/book display shelves.
The bamboo stand I was looking at
Magazine display shelf I was looking at
Some of stands and shelves were giving waiting room vibes, so I made sure to steer clear of those. I still really like the Bamboo Stand display, but it wouldn’t actually fit a vinyl, as it each holder was not wide enough. Additionally, it would serve only as a display, it would not be able to store any additional vinyl.
The Solution I Found
The shelf I ended up getting
I ended up going with this shelf. I think it was the cutest and most minimalist out of the options. Design-wise, I really like the bar detail, which was a point from the Bedford V2 unit. Also, the color of the black looks really similar to my Ikea Billy Bookcase, so for cohesion that was a plus. The dimensions are far and away the best of the ones I came across on Amazon, I liked that it could display maximal surface area of the objects.
How I styled the display
Now that I have it, I have some things that I wish I had more carefully considered before buying.
For one, I don’t really like the backless nature of it, especially when you don’t have many items, because then you’ll lean the items against the wall which technically pushes the unit forward. However, the unit has a fairly sturdy base, so I don’t think that a few records or books exerting forward diagonal pressure will lean the shelf.
Length wise it is almost the right size for display three records side-by-side, but not quite. What I have been doing instead I place three records, but the middle record is behind, and the left and right records and placed so one of their sides ever so slightly obscures part of the middle record. This is not too bad a problem, I just have a record in the middle where the cover art is mostly focused centrally. Also I am not too too worried about these records causing warping by nesting on top of each other because it is really not that much weight.
Because of these reasons, I have ultimately decided to use the shelf more as a display solution, rather than a display and storage system in the long term. I have a record table that has record storage, so I just rotate the records that are being shown on the display. I would still definitely recommend this setup to other people if they want a record display solution on the cheaper side, or like me wanted a multi-media display shelf.
Despite my nitpicks, I am very satisfied with how everything turned out, but who knows maybe one day I’ll be able to get the Bedford V2 unit, or build one myself.