Vinyl record collectors will go to great lengths to find the best pressings, the most pristine album covers, and the most elusive recordings. Vinyl is more popular than ever, and many collectors want to display their favorites for others to enjoy too, rather than relegating them to a shelf.
If you’re looking for ways to bring your record collection to life and make it part of your home décor, you have lots of options. As a collector, you know the importance of proper storage, but the basics bear repeating.
When choosing a place to display your records, look for an area away from direct sunlight, heat and extreme cold. Older records can crack if they get too cold. Temperatures of 65–70° F are fine for records that are played frequently, but cooler is better for records that don’t come out to play often.
Of course, steer clear of high-traffic areas to avoid bumps and knocks, and clean records before storing to avoid scratches.
Here are some of the most common and recommended ways to creatively display a vinyl collection.
Now Playing Sleeve Display
Designed to hold a record sleeve upright and at an angle, a “Now Playing” display is an attractive way to show off what’s currently spinning on your turntable.
You’ll find lots of options for displaying albums as art in a record frame. Look for frames made from wood or metal to fit with your home’s aesthetic, and if you want easy access to the record, look for “play and display” frames that open and close. Since vinyl comes in different sizes, be sure to get the right size frame for the record you want to display.
Frameless and Floating Display
These systems rely on magnets to display both album covers and actual records without causing damage. Best used in situations where exposure to the elements is limited (and placed at a height out of the reach of grandchildren!), floating and frameless record displays offer a clean-looking, contemporary presentation method.
Tabletop Record Storage
Keep your most frequently played records close at hand with an attractive tabletop display. Some models hold up to 50 records, allowing you to flip through quickly to find what you want to hear. Records are held upright to minimize the warping and cracking risks associated with stacking.
As a collector, you’re probably familiar with the term “crate diggers” – a nod to the countless hours some audiophiles will spend digging through record bins and garage sales in search of vinyl treasure. The dairy industry outlawed the unauthorized use of milk crates after people discovered they made a perfect storage unit for record albums and milk crate theft was running rampant. But fear not – you’ll find all sorts of crate options at home décor stores and online.
Ideal for displaying single album covers, picture ledges come in all sizes, materials and colors. A sturdy lip on the front of the ledge keeps the album in place and upright. Ledges can be easily affixed to a wall with traditional fasteners like nails or screws, or with double-sided adhesive strips designed to minimize damage to the wall surface.
There’s something very satisfying about seeing your entire collection displayed neatly on a shelf, organized by artist, by genre or whatever works best for you. Open shelving provides less protection than a closed storage case, but if you enjoy seeing your collection in its entirety and have taken care to install your shelves out of direct sunlight or heat, records stored upright on a shelf should hold up well.
One-of-a-Kind Personal Displays – Perfect for Gifts
Woodworkers and crafters offer beautiful handmade creations in online artisan marketplaces. You’ll find variations of all the display options mentioned here, crafted from plastic, vinyl, hardwoods or gleaming copper. With gift-giving season fast approaching, look online for a personalized display for the record lover in your life.
All it Takes is One Song to Bring Back 1,000 Memories
As winter approaches and indoor activities are more the norm, make the most of your record collection by revisiting seldom-heard tracks and giving beautiful album art a revival by displaying it in your home. You’ll double your enjoyment by listening to favorite artists while remembering where you first spotted the album in its sleeve, just waiting for you to find it there.