Audio furniture that fits “just right”

Our last few pieces we’ve build have been customized versions of our Princeton small audio credenza. We began customizing our pieces with the Standard, and wanted to share our original story from March 2014.

Originally posted March 29, 2014

We recently finished a beautiful walnut credenza for an audiophile client. Sean has a lot of gorgeous equipment, but he was struggling to find an upgrade to his IKEA shelving to hold all of it .

Brokenpress Audio Credenza

The “before” – an IKEA shelving unit showing way too much stuff

He wanted to display his Jolida JD202 tube amp and VPI Classic 2 turntable, while his other components including his Oppo BD83-SE Bluray/Universal Disc Player, Mac Mini and Xbox 360 were to be hidden when not in use. It was a Goldilocks story: at traditional furniture stores, the products were wide enough to fit the tube amp and turntable, but not deep enough for the Bluray player; they were deep enough for the Bluray player, but not wide enough to fit both the tube amp and the turntable. When he did finally find one to fit his specs, it was extremely expensive, and he wasn’t happy with the design.

After a lot of unsuccessful searching, he found the “just right” solution at Brokenpress Design+Fabrication. We came in to measure and view the components. At that time, we noticed it would be best to have the credenza not as tall as our traditional credenzas to make sure the cover of the VPI turntable had enough clearance next to the wall-mounted tv. We left walnut, cherry, white oak and birch samples so Sean had time to decide which species of wood fit best in his home. He decided to go with one of our favorites, the walnut.

brokenpress design audiophile furniture

The “just right” solution – a lower credenza to accommodate the VPI turntable and wall-mounted tv

With his previous IKEA unit, all of Sean’s components were in plain sight.  Now Sean has a beautiful piece of furniture which really highlights his high-end pieces while eliminating clutter. When he needs to access his other components, he just slides the bypass door and is able to access them. Sean chose to upgrade the interior shelves to walnut because he loved the wood’s rich color.

With sliding doors, the components are exposed only when needed.

With sliding doors, the components are exposed only when needed.

One of the unique features of Brokenpress Design+Fabrication audio and video furniture is cord management. We’re all too familiar with the pile cords stuffed behind any audio or video components. At Brokenpress, we take cord management seriously, creating openings large enough for clients needs, while not being overwhelming on the backside of the piece.

Brokenpress Design Chicago Audio furniture cord management

Adjustable shelves and multiple output options for cord management

Brokenpress Design Chicago Audio furniture cord management

Subtle cutouts for cord management


Brokenpress Audiophile Record Storage

All cords organized thanks to Brokenpress

Being such an audiophile, Alex wanted to give Sean record storage for immediate access near the VPI turntable. The shelves are adjustable, so if Sean’s storage needs change in the future, he has the ability to change the shelf height.

Easy access for some of Sean's favorite records.

Easy access for some of Sean’s favorite records.

Sean was very happy with his new audio credenza by Brokenpress. You can read his review of it on our Facebook page. Have questions about an audio credenza for yourself? Send us a note and we’ll get in touch with you!


Vinyl Storage for Audiophiles

Today’s article is a repost from 2014.

We’re big fans of music at Brokenpress. Alex has played music for over twenty years, in post-hardcore bands Hoover and Regulator Watts in Washington, D.C. and Abilene in Chicago. After a big of a hiatus from music, he’s excited to start playing again. My musical knowledge is limited to a chuck wagon triangle, but it’s always been a big part of my life. Together we have, and keep building, a great vinyl collection.

At first, our audio furniture and vinyl pieces came out of a need for storage, and has since evolved to be prototypes for Brokenpress designs.

Brokenpress Audio Storage Vinyl Records Chicago

One of our largest pieces created is a media library center which focuses around my father’s 1976 Kenwood KR-9600. This was the receiver to have during the monster-wars of the 1970’s. I have memories of hopping out of my mom’s car to check the mail, and hearing Dirty Deeds by AC/DC  blaring out of the house that was over 200 feet away. While it gathered dust in my dad’s basement for more than a decade, it’s now the centerpiece of a Brokenpress audio / media shelving unit.  It’s almost at capacity!

Since that piece is almost filled, where else can our records go? We came up with the perfect solution and married our love of vinyl with the need for more seating in our living room. Our bungalow has a beautiful front room with eight windows. The room is long with radiators flanking the sides of the room, making it difficult to put a couch near the front window.  The Brokenpress Design + Fabriction solution? An audio media storage bench. It’s following the same clean lines of the large audio/ media library piece: Baltic birch with white oak plugs, mounted on a steel base. The height is perfect for sitting, and the window sill can be used to hold your cocktail or snack plate when having a party and watching the new season of Mad Men. We’ll add cushions in the near future.  It’s currently holding part of Alex’s vintage radio collection, but we hope to have it filled soon with some great used record finds.


Looking for some ideas for your own audio storage? Contact Brokenpress and let us come up with a solution perfect for your needs.

“His” and “Her” Nightstand Pair – Fabricated by Brokenpress

In September, we received a wonderful review from a client in Yelp. Unfortunately, the review is currently hidden. Instead of it being lost on their website, I thought it would be best to include it here, along with images from the commission. This client originally found us from a DNAInfo article, and was looking for a custom furniture maker to build a pair of modern nightstands in solid cherry that he designed himself. Don’t think Brokenpress Design is your source for audio furniture or vinyl storage. This is another example where we can build high end custom made modern furniture for your needs.

Alex is passionate about his work and craft and very client-oriented. My wife and I needed nightstands for our bedroom, and because of the master bedroom layout, required them in two different sizes that aren’t always available from stores. Just as critical, we had our own ideas about the right design in terms of the position of a drawer and open slots for books, etc., which was also hard to find. And we are very picky about design and quality, as we’re living in a home we designed and built.

We found Alex online and were immediately drawn to the style of his pieces and so gave him a call. He was very helpful on his initial visit and subsequent contacts as we worked through the design and other details. Alex is quite willing to work with your suggestions and then tweak and improve them, which we appreciated. It’s obvious that his interest was in crafting a piece that would truly meet our needs and fit in our space and be well made. He even loaned us a special color chart (from his lovely wife, Jen), to help us get the color of the drawer face right.

The finished pieces are everything we had hoped for and look perfect in the bedroom. And considering the quality and the fact that you can get just what you want, Alex’s work isn’t that expensive. If you can’t find what you need at the usual sources, and you value style and craftsmanship, contact Alex. You won’t be disappointed.

Let us know how Brokenpress can create something beautiful for you!

Brokenpress Hidden Yelp Review

Being Well Received at AXPONA 2015

In April of this year, we at Brokenpress Design+Fabrication participated in our very first tradeshow. Yes, we had popup type installations with the Guerrilla Truck Show and Second Friday at the Fine Arts Building in the past, but AXPONA took it to the next level: a three day trade show for Audiophiles. We showcased two Princeton credenzas in both stationary and mobile options, and a beautiful version of the Standard in mahogany. We even had a giveaway for a hardwood 45 storage box!

Brokenpress Audio Storage Audio Furniture Axpona 2015

For those who don’t know what AXPONA is, in a nutshell, high end audio manufactures and resellers rent out rooms at a hotel and turn them into personal listening rooms where you can experience their products in isolation. It’s pretty interesting walking through floors bustling with people coming in and out of rooms like it’s one big party.

We were located on the main floor in the marketplace. There were a lot of great vendors by us, including Sounds Classic, out of Rockford, who had repaired our Kenwood  KR-9600 the year before, Music Direct, Moo Mats, and Bob’s Devices.

Brokenpress Standard Vinyl audio console storage furniture

It was great seeing people’s reactions when they would come across our products. One of the most frequent questions we received was if we would ship. The good news is, we now can ship, unfortunately, since it requires crating and freight, it is at an additional cost. We do not mark up our shipping charges, so we can always give you an estimate on what that price would be. On Friday, the press was busy in the Marketplace and we were happy to find Brokenpress mentioned in various media outlets. We’ve highlighted some of the feedback, along with links to the original content below. Didn’t make it to AXPONA? You can still contact us to set up an appointment to see our work in person.

 Taking things a step further in the Don Draper direction, if you’re in the market for stylish storage for your vinyl or hi-fi gear, Chicago-based Brokenpress Design + Fabrication creates custom cabinets designed in mid-century-modern styles with that purpose in mind. – The Absolute Sound

Brokenpress: One olive, or two? Awesomely cool, yet simple furniture, perfect for that Mid-Century moment in your listening room. It may look lightweight, but I tried to pick one end up, nope, not light. I want one…Or two…Positive Feedback


Analog Planet


Audio Traveler, Part Time Audiophile, Axpona, Brokenpress, Audio Furniture

 The Audio Traveler


Entertainment Center or Media Console – Whatever Your Needs, Brokenpress Can Help

It’s so hard to find a modern and stylish media console or entertainment center these days. Why settle for a bland, generic, big box tv stand when Brokenpress can build one for your needs?

For people with a lot of space looking for an entertainment center, we created the Christiansen Credenza in walnut. This mammoth custom media stand is seven feet long – and it fits well in our clients’ large living space.

media console with drawers, Custom Built Home Entertainment Storage

The center area is open to easily access satellite/cable boxes and a standalone DVR or DVD player. The two drawers flanking the sides can hold remotes, DVDs and just about anything you need handy but out of sight.  As this family has 3 small children, the extra wide bypass doors on the bottom hold everything from board games to video game systems. We never labeled ourselves as multimedia furniture makers, but this take off our Standard credenza makes a great entertainment console for anyone looking for beautiful and functional storage furniture.

Our next piece was inspired by our first credenza: our Cocktail credenza. These clients had seen our ads in Atomic Ranch and contacted us to design a low profile media console. They loved our original design in white oak with birch boards, and asked us to create the same product in a size specific for their needs.

Mid-Century Modernized Advertisement for Brokenpress Design in Chicago, cocktail credenza, custom bar, bar cabinet, liquor cabinet, brokenpress design, chicago, mcm, atomic ranch

Our first official ad – great outside of page placement!

As with all Brokenpress Design+Fabrication’s pieces, this media cabinet features removable shelves and cord management. If they choose not to store a TV on top of the console, it would make a great buffet or cabinet for cocktail storage.

television stand, modern tv stand, custom tv stand, cool tv stand, mcm tv stand, av storageWhatever your audio or visual needs are, Brokenpress can help! Anything from a simple tv stand to a low profile console or a full fledged entertainment center, Brokenpress’ clean mid-century modern inspired design create a piece of functional furniture for your needs. Tell us how we can help you.

Functional Furniture with our LP Storage Bench

We’re excited to have created the Bukowski Bench – a hardwood walnut window bench that stores 275 LPs. This deluxe piece is only four feet wide and uses walnut throughout. That gave us the opportunity to create angled legs in hardwood instead of our traditional steel stretcher frames. This beauty was a fun one to create. Looking for something to custom for your home or office space? Contact us today.


CD Storage? Not a Problem!

As much as we love vinyl at Brokenpress, we’ll admit, there are still some CD’s lingering in our music collection. So many great compilations and box sets came out on compact disc in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when vinyl was almost dead, and we still listen to them. The good thing is, we’re not alone. We recently received a commission from a client who loved our standard credenza, but needed to store 500 CDs and DVDs for a media room. After visiting the client’s house, Alex recommended to build it in a combination of white oak and birch to compliment the existing wood in the house.

Brokenpress came to the rescue with a new take on CD storage. Honestly, every CD storage tower I have seen in the past had the CDs displayed spine side forward like a book and was relegated to being propped up against a wall. Many people with large collections are looking for a more subtle way to store their music, such as our client. Based on these needs, Alex chose to build drawers as CD storage; a much cleaner and organized way to hold CDs. It also gave the flexibility to hold wider box sets or some of the more creative CD packaging that doesn’t fit in a pre-drilled slot. What if the clients’ musical needs change in time? The CD dividers can be pulled out, making it a traditional drawer.

We also introduced a new longer hardwood pull in solid white oak. It follows the extra wide width of this piece without making it overpowering. The drawers open with ease, and you an easily move back and forth between drawers with our extra sturdy drawer design.

The deep drawer on the left holds everything from DVDs and video games to snacks and remotes for the perfect movie night. The lower shelf of storage with bypass drawers hold both vinyl albums and board games. The Otto Credenza shows that even though Brokenpress Design+Fabrication builds for audiophiles, we can create beautiful and functional furniture for anyone’s needs. Tell us how we can help you!

Fireplace Surrounds Designed & Built by Brokenpress

In the past year, we’ve designed and built two large fireplace surrounds for our clients. The first project was in a newly rehabbed home where a new fireplace had been added to the living room; it was like working with a blank canvas. Alex met with the clients to find out what their storage needs were, which were a combination of shelves to display books and collectables, and enclosed shelves to hide children’s toys and such. He offered quotes for these custom pieces in both wood and “for paint” – still a durable, quality product, but at a substantial cost savings. The clients went for the more affordable option, but kept the mantel in walnut with its cascading grain; a signature in many of our Brokenpress pieces.

The second commission was to create a new mantelpiece and fireplace surround to an existing fireplace. These clients wished to hide the brick wall that enclosed the fireplace with warm walnut. Additionally, they wanted to mount a flat screen tv above the fireplace, but have it hidden when it wasn’t in use. Alex was able to create an updated, modern fireplace without any major demolition. Bypass doors and cord management make the flat screen television disappear for a more formal presentation.

Do you have an existing fireplace that could benefit with more functional storage? Or a wall-mount flat screen tv that should be a little more inconspicuous? Contact Brokenpress and see what we can come up with for you.

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Modern Midwest features Brokenpress Design+Fabrication

We are honored to have been featured recently in Modern Midwest. The article can be read here.

Functional and stylish furniture design by Brokenpress

Brokenpress Design+Fabrication is a family business consisting of Alex and myself. The more we work together, the more we find ourselves collaborating on pieces. Our first collaborative project was our audio bench. We live in our 1923 Chicago Bungalow, named Beatrice, and our living room has 8 windows: four in front and two each on the sides. Radiators flank the two smaller sets of windows, and the low window frame makes it awkward to have a couch pushed up against the window.

Brokenpress Custom Designed Furniture Chicago

Ever since we found our bungalow, I always imagined having a bench up against the window. Once we started collaborating on furniture design at Brokenpress, we found our happy medium: a bench not only for sitting, but also for overflow record storage! Our vinyl LP collection keeps on growing (yes, I’m a crate digger), and why not find the right place to store all those records in a useful space?

Brokenpress LP vinyl record music storage chicago

While we have room to grow with this storage space, it highlights how we at Brokenpress design our furniture for both style and function, and not just to fill a space. It’s a perfect solution for Beatrice, and the design could easily be adapted other Chicago Bungalow owners.

Our next collaborative effort was a bar cart.  I had been eying bar carts for a while, and none of them seemed functional to me. Some were slick and metallic – but who would want to be mixing up a bunch of cocktails when bottles would be banging against a glass shelf? It seemed to be loud and fragile, not to mention a lot of fingerprints to clean up. Other carts too simple to be functional for cocktail creation – a top shelf and one at the wheel level – nothing to support glassware or accessories. Where do the cocktail books go? And the drink umbrellas? Yes, I stock up on liquor at Costco, but who needs to store a 3 foot high bottle of booze? Even if it was a dessert cart for wheeling out desserts and apertifs, space is still needed to store glasses, plates, napkins and forks.

Brokenpress Design bar cart mixology cocktail chicago

We designed our bar cart prototype with multiple levels for various needs. Casters help make the cart mobile, but the brakes on two of them help keep the cart stable when needed.  The removable wooden bottle insert helps organize bottles, and secures them when the cart is in motion. The shelves are wood to dampen sound, and they’re heavy duty, won’t chip and are really easy to clean. Additional shelves and drawers hold ice buckets, store highballs and martini glasses, while concealing necessary accoutrements needed for crafting perfect cocktails without gathering dust. All you need to be the perfect mixologist is contained in one cart! The Brokenpress bar cart is airy and lightweight and built in the signature Brokenpress style of wood and steel.

So, next time you’re thinking you need a furniture piece for your home or office, don’t settle with big box furniture stores, contact Brokenpress instead. We don’t just build furniture, we listen to your needs. Vinyl record storage? Fireplace surround? High traffic storage bench to hold kids toys? Family heirloom? We work with you to design a beautiful piece of furniture that is functional and stylish. When you see what we can0. come up with for a simple storage bench or cocktail bar cart, imagine what we could do with other types of custom storage? Don’t forget, even if you’re not in Chicago, Brokenpress can ship, too. Contact us today to find out more.