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Audio Storage

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.

brokenpress-bench-web

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

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.

Showcasing Record Cover Artwork

Did we ever mention that we’re vinyl junkies at Brokenpress Design+Fabrication? One of the reasons why we love to design and build custom audio furniture is because we love music. It’s rare when a record isn’t being spun at our home on Chicago’s northwest side.

Brokenpress Chicago Audio Furniture Vinyl Records

Back when Reckless Records would use post-its for their album reviews

A favorite part of collecting records, besides hearing on early 1970’s monster wars audio equipment, is enjoying incredible album cover art. Maybe my background in graphic design makes me a little biased, but album cover artwork, notably from early 1960’s albums, are often works of art in their own right. To highlight that, we designed a record rail to not only display beautiful album covers, but to also let inquiring minds know what you’re spinning, as well as what’s up next. It’s form and function all rolled up in one.

Brokenpress Audio Furniture Chicago record rail vinyl

Les Baxter is one of our favorites – in both 10″ and 12″ varieties

Brokenpress Furniture Alex Dunham Clash London Calling 12" single vinyl

Who doesn’t love a Clash dance party?

We think our record rail is the perfect way to display album artwork that we even brought it to the Guerrilla Truck Show.

Guerrilla truck show brokenpress design furniture audio chicago

Esquivel and Man from U.N.C.L.E volume 2

Don’t have room to put a record rail above your turntable? At Brokenpress, we can make any size record rail in the wood species of your choice to match your existing furniture. It can showcase your favorite records as both functional and artistic pieces. Don’t think your record collection is worthy of an LP display? Pffft! Our record rail can be used to display artwork, too.  Want to find out more? Contact us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.