Monday, January 15, 2007

design: great media storage

When furniture designers create storage, they usually create a rigid geometrical grid, of, say 13 inch squares. Then they photograph it with pretentious piles of art books and a handful of CDs tastefully arranged in each square. But that's profoundly stupid. An LP record is 12 inches deep, but a CD is only 5 1/2 inches deep; a DVD is almost the same depth as a CD but taller. So the false logic of the storage grid wastes space.

I've had an inchoate idea for variable-depth media shelves for about 15 years. Architects Markoff-Fullerton brought the vision to reality, and Jesus Esparza of Cabinet Solutions built them. It worked out better than my fondest hopes.

media shelvesDVDs/videotapes, then CDs/cassettes, then LPs, then 45s. The uprights are closer together than ordinary bookshelves so there aren't wide expanses of LPs to tilt and warp. The three cabinets to the right hold two equipment racks and miscellaneous. The wall bracket holds my beloved incomparable Rega Planar 3 turntable.

Note how the shelves are perfectly evenly spaced from floor to ceiling. Bruce Fullerton is da man. He also met my space budget for each media, though I'm maxed out on singles.

media shelves
This shows the varying depth. It's good for sound quality since it breaks up reflections from the side walls. Note how the supporting shelves are recessed and darker so the uprights, in a lovely stained ash veneer, are more prominent.

I had the idea to take the same design and rotate it 90 degrees for shelves on the other side of the room:bookshelves
(This alcove is where the equipment cabinet was going to go before our acoustic consultant Richard Bird of Rives Audio recommended firing the speakers across the room instead of down the room. There are only a few shelves because there was going to be an elaborate stainless steel mantel continuing from the fireplace that would wrap into the alcove to create a metal container for firewood... too expensive.)

Jesus Esparza of Cabinet Solutions with his masterwork.

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