Vinyl Record Shelf - The Surznick Common Room

Monday, February 8, 2016

Vinyl Record Shelf


Do you ever live with a piece of furniture for so long that it never even crosses your mind, but then one day you look and realize, "Wow, that is so ugly. Why do I have that?" That's the story of me and our vinyl record shelf.


Even in our dining room tour I didn't mind it. Maybe I was just so blinded by the things in this room I do like, such as our salvaged ladder, the mantle, or the color coded books. But recently I saw this shelf with new eyes and decided it has got to go. The bookshelf that was holding our records came from my childhood bedroom. It was cheap, flimsy, and certainly not doing us any favors.


I knew right away what I wanted our new record shelf to look like: crisp, white, sturdy, and elevated off the floor with some fun legs. I know IKEA is a great resource for shelving units, so I searched their site until I found the KALLAX shelving unit in white. We live pretty close to an IKEA, but we instead ordered online, as shipping was only $10 (good to know for those that don't live close to IKEA!)


Once we picked the shelving unit, I immediately envisioned some stained, mid-century modern wooden legs. We purchased the Waddell 5.5" Round Taper Legs from Home Depot, along with the corresponding mounting plates. We stained the legs in Minwax Early American, as we've used this stain on other projects and really like the color. Plus we already had plenty on hand for an upcoming project that we'll tackle in the spring.


Assembling the shelf was super simple and only took maybe 15 minutes. Then we laid out the mounting plates on the bottom of the shelf and marked where the screws would go. Nick drilled small pilot holes for the screws, and then attached the plates with the drill. The final step was to screw the legs into the plates and we were done!


Our new record shelf is approximately one million times better than the old one. Like, how did it not occur to us that it looked like our furniture came from a dorm room? This new shelf is beautiful, clean, and sophisticated. Now whenever I walk by I do a double take because this baby is just so dang gorgeous.


What do you think of our makeover? By the way, this shelf has opened my eyes to the state of our other bookshelves (yes, they are from Nick's childhood bedroom.) One day they'll get their pretty upgrade too!

Shelf \ IKEA
Legs, Mounting Plates, and Wood Stain \ Home Depot
Record Player \ Urban Outfitters
Turquoise Vase \ TJ Maxx
Pom Pom Dandelions \ DIY

Sarah & Nick

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26 comments:

  1. Love this! Going to make one as a gift for my favorite audiophile!

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  2. What white Ikea Kallax shelf did you buy? White or high gloss white?

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    1. Just white (not high gloss!) Thanks for reading!

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  3. Hello, what is the height of the legs? looks really good

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    1. Hi Mike, thanks for your comment! The legs are 5.5". The exact legs are linked above in the post if that helps!

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  4. What are the dimensions of the shelves? The IKEA website has the dimensions of the piece as a whole, but not the individual shelves within it. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Laura! Sorry that it took so long to get back to you! The shelves are about 13x13". They very easily fit a standard 12" record.

      Thanks for reading!

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  5. how many do you think it would hold. I have alot of vinyls! and will it take the weight of them? I love how yours looks!!

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    1. Hi there! We have about 70 records on ours now (split 35/35 between two shelves). The shelves aren't sagging at all, so I would guess about 200 records? Our shelf feels very secure with 70 records, so I think we will probably run out of space before it would start having issues because of the weight. Thank you for your question! :) Send us a photo if you make one for your home!

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  6. Hi, what speakers do you guys use with your Crosley? I have the same shelf in espresso with a Crosley Cruiser on it, great minds and all that :) I've been trying to figure out what to do with it as I didn't like having it so close to the ground. The legs are a fantastic idea!

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    1. Hi Barbie! Thank you for your comment! :) We have Bose speakers. I think they're an older version of these (http://amzn.to/2cbEVNz) but they were a hand-me-down from a friend so I don't know much about them. We love them though! On the Crosley we just plugged them into the headphone jack, but we have since gotten rid of the Crosley and upgraded to an Audio Technica, which doesn't have internal speakers at all. The Audio Technica is in the same price point as the Crosley but has infinitely better sound quality, in our opinion. Best of luck with your system!

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  7. did screws come with the mounting plate?

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    1. Hi Daniel,

      Yes - the mounting plates come with screws!

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  8. Made this last night. Perfect! The only thing I did different was using the angled legs in the front for a kind of retro look. Brilliant idea! Thank you! If I could figure out how to post a picture....

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  9. Hi Sarah, This is a brilliant idea. I'm thinking of doing the 8 cube Kallax, so twice the width (would do 6 cubes, but they don't appear to make one with 6 cubes). I think I will have to do 6 legs, at a minimum, for the wider unit. What are your thoughts on that? Also, I'm considering the 7.5" Waddell legs. Do you think the slightly taller legs will make the unit unstable? Final question for you, is the unit stable for your turntable? Thank you so much for this great post! Jen

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    1. Hi Jen - thanks for reaching out! I think 6 legs definitely sounds suitable for an 8 cube Kallax. I haven't used the 7.5" Waddell legs, but I find the 5.5" to be very stable. I think if you used 6 legs accommodate for the extra weight, you should be good. Overall, our setup is very stable! Since the photos in this post were taken, we've gotten a different record player and added a bunch of new records. We haven't seen any signs of instability or sagging. We have about 80 or so records spread out amongst the shelves, but extra knick knacks to style the empty space. Both the unit itself and the legs seem to be supporting the weight very well. I think we'll end up running out of room for more records before we see any issues with support. I hope this helps!
      Sarah

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  10. Hi there- thanks for the detailed write up on how to put this together. Love the design and I'm currently staining legs for this.

    I did have someone at the hardware store caution me about screwing mounting plates directly into particleboard, due to the likelihood of it cracking over time. She was recommending a reinforcing layer of plywood between the particleboard and the legs.

    When you guys drilled in the leg mounting plates, did it feel like the screws got a good solid bite? Have you noticed any increased wobble as you move or load the table over time?

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    1. Hi Evan! Thanks for reaching out! When we drilled the mounting plates into the bottom of the shelf, it definitely felt very secure. We've had no issues with stability when adding weight or moving the shelf around. Since this post we've moved to a different house, so it got moved around a bunch during that process and we've had no issues. All in all, we think it's very secure and we highly recommend it!

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  11. Hello there, thanks for a thorough and illuminating write-up; loving your work. I am interested in your decision to buy light wood-coloured legs and stain them for this project. The darker, rich end result looks great, but I have heard that stained wood looks less natural than employing a rich wood and drawing out the colour with, say, Danish oil, and is also more prone to showing knocks. Perhaps you were colour-matching other furniture? Have you experienced any downsides with using a stain? Thanks, Johnny

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    1. Hi John, thanks for your comment! We knew we wanted to use a mid-century style leg for the record stand and I had seen other people use these legs for projects, so we decided to give them a shot. We already had the stain on hand, so that's why we used it, but haven't regretted the decision once. We've never used Danish oil on wood before (but would like to try it sometime!) so it just wasn't something that we would have thought of at the time. Since making the record stand almost a year ago, we've moved to a new house and have not had any issues with knicks in the wood or imperfections with the stain. All in all, no downsides - we really love it!

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  12. Thanks for the inspiration! My husband bought me a record player and 1 record for my birthday this year, but since we moved 6 months ago and brought 0 furniture with us, we didn't really have a place for it. This was the perfect solution because it doesn't take up a lot of room but still has good storage. We're adding some hairpin legs to it soon.

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    1. Hi Samantha! That sounds awesome - I'd love to see it! We're big fans of hairpin legs around here too.

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  14. I love this post! What is the process you used for staining the legs? I've been having such a hard time finding a nice stand for my record player. I can't wait to build this.

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    1. Hi Katherine - thanks for reading! :) We added a small amount of stain to a rag and wiped the legs with it until they were coated evenly. Then we used another dry rag and wiped the excess stain away. Sorry we didn't share any photos of the process, but I hope that helps! If you have a piece of scrap wood lying around, you could test your stain on there first to see how it would work!

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