Movie buffs and music lovers understand the challenges of storing an ever-growing collection of DVDs and CDs. Rummaging through boxes and cupboards is time-consuming and can damage cases and discs.
A multimedia storage unit is the perfect way to protect your collection while injecting some style into your entertainment area. If you are having trouble deciding which storage unit best suits your needs, here is our complete guide to buying media storage.
An entertainment unit combines your multimedia storage needs with your TV, sound system, digital players and gaming consoles to keep all your multimedia items in a single, convenient location.
Many units feature both open and closed shelving to keep your DVD and CD collection dust-free, and a cable management system to hide unsightly cords and keep your den, living room, basement or bedroom clutter-free.
For homes that are short on space, a wall-mounted unit offers the ideal versatile space-saving solution by maximizing the vertical space in your home. Wall-mounted units can be placed alongside your current home media unit or attached along hallways or in the corner of the room.
Open shelving units offer the largest storage capacity of any multimedia organizational solution to accommodate your entire collection while allowing for easy accessibility. This type of shelving enables you to display your collection and integrate it into your home décor.
These units are available in a range of styles including minimal modern designs to suit industrial, and Scandi styled homes to ornate designs with wainscotting and scrollwork that complement transitional and traditional homes.
Open shelving comes with a serious drawback though - the need to dust your collection often.
If you are looking for a storage solution that organizes your collection while protecting it from dust and damage, then a cabinet is the right choice for you. Cabinets typically feature adjustable internal shelves that allow you to customize the space to fit your collection as well as sliding or hinged doors to protect your multimedia items.
Cabinets are also an excellent option for homes with a sleek aesthetic such as minimal or mid-century modern homes where a visible multimedia collection would disrupt the flow of the design elements.
The most basic form of multimedia storage is the racking system. Available in a variety of styles and sizes including small wall-mounted wire racks that can hold up to 30 CDs or DVDs as well as large free-standing units to accommodate hundreds of multimedia discs.
These units often feature angled racks that provide added security for your collection. Racking systems may also offer discrete slots for individual CDs and DVDs. Racking is typically designed with a contemporary aesthetic and is ideally suited to urban modern, contemporary or industrial style homes.
Media storage drawer units evoke the classic appeal of an apothecary cabinet and make a stylish addition to bohemian, Scandi or eclectic styled homes. These units appear similar to an entertainment unit or buffet but feature an increased number of drawers perfectly designed to fit CDs and DVDs.
The drawers keep multimedia items neatly organized and protected. They also help to conceal CD and DVD cases which may disrupt the aesthetic of your entertainment room.
When shopping for a media storage unit, there are some essential features to consider:
Whether you have a small selection of favorites or a huge collection you want to display, buying a media storage unit with a large capacity ensures that you will always have room for every item and space for expansion as your collection grows. Most medium to large units can hold more than a hundred CDs, DVDs or gaming discs, however, if you have limited space in your home, try buying multiple small wall-mounted units to create a modular style storage system.
While a single CD weighs less than your cell phone, large multimedia collections can put a strain on the structural integrity of your storage unit over time. Look for units constructed from durable materials such as powder-coated metal, solid wood or strong plastic with quality craftsmanship that is built to last.
The finish defines how the media storage unit will fit into your home decor, so you need to select a unit with a high-quality finish that blends with your style.
Natural wood grains add warmth and texture to a living space, while high-gloss finishes give the room a modern, minimalist appearance.
You can also use the finish of the unit to create a dramatic statement which is ideal for entertainment units where the TV is the focal point of the room.
A striking distressed wood finish with exposed hardware for French country, shabby chic or farmhouse-style homes. Or opt for a matte wood finish for urban modern and transitional decor styles.
Ideally, you will want a unit that grows along with your multimedia collection. Adjustable shelves allow you to customize the storage space for improved organization that is more aesthetically pleasing. It also allows you to display other home decor accessories in addition to your multimedia items to elevate the style of your room.
Many styles of multimedia storage racks feature a rotating carousel that allows you to store CDs and DVDs on all sides of the unit and still be able to access them quickly.
Other units use a combination of open shelves to allow you to display your frequently used items, and cabinets to protect rare or less used items.
Positioning your multimedia storage close to your entertainment system keeps all your media in a single area and improves accessibility.
The size of your media storage unit depends on the proportions of other furniture and the size of your collection. Before buying a media storage unit, you should:
Go through your multimedia collection and take an inventory. Count the number of CDs, DVDs and gaming discs you currently have and make a vague estimate as to how much your collection may grow in the future.
Add 30% to the total number of multimedia items in your collection, and that should give you a rough idea on the capacity you need.
Match the unit to the proportions of the furniture and the overall size of the room. Take exact measurements of the location, allowing for 2-3 inches clearance on each side.
- Consider Additional Functions
If you plan on using your multimedia storage unit for more than just displaying your collection of DVDs and CDs, you need to choose a unit with additional surface and storage space. For multifunctional pieces, an entertainment unit is the best option as it offers a wide variety of storage areas including shelves, cabinets and horizontal surfaces for displaying accessories and digital players.
The material you choose for your media storage unit will depend on your current décor and the type of finish you desire. Different options include:
One of the most durable options for media storage is solid wood. Ideally suited to large entertainment units, cabinets and shelving solid wood often come with a natural wood grain finish to add depth and interest to your entertainment area. Hardwoods like oak or maple are denser than softwoods like pine and offer greater stability and longevity.
Choosing media storage constructed from hardwood may mean a bigger initial investment but can save you money long-term as you are less likely to need to replace or repair the unit.
Manufactured wood offers an affordable alternative to solid wood and allows for easy installationshould you need to asseble the unit yourself. It also comes in a variety of colors and finishes to suit your decor.
Some media storage unit comes with a metal frame that can be a great addition to a modern or industrial styled home. Check that the metal used is corrosion-resistant or powder-coated to preserve the structural integrity and prolong the life of the piece.
One of the benefits of using metal as a designer is that it is malleable and can be bent into a range of interesting shapes. A geometric or novelty style multimedia unit can be an eye-catching statement piece as well as functional storage.
Glass offers a unique option for organizing your collection. Tempered glass shelves can help a small space appear larger due to the transparency and open structure of the shelves. Glass can add texture to a room and complements coastal, modern and contemporary style rooms. Hoever, if your collection is huge, this kind of transparency may cause unattractive visual clutter.
- Begin by taking stock of your multimedia collection and deciding whether you need space-saving storage or a combined multimedia and entertainment unit.
- When selecting a size, keep your storage unit to scale with the rest of the furniture in the room for a balanced design.
- Choose a material and finish that complements your décor and adds textural interest to the space.
- Look for features that enhance the accessibility of your media items while protecting them from damage.
Tara is a San Antonio-based award-winning landscape architect, writer and educator, passionate about eco-friendly solutions and growing her own food. She knows all it takes to help you create a sustainable backyard retreat that combines blissful charm with a modern take on landscaping.
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