Creative Media Storage: My Winter Project

Help! Our CD storage is a disaster... When my husband and I combined our households, we quickly realized  we had a preponderance of two things: books and music. With bookcases tucked throughout our home, we've found plenty of space to store the hundreds of books in our collection. But our CDs and records haven't been so lucky.

We live in a smaller home, which means we don't have a lot of extra space for bulky things like media cabinets. And CD storage that is both smaller scale and attractive can be hard to find! So we stored our music in the basement, mostly in two dingy CD towers we found at St. Vinny's. But because the CDs were in the basement -- and our CD player was upstairs in the living room -- we almost never listened to them. So, when we rearranged our living room a few weeks ago, my husband had only one request: Somehow, find a way to keep our music and their corresponding devices all in the same place.

Most people we know store all their music digitally -- but my musician husband is sweetly old-school and enjoys browsing the spines of his music collection just as I do my books. So it's time to round up some creative media storage ideas -- how can we comfortably fit hundreds of CDs and records into our small living room?

Luckily, our records fit on the bottom shelf of our stereo cabinet, with some extra room to spare. We briefly considered ditching the jewel cases and storing the CDs in binders, to at least get rid of the bulk of storing them -- until friends who tried that told us they rarely think to crack open the binders.

So, we did the one thing I didn't want to do: We dragged the ugly CD towers up from the basement and plopped them in the corner of our living room. I threw some art on the wall last weekend to help disguise them, but I don't think it's working:

Before the makeover... Ugh, those are UGLY!










This is not a permanent solution, because, boy oh boy, those towers are ugly. So, this winter, I'm determined to find a solution. Perhaps I'll scour Craigslist for old cabinets I can re-purpose, like this one:

vintage cabinet











Or perhaps I'll splurge on something like this, to add some architectural interest to my already-eclectic space:











Or maybe I get out the paint brushes and try to salvage what I already have -- for an effect similar to this?











Though I'd really love something like this built-in, to disguise the CDs when they're not in use (but alas, this isn't exactly in my budget!):









Now it's your turn -- what would you do? (and why?)