I'm a huge fan of those tension pole lamps from the 50s and 60s. You know the ones! The designs of some are simply incredible. I can admit that I search the words "tension pole lamp" quite regularly on Craigslist, but I'm never lucky in finding anything. And the ones you find online or in vintage shops are pricey. As they probably should be - they are so unique! They make me so nostalgic, too. I'm not sure if I remember seeing one in a family member's home when I was little, or elsewhere, but they make me feel nostalgic for some reason.
I think what I love about them is that they add this dimensional and almost architectural element to a room, instead of it just being a table or floor lamp.
Several months ago I was searching all over for vintage record storage. There are lots of cool floor racks you can find, but I really wanted something off the floor. Since our rooms are small, we don't have a lot of floor space. I've seen many vintage commercial record storage racks at antique malls, you know the ones they use to store the records they're selling, and they usually have a big fat "NOT FOR SALE" sign on those. And even though they're really cool looking, they are still on the floor taking up a lot of space.
Supply list: wall-mount magazine rack (mine is from Container Store), tension pole shower caddy (mine is from Bed Bath & Beyond), wire cutters, thin craft wire, thick craft wire or twine, and your records!
SO, when I stumbled onto this vintage record tension pole rack, I thought, "that's it!" So, I came up with my own solution. As much as I'd love to have a vintage one, they're hard to find. I started googling tension rods and I soon found out that they don't make them for 8' and up ceilings, as tension rods are of course usually used for bathroom shower curtains or windows. I was bummed! But on a visit to Bed Bath and Beyond, I came upon the bath section and saw a tension pole shower caddy! Knowing that it's used from floor to ceiling, I thought I might could "hack" it into something I could use. And it was white, which was the color I was looking for. At $20, I bought it and it sat in my studio for a couple months (ha).
When it came to the actual "shelf" that the records would sit on, I thought a magazine holder of some sort would work. After scouring the nets for wall mount magazine files, I found this at the Container Store (I can't tell you how many times that store has come to my rescue!). It was open ended on both ends which was important because most magazine racks are only wide enough to hold a magazine, which is a smaller width than a record (12"). They were white and I loved the design, and at $9.99 each for two, I bought them. So the entire set up cost me $40 which I think isn't bad at all for a unique storage solution as this. If you are smart (unlike me) you could use one of those Bed Bath & Beyond coupons you probably get in the mail.
The great thing about the shower caddy, is they already come with these little "stoppers" where the bath shelving would be attached, so I had a place to jerry-rig my magazine files to. So nothing would be sliding down vertically. Here is how I crudely attached my magazine file to the pole. Hey, it doesn't look pretty, but it worked! I first wrapped thin craft wire (which I already had on hand) around the oval part of the clasp that clamps around the pole. (see #1 below). The wire pulls it tight (it would've been pulled tight by attaching the bath baskets, but since I wasn't using those, I needed to pull it tight some other way).
Then the magazine file just sits in the top groove of that oval and then I used thicker wire to wrap around the magazine file, the pole, and the oval clamp (#2 above). This helps the magazine file to stay put and not teeter-totter to the left and right. You could also use twine for this step, which might be a better idea because I did stab myself a few times with that thick wire! (i have the cuts to prove it.) Wear gloves for sure. I would stick with the thinner craft wire for wrapping around the oval part though, because the wire keeps it nice and tight.
Each rack holds a handful of records. It definitely holds the weight! And if you're aesthetically anal retentive like me, you can choose album covers that have a similar color palette as your room. I also use it to hold the current record I'm listening to. It's a great way to use your albums as art as well. Right now our's is holding lots of holiday records, so it serves as holiday decor, too!
And it looks pretty bathed in pink-christmas-tree-light at night. : )