Atocha Design

It was a pleasure to finally meet Nick and Jennifer Atocha, makers of the most beautiful record cabinets I’ve ever seen. In the imaginary future of my mind, I will live in an old brownstone with extremely high ceilings, wide plank floors, cool chandeliers, a spiral staircase, a grand fireplace, a secret library, sky lighting, and at least three or five (I don’t like even numbers) of Atocha’s record cabinets.

Jennifer very slyly warned me of the possibility—no, inevitability—of my dear Ikea Expedit shelves collapsing beneath the weight of all my precious vinyl. I frowned.

“Do you have children?” she asked.




“Then don’t worry. Your records won’t break. When it happens, just send me a picture.”

“That’s not funny.”

Nick and Jennifer share backgrounds in music and design. Their record cabinet is a perfect example of functional beauty: It stores hundreds of records, providing easy access to a collection while showcasing the gorgeous album art. Typical record shelves display only the spines, and, as Michael Fremer says, “When you only see the spine, it’s easy to forget the face—kind of like dating in the 70s.” Who wants that?

Speaking of break-ups, Jennifer also broke the news of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore’s separation after 27 years of marriage and 16 full-length albums with their band, Sonic Youth. What is the world coming to? Is nothing sacred?

“Do you have any other bad news for me, Jennifer?”

Lovely people, Nick and Jennifer live and work in New York City and I look forward to visiting their showroom. Jennifer says she's looking to partner with a turntable manufacturer here in the US. Many customers ask her advice in building a system, so she would like to develop stronger relationships in the hi-fi world. Atocha record cabinets not only provide a lovely solution for storing records, but they also inspire their users to become reacquainted with their collections. People who own the Atocha cabinets want to listen to vinyl again. And if that's not hi-fi, I don't know what is: Every good audio component should lead to the discovery (and rediscovery) of great music.

oscar nr's picture

not my taste in design. You can change the shelves of Ikea expedit every 7-10 years (for example)before they bend or collapse for a few bucks.

My Expedit is 5 year old and in good shape.

PD. Thurston and Gordon broke-up!!!!


Good job, Stephen. I like this blog.

Jaques Fish's picture

what design?A pseudo mid-century modern sideboard with drawers big enough to fit an LP or two.Genius! And for that they want the better part of $6000?? No thanks. I'll stick to my low brow Expedits. Even if they do break, I could replace them 100 times over before I'd payed for one of their master pieces.

You want to be good designers? Design me something that bests the particle board Expedits at a reasonable price ($1000-$2000).

Stephen Mejias's picture

Atocha's furniture is hand-crafted and built-to-order, by very kind and thoughtful people, right here in the US.

Standard wood options include American Walnut, Maple, Oak, or Cherry. The cabinets use sustainably harvested materials and custom-made, solid-brass drawer pulls. These cabinets are designed specifically to carry, protect, and showcase a music collection.  The basic 4-drawer configuration holds up to 380 LPs and costs $3900. 

I can't afford that myself; fortunately, I have the sense and perspective to see the deep value presented by the Atocha cabinets.  No one but me will ever use my cheap, albeit nice, bookcase from Ikea—a temporary solution to a growing problem. The Atocha cabinet, on the other hand, is an heirloom product—one to be loved and shared—made to last more than one lifetime. 

Jaques Fish's picture

then it's not "A bargain" now, is it?

"fortunately, I have the sense and perspective to see the deep value presented by the Atocha cabinets." But not the cents to buy one.

"The Atocha cabinet, on the other hand, is an heirloom product—one to be loved and shared—made to last more than one lifetime. " You forgot to add; "if it was remotely affordable."

Note to self. Must retake advertorial course 101 AGAIN! ;-)





jamesbythebay's picture

Hey, the Atocha's furniture looks well though out, and is very well made. Have any of you guys criticizing the price of these handcrafted goods shopped for furniture outside of an IKEA lately? It's expensive.  Almost all furniture you'll find out there will have been made of the poorest quality materials with no craftsmanship evident. Even the cheaply made stuff will be expensive. And yes, often enough it will be just as pricy as what the Atochas charge.

Mr. Fisher, are you aware how much high grade lumber, or quality sheet goods (veneered plywoods) cost in today's market? When I went with the cabinet maker to the lumber yard to select the right piece of 4'x8' veneered ply for a bathroom vanity, I ended up paying almost $200. The total cost of materials for the entire vanity, not including the countertop, sinks or plumbing, was about $900. Jacques, there's just no way you're going to get quality for the $1,000-$2,000 price you're asking for.

Go to the Ethan Allens, or Ashley or whichever large showroom you'd like. Yeah, some of the stuff is made of actual wood. But take an extra second or two to inspect the joinery. It's all machine made to fairly loose tolerances. One joint might be tightly put together, and the rest will be loose. The carcases rack easily. The wood is very low grade. The finishes are poor quality and will not age well. You'll spend more of the time regretting your purchase than enjoying it.

As I type this, I'm sitting looking at a handmade cherry sideboard cabinet that my wife's grandmother hand the good sense to spend too much money on back in the early 1950's. It's a thing of beauty. It was made by men who ensured quality at every step of the construction process. My grandmother-inlaw paid for quality that has lasted all these years. Guess what? My 12 year old daughter loves it and already imagines having in her home one day. Just think about that. By the time my daughter is through with it, our family will have enjoy that one piece of furniture for at least 80 years. And I'm not talking about some super rare, highly collectable designer piece. I'm just talking about your average, run of the mill, beautiful, and well made piece of furniture.

If the Atochas build to the level of quality Mr. Meijas indicates, then they are building fairly priced furniture. And if their work serves a family for several lifetimes, then they are probably offering bargain priced goods. Warren Buffet said it best, "The price is what you pay, the value is what you get."