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My Maine choice
Over the years I have bought numerous pieces of flat-pack furniture from Argos, for a number of reasons, namely - cheap, decent quality, easy to assemble and most importantly convenience of shopping there. This "Maine" range of no-frills storage and display units has been an Argos staple for as long as I can remember, in fact my first home 21+ years ago was furnished with bookcases and CD storage units from this range.
I acquired this tower unit when my partner was having a bit of a move around and he was upgrading to more quality furnishings. I was quick to snap it up from him as I knew it was decent quality, having been the one that had to go and pick it up from Argos and also the one who had to put it together!
Putting this unit was a ten minute job. It was so simple, with just a handful dowels to glue into glue and a handful of locking screws to turn. The centre shelf is fixed in place as part of the assembly, but the remaining shelves are adjustable so these are just placed according to your requirements, supported by little silver pegs which push into (and pull easily out of) little pre-drilled holes.
The main material of the unit is laminate faced MDF, and the range is available in a range of wood finishes as well as black or white. Mine is a beech effect which makes it great in my spare room which is completely neutral coloured. The finish to the wood is really good quality, there are no areas where the laminate is coming away or chipping and there is a totally smooth feel to it.
The first thing that hits you about this unit is that it's very tall and very slim. The dimensions are 180cm high and 19.2cm wide, 15.3cm deep.
An individual shelf hold 11 DVDs, or 16 CDs, or 8 DS game boxes. The unit comes with 9 shelves which can be positioned according to your preferred usage - you will only need all 9 if you are using solely for CDs or DS games, at present I have 7 shelves in use with two shelves holding DVDs and the rest CDs/DS.
In terms of the depth of the shelves, the CDs almost fill the shelf, with a neat few millimetres at the front when the CDs are pushed to the back. Similarly my DVDs and DS games all fit right into the shelves with nothing overhanging, meaning everything looks lovely and tidy.
Crystal ball time
With the changes in the way we download media these days I guess this type of unit might be on its way out, but personally I can never see a time when I will want to get rid of all my CDs and DVDs and similarly I imagine for gamers there is something about owning a physical game box and needing somewhere to store them.
One Maine Use only!
In terms of its universal appeal, this is a media storage unit and isn't suited to anything else in my opinion. For instance, some bookcases or media units look good partially filled with books or CDs and with other shelves showing ornaments off. First of all, the size of this unit doesn't lend itself to that, but more importantly, the weight of the media being stored in the unit is critical to its stability. Being so tall and slim there is always a bit of a nagging fear that it could topple over.
Mine is currently standing up against a wall and has never shown any real sign that it would fall over, but nevertheless, I do often detect a slight sway, it isn't the most stable design or structure bearing in mind such a small "footprint" for something so tall. It's definitely something to be careful about - it needs to be securely grounded on a flat floor and ideally needs to be kept full in my opinion, and if possible, weightier items at the bottom. It would be possible to fix it to a wall or in between other cabinets, that would probably be a preferable arrangement.
Price & Recommendation
When it was purchased, it was in the sale and cost £14.99 - they are currently £16.99 but the range seems to pop up on offers fairly regularly and as a functional piece of furniture for its purpose, it comes highly recommended from me.
I purchased this from Argos a while ago.
It's described as a DVD/CD storage system, it's extremely tall H180, W19.2, D15.3cm. It's slim, it can be free standing or fixed to the wall. It holds 60 DVDs or 150 CD's. It has 8 movable shelves and two fixed shelves.
It's £19.99 from Argos, it's also available in other wood types.
I love this unit, we however are using it for a book shelf, we had a tiny space around the back of our bedroom door, I'd got lots of books piled up with no where for them to go and I suddenly had an idea I need a very thin tall book shelf!! this is perfect for my books! it would also be perfect for it's actual use as well; DVD's and CD's. I love the fact it has adjustable shelves so I've moved the shelves to different heights for the different heights of books I have, I have a few shelves left over because I didn't need them all for books but the fact it has little holes for moving the shelves almost anywhere up and down the unit is great.
It's well made and was extremely easy for me to put together on my own, we have fixed it to the wall (I did need a little help for that!) so I don't know how sturdy it would be free standing as it's very tall and thin, personally I would always fix it to the wall.
I asked for one of these for my room when my other shelf ran out of room for my dvds, the only available colour was black though but this didn't bother me, I just wanted more space! Buying furniture is usually an annoying hassle as we need to find a balance between something that's decent quality and something that's fairly cheap and we luckily found this is Argos for just £20.
Size H180, W19.2, D15.3cm.
The shelf is very tall, close to touching the ceiling but very thin, thinner than I've ever seen any other shelves so you don't need much space in your room for it to fit.
It didn't take my mum too long to construct the basic shape of the shelf but I suggest you make it in the room it's going to put in as, moving it was quite heavy and hard not knock it on the ceiling as it's alsmot 2metres tall! The bottom has a curved but cut out to allow room for the skirting boards, so the shelf can be pushed right up against the wall. The shelf claims to be self standing however we chose to still lean it slightly though because it didn't fell entirely secure enough to stand up and didn't want to fall on me during the night! We think my floor is very slightly sloped though so I'm sure it would be fine otherwise and it never has fallen over though so this is good obviously haha.
There are two fixed shelves and the rest are adjustible for you to choose where to place them. Mum left it to me to place the little shelf pieces inside as it was for my room, you get more than enough and you can either have lots or less depending on whether you want spaces for either CDs or DVDs or a mix of both. I just did DVD sized spaces and still had about four of the adjustable shelves left over so you can always change your mind.
You can store about 60 DVDs or 150 CDs and I manage to fit about 9 Dvds on each shelf, usually one less if the dvds have cardboard cases. I quite like this as I can organize my dvds into little sections such as really girly films, comedies, tim burton and tv series. The only downside is not all my dvds did fit and I have since bought a larger shelf for the rest of DVDs.
I would only recommend this shelf for teenagers rooms, but only those who don't own that many dvds. Or maybe just to use the shelf for CDs but it won't be big enough for people with a large CD collection. either.
As my husband and I own a rather large number of DVDs, CDs, X Box and Nintendo DS games storage was becoming a big problem in our home. A couple of years ago we purchased a number of CD/DVD towers from Ikea, which met our needs at that particular time. However, our collection continued to grow and as a result we found ourselves bundling them into boxes and storing them in our wardrobes.
I am rather fussy when it comes to purchasing furniture and in respect of CD/DVD storage I had a number of requirements:-
* It had to be of a good quality, as we did not wish to be replacing it due to warping shelves or paintwork/wood giving a worn appearance
* The colour had to blend in with our décor
* We required something that was tall as opposed to wide, as we didn't wish to take up too much floor space.
* It had to hold at least 50 CDs/DVDs
* It had to be within budget of around £30 - £40 each, particularly as we were intending to make a purchase of four.
Ideally, I would have preferred to purchase a piece of furniture with glass doors, particularly as this would cut down on the level of dust, but obviously, this would have significantly increased the price. As the units were to be stored in one of our spare rooms we decided to opt for a plain tower style and after a little research purchased four Main Tall CD and DVD Storage Towers from Argos in the colour white.
SPECIFICATIONS AND ASSEMBLING OF THE TOWER
I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Argos furniture, as many items I have purchased in the past have been of an inferior quality and did not stand the test of time. However, our research had provided us with limited choices, so our final decision was based on the fact that each of the towers is 180 cm in height, 15 cm in depth and 19 cm in width whilst holding up to 150 CDs, 60 DVDs or 60 video games. Unfortunately, the information contained within the Autumn/Winter Argos catalogue is somewhat limited and it was necessary to go online to obtain the full specifications prior to our purchase. However, both the catalogue and Argos website fail to provide details of the material that the towers are manufactured from and I find this extremely misleading and inappropriate, particularly as they are not providing the consumer with the full facts to enable them to make an informed choice. The catalogue states that the towers are flat packed and require minimal assembly with the accompanying image displaying 11 shelves. Consequently, our purchases were made in store, which was a nightmare in itself, as not one of the eight Argos stores within a 20 mile radius of our home held more than two in stock, so we found ourselves visiting three stores to obtain the four we required.
Each of the boxes weighs 10 kg; the information of which is available on the Argos website. However, Argos fails to mention this in their catalogue and I think this is of real importance, particularly as not everybody has access to the internet. The boxes were rather awkward to carry due to their length, so it is advisable to find an Argos store that has a car park fairly close by. On arriving home we unpacked one of the boxes to find a very easy to follow instruction sheet, which in all honestly, was tossed to the side, as it was obvious which part needed to go where. It was at this point that we discovered the towers are manufactured from sturdy chipboard with a laminate finish. The inner section of the side panels of the shelves provided the relevant number of holes for the shelves dependent upon whether it was intended for DVD or CD storage. However, this is where our problems began, as on the Argos website it clearly states there are eight adjustable shelves and two fixed shelves, but this is far from the case. The first fixed shelf is in the centre where holes have been drilled directly through the side panels, so this is the starting point for fitting the shelves. The second "fixed shelf" to which Argos refer is the bottom shelf, which can hardly be classed as a fixed shelf, as this is the base of the tower.
We continued to measure the distance of the remaining shelves by using a CD and firmly pushed with our fingers the silver metal plugs into the ready drilled holes on which the shelves firmly lay. We continued following this course of action until we reached the upper section of the tower and this is where we encountered our first problems, as there was only one choice of where to fit the plugs for each of the upper two shelves; both of which have a 5cm gap above them when CDs are stored. We continued to work in the opposite direction and found that we were unable to use all of the provided shelves with the lowest shelf providing a height suitable for the storage of DVDs as opposed to CDs. We could not figure out what had gone wrong, particularly as the CDs fitted perfectly onto each of the other shelves with the exception of the upper two and provided a gap above them of approximately 2 cm. I would point out at this stage that both my husband and I are proficient in DIY with him having a wealth of knowledge, so we knew it wasn't us. Consequently, there were no other options available to us, particularly as we were using the holes that were already drilled into the side panels and Argos has failed miserably in providing a sufficient number of holes. I counted the shelves on our CD tower, which equated to nine yet the catalogue image clearly displays eleven; all of which are of identical and perfect heights for CDs.
The rear panel is made from fairly sturdy chipboard and is provided in two pieces, which need to be nailed to the back once the shelves have been fitted. Why this section was not provided in one piece is a total mystery to me. The box contained 2 x 90 degrees brackets to fit the plinths on the lower section of the shelves to create the finishing touch. Thankfully, there were sufficient screws and nails to complete the task as well as some white plastic caps, which needed to be placed over the screws holding the fixed shelf. We proceeded to assemble the second tower in exactly the same way only to achieve identical results! Despite the frustrations each tower took us approximately 20 minutes to assemble with my husband and I completing two each.
As we required the remaining two towers for DVD storage we used a DVD to measure where we required our shelves and again were met with problems, as this time we used 7 shelves with two not being suitable for DVDs and can only be used for CD storage! Whilst this may be me being fussy, I expected to receive what we paid for and did not wish to mix DVDs with CDs and vice versa and in addition to this, there is a fair amount of wasted space, particularly on the CD shelves. Unfortunately, Argos fail to display an image of the shelves containing DVDs and each of the choice of colours simply shows CDs. I always used to make fun of one of my work colleagues who would always experience problems when assembling furniture, as he would always have a piece left over. However, this was the case for us, as we had several pieces left over! On a positive note the towers are of a good quality and finish and blend in well with the furniture in our spare bedroom and whilst ours are free standing they are suitable for wall mounting. Whilst I have not counted each and every one of the CDs, DVDs, X Box and Nintendo DS games stored on the shelves, obviously they do not equate to the numbers quoted by Argos due to the fact that we could not fit all of the shelves.
As you've no doubt guessed, I am not particularly happy, as when I make a purchase I expect it to be as advertised and I feel rather cheated, as the towers do not meet the our expectations, which were based on the images in both the catalogue and the Argos website. Due to the large number of niggles I can only give these towers 2 stars, as they are extremely disappointing. As a result, our storage needs have not fully been met, as we are unable to store the number of items that we had expected. This has been a case of another lesson learned with Argos flat packed furniture and if we had known then what we know now, we most certainly would not have made these purchases.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
If after reading my review, you are interested in purchasing these towers, they are available in a choice of six colours, namely Black Ash Effect, Oak Effect, Beech Effect, White, Pine Effect and Walnut Effect and will cost £19.99 per tower. They can be found on page 1103, item number 6 of the current Argos Autumn/Winter catalogue.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.