A wine cellar is a necessity for anyone who collects wine for pleasure or investment. The good news is that it's no longer necessary to live in a grand country house to aspire of having a wine cellar. Thanks to modern options such as walk in wine rooms, silo-shaped cellars and bespoke climate controlled wine storage units, it's possible to assemble and house a substantial collection of at least several hundred bottles in an ordinary family home or city apartment. homify presents a sampling of some classic and contemporary wine cellar ideas.
The most important role of the wine cellar is, of course, to store a collection of wines in optimum conditions. This means that the wine has to be away from direct sunlight and kept at a constant temperature and humidity. Ideally, however, the cellar should also be placed where the wine connoisseur can enjoy the taste of mature wine in peaceful and blissful surroundings, with a tasting area where bottles can be opened at leisure. And needless to say, the cellar should also be laid out in such a way as to display the collection of wine for others to admire.
homify is a great source of inspiration for anyone thinking of installing a wine cellar. Wine lovers can assemble a virtual idea book of their favourite wine cellar options to help them visualise their ideas, and further information is only a few clicks away. In short, homify provides a service to uncork a home owner's creative sense in designing a wine cellar at home.
There are a number of possibilities when it comes to building a wine cellar. These include converting an existing cellar or having a new silo style wine cellar—usually access through a trap door or a spiral staircase—dug out beneath one's property. For those looking for a less costly option, it's possible to turn a part of the house into a walk in wine room. This could be a section of the kitchen (for example, one end of an L-shaped kitchen) but it could just as easily be the space under the stairs or some other corner of the home. Alternatively, a living room wall could be adapted into an attractive display unit, perhaps in tandem with a bar. Whatever the option, it's best to consult a specialist designer before you build your wine cellar to ensure that the end result will keep those valuable vintage bottles in the best possible state of preservation.
For a traditional underground wine cellar, rugged bare stone walls are a great choice as these will offer a dramatic contrast to the regular rows of wine racks. They also look especially good when combined with arched ceilings and doorways to create a vintage French vineyard ambience. Other alternatives in the same direction are bare brick and roughly applied plaster walls covered with a scumble-wash. For an above-the-ground wine room, glass walls work very well, separating off the collection in its own climate controlled enclosure without breaking up the flow of the home.
For a wine cellar with a rustic feeling, stone flags, oak boards, rough matting and even basic concrete and can all feel authentically rugged. Marble and hardwood are more chic, high end alternatives that work well upstairs or down. One tip is to avoid any kind of flooring with a persistent odour – some types of hemp carpeting, for example – as this can interfere with an appreciation of the wine's smells during tasting sessions. Whatever flooring is decided upon, it's important that the sub-floor of the cellar should be dry and impermeable to prevent any mould or moisture creeping in.
homify can connect you with a whole set of experts who sell a range of the latest wine storage equipment, whether it be a wall wine rack for creating a statement feature in the living room, a sleek wine cooler for the kitchen or an attractive wooden wine cabinet for a starter collection.
When planning a wine cellar, it's best to begin by deciding how many wine racks to have and where they will go, as they will not only provide the much needed storage space but also be the backdrop for everything else. It's also wise to think early on about a tasting area, which could be a bar with a few stools or a small, intimate table with a few chairs. These priorities are likely to be the same whether the design is going to be traditional, with a variety of wooden wine racks chosen for texture and colour, or something more contemporary with acrylic shelving or other cutting edge options. Lighting is another important aspect to consider. Old fashioned light bulbs that produce a lot of heat can be bad for wine, but with modern LED lighting, a wine cellar need no longer be a dark and gloomy place. Using track lights to illuminate the racks from above and behind can help to show off a collection and make it easier to read the fine print on the labels.
The answer to this depends upon the style of the wine cellar – whether it's traditionally rustic, sleek and luxurious, or more glitzy and modern. A rustic style cellar might make use of reclaimed barrels, architectural salvage, a heavy wooden door with a thick handle, while a sleek look could opt for leather upholstery and a simple, elegant finish, and a more contemporary aesthetic might employ extra lighting and state of the art bar fittings. Either way, it's sensible to have the basics covered – sets of glasses, corkscrews and anything else one might need for sampling the wine. If space permits, a dining table and chairs could be included, turning the wine cellar into an atmospheric alternative to the traditional dining room as a place to serve an evening meal for friends and family. The wine cellar can also be a good place to display a small collection of wine related books or collectibles, many of which might also benefit from the controlled climate. Doing this will add a unique touch to the cellar and make it an interesting space for conversation.
How to: Classic wine cellar style
The classic style incorporates a range of traditional and contemporary elements for a look that's luxurious, clean and stylish. Walls are often painted white or of bare brick, with wooden or stone floors and wooden wine racks. Suitable for both large and small spaces, this is a style that can be adapted to most homes, blending easily with many types of on-trend contemporary furniture and décor.
How to: Eclectic wine cellar style
The eclectic style brings a youthful, quirky approach to the presentation of wine. An example of this aesthetic might be a jazzily coloured wine cabinet in the living room, or a wine rack in the kitchen or den accessorised with LED lighting for a trendy bar feel. It's a style that breaks down style barriers between the wine cellar decor and the rest of the house, and there are no hard and fast rules as individuals will want to take their cue from the overall décor and colour schemes of their home or apartment.
How to: Scandinavian wine cellar style
A Scandinavian style is ideal for anyone wanting to create a cosy nook for sipping wine in the corner of the house, and it goes particularly well with timber framed or chalet style materials. Walls are usually painted in restful, subdued tones of blue, grey or green, and typical features might include a padded armchair, a small round tasting table and a lime washed wooden wine cabinet to house a more extensive collection.
How to: Industrial wine cellar style
The industrial wine cellar will often cultivate a rugged, functional atmosphere, with elements such as bare brick, metal doors, tasting tables and stools, reclaimed signage from old vineyards as wall decorations and vintage barrels adapted into free-standing racks or displays. This is a style that is well suited to collectors with an appreciation of the history and heritage of fine wines. An alternative to this is to opt for a sleek, clean, laboratory-like finish, with bright, polished surfaces – an aesthetic that is highly appealing.